Dwell in Me

Seeking God in the Every Day


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It’s a Ping-Pong Ball Season

Lately I’ve been feeling like the ball in a ping pong game. I’ve been vacillating between so many things: trust and self-reliance, optimism and pessimism, excitement and fear . . .

For the most part, I’m doing much (so much!) better today than I was 6 months ago. But since the school year started, bringing with it the renewal of my responsibilities in my Bible study and other activities, I’ve been having a difficult time making my schedule work. And I’m just so tired. I think this tiredness opens a door to let the peace I held so securely all summer just drift away. I know I can take it back: it’s been offered to me and I just need to re-acknowledge it. But I am too tired to reach out and grab it. Or that’s how I feel.

Instead of feeling secure and patient in our waiting, I’ve been starting to feel overwhelmed. I’m excited to start treatment–and eager to fast forward through to December/January when we’ll begin significant medical interventions. But I’m also okay with waiting, not wanting to have to do all the things I need to do between now and actually getting started. Things like finding a new doctor or getting our finances in order. And I don’t want to be caught up in all of it again and lose sight of today, of the crispness in the air right now or even enjoying dinner and my favorite TV shows–not to mention post-season Cardinals baseball!–with my dear and wonderful husband.

And then I find that I can’t even imagine myself pregnant. What will it be like? I used to picture a round belly growing under my shirt, but now when I try I just see me. I’ve begun to look forward to things other than parenting–to the possibility of seminary or even to writing more. I’ve entertained notions I never entertained, like being actually employed somewhere full-time as a teacher or even in an office and enjoying it. Like having a career. Stuff I never really thought about wanting. It’s weird. So weird.

And then I have complete opposite moments. Moments of denial. How is that still coming up? But yesterday I was sitting and thinking that maybe this whole IF thing was a dream. Or maybe it’s just temporary and I’m going to wake up tomorrow and get pregnant like a normal person from now on. Other moments spent daydreaming decorating a nursery, maybe for two.

And then pinching myself, reminding myself to be present, to be here and to do what God wants me to do today.

We got some disappointing news last week. DH’s company isn’t actually going to cover our infertility treatments. It’s okay. I mean, we are blessed to have savings that we can use. Praise God. We are so grateful that this doesn’t mean we aren’t able to move forward. But it is a disappointment. Apparently insurance premiums are going up 8 percent just to keep the coverage we already have and adding infertility would cost an additional 10 percent on top of that for DH’s company. When they ran the numbers they came to the conclusion that they couldn’t afford it. I was more worried, but DH–who has a better handle on our financial situation anyway–reassured me last night. We can afford our treatments. And it’s okay. And God already knew this would happen. But, well, like the other people in his office who probably could also benefit from IF coverage (if 1 in 8 couples are affected, I’m sure we’re not the only ones), I think I’d just prefer not to have been told we’d be receiving coverage only to find out we aren’t.

I made appointments on Monday for us to check out two different REs in Houston. We’ll meet with the first one this Monday. The second one isn’t until November–and I may cancel that if we like the first doctor. So, we’re making concrete steps.

And I’m mostly optimistic, mostly trusting, and mostly excited–but still feeling a bit tossed from one end of the table to the other.

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Say Something–Even If It’s the ‘Wrong’ Thing

One of the most difficult things about infertility is the sense of isolation that goes with it. As much as I truly appreciate having this blog and the blogs I follow to remind me that I’m not alone, I find myself wishing I could open up more with people I know well and trust. So, the to-tell-or-not dilemma keeps popping up.

As I wrote here, I still don’t feel I know anyone here in Houston well enough to share this part of our life. Prior to last week, we had told my bridesmaids, our parents, and DH’s grandparents (I wrote about that one here).

Before we came to Houston, DH and I had a really amazing group of friends in DC. When we met, none of us had children. Now we’re the only ones who don’t. I miss them terribly. And I’ve been feeling lonely and isolated, I think in large part because I miss the community we left behind. And while I’ve tried to keep in touch, I feel like it’s hard to have a genuine conversation without telling close friends what we’re going through (even vaguely). I am tired of faking it and pretending everything is so great in our lives when there are many days that I struggle with the burden of infertility.

DH and I talked and decided it was time to tell our closest friends in DC. He sent an email to a selective group of people last week to ask for their prayers. He wrote that we are hoping to be able to do infertility treatments in the spring. And (I learned later) my dear husband, who loves me and wants me to be happy, specifically asked the ladies if they would email or call me to help lift my spirits. It was a wonderful gesture and I was excited to hear from my friends, who I miss anyway, and to know they were supporting us through this.

Well, there is a positive side to telling people. One of my dear friends in DC called immediately after she got the email. She just listened. She didn’t offer any platitudes and she agreed that it sucked. She really said all the right things and made me so happy that we told our friends. Another friend, who lives abroad now, emailed to set up a time that she could call me to talk. What a huge gesture!

And there’s a negative side to telling people. We got the expected, “you can just adopt,” from one friend. I’m okay with that. It’s a well-meaning response even if it isn’t particularly well informed or helpful. But a lot of my friends haven’t even responded. It makes me feel like maybe I was overvaluing those friendships.

I talked to my MIL about this, and she pointed out that perhaps they just don’t know what to say. I can understand that. If you’re reading this and you know someone who is grieving or sick or in pain in some way and you care about that person, it’s okay if you don’t know what to say. Say you are thinking of them. Say it sucks that they are going through this. Tell them you’ll pray for them or that you’re sorry this is happening. Shoot, tell them you don’t know what to say. But I would encourage you to say something. Even if it is the “wrong” thing, saying something will let your friend know that you acknowledge her hurt. That you care about her well-being.

I’ve heard it said before that in times of crisis you find out who your real friends are. I’m not sure I wanted to know.

PS I realize this post makes it sound like I’ve been really down lately. And, well, I have and I haven’t. I can say honestly that I’ve been feeling so grateful for the many blessings in my life, that this journey has helped bring me closer to God than I’ve been in years, and that I’ve learned a lot. I can also say that IF hasn’t been as all consuming lately as it was at first. I think the loneliness would be an issue even if we weren’t dealing with IF. And I think maybe I need to spend more time in the sunlight (literally). But on balance, I’m really doing okay.