Tuesday, September 27, 2011


Does anyone remember the show The Facts of Life? Oh how I adored that show! I would tune in religiously and sing along as the theme song would start, "You take the good, you take the bad, you take them both and there you have the facts of life, the facts of life. There's a time you've got to show and grow, and something-something, then you know the facts of life, the facts of life." Okay, so I don't remember all the words, but you get the point. I got that song stuck in my head this morning and realized how appropriate that first line is for the past week of my life.

Before Mr. N. and I can begin our fertility treatments we've had to go through a lot of tests. There have been blood tests, tests for men only, tests for women only, cultures, HSG (dye) tests, and vaccines. I've been poked, injected, swabbed, had ultrasounds and x-rays. Throw in some stuffing and a good basting and I'd feel like my Grandma's Thanksgiving Turkey. I told Mr. N. that I feel like all I ever do for anyone anymore is spread my legs. Haha. But you take the good you take the bad, right? And it really hasn't been too bad physically. It feels good to know that we're getting things done and moving closer to an actual treatment. My life right now feels like it's being brought to you by the letter "A" for Advil, but it's still moving forward. That's a positive....something to hold onto. 

Another crazy thing has been meeting random people who are struggling with the same thing as us. Talking about fertility treatments seems to be almost taboo with some. I have my theories as to why, but it's still unsettling, since it's more of a common problem than one would think. Case in point, we tried three different places to get a vaccine on Saturday, and we ended up at the Rite Aid with a nurse who is 38 and unable to get pregnant and she has no idea why. She asked us all sorts of questions about the doctor we're seeing and about cost, because the cost is what seemed to be holding her back the most. You could see the frustration in her eyes and how badly she wanted to be a mother. That breaks my heart. Friends have also started coming out and sharing their own stories with us. Friends who have walked some intense roads to hold a baby of their own and we had no idea. Friends who still are broken from loss, but in the same breath rejoice over miracles. Friends who show us what true faith is and hold us up. Incredible and humbling. Yes, I still question God, not just in my own situation but for the situations other dear people find themselves in, too. Some days I can't let it go, while other days I realize I just have to obey and know that I'm not entitled to any special answers, and that's okay. It's not about having all the answers anyways. 

Good and bad, I'm learning how little I really know about the world, the people around me, and about my God. That realization is not a waste of time or money.

I had to share this with you all. I just read this tonight from a book my girlfriends and I are studying right now called "Overcoming Fear, Worry, And Anxiety" by Elyse Fitzpatrick (highly recommend it, by the way). The chapter is called, "The Fear That Results In Blessings" and here is an excerpt that seems very appropriate, "If my life wasn't so tumultuous, you might think, I would be able to serve God. When things calm down, I'll obey Him. Do you see the folly of hiding away from Him instead of finding Him as your Hiding Place? Our lives will always be beset on every side with terrors, difficulties, uncertainties, and grim prospects. We cannot shrink back from our duty to God because it is that duty, that awe-filled obedience, that will burst the chains of fear from our hearts and flood our souls with light."

Wednesday, September 21, 2011


It's hard to believe that October is approaching so quickly! I'll be posting soon on some neat ideas for affordable Autumn decorations, but first I wanted to talk about the 31 Days challenge that a ton of bloggers take on every year. Last year, I followed a few of my favorites as they started their 31 Day topics and was so encouraged and got lots of great ideas, so I'm going to try and throw my hat in the ring, too. My topic is 31 Days of Improvement and it will cover both personal improvement and affordable home improvement. I'll try to share some neat things God has been revealing in the book study I'm in, as well as some projects and decorating around the house that I'm going to finally tackle. 

October 1st will be the "linky party" as they call it (it makes me giggle every time.....yes, I'm 12. haha!), so I'll post a link to some of my favorite ladies who will also be participating, so that you can explore and learn to your heart's content. =]

More to come!

