Friday, December 17, 2010

Almost Cried

Today I was working near the entrance/exit of the place where I worked when a couple stopped by near the exit and said to their daughter, "Look! There she is! Amelia is over there!"

I turned around and saw the lovely family whose daughter had stolen my heart ever since we met at my workplace. I've written a little about her in this post: In Love. She had a pacifier in her mouth, but when I said "hi", she said "hi" with a smile.

The Dad then explained to me that it'd become a habit - whenever they went to go grocery shopping, the girl would ask where I was (if I wasn't working as the cashier that day) HE HE HE HE HE...

I was so touched, not only 'coz of the little girl's enthusiasm, but also for the parents' excitement towards our interaction. I said "goodbye" to the cute girl while waving my hand and she also did the same a few times - always with a smile on her cute face.

I then turned around while they exited the building and I almost couldn't hold the tears from flowing. I guess it's just hormones, but I was just so touched - and a tad sad again at the same time 'coz I could only do that with another person's child - though on the other hand it's still MUCH better than not having that kind of interaction with anyone's child at all. :-D

On a positive note, I can't wait for our mini holiday sometime later to Rovaniemi (a city near here) with hubby. I just booked our hotel last night. WOOOOHOOOO!!! I'll be back with pictures. Meanwhile, here are some more winter pics I took yesterday:

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Tiny Thumps in My Chest

A few weeks ago I found out that a certain friend had gotten pregnant again (she had been trying for this second one for a while, but finally she got pregnant). I think at that time I almost felt a tiny thump in my chest, but I definitely felt that tiny thump the other day when I found out that another friend had gotten pregnant (she's 2 years older than me - I'm 32 y.o.). After that thump, this question arose: "How come it's so easy for them but not for us?"

But then I realized that it was totally the wrong question to ask 'coz it would simply open up the Pandora box that's filled with other questions that would be impossible to answer.

Thankfully no other questions popped up, but I did feel a tad of sadness due to my "empty womb". I feel happy for my friends, but that doesn't mean I don't feel anything anymore when it comes to us, even though we've "given up" (read: not actively TTC anymore).

A close friend of mine is going to TTC next year and for selfish reasons, I just hope that she gets pregnant easily. Why? So I can get it over with: having to congratulate her and feeling whatever I may be feeling (hopefully nothing too bad) when the time comes. So for very selfish reasons, the sooner she gets pregnant, the better for me 'coz I'll then be able to move on after feeling another wave of grief over my "empty womb".

I also realize even more that all these "negative emotions brought out by IF roller-coaster" aren't altogether bad at all. They really help me understand other people's similar feelings to a deeper level. They really help me understand that we're, after all, simply human beings and that just because we feel what we feel doesn't mean we're "bad people". And the other week I also found these verses that helped me embrace all the "negative emotions during IF roller-coaster":

2 Corinthians 1:3-5

“All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is our merciful Father and the source of all comfort. He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us.” (NLT)

On a different note, today I was in the mood to watch a romantic movie, so I watched "The Holiday" again and I enjoyed crying my eyes out (probably just hormones!!!), but it feels GREAT to cry over a movie while it lasts 'coz it's not real life. You feel glad after crying your eyes out and go back to real life.

The wintery scenes in the movie make me feel thankful for living in a beautiful place with pink are some pics of the lovely pink skies of Lapland, Finland:

Monday, December 6, 2010

Have You Ever?

*cross-posted with my other blog*

About a month ago or so I was feeling sick and tired. Of what? I guess the correct answer would be "the fallenness of mankind". I wasn't sick and tired of mankind per se, but just that part of mankind, including that part in myself (or maybe especially 'coz I know that part exists in myself).

I guess the trigger was when I read this online forum that talked about two different people from two different cultures and the heated debate went on and on and on. There were at least 100 "commentators", but I only found about 1/10th who were the voice of reason. Some of the commentators made me feel sick and disgusted.

It's so easy when I look at that fallen part in myself that for example if I'm struck by someone, my instinct would be to strike back. If I'm hurt, my instinct would be to fight back or to have my revenge. Maybe for different people, the "fallen" parts are different than mine. But still the fallenness exists.

I don't mean to say that I'm giving up on mankind, but I'm just saying that there are times when I just want to get away from humans 'coz the fallenness of mankind makes me sick.

I talked about this topic today with a friend and she said she thought she was the only one going mad ha ha ha...she also experienced this and she said that she also wanted to get away from people in order to "reduce" the amount of possible "negative thoughts/feelings/reactions" that come from dealing with other human beings.

However, at the other end of the spectrum, after feeling so disgusted and sick like this, I wonder why God still loves us just the way we are, despite ourselves. I mean logically thinking I know that God is love, but my human brain is wondering that after all the wickedness and ugliness that humans can do, isn't it beyond AMAZING that He still loves us? That He's sent Jesus to die for our sins? I still can't comprehend the depth of His love for's WAY beyond what my human brain can understand. Having billions and billions of "children on earth" behaving the way we are many days a year...I'm THANKFUL that God is God.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thought of the Day

You can never please everybody.

No matter how hard you try to be "politically correct" or to avoid hurting anybody with your words (or texts), it's almost impossible to know what impact your words (or texts) would have on everybody. So, even though I know and understand fully that words are mightier than a sword, I can only try to do my best, but I know it's impossible for me to gauge what others might think about it.

After all, I remember one time in my past when I gave a SINCERE compliment to a friend, but she took it the wrong way. I had to explain to her again that I meant what I said, but still it was something inside her that made it unable to accept my compliment as is. If even a compliment can be misunderstood, how much more so can it happen to simple opinions.

The more I browse through blogs and articles, the more I realize that I have to try not to take things too seriously 'coz after all we have our own "glasses" when we read/hear things that might alter what we think we read/hear - the contrary of what the author/speaker wants to convey.

On a lighter note, let me share this lovely duet...

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

It's Just Life

Dunno why but lately I've heard a voice in myself saying to me lots of times, "It's just life." It applies to this IF journey as well as other situations in life. Even if I'm not a mother in the end, so what? That doesn't mean I'm nothing. God loves me just the way I am. He knows the number of hair on my head and He was the one who knit me inside my mom's womb.

