All This shall give you experience

These last few weeks have been pretty uneventful and although I have a renewed motivation to write on my blog, there isn’t much to write about.  A lot of people have reached out to me lately and made sure I was okay when they heard news of the divorce.  Chris and I kept it pretty quite (on purpose) while it was still going through the courts.  We didn’t want to deal with the gossip or the questions that we weren’t quite ready to address either.  I started letting a few friends and family know last summer but we never officially announced it anywhere so when I put a picture on Facebook and mentioned the divorce, it elicited some kind and loving reactions that helped to heal my heart – thank you.

Ha!  Look at me saying “we”!  Funny, that’s one of the hardest things to change.  After being  a “we” for so long and now I’m just me.

Last Saturday I had the opportunity (see I called it an opportunity) to play the piano at a lovely friends wedding.  She’s a member of the ward.  I don’t know her as well as I know her dad and brother who have been my Home Teachers and supported me through the last few years.  I was more than happy to help his family after the help they’ve given me. 

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Me and my very British fascinator!

I got the music and I was scared, like run and hide scared.  I guess I should be flattered that they thought that I could play such complicated pieces.  With a lot, A LOT of editing and missing out notes I managed to get some arrangements I felt okay with.  I always get so nervous when I play piano for anything except Sacrament Meeting and Primary.  My hands turn ice cold and the shake uncontrollably.  This doesn’t help with the mistakes while playing.  That day I said a prayer that one of my favourite people, My Grandma – who gave me my first piano and ignited the love of playing, would help me be calm and make up for my many musical shortcomings.  And she sure did!  I managed to get through the songs with few (noticeable) mistakes and felt semi-calm while doing it.  What a blessing!

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A congratulatory note to myself at the end of the hardest song.

 

What I didn’t plan for was the wedding itself.  The ceremony.  The love.  The excitement for the future.  And to be honest I was caught completely off guard.  It really hurt my heart.  I was so happy for the couple getting married they were so happy and joyful.  But, I couldn’t help but look back at my wedding and feel a sense of loss.  My cynical side was constantly chiming in… (Speaker) “This is just the start of your eternal family. (Cynical Jamie) “Yeah, maybe… give it a few years.” And so on and so on…. And then I stopped (because the last thing I want to be is cynical about love) and listened, and I’ll be honest I shed a few tears (hidden behind the piano – the front of the chapel was hardly the place to have a breakdown!). 

I’ve learned that grieving a divorce, for me, is similar to the process of grieving childlessness.  It doesn’t happen all at once.  Sometimes there are unexpected tears and the emotions just come up out of nowhere and I don’t know what to do with them.  But I’m slowly learning that I have to give myself time.

In those nights that I cried and cried to my Heavenly Father and asked why he wouldn’t bless me with a child I never dreamed that that experience would be for my good.  That, that experience would help me be more gentle with myself through this experience.  Now, after 10 years and a divorce I am so thankful that he knows better than me.  Divorce is hard but, I would imagine, divorce with children is even harder. I am relying on that experience to know that this experience “shall be for my good” as well. 

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So I made it through the wedding.  I managed to control my emotions so I could see the music to play.  I thought of my Sharing Time lesson to keep my mind off of some of the ceremony.  Then I got in my car to drive home and an amazing thing happened.  I wasn’t sad anymore.  For that moment the sadness had passed.  I recognized it, I felt it, and I let it go.  I know it will come back, sometimes unexpectedly, but I just have to trust that the Lord knows better than I do and remember one day this too, “shall be for me good”.

 

Find out more about what I believe here.

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Holiday in Normandie, France: Part Quatre–WWII Normandie Cemeteries

I wanted to do a separate post for the war cemeteries we visited on our holiday.  It seemed wrong to just put them in the mix of pictures.  After reading and watching about WWII and then visiting the Caen War Museum I felt like I understood a bit more about what happened on D-Day and the sacrifice that was made.  But, that cant prepare you to see rows and rows of graves.

