Selfless Love

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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

 

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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!