Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Stay the Course

Hi everyone. I know I’ve been gone for months, but I’m back now. I had some issues with my family, but everything is resolving itself out nicely thanks to God. I hope everyone had a great summer!

I went to dinner with my girlfriend, Rechelle about a month ago and she encouraged me to pick up the blog again. So here I am blogging away on a raining Tuesday morning. For those of you that are wondering where is my template design? It’s being redone by my talented and creative girlfriend, Rechelle. She’s such a source of encouragement.

Of course it’s back to school time which means kids are getting back into the swing of things, studying and making new friends. However, for those facing infertility this is just another reminder of the fact that we don’t have kids. It’s hard to watch the Back to School commercials and wonder when will I get a chance to buy school supplies and kiss my little one on his or her first day of school? Well that got me thinking, we should all go back to school. You know what I mean, take a mini class, on my blog. Relax it’s free and not to taxing, but very informative. I have entitled the class, “Stay the Course.” Today, I will give you a brief introduction about the course and over the next three months we will discuss the components that make up “Stay the Course.”

What exactly does “Stay the Course” mean? Well, for starters it means staying focused in one direction for your life. Not giving up when obstacles or disappointments rear their ugly heads. Understanding that staying the course sometimes means that regardless of what we see that the prize is always at the end of our journey, if we stay alert and pay attention.
How many times do you think a long distance runner practices his skill or gives up. He probably starts out running a kilometer or two, then a mile, then three miles and before you know it, he’s up to 5 miles and running marathons. How do you think that happens? Does he give up and stop trying? No, he keeps going, he may have to rest and regain his strength, but he comes back to the task and finishes the race. He perseveres despite how his body feels, his mind drives him to his goal and that’s how we have to be on our joyful mother journey. We can’t let anything stop us from our destination, “Motherhood.”

I hope you guys are ready for our class. It will be an exciting and rewarding one. Oh I almost forgot, I’m about to launch a infertility support group at one of the local hospitals in Dallas, so if you’re in the area send me a comment and I’ll get you the information. And if you know of anyone that needs some encouragement in the area of infertility, miscarriage or loss of a baby, please send them my blog.
Have a great day and just think of the endless possibilities that today can hold for you, who knows today might be the day you find out that you are pregnant.

Til next time,
Joyful Mother

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Marching Ahead of Infertility
For most that live in warmer climates, March shows us a spark of spring, and for others March is still cold and snowy, but regardless of where you are; remember that March is about new beginnings. The month of March draws an end to winter and a beginning to spring.

Everyone who has a true desire to be a mother can be a mother. Some of you may be saying you don’t know me nor do you know my diagnosis, and you’re right I don’t on either point. However, I do know what it feels like to have the desire to be a mom and feel like that dream will never appear. You can be a mother; you can, whether through your womb, surrogacy or adoption. The choice is up to you. Now if you’re like me I chose my womb and to believe and wait it out. It was tough, but I kept hearing a still small voice that told me not to give up. I believe that God was stretching my faith and causing me to believe the impossible. No matter what my doctors said, I marched ahead of my infertility. How did I do it? Three things helped me along my journey, they were: 1) Follow my doctor’s instructions 2) Pray and believe the impossible 3) Occupy yourself while I waited and 4) Dream big. It’s that simple.

You may be saying but I’ve done that and nothing has helped, well that’s where the marching starts. You keep doing it regardless of the fact that you don’t see the outcome you want. The question is can you do it? Can you believe in spite of what you see or in spite of what you doctor says? Take one day at a time and try it. Start with today. Take your mind off of what you don’t have and dream about what you want. It’s ok to dream, it’s ok to envision your future. Often times you hear about famous people like athletes or movie stars talking about their big break. Some will say, “I knew it was going to happen” or “I knew this was my season” and as the interview progresses the reporter will ask “What made you think that?” or “How did you know it would happen?” The famous person will say “I saw myself do it and dreamed that one day this day would come and I held onto that dream.”

When I was struggling with infertility, I knew in my heart and in my spirit that one day I would have a baby. I prayed about it. I dreamed about it and thought about it. Now on those days that I wanted to obsess, I had to learn to gain control over that. But I did. Now some may be saying, how do I know if I’m obsessing? Well, if you can’t work during the day because all you are thinking about is a baby then you are obsessing, but it’s ok to think about it during the day but focus on the task at hand. But dream, it’s healthy to dream. Anyway when the day came, I was so elated. I couldn’t believe it was really happening , but it was. And it all went back to my faith. Faith is what causes us to dream, you may not know it or not but it does. You can’t dream without faith. You may say well I don’t believe in God or anything, well that’s simply not true. When you go to the pharmacy to pick up your clomid or other drug, you are trusting and having faith that the pharmacist is going to fill the prescription correctly. Don’t you? Or the chair that you are sitting in right now, you have faith that it will support your weight and you won’t fall to the floor. So regardless of your faith everyone believes in something.