The first cemetery we went to was the German Cemetery at Le Cambe.  I have a soft spot in my heart for Germans.  The ones I work for and the ones I have met have been lovely, hardworking, generous people.  While they are made to be the “enemy” of WWII I realize now it wasn’t all Germans and in fact, probably not even most Germans.  We once were speaking to my boss, who is German born and raised, about what he was taught at school regarding WWII.  He said he was taught to be ashamed and embarrassed about his history.  That surprised me and made me a bit sad to realize that even now, people are still affected in negative ways regarding Hitler and his role.  A few months ago I came across a movie on the BBC called: Generation War: Our Mothers our Fathers.  The movie is reminiscent of Band of Brothers but German made and had mixed reviews in the countries it has been shown.  Watching this movie completely changed my views and beliefs about the war.  It showed me how much the German people suffered – how much Hitler made his own people suffer.  A lot of German soldiers didn’t want to fight – just like the American soldiers.  They HAD to – they didn’t have a choice.  Since watching the movie I have an empathy for those soldiers as well.  When the allies stormed the beaches on D-Day there were German brothers, fathers, sons, husbands, and friends killed too.  They mourned for their dead, just like we do. 

I found an interesting article here

“The entrance to the cemetery at La Cambe is a narrow stone arch opening on to a lawn with almost endless rows of graves. There are more than 21,000 soldiers buried at La Cambe, making it the biggest of the six military cemeteries in Normandy. But there are only a few crosses on the green, most of the graves are simple plaques in the ground with names and dates on them.  Around 80 percent of those buried here were less than 20 years old when they died”, says groundskeeper Lucien Tisserand. 

Another resident of La Cambe is Charlotte Dubost. As a young girl she had to work for the Germans. She was 21 at the time of France’s liberation. When US troops arrived at the village, she and other families were still hiding from the fighting in a hole in the ground. Now she regularly visits the cemetery.  “After the war there was a German couple who came here. They had lost both of their sons here in Normandy. Each year they visited the graves of their children,” Dubost told Deutsche Welle.  “One day they asked us whether my husband and I could maybe look after the two graves. And for many years now, that’s what we’ve been doing. It was not easy at the beginning, but after all, we have children of our own and we know that those young Germans had never asked to come here and die.”

“The fighting was very very heavy. We were in Saint-Lo with 120 men and a month later only 9 were left. Then more troops were sent from Germany — but those were kids, they were 16 years old,” Boerner said.  “They were incredibly scared, some of them cried when they had to go into battle. Some wanted to desert and run away. But there was the order: if anyone crosses the lines, shoot them!”

The cemetery felt incredibly subdued to me.  There was no show, no fanfare, no white marble.  It was understated, rough, and sombre.  Not a cemetery of heroism, but one of sadness.

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The next cemetery we visited was the American Cemetery near Omaha Beach.  This wasn’t the first American Cemetery I had visited in Europe but it was still just as touching as if it were the first.  The fact that you could see the beach from the graves was just a reminder of why it was there.  This cemetery felt proud, clean, and orderly.  It was, by far, the busiest.  There was a sense of sacrifice and remembrance as you walked through the crosses and Stars of David.  It is overwhelming and when you look out over the graves you get a true sense of the numbers.

Here are some facts about the American Cemetery:

Situated above Omaha Beach, a place where the American military suffered staggering casualties on D-Day, the American cemetery at Colleville-Sur-Mer contains the remains of nearly 10,000 servicemen who died during the Normandy campaign. With marble crosses and Stars of David stretching as far as the eye can see, the cemetery is a solemn, breathtaking experience that all Americans should share.  The cemetery is at the north end of a one half mile access road and covers one hundred and seventy-two acres. It contains the graves of 9,387 American military dead, most of whom gave their lives during the landings and ensuing operations of World War II. On the walls of the semicircular garden on the east side of the memorial are inscribed the names of 1,557 American missing who gave their lives in the service of their country during the D-Day invasion, but whose remains were not located or identified. The memorial consists of a semicircular colonnade with a loggia at each end containing maps and narratives of the military operations. At the center is a bronze statue titled, “Spirit of American Youth.” The average age of the dead at Normandy was twenty two. 

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The last cemetery we kind of stumbled upon.  We weren’t planning on visiting a British Commonwealth  cemetery but when we stopped at the museum in Bayeux, France we found out that it was only a couple minutes walk away.  Once again it looked totally different to the other cemeteries.  It really reminded me of an English garden.  It was filled with beautiful blooming flowers.  It really felt like Britain.   There was a feeling of humility and peacefulness as we walked around.  I think these were my favourite graves (if that is even possible) because it had meaningful quotes at the bottom of each headstone. 

