Posted under Clara and Libby, Infertility, Life, Mothering by MicheleP.
Before kids, I had many idealistic views of parenting. I would never raise my voice, get angry, or feel annoyed with my children. And of course, those of you who are parents are probably grinning…because youÂ know the reality of that just isn’t reality. Â
I’m a member of an online community called “Parenting After Infertility” or “PAI” for short. PAI was birthed out of Hannah’s Prayer (a ministry for infertility and loss) and is a support group that addresses some of the challenges that you face once you become a parent AFTER dealing with infertility.
One discussion we have on PAI is “For this child I prayed and now I feel…” and today I finished the sentence with:
“For this child I prayed and now I feel…. Annoyed.”
I have very few outlets here – things that I get to do for “me”. Last week,Â I joined a ladies Bible Study on Monday mornings and it was WONDERFUL – most all of the ladies are “transplants” too and so totally get what this whole experience is like. Many of them also go to my church and I have been looking forward to just getting to know them better since you can only get so far with conversation during the 5 minute “meet & greet” on Sundays.
Libby wasn’t feeling well yesterday so I stayed home from church with the girls but I thought she should be fine today. When I got both the girls up and dressed for school, I could tell Libby wasn’t feeling great – but she came down for breakfast so I thought maybe after a little food she would perk up.
During breakfast (pancakes – a favorite) she just put her head on the table and I knew then that my day wasn’t going to be anything like I had planned.
I know, I know. I should be gushing with sympathy and compassion – the poor kid is SICK for crying out loud – but all I could think of was “I’m going to miss MY time today”.
I asked her if she needed to stay home and she just nodded “yes”. Clara thenÂ piped up, “I’m sick too!” but when I explained that when we stay home sick, we stay on the couch or in bed, ClaraÂ was instantly healed of her ailments. Â
So – I took Clara to school and brought Libby back home. She is now resting on the couch watching some Noggin andÂ she does seem to beÂ feeling better. However, I think it’s just the effects of theÂ Motrin kicking in.
There’s always next week.
Posted under Clara and Libby, Infertility by MicheleP.
Scott and I are infertile. If you read through some of the archives, it’s not hard to miss that fact. By God’s grace andÂ the help of modern technology, we have been blessed with four children (two of whom are in Heaven). Unless God performs a miracle or the door to adoption opens up, our family size most likely will not change. Most of the time I am at peace with this. With all the moving (3 times since the girls were born in 2004) there have been times I’ve thought “How would I have done this with another child?!” and very much feel content with our two blessings we have with us. As my friend, Denise, says, “I’m not overwhelmed…but…I’m whelmed.”
A while back, we got a package in the mail from a dear friend (Hi Krystal!). The girls love it when we get packages and were beyond excited to open it – thinking it just HAD to be toys. I knew it wasn’t toys but let them have fun with the idea of toys. We pulled off the brown wrapping and beneathÂ was a diaper box with a picture of a baby on it. Clara looks puzzled and says “Huh? A Baby?”. Then Libby smiles really big and says, “We got a baby! Mama! We got a baby!”. All this excites Clara and they both begin to squeel “A Baby! A Baby!” andÂ scold me because I’m not opening fast enough to get the “baby” out of the box.
The girls adore babies and often ask for one. I know they would make wonderful big sisters and sometimes it makes me sad to think they may not get that opportunity.
They opened the box and found clothes inside. I think they wereÂ a little disappointed but quickly bounced back, “Oh well. Maybe next time we will get a baby! Mama! Look at all these clothes!”.
The ability of a child to dwell and focus on the here and now…and leave the future to the future. Boy, I can learn a lot from them.
Posted under Infertility, Life by MicheleP.
I’ve been looking forward to this day for months now. I was giddy whenÂ Kelly told me there was a possibility of a long layover in San Juan on her way back from St. Lucia and yesterday we got to spend 8 hours with Kelly and Dan.
Kelly is one of my “beauty from ashes” relationships. I “met” Kelly in 2003 – right after Gideon and Gracie died – through Hannah’s Prayer. She was also struggling withÂ infertility and had just had an unsuccessful IVF. In our grief,Â we instantly connected. Later that year we were able to meet in person at a little retreat for a bunch of infertile girls in NW Arkansas. It was one of those weekends where I think we cried as much as we laughed – and created friendships that will last forever.Â It’s bitter sweet to think that I would have never met Kelly (and so many other amazing women) had I not gone through such a horrible time.
Since our last in person meeting, a lot has happened in both of our lives. I’m not sure who has moved more – probably Kelly – she even did a stint in Germany and as a military wife who knows what it’s like to pack up and move (a lot) and she
was is one of my biggest cheerleaders as I make my new home here. There have been many a time where I would get discouraged about life here andÂ would think of Kelly and how she survived Germany and then a year deployment – with three young children – and it would give me just the reality check I needed…”If Kelly could do this…I can too!”
Kelly and her dh, Dan, are now parents to 3 amazing kiddos who I hope to meet someday! I got to rejoice with her when she brought her two daughters home from Russia (even feeling like I was actually there with her at times) and then celebrate again as she gave birth to her son a few years later. She is an amazing mother and I’m always asking her “what did you do when?” and have picked up many a parenting tip from her. She is a master of “natural consequences” and I often laugh when she tells of her (very creative) remedies for bad behavior.
