Doing Things Different This Time

As our appointment with our new fertility Dr. approaches we are discussing more and more how we would like to do things differently this time around. This discussion began after a really helpful talk I had with one of my cousins who is a built in bestie. She reads the blog and also because one of the things were doing different this time is sharing with others what we are going through I had told her we were gearing up to give things another go. Like I said we are close so she was able to give it to me straight, not just say oh that’s exciting good luck! She said she was worried, worried about me falling down the infertility treatment rabbit hole that I had before, worried about my health, mental and physical, the immediate effects of all the medications on my body and mind but also the long term effects those drugs could have down the line.

You see my cousin has reason to be worried about me and my health because she is fighting stage 4 metastatic breast cancer. She was diagnosed at age 35 not even months after delivering her first baby boy ( she did not need or use fertility treatments). In fact our family is riddled with illness from chronic anxiety and depression to various forms of cancers, like I said in the post Selfless Love we are all still grieving the loss of my Aunt, my mom’s little sister, who we very recently lost to colon cancer. My cousin’s worries are not unfounded they are very real and something that I had not previously given much thought to because of course before i had on baby blinders and was willing to do literally anything to make our baby wish come true.

In an effort to do things different this time we are talking more about things like my future health and also hard limits that we are setting so that we can try to avoid that spiral of doing whatever the Dr. says is “best” in the moment agreeing to whatever they suggest. As a couple our hard no’s are donor anything, eggs, sperm, embryos. We had to draw the line somewhere and for us that’s where we aren’t willing to go. My personal limit is no high dose steroids. They really screwed my body up our last go around, I lost a significant amount of hair when I finally weaned off of them and two years later I’m finally growing it all back. I am not willing to do that to myself again and I don’t see how putting my body in that state will help us conceive a child.

Most important is that I’m being more vocal with my husband about what I think I’m going to need from him if and when we start the process of IVF again. I told him I need to feel like I’m being supported, I need to feel like I’m coming first, and I need him to check in with me and make sure I’m doing okay before giving his time and attention to anything else. He has wonderful parent’s( I seriously have the best in-laws) BUT they can be a little bit needy and my hubby is there go to guy. However he is also my go to guy and I’m going to need him more during any treatment we do and I need to feel like our little family comes first, he understands that and is going to make sure I’m taken care of before running to help them every time they call.  Last time we did IVF I tried to take it on myself and act like it wasn’t a big deal and I could handle everything and ended up isolating myself and feeling alone and misunderstood by him. Lack of communication. I’m hoping that all this self awareness I have found will be helpful to us moving forward. It already feels different this time. I think because I’m going in with a different mind set. A baby isn’t EVERYTHING, it’s a piece of our family puzzle that we are missing right now but we have plenty of other pieces in place holding us together. I’m feeling that wonderful sense of possibility again and it’s making me feel hopeful for the future!

Courtney Stodden

I’ve been enamored by this woman (girl) and her subsequent marriage to her MUCH older husband for years now. It’s been mostly bad publicity for them over the years which is totally enticing but once I saw her on the Mother Daughter experiment which is a therapy show that was on about dysfunctional mother daughter relationships I started to have a soft spot for Courtney because that show brought to light that she was clearly exploited by her parents as a teenager and married off way to young to a way too old man to pawn her off or gain some kind of fame from the scandal. However after watching the show I simply felt bad for her that her mom wasn’t there for her like my mom is, In fact her mom tried to steal her husband YUCK!

This post has much more to do with the latest news articles about Courtney, in the past few weeks it has come to light that Courtney and her much older husband have suffered a miscarriage. She announced her pregnancy VERY early, around 4 weeks, which a young naive 21 year old might tend to do, lord knows I did at 23 with my first pregnancy. I was heartbroken and sadden to read that she had a miscarriage around 12 weeks and her personal media accounts showed her drinking alcohol and saying she was struggling deeply with her loss. I remember coping similarly after my first and subsequent loses.

Today I read that she felt compelled to and then in fact did shave her head in order to begin a new chapter to try to move forward in dealing with the loss of her child. I felt her pain! I can’t tell you how many times during the depths of my sadness over infertility and loss I felt the same deep sadness and actually thought about shaving my head and starting fresh after every loss. At certain times my own personal vanity felt like too much to try to keep up. Normally I don’t even like to wear much makeup or do my mousy curly hair. During the darkest times washing and throwing my hair in a knot on top of my head felt like too much to fuss with. I definitely contemplated pulling a Brittany Spears 2007.