Here is some information about the cemetery and the numbers buried there:

Bayeux was a major supply and hospital base for the Normandy Campaign, many of the burials here were brought in from nearby temporary places of burial or from the hospitals located in and around Bayeux. Some 85 regiments and corps from the British Army are represented in this cemetery. 482 men were killed on D-Day, Tuesday 6th June 1944.  Casualties range from 17 to 58 years of age. Among those buried in this cemetery is 1 who also had a brother who was killed during the First World War and 24 who lost a brother elsewhere in the Second World War. 2 lost a father in the First World War and 3 lost fathers elsewhere in the Second World War.

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When we visited these cemeteries, every single one, it didn’t matter who’s side we came from.  Of course I appreciate what my countrymen did for me and for my freedom and I definitely don’t condone what Hitler and his men did – but, when you are walking by rows and rows of graves the lines become blurred and you realize they were all people – mostly really young men who died too soon and who shouldn’t ever be forgotten.

Happy Anniversary England!

Today is my anniversary.  Not with Chris, but with England.  Today 8 years ago I landed in England to live.

When we moved here I had a lot of ideas about how my life would be.  I thought that in 5 years we would be back home. When we moved back to Utah, Chris would have a degree, We’d have a few kids, and we’d have a substantial nest egg and a lot of life changing experiences under our belt.

Well…. God had other plans for us – boy, did he have other plans for us!  8 years on Chris finally has his degree and is finally starting a job where he is actually using it.  We have zero kids and are now living life as a family of two.  We, like so many others, live pay check to pay check but we absolutely do have a lot of life changing experiences under our belt!

I have been thinking of that day 8 years ago a lot this last week.  Maybe it is because the weather is almost exactly the same as when I first got here or maybe because I don’t know how many more anniversaries here I’ll have.

I will never forget the day we landed.  The night before I left was full of tears and doubts.  Chris very nearly went to England on his own with me staying back in Utah.  Chris and I didn’t fly to England together because we booked the flights at different times.  Chris was on one airline, and I was on Air India.  I got on the plane and put my ear plugs in and promptly feel asleep – FOR THE WHOLE FLIGHT – which never happens to me.  At one point in the morning the flight attendant woke me up to make sure I was okay and offer me some food and drink.  I was so sad leaving I didn’t care if I ate ever again!  We landed and I made my way to the meet up point Chris and I agreed on.  Chris was landing a bit later and we’d meet up there to take the tube to a tube station further outside of London to meet his dad who would be taking us to his house.  I waited and waited – I didn’t have a mobile phone to call Chris to find out where he was, so I just stayed put even though the time was passing and I wasn’t seeing him.  Finally I saw him coming towards me – sweat dripping down his face, luggage in hand, and a look of anger on his face I’d never seen!!  He had gone to the wrong terminal and had to travel around the airport looking for where I was waiting.  I didn’t know what to do, but I followed in silence.  We managed to get the luggage on the tube and make our way to Redbridge Station.  This was my first experience of England in the summer – the other times I had been here were Autumn and Christmastime.  It was an unusually hot summer (the start of many) and I learned very quickly that no where had air conditioning.  When we finally reached Chris’ dad’s car I was ready to turn right around and get back on another airplane.  I was hot, tired, sweaty, homesick, and wondering what I had gotten myself into.  As we drove to our new house, I remember Chris and John in the front of the car, and me laying in the back seat (black leather – very sticky in hot weather) and crying.

I don’t remember many details about the following weeks.  We moved into a caravan in the back garden of the in-laws house and I tried to cope.  It was hot and I was miserable.  I remember one night not long after I had gotten there, sitting on a lawn chair outside the caravan in the cooler evening weather.  There was a nice breeze and I was reading a book called, “Living in the United Kingdom” – it was supposed to give me all the answers I needed to live happily in England.  I remember looking up at the blue sky with the clouds that seem so much lower here and saying out loud, “How am I going to do this?” with tears streaming down my face.  I thought that the hole in my heart from the homesickness would swallow me whole.

So here I am 8 years later and it hasn’t been easy at all.  It seems like we’ve been tried in every single aspect of our lives here. We’ve been down as low as you can go financially, emotionally, physically, spiritually, and mentally.

But, it hasn’t been all bad!  We’ve travelled more than most people I know.  I have a great job.  I’ve started a website that has changed my life.  I have sweet bunny Sugar.  I’ve got to serve in the church in ways I probably couldn’t have in Utah.  I’ve made a few friends.  I can drive a stick on the wrong side of the road – I can pretty much drive anywhere.  I’ve gotten to be an influence in the lives of children.  I’ve learned a lot of new recipes and traditions.

