Friday, May 31, 2013

Truth.

It comes in waves. Seasons. Good days & bad days. There are times when you are okay, and times when you are just NOT. For me, well, it's been difficult for the better part of 2 years. Then i caught a hold of peace or something. And I was okay. It was my longest stretch of being in a good place about this whole thing. But now, the fear, the anger, the bitterness... the jealousy... I can feel it returning. And the sadness. The heartache. Mostly that.

I am talking, of course, about the pain of infertility.

It took forever to find my husband. FOREVER, y'all. I thought he would never come into my life. And then he did... when I was one month shy of 30. So, yes, I watched all my friends get married at a "normal" age, and here i was single. So very single! It was not easy! But finally Brad came into my life, and he was & is the best thing that has ever happened to me. I am just as happy with him now as I was on the day I married him. God is good & He is faithful. I finally got my person, and being married to him is everything I hoped it would be, and MORE.

I assumed we would have kids by now, though. But it seems that God would rather me go through a long waiting period for this, too. And just so you know, I am not mad at Him! When all is said and done, i trust Him, fully. But I am human, too. And my human mind just does NOT GET IT. At all.

I do not get why the women who are not trying, get pregnant so incredibly easily, while those of us who ARE trying cannot get pregnant no matter what. I do not get why teenagers get pregnant when they have sex with somebody on a whim on some random day of the month, and yet someone who is married & mature & in a loving stable relationship can have sex every other day for two weeks around ovulation, and still not get pregnant. It is infuriating to me. INFURIATING.

I do not understand how I can tell 3 girls that we are going to start trying, and then for them to get married, get pregnant, have a baby, see that baby turn 1, and get pregnant with Baby #2 - all while I am STILL TRYING to conceive the Baby #1! I mean... REALLY, God?!

(This is not to say that I am not happy for people getting pregnant. I am. I have learned that it is okay to be genuinely happy for them, even if i am sad for me at the same time.)


So here it is, nearly 5 years after marrying Brad. I am a woman. A daughter. A wife. A friend. A sister. And these are all beautiful things. But not that one thing I want to be more than anything: A mom. Brad wanted to wait to start trying until we'd been married for 2 years. I agreed, but then was ready a year & a half into our marriage. We finally started trying... in April of 2011. The baby fever was intense back then, I wanted a baby SO BAD. But it's different now. That was a baby fever filled with anticipation and excitement about what was in store for us, for our little family. It has since dulled into an ache. The desire is just as intense, but fear and worry and hurt have replaced the feelings of excitement and joy. 

We have gotten some answers. And it's not a life sentence. Honestly, i don't want to go into too much detail, but I will say that it has to do with things like my health, my weight, my insulin resistance & how that affects my cycles. (You already know all this if you read my weightloss blog.) So i am on a strict diet. And I am doing my best to follow it. And yet, sometimes my best isn't good enough.

Still, the weight is coming off consistently. But i am so very afraid that i ... well, so many things I am afraid of. But there is no sense in hashing and rehashing all of that!

When I started the diet, i stopped worrying about babies. I just did, naturally. My mind began to focus on this diet (which in the end would, hopefully, bring about a healthy pregnancy), and i that brought me a sense of peace, because I knew that eventually all would be well. But now, it's painful again. Probably because i am really struggling with the diet. 

My heart is heavy and aching and empty, all at the same time. It hurts.

I am now 35. And as all women know, since we are told many times, once you hit 35, your fertility chances decrease. As one woman said to me last Thanksgiving (oh, the things people have said to me!), "Well, you better hurry it up!".

"Well, THANK YOU! As if i didn't know that, lady! We're WORKING ON IT!" (I actually did say exactly that... minus the sentence in the middle, ha!)

(I also should add that - as a 35 year old woman experiencing infertility - not only do i have friends who have babies and toddlers and children... but i actually have friends with TEENAGERS. And this is also awkward for me!)

Yeah, see, I used to hem and haw when people would ask when we were having kids. Now, I'm just out with it. I don't volunteer the info but if i get the question ... I answer. Sometimes vaguely sometimes detailed, but always honest! Because I just don't have it in me to act like everything is okay and as it should be, when it's not. If i am asked "so when are y'all having kids?" I will likely say, "I don't know. Ask God." Because it's the truth. I HAVE NO IDEA, people. Maybe never.

Honestly, dealing with what people say is really the toughest thing. Newlywed couples... I am talking people who have been married less than a year... it is okay with me if people pester them constantly about when they're having kids. It's almost a rite of passage, because it's SO RIDICULOUS how many people ask these nosy questions when a couple has been married all of 5 minutes! But once a couple has been married a year, just stop. It's NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS. I am not saying that to be mean, but there is nothing that makes this journey more difficult than TRYING to get pregnant and having people asking you WHEN. (I am not talking about dear close girlfriends who put your age & length of marriage together & realize something is amiss & ask you about it. I am talking about acquaintances and other nosy people. People that do not know you well enough to have the right to ask you about your sex life... because that is basically what they're doing!)

