Wednesday, July 31, 2013

The difference between me and my husband

When our friends called last week to ask us to be godparents to their daughter, the husband spoke with Mr. M first. I hear from the other room: “Oh, wow! Thanks! Wait – did you already tell us you were pregnant?!?”

They did. Over two months ago. I remember because Mr. M was the one who broke the news to me.

Guess who didn’t forget?

Oh, what I wouldn’t give some days to have the compartmental/selective brain of my husband! And I could just select “off” on the compartment that is constantly reminding me who is pregnant, when they’re due, and so on. I have a pretty photographic memory when it comes to such details. Plus I seem to have fairly accurate "pregdar" (as I've heard it referred to) and often make very good guesses as to who in my life is pregnant. Plus when my husband tells me, "Just don't think about IF for a while!" he really means it - because he can just switch that button off. I try, but usually fail.
Oh, to have a man's brain for just a day :)

Monday, July 29, 2013

Emotions. Ugh.

Yesterday was rough. Sunday mass is always hard. I don't think I've been to a Sunday mass in over a year in which I've not wanted to cry, both from baring my heart to Jesus and from being around all the little kiddoes in Church (I need to write about that more sometime). I knew yesterday's mass would present a particular challenge because after mass we'd meet the newborn son of our friends, who was born this past Monday. I love our friends and of course I love their children, but I was also nervous about how I'd react and just feeling plain old jealous and depressed about still being childless when several of our friends are on to number two already.

Plus, I had rspv'ed yes to a baptism being held directly after mass - a choirmate who had her 3rd baby in June. I was starting to have second thoughts about going, but I try to be a woman of my word. So I was nervous about that too.

During mass, and especially during communion, I prayed, "Jesus, help me to put myself second. Help me to focus on others. Help me to rejoice with others."

After the final blessing but before the recessional, the priest who said mass likes to say a joke. Usually I really enjoy them - they're kind of goofy, "grandpa" humor =) But today he starts by saying, "It was so nice to see all the little tiny babies in mass today..." oh man. I start praying Hail Mary's because I'm really trying to keep it together to say hi to the new baby and get through the baptism without losing it. His joke had something to do with pregnant women and childbirth...I tuned it out. (Sorry, Father.)

After mass, I literally had to tell myself, "okay, now just walk to the back of the church" in order to go meet the new baby. There was that much of a tug inside saying "run away! run away!"

There's a swarm of people around our friends, everyone smiling and laughing and admiring the new baby. The back of the church is like baby-land anyway, every Sunday. Not a place I feel comfortable.

But I smile, and say hi to the new parents. I look at the new baby, cradled so carefully in his dad's arms, with a huge shock of dark hair. So tiny. So perfect. I feel my heart bursting with longing and sorrow. Stop it, please! No tears, please! Too late. I almost start crying talking with the new mom, and then with her mom, who's in town to help out with the baby. I don't know if they could hear it from my voice, but I had to purposefully not look at the baby and talk about something - quick - so I didn't actually start to cry.

I had to escape to the restroom before the baptism to take a few deep breaths and dry my eyes.

How embarrassing! It's like my emotions have a mind of their own. It's like the tears were welling up from a place so, so deep inside...because I was doing my very best to put on a happy face, act like everyone else, as if meeting new babies was the most joyful thing ever for me, but I'm sure my face and voice betrayed how I really felt.

Same thing during the baptism. Objectively, I know that a baptism is an occasion for great joy! A new little Christian is being born, welcomed into the family of God. But it was all I could do to not cry. And I high-tailed it out of there as soon as it was over and cried in the car and again at home. The whole experience really crushed my spirits.

Conclusion: I don't think I'll attend the baby shower. I just don't trust my emotions. Who wants someone at their baby shower who is crying? Or looks like they're about to cry? That's not the right emotion for the occasion. I'd like to say that I'll be fine, that I can handle it, but I'm not so sure. I thought I could handle yesterday, and I couldn't. I mean, I got through it, but it took the whole afternoon to recover. I guess the ache in my heart is a bit too tender right now, a bit too easily bruised and provoked.