Kelly – it was such a treat to have you here for a day and I hope you had a great time with our fancy hospitality (dinner prepared in the bathroom and served on only the finest paper plates). Next time it will be for longer than 8 hours!!
Kelly and Dan in Old San Juan
Kelly and I enjoying a lazy afternoon by the pool
Kelly and Dan enjoying a gourmet meal complete with paper plates and plastic wear [photopress:kelly_and_dan_at_dinner.gif,full,pp_empty]
Posted under Infertility, Mothering by MicheleP.
Mother’s Day is next week. While I look forward to honoring my own mother – and being honored as a mother – I still cringe when I think of what will transpire next Sunday. In churches all across America (and beyond) mothers will be honoredÂ by special children’s programs, prayers, contests (oldest, newest, most children, etc. etc. etc.), andÂ of course by the rose. Oh, the dreaded rose.
Several years ago, I wrote this letter to our pastor:
I want to share with you that has been on my heart the past few weeks.
As you know, Scott and my journey to parenthood has been a very long and difficult road. For years, the pain of infertility was a silent grief that mostly we shared with just each other as we went to a small church where everyone around us seemed to be able to produce children with great ease. We endured such hurtful comments through the years… “When are you guys going to get with the program?” “You would make such great parents!” “Be glad you don’t have to deal with this!” “When you have kids of your own…” and the list goes on and on. And most of these would come from within the church… from well-meaning, yet ignorant, Christians.
I stopped attending church on Mother’s Day 4 years ago. The sting of that day – celebrating exactly what I longed to be but was unable to achieve. Our church gave flowers and had all the Mothers stand up to recognize them on that day. I can clearly remember sitting in church 4 years ago and being the ONLY woman sitting in my chair without a flower while all the other women stood. I cannot tell you how painful and isolated I felt in my grief at that moment. That was the last Mother’s Day service I attended.
Of course, that brings us to last year and the story is even more painful and difficult. Now I am a mother but one with empty arms. I celebrated Mother’s Day without my children and faced a whole new set of pain and grief. I am forever grateful for my husband who went to great efforts last year to honor me in a special way last year. He really should get a husband of the year award!!
I know that in a church our size, I cannot be alone. I am sure that days such as Mother’s Day bring grief to others as well for many reasons (death of a child, unable to have children, death of mother, single women, and many more). I don’t know how BCC recognizes the day but wanted to share something with you for consideration.
I took this from a friend of mine – they used this in her church last year:
“A Mothers Day Prayer for You on Mothers Day…
For the married women who desire to have children andÂ cannot. Also, for the single women who desire children yet are getting weary waiting on a spouse. God understands your situation and we care. “In the name of Jesus, we ask that the Holy Spirit will comfort your heart and give you peace and that our Father God would grant you your petition. Amen.” (1 Samuel 1:2-17)
For the single mom. God understands your challenge and we care. “In the name of Jesus, we ask that the grace of God will sustain you, the wisdom of God lead you, the love of God encompass you, and the provisions of God overtake you. Amen.” (Philipians 4:13)
For the moms with a child who has chosen a destructive lifestyle and is in a physical or spiritual prison. God understands your concern and we care. “In the name of Jesus, we ask that the Holy Spirit would convict them of sin. We ask for the perfect laborers to cross their path. We thank God for their salvation, deliverance and restoration. Amen.” (Proverbs 11:21)
For all the moms who experience grief on Mothers Day because of miscarriage, stillbirth, abortion, or a childs death outside the womb. For all those men and women who experience grief on Mothers Day because of the loss of their mom. God understands and we care. “In the name of Jesus we ask that the Holy Spirit will comfort your hearts and give you peace. Jesus bore your grief so you don’t have to. Jesus we thank you for removing the grief and healing the heart. Amen” (Isaiah 53:4)
In the name of Jesus we pray for all of our mothers on Mothers Day. May God our Father bless you and strengthen you and encourage you. May your eyes be opened that you and others may see that your price is far above rubies and may your children rise up and call you blessed. (Proverbs 31:10-31)”
I certainly know that mothers are indeed special and should ABSOLUTELY be honored. I am forever grateful for my own mother and the daily sacrifices she made that I might have a better life. In no way am I suggesting that Mother’s Day (or Father’s day or any other holiday for that matter) be ignored for the sake of hurting others – just wanted to share with you my story and my heart and this idea for how to acknowledge the pain the day can bring,Â while still honoring mothers. BCC is such a special place – one of tremendous healing and hope – thank you for all that you guys do to love and minister to us.
The church did use this prayer that year – inserting it into the weekly handout – and it was well received. I hope it gave some comfortÂ to thoseÂ fighting the tears as the children sang, babies dedicated, mothers stood and roses distributed. I know, for me,Â the simple act of acknowledgingÂ the hurt and painÂ does my heart a ton of good.
Posted under Infertility, Life by MicheleP.
I went in for my blood draw yesterday and got the call from the nurse later that afternoon – I could tell by the tone of her voice that she didn’t have good news. “I’m so sorry’” she said, “you are not pregnant.”Â
We’re ok. Disappointed, yes.Â Â Defeated, no. Â
Now we are faced with a difficult decision – we have one remaining embryo and have to make plans for either an immediate transfer of this one (whichÂ holds a slim chanceÂ of success) or decide to delay until another year – and neither option is appealing right now.
Posted under Infertility, Life by MicheleP.
Our video that we entered into the Infertility Film Festival won the audience choice award – wow! Thank you so much to everyone who voted!!