Friday, January 29, 2010


The other day when I gathered with two friends at one of their places, I realized something again. One of them has a 2-year-old daughter and in just that one occasion, it reminded me that I had no experience whatsoever with kids. I brought some fruit to make fruit salad and I cut them into pieces at her place and I "forgot" that there was a small kid there, so I cut them into bigger pieces - at least bigger than what a 2-year-old can handle. So the mother had to cut them into smaller pieces for her. I felt like saying, "Doh!" to myself and slap my forehead, you know?

Sometimes occasions like this make me feel like I may not be suitable to be a mother. Yeah, self-condemning thought indeed...after all, there are many first time mothers out there who also probably don't know what to do until they have their own kids, I bet.

The first time I felt this way was when I went back to Indo last October to visit my parents and brother. My brother had a 1-year-old son and when I met them, I realized how incapable I was to handle the child. Of course after a few days I learnt how everything was done in the household, so I knew my nephew's daily schedule already and we did play together and over time I felt more confident in holding him and such. However, it did make me feel bad to know that I knew nothing about taking care of kids.

This kind of occasion makes me feel that I'll never be able to "join" the elite group of mommies until I become a mother myself (unless I work in a daycare or something that'll allow me to get more glimpses of how to take care of kids, I guess). How do I feel about that? I guess I feel left out in a way. I dare not give any advice (or ass-vice) to my friends who've got kids 'coz who am I? And I surely can't share with them about my success stories using this and that trick to deal with my kids 'coz I have not got any.

I also feel somehow left out in this village 'coz I still haven't found my place. I still don't know what I want to become and I still don't know what kind of job/career I can have here. I try not to be stressed about it 'coz it'll only make things worse. I'm trying and learning to go with the flow and accept the things I can't change...I think I'm doing a good job so far - though there were times I felt like dark clouds were hanging over me. But life has been GREAT nonetheless. Not perfect, but still we have everything we need and more. I don't want to complain 'coz it'll only attract those dark clouds and I sure don't want to live like that.

I've made a commitment to myself to enjoy every season of life no matter what and I'm going to do my best to keep that commitment. I surrender to this time, place, situation, and condition...that doesn't mean I don't try to find out what I want or reach for my dreams, but that means that I'll do what I can do with the things within my control, but I don't want to be bothered (at least not too much and not for a long period of time) by things outside my control 'coz it'll just ruin my peace of mind. If my peace of mind is ruined, those dark clouds will be back and those people around me will get struck by the lightning bolts coming out of the dark clouds. I ain't going to let that happen, not if I can help it, so help me God!

To everything there is a season,
a time for every purpose under the sun.
A time to be born and a time to die;
a time to plant and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
a time to kill and a time to heal ...
a time to weep and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn and a time to dance ...
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing;
a time to lose and a time to seek;
a time to rend and a time to sew;
a time to keep silent and a time to speak;
a time to love and a time to hate;
a time for war and a time for peace.
~ Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Prayer + The Silence of God

Today I was in dire need for some answers and found this video clip:

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Surrendering Our Wish

When we first decided not to take any tests or do any medical treatments, it did occur to me that it feels like we're giving up. Even a friend was wondering why we didn't even try to go to the gyno. Well, I remember what one friend said (she's been TTC for almost 5 years with one m/c), "We've gotta keep on trying while surrendering to God's will."

Is that possible? TTC without obsessing at all, esp. during the 2ww (2 week wait)? I DO really want it to happen, though: TTC without obsessing, with as little emotional roller-coaster as possible. That'd feel like heaven!!!

That was one of the reasons I didn't want to do any medical treatments. I have a bit of obsessiveness inside me and especially when I have nothing else to do at home (no job training or course and just staying home with no kids to take care of), it's SO easy to obsess over every little symptom that I experience during the 2ww.

I'm tired of obsessing over the little details and then feeling grief and sorrow and disappointment all over again. Most of all, though, I'm tired of taking other people's words so personally and being defensive, 'coz in the end it makes me feel SO guilty if I can't control myself and I "snap" at other people, esp. if those people are my close friends who mean well and who're just at a loss on what to say.

So I said to myself, "Kill it before it grows!!!" Thus the decision. Good thing hubby supports me. This month is the first month in 20 months of TTC that I don't know what CD (calendar date) it is. Yesterday I met someone in Facebook and added her and she asked me if I had had a son (she obviously saw a pic of me with my brother's son) and I could answer her question without the sting of self-pity and without being reactive.