Saturday, July 27, 2013

Fr. Philippe on accepting suffering

I'm re-reading "Interior Freedom" by Fr. Jacques Philippe. I highly, highly recommend it! The first part especially is so, so good. It had been a while since I found a good spiritual book that made me stop and think and ponder, and gave advice that I thought was very applicable to my life. This one did all that, hence why I'm re-reading it =)

Came across this today:

"The worst pain of suffering lies in rejecting it. To the pain itself we then add rebellion, resentment, and the upset this suffering arouses in us. The tension within us increases our pain. But when we have the grace to accept a suffering and consent to it, it becomes at once much less painful."

Challenging. I resonate with his description of rejecting suffering, especially the resentment part. I feel so resentful that we have to walk this path of IF, but when I read this, I realized that feeling that resentment is part of the pain! It's not pleasant to walk around feeling resentful all the time. I know in particular that this affects how I relate to people with kids. I feel resentful toward them - as if they had any part in causing our childlessness!

(He goes on to explain what it means to "accept suffering" in a later section in greater detail.)

Another passage that stood out:

"In accepting suffering we find new strength. Scripture speaks of the 'bread of tears.'"

I love that image.


"One further point: What really hurts is not so much suffering itself as the fear of suffering. If welcomed trustingly and peacefully, suffering makes us grow. It matures us, trains us, purifies us, teaches us to love unselfishly, makes us poor in heart, humble, gentle, and compassionate toward our neighbor. Fear of suffering, on the other hand, hardens us in self-protective, defensive attitudes, and often leads us to make irrational choices with disastrous consequences." (his italics)

This makes a lot of sense to me. I am afraid of suffering. (Who isn't?) I'm afraid of lifelong childlessness, but honestly, what makes me afraid about that is the fear of being unloved, unvalued, unimportant, and forgotten. The fear of growing old alone. None of that is actually taking place in my actual life - but I still spend a lot of time worrying about it!

I love his description of how suffering can make you grow. (Emphasis on "can"! It's not like it's a magic wand or something.) Resolution: expend less energy trying to avoid the suffering of IF - real or imagined, shutting myself in, shutting my heart down, and more energy trying to grow through this particular suffering in the ways he describes.


Friday, July 26, 2013

7 Quick takes

1. (Tops by far) I'm a godmother!!! I'm so, so excited by this. Friends of ours called last night and asked us whether we'd be godparents for their daughter, who is due in November. Um, YES!!!! I'm so touched they thought of us, and told them that I hope they don't regret asking an infertile gal because I'm totally going to spoil their daughter!!

2. Speaking of, let me know if you have any good ideas for baptism gifts for a godchild! I bought her a rosary today, topaz since her due date is November, and I'm going to pray some rosaries for her before her baptism. So that will be part of the present. And I want to sew something - maybe a blanket or a...hmm, actually I have no idea what to sew for a baby!

3. Switching gears...I'm trying tamoxifen for the first time this month. Three pills down, two to go. So far it's okay. I do feel a little...funny. I'm probably over-analyzing every little twinge, but my cramps felt a little worse (you take tamoxifen days 3-7) and I felt a little hyper and emotional...but to be honest, it's not like that's anything drastically different! We'll see if it helps. I'm not feeling very optimistic, but Mr. M was really onboard so I figured I'd try it.

4. I'm also doing the B6 protocol this cycle to try and increase my cervical mucus. It's 500 mg which seems like a lot! I feel like a little old lady taking all my pills in the morning (multi-vitamin, flax oil, fish oil, tamoxifen, five B6 tablets)

5. We've been talking more about adoption lately. I guess reaching the 2 year mark of TTC was a little sobering. We might go to an informational meeting at a local agency, just to put our foot in the water. I feel excited about that, mostly. Not that it doesn't seem basically impossible to ever get enough money to adopt...but I think it will be good just to do something, learn some more about what is involved. (If any of you adoptive moms or those trying to adopt have suggestions for good books, please let me know.)