I actually commend Courtney Stodden for shaving her head, however people choose to deal with there losses are there own. I think it’s brave of her to make an outward display of her pain for other to see. I was never brave enough to share my pain verbally let alone show an outward physical display of it. So for that I say good for you Courtney! She deserves to grieve her baby how she feels she needs to even if it makes the general public uncomfortable and I hope she is able to heal from the sadness as time goes on, lord knows it takes time.

Changes

A few things have happened since we decided we are going to “try” again to have a baby (not that we ever stopped trying we just stopped fertility treatments for two years). First I started having pain on my lower left side, worse than normal ovulation pain or a simple cyst(fluid filled) which I have had many of before. I headed in to the OBGYN for a sono and meeting. I ended up seeing a nurse practitioner as it was a last minute appointment. The sono took a long time and I’m almost a pro at knowing what is on the screen since I’ve had an ungodly amount of transvaginal sonograms in my life. Basically I could tell she was measuring what looked like a cyst. I wasn’t surprised when the NP told me that I did in fact have a cyst.

I was surprised to find out that it was not on my ovary but IN my ovary and it was not a simple cyst( fluid filled) it was a complex cyst which is filled with fluid and what they call debris that could be tissue or old blood. I informed her that I have endometriosis that has been diagnosed with laparoscopy and she said it might go away on it’s own or if it continues to grow or the pain gets worse it may have to be removed. I am to go back and check on it in November. I had her note in my chart that I am going to see fertility Dr. in September and she was very nice about giving me a copy of the sono and visit to bring with me to show him.

After lot’s of googling I have self diagnosed my complex cyst as an endometria which is a complex cyst also known as a chocolate cyst, basically it’s filled with old blood and is an extension of endometriosis. I have feared that over the past three years since my laparoscopy to remove my endo that it has comeback full force, I have had an increase in my overall abdominal discomfort and pain throughout the month not just during ovulation or my period. I am fairly convinced that after finding this cyst it’s going to be necessary to have another laparoscopy to remove the cyst and any other endo that is surely there before pursuing any type of fertility treatment intervention including IVF. This is disappointing as I was getting excited about the potential of starting another IVF cycle but now I’m starting to feel anxious that by moving forward with this we may end up getting more answers than we want about what I’m convinced is my ever declining fertility.

Naturally I’m worried that my eggs are completely scrambled and that there’s only a few left. It’s been a kind of ignorance is bliss this last two years without anyone formally telling us just how low our chances of conceiving actually are. I’m scared to lose that ignorance again and be tossed into that mindset that my body is failing me again. I’m scared but not so scared that I don’t want to move forward with trying again.

A huge positive has come from the decision to pursue treatment again and also from starting this blog where I have the outlet I need to express my feelings. I have come out of the closet as infertile to friends and family! I have always been extremely tight lipped about what my husband and I were going through when we first started treatment. I didn’t really share with even my closest friends and family members about the lengths we were going to try and conceive and keep a child. Bottling it all up was hard on me and my husband and our marriage and our parents because they didn’t feel like they could talk about it either if we weren’t willing to.

This time I have decided to do things differently, I’m telling everyone, I’m shouting it from the rooftops, we are trying to have a baby! It has been like a little weight being lifted off my shoulders with every friend of family member that I have finally come out to about our past ordeal and what we are currently taking on. This whole community of women that I found through blogging has helped me so tremendously to see that I have no reason to be ashamed of my infertility and that opening myself up and sharing my story only makes people understand me better and can unknowingly help others who are still struggling in silence. I see myself growing with my ability to talk to others and share my failures not just my victories, it’s okay to not be okay all the time. My attitude has changed and I’m happy that I don’t feel the need to hide what I’m going through anymore. I feel like I can be me %100 without having to sugar coat my feelings, it’s been freeing. I’m looking forward to moving ahead with either surgery or treatment or whatever we decide to do after meeting with the fertility doctor and most of all I’m looking forward to feeling like i’m not going through it alone because I have friends and family who know what I’m going through in my corner rooting for me.

Selfless Love

FullSizeRender

I’m not sure if I will have the chance to become a parent but if I do I have had the absolute best examples of how to parent lovingly and selflessly from my own parents.

Flashback to my post Dogs are NOT babies, they are however wonderful companions and my urge to get one has been growing steadily as time as gone on. I found a dog rescue near my home and have been visiting it weekly for about a month feeling more comfortable every time I went in, I was gaining confidence and sure I would be able to properly train a dog. My husband was aware that I was visiting the rescue but had no desire to come with me and still maintained we would be a pet free home.