Most importantly I have made it.  Chris and I have made it – together.

I can never be one of those people who say, when looking back, “I wouldn’t change a thing!” Because I would – oh I would change so much – the list is longer than anyone can probably imagine.  But, its made me the woman that I am.  I am a stronger person now, having lived away from friends and family, then I would have ever been in Utah.  I have learned so much about myself, about God’s plan for me, about my marriage, and about other cultures.  I’ve learned to budget money, travel alone, deal with difficult people, gain my own testimony, resolve conflict, and manage homesickness – among so many things.

I have also gained an appreciation for my friends and family that I never, never would have otherwise had.  I cherish phone calls home, I say – “I love you” to my family always (I never did before), I know what its like to loose a loved one and be so far away, I know how lucky I am to have true friends (a lot dropped off the face of the planet after a few years), and I know how much a letter, card, or package can mean to someone who is struggling to stay above water.

I am hoping this will be my last anniversary with England.  And, I will miss this place that has reluctantly become “home” (as much, if not more, than the place I came from).  But, I am lucky to have experienced life here for the last 8 years. So happy Anniversary England (I wont get too upset that you didn’t get me a gift)!

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Joy?

I had big plans for this blog this month.  I looked online and found a month of questions to answer on your blog about yourself and thought it would be a good way to get back into writing on a more regular basis.  But then the first of the month came and left and I still didn’t have the motivation that I needed to keep up on a daily entry. 

Then yesterday I went to church with a very specific concern in mind.  It isn’t a secret that things have been difficult for me since I’ve moved to England but especially these last few month I’ve felt a distinct absence of happiness.  I don’t know if it is the sudden absence of children, more issues with my infertility (if possible!!), or just general apathy in engaging in life. 

For whatever reason, yesterday I was reminded of New Years Eve last year.  We were invited to spend the evening with some friends from church.  We laughed and played games and ate lots of yummy food but “S” gave us a paper that basically asked us to focus on one word for the new year.  I didn’t fill it out immediately but I thought about it quite a bit the following week – knowing full well what my word was the second the paper was in my hand – JOY.  This year I needed to find and appreciate Joy.  And I did try, but then life happened (like it always does) and it seemed like that joy I was searching for was getting buried deeper and deeper under some stronger emotions like hated, anger, disappointment, and betrayal.  Those are strong words, I know, but at times it felt like they were flowing through my body like blood or air.  I needed help – living with those feelings is no way to live and especially no way to find joy. 

So yesterday I took that as my answer – I need to re-focus on finding the joy in my life.  I know its there, sometimes I get glimpses when I let myself.  I came home and made a commitment for the next few weeks to make a real effort to find joy every.single.day.

Then I wake up today fully ready to start the day with joy – but unfortunately I also started it with flu.  So today I’ve found joy in medicine??? 

But, I also have found joy in the gospel – after all it is what is driving me to make more of my situation.  Here is a video that brings me hope, strength, and above all – JOY.  Hope it adds a little something to your day.

 

Good Things to Come

 

Dachau Concentration Camp

Back, what seems like ages ago, when Chris and I were exploring Europe I said that I would do a blog post about the concentration camp that we visited on our way through Germany.  So better late than never?

I have always been quite interested in the history of WWII.  I think my love of all things historical comes from my mom.  I remember as a little girl her reading books that took place in various times in history.  I think what made me even more interested was reading Dean Hughes series called Children of the Promise.  Luckily I married someone who is just as interested in WWII as me.  We can sit and watch documentaries together and really enjoy finding out more.  It has been quite eye opening to learn about history from the point-of-view of the English.  It makes me realize how much history varies depending on the person telling the story.  Not that the major events are different, but that there is a difference in what every person/country finds as important.  For me WWII started when Pearl Harbour was bombed, but I’ve learned that so much more was happening over here in Europe before then.

Visiting a concentration camp should not be added to a traveller list of “Uplifting Activities”.  That feeling as you walked around the grounds is sober and you start to realize in a way that you never could just by reading what actually happened.   You can read books and watch films about it but until you touch the barbed wire or walk into the gas chambers you miss out on that extra understanding.

Chris and I had driven all day and were hoping to be able to take the audio tour around the site, but we got to the camp just a few hours before it was due to close so we we were told we wouldn’t have time to do the audio tour.  I was a bit sad about that, but there were lots of signs about the different areas and once we got our direction straight it was very informative.  I only wish we would have had more time.  The camp itself was quite spread out – but we got to see most of the things.