Speaking of God, I've also had some thoughts. When things go wrong and God "doesn't seem to listen" even though we've given it our all, it may be because He wants us to surrender fully to Him instead of depending on our own power/ability/efforts.

In today's world where this motto is really loud: "You can do everything if you just do it and work hard for it", maybe God wants to tell me through infertility that: "You CAN achieve many things through ME, not through your own strengths or ability or efforts."

However, I'm not expecting God's miracle anymore in terms of infertility. It doesn't really matter anymore. He's created MANY more wonderful miracles on earth that I can enjoy and I can share with others these beauties through photos and videos.

I took some pics today while riding my bike from work to my place. It was -21'C and the sky was so lovely that I had to take pics with my mobile (thank GOD for technology!!!)

First pic: look at the ends of my hair! I had ridden my bike for around 10 minutes, though I had stopped a few times before I took this pic in order to take some sky pics.

Two pics of the lovely sky...

Monday, November 15, 2010

In Love

I'm IN LOVE with this little girl that often comes to the store where I work with her parents. The first time I ever saw her, she immediately said "hi" to me with a smile on her face. She's obviously just started learning to speak, 'coz she can only speak "hi" and "bye". Her smile is VERY cute 'coz her milk teeth are HUGE. Whenever I smile and look at her, she'd smile back at me.

Moreover, the parents seem to love the interaction between us, so they'd encourage her to say "bye" to me whenever they've finished shopping and whenever I wave my hand and smile at her while saying, "bye", she'd do the same thing. Such a cute angel! I always feel EXCITED whenever I see them in the store he he he...

For those of you who pray, please pray for my MIL. My FIL has been diagnosed with Alzheimer's a few years ago and his condition is going down rapidly. Please pray for comfort and strength to carry on. THANKS in advance for all your prayers!!!

In the meantime, let me share some winter pics from here...the other day hubby went for a pre-Xmas party with his boss and coworkers and I just LOVE technology sometimes 'coz it allowed me to send a pic along with my SMS he he he he...

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Father's Day Lament

Today I found this lovely poem that made me daydream. I haven't dared daydreaming about my non-existent child 'coz I know that'd only make me feel sad, but for some reason today when I read the poem, I just couldn't stop being absorbed in it. It's simply too beautiful not to be enjoyed leaves me feeling happy and sad at the same time - sad when I have to get back to the real world, but happy while I read the imagery in the poem...

Anyway, without further ado, let me just share the poem here...

Father’s Day Lament

Today is not my day

Though I have a daughter in my mind

For so long, she was there every day
Helping me pet the dog
Listening to my stories
Greeting me when I came home

I’d tuck her into bed at night,
I’d make her a midnight snack.
As she slept, we’d watch her
Carefully counting her every hair

Then the time came
When she was no longer there
Every day

Time changes us
It alters desire
It dulls memories
Time heals all things
But often - healing involves scars

She is with me less now, but today I see her
Dancing in the backyard
Laughing and twirling, twirling and laughing

She beckons me to join her
I whisper, “I have loved you so much.”

She fades into the light
All that remains
Is sunlight and shadow on leaves

Today is not my day

June 15, 2008

poem written by: Dan T. Davis
author of:
Infertility's Anguish
The Blacksmith's Gift

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Peace and Hope

Cross-posted with my personal blog:

This year I haven't had time to come up with any ideas for Blog Blast for Peace. For one thing, this year I'm skeptical about peace on earth after having read so much "hate-filled junk" in the cyberspace. There are some people who just love unloading themselves in other people's space and create friction. Last year I was so full of hope when I joined in Blog Blast for Peace. I don't know if that means I'm getting more cynical or pessimistic or what, but I sure don't want to lose my hope in mankind.

One site that makes me feel good about mankind is:

I've also liked the page in Facebook, so I get notification every time there are new submissions. The site has become my feel-good site. Whenever I feel any doubt about mankind and the effort to create peace, this site never fails to make me feel hopeful. Whenever I feel down, this site makes me feel warm and gooey inside. So even though I'm not participating in Blog Blast for Peace this year, I want to share this beautiful site with you all. It also has some beautiful sister sites like "Love Gives Me Hope" and "Kids Give Me Hope" on the top part of the site.

One example of one entry that I read in Facebook today was this:

TODAY ON FACEBOOK I FOUND a group created by a guy who found someone's camera while traveling. He really wants to return the camera, which is full of memories, but has no idea who it belongs to. 230,000 people have joined the group to pass along the message. Kindness GMH.

UPDATE: The good will of 250,000 people created a stir that rippled into an office in London, where a group of French people were recognized, one being the owner.

Thursday, October 21, 2010


When I first started having baby fever (around the 2nd month of TTC back in 2008) and when the baby fever started going stronger and stronger, I shared about it with my closest friends. Having known me for at least 15 years, they know my character very well.

After a year had passed by and then we were officially into the "infertile" group, I started browsing for many online sources on infertility and I read so many infertility blogs 'coz I felt alienated in my turmoil. I shared my findings with my closest friends and a few months after I began sharing my findings with them, one of them told me this, "You know, when you first started having your baby fever, at first my thought was 'Oh no, here she goes again' 'coz I thought you were just being you. That's the Amel I've known. BUT after reading your stories about how many other women out there who've experienced what you've experienced in terms of the turmoils you felt and how crazy it looked to me, I began to understand that it's a common theme in many people who are actively TTC."

I have to admit that I was rather stunned when I read her sentences, but I understand why she wrote those words 'coz I AM an intense person in many ways compared to my closest friends. I LOVE planning way ahead of time and anticipating things (esp. good things). When I got back to Indo in October 2008, I deliberately bought bigger sized pants and the type of tops that would fit me even if I got pregnant soon. I told my friends about this and thus they must have thought that it must've happened 'coz I was who I was (the intense planner). But now I realize that other people also do this in anticipation of their upcoming pregnancies.

Well, after a year passed by, when I was really down and out, I CURSED myself for having bought those oversized clothes. I was really angry and disappointed, but now I don't feel that way anymore, though I'm not going to buy any oversized clothing anymore.