6. Weekend plans: date night Friday! We're going to see "despicable me 2" because we both want a good laugh =) and then we're having a friend over for Peruvian chicken on Saturday. And there's actually some free time this weekend, so I want to get to the library, maybe can some salsa, clean the bathroom...exciting plans =)

7. Have a great weekend everyone!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

What to say to a friend struggling to conceive

I was blessed to attend a workshop last week with the author of this book. One of the handouts she passed out was titled "Choose Your Words Carefully," subtitled "What do you say to a couple who is struggling to conceive?"

There were two columns: DON'T Say... and DO Say... Surprise surprise, the "don't" column was a lot longer =) I thought it was very well done!

For example, don't say:
  • "Just be patient. All in God's time."
  • "Whose fault is it, his or hers?"
  • anything to give unsolicited advice
  • (my personal "favorite"): anything that would give false hope (I know people are trying to be helpful, but it hurts to hear someone say, "Don't worry - you'll be a mother! I just know it." Only God knows whether I'll be a mother, and I'm well aware that it could not happen.)
  • Etc. etc. etc. I could go on, but I think it's better to know what to say than what not to say.
On the "do say" side:
  • "I'm so sorry to hear that you are going through this. I will pray for you both."
    • I appreciate that so much - expression of sympathy, plus prayers (if it's genuine and doesn't come across as "I probably should say I'll pray for you but I don't really mean it..." I love when people offer me prayers. Just in the last month, a friend prayed for us at the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico, and a friend is going to pray for us at a shrine to St. Anne in Canada - both of them offered without me asking. I'll take all the prayers I can get!!!)
  • "Is there anything I can do to help?"
    • Usually my answer is: please pray for us. I mean, what else can someone do? It would be great if they cleaned my apartment or bought my groceries, but I've never asked for that =)
  • "You don't have to go through this alone. If you ever want to talk, I'm here to listen."
    • I appreciate this one too, especially the latter. The problem is, I never know how to bring it up (IF) with my friends, even after they offer. For me, I really appreciate them saying - at an appropriate moment, when we're alone - "You don't have to talk about it if you don't want to, but I just wanted to see how you're doing. I've been thinking about you." That means the world to me, especially because IF makes me feel so forgotten and left out.
  • "Is there anything we can do as a parish/diocese to help you and other couples struggling to conceive?"
    • No one has ever asked me that. I have lots of suggestions if anyone does!!
Overall, I think the "do" column was really good advice. If I were someone who had conceived easily and had friends who were struggling, I would wonder how best to comfort them. These issues are so personal - it must feel like a minefield to say the right thing. And I think less is more. Like I said, I appreciate when my friends ask me, "How are you doing?" or offer to pray for us. But I also appreciate just being able to be with them without feeling like the sore thumb who is obsessed with her childlessness (even if I feel like I am). Who doesn't want to feel accepted? Love, invitations, smiles - those go a long way too, even without words.


Monday, July 22, 2013

My first baby shower

Yes, I have been to baby showers before. I remember some showers for cousins when I was young, which I thought were long and silly but had yummy food. The ones I attended pre-marriage and directly post-marriage were wonderful, filled with that blissful glow of expectation and excitement not only for the mom-in-waiting but also for me, presuming as I did that first comes love, then comes marriage, and so on. (Didn't know that song could get so drawn out...)

I even planned a baby shower for friends of ours a few months after I got married. We made it a co-ed event and hosted it at the father-to-be's former residence (he lived with my husband when they were bachelors, in a very manly guys' household). I thought up fun games and trivia, made cupcakes and couscous salad, and loved treating my friends to a special afternoon.

Many of my close friends had their first baby before or shortly after my wedding, before the gloom of IF settled over everything baby-related. So their baby showers were fine - not painful.

The only baby shower I've been to in the months after IF has taken seemingly permanent residence in my heart and mind was for a coworker that I didn't know that well. I plucked up my happy face and made a brief appearance, long enough to get some goodies and die inside. I'm not even sure why I went - I'm sure she wouldn't have missed me. Maybe just to prove that I'm not that far gone down the barren road of baby angst, or maybe not to clue in my coworkers that something is amiss for me in the realm of fertility.