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Panoramic View looking towards the barracks

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Like a lot of the concentration camps build after Dachau, there was a railway track that lead right up to the front doors of the camp.  I cant imagine what they must have thought as they approached the building and gates.  It looks plain, but I am sure they had no idea what was behind those gates.  At the first a lot of people who were in prison here were let free (a lot of them being political prisoners) but as time went by more and more ended up staying.   The camp wasn’t limited to just the Jewish – because it was first there were all kinds of people imprisoned.

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The words mean:  Work will make us free

Most of the barracks have been taken down but there is a marker for each of them.  It looks like there is plenty of room, but by the end of the war it was seriously overcrowded.  The wide open space was where they would have to stand, no matter the weather, for roll call each morning and night.

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After you walked to the bottom of the grounds you went out through another gate (complete with barbed wire, electric wire, ditch, and river) to the crematorium.  This was well hidden in a group of beautiful trees.  Most of the prisoners didn’t know it existed.  There were also gallows next to the crematorium.  They started out with a small building with 2 ovens but as the war progressed and the need increased they built a secondary building.  Words cannot describe what it is like to walk through that building – you are filled with quite and try to think of what must have been going through the minds of the people who stood right where I was standing but didn’t leave.  Eerie is an understatement – especially as you enter the gas chamber.  I was over come with cold and reverence.

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This is the disinfecting/waiting room

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Disrobing Room – the last view before the gas chamber

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Sign saying:  Shower Bath.  Dark, damp, and cold.

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The bodies were then brought into this room called the Death Chamber.

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Crematorium – there was a room next to this that was used to store all the clothes and other personal items of the deceased.

After we went through the crematorium building we headed back to the main grounds towards the entrance and went through the barracks that were left.  Again, pictures cant portray just how cramped the building was.

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Dachau was liberated by US soldiers April 29th, 1945.  Here are some pictures of a monument that was built onsite to remember those who were imprisoned there.

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When Chris and I told the couple I work for (who are both German) that we were going to go to the camp they wondered why we’d do that on our holiday.  I am so glad we did.  I supposed I cant say we “enjoyed” our time there, but the things we learned and the feelings we felt are priceless.

We did take more pictures and you can look through them by looking at the album below:

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An Update and a Bit of a Vent

Hello Dear Friends. Are you still even checking this blog? Well, maybe this will just be for me and Chris (possibly the only 2 still reading).

There are a few reasons I haven’t updated lately. One of the main ones is because there isn’t too much to update on – we are in a limbo of sorts and so, stuck in this holding pattern, there aren’t many changes.

As far as my healing and recovery go – things are back to normal for the most part. The incision has completely healed and has left a LONG scar along my tummy, but the width of the scar is like a line drawn with a pencil. The surgeon was very good at cleaning up his mess! I am not having any side effects anymore and am back to full activity. Sometimes I find it really hard to believe that is was only a few short months ago that I was so poorly, but I count my blessings that as bad as it was then, I am completely better now.

Along with the happiness of the full healing process, comes the complete frustration that nothing has changed at all. You’d think without one ovary, I’d have a least half of the cramps – but nope – they are still as bad as ever. I was under the impression that getting the Endo taken care of, it would solve those issues as well, but my doctor has informed me that, that is not the case at all. It is very frustrating! It usually brings me to tears every month thinking not only am I not getting pregnant, but I still have to suffer – so what was the surgery for anyway?!?!

As of now Chris and I are under instruction from the Consultant, Dr. R, to keep trying and see what happens. If nothing happens by Feb. then it is back to the Dr. M (the GP) to get a new referral to see Dr. R again – and move on from there.

Most of the time I am okay with the way things are headed with infertility. Most of the time I feel okay with the prospect that kids might not be in the picture. With so many other stresses in my life at the moment, I am ashamed to say, sometimes the infertility is the least of my worries. But then, of course, there are times where the pain of what I am going through cuts like a knife. I have eliminated most of my friends on Facebook that constantly complain about their kids (don’t worry no one reading this is one of them) and now have taken to even hiding people who are constantly posting quotes or status updates about how “you’ve never known love until you’re a mother.” I know, I know it is a bit petty, but for me, it is what I have to do. It makes me feel like less of a wife, daughter, sister, and woman thinking to myself, “I must not love as much as I am capable because I don’t have children.”