Anyway, enough rambling. In a way, I also feel that I don't really belong in the IF world 'coz of these reasons:

a. We've not tried any treatment and we've decided not to pursue any kind of treatment, though that doesn't mean we'll stop trying naturally (although it's not really actively TTC 'coz we've stopped timed sex months and months ago).

b. I've never got pregnant and thus I've never experienced any miscarriage, so I can't really relate to those who've experienced that.

c. Menopause is still far away, so I can't really say that I have accepted FULLY living childless 'coz God knows if He's going to give us kids later on before menopause comes or not. And until menopause comes, I don't think I can still keep that whisper of hope shut. But that doesn't mean that I haven't tried learning to live childless, either.

d. We've not decided on adopting yet and as time goes by, it doesn't seem more likely for us to pursue adoption.

It feels like I'm in between both worlds: the world of IFers who're still trying their hardest to get pregnant or to have a baby through adoption and the world of IFers who're "over the hills already" (those who're now living childless).

How do I feel about all this? Nothing much. Just stating the facts and just wanting to record my journey in this blog. I still feel a tug in my heart (depending on my mood and whether PMS strikes or not) whenever I see small children, but my logic's still strong when it comes to acknowledging how life's much simpler without children ('coz I can be as selfish as I can be: I can sleep late, get up later when I'm not working, we can travel and not think about anything else other than the fund, etc. etc. etc.)

P.S. It's been snowing today, but the ground temp. is still above 0'C, so the snow melts right away. Can't wait till snow stays on the ground, making everything looks brighter. Let is snow, let it snow, let it snowwww...

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Happiness Today, Hope Tomorrow

Phoebe from Phoebe Gone Wild shared this award with me and I'm HONOURED to get it. THANK YOU, Phoebe!

So here are the rules: The rules are easy - you put that picture up on your blog and you post about one thing you're happy about right now and one thing that you are hoping for in the future. And then you pass the award along.

I've gotta be honest that it's gonna be TOO difficult for me to write just ONE thing that makes me happy 'coz they are the simple pleasures in life, but anyway I'll write 10 of them:

1. How I've found wonderful human beings through the internet and the blogosphere to share my ups and downs, to support and encourage and understand me. Not just the IF community, but my other regular blogging friends. I would never have made it without all of you people.

2. When I've been whiny and annoying (in my own ears/mind), yet hubby still tells me, "I love you anyway, honey." That is one of the most beautiful things I've ever heard in my life.

3. Watching autumn colours, especially the red colour (my fave autumn colour) surrounding me...and noticing a squirrel running about cautiously in our yard.

4. Being able to sleep as long as I needed during my sick leave until now I'm fully well again.

5. Imagining raking up the dead leaves into one huge pile and taking pics of that pile of dead leaves sometime on my free days during the upcoming weeks - it'll be the FIRST time ever that I've ever done such a thing in my entire life. I'm SO excited!!!

6. Hubby let me eat the last cup of chocolate pudding. (FYI: I bought 4 cups and ate 2 cups, but when the last cup was still in the fridge, I asked hubby if he wanted it or not and he said, "Nah, you can have it 'coz you like it so much.")

7. Cooking lasagna together with hubby 'coz I can't make the cheese sauce as well as he does and then eating it together while it's still hot.

8. Holding hands with hubby every time we watch TV or a movie together.

9. Being able to save money during the time I've been having this part-time job (and hopefully it continues).

10. Riding my bicycle. 'Coz I can't drive a car, it's very handy for me to be able to ride my bike to work and supermarkets.

OK, I think that's long enough. I'm going to pass on this award to: jrs.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Flashback to Pre-IF Days

One of my close friends is going to TTC next year and these days when she plans future trips, she often adds, "Well, that's if I haven't gotten pregnant by then" or "BUT if I get pregnant before then, it means I have to change my plans."

After reading similar sentences a few times, I felt a tug in my heart. I was made uneasy by that tug 'coz I wasn't sure if it was jealousy/envy or something like that, so I did some soul-searching and realized that it was actually something else.

That type of sentence took me back to my pre-IF days, when we were just starting TTC, when we were still a tad afraid of "losing our freedom" if we had gotten pregnant so easily. I was reminded of a time when I felt that I would be pregnant that very month, when I still often thought about how our child might look like with a hopeful heart and a smile on my face (not with a heart filled with 10% hope, 30% dread that I might get disappointed that month and that would trigger the all-familiar roller-coaster IF storm, 60% doubt that it'll ever happen). I was taken back to the innocent pre-IF days and it made me feel sentimental.

It reminds me of how much IF has changed me and that I can't go back to my innocent pre-IF days. During my pre-IF days, hope seemed like a flower blossoming so beautifully in summer, enticing me to smell it and bask in its scent and beauty. After facing IF, hope still looks like a blossoming flower, but 'coz I've been pricked over and over by its thorns until I bled so much, I'm afraid of coming too close to it, so I'm just admiring it from afar. It's still there, it's not dead, yet I'm getting too scared of it. During my pre-IF days, I didn't even realize that the flower had thorns. Strange but true...

Anyway, that was the essence of the tug in my heart that I felt when I read my friend's sentence. As usual, it feels great to finally understand what went on when I read her emails. For all its worth, through IF I've met so many other people that I wouldn't have known before. I've also learnt so many things along the way that I wouldn't have learnt before, for example: I know more now than ever that I've picked the right guy to be my husband. So, IF, THANK YOU for having let me understand a world that I never would have understood otherwise.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

The World of IF

Had this thought the other day: "The world of IF to others who aren't in it or who have never been in it must've felt like being told about the synopsis of a VERY thick book (or a very long, winding movie) written in a foreign, weird language. The book itself must seem to have such a strange plot and theme that makes it SO hard for them to digest 'coz they only get a glimpse of the it. Thus it's common to hear classic responses or assvices whenever we share our stories to them."

I remember after I've shared some of my ups and downs to my closest friends in emails, one of them admitted that before I had told them about my innermost battles, she had NO clue about this IF world and she was sure that others who never knew or heard about this world also had NO clue and that made them say "the wrong words" to us. She also told me that even after everything I told her, this IF world is still largely unknown, bizarre, too dark to comprehend at times.