I just received an invitation to what I thought of immediately as "my first baby shower." The first shower post-IF for a real friend, someone who has meant something to me. She and I used to live together, in a very feminine female household =) back when I was in grad school. She had the room directly above mine, and had to walk through my inconveniently situated room to get to her attic abode. And she was just the kindest, sweetest, best person I could think of to "intrude" in such a way. She was a model roommate and someone I was really happy to have encountered.

We've stayed in touch more or less, and I went to her wedding last year. (Last year. A year after mine. Of course I didn't think of that immediately when I heard she was pregnant...ha ha.) The ladies who are throwing the shower are also lovely people, and people I don't see nearly as often as I like. They're mamas too.

So what to do? On the one hand, I feel like wild horses couldn't drag me to a baby shower at this point...just thinking of sitting around a glowing pregnant woman, talking of nothing but babies and breastfeeding and bottles is enough to make me hyperventilate. I picture my heart sinking to my toes at every mention of "well, when I was pregnant..." or "just wait till you experience this as a mom..." and that shared mom-knowledge that used to seem so magical and now just seems so impossible.

On the other hand, I really care about this friend! I care about her life, about her baby, and I'd like to see her again. I hate the idea of going, and I hate the idea of not going. This feels so unfair. I honestly don't know what to do. I know very well that I don't have to go. I know that I could politely decline, send a nice gift and a card and pray for her, and that would be worth a lot. But I feel like I'll be unhappy doing that, just like I most likely will be unhappy going to the shower and having to erect emotional barriers of mammoth proportions just to get through all the cutesy games and gifts without totally losing it.

So I don't know. I feel pretty mad at the way IF snakes its little tendrils into my heart and makes me open baby shower invitations with dread instead of joy. I hate the idea of missing out on an important moment in the life of someone I love. This is not the person I'd like to be, and yet what can I do? Is it my fault that motherhood hasn't come easy and breezy? And that I have to work awfully hard to stay close with my mother-friends because my inner crying barren woman wants to run far, far away from them and their adorable kids?

I hate how much IF impacts my life. Even if I end up going to the shower, I hate that I had to talk myself into it. I feel really jealous of everyone who lives their childbearing years with no worry about "if" they'll have children, only "when." Who doesn't cringe going past a baby store or hearing people talk about "big Catholic families".

For now, I put the invitation on my bulletin board in the kitchen. I have until August 3rd to RSVP, and I'm just praying that I make the right choice and feel at peace about it. I never knew this would be so hard either...


Landmarks are tough when you're infertile

Another thing to add in the file called "I never knew this would be hard" "landmarks" I mean those days or times of year when I think back to one year, two years ago, remember what I was doing, and am reminded that yes, I'm still childless. It's like an anti-anniversary, I guess. Instead of looking back and celebrating, I'm looking back and lamenting the time gone, under the bridge and lost forever.


A year ago, I attended a conference for work. An out-of-town friend who also attended told me she was pregnant. I still remember crying in my hotel room that night. (We had just reached the one-year mark of trying.) This past week, I attended the same conference. Still not pregnant. (It's CD2 today, by the way. Bummer.)

A year ago, I had my first appointment with my Creighton instructor. She reminded me of the fact at our latest meeting - oh, look! It's been exactly a year since we first met! - she said. All I could think of was - a whole year of trying and failing. A whole stinking year of learning and practicing Creighton, and I'm still not pregnant.

Two years ago, we got married. One month almost to the day after the royal probably know where I'm going with this one! Today the royal baby was born. And I'm still not pregnant.


How to deal with these anti-landmarks, anti-anniversaries? They keep on comin'.

I need to not dwell on them as much as I do - I know that. But it's hard, because so many memories are deeply rooted in my brain - memories of our wedding, of other people's pregnancy announcements, of month after month of disappointment. It can be really hard to keep looking forward and not back.

The only way out I see is when those anti-anniversaries come, choose to love. Choose to do something for someone else instead of moping. Choose to make an act of faith in God's providence. Choose to accept the pain of waiting, the pain of lack, the pain of feeling stuck in childlessness while so many others move forward into mothering. I can't think of any other antidote, even though choosing to love is pretty darn hard when I'd rather grumble and whine and generally be cantankerous with the world.

