Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Unbaby.me

This is not what I planned to write about today, but I just read a blog from a woman who was sarcastically making fun of all her friends who installed unbaby.me and it infuriated me.

You know about this right? It's a new browser plugin you can install and have all of the pictures of babies that show up on your Facebook replaced with pictures of whatever else you want (you decide - kittens, puppies, flowers, cupcakes...). I get that it's pretty funny and dumb at the same time. And no I would never install it, even though the NON-STOP barrage of kid/baby pictures can really wear on me. Not even just "wear on me", but hurt like hell is a more accurate description. Yes I get that simply hiding pictures of babies won't solve my problems. But that isn't the point.


The point is people like this blog writer who just don't get it. People who have never struggled a day in their life with this baby thing. Who got pregnant because they decided it was time and, magically, they got exactly what they wanted. Seriously, I'm happy for you that it worked out the way you planned. And never in a million years would I be angry at you, unhappy for you, or mean to you.

You deserve to be able to post a picture of your pee stick announcing your pregnancy. You have every right to mail me a special card in the mail announcing your "souvenir" from your vacation in Italy after a month off birth control. No one can stop you from installing Baby Gaga and auto-updating me on your weekly progress. This is probably the happiest time in your life, you are over the moon, hormonal, and already overly-protective of the little watermelon seed inside of you. Good for you! You go and do all that, because you can, and you deserve to.

But let's not forget that this also means I have every right  to be struggling and post how I'm feeling. I am allowed to say that seeing pregnancy announcements on a daily basis can sometimes cut me straight to the heart. And that sometimes I wish I could "hide" those announcements (without fearing my pregnant "friends" will instantaneously delete me and refuse to speak to me). I'm allowed to post that I'm at the Center for Reproductive Medicine trying to get pregnant again this month, for the 1382747th time. I'm allowed to post pictures of my dog just as much as you post pictures of your kid. No one can stop me from saying I feel like giving up, feeling so tired of continually trying, and continually being happy for others who have exactly what I want without going through the pain and heartache.

See, we're not so different after all. We're both allowed to express ourselves! Amazing concept, isn't it?

I have been so blessed recently with a blog friend, who has struggled with infertility for over four years, get pregnant in her 2nd round of IVF. What did she do that was so special? Before she officially announced her pregnancy officially on Facebook or her blog, she private messaged me and shared it with me... AND gave me time, space, and freedom to be upset if that was the case. Why? She certainly had no obligation to do so. My heart wants to explode thinking about how happy she must be after trying for so long... so imagine how she feels! She did it because she knows what it's like to be in my shoes. It is an incredible feeling to know someone really gets it and chooses to think of others who are struggling, above themselves and their happiness. That is a rare, rare, jewel of a person. I was humbled and overwhelmed by the kindness of her gesture. I will never forget it.

Other friends of mine who are currently pregnant have taken me aside and told me individually, not in a group setting, about their big news. My friend Callie took me out to lunch to break the news. So sweet! My friend Megan was so sweet about her announcement. Some of them told me after that they were nervous to tell me, which made me sort of sad. Don't ever apologize for this blessing! Just know that I appreciate the gesture of sensitivity and thoughtfulness of telling me differently than the others. :) You guys girls rock!

Do I expect or even think ANYONE else would do this for me? Never in a million years. It's not something I expect others to even think about, and that's fine. They've never been in my shoes and I genuinely do not expect them to understand what it's like. There are plenty of situations other people experience that I do not understand and can't relate to. Only those who have been "blessed" with hardship can actually empathize with others in a simliar situation.

I would, however, hope that I could put others and their needs before myself. Going through something like this really opens your eyes to how real pain can be. It makes you more sensitive to the needs of others. It makes you want to do everything in your power to help others who are struggling, and at the very least, to not add to their pain.

So, would I judge someone for installing unbaby.me if and when I got pregnant? No. Just the same way that others might want to install undemocrat.me, unduckface.me, or unwhatiatefordinner.me. Stuff like that could come in handy! And it is obviously a joke.

Unfortunately, though, there is no app for insensitivity.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

On "having it all" vs. "having enough"

It's August! Wow. Like the rest of you probably feel, it seems like this year is flying by. The holidays are already on my mind because I'm already starting to plan our holiday gift drive for kids in foster care. ALREADY! The craziness I anticipate during the upcoming holidays already stresses me out. LOL.

Besides that, I am definitely enjoying our "break" from "trying" this month. We decided to take this next round off because we'll be out of town for a couple of weeks for work-related things. I didn't want to stress out about doctor appointments or getting my shot on the correct day and time. It's been a nice (quick) break. Before I know it it'll be time to start back up again.

Rewinding to catch up on a few highlights from the past month...



Birthday celebrations!
L: Chart House w/ my love on my birthday
R: Girls night with Jessica in Downtown Orlando for sushi and dancing!
  
L: Flowers, balloon, sign, and chocolate cake surprise when I got home from work!
R: Night out in Downtown Melbourne w/ my girls (Jen1, Jessica, Jen2, sister Nik and Tiffani)

Chilling on the beach w/ family and nephew :)

Eric came home from a week of ERT training in Alabama -- riot training and tactics, handling live chemical agents from weapons of mass destruction and all sorts of craziness. So glad to have him back!

Recently I've been re-evaluating priorities because I feel like I'm doing too much and don't have time for things that are most important. I was training for a triathlon AND my 4th half marathon, but decided just to do the half because it was all too much. My priorities right now are school (right now statistics are the bane of my existence) and work, as well as focusing on staying healthy for the fertility treatments in the upcoming months.

I posted this quote on my facebook the other day and it sort of sums up how I feel:

"Your life is as lonely as you would like to make it, your joy is as much as you decide to feel it, your night is as long as you decide to stay awake, and your destination is as far as you decide to walk."

I'm all about taking ownership for YOUR LIFE and not blaming anything or anyone else. Instead of saying "I can't afford that" I'm saying "I'm choosing not to spend my money on that". We control our own destiny by the choices we make. So empowering! I stumbled across this thought-provoking article about "having it all" versus "having enough". You must read the whole thing here, but here's a clip and what happens to be my favorite quote in the whole thing:

"When I look at friends and acquaintances, many with perfectly beautiful children and wonderful lives, and see how desperately unhappy or stressed they are about balancing work and family, I think to myself that the solution... to many problems is deceptively obvious. We are chasing the wrong things, asking ourselves the wrong questions. It is not, "Can we have it all?" -- with "all" being some kind of undefined marker that shall forever be moved upwards out of reach just a little bit with each new blessing. We should ask instead, "Do we have enough?"

Food for thought, and definitely a challenge for me to implement in my life!

We're headed to St. Augustine this weekend for several days... half vacation/half work conference, but I'm really looking forward to getting away! Will chat when I return. :-)

xo, Steph