I TRULY appreciate her words 'coz they've opened up my mind even more to those who have NEVER even heard anything about this IF world and how crazy it can be to us who are in it. I'm thankful to have close friends who try to understand and who asked me what kind of support I wanted to have (what kind of words I wanted to hear to make me feel supported by them). Though they can't really understand me fully, at least I know they're there for me whenever I need them.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Why Not Adopt?

Well, in this post I just want to share why we aren't really sure about adoption. First of all, I think we're still hanging on to the hope of "passing our genes" to our kids and we don't know yet when we're going to let go of that hope.

Another thing that makes adoption a bit less of our option is hubby's age. 'Coz of the wonderful social benefits in Finland for mothers-to-be and parents and the fact that education is almost free for kids here, it would be (almost) impossible to find an abandoned baby here. So it means Finnish people (who want to adopt) adopt kids from abroad. I've read online that other countries have different maximum age difference requirements between the adopted baby and the adoptive parents. Hubby turns 40 next year and many countries have set the max. age difference to be 35 years old or at the most 40 years old.

Considering the fact that it takes around 1.5 or 2 years to get an adoptive child, it means we can't get small babies (at the youngest, we'll probably get a 2-year-old)...and 'coz we're not even sure about adoption yet, the longer we wait, the less likely we are to adopt 'coz we both think it's better to adopt younger babies than older children.

So I'm not really sure if we'll ever adopt 'coz of the above reasons...

Monday, August 23, 2010

Another Talk

The other night I had another talk with hubby, just to make sure we were on the same page in our infertility journey. I asked him if he still wanted kids and he said yes. Then I asked if he had ever thought about adoption and he also said yes. I then explained to him a little bit about adoption articles I've read.

Even though it was such a late night conversation, he paid total attention to me. I knew he was tired already and that he had to get up early to work the next day (whereas I didn't have to get up early 'coz I didn't have any work shift the next day), but I felt that he wanted to make sure I was OK. He gave me his full attention and more...he also kept on kissing me, holding me tightly in between our talks...and telling me that he loved me.

I also asked what he felt if we would never have any kids - whether our own or adopted ones. He said it was fine for him, then he asked me what would I feel about that possibility. I said that I had to accept it no matter what, 'coz life with him has been INCREDIBLE anyway.

Feels nice to know we're on the same page...the conversation continued to other fun topics and we were laughing for a while before we finally stopped talking in order to go to sleep.

The conversation also made me feel more strongly what I'd always felt even before we met in real life. I knew he was the one for me no matter how ridiculous it might sound for others 'coz we had no proof of that. Now that we've been together for almost 4 years, I know that for a fact and especially after we started our infertility journey, that fact becomes clearer and clearer like the sun shining in a cloudless sky.

Living for the rest of my life with hubby only is a beautiful prospect, though that doesn't mean I have stopped hoping to have our own babies, but I don't want to focus too much on that. I just want to focus more on the present...on cherishing my time with hubby...'coz we'll never know when death comes to pick us up and I don't want to miss a thing...Love you, bunny...

P.S. To read on why adoption isn't really preferable for us, click here: Why Not Adopt?

Sunday, August 8, 2010

A Hole in My Heart

My period started yesterday, so I had nothing else to wait. Today I sent the job application letter that I had been postponing. How did I feel yesterday? A tad sad and disappointed, but the sadness didn't really sting. However, it did remind me of the hole I have in my heart.

While driving back from my in-laws' place, the sun was shining through the trees from the side and I asked God, "Is this Your way of letting me know that You're warming up that hole in my heart? If then, let me bask in the glory of Your warmth..."

Today while browsing through Facebook, I did feel those twinges of "loss" again while looking at my friends' babies' pictures. How fortunate of them to have been able to have SO many precious moments with those little angels! I guess it's pretty normal to feel the loss over and over and over again.

I think one frustrating aspect of IF is that when you feel the loss, you're grieving and it feels as if you were an ungrateful person 'coz after all, there have been SO many other blessings in life. However, those blessings don't cover the hole in the heart, does it? A loss is a loss is a loss no matter what. You've gotta give yourself time to grieve.

The longer I live, the more I feel that some wounds can't be fully/totally healed. They're going to haunt you forever. Granted, it gets easier as time goes by and with God's help, you'll learn and master the art of serenity and grace, but that doesn't mean the shadows won't still be there, surprising you with their presence every once in a blue moon.

Yesterday it crossed my mind that perhaps it would have been "nice" if I could just sterilize myself and "get over with it". No more mind games. No more unexpected rides on the roller-coaster IF. But then again I realize that I still haven't totally given up yet. Not yet. I guess only time will let me give up on my own as I grow too old to have our own kids.

Well, the good news is that my logic's still going strong. Yesterday I felt a relief knowing that we can still make plans to go visit my parents in Indo next year. Had I gotten pregnant this month, that meant I wouldn't have been able to go back to Indo next year.

But still...I'm going to let myself mourn over the loss of the moments-that-could-have-been-ours: the first tooth, the first step, the first word, and the list goes on...I miss you, my imaginary babies...

Friday, August 6, 2010

Does It Make Any Sense?

Logic versus heart. Maybe that's the conclusion for this upcoming post. After having gotten myself used to the idea of living together with hubby for the rest of our lives, hearing my friends' problems raising their young children makes me think more and more of the positive sides of living childless and I've started thinking that our current life is SO beautiful.

However, after "being unexpectedly thrown back on the wild roller-coaster ride of IF", it seems that my heart still longs to be a mother. I guess it's pretty normal, but it feels weird to have both sides existing inside of me: my logic tells me that we have had SO many more blessings than we could ever have dreamed of, yet my heart is dying to give my husband a child that is his own flesh and blood.

Just yesterday I had a flash of getting a positive HPT and then showing it to him. Crazy, I know! But at least 'coz my logic is still going strong, I'm not really flying on clouds number nine just 'coz my period hasn't started yet. Instead, my logic keeps me tied up to the ground and I think it's good to keep it that way.

Anyway, I just want to record this phase in my IF journey and if someone can relate to this, I hope that person will let me know 'coz I find this phase interesting he he...