The other thing is, if I'm honest with myself, it's not as if I'm exactly the same person as I was a year ago. That conference I attended - this year, I had some very blessed one-on-one time with a fellow IF sufferer - a friendship that never would have happened were it not for our shared sorrow. And I know there's been growth in my soul through all of this heartache, even if outwardly it seems like nothing has changed. So I'm not as "stuck" as I sometimes feel - the landmarks are just more hidden, maybe.

(Bad night of sleep - can't think of anything else to conclude. So, the end =))


Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Novena to St. Anne & St. Joachim

I'm horrible at following through with novenas, but I'm giving this one my best efforts! It starts on Thursday July 18 and ends on Friday July 26, feast day of St. Joachim and St. Anne.

Novena from the USCCB (can be printed off: the novena itself is two pages - really large font)

My favorite lines:

"When life seems barren, help us to trust in God's mercy."

"When our marriage seems lifeless, show us the eternal youth of the Lord."

"When we are afraid, help us to trust in God."

"You who suffered without children, intercede for all infertile couples."

I also love the words around the image of St. Anne and St. Joachim (a little hard to read on the PDF): "Love is man's origin - Love is his constant calling - Love is his fulfillment in heaven." Beautiful!

St. Anne and St. Joachim, pray for us!


Sunday, July 14, 2013

I need you, IF bloggers

Yesterday we went to a barbeque and house warming for good friends of ours who recently moved to the country. Their home is idyllic! They have 5 acres, with a pond, woods, and a gorgeous view of a mountain. Several other good friends were there, and we spent several hours just relaxing, talking, and eating.

It sounds so perfect on paper.

But of course, IF has to have its say...once again, per usual it seems, I was the only non-mom, non-pregnant lady among my peers. I knew that would probably be the case, so I tried to prepare in advance. I spent some time with the guys, playing Frisbee. I drank some beer. I politely excused myself from two pregnancy conversations. But I don't know whether I'm overly sensitive, or what, but even with all my "strategies," after a few hours, I was ready to leave. My heart was aching that we don't have a child to interact so cutely with our friends' kids. (The ache really feels physical sometimes.) And I just felt so left out. Not by anything anyone said or did - I can't tell you how blessed we are to have friends who are so sensitive to our situation, and thank God no one else said, "So when are you having kids?" But still - it's just so hard to be there, un-pregnant, non-mother, and see the exact thing I desire displayed in all its glory in front of me. Toddlers playing in the pool, women with adorable maternity dresses, babies in the sandbox, babies being fed, and so on. Everywhere I looked, it was like my daydreams being played out, except I wasn't in them. I was locked out, leaning against the wall as everyone else had a baby to feed or hold or grow in the womb.

(Sorry to sound so melodramatic.)

Anyway, events like that - which should be the most fun, relaxing events - are so hard right now. (Do they ever get easier?)

Hence my title: I was thinking on the drive home how helpful it is to know that there are other women out there who know exactly what I mean. Who have been there at the bbqs and the baby showers and have felt the heartache of being childless. Who know the crazy mixed emotions at hearing a pregnancy announcement. Who just know the pain of being childless when it seems to come so easy to so many people.

I just can't tell you how much that means. I started reading the "IF blogs" after my first Mother's day as a married woman, which was also about a year into TTC. The emotions I felt at the Mother's day mass blindsided me, and I literally googled something like "mother's day is really hard" and happened upon all of these blogs that got it! I felt like I had been thrown a life preserver.

I feel blessed to have met several of the bloggers in real life (and I'm going to meet a few more this afternoon at a blogger meet-up picnic!) but even the folks I never met, and maybe never even leave a comment, your words mean so much. You make me feel so much less alone. Like someone gets what this is like. (Of course I wish no one had to experience IF at all, ever. But since that doesn't seem the case, I'm so incredibly grateful for people who "get it" and who share about their experiences, because I've found it challenging to find such people in person.)

So thank you. Thank you for sharing your stories from the heart, for helping me put words to what is such an ongoing trial, for making me feel like I'm not the only crazy person on the planet who has all these racing emotions at such benign things like bbqs with friends. Please keep writing. I need you.


Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Thoughts on our new home, and being motherly

We moved into a new apartment the last weekend of June, although now it seems like ages since we've lived anywhere else!

We love our new place so far. I gave it a "10" our first week there. Mr. M says he's holding his judgment until we live there longer, that sensible guy =) But I love it. I love having extra space, I love our patio where I can eat breakfast before it gets hot (I only need to remember not to lock myself out!), I love that our bedroom has no windows, I love that Mr. M now has his own office/study to work on his dissertation. And so on.

Our apartment is a basement apartment, really half ground floor, half basement because of how the ground slopes. Only part of it is really underground, and the other part has nice big windows.

The family who lives above us are friends of ours. They own the house. They have two sons, ages 4 and 6. So far I'm loving that about our apartment too: getting to be around children.

Like the other night: I decided to make some phone calls on our patio at dusk, before the bugs started attacking. Soon our upstairs neighbors' sons come running down the steps (their deck is a floor above our patio with stairs into the backyard) shouting that they're going lightning bug catching and could I watch their bug catching jar?!?! Why, sure. Then for almost an hour, as I talked on the phone and wrote thank-you notes to the people who helped us move, they and the two neighbor boys next door run around the yard chasing lightning bugs, playing made-up games (one seemed to be something like food-chain tag, where the carnivore chases the herbivores, or something) and running to me to put another bug in the jar, asking how many where needed to use the bugs as a nightlight (I guessed 8?), and so on.

Not our jar - they didn't catch that many!

I loved every minute of it and stayed outside even after the mosquitos started getting bad.

Then yesterday, I got home from work to find very creative chalk drawings all over the patio: pigs and angry birds and other indecipherable creatures.

I loved that too.

I love being around kids. I guess maybe that's strange because I want so badly to have kids. And yes, being around babies can be a challenge. Especially babies that have been born since we started trying. (And I know exactly who they are.) But older kids, I usually don't have an emotional response at all. I just feel happy. Happy to be doing kind of motherly things, I guess. Happy to see the world through their eyes, to be close to their freshness and joy.

And even when it comes to babies, they're not all bad =) Several of our married friends have babies, with more on the way, so my option really is to learn to enjoy or at least tolerate being around their children or not see them much. (We still do stuff just us adults, but not all the time.) And for the most part, I enjoy being around their kids. I like holding them, playing with them, swinging them, etc. We offer to babysit. I even bought a baby-sized pool for our backyard!

I do get a little sad being around littler kids for a long time. I can only take so much. The wee ones remind me a lot more of our childlessness. But I still love being motherly with them, and I like thinking that just maybe we have something of a bond with them, me and Mr. M. I really appreciate when our friends let us be with their kids even though we have zero lived experience. It makes me feel less left out that way.

What is the point of this post? Not much, just some thoughts, I guess. Thinking about how much I want to be a mother - how I have chances even now to be motherly - how I can love the kids around me even if they're not mine - etc.


Monday, July 8, 2013


If you’ve clicked recently on my TTC timeline, you’ll have noticed that it basically stalls in April, a few months ago. I still have the prescription for Tamox.ifen and the sonohysterogram in my NFP/Napro binder, unused. Besides for taking basic vitamins and more-or-less charting, Mr. M and I haven’t done any IF treatment or diagnosis since March, when I had (inconclusive) bloodwork done.

Part of the reason is practical: I had several work trips in early summer, and it’s hard to “use” our peak days when I’m sleeping alone on the other side of the country! So it seemed silly to pay for the Tamox.ifen and then maybe not even have any good timing, if you know what I mean. And it’s really hard to schedule the sonohysterogram, which can only be done in a window of 4-5 days per cycle, when I don’t know if I’ll be in town for the right days.

But I think there's also an emotional reason for our “pause” in treatment (if you can even call it that – compared to so many IF bloggers, we’ve done next to nothing so far: only one minor surgery, no drugs, no major diet changes, etc.). Let’s see, how to put this…I feel like if I take a drug that is supposed to help us conceive, I/we are only going to feel that much more pressure to get our timing right, etc. And I’m only going to feel that much more disappointed if that cycle is a bust. And also mad at “wasting” money.