Now when people ask, it puts me in an awkward position. Some are people I don't want to know the details. And it's NEVER people that are sympathetic. It's usually people who follow up with something stupid like, "Well, just relax. It'll happen!" (Y'all. That statement is for people who have been trying for all of 3 months. When you've been trying for 2 YEARS, it goes a little bit deeper than "just relax"!

I once had a couple tell me they felt sorry for my parents because I hadn't made them grandparents yet. They, of course, had NO IDEA what i was going through (if only they had looked in my grocery cart, they would have seen an ovulation kit! I mean, come on!). But that didn't help. I went home SOBBING. I couldn't breathe. It is a grief that you cannot understand until you go through it yourself.

So, that's it for today. And sorry for such a downer post! I mostly need prayers that i will get back 100% on this diet and stay focused on it - it seems to take my mind off of trying to conceive for awhile! And then... maybe while my mind is off of it... I actually WILL conceive. One can dream, right?

I feel so awkward now. And i will probably hit publish & then quickly scurry to UNpublish it. I don't want to write this post. I don't want to talk about it. I don't want the comments telling me that it's not a diet, it's a lifestyle change (but even a lifestyle change is changing your diet. DUH.). I don't want the comments telling me to just believe, because it will happen. I don't want the comments saying to relax, or trust God, or have faith, or any of those stupid pat answers that are said when there is nothing else to say.

But I do want to put this out there because i have met so many bloggers who blog openly about their infertility journey. And i appreciate it, because their posts help me. And help others. And i believe that in sharing my story I can somehow help others too. So here it is. (And yes, I have shared some of this in snippets before. Just not this long or this detailed - at least not in a long time!)

I'll be okay. Thanks for listening. Have a good weekend.
xoxo

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Weekend Fun!

My last several posts have been about photography, and for that I apologize. Well, not really, unless you hate photography posts... and nobody really actually hates photography posts, right?! I thought not.   :)

Kidding. But... i love it! And since I'm doing shoots... I'm going to be blogging them! But i know that i should be updating you on life & other things in between shoots.

Here it is, almost Friday, and i am giving you LAST weekend's details. Oops.

{LAST FRIDAY}
Remember that time I got laid off? Well, on that day my husband and i had a date planned that evening to go eat at Coyote Blues & then browse Best Buy (for fun stuff like iPads and kindles). Since I ended up getting LAID OFF, which was a huge shock, we still went to eat but I ended up crying halfway through my meal & we went home after that. Brad has been saying that when i got a new job, we would have a re-do on that date! Haha. So we did that Friday night. (Except we went to Cheesecake Bistro instead of Coyote Blues, since Best Buy is right by my work, and Coyote Blues is NOT, and it would be silly to backtrack!) It was a nice little dinner date & then we went to Best Buy, as planned. (P.S. I want an iPAD Mini so bad!)

{LAST SATURDAY}

Saturday I had 2 photo shoots planned! The first was with my friend Mallory from the theater. I did her headshots, and i think i did a great job considering it was my first ever headshot session!


My second shoot was with my friend Stacey & her two kids, Joe & Olivia. That one was fun too.


That evening, I met up with my friends Shana & Sarah for some girl time! :) We went and had dinner at a hole-in-the-wall authentic mexican place. It was delish! We ran to Starbucks after for dessert, and well... hilarity ensued. I'll leave it at that! And THEN we went back to Shana's for some girl talk. So much fun. We were delirious by the end of it! It was like old times!

 Sarah, Shana & moi. We go way back! 

This next picture... I laugh EVERY.SINGLE.TIME.
 Me: Okay, nice! Now, SMILE this time! (...and that's what i got!)

I also met Shana's adorable foster kitties!!




{LAST SUNDAY}
Church. Home. Relaxation. And then another photo shoot! I am editing this session now! We got to do a shoot for our good friend's Adam & Katie, and their now 1 year old daughter, Natalie! Brad tagged along, and we had SUCH a great time! Then they treated us to dinner! So sweet!


It was a great weekend, and I am excited tomorrow is another Friday! :) This weekend, hmm... a shoot tomorrow after work (headshots), my 8th annual Beaux Arts Ball (annual theater celebration!) on Saturday, and church & baby shower on Sunday.

:)

Monday, May 27, 2013

Mallory's headshots {photography practice}

Wow! What a weekend! I did three photo sessions. Two on Saturday morning & one yesterday evening. So much fun, y'all! I am loving this!

