Monday, April 30, 2012

From Facebook to Real Life: What You Can Say to Those Dealing With Infertility

A few days ago I read an article that was shared via Facebook.  Infertility: 16 Things You Should Never Say To A Woman Who Is Childless But Not By Choice.  I thought it was pretty true to life.  There are so many out there that can say hurtful things simply because they just didn't think it through.  Or they haven't really known someone who is dealing with this particular problem and so don't understand the deep hurt that comes with the territory. I could go on, but that's not the point today.

A friend posted on this asking what she actually could say to someone dealing with infertility.  To tell you the truth, I hadn't really thought of that before.  What can someone actually say that would be good.  That wouldn't be a reminder of the pain, the loss, the trauma.

Infertility is shaky ground.  There are different levels of infertility and different phases in dealing with it.  There was a time in my life where I couldn't deal with anything baby related.  It just hurt too much.  As time has progressed and David and I have dealt with this for years now, we've grown.  This last move we found ourselves giving people a quick rundown of why we didn't have children yet in a very public place and with no reservations.  We found that it was just easier to put it out on the table and get all the questions taken care of right at the beginning.  We saved ourselves the questioning glances and were able to put other at ease with where we were in our lives.  It also gave us a huge cheering squad while we went through the IUI and IVF processes.  But until we hit that point... well... it was just hard.

So. A few things to keep in mind about infertility.  It hurts.  Hormones are involved (and we all know how fun and completely unreliable that can be).  Some days are better than others.  Some are worse, much much worse.  But there are things that you can say to someone dealing with infertility and be completely safe!  I hope.

1.  You look great today.
2.  Have you lost weight?
3.  How's work going for you?
4.  How was your week?
5.  Got any fun plans for the Summer (spring, fall, winter, weekend, etc.)
6.  You two sure do look happy together.
7.  Let's do lunch.
8.  I love your outfit.
9.  Let's get together for dinner and games.
10.  What do you think about (insert topic from politics to sports, just not fertility)?
etc. etc. etc.

Notice a trend? 

Please remember that regardless of whatever child-bearing state someone is in, they are still a person.  A person with hopes, dreams, pet peeves, opinions, humor, and individuality.  Our entire being is not defined by our ability to have or not have children.  We are all much more than that.  And if your infertile friend is up to talking about it, then they will.  When they are ready.  Some will be ready in .5 seconds, others longer, and still others never will be.  It's up to them. 

Me? I'll talk about it anytime.  It's how I've learned to deal with it, by sharing it.

I know, easy to say as I sit here typing away listening to my son coo and suck on his hands.  He is our miracle.  Our thank the good Lord above for modern medicine and inspired physicians miracle! He may be our only one.  Not by choice.  It's just how it might be.  Which means we are still dealing with it.  Dealing with the fact that we can't seem to produce a child on our own.  Dealing with the unknown, the hurt, the loss, the pain.

However, I have lost weight, my week is full, I'd love to do lunch, and we are happy thank you very much for noticing.

Have a lovely day!

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Five-Minute Friday (on Saturday): Community

This one hurts my heart a little.  Community is something I like. Something to be a part of. Something that I have been delighted to have in my corner of the world.  So when things start to interrupt that community, like "For Sale" signs in front of homes... it hurts my heart.

I thought it would be just a little.  But it turns out to be more than I thought.  So my dear friend whom I want to support, whom I want to be there for, whom I want to cheer on through thick and thin... know that I will still do that.  I just have to get over the glaring "For Sale" sign in the front yard.  I have to get over my desire to go and steal it in the middle of the night.  I have to get over my urge to clutter up my own yard and blare loud music should potential buyers come around so that no one will want to have us as neighbors and then you'll just be stuck here so that I can selfishly have you across the cul-de-sac at all times.

Community.  Not just about me is it.

Monday, April 23, 2012

You'll know it's time to turn the page when... hear the chimes.

Did you ever have those books that went along with the records when you were little?  You know, the Disney books that told the story and you could play the record and follow along in the book?  And the way you knew to turn the page was by hearing Tinkerbell's bell, or the chimes, or the dog barking. 

I've been thinking a lot about our story lately.  The story of David and I and now Ben.  They way it took so long to hear those chimes.  So long to get to turn to the next page.  To move on.  To progress.

Last Sunday (April 15th) we had Benjamin blessed.  It made me cry just a little.  I think I would have cried a lot more but I still had to lead the singing in church.  It was a special day.  A day that not too long ago I didn't think would come.  Those of you who have been with me for awhile know the struggle that we have had to get this little guy.  To start our family and turn the page.