Til next time…….. Pray, Believe and Dream

Monday, February 1, 2010

Rose Petals: Loving The Petals in You

As I pondered February, the month of love and all the signs of beauty that this month brings; I wondered what I would write about for this month. And as always, I needed to pick up a couple of items from the grocery store, so I hurried and walked into the store. I saw the red heart balloons hanging from the ceiling, Belgian chocolates filled with cherry filling lined in rows tempting each patron that walked by, little red and white soft teddy bears that said, “I love you” and even the most touching sentimental cards that made you feel loved above all others. With all of the beauty, I couldn’t help but smile. I continued to walk and spotted the floral section of the store and noticed all of the beautiful flower arrangements displayed before me. There were so many of them, some on the counter and some on the floor. They were all so beautiful, but my eye focused on a single red rose in vase all by itself on the corner of the counter. It was still, quiet and strong. As I continued my gaze, I walked closer to it and noticed the five soft fragrant red petals that made up this unbelievable rose. It was truly amazing; here was a single beautiful red rose that stood tall and strong for all of the world to admire. As I looked at it, I saw more than the rose, I saw the petals and all that they represented: love, strength, beauty and courage. Little did I know, I was seeing myself in the rose? And, as I thought more on this majestic splendor of beauty, it reminded me that I was not the only rose in the world, but all women were roses even though some of them just don’t know it yet. Each one of us is a rose. We all have love, strength, beauty and courage but it’s how we see ourselves that really counts.

That one rose changed my day, my week and my year. I couldn’t take my eyes off of it. Studying each petal, perfect in shape and color, I saw something that I never imagined I’d see. There were so many petals on this rose, but I managed to focus on one and that one petal spoke something in my spirit, it spoke “love.” I watched the rose and vowed that I would love hard and deep in 2010. I vowed that I would fill my heart with love for my husband and my friends. I thought about you, my friends that read my blog and I want you to do the same; love hard and deep in 2010. But, I want you to do a little more. I want you to love your husband and your friends, even if they don’t understand your struggle with infertility. I want you to know that you are wonderful women and you are loved. Declare that you are going to love yourself, even though there are times when you hate your body for not producing the baby you’ve been waiting on for so long. You must love yourself, even though you hate your cycle and even during those times when you feel like you hate yourself. Start this year by declaring that you will embrace your body, mind and spirit by treating them well and preparing yourself for your upcoming pregnancy. Remind yourself that you are a rose, and love is one of your strongest and best petals.

When I looked at the second petal, I heard “strength.” The journey of infertility has made you stronger whether you know it or not. Surviving this ordeal can shake anyone’s faith, but you’ve made it to 2010 and you will make it beyond. Be strong, square your shoulders back and believe that this is the year I will be a joyful mother. This is the year that God is going to bless me with a child. Inner strength comes from God, and it’s that voice that says you can never give up. Keep trying, that’s the voice of God. Listen to Him and focus on your desired destiny.

The next petal I saw reminded me of “beauty;” it was stunning and lay perfectly in its spot making the rose complete. It made me think at first of all my physical imperfections, but then I quickly realized that I was flawless just like this petal because I do love and I have strength. I realized that although this petal was especially beautiful, but it wasn’t my looks that made me beautiful it was all of the petals that make up the rose, me. It’s what makes me unique and different from everyone else. And you, just like me, have a fragrance of beauty that brings vitality to a room when you enter. Oh, you may not notice it, but everyone around you does. You’re special, beautiful inside and out.

The last petal I focused on, before I picked up the items I originally came into the store to get, was the petal of “courage”. This was a petal that I didn’t expect to see, but it was a welcomed friend. This is a petal I knew I had, but I really needed to be reminded that I had it. I am expecting God to do some huge things in my life in 2010, but all of them start and end with my courage and belief in myself. I know for some reading this blog, maybe you’ve run out of courage or you feel that you are tired of being courageous. Don’t give up, the path of infertility is a winding road, sometimes filled with highs and lows and tons of uncertainty. Realize that it takes courage to continue, believe the unbelievable, and face the uncertainties as they come. With courage, you can do it, I know you can!