I realize that during this IF roller-coaster, esp. when you're so very actively TTC (trying everything humanly possible) and hurting so much inside and feeling a degree of loneliness in the process, it's so easy to be reactive to other people and to take things so personally, either to those who are fellow IFers or those who aren't.

I don't want to feel too much pain anymore - heaven help me - 'coz if I'm bleeding profusely inside every single month, how can I share my love with other people (not just with fellow IFers, but also with others who get pregnant easily)? I don't want to keep on asking "why" when I know that I won't probably know the answers until much later - or maybe only after I'm face-to-face with God when I die. I want to make the best out of this life, out of myself.

Here's a message I got in Facebook yesterday (via A Message from God):

On this day, God wants you to know.....that you deserve happiness just because. There is nothing you need to do to deserve happiness. There are no 'minimal requirements' for you to fulfill before you can claim happiness. You deserve happiness simply by virtue of having been born. That's it. Nothing more is required. Be happy.

Right on. That's exactly what I want. I want to be happy without setting any requirement whatsoever - with or without a baby.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Slow Motion

I just realized that when people don't know what to say, sometimes they say things that are silly or downright stupid, even though they don't mean it just because they are at a loss on what to do. And more often than not, when the person hearing it is hurting, those tender wounds can make him/her take the words too seriously. From this, I learn that sometimes when I don't know what to say when someone tells me about his/her problem, the best things I can say is either "I'm sorry to hear that, I'll remember you in my prayers" or "What kind of support do you want me to give you?".

The latter was actually something that a close friend said to me when I was sharing my IF journey with my close friends in a group email and I'm THANKFUL for that. That's one of the best things that someone could have said to me in this IF journey.

I don't know if it's because we've been busy with packing and moving things to the new house or if it's also because we've decided not to pursue any tests or medical treatments, but I've been feeling like a HUGE burden is off my chest. This week I've been exchanging emails with my friend who had a miracle pregnancy (she has PCOS, been TTC for 3 years, had a miscarriage once, didn't get any period for 5 months, then realized she was 6 weeks pregnant - now she's probably around 12 or 13 weeks pregnant) - this news caused my meltdown at that time. However, I realized that now I can be truly happy for her without feeling self-pity, without asking God, "Why? When? Where did we go wrong?"

I can handle disappointments and grief, but I hate self-pity and bitterness 'coz I always have warring voices in my head whenever both feelings show their ugly heads and it's really tiring. It's hard to distract myself from those warring voices, so we'll see how long this peaceful state can last. Right now I'm really enjoying myself and our sex life, too. HURRAAAHHHH for that he he he...

Friday, January 15, 2010

What Have I Learnt From IF?

1. Psychological pain to the extreme level - until I wanted to cut myself to distract myself from the pain.

2a. Emotional torment: anger, bitterness, cynicism, jealousy, negativity, self-defense, self-pity, guilt, sorrow, depression that grow to such a level that makes me totally sick of myself.

2b. On the other hand, I learn to be kind to myself 'coz my feelings don't define who I am. My feelings just prove that I'm only human who needs God's help.

3. To be careful with my words 'coz they may hurt other people even if I don't mean it that way.

4. To lean on God's help by nailing all my emotional torment and psychological pain to the cross and leaving them there.

5. To live more in the present and face one day at a time rather than to try to plan ahead. To enjoy the present to the fullest.

6. That the relationship and partnership between hubby and I are MORE important than this baby quest.

7. Pain is pain and it's different for everybody. Just because everybody has different challenges, pains, problems, frustrations that doesn't mean that they are less valid than another person's.

8. Children is a gift, NOT a right and just because I'm not given that gift (yet or never) doesn't mean that I'm a lousy person. That just means that God has different plans for me.

9. Not to give in to pressure - this is OUR journey (mine and hubby's) and it's OUR decision.

10. Denying feelings is the same as burying ourselves in a quicksand. It's MUCH better to acknowledge those feelings, allow myself to grieve, and then start the healing process.

11. Realizing that one reason why IF is so tough is because sometimes you're not done with one cycle's process of grieving and healing and you're already bombarded with other things that make you sad or angry or emotional.