Monday, September 19, 2011


We have all had those moments. The ones where the well meaning person approaches and shares their opinions on the state of your life, full of smiles and no thought whatsoever about what they're actually saying.....to your face. You know of what I speak. It's almost like a one man cloud of locust that swarms in just long enough to crawl all over you and buzz in your ears and then fly away. (shudder) So far, I'd say that the worst of these moments have come during singleness and during our trying to get pregnant, but I've heard that they also come during parenting, so there's something to look forward to. I can actually hear my friend's voice in my head telling me to cut them some slack and show them a little grace, and she's right. But each day that comes seems to bring a new opportunity to test the waters on just how much a person can take. 

This weekend, while I was out of town, Mr. N. got approached at church by a WMP (well meaning person). She, all in good humor, proceeded to tell him that the pressure is on for us to have kids next, since nearly every other couple our age now has a newborn. He was pretty taken off guard by this and is starting to realize just how often this happens. We both thank God that I wasn't there for this particular encounter, but last night I started thinking about the comment, "the pressure is on". It seemed to catch fire as I turned it over and over and I realized that she has no idea how long the pressure has actually been on us:
  • since the first moment I realized I wanted to grow up and be a Mommy
  • since I got married when I was 29 after praying to God that He wouldn't make me wait past 21
  • since we decided to wait until we were financially stable and in a home of our own before trying for kids
  • every time we're asked by people we don't know that well when we're going to have babies
  • since we had a random toll booth operator on the Bay Bridge tell us that we'd be pregnant by January and have a baby boy in 2011 (no joke)
  • every moment I realize that Mr. N. is a little disappointed, too, by this whole thing
  • since we discovered that our church was going through its second round of reproducing like bunnies
  • every single Sunday when I have to look at an ex-girlfriend of Mr. N.'s and her husband proudly toting their brand new baby boy
  • being caught in the first birthday season of all the friends who have already had babies
  • since we realized that people actually think we don't want kids or aren't that interested, when they have no idea of how badly we want this or how hard we're trying
  • every birthday that passes sending me further into my 30's
  • since we finally discovered that we needed to visit a fertility doctor to find out what was wrong
  • every time I struggle with how God made me and trying to accept His design as beautiful and not a mistake
  • and now with every blood test, invasive procedure, building hope, disappointment......
We have no shortage of pressure here. We're good, thanks. Still, we know that they mean well. They always do. They have no idea what they're saying, how their words are actually being taken. No idea that being single or not having kids doesn't mean that suddenly they have the right to ask anything they want about your personal life. No idea that we can't control our own time line on this. I hate being blamed in smiles and well wishes for not being parents yet, and think it's craziness that the majority of this comes from people outside of our families, people we don't know all that well to begin with. God be praised, we truly have the BEST families in the world. Our parents encourage us and pray for us, and never guilt trip us on why they're not grandparents yet. I know not all couples can say the same. The people who truly know us are the ones who offer us the most normalcy, the ones who can cry or laugh with us, and the ones who can honestly tell us that it is possible to just smile and offer grace to those who are trying to show concern and excitement in their own "special" way.

One thing that I'm learning along the way is that nothing is too small to give thanks for. As much as there is no shortage of pressure, there is also no shortage of blessing in the pain:
  • having a husband who lovingly keeps me from foolishly believing all of this is somehow my fault and who is willing to play an active role in this whole process
  • having a monthly cycle miraculously start on time so that we can get on with the rest of the testing
  • getting encouragement from the lab tech drawing my blood and listening to her point out good things that can come from all of this
  • those brief moments of realizing that God knows all about this and He designed this for good and for His glory
  • those brief moments of not comparing ourselves to every other couple and remembering that our story is unique
  • seeing little bits of growth in the absolute lowest points
  • having both of our parents and families not pressure us, but encourage us and pray for us
  • having a trusted circle of friends to stand beside us
  • learning more about other friend's stories who have had to go through the same or more difficult situations to get pregnant
  • learning to be more sensitive when it comes to how we talk to our single friends or those married with no children yet
  • growing closer as a couple through all of this
  • having the finances to afford doctor visits and treatments
  • remembering that whether we get babies through this process or through adopting, or both, we're still going to have a house full of amazing children someday
  • learning to trust God fully, even though it's a moment by moment struggle
So, we continue on learning more every day about grace, about God, about ourselves. We've hit bottom a few different times now, but we know that God is just as much beside us in the tears and valleys as He is in the hope and on the mountain tops.