Like I mentioned before, I have been working with a christian parenting coach via weekly Zoom meeting with a group of parents since May. In light of our current challenges with Okra, I have talked with this parenting coach separately couple of times on the phone to brainstorm strategies to work with him. A suggestion from the parenting coach for Bob and me was to intentionally pray for ourselves as parents and for the kids. We had been lacking a time to chat and pray. We tried it before at bed time but we were/are often too tired to even talk and sometimes we are short or impatient with each other. Once I told Bob about the parenting coach’s suggestion, he said, why not get up early together, read the bible, and pray together? I have never been a morning person. I love to sleep until the last moment possible before I get up. But, since Bob suggested, I accepted the challenge. That was exactly what we did. We started on June 8th, which was 6 weeks ago. We have been consistently getting up one hour earlier to talk, read the bible, and pray. There were a couple of times we got into an argument, but we made a choice to make up and pray before the kids got up. There was one time when Bob really wanted to go for a run so he did, but he got back in time to pray with me before getting the kids. I love this morning time. My mind is clear. The house is quiet. I make a cup of coffee and have five minutes of quiet time/meditation time when I pray to the Lord. I then write down the things I want to work on with the kids in a little note book. I also have a bigger note book that I labeled “Intentional Parenting and Marriage”. I write down thoughts on parenting, on my kids, and on the bible passage that I am reading that day. After Bob is done with his reading, we chat a bit about how each other is doing and pray specifically for the kids, such as peaceful obedience, joy and peace, or self control. After prayers, we get the kids up to give them breakfast. I have really enjoyed this time with Bob. We are so much more refreshed first thing in the morning. We are in a much better mood and have much more patience with each other. I am confident that since we have been doing it for 6 weeks, it is a habit to continue on. We start the day right, and feel the most connected to each other in a long time. It highlights the importance of married couples to connect with and pray with/for one another. I feel so blessed that Bob and I are willing to devote this time to each other.
Emotionally, that is.
I like that place. I really do.
Ever since my chemical pregnancy, I definitely had a setback with my quest to feel peace, love, and joy for other people’s pregnancies and newborn babies. Their sight bugged me. I hated how I felt and reacted. I know it is typical and common for us to feel this way at times. It’s for self preservation. But… I missed that period of time before my pregnancy that I was feeling good for other people.
Recently, I arrived at that good place again.
Let’s start with all the ladies that had recently given birth or were about to give birth. They are mostly people I know from church.
I talked about some of them here. About two weeks ago, I saw one of them sitting somewhere not too far from me, looking nice and slim from behind. She was the one who tried for many years and somehow became pregnant right before she signed the papers for the adoption agency. Somehow something clicked in my heart and urged me to go talk to her after service. And I did. I immediately went up to her, tapped on her shoulder, and told her that she did not look pregnant from behind. But in fact, she was about to give birth in two weeks. We chatted about her pregnancy, her scheduled C-section because of the baby’s breech position, and how she had to arrange her work schedule for maternity. I was sitting there listening to her and did not feel any jealousy at all. I wasn’t even thinking about how I was feeling. I was genuinely engrossed in that conversation with her. Afterwards, I realized that I stood next to her, talked with her, without feeling bad or repulsed. Such a liberating feeling!
The following week, I was a greeter and again saw a number of women who just gave birth or who were about to. The girl that I chatted with the previous week walked by uncomfortably. I hugged her and checked in with her. My heart again was fine. When I went around the church to take attendance (part of the duty of a greeter), I walked into the family room and saw that one of the ladies was nursing her newborn. She was the one who gave birth at 43 to her third child after struggling to get pregnant for a while. I had avoided her in the past many months. When I walked in and saw her, my first reaction was not to flee. I actually knelt down, took a good look at the baby for the first time, and asked her some questions. I walked out of that room feeling fine.
That’s such an improvement for me! I am loving the grace and mercy that God has shown me and allowed me to have as I am spared of the usual jealousy that crept back into my life after my own pregnancy loss. Even Bob commented on how good of a job I was doing when I “liked” the picture of my church friend’s newborn baby after her C-section last Wednesday.
This has extended to my feelings for my friends in the blogging community. Recently, there is a surge in the BFPs for many of my blog friends after their own struggles for years and years. And there is a discussion of survivor guilt and what to do with one’s blog after one finally becomes pregnant. By the grace of God, I have been able to feel joy and excitement for all of you girls. Isn’t that a wonderful thing? It’s not my own strength or doing. All of this comes from the Lord for answering my daily prayers and plea to be full of love and free of jealousy. Thank you Lord for answering my prayers.