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Weird But True

My friend who has PCOS (who was the catalyst of my breakdown last December) has finally given birth to a healthy baby girl. What do I feel about this? PURE JOY!!! Nothing else, THANK GOD!!! I was even able to be there for her during one check-up a week before the baby was born 'coz she was so afraid that they would induce her and I managed to infuse her with positive thoughts. It felt GREAT to be a sounding board for her without any negative thoughts about me, myself, and I.

However, another weird thing has happened again...yeah, my brain has been messing up again with the thought of being pregnant. For some reason even before I got news about my friend's baby's birth, my twisted brain has been "telling me" about that I might get pregnant this month. Crazy, right?

The brain has been telling me that during the 2ww (actually longer than 2ww 'coz my cycle is longer than 30 days) I've been producing so much mucus (more than usual) and my appetite has been over the top, yadda yadda yadda...but now that it's bugging me so much, I can't help but to postpone sending a job application letter 'coz if I am pregnant, then there's no way they'd hire me anyway and I would even reconsider doing this kind of job that I'm about to apply for. I mean, after all it's not THAT easy to get myself pregnant in the first place, so I'm not going to do any physical work that I think may endanger my pregnancy.

You see? Crazy thoughts again...Well, at least this time those thoughts don't come with envy or bitterness towards others. However, I'd sometimes REALLY like to push a stop button so that I can get down from this tiring roller-coaster ride - just as I thought I had stopped riding it, here I go again...

P.S. One time I was tempted to browse through "pregnancy symptoms" again, but I managed to stop myself even before that thought fully developed in my head. Even though I may not be able to stop myself from riding the roller-coaster of hell, I can still control some other things. GO, ME!!!

P.P.S. I think one of the most frustrating parts of infertility is that it doesn't seem as though we could really control ourselves so well - our feelings, our "crazy" thoughts, our obsession...despite our best effort, we still fail...maybe that's one reason why it feels so yucky...

Friday, July 23, 2010

Lingering Thoughts

Dunno when I first started having these thoughts, but I suppose they developed over time after reading many articles...anyway, here goes:

If I ever THINK that I "deserve" to get pregnant and have children of my own more than some other people, this kind of thought only creates a vicious cycle 'coz then someone else can also ask me a similar question, "What makes me think I deserve to have such and such (house/opportunities/job/whatever) more than them?"

Thus, if I want to ask that question (why I haven't been pregnant and given the opportunity to bear my own child), it's only fair for me to ask God why I get all the blessings He's poured down upon me although I don't deserve all those things more than others who haven't been given all those things I've enjoyed...

In the end I can only shut up 'coz I sure don't know why I've been given all the blessings He's given me. All I know now is that He has the authority over our lives and that He doesn't owe me anything and after counting all the blessings instead of focusing over the problems, my heart is filled with gratitude. I still believe that He has the best plans for me, even though it may not seem that way, even when I don't understand, even when it seems like He has a deaf ear.

And right now in my IF journey, I can write down with more certainty than ever that God's grace is really sufficient and His peace is beyond understanding. I would NEVER have been able to experience this kind of peace if it hadn't been for Him. I'm not saying that my wounds are completely healed. I still feel some degree of sadness every once in a while, but at least the pain is not as overwhelming as before and I'm getting more and more used to the idea of living together with hubby as a COMPLETE FAMILY for the rest of our lives. That idea becomes more and more beautiful as time goes by...:-D

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Defensive Front

Today had a chat with a friend. He said that he was going to have a second child next month. I felt HAPPY for him, but when he started asking the typical questions, I felt my defensive front rising up.

As usual, he asked, "When are you going to have a child/children?"

I said, "Go ask God and then tell me about it."

He said, "Hey, I'm not a psychic. How can I know the future?"

I said, "There you go...there's your answer. If you had asked when we would be making a baby, I could answer you, but if you ask me when we're going to actually have one, I can't answer that, can I?"

He said, "OK, let me rephrase then: have you ever thought about wanting to have kids?"

Doh!!! I'm getting tired of this type of question, but I was in a good mood, so I answered him anyway.

I said, "We have been trying for 2 years now with no result."

He asked, "Ah, we also had trouble with our second one. It took us a year and 7 months to get pregnant. We tried to time our intercourse every month to no avail, until eventually we gave up and just as we gave up, we got pregnant that month!"

Yep, the typical insinuation from the good-intentioned people that "if you stop trying, you'll get pregnant".

I simply replied, "Well, we've stopped actively trying already months ago."

And just as prediction, the good-intentioned guy asked, "Have you checked yourselves up?"

I explained to him our decision and then came the usual suggestion, "Why not try insemination or something like that? I know some friends have tried and it works for them."

I was thinking at that time, "Yeah, sure, I know you have good intention and you probably want to tell me not to give up, but you DO NOT KNOW FOR SURE that children are God's plans for us."

I managed to write, "Well, we've just decided that we don't want to try anything else 'coz I know some people who've tried everything, yet nothing works for them."

And sure enough, he continued with a dose of hope, "I'm sure you'll have your own kid(s) someday."

So I voiced my thought in a non-aggressive way, "Well, I've learnt to be thankful with or without kids. Besides, you'll never know if God really wants us to have kids or not, right?"

He finally said, "Yes, you're right. God's plans are always the best and His help never comes late nor early."

Yeah, yeah, can we change the subject now, please? was what I had in mind at that time. At least he didn't start asking the other typical question: "Why don't you adopt?" Then I'd definitely blew up ha ha ha...

It seems to me that good-intentioned people want to:

a. Know if we really do want kids or not.
b. If we do want kids and we have tried for a while without any result, then they would give us different pieces of advice on what to do.
c. If we have decided not to try anything or we've tried many things with no result, then they'd ask why we don't just adopt. ---> and it really amazes me that those people who have NEVER really had to even think about adoption are the ones who usually ask this question.
d. Then they'd usually end with a good dose of hope and or Biblical quotes: I'm sure you'll have kids someday, just think positively...yadda yadda yadda...

Phew!!! Well, pardon me for having a defensive front. I'm having my PMS right now and I just need to vent. It was good enough that I could control myself and not use capitals in my replies to him or growl in text he he he...