A few days ago the rescue received a new shipment from another state of dogs and in the shipment were Chihuahua mix puppies. Teeny tiny little babies, I was a goner. I fell head over heels with this little bitty puppy and immediately filled out my application to adopt her. I would deal with my husband later. The next day after my references were checked and I was approved I brought my mom and went back to the rescue and held her and spent some time with her. The only thing keeping them from letting me bring her home was that my husband had to come and meet her and sign the papers too. Stupid me I told them on the application I was married.

I called my husband to see if he would meet me there after work, they would reserve her for us until he could come. To my surprise and huge disappointment he REFUSED to come meet her. He cited his allergies to pet dander and said that we had already talked about it and his mind hadn’t changed about getting a dog. I begged, pleaded, cried and tried to make him understand how much I needed this how much I need SOMETHING. I even enlisted the help of my mother in law and nothing helped. As you can imagine this caused a gigantic epic fight between he and I, my heart was broken that he was unwilling to even try to meet her or bring her home on a trial basis to see how his allergies were. She is so tiny and projected to stay under 15lbs that I doubted she put off much dander but he wouldn’t budge. It was the most pain I and disappointment I have felt from him in our whole marriage. It brought up all kinds of issues between us such as sacrifices and decision making issues and if our partner ship is equal or if he just thinks he is the boss. Anyways that whole night was a huge shit show of tears and fighting but overall constructive communication about issues that apparently had been under the surface and this dog decision brought to a head.

The biggest shocker in this story is that after fighting and crying and talking the real decision that was came to is to TRY IVF AGAIN. I know I know I didn’t want to try again but apparently my heart isn’t as closed off to it as I thought it was and we are going to try a different doctor and hospital that we actually know a few people that went to and had great results but not the first time. The fact that this is what came out of me trying to adopt a dog has been really surprising to me, my husband doesn’t think a dog will fill the emptiness I feel and he shared that he still desparately wants a baby of our own which he hasn’t expressed in the past two years he has been acting totally content with the way things have been but this pushed him to make his wants and needs known too. I guess falling in love with her showed me that I’m willing to risk opening my heart again and if i’m willing to be brave enough for that then I feel ready to try for a baby again. So here goes nothing !

PLOT TWIST
My mom has been thinking about getting a dog for about six months, she recently lost her little sister to cancer and my Aunt always had dogs. My mom witnessed how much love and comfort her dog brought her towards the end of her life. She thought she could use some of that love and comfort as she deals with her sadness over losing her sister. HOWEVER my Dad, who is very much like my husband said NO. He always joked that if my mom ever brought home a dog that’s how he would know she wanted a divorce. My mom had gone to the rescue with me on that fated day that my husband refused to show up and meet the puppy. She told my Dad how heartbroken I was over the whole situation and low and behold THEY decided to adopt that same puppy so that I could come and visit her ( we live 5 minutes apart). I have always felt grateful to my parents, they have given me anything and everything I have ever needed or wanted even as a married woman not living in there home and I don’t mean in a spoiled brat way just an unconditional love and support that is the most incredible thing in the world. The fact that my Dad went against his word that he would never have another dog (our last one passed away like 15 years ago) and let my mom adopt this puppy so that we could both love her and snuggle her and that maybe she could help both of us heal our hearts has been the greatest most selfless gift ever given to me. I am truly grateful for my parent’s and I sincerely hope that I get to become a parent so I can show a child this kind of unconditional love.

The puppy in the picture above is my parent’s new puppy, isn’t she cute?!

FAIL

I sit here writing from a sticky bun induced sugar high, my WHOLE 30 was a FAIL. More like I failed at it, I lasted a week and caved at a family party where I was presented with smoked brisket soaked in sugar laced bbq sauce and expensive red wine. I sincerely hate being the kind of person who says they are going to do something and then does not have the will power to complete the task.

I want this to be a space where I can be truthful and real and so here it is, I failed at something I really wanted to do and I’m disappointed in myself but the world didn’t end. I had the best intentions to resume the program after my little food vacation but my Aunt Flow showed her ugly face the very next morning and for the sake of my marriage I continued to indulge in complex carbs and sugar. Now my birthday is coming up and I don’t want to be on a super strict diet because I’m planning on going out to a decadent dinner and eating and drinking too much. Perhaps I will try again in the Fall.

Until I’m ready to try again I keep consoling myself with cliche sayings like, Life is too short to deprive yourself of simple pleasures. So far it’s working for me, I’m glad I can learn from these failures, they humble me and show me that I still have lot’s of work to do in becoming stronger mentally and just becoming the woman I want to be. Until next time!