It was nice to have a say in a few things that day.  Like the music.  As Music Chairman for the ward I got to pick out the hymns.  For the rest hymn I did a Primary song, "My Heavenly Father Loves Me". I love this song.  It's simple message.  The imagery that "whenever I hear the song of a bird or look at the blue blue sky" brings.  I can almost feel the "velvet rose" and the "rain on my face".  "I'm glad that I live in this beautiful world, Heavenly Father created for me."  I love it because it reminds me of my Dad.

He probably doesn't remember but years and years ago, during a family home evening in the Hubbard household, my dad proclaimed "My Heavenly Father Loves Me" as his favorite song.  I'm pretty sure that's when I started liking it.  It speaks of my father and my Father.  It brings fond memories and warm feelings.  And now I sing it to Ben when he's fussy.  When I'm putting him to bed.  When I think I need to hear it as well.

David did the blessing.  He blessed Ben with health and the ability and knowledge to take care of his body.  He blessed him with a kind heart and the ability to have empathy and charity to all around him.  He was blessed with courage, to stand up for the gospel among his peers and to be honest when it is not convenient.  He blessed him with a sensitivity to the Spirit, a strong testimony, and the ability to know of God's love for him. He was blessed to know the consequences of his actions and to learn from them.  To give service and follow the gospel.

There were more, but those are the ones that stood out to me.  I have spent many an afternoon wondering what kind of man my little boy will be.  I find myself excited to find out.  Curious about how he'll look.  The adorable little face that I look at now... what will teenagehood bring!  Will he try growing a beard?  Will I still be able to recognize "my little boy" in a growing man?  Mostly I want to know what he'll have to say.  What his thoughts will be on politics, on scouts, on girls.  What kind of music will he listen to?  Will I like it or will it drive me nuts?  Will he be well-grounded or will his head perpetually be in the clouds?  Class clown or class protector?  Perhaps I should be more worried, but I can't bring myself to that just yet.  I'm too excited.  (However, I may need someone to remind me about this in say 13 years.)

It was a beautiful day.  Spent with wonderful family and wonderful friends.  And me feeling more and more blessed.

But sometimes our joys can inadvertently bring sadness to others.  I remember all too well what it was like to sit in the audience while someone else was having their baby blessed.  I was never not happy for them, it was just an overwhelmingly painful reminder of what we didn't have.  What we weren't sure if we could ever have, and what we wanted so desperately.  A reminder that my body wasn't working.  That for some reason, we couldn't turn to the next page.

I have dear friends who are still struggling with infertility.  Who always will be.  It doesn't go away.  Even if you have a baby through modern medicine or adoption... it doesn't go away.  We don't know if we'll be able to have another child.  We want one.  But we just don't know.  What we do  know, what I know, is that the Lord has had his hand in our lives the entire time.  He has placed people and jobs and homes in our path.  He has blessed us in so many more ways than we ever imagined.

He knows.

He knows our struggles and he knows who we need to become.  He will send the silver linings to our dark clouds to help us make it through.  And when we start to recognize his hand, we can see it everywhere.

Thank you all for your well wishes and prayers on our behalf.  For your friendship.  For celebrating this time with us whether in person or in spirit.  I'm glad that I live in this beautiful world Heavenly Father created for me.

Friday, April 20, 2012


I'm trying to get things together.

Together is sometimes hard.

Together forever.

Together for the here and now.

Together for at least 5 minutes.

What does it mean exactly?

Same opinions?

Same goals?

Same place?

Different but the same.

That's my together.



Opening the mind.

Together in heart.

Together in spirit.

Together in soul.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
5-minute Friday

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Stop Hitting Yourself

Did you ever have someone do that to you as a child?  You know, grab your arm and proceed to hit you with it and have them say "stop hitting yourself, stop hitting yourself"?  Most of the time it was done all in good fun and was coupled with laughter, sometimes not so much.

Fast forward to adult life.  The time where you put off childish things and be... adultish.  Do you ever feel like you're getting beat down by life.  Like someone has taken you by the arm and is beating you with it.  Like you've been placed in an impossible situation and everyone around you is out to get you?

It's the kind of situation that brings up those inferior high school feelings.  The ones where you want so badly to be a part of the "popular" crowd and still find yourself on the outskirts.  Trying to get in, only to be mocked.  Like they have grabbed your arm and are telling you to "stop hitting yourself" as they repeatedly hit you.  Keeping you down.  Making you grovel.

Then, in the height of self-pity and self-righteousness, have you looked down only to find that there is no one holding your arm?  No one is making you hit yourself?  You really are hitting yourself of your own free will and accord?  Only you are blaming someone else for it.

It's hard to swallow.  The realization that perceived harms really are just perceived.  They aren't real.  That the ill feelings you've been harboring towards someone are unjustified.  That in fact, you may actually owe them  an apology?  Yes my friends, it's a hard pill to swallow.  The way you've been making them walk on eggshells around you.  Coming to find out that they don't feel like they can be themselves around you anymore because they so desperately don't want to offend.  And then you get all offended anyway.