I would love to continue feeling this way, celebrating others’ pregnancies and newborns without feeling jealous. I know that it won’t be accomplished without daily prayers to the Lord for Him to sustain me. I love being in this good place. I hope this will be my permanent destiny… although I know that I may slip back in the future some time, I am confident that I will eventually come back here, with God’s help.
For those who are finally pregnant, congratulations! Can’t be happier for you ladies. I hope that you’ll all have the most uneventful, textbook perfect pregnancies ever. 🙂
What is more annoying than not getting a positive OPK for many days? Finally getting a positive OPK but ovulation is no where to be found.
We have been diligently having our BD sessions everyday. Bob was sick over the weekend but he has been a very good sport. He fell asleep early on Saturday night when he was suffering from a sore throat and high temperature and got knocked out by NyQuil. Other than that one night, baby making has been high on our agenda. I usually ovulate on CD 13. However, I didn’t get a positive OPK until CD 16. I was so excited that my poor husband could finally rest as positive OPK to me means just doing the deed for one more night and then temperature would usually rise in two mornings. No such luck this time. Temperature is still low today, which is CD 18. I find it very very annoying. I do want to get the show going and start my two week wait rather than wondering when an egg will pop. Egg white cervical fluid came and went. Cervix has been high and soft. But… as you all may know, low temperature = no ovulation. I know this is the cycle immediately after the our failed IVF #2. So my body may be doing some wacky things. All my calculations of the next cycle and when we should cycle in November if we choose to do a fresh one are offtrack. You think that I should’ve learned by now that nothing is predictable or reliable when it comes to baby making.
In other news, I have been feeling a tad nicer to people this week. Then the following happened. My infertile pregnant friend continues her extreme pregnancy sickness and extended rest at home from work. Yup. That’s the friend with the famous line of “Let nature take its course; It’ll happen when you least expect it.” She continues to write me messages everyday. I sometimes write back, sometimes don’t. The other day, I chose to write back and engaged in this exchange with her:
Her: By the way, heard ICSI works. Have you guys looked into it?
Me: (Cue eye rolling and suppressing my urge to say something mean and sarcastic) It’s just a part of IVF. We’ve done it.
She then asked me a bunch of questions about our IVF cycles, which I answered. Then…
Her: As long as you are still producing eggs, it is still hopeful that there will be success. Just be persistent.
Me: (Cue major eye rolling) …………
I chose to NOT respond to that. First of all, I don’t know why she felt an urge to make IVF suggestions to me. Anyone who has already done a round or two of IVF probably has the knowledge of what each procedure does and how each one helps. I know that not all would do ICSI but most likely would have looked into it. Does she assume that I didn’t do my research? What does it mean that by “heard ICSI works”? Who did she hear it from and who did it work for? I reject anything so generic and one-size-fits-all. I know she might have meant well but the effect of it was totally opposite of what she intended. I am not as quick as my hubby when it comes to responding to such a comment with a good comeback. When I told him what she suggested, he said, “I heard sex works too”. Heehee.
And don’t even get me started on part two of her advice. Just be persistent? Hm… I don’t know what part of my life is not being persistent when it comes to trying to have a take home baby. Is it the drive of at least an hour each way five to six times during each IVF cycle to see my RE? Or is it the daily injections of four to five vials of medications on my belly? Or maybe it is the phone calls to the insurance company, pharmacies, and doctor’s office countless times to get the best out of the money that we pay? Could it be the thousands of dollars that we have thrown into this route or the tens of thousands more that we will continue to drain? Or maybe it’s the time, effort, and money that we put into acupuncture, Maya abdominal massage, or Chinese herbs. I don’t know. I sometimes just cannot stand someone who knows nothing about the struggles of having the diagnosis of diminished ovarian reserve and failing IVF cycles to give me advice about what I should or should not do.
And then the chat got even better. Many hours later, she typed:
“Have u ever had a slight cold during pregnancy?”
What the heck? I have NEVER EVER gotten pregnant before. Why the heck did she ask ME?
Then she realized that she typed in the wrong window and asked the wrong person. But she did not apologize for asking the wrong question to the wrong person who might really mind her asking such a question. She just said, “I’m trying to get rid of my stupid cough.”
Maybe I have become bitter and resentful towards this friend. Bob thinks that I should just block her from gchat so she does not continue to make suggestions, give advice, or share her pregnancy annoyances with me intentionally or unintentionally. I am really not the best person for her to share about her pregnancy ups and downs.
I have been praying for a heart of love, openness and acceptance, one that is free of jealousy, annoyance, and self-pity. I have to say that on some days it is a huge struggle. I have to tell myself that it is okay to feel these things. I am a work in progress. I hope nobody is expecting me to be perfect and always nice and happy.