Infertility PTSD

I think I might have this. PTSD stemming from infertility and trauma such as, high risk pregnancy and miscarriage is a fairly new concept. A concept that I found myself googling tonight after something completely unrelated to babies and fertility sent me on a crying jag while in the car with my husband. In all fairness I have been diligently sticking to my WHOLE 30 and perhaps the lack of sugar has me feeling emotional coupled with being premenstrual but this was definitely MORE than that.

Without going into too much detail as to the what of it all that sent me spiraling let’s just say hubby told someone something that we had agreed to keep between the two of us until it was a sure thing. Totally unrelated to babies or pregnancy. In the car while driving he told me that he shared our private something with his father. The first feelings I felt were anger, why couldn’t he just stick to our plan and keep his mouth shut! That anger very quickly turned into extreme sadness mixed with anxiety, I was immediately thrown back to the countless times we had told his father that we were expecting only to have to then later tell him that we lost the baby. The feelings came over me like a gigantic tidal wave and I broke into tears, uncontrollably sobbing while my husband sat next to me confused as to why this had turned into such a big deal. I wanted to be the person with REAL good news for once, good news that actually came to fruition. The fact that we are still in limbo made me feel like telling people was premature, I didn’t want to have to go back and tell them, never mind things didn’t work out for us again.

I’m lucky, my husband is very sensitive and gentle with me. I explained to him to correlation of my feelings and he understood and consoled me. I am equally surprised and scared by how easy it was for these past emotions to sneak up on me and make me feel so overwhelmed.I feel like it’s a weakness to be able to be taken over by my emotion like I was tonight. How could something that seemed completely unrelated to our past struggle set me off so much?

Day to day I don’t really think about having a baby or fertility anymore. Apparently, I cannot escape the damage that has already been done by our past experiences with it. I realize now after what happened today that what I have been through is going to continue to color my future. It is not something that can simply be put in the rear view mirror and waved goodbye to, it’s baggage in the trunk, along for the duration of my ride through this life.

When going gluten free isn’t enough

I’ve struggled with digestive issues since I was a teenager. Specifically the issue that seems most embarrassing and people don’t like to talk about diarrhea. I would have it daily, often multiple times a day. It was my normal and I managed to work my life around it, without giving it too much thought. It was often an embarrassing inconvenience, for example my husband and I would go out to dinner and plan to go to a movie after but we wouldn’t make it to the movie because immediately after dinner I would have to use the bathroom. About four years ago in the midst of all the infertility stuff, on one of my symptom googling binges I came across information about celiacs and infertility. A lot of my symptoms matched up so I went to be tested.

I didn’t have celiacs, at that time I would have been happy to have a name and reason for my symptoms. The tests said no but I decided to “go gluten free” to see if it helped anything. I found that initially my diarrhea went away and it was such a relief. I felt normal for the first time in a long time. I have diligently kept my diet gluten free for the past four years. I don’t cheat or go off it, it doesn’t feel like a choice to make anymore, it’s simply become a way of life. With that being said I have been accidentally “gluten-ed” during that time and one brave time I decided to try some pasta and it only proved to me that going without gluten was the only way for me to stay symptom free.

This diet has been successful for me over the past few years. I have noticed more recently that I am still getting bouts of diarrhea, despite keeping gluten free. I’m starting to feel like being gluten free is simply not enough, my body is still negatively reacting to some part of my diet.

After some more internet symptom searching, I discovered something called FODMAP’s. It’s a slightly confusing concept that has to do with carbohydrates and how they digest in the body. Carbohydrate’s are not just in items containing gluten like bread and pasta or even gluten free versions of these items, they are in VEGETABLES too! This is probably a big DUH to most of you. I am obviously surprised to find that trying to eat healthy, aka lot’s of veggies in my diet could potentially be the culprit causing my ongoing diarrhea. There are LOW FODMAP foods and HIGH FODMAP foods. What do you know? My diet has been heavily saturated with foods such as dairy, beans, garlic, onions, honey. Those are all foods they say to avoid completely when dealing with FODMAPS.  Foods they say to limit include broccoli, brussel sprouts, avocado, and sweet potatoes! Those are my go to healthy meal side dishes! This whole FODMAP concept has totally rocked my world to say the least. Now I have to avoid gluten and most of my favorite vegetables, what the heck am I going to eat?!

