Just when I thought the world was over…

Tomorrow is my last day at work.

The job that I was just starting back in August when I wrote this.  Which was only a few days after I was here in that place so many of you know so well.  Although I’ve sat in my cubicle and stared at our yearly calendar and had the end of April highlighted in yellow stars since August and those first few weeks and months really drraaaggggeed by, here we are.  Nearing the end of April.  What all this waiting has been for!  And I’m beside myself!

And I just wanted to take a little moment to thank you again.  Who knew my baby would be so loved by those who some of you whom I’ve never even met?

And maybe the best reminder of all…

My world was never over, but it sure felt like it some days.  You never know what good changes might be right around the corner…

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2012: The year of our baby

First it was Advent.  Then it was Christmas.  And then New Year’s.

All going by without so much as a quiet (written) reflection.  Sigh.

Many things seem like a blur lately and its hard to find time to pick up our house let alone do anything else.  We did just get back home from a multi-stop trip visiting family across the states.  I figured it was time to seize the day and make it happen because who knows when we’d be able to again.  Perhaps I underestimated how tiring of a trip it would be,  especially factoring in the two days of remote working due to a conveniently placed project deadline.

One thing for sure is that its become more of a reality that this baby is indeed making its way here, and sooner rather than later.  That was probably the biggest realization of the new year.  2012.  This is year of our baby.  Wow.  I can gather how it seems contrived that its taking so long for it to sink in, but with half of my time spent at work and the rest spent mostly sleeping or eating, its been hard to find time to do anything else and the shock still lingers.  I guess somewhere in there though, I can see how just as its hard for someone to understand what its like to go through sub/infertility, its hard to fathom how you’ll react on the other side of it as well.  I remember commenting on probably several blogs that I never understood why women who get pregnant don’t just skip off happily into the sunset.  I really didn’t get it.  The best way to put to my former self, is that it feels like everything is right with the world because you finally have everything you had longed for, but to still KNOW without a shadow of a doubt that its really not, that there are still people really suffering a great isolating, sorrow.  And to have those people be your close friends you walked shoulder to shoulder with or didn’t even know existed, it doesn’t matter.  That’s the way the world has always been, I realize, but going through the transition just takes it to a whole new level of reality on a personal level.  I guess I was just naive before, or thought the world was limited to physical poverty, not the spiritual/emotional kind that exists even in the land of plenty.  But even then physical poverty can be somewhat alleviated by money/time donations.  What is there to do for the other sorrows?  Prayer, listening ears and hearts, and more prayer.

But I won’t beat a dead horse.

I really am making efforts to make this pregnancy a reality.  Well, I’ve been reading birth/parenting books since the start of the second trimester and we have even watched two birth videos already (yes WE, my husband is convinced that baby is just gonna slide right out…which makes me wonder if we’re even watching the same videos).  And yes, I even made a facebook update that covertly mentioned the baby.  Radical, I know.  We may even register for a few big baby things now that I know a shower may be in the works in a few weeks, you know, in case any rich relatives want to come out of the woodwork and help us out.

And perhaps most relevant, I created a baby/momma progress page, accessible from over there on the sidebar.  So those of you that want to, and when you want to, can see some photographic evidence of what’s growing on over here.  And I can share these photos I’ve been clinging to, desperate to see some sort of proof that there is something growing and that change is evident.  At this point, I think it is (that and the kicking is telling me so).

As I’ve always struggled with confidence and humility, this girl who still thinks I fooled a department into giving me a PhD, somehow tricked a company into giving me a job (they probably think that too now that they know I’m pregnant), and could probably give a very decent excuse for why anything good has ever happened to me, I know beyond any doubt that I really did nothing to deserve this pregnancy.  And I will not stop saying it, because it feels good to admit complete inadequacy.

I could not have earned this if I tried.  Lord, thank you for teaching me that.

Thankful for power!

I had brilliant things to say and write last week.  I promise I really did.  And then these crazy wind storms hit and we were without power for a week.  A WEEK PEOPLE.  I admit I am a spoiled, first world citizen, but I think that if you can see downtown Los Angeles from your backyard there is something drastically wrong if you don’t have power for seven nights :(  Found out from the radio today that we were part of the last 3,000 to have their power restored, out of the initial 340,000 that lost it last Wednesday.  So, we are the 1% :)  And I have to say, the best thing that ever happened to those occupiers is that they were miraculously removed from harm’s way the day before the storms hit last week.  That could have been so bad.

I even didn’t have work for two days, since they were out of power too.  Without internet or TV, you’d have thought that I would have gotten more done on that sweater, but it turns out its really hard to knit in the dark.  So we basically just stared at each other.  That part was nice.  The freezing part was not nice. Did you know it got down to 50 degrees in our house?  At least our ice chest didn’t melt for the entire week!  The hot, humid lovin’ Texas girl in me has all but been beat out.