Anyway, on a positive note, I feel HAPPY that I manage not to kill any of my plant babies so far (thus proving it wrong that I'm a plant killer)...and hope that flowers will bloom sometime next month...

A pic of my babies in our garden:

Sunday, June 6, 2010

My Hope

I miss the daycare kids, especially the ones who were closer to me than the others. I find myself reliving all the wonderful memories I've had with them. Well, one good thing is that the teacher told me I could come and visit them if I feel bored at home. So I can always visit them sometime later, though it won't be the same, but still...

Just now I have this voice in my head saying these words:

"My hope doesn't lie in the thought/belief that I will have my own children someday. My hope lies in the knowledge and belief that He will sustain me no matter what. His grace is sufficient and it is beyond understanding. My hope lies in the knowledge that He cares and He knows my feelings and He can and has healed my bleeding wounds and if there are other bleeding wounds in the future, He can and will heal them."

And that is enough for me, even if no kid will ever be my own.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

A Nice Farewell

Yesterday I said goodbye to the kids at the daycare and THANK GOD I didn't shed any tears. They made me a farewell card and the teacher gave me a little gift and we hugged and she told me to come by anytime I felt bored at home.

I'm glad that I could let go peacefully. It helped A LOT that I had had my period a few days before the farewell day and that the kids who were closest to me weren't there that day - some of them have started their summer holiday with their parents.

Right now my future is a complete sheet of blank paper. Because I can't do this type of training anymore, my choices are starting my own business, going back to school (or more like applying to go back to school next month if they are still accepting students to enroll), or try to find a job. However, I'm NOT going to think about anything yet 'coz I just want to enjoy the present. I want to just enjoy summer and do a major clean-up of the house as well as learn how to plant seeds.

Anyway, speaking of infertility, I think I haven't written about this one negative thought that occurred when I was so down while battling infertility. Due to the fact that I was so bad at taking care of some cactus that my MIL gave me, my brain attacked me with this thought: "Just look at how incapable you are at taking care of the cactus. No wonder God hasn't given you any kids 'coz you're not even able to take care of the kind of plant which is supposed to be easy to take care of."

Yeah, extreme self-blame as an effort to understand the whys and the wherefores. I'm glad I've stopped asking why. The quest to find out the answer(s) of that question is an impossible one.

Right now I'm just savoring all the memories I've had with the kids at the daycare. Goodbye is a natural phase of life - sometimes it's a forced occasion, sometimes not. I'm just going with the flow, trying to enjoy each season of life as best as I can.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

One Day At A Time

Yep...not going to think of the last day when I have to say goodbye to the kids at the daycare. I'm just going to believe that I'll be fine 'coz I've got so many people praying for me so that I can control my tears in front of the kids. They're "on a loan" for a short period of time only - the angels that are funny, cute, challenging, creative, smart, witty - and when it's time to part with them, it's time to part with them.

One friend of mine said that even if I could have continued my training there, I would have to part with the kids anyway at one point. She was right. Rather than focusing too much on my loss, I should just think of all the fond memories I've created with the kids. And I've been playing out those memories in my head - all those beautiful memories with them.

I've learned that it feels SO GOOD to be able to hold a child in your arms - even if that child is not your own child. Especially if that child is not your own child and he or she asks you to hold him/her in your arms. And to hear his/her laughter when I twirl them around is just such a heartwarming blessing that I never thought I could have. To have a child kiss and lick my cheeks have a child ask me to read a have a child ask me to tie her hair be able to have a sneak peek into a mother's life...such precious experiences.

Note to self: I shall NOT deny any sorrow or grief and I WILL let myself have enough time to grieve, but I WILL NOT let myself drown in my sorrow or grief. If I can't get out of that mud hole myself, I WILL get help.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

The Stab of Longing

Yeah, the stab of longing is back after I hadn't felt it in a long while. During our two-week holiday in Rhodes, I saw MANY MANY pregnant women, but at that time I still didn't feel any stab of longing. I was happy to see their bulging bellies and glowing aura. Now I know why I felt happy for them. It was 'coz I was still thinking that I could continue doing my training at the daycare once my current training contract was over. So in my mind during that holiday, I thought that I'd still have at least 4 more months with the kids at the daycare instead of only one more month left.

Now that I know I can't continue doing the training there after asking about this possibility to the employment office, I feel robbed of the joy I've had with the kids there. It's frustrating and sad to know that even though the daycare boss has given me the green light to continue helping out there, but the employment office has the final say. It's sad to know that I only have one month left with the kids and then I have to say goodbye to them.

It's frustrating to know that this has to end now that I know already all their names and their personalities and they've grown to know me better too. It's tough to let go 'coz some of them are getting more and more attached to me. Yesterday when it was time to help the kids take a nap, I wanted to cry, knowing that I only had one month left to spend with them. Sigh...

This fact made me feel that stab of longing when I saw my friend's baby picture in Facebook. When I still thought I could continue doing the training at the daycare, I could look at baby or pregnancy pics in Facebook happily, joyfully, without any stabs of longing...but I'm gonna hold on to the belief that if one door closes, another one opens or if there's no open door, there must be at least an open window. And I don't want to be the one who keeps on staring at the closed door so that I don't even realize the existence of other open doors/windows, no matter how painful it is to let go...

Letting go is so hard...I feel that I've been getting more and more lessons in terms of letting go. But then again, what doesn't kill you makes you stronger, right? Gotta just make the choice to accept what I can't change and be creative in the meantime.

P.S. Heaven help me so that on my last day at the daycare, I WILL NOT cry in front of the kids so that they won't feel confused. God, I'm BEGGING YOU not to let me cry in front of them!!!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Well-Intentioned People

I was talking to an IF friend about the fact that we had stopped "actively" trying to have a baby. She said she had also reached that point, but she still got annoyed at all the ass-vices and questions that "good intentioned" and or "nosy" people directed at her. After all, in Indo it's pretty common for people to ask questions about babies 'coz it's still "taboo" for couples to live together before marriage and when they do get married, they're "expected" to have babies soon. But then again if they get a baby "too fast", they'll also be talking about it behind their backs. Indo society is still like that.

