Friday, March 14, 2014

Sifting Through Life: Just Relax--I AM RELAXING!

As a couple that has gone through the experience of infertility we were often told, on numerous occasions, that our problem was a simple one--

we were over worked, over-stressed, filled with anxiety, trying too hard, I was too skinny


we desperately needed a vacation.

Okay, so maybe not one simple problem--it would appear we had a handful of issues.

Aside from the endometriosis, the doctors had no real reason why my body would not stay pregnant. To be more specific, why I could not carry a baby to term.  I had problems around the 8-10 week mark that usually ended up with miscarrying the baby.

I went through two laparoscopy surgeries to correct my endometriosis.  The doctors felt that the first one was a sure win and we would quickly get pregnant and have our first baby.  The second surgery came two years later for what was determined I had scaring that needed to be addressed. Again, more hopeful expectations of my impending expectancy.

I was instructed that a third time would put our "trying to have a baby" desire in jeopardy because my body would not fair well with a third surgery.

Not to get too personal, but we had a few other issues that we were addressing on top of the endometriosis.    Bless his heart, my husband had his own set of test that needed to happen and he never complained or missed an appointment.

I felt as if we were assembling a huge puzzle each week with our doctors visits.  We would arrive thinking we had our situation solved and for some reason we were always missing a piece here and there.

We were given hope and then the next week, our hope was dashed.  Infertility is a circus of emotions--laughing one minute and crying the next.

One thing was constant.  Our friends and family were always concerned for us and offered us support, shoulders to cry on and love.  There were times when it was difficult because a sibling would have a baby or announce they were expecting.  If we were present, I could feel the eyes move slowly to where we were standing.  I think everyone was not sure what to expect.  Would I fall apart?  That would come later when we went home not because I was sad or unhappy for them.  I was very happy for a new niece or nephew to come into our family.  I was sad for us.  That we were not the ones contributing to the expanding family unit.  It reminded us of what we thought we would never have.

I am sure it was awkward for them at times too.  Cory and I tried our best to not show any signs of sadness, only joy at their good news because it was great news!  We have the most amazing nieces and nephews.

Just relax was advice that we were given on all fronts--from friends and family.  Go on vacation would have been an awesome idea but we were spending all of our money on doctors and test.   Working was necessary to pay the bills.  The advice was good but not always practical for our situation.

Cory never wanted me to work because the plan was that we would start a family right away.  The idea of waiting to have a family never crossed our minds.  We both wanted kids our first year of marriage.

At first I felt fine staying at home but as the years went by I felt restless.  I had the choice to go back to school or go to work.   I needed something to keep my mind off of the "baby blues".  I was sad and blue.  I eventually went to work in a restaurant.

I thought, " this is a job that I knew well and it would allow me to quit --"if" the time should come".  I had a lot of fun working.  It helped to ease a bit of the anxiety and allowed me to transfer some of my immediate focus of starting a family to something fresh and new.

Looking back on our experience I now know that things worked out for us.  Duh!   Hind sight is a great teacher of faith.  I was often told to have more faith because it will happen.  How did they know?

 I was young back then, worried and full of doubt because of what we were experiencing at the time.  I do wish that we could have relaxed a bit more and enjoyed those youthful years of our marriage.  We should have traveled more but our tunnel vision of starting a family over came our lives.  I lost focus for a while.  It became a fierce battle of me against the unknown--and I so desperately wanted to win.

Adopting Rye was one of the greatest events in our life. We found out I was pregnant with Drake 14 months after the adoption.   We were so excited for Rye to have a sibling.  Cory and I both had siblings and we wanted Rye to have all of the experiences of being an older sister and having a best friend. 

The day that I announced I was pregnant with Drake was filled with great emotion by our friends and family.  We were so excited to add a new baby to our family.  The next day was rough.  I started having problems and my doctor told me that I would not carry this baby to full term.  Drake's heart beat was very faint.  Through the miracle of technology my doctor was able to do a vaginal ultra-sound and see a small baby barely moving.

My doctor was not convinced I would carry Drake to term.  He tried to prepare me for what would happen in the event my body would not carry the pregnancy.  I looked at the doctor and very boldly said, "Make the appointment because I will be back next week".

I immediately called family in tears.  Together we rallied and mustered up every person we could reach by phone to offer a prayer.  We were asking for a miracle.  We hoped that this pregnancy was meant to be--that our baby would remain nestled in my belly and that he would get stronger.

I went home and stayed in bed, rested and continued to do what I could to save our baby boy.

The following week, I went back and I got the okay that he was thriving and we were on our way to a healthy delivery.

Telling our friends that we were expecting was filled with tears and laughter.  Everyone was so excited for us.  In two years we had been blessed with two babies.

Cory and I snickered more than once when someone would say to us after we brought Drake home,

"see, you just needed to relax".

I am not sure how many people find having an active 1 year old running around your house relaxing--but okay.  We moved twice while I was pregnant and had a foreign exchange student living with us from Japan.  Cory worked 40+ hours at work and then attended school at night.  Relaxing was not high on my list of priorities given the life we were leading at that time.

We went with the flow and smiled.

We were too grateful to be snarky anymore about people's request for us to relax and loosen up.

I must have relaxed again 10 years later for Isabella; then again in 7 years for Finnley.

(insert a smile {because I am funny} LOL)


Some day I will relax on a beach with an umbrella drink;  but right now-- I am enjoying the liveliness of four busy kids, one working-from-home hubby, 3 cats, 5 fish and 4 newly hatched butterflies.

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