12. God can take my worst anger or rage and He can turn it into peace beyond understanding whenever I'm totally honest in front of Him and let Him handle it.

13. To take time to calm myself and not say harsh words to other people who "mean well" whenever I feel vulnerable, defensive, and moody.

14. I've chosen the right man to be my husband 'coz he is not Mr. Fix-It. He comforts me and calms me without giving me unsolicited advice. He listens and holds me tightly and tries to understand.

15. IF has widened my view on many things (too many to write here) - this is something I would have never experienced without IF.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Thinking Mood

Yesterday AF came again. This time I didn't feel too bad (progress!!!), but self-denial was strangely still strong (which was kinda interesting). When AF first showed up, there were only some spots of brownish blood and a small voice in my head started saying, "Oh, hey, some people also experience that when they first start getting pregnant." I haven't totally let go yet, but still it felt good not to feel too bad about AF's arrival - at least no cursing, no tears, no overwhelming grief.

Last night before I went to sleep, I asked hubby if he knew how long we had been TTC. His guess was more or less right: 1,5 years. Well, actually it's 19 months but we were apart for a whole month when I was in Indo last year, so that didn't count.

Today I started browsing for adoption pages in Finnish 'coz I wanted to know the cost and how long it took. I was SHOCKED to find out that normally it takes AT LEAST 1,5 years. Gee...and the maximum age for the parents are 45 years of age, though some countries want the parents to be 35 years old or 40 years old. That means time is running low 'coz hubby will turn 40 years old next year already.

I'd love to ask him later on what is more important to him: having our own flesh and blood or being parents. I just want to know how long we're going to try to have our own babies - and how far do we want to go if that's the case - or whether we're going to try adopting before next year comes or whether we'll just keep on trying to have a baby on our own (and if that doesn't happen then we'll just stay childless forever).

Choices, choices, choices. There are no easy choices/options. It's kinda sad now when I'm faced with "brutal" choices like these, though that doesn't mean that we won't ever have children 'coz we'll never know what happens in the future, but still it's kinda sad when I think of all the people who can have kids "easily" 'coz they don't have to think about these tough choices.

But anyway, everybody has different problems and challenges and I certainly hope that IF would make hubby and I become closer and closer. After hubby answered my question last night, he asked right away when he was supposed to take the Chinese herbs again. ;-D Well, I should talk about this with hubby sometime, but I should pick the right moment 'coz right now we have plenty of other things to talk about 'coz we're in the process of buying our own house - which is REALLY A BLESSING for us 'coz three years ago, it NEVER crossed my mind that we'd be able to buy a house this soon. It NEVER crossed my mind that we could travel anywhere AT ALL - compared to the fact that we have been travelling a few times already over the past 3 years.

God is GOOD, SO GOOD, SO GOOD. We didn't do anything to deserve getting what we get, but surprise, surprise, He's given us SO MUCH MORE than even our wildest dreams!!!

So today I'm just going to let this fact seep into my very core to wipe away any sadness that I have...and just believe, believe, believe...believe that everything will be fine in the end, even if some dreams aren't meant to come true. Actually, writing these words has helped brighten up my day already! I should really continue writing here then ho ho ho ho ho...

Note to self: Just because I feel what I feel doesn't mean I'm a bad person. It just means that I'm spreading my wings to enrich myself as I get a firsthand experience of different facets of emotions, so that (hopefully) I can become more understanding towards other people when they're experiencing those facets of emotions.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Aha Moment of the Day: The Pain of Infertility

Excerpt taken from this site: Infertility and the Christian

Infertility has always brought pain. Hannah prayed for a child year after year in the temple – weeping, unable to eat, grieving, bitter in soul, and regarding herself as “afflicted” (1 Sam. 1:2-11). Rachel said to Jacob, “Give me children or else I die” (Gen. 30:1-2). Isaac entreated the Lord because he and Rebekah were infertile, yet she did not conceive until about 20 years after they were married (Gen. 25:20-26). One has written that childlessness “violates every instinct God has placed in a woman.3 For many women being fulfilled includes the experiences of conceiving, childbearing and bonding with a newborn. Men likewise can feel diminished by not being able to impregnate their wives. It is very hard for someone who has not had difficulty in having a child to comprehend how emotionally difficult it is.4