I live in Finland and the culture here is different, so I'm rather safe from other people's questions and ass-vices. However, I'm RELUCTANT to go back to Indo now that we've been married for over 3 years 'coz when I go back there again, I'd have to deal with my IF scars again and again and again. My parents' neighbours will definitely ask me about "when are you going to have a baby?" or "still no baby yet?" and even though we're not actively TTC anymore, that doesn't mean that such a question is a welcome.

Just now I got an SMS from a friend who asked me (for the umpteenth time) when I'd get pregnant. I didn't feel the sting that I felt when he asked that question to me beforehand, so I just wrote back: "Only God knows whether I'm ever going to be a mother or not. Right now I'm helping out at a daycare and I'm happy."

Another ex-elementary school friend posted her baby's 4D ultrasound pics in Facebook and I told her that he looked like an angel. She then said, "Come on and make one quickly." I'm happy to say that I was in a good mood, so I didn't feel anything bad when I read her response. I just replied like this, "We're diligent in making it he he he..." However, if I lived in Indo and MANY MANY people kept on saying that to me, I may be bothered still. Or at least fed up.

I've been thinking about WHY those well-intentioned and nosy people's questions might still bother us, even though we've surrendered to the possibility that maybe we'll never have our own kids. Here are some answers that I've found:

1. When other people say "why don't we try this and that?", it makes us feel like there's something WRONG with our state of "surrender". It DOES make sense that they want to "help" 'coz they'd naturally assume that we want to have kids, but when we've reached that point of surrender, when they keep on asking such a question, it feels like our decision is not respected.

Reaching that decision alone has produced enough conflicting thoughts and emotions inside us, so listening to other people's questions only makes us feel defensive. Because in turn it makes us FEEL like we have to defend our decision and it's going to take a LONG time to explain to them why we've reached that decision and there's NO guarantee at all that our long and winding explanation will make understand what we've been through. So that thought alone makes us frustrated, coupled with the fact that it's not our fave topic to share with others (why we've come to that decision), esp. if they're not really close with us.

In Indo, the "easiest way" to answer this question would be, "Just keep on praying for us", but after being asked again and again and again, you'll get fed up anyway and would want to pretend not to hear that question.

2. Somehow when other people insinuate that we should do "more" to be able to conceive, it makes us feel as though we're NOT ENOUGH in society's eyes, like there's something that we need to FIX. They don't understand that just the two of us can be a complete family already, EVEN IF at first we had also shared with them that we wished to have kids.

That's all I can come up with for now...we'll see if I can find other reasons later on.

P.S. LOVE this graphic below!!! God does answer prayers in many ways, sometimes in ways that we don't like he he...

Sunday, March 28, 2010

This and That

The other day had a chat with one close friend who's still single. She avoided any talk about IF 'coz she knew how badly it affected me in the past and she didn't want to see me hurt. During the chat, I managed to tell her that I was doing MUCH MUCH better now and that talking about IF wouldn't do me any harm.

She then confided that when I was down in my battle with IF, it crossed her mind that in a way, she was also "an infertile" 'coz she couldn't possibly have kids without having a hubby first. (Well, of course in reality she CAN do that if she wants to, but her Mom and family members would probably be against it.) She said that she didn't want to tell me that she also felt down thinking about her own situation when I was telling her about my IF battle 'coz she didn't want me to have any extra burden of thought other than the ones I had when I was down.

Now that I'm at this stage of almost-full surrender (read: I don't talk anymore about baby programs nor do I think of future plans involving babies, but when AF is near, I still harbor the feeling of not wanting it to come. I can also feel VERY HAPPY for other IFers who get pregnant without questioning God about anything. I've also felt OK thinking about the future without kids even to the point that I believe life'll still be as beautiful, if not more), it's clearer to me that the impact of IF is really widespread. I know at least one married close friend who felt guilty for not wanting to have kids yet when I confided to her my darkest moments when facing IF.

I have stopped feeling guilty about many things and I'm more wary now about putting unnecessary guilt on my shoulders. That doesn't mean to say that I don't care about my friends' feelings, but I hope that through my struggle, they can also find their peace - just as I have found my peace.

Talking about work, I had a very sweet moment before I went back home last Friday. Just as I was saying goodbye to all the kids, one of them ran towards me to give me a hug. Naturally I knelt down so that it would be easier for her to hug me. Upon seeing us, three other kids jumped in to give us a group hug and one of them started giggling and saying, "You can't go home, you can't go, you can't go" and the other two chimed in (giggling all the way). I almost fell down 'coz of the group hug and they wouldn't let me go for quite some time he he he he...Finally they did let me go, though...and my heart was SO full of gratitude...

I've started wondering these days who needs who more: the kids or me? Maybe now I need them more than they need me, 'coz they just melt my heart with their unexpected hugs and warmth. And it feels even better 'coz I know they have no "hidden agenda" when they give me warmth and hugs. It's just because they feel like it. is really beautiful...

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Mushy Mushy

Today I received some hugs from some kids at the daycare when I told them "see ya tomorrow". One of them ran towards me, so I knelt down and she "jumped" into my arms and another one followed suit. I didn't expect that, so it was a nice surprise. When another one saw what had happened, he came close and gave a quick hug, which made me topple over backward. I managed to push a small table when I toppled over due to the impact of those kids' hugs.

This incident made me feel SO warm inside, but at the same time I felt a pinch in my heart, in that hidden corner of my heart. This hidden corner echoed this thought: "It feels SO great to receive hugs from other people's kids, how much more WONDERFUL it'd be to get them from your own children!"

Gasp!!! I went to my locker and was almost crying. Dang!!! And I'm not even having my PMS 'coz I'm having my last day of menstruation today. I dread the day when my training ends at this daycare 'coz it's gonna take so much strength to be able to stop myself from crying when I have to say goodbye to these kids. Ugh...Heaven help me when that day arrives 'coz I don't want to cry in front of them - they may be confused and worried if they see me cry and then I would end up crying even more - which would make them feel even more worried! ARGH!!!!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Thought About Sad News

The other day I heard from a friend about our mutual friend's 3rd miscarriage. She's 39 years old and she has a 2-year-old daughter. The first pregnancy went very well, so it was shocking to hear that she's had 3 miscarriages within a year (or even a little less than a year). I can't imagine how she feels, but I can relate to the feeling of having to mourn over and over and over again.