As for life in general I am trying to put me first. It isn’t easy at all. I am trying to get rid of the things in my life that cause me unneeded stress and heartache. This has, of course, made me re-evaluate a lot of things. Just the other day, a “friend” got me so sad that I had to stop myself and made a decision to eliminate that person from my thinking and life, for now.

I think of all that I have gone through in the last 3 years with regards to fertility and sometimes I am amazed at what Chris and I have dealt with and come through – and other times I am so saddened by the lack of support from family, friends and even strangers. I had a friend who came all the way from Utah to England and couldn’t even pick up a phone to call me while she was here. Recently one of Chris’ friends (who added me on Facebook) made me crack. She had a miscarriage and had fallen pregnant with her 2nd child very soon after. She complained 10+ times a day about how horrible pregnancy was and, “WHY did I do this to myself!!!!” When she had a very healthy baby she continued complaining about the baby – even going so far as to say, she hated him. I finally broke down and wrote to her (very nicely – not wanting to cause problems or hurt feelings) that, “I know how hard newborns can be, but maybe she should look at the positive – and remember there are women out there that would love to deal with what she was dealing with.” I was then attacked by her and her friends because I said it and must not have any idea what she was going through because of my “unfortunate situation”. My friends on Facebook who read my updates know more than my In-Laws (because they never ask) and the other day I signed up for a LDS infertility support group and, because I am not in Utah, no one has even bothered to say anything to me (but have to everyone else who has signed up at the same time). I cant wait to get home to Utah and spend some time with the people who HAVE supported me. Sometimes it just all gets on top of me.

I think what it comes down to is, I think about my infertility on a daily basis, and I suppose it affects me more than I think it does. But it is a process – I know of women who have been trying for 10+ years and still have sadness over it. I guess it is a matter of clearing my life of the things that don’t make me happy and filling it with things that will fulfill me – no matter what happens with the infertility. I just keep praying I can deal with it – and not let it ruin me.

The Countdown Begins

Hello Friends…

Well, even though it has only been since November that I had my last surgery, I had completely forgotten how nervous I got beforehand.  I will be having my surgery next Tuesday and I am starting to get pretty nervous!

Next Monday I have to suffer through the unpleasantness that is “Bowel Prep” (I wont be sharing too many details about that!)  I have to be at the hospital by 7:30 – that is, if they have a bed.  I have to call an hour before hand to make sure there is a bed for me.  Chris got the day off (thanks to a co-worker who is going to work his shift for him that day).  He has the next day off too – and hey, lucky me I have a ride to the hospital!!  I made it quite clear to the nurse at the pre-op appointment that I got really sick after I woke up last time, so she is going to make sure that I get the meds to help that BEFORE the surgery, not an hour or so after.  Also, I have asked for some fluids in my IV after the surgery so I don’t feel so dehydrated and get such a bad headache.  I am hoping these things coupled with prayers, blessings, good doctors, and SMALL incisions will have me sleeping safely in my own bed the night of my surgery.  Of course, I think I need to prepare that I  might have to stay the night – but I am trying to be positive! 

I am encouraged by the statistics I’ve found online for conceiving after the surgery.  Granted, they aren’t TOO high, but they are much more positive than I was thinking when we got the dreaded letter at Christmas.

Since May 6th, 2007 we have been working with various doctors to “fix” me.  Thinking back I was so desperate to have answers.  When I finally got those answers they were not at all what I thought they would be, and they stirred up emotions that I wasn’t prepared for. 

Some days I want to shout it out from the roof-tops, “I struggle with infertility!  Please be patient with me!!”  I want to explain to everyone why I avoid the “baby section” of the shops, why, at family parties, I “tune out” or walk away.  Why I cant watch a show with a baby born in it without shedding a few tears.  But, other times I just want to lay in bed and keep it to myself.  Often I have wondered what I did to deserve it?  Why things are so unfair!  But most days, I don’t do either – I get up in my one-bedroom apartment and cope.  You’d be surprised at how many things you have to “cope” with when you are struggling.   I get reminders constantly that I don’t have children, and at the end of the day it isn’t so much what I am missing out on – but what Chris is, what my parents are, what my family is missing out on – and that is when I break down.  But, I keep going, and have for 3 years with the hope of a solution.  I realize that this surgery may not provide my broken body with a way to carry a child, but if it doesn’t, then I continue to hope – and just keep going.

Thank you, thank you, thank you, for your love, prayers, and support.  They buoy me up when I feel down and they help me realize that Chris and I aren’t alone.