In other words, I’m afraid that if we do pursue treatment, be it Tamox.ifen or maybe a diet change, or whatever, my hopes are going to go way, way up, and the compounding crash on CD1 is going to be that much worse.

That’s kind of the luxury of “doing nothing,” I guess. At least I can’t blame myself for missing a dose or not using the “right” day or eating the wrong thing…I’m no longer surprised when CD1 comes, but then again we’ve been at this for almost two years now, and have taken barely any steps to fix whatever is wrong. (Not that we even know what that is.)

All this rambling is to say, I wonder if anyone out there has felt the same? It’s like I want to pursue diagnosis and treatment for whatever is causing our IF. I want to get to the bottom of it and to heal our bodies. More than anything else, I want so, so badly to be a mom. And for Mr. M to be a dad. And I feel a little guilty not doing “more” toward that goal and desire.

But on the other hand, I’m scared. Scared that we’ll spend a lot of money, time, effort, blood, sweat, tears, etc. in seeking a problem and solution to our IF, and still come up empty. Even more than empty – broke and exhausted. The status quo has become at least bearable, if not enjoyable. I know what it feels like to be childless month after month. I expect that. I’m worried what my emotions will do if we amp up our baby-pursuits beyond the “stalled” that it’s currently at. I’m worried about what it will do to our marriage, to our peace of mind, etc.

I want to be able to pursue diagnosis and treatment and forget about it at the same time, if that makes sense. I guess I’m pretty protective of my mental health, of our marriage, of our pocketbooks, and so on. But am I being overly protective? Do we just need to take the plunge and try something – anything – for a while? I don’t know. All I know is that I am praying about this, a lot. Because my "work trip" excuse will expire after this final trip in mid-July, and after that we need to decide what, if anything, to pursue. 


Monday, July 1, 2013

Vacation pics and highlights #2: Colorado Springs

Stop #2 on our Colorado vacation was Colorado Springs. A few pictures/highlights:

Highlight #1: Pikes Peak

Starting to drive up to the top of Pikes Peak: 14,110 feet high.

One of several bikers we saw biking UP to Pikes Peak! They amazed me.
Just in case nature called during the drive...this was about a quarter of the way up.
When we crossed the treeline, that's where things started to get scary...there were very few guard rails and many, many curves like this one! Mr. M was driving, and I was gripping the door handle, and turns out we both were thinking, "We should have taken the train up....!!!" (There's a train you can ride up to the top.)
Made it! Here's the view from the top. Honestly, we weren't that impressed. It was hard to see far because of the smoke from forest fires in the area. And we both felt a bit woozy from the altitude. Mr. M actually went to see the EMT because he was feeling so dizzy. It was hard to breathe up that high, especially for us low-landers! We didn't stay that long, only long enough to eat some over-prized, bad-quality food and buy a bumper sticker that said, "I survived the drive!" (although that seemed a little premature to me!)
An example of the snow we saw along the road.
Apparently Big Foot has been seen in the Pikes Peak area!
We both were quite relieved to drive below the timberline - me especially, because I drove down partway since Mr. M was feeling so poorly. And getting back into the lower altitudes with friendly aspen trees was much appreciated.
All in all, I'm glad we "did" Pikes Peak, but it was one of the less enjoyable mornings of our trip.
Highlight #2: Garden of the Gods
The view from the Visitors Center. The whole area was breath-taking.
One of the many huge, red rocks. Look at the climber (lower left, yellow shirt) to see how big this rock is! I was wondering whether Catholic Mutt has climbed in the Garden of the Gods before!?

My favorite rock formation: "Kissing camels"

There was an easy, flat path to see a lot of the rocks up close.

We then drove to a different part of the park. Doesn't this look straight out of Lord of the Rings? All the scenery had such a magical feel to it, especially at twilight

A view of Pike's Peak from a hole in one of the rocks.
After the Garden of the Gods, we went out to eat at a great BBQ place, strolled around Old Colorado City (a gold-rush town back in the day) and spent the night at a B&B called Spurs 'n' Lace.
Next: Boulder & Estes Park