One thought came across my mind when I heard the news: "I'm GLAD I haven't been pregnant during the time she's been trying to have a second child." This was a rather peculiar thought IMO, as though my un-pregnancy state would somehow made her feel better.

I hope gynos can figure out what's wrong with her 'coz she didn't have any problem during her first pregnancy (and she got pregnant within 6 months already) and I still hope that she can get pregnant again and carry it full term.

About the work front: After helping out at the daycare for 2 weeks (where I don't get any salary except for some unemployment benefit from the government), I'm not sure anymore if I'm meant to be a mother to be honest. In a different way, I realize how TOUGH it is to parent a child. Although there have been WONDERFUL, heartwarming moments, there are times I'm confused as to what to do and I just hope there are guide books. I know the fact that my friends who are mothers also struggle with finding out the best ways to deal with their kids and hone their potential.

Funnily enough, that does NOT stop me from wishing that my period wouldn't come, although I didn't feel disappointed when my period did finally come.

Anyway, one other thing that came into my head after helping out at the daycare was this: "
It's amazing to think of the responsibility and honour to be able to find out each child's potential and hone it." It just is. To be able to influence a child's life and help him/her bloom is a wonderful opportunity, but in order to do that, one has to understand the child first.

Monday, March 1, 2010

What A Day!

Today was the first day of training in a daycare. I met around 10 kids altogether, all speaking Finnish. They are 4-5 years old. It's interesting to see their different personalities even on the first day. Some are more aggressive than others, some are very shy, some are very sweet.

But that's not what I want to record here. Today I also met a fellow IF. It's the teacher in the classroom where I was helping out. She is 20 years older than me. She asked me my age at some point and then she asked whether I had kids. When I said, "Not yet" she then said that she didn't have kids, either. She's been married for 30 years without any success. She did get pregnant once, but had a miscarriage. Then she added, "But it's okay 'coz I work in a daycare and I get to meet lots of kids daily."

When I first met her and I saw how she handled the kids, I was honestly thinking that she was probably a mother with at least a few kids of her own 'coz it all looked SO natural and she really knew what to do or say to control the kids and she just knew how to soothe them...BOY was I WRONG!!!

I sincerely lit up when I heard about her story (we were talking while supervising the kids), 'coz I felt, "Ah, that woman understands how I feel 'coz she's been there!"

I must say that doing this training in a daycare brings joy to me, too, but it does also tickle a part of me that thinks: "Hmmm...I wonder how they can touch me even more deeply if they were my kids?" But gladly that question didn't open up the wormhole of other questions. I just feel happy and excited to be helping out in this place, esp. 'coz there's a very sweet boy there and one of them asked me, "Are you coming again tomorrow?" after I said goodbye when my work was done he he he...

It's amazing to feel those places inside me that those kids could touch just with their simple words or hugs or their funny actions. I've never found it elsewhere - maybe this is what IFers long for...that sugary-sweet-mushy-mushy feelings that only kids can bring about.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Wondering About The Pain of IF

After reading many blogs and experiencing IF myself, there's plenty of voices echoing similar themes. One of them is the "Pain Olympics". I'm not going to write about the Pain Olympics here, but just a simple question about the strong desire I felt when I was feeling low while battling IF: that feeling that I wanted to let the WHOLE world knows about how shitty, grimy, and dark it was.

I think one big reason is that IF causes silent grief/sorrow/pain - the kind that other people who haven't experienced it would never understand, especially 'coz there aren't many non-IFers out there who would voluntarily be looking for info about the ups and downs of IFers (unless perhaps one of their loved ones experiences IF - heck, I didn't even start looking until I was thrust into that category!). Thus this strong current of desire to SHOUT OUT LOUD to the world (to let them know how painful and twisted and crazy it can be) builds up within.

Not many people understand either how tricky IF can be - that even after you "give up" and "stop", it can still haunt you and the wounds can still be so raw. Another problem is also that if you tell some people about this, they'll try to be helpful and in the end you'll end up feeling tired 'coz you have to explain your choices to them (and answer their questions) and depending on your mood, even their best attempts at trying to be helpful would push the wrong buttons inside you and that'll make you explode and the explosion would end up making you feel guilty and you just wished you hadn't told them about your battle but then it'd have made you felt so lonely and unsupported...yada yada yada...

On the other hand, the other possibility is that after you lashed out on them, whenever you share your IF roller-coaster ride again, they'll be afraid to say anything and you'll end up feeling like you're talking to a wall and not being supported and you want to feel upset, but you know that it's not their fault 'coz they just don't want to say the wrong things by "being helpful".

So in the end it's so hard to achieve a win-win situation when dealing with IF and the ugly repercussions it brings. Plus the world doesn't readily grieve with IFers as they grieve along with people who are gravely ill or people who've lost their loved ones.

It's hard when you're grieving and hurting so much and you feel that it's unnoticed or it's not "valid" just because you don't actually lose something "real" in other people's eyes. I think maybe one reason why I felt that urge was 'coz I wanted to convince myself that the feelings I had was valid: that I wasn't crazy or overreacting (even if the pain comes again and again and again at different times), that it was normal to feel that way. Thank GOD for the internet 'coz it's helped me feel that I'm not alone!

Anyway, I also find that people who have kids "normally/easily" don't understand the whole dynamics of what IF causes. It doesn't just affect my relationship with hubby, but also my relationship with other people, my relationship with God, and also my relationship with myself. It's hard to live with myself when I'm so full of anger, self-pity, sorrow, and pain, but on the other hand I can't deny all those feelings, either. I just have to accept whatever it is I'm feeling and deal with it.

Anyway, I haven't really felt anything extreme lately after we had that talk, but God knows what'll happen in the future. I must say, though, that I'm relearning to love myself again, to be my own best friend. I'm relearning to forgive myself and I think I'm doing a pretty good job 'coz I feel pretty light these days. :-D