Now we all know that roses have thorns on them that can hurt us if we touch them, and to me, these represent frustration, sadness and disappointment. Infertility is a thorn all by itself, because it hurts; oftentimes, pricking our hearts and causing us to suffer physically and emotionally. In the flower shop, thorns are cut off so that we aren’t stuck by their prickly points. In 2010, I am believing that God will remove every thorn in your life, including infertility. Do you ever notice that when you look at a rose you don’t focus on just the thorns? You can’t because of the love, strength, courage and beauty of the rose itself. These wonderful things overtake your mind, and your focus is solely on the rose not on the thorns. So look at your own petals. Perhaps, they are different from mine, or maybe they are the same. Don’t focus on the thorns, focus on the rose. The rose still blooms despite its prickling thorns, and so will you!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

“Living In The Moment, Not In Infertility”

For some of us, a new year brings excitement and opportunity. For some, it reminds us of what we don’t have, a baby. And yet for others, we’ve made up in our minds that this year is the year we plan to give up on our dreams. But 2010 is a new and different year unlike any we have ever had before. 2010 should bring us joy, hope and an opportunity to experience the newness of life and all it brings. My pastor of my church said “10 is the number of redemption in the Bible.” So 2010 is our year of redemption. This is why choosing to live 2010 in infertility instead of in the moment is a big mistake. What do I mean living in infertility? Some of us have made our lives all about infertility. We eat it, we drink it, and most of us live it. Life is about so much more than our infertility. I’m not saying that we shouldn’t care about it, because I know we all do, but I am saying we shouldn’t let it consume all of our thoughts, all of our energy and all of our being.
You might think to yourself, “What does she mean to live in the moment?” Living in the moment means that you appreciate your life and where you are right now. Maybe it’s not entirely the way you want it to be, but you’re on track for a great future. My husband always says we should look at the glass half full instead of the glass half empty.
There are at least two characteristics that I see in women struggling with infertility, one is labeling ourselves as an infertile woman and the other is failure to live in the moment. I’ll get to the labeling later, but let me explain more of living in the moment. First of all, living in the moment means experiencing life to the fullest degree. Finding ways to enjoy your life, enjoy your husband, enjoy your family and enjoy your friends. It means removing the fear of never becoming a mother and finding other things in life that bring you joy. For example, looking at your house and if redecorating is something you enjoy, then find ways to redecorate a room to give it more of a positive energy or tone. I don’t mean the baby’s room that you have already decorated. You’ll have time to tackle that room later.
Living in the moment also means taking an inventory of everything you have and being thankful to God for giving you each and every thing whether it’s a relationship, a job, a house, etc. After you’ve developed your list of all that you have, spend some time telling God how thankful you are to Him for every person and everything that He has blessed you with. This takes time, but it is such a rewarding experience if you take the time to do it.
If you’re like me, I turned infertility into an obsession. It occupied every space in my brain. If I wasn’t calculating ovulation, I was taking clomid or counting my days to see if I was going to miss my period that month. Infertility was me, instead of me taking control of my infertility, it took control of me. How did that happened? It was easy, instead of focusing on the positive aspects of my life; I let my mind focus only on the one thing that I didn’t have, a baby. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t think about it, I’m saying don’t obsess; don’t make it your every thought. Try to take a week and not think about it. Try and find other things like all of the great people you have in your life or all of the things that give you joy and focus on that aspect of your life for awhile.
For me I understand, I struggled with infertility for more than 6 years. But I want you to be encouraged that there is life in infertility, through infertility and after infertility. It is not the sum total of our being as women. We can rise above it and live beyond it, but it takes honest effort on our part to do that.
For years, I allowed life to pass me by and I forgot to take notice of the little things: like a rose on a rose bush, the smile of my husband and the favor I received on my job. I slowly began to realize that infertility defined me. Life had so many precious moments and they were all slipping away from me without the opportunity for me to fully enjoy them. So ladies, for this week – live in the moment. Find something that you are passionate about other than a baby and focus on that for this week. Take a hot bubble bath, get your nails done, read a good book in your pajamas, enjoy a delectable treat that you’ve been depriving yourself of, for me that is a warm apple pie with a little caramel dipping onto some homemade vanilla blue bell ice cream. What is it for you? Live life to its fullest this week. Take a walk in your neighborhood and look at the beautiful landscaping or walk in the park or go the ocean and watch the waves. It’s ok to put on the rose colored glasses for a week; it’s ok to see the glass half full this week. Why not try it? What could it hurt?
This week, let’s focus on what God has given us and forget about the weight of infertility and all that it brings. I’ll bet we’ll find out that we have a lot more on our list of what we do have than what we don’t have.
Til next time,