It's hard to recover from that.  It's hard to make amends.  And sometimes, depending on how long it's been going on, it's hard stop feeling that way. 

Isn't it all ridiculous how we women get sometimes?  All dwelling on the emotional and letting it dictate our actions.  Keeping us from feeling free.  Free to love and be loved.  Instead we turn back, remember the hurt, and start wallowing. Justifying our hurt feelings.  Remembering how it started.  Keeping the hurt fresh.  Ignoring the fact that harm was never intended to come to you in the first place.  That it was all a misunderstanding.  That the last who knows how long that you've been harboring these ill feelings was unnecessary.  And what does it get us?  Bitterness.

Bitterness.  Such an attractive quality don't you think?  And remarkably good at getting in the way of our happiness!  Oh, and progress.  Nothing stops our ability to move forward like bitterness.  It helps us harm friendships, hurt spouses, and in general keep ourselves down.  It can disguise itself too.  Bitterness can often be mistaken for self-righteousness or martyrdom.  I find that if I don't call it bitterness then I can live a lot longer in it's grasp.  I can endure the pain and anguish it causes.  I can learn to like it.

It's exhausting at times, but worth it, right?  Right?

**chirp **chirp**

Dang crickets.  Always mocking me.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

It's a Disease I Tell Ya!

Today, and really for awhile now, I have been struck by a disease.  It's called "Perfect-Stay-At-Home-itis".  I didn't know that I had it.  The symptoms were subtle and could easily be confused with other conditions such as Why-can't-I-get-one-d@mn-thing-done-itis,  Where-did-all-the-cookies-go syndrome, and Do-I-have-turrets-because-I'm-cussing-a-lot-more malady.

It became apparent that something was definitely wrong today.  Why today?  Why not today.  I tried to do the laundry.  Majority is still sitting in piles on the floor of the laundry room.  Breakfast was a handful of dry Life cereal and a glass of lemonade left over from Ben's baby blessing on Sunday.  After I bathed I put on the same clothes as yesterday and hoped they didn't smell like spit up.  I didn't get the chicken out in time to have it thawed for dinner.  In the hopes of surprising my husband I made pumpkin chocolate chip cookies but was unable to finish baking them before needing to take care of wee child.  Dinner was a fend for yourself affair which means I ate half my body weight in said pumpkin chocolate chip cookies.  After the first 5 or so I felt bad because I was going to be so very good and start eating healthier which then caused a downward spiral of which I will not tell you how many I actually ate because I lost track.  I complained because I didn't have time to take a walk.  My husband said, go now, I'll finish baking the cookies.  But I felt too disgusting and refused to.  How could I possibly be a martyr if I was actually able to take the walk I complained about missing!

To clarify:  I have absolutely NO delusions about being able to keep a clean house or a fully organized life while taking care of my child.  None.  Never have had them.  I had 36 years to watch and learn and get a reality check.  The laundry would never be finished.  The floors would never get mopped at the same time.  An all the way clean kitchen is a luxury.  Getting the bed made in the morning gets brownie points somewhere, and a grown woman with braids in her hair because there is simply no time to get it dry before the magic errand-running window closes up for the day is perfectly acceptable.  In fact, when visiting people with smallish children in the home I'm more surprised to find things clean! 

No sir.  No delusions here.  However, even though I had no delusions of being able to keep up with stuff, I still had the guilt.  The guilt that said somehow, someway, if I was a good stay at home mom then I should totally be able to keep up with this stuff.  I mean, I quit my job!  Did that mean I had "extra" time to do stuff?  To clean, to cook, to make things sparkly?  Because, you know, it was my job that was hindering the whole cooking/cleaning thing right?  No.  It wasn't the job, it was the child.  The wonderful child that I absolutely love to pieces.  He's the reason the house is a mess and my laundry is still on the floor.

So today, as it came to an end and I had treated my husband terribly because I ate too many cookies and felt bad.  Today as I sent him back out the door to the young men's activity all worried about what kind of a state he would find me in when I got home.  Today, as I continued to eat more cookies because half of my body weight wasn't enough and what else was I going to do for dinner... I started to have myself a think.  To analyze my behavior and try to figure out why I was feeling so... bleck.  So distraught.  Wondering how I could feel so overwhelmingly loving in some aspects and so completely empty in others. 

That's when I recognized the guilt.  The self-imposed guilt.  The guilt that was based on the unachievable.  The guilt that really and truly has no place in my life or anyone else's.  The guilt that doesn't let me forgive myself for not being perfect.  It consumes and sucks the joy out of things like pumpkin chocolate chip cookies and taking walks I didn't think I'd be able to.  Evil, evil guilt!