Here’s a few pictures as evidence of the chaos, there are all just taken on my street.

 

House next door...and the reason our power was out right here.

Thought this was funny more than anything...poor cactus.

I wasn't lying when I said we can see downtown LA from our house! Although you might have to zoom in.

I pushed play, He pushed fast forward

I had planned on writing about how my first days of school work went this week (its going well, in case you’re interested) or maybe publishing one of the half posts that I had started this summer and never finished, but then something else happened.

Starting with the number 18.

Peak + 18.

I’ve gotten to 17 before, a few times.  But then reality always comes back, in the form of blood.

Crushing.

Saturday I started to have hope, maybe it was possible.  I knew as soon as I thought about it I’d get my period, because that’s what happens.  But I went there, because I needed that hope.  It had been so long since I even felt a little hope of pregnancy, especially these last few weeks.  The disappointment would be worth those few  moments of hope.

But I had never reached day 18 before.

This is what 18 looks like.

I still can’t believe it.  I’ve been waiting for the other shoe to drop.  For someone to jump out from behind the wall and yell “Gotcha!” but then this.  I didn’t know these things came in positives.  One day I was preparing for the worst, scheduling my start date around my period, and the next I’m pregnant.  How can things change so quickly and yet still so slowly?  It would have been two years next month.  Two years of beautiful cycles and still nothing.

I’ve been waking up at night suddenly and then I stop, smile, and go back to sleep.  I remind myself, I am still pregnant and I enjoy the moment.  This is not a dream.  Lately, I couldn’t even dream dreams this good.

I’m pregnant.

Those words still don’t feel right together but there they are.  I get my blood test tomorrow.  It is early and if there is anything that sub/infertility has taught me its that a baby is the goal and pregnancy is only step 1, so please pray with me that we get to hold this little one on earth.

Praise be to God.

*If you know me in real life, I still appreciate your prayers but lets keep this between us only!  We will wait to tell the rest of the world in time. 

Accepting steadfast love

“But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope:

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, his mercies never come to an end;

they are new every morning;

great is your faithfulness.

‘The Lord is my portion,’ says my soul, ‘therefore I will hope in him.’

The Lord is good to those who wait for him,

to the soul that seeks him.

It is good that one should wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord.

It is good for one to bear the yoke in youth,

to sit alone in silence when the Lord has imposed it,

to put one’s mouth to the dust (there may yet be hope),

to gives one’s cheek to the smiter, and be filled with insults.

For the Lord will not reject for ever.

Although he causes grief, he will have compassion according to the abundance of his steadfast love;

for he does not willingly afflict or grieve anyone.”

-Lamentations 3:21-33

I am thankful for these days of uncomplicated peace.  No trying to figure it out, no unsettled feeling, no fear of the future.  I am grateful I can enjoy these days and pray before I fall asleep, Thank you for today, Lord.  Today was a great gift, no matter what transpired and really, truly mean it.  A friend sent me this verse and it fits these days perfectly.  This may not be the happy ending I imagined but this clearing of grace is a beautiful, refreshing view along this journey.

Giving Gratitude 12.20.10

Been a while since I’ve done this…so I’m back to it, starting with

Hot water. That it exists somewhere, although that somewhere isn’t here.  Cold/luke-warm showers are great for waking you up, but they are tortuous to endure.  I can’t wait until we can have hot water showers while we visit family for Christmas.  It will be glorious.

Cold weather. It makes my husband not only endure but suggest cuddling, which I am a fan of :)  We may have to move north for this reason alone.

Mexican nativity sets. I realize that most (all?) churches in the states have nativity scenes somewhere on the church grounds, but I have never seen anything that compares to the intricacy of the one at our local church here (but I am a new-ish Catholic!).  It is truly beautiful and expansive, covering the terrain, all the characters, and the stars in the night sky.  I feel like I could stare at it forever and really feel like I was there witnessing the birth of the Christ-child.

Online friends. I didn’t start a blog to make friends.  I honestly didn’t think anyone would read this blog besides the people I knew in real life.  And I am shy about emailing people I don’t know.  But then I discovered network of women who were dealing with similar situation as I found myself in and it has been a blessing to have their example, encouragement, and incite-fullness to help me remember perspective as we travel this road together.  I have several friends in real life also dealing with sub-fertility but while I have been fairly open about our struggles, it is hard to receive reciprocation and openly share about it with them.  Sometimes I believe it is because they are holier than I am and are not as broken by the realization of their sub-fertility.  And then this past week I virtually attended a baby shower for the woman who was responsible for helping me pursue learning the Creighton method.  And while it was surreal and hilarious and my husband thought I was mildly crazy, I appreciate this network and their openness more than I ever thought I would.