This has brought me to finding a program called WHOLE 30. This is not a new diet fad or concept, a lot of bloggers have tried it and talked about it. That’s actually how I heard about it! The program looks like it might be a great reset button for me and my husbands diets. The variation I’m planning on making to the program is only including LOW FODMAP fruits and vegetables for myself. From the initial research I’ve done and the approved food lists I have made this is going to be a VERY limited diet. My husband is on board to give it a try so that will be a wonderful support system to have because I have a feeling it is going to be rough.

This weekend we will eat all our dairy, drink all our (my) wine (alcohol isn’t allowed in the program) and then food shop and prep Sunday to start our WHOLE 30 on Monday. Has anyone else tried to do a WHOLE 30? Any suggestions or tips? Also has anyone else heard of FODMAPS and had success switching to LOW FODMAP foods? I kind of feel like the whole concept is kind of new, like gluten was a few years ago. I’m super excited and hopeful that the next 30 days will help my body get back to normal digestion and if I happen to drop a few pounds along the way I won’t be mad!

 

Dogs are NOT babies

 

4416172497_8a5f2cdf07_z

I will start this post by saying my husband and I both have pet allergies. He is severely allergic to cats and I’m mildly allergic to pet dander, whatever that is. We talked very early on even before marriage about pet’s and if they would have a place in our family. Our decision was that we would not be pet owners , due to the allergies and just general dislike of animal fur around the house, and how they can be fairly restrictive to your lifestyle as far as traveling, even short weekends away.

It had been suggested to me a year or two into our fertility journey that maybe we should get a puppy. I quickly explained that a puppy is NOT a baby. I didn’t want a dog, I wanted a baby and a dog was not going to replace that want. I am well aware that dogs bring many people lots of joy and love.

My husband grew up with out door dogs and I grew up with a small in door dog. My dog caused a lot of stress on my parent’s marriage. He was quite naughty and towards the end of our time with him he was diagnosed as mentally unstable due to his behaviors and had to be put down. My experience with dogs so far has not lead me to identify as a “dog person.”  

I had accepted being pet less as we focused on our fertility treatments because at that point I was still going to get my baby, or so I thought. Lately however I do feel myself being drawn towards and craving the companionship and love that a dog might be able to offer us now that our baby plans have changed. I work from home and it can be quite lonely to be home alone all day without any other living thing to talk to or snuggle with or just be around.

My husband is still completely against bringing a pet into our home. His argument is that we already decided years ago never to have pets. My counter to that is that we also decided years ago to have children. Those plans have changed and therefore I think we need to grow and adapt and not pigeon hold ourselves to a decision we made almost ten years ago when our reality since then has completely changed.

I do have fears that I wouldn’t be a good pet owner because I don’t always like other peoples dogs even when they are well behaved. I have always said I didn’t want a dog because essentially they never grow up. You will always have to feed them, give them water, walk them, and clean up there poop. I do not envy the dog walkers I see carrying big plastic bags of feces on what looks like an otherwise nice walk around the neighborhood. Eventually babies grow up and become independent people, dog’s never do. That is why I have never seen them as a logical replacement for one another. It’s not like, can’t have a baby , get a dog, easy fix, they are two completely different and unrelated life choices.

I guess what has changed for me is that I would like to have some companionship around the house during the day so I’m not so lonely. I don’t think hubby really gets how isolating it is and I really think a small furry friend could be the cure. I also don’t want to rock the boat by pushing and pushing the issue and them him finally caving and then we get a dog and it’s a total nightmare barking, pooping and peeing all over the house and smelling it up and he is really unhappy. I do tend to put his happiness and comfort before my own as a habit. Perhaps this is important enough that I need to advocate for my own happiness.

I have done a little research and I think the best fit of a dog for my situation and our small home would be a french bull dog. We really need the least shedding option and a breed that is small to medium but not hyper. I really just want a buddy to love and hang out with all day and keep me company. Any dog owners out there have suggestions of other breeds that might be a good fit for our family? Also anyone have thought’s on dogs vs. babies? Have other people with infertility had people suggest a puppy as a quick fix? I can’t wait to hear your responses this topic has been on my mind a lot lately and I’m interested to hear what other’s think!

 

Control

Infertility has a way of stripping you down to bare bones. You can give everything you have to the process of trying to create a baby and still end up with empty arms. The problem is,  you think you have control over certain things in your life, and when you are forced to realize you don’t and you never actually did it can be overwhelming. Sometimes I feel like I wasted the last five years of my life focusing my energy on something that I had no control over.