I met Mallory at the community theater that I've been a part of for the last 7 years. Her sister, Melissa, was in my first show (Beauty and the Beast). Mallory was working backstage for that show. Both girls are very talented. In fact, they both were cast in our summer musical, Les Miserables. That's a huge honor when you're auditioning with almost 300 other hopefuls & only 10 or so females are being cast!

This was my first time trying headshots, which means Mallory was my guinea pig! I am glad I had her for my first model! She said she's not really photogenic. Really? I beg to differ! ;) We only had about 30 minutes, but it went very well. She was fun, and y'all. I am obsessed with her eye color. Sometimes they're blue, sometimes they're green, and when I zoomed in on them, I discovered they're blue AND green. Really beautiful!

Here are my favorites from Mallory's session.



 

 
 Something about this one is very bad-ass to me. Like, if she's auditioning for Law & Order, this is the headshot she would use! Haha!
 
 A little attitude in this one! I love it! 

 Something about her expression reminds me of Jessica Biel. You see it?






Friday, May 24, 2013

Mikey, 15 months {photography practice}

I am having so much fun with photography lately! It's like the passion & the desire to get better keeps growing & growing! Yay!

One thing I had been CLUELESS on is editing. I have been using Picasa to edit. Picasa is fine if you are staying in auto mode or if you are just taking snapshots of family events or something! But if you're doing shoots for other people, and if you're shooting in manual with the desire to have more professional photos, you should really try some professional editing software, like photoshop or lightroom. I have Photoshop Elements, and it was so confusing to me that i gave up and went back to my comfort zone (that is, Picasa).

Well, my friend Laura really encouraged me to give Photoshop Elements another shot! She called me and walked me through some basics, and wow! I am hooked. :) Yay! Just a few simple steps, nothing major, and i see a world of difference in my photos! I am not saying these are AMAZING! It's still only my 5th shoot, ever! But if you compared it to my last shoot, you'll see I have come a long way! Thank you, Laura!!!

Like Lauren, I met Hannah at bootcamp. We often had to have groups of 3 - so they were my group! Hanny & I are birthday twins (March 2, y'all!). She is so sweet & so pretty!

This was my first time to meet her son, Mikey. He is a total sweetheart.


 









You can see the rest of the pics on my new FB photography page. :)

Monday, May 20, 2013

This Weekend, I...

This weekend, I practiced some photography at a friend's murder mystery party! So much fun!
 Why so serious? ...They're trying to solve a mystery, people! :)

This weekend, I spent most of a day going through & editing pics from said murder mystery party! 

This weekend, I went to my friend Susan's bachelorette brunch at Lava Cantina, a new mexican restaurant in town! Can't wait to see her tie the knot in August!





This weekend, I created a photography page on Facebook!! Even though I am no pro, I just wanted to separate practice photography from my regular pics! In the meantime, I scheduled FOUR shoots for this week! SO fun! :)

This weekend, I stage managed the LAST performance of the show I have been working on, Move Over Mrs. Markham. We had strike, which is some sweaty work. Took down the entire set. Finished in 2 hours flat & then i went home!



This weekend, I went to bed early Sunday night to be rested for my first day at my new job! It was today & went perfectly! Yay for an excellent new job! So happy about it! :)

How was YOUR weekend?!


A Murder Mystery Party {photography practice}

Friday night, I got some more photography practice in by taking pictures for a friend at her murder mystery party. Robyn is a homeschooling mom who also teaches English classes for other high school homeschoolers in the area. She was having an end-of-the-year party for her class... a murder mystery party!

I was so excited to get to be a part of this! I was also nervous! I have been getting much better at taking OUTDOOR pics, especially at certain times of the day! But indoor pics in the evening? Not so easy! She did have a lot of light on, though, so i managed to get some good shots. It was great practice!

Her set-up & attention to detail was outstanding!





 These are my weakness, y'all. 

Look how cute! Milk shooters to go with the cookies. :) 

Some of the kids... they're all dressed in the character they were assigned. Also, if you see any mean faces in pics - they were in character, I promise!




 
 I told them i was going to recruit this girl for the theater! She maintained an excellent british accent the ENTIRE night, and she was soooo funny! 

 This is Robyn's oldest son, Quintin, who is now a teenager & as tall as my husband. Makes me feel OLD!! Haha! 

3 of the parents participated in the murder mystery game. This was "officer nelson" & she was HYSTERICAL!

During this part, they're all mingling, talking, trying to gain clues to discover who the murderer is. They were so funny. And cute.













 That would be my friend, Robyn, in the middle. I adore her! 

(Pssst! This girl is our murderer!!!) 

This was my fave pic of the night; I got it on accident!! But we're saying it's somewhat a foreshadowing because she ended up being the victim. 

And there you have it! Sorry for the picture overload! ;)