As I thought about this and began to recognize the dreaded evil guilt for what it really is... of the devil! I  smartly decided to take advantage of Do-I-have-turrets-because-I'm-cussing-a-lot-more malady and wisely tell this guilt to "go to hell!"  Right back where it came from.

There.  I feel better now.  I might just have another cookie.

Monday, April 16, 2012


I hate good-byes.  Hate.

They are never fun.  At least the real good-byes.
The kind that mean real change.
The kind that take you away from people, places, and things.

Last week was one of good-bye.
I quit my job.
The job that I have had in some degree for almost 6 years.
The job that has put me through hell at times and had me flying higher than a kite at others.
It's not the job that I have a hard time saying good-bye to though.
It's the people.

The people that make me laugh.
The people that laugh at me.
The people that genuinely care about me.
The people that I genuinely care about.

It's those kind of good-byes that are hard and awkward.
The kind that I pretend that I don't have to do.
That kind that sometimes I really don't do... even though it really is Good-Bye.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~
This was a Gypsy Mama 5-Minute Friday prompt and couldn't have been more appropriate.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

How Old do I Really Look?

Okay.  Give it to me straight.  Just how old do I really look?

How about now?

Okay, how about now?

No really.  I can totally handle it!

On Saturday I went grocery shopping.  The Saturday before Easter.  It was a mad house with everyone trying to get their Easter feast purchased in time for the actual event.

I was among the mad house.  It wasn't too bad though.  It's something that I've come to expect when grocery shopping on Saturdays.  However, that is not the point of this story.  That comes with the cashier.  And her friendliness.  And her eagerness to "bond" with me.

Sometimes eager cashiers get on my nerves.  Sometimes I just want to skip the conversation and just pay and get out.  This was an exception. I was in a good mood.  So the conversation went something like this:

Cashier: Did you find everything you were looking for?

Me: Sure did!

C: Have any fun plans this evening?

M: not really, just getting ready for Easter.

C: That sounds fun.  Do you still have children young enough to enjoy Easter?

My internal dialogue: Did she really just say that? Just how old does she think I am?  I only have a not even 2 month old child!  I'm only 36!  I'm barely old enough to have an.... 18-year old...  Huh.  I'm kind of old aren't I?  Not old old, just old enough to maybe not get offended when someone thinks that I'm not 21 anymore.  Or even 29.

My out loud response:  Nope!  In fact I only have 1 child and he's just barely 7 weeks. 

C: Oh. (pause) Not quite old enough to really get what's going on yet then.

M: Nope. But we are having some friends over for dinner though.

C: Well that will be fun.

M: It will!
C: Have a good evening.

M: You too.

My dear friends of the internet blogging and real life world. If I want people to think that I'm younger than I am, it may have nothing to do with my hairstyle or facial expressions...I better just carry my child with me!

How about now?

Monday, April 9, 2012


Light is in my heart today
It started yesterday at church

We got to bring Benjamin to church for the first time and he did so very well.  He cooed in his sleep and gave those sleepy half closed eyes smiles

That was the beginning of the light

Then the choir sang.  "Come Unto Jesus"
As the first acapella notes floated over the congregation and next to me
I struggled to keep my eyes from filling up with tears
My heart was full
My heart was light

Relief Society brought more
The lesson was music
Music that speaks to you and me
Testimony music
My choice was "For the Beauty of the Earth"
It's always made my heart happy

As we sang hymn after hymn after hymn
There was more light in my heart
I imagined that if it could, it would shoot out of the ends of my fingertips

It carried over through today
My heart truly is light

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Some random facts

1.  I have a lot of "work" blogs in my google reader account.  There was a time when I read them.  I don't anymore.  I don't even look at the pictures.  But I still subscribe to them because I like how rebellious I feel when I hit "mark all as read".  It makes me smile inside.

2.  Cadbury mini eggs and those chocolate covered marshmallow eggs that come in the carton are my all time favorite Easter candy.  I have to limit myself.  One bag and 2 cartons per Easter season.  They have already been eaten.  Happy early Easter everyone.

3.  I abhor counting calories.  So I don't.

4.  My baby slept 6 1/2 whole hours straight last night.  I did not.  I kept on waking up wondering if he was going to wake up.

5.  I also like Robin Eggs, but not as much as the others.

6.  I actually did a real work out routine yesterday.  I had no idea my thighs could get that flabby.  Huh.

7.  Several weeks ago I posted on facebook that I had showered, done the dishes, fed Ben, and gotten him dressed and it was all before 10am.  It has not happened since.  I knew it was a fluke.

8.  a picture
With messages like this, we should all eat more Dove!  What a self esteem booster!