I tried really really hard to control my fertility from day one. I took the ovulation tests, I read every possibly tip or wives tale about how to get pregnant faster. At that point, early on, I was even naive enough to think that by doing certain things we could increase the chances of what gender the baby would be. Early on I envisioned us with two boys, as our journey progressed and years went by I hoped and prayed for one little girl. 

When we moved on to reproductive specialists, instead of feeling a loss of control, I felt like I was actually gaining even more. I was actively doing things that would lead us to creating our family. Every shot I did and every pill I took made me feel like I was in control of the whole process. I had a problem and I was fixing it. I could even choose how many embryos to put back in my uterus during IVF, how lucky! The dream now included potentially having twins, of course we always put back at least two embryos during our transfers. The last IVF we put back three, I was so delusional at that point that I really thought we would end up with triplets and I was ready for it! Like I said, delusional, triplets would have of course been a huge blessing after everything we had been through but to actively try for them?! Well, let’s just say looking back, I can see that I was so desperate by that point that I was ever so slightly out of my mind.

The desperation to have some kind of control over our situation had us crossing major lines and pursuing treatments that we had previously said we wouldn’t try. The more out of control I felt as treatment’s failed and medications didn’t work the harder I searched for the next big thing. Something we could try, anything we could try, so that I could feel like I was actively doing something to get us to our goal of a baby. I’m just now coming to terms with that fact that I put myself and my husband through all of that. 

Here’s the truth of it, I don’t feel like infertility was something that happened to me. It’s not my fault that we have fertility issues BUT it is my fault that I tried to control them. My need for control was what sent us hours from home to meet with expensive world class specialists. It had me taking medication that they use for breast cancer patients. It had us entertaining nurses in our home once a week for four months while they administered my IVIG infusions (other people’s blood products!). Those sometimes took up to five hours to complete.

After all the failures and the miscarriages we finally had enough. I felt like something really needed to change so I could start to move forward. That change ended up being letting go of my “control” over trying to conceive. Today I’m so enlightened (kidding) that I realize I never actually had any real control to begin with. It was all an illusion. I see now that you cannot force anything in your life to happen if it’s not supposed to or if it’s not the right time. There are some things in life that you cannot control, no matter how hard you try.  Not just understanding this concept, but also accepting, and embracing it, are what have lifted the heaviest weights off of my shoulders. 

Admitting to myself that it was the choices I made that got me to where I am now, good or bad, has been really important for me. I think it’s a big step to take responsibility for leading my husband and myself down the path that I did. By doing so I have been able to free myself of the guilt and shame I harbored from knowing that, yes I am on this journey but it didn’t happen to me, I chose it.

Going forward I am focusing my energy on things in my life that I can assert real control over. Letting go of trying to control my fertility has opened up space in my life for me to pursue passions that I didn’t even know I had! I can’t wait to continue to share my journey of moving forward with you in future posts. As always thanks for reading. Until next time!

Choosing Joy

 

IMG_0400

Once I pulled myself out of the complete fog of five years of focusing completely on the singular goal of getting pregnant and starting our family I realized I had let everything else in my life go. 

My body was a mess, I had stretchmarks from gaining weight from all the fertility drugs, I had acne and my hormones were a mess. Once I stopped pulling on my sweat pants everyday and tried to put on a pair of jeans I realized nothing without elastic would fit anymore. It was a hard realization,  I had justified the weight gain and damage I knew I was doing to my body by convincing myself it would be worth it if it meant being able to have a baby. 

It was like opening my eyes after a five year nap when I didn’t even know I had been asleep.  I finally woke up and realized that despite not having a baby there were many wonderful things that I DID have. I decided to focus on the positives in my life instead of the negatives. I decided to focus on my marriage and my husband. I decided to focus on my body and my health, and I decided to focus on making my house a home. I have seen nothing but growth and improvement in all these areas since rededicating myself to them.

I decided to live my life intentionally. My husband and I have set some new long term and short term goals, we are working towards them together as partners. It feels really good to find a new purpose and path to happiness especially when I thought my life would look very different at this point. It’s such a simple thing to say but such a powerful thing to do. I choose joy everyday, I choose it over regret, bitterness, jealously, sadness, selfishness. I’m certainly not perfect and we all have off days where it’s hard to muster that positive attitude but I have seen a shift in my life since I started to intentionally choose to be happy. I noticed that I have far fewer off days where I am feeling down than I did before. 

Who knew you could still be happy even if things don’t go as you planned?

I didn’t, but I’m beginning to see that I can be happy if I simply choose to be.