Take 7 – Gratitude

Theme:  Things I’m thankful for

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Gracious friends who let me live with them for my extended time back here in Texas with absolutely no strings attached.  Friends like that are hard to find.

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Cold(er) weather.  Makes me appreciate the Houston summer heat and humidity more.

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Money that allows me to visit my husband…making this time apart shorter and more bearable.

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Running into the priest who witnessed our marriage randomly at a local mass.  He was substituting for our regular pastor and I hadn’t seen him since before we left for Mexico.  It was so great to catch up!

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My parents living close enough so that I get to see my mom on a random weekend (this one) and I can just drive home for Thanksgiving (saving that money for trips to Mexico…).

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Free knitting needles! Apparently knitting is a long tradition in my family and I have now inherited a mess of needles of all sizes so I can now branch out.  I also have some rockin’ patterns from the 70’s…guess who’s husband is going to be sporting a wicked sweater vest soon??  Get ready Julio Iglesias…

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St. Faustina and the Divine Mercy. I’ve been reading her book, oh, for several months now, which is an entire post in and of itself, but I am thankful to have such inspiration and examples in the Saints of our Church.  This was highly unexpected from a little-girl-raised-Protestant-converted-to-Catholicism (I was sold on the “Believe they exist, but specifics are optional” line during RCIA), but perhaps one of the greatest unanticipated blessing.  [Belief in saints is part of the Lutheran tradition as well, its just, well, never mentioned.]

What are you giving gratitude for right now?  Hope you have a great weekend!

Find more Quick Takes with Jen at Conversion Diary.

Giving Gratitude 9.21.

This past few weeks I’ve been thankful for:

My Mexican Family. Its taken a while for us to get to know each other (because I don’t always understand what they’re saying and they don’t understand my gibberish) but we’re finally to that point now.  We even got invited to a birthday party yesterday!  And now they’re starting to talk to me directly instead of bypassing me and going directly to Mike (I don’t blame them, I couldn’t understand me either).

My Spanish teachers. Seriously, I know we’re paying them, but it really can’t be fun to listen to someone butcher your language all day.

Free time to travel. I love not watching at the clock in order to make sure we get home in time.  Bus doesn’t leave for another hour?  That’s fine, we have all the time in the world…

That broken massage chair at the bus station. Speaking of having to wait, want to know what makes a wait go a lot faster?  A massage chair that costs only 5 pesos for a 20 minute massage.  (Yes, that’s less than 50 cents.)  It was equally funny to return later that night and see other people all huddled around the chair laughing and giggling, too.

A roof over my head. It rains everyday here and I know this is something that not everyone has here.  There’s nothing that makes rain beautiful like a roof over your head.

Giving Gratitude 8.30.10

Some things I’m especially grateful for lately…

My camera. Because my memory doesn’t seem sufficient to capture all the beautiful things I’ve been seeing on this trip so far.

The Catholic faith. I always appreciate being able to practice my faith while traveling to far away places, especially considering the history of this country.

A kind host family. Who didn’t kick me out of house after I broke something within the first 10 minutes of entering through their door.  I may be “muy fuerte” but I am also “muy clumsy”.

Imodium AD. Because, well, I think you know why.

Giving Gratitude 8.10.10

In order to combat whiny-ness and maintain a sense of grounding, I’m planning to introduce these little posts where I talk about things I’m thankful for (thanks for permission to copy the idea, Rae!).  I’m realizing that the majority of my posts these days are focusing on the things that I don’t have and really, that’s no way to live.  There is plenty in this world I don’t have.  In fact, I could spend all day thinking about what I don’t have!  I really need to focus on they things I do have and be grateful for those.  So without further ado…

Today I am thankful for:

Working near my husband. I’m thankful to have him just a building over, so when big issues like the one that came up today crop up, I can run over and get his expert advice and just claim I was in the bathroom.

Long hair and long arms. I always wanted long hair when I was little so I could “do cool stuff” with it, but now that I have it, I never do.  I braided it myself today!

Sweatshirts in August. Because my lab is still freezing.

Hot lunch. I usually bring my lunch to work, but since we haven’t been to the store in a while, today I got a treat and got to have hot lunch.  Wow, between this and the braids, I feel like I’m 5!

These cycle days of hope. Because while I know they won’t last forever, I do appreciate them and the sanity they bring while they’re here.

WordPress. Blogging helps me order my thoughts and give me a chance to understand why I do certain things.  And it forces me to think about what I’m grateful for.

Picasa. It lets me share my pictures and my life with my family living far away!

Ok, this trial run was a good time.  Maybe I’ll do it again.