I can totally relate to the feeling of bitterness and "not wanting to eat" - sometimes when the tsunami of melancholy hits me unexpectedly, I feel like I want to curl up like a fetus (pun intended) and do absolutely nothing. When my brain is so worked up in asking "why" and my heart is trying to find some consolation amidst the storm, I feel like wanting to sleep and never having to wake up 'coz then the cycle continues: the endless questions, the strong currents of self-pity (that sickens my logic to the core), the guilt I feel for feeling as though my life were hell even if I SHOULD be VERY grateful for every blessing He's given, the guilt I feel for snapping at other people who "mean well" (including hubby and my closest friends), the guilt I feel for feeling so bitchy, the frustration I feel 'coz my body "betrays" me, the deep stabs of longing that are too painful to bear sometimes, etc. etc. etc. 

Sometimes I wish I could just push a "pause" button and live my days the way I did pre-IF, but that's not possible. Somewhere in the distance when the tsunami of sorrow starts to die down, I can hear a whisper: "I could take away all your pains, but that's not what I want for you. I want to allow you to feel all of these and be able to not survive them all, but also rise from the ashes."

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Aha Moment of the Day

It's very fascinating to browse through infertility blogs and read the things I could have written myself. It makes me feel sane, understood. It makes me feel that I'm not alone. It makes me feel like shouting "Eureka" at the top of my lungs as though I had made the biggest discovery of my time. It makes me feel like dancing around the room 'coz my thoughts and feelings are "justifiable" and they're not thought of as "absurd, over-the-top, etc." It gives me the freedom to struggle with whatever thought or feeling that comes my way without any burden.

My aha moment today came from reading these sentences from Jen's Genuine Life:
The truth of the matter is the desire to procreate is one that is a primal instinct. Once it takes hold of you because you cannot achieve it, it completely absorbs your being. It is all you can think about. You begin to doubt your own value as a woman and a person.....
You are enraged when other people tell you to “just adopt” or “just quit worrying about it and it will happen.” You are also shocked at the carelessness of people when they say you are missing out on God’s greatest gift. You cringe each time someone asks you if you have children, as if being a parent is the only way to identify yourself as an adult in society.
Don’t even get me started on what Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Christmas, and other holidays are like for the person struggling with infertility. Trust me it is painful. During this time, it is so important to be in prayer with God so that you remain faithful and have hope for the future.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Trying to Understand the Land of IF

Just been browsing around while enjoying the holiday, trying to understand more the land of IF so that I won't feel "shocked" whenever something happens to me later on in the future. Let's see what I managed to gather today:

1. This is the excerpt of a book called: "The Belated Baby: Healing Yourself After the Long Journey of Infertility":

Approximately 7.3 million American women have struggled with infertility. Most of them, whether or not they use fertility treatments, do not realize that when they have their baby (or babies)—whether through birth or via adoption - the echoes of their infertility will be felt long after they are living out their dream of having their own baby.

Jill S. Browning and Kelly James-Enger explain that infertility is a mind-set and that every woman who experiences infertility is forever changed, even when she eventually has the child she yearned for. When many women who have gone through fertility treatments describe their experience, they say it “abused their soul.” 

The experience may have also hurt their relationship with their husband and sometimes permanently altered relationships with their extended families. Studies show that even after the desperation of infertility subsides, emotional wounds still fester and an asterisk accompanies her bundle of joy. 

Infertile women often find themselves mentally unprepared for motherhood. They feel they have no right to complain about the frustration and confusion that all new sleep-deprived parents experience. After all, they worked so hard to have a baby and, moreover, spent thousands of dollars for costly procedures. They also may be conflicted about working, even if their families need the income. She’s waited so long for this baby. How can she leave him or her to go back to work? 

2. This line is from a book called "My Little One":

Infertility has robbed Emma Bronfman of her self-esteem, self-image and self-respect.

This brought me to the Discussion Guide I found the other day: What most influences my self-worth? That's a tough question to answer. There are lots of things in the discussion guide that make me think. 

Well, I think I've got enough information and reflection for today. It seems that the more I read about the land of IF, the more I realize how dangerous this "baby quest" can be for a marriage (other than my own sanity, that is). I should be really careful about this, especially 'coz when I feel downright cynical, sad, and melancholic, I might take it out on hubby (and other people), even though the problem is within ME. I should always remember this. Remember this, Amel!!!