Saturday, July 25, 2009

Back on the scene

After a year of being away from blogging, I've decided it's time to make a come back. The past year has been full of ups and downs, both personally and professionally. But, it's summertime, and the grass is indeed greener on the other side!

My husband and I are back in the TTC game. Over the past 6 months, we've taken a very casual wait and see approach, but with the end of our professional programs in sight (one more year! yay!), we are back on the wagon and are ready to go at this TTC thing with full force. We're equipped with books and thermometers and, keeping our fingers crossed, lower stress levels. We've made some pretty big life-changing decisions over the past little while, including changing jobs and moving to a new city, closer to friends and family. So, we're hoping that this is the kick in the pants that our reproductive organs needed to get an idea that we're serious about this whole baby-making thing. In short, I think this whole thing means that we're finally getting ready to settle down.

Over the past year, we've welcomed a new nephew into our lives, who we love more than anything. As well, recently we had embarked on the initial stages of an intra-family adoption, as we were willing to adopt our teenage niece's baby. We were happy to hear this week that she has decided to keep the baby, which we think will be the best thing for her, the baby, and us. This experience taught us a lot about what we want out of the waiting for a baby journey and where we want to head with it all. At this time, we've decided to focus on trying to make it work naturally for us, and are committed to once again seeking professional help (this time we're ready to really give it our all) when we move to our new home in a month. It's all very exciting for us, although I'm dreading the stress that is likely to be attached. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that we can keep a smile on our faces and relaxation in our lives, with the knowledge that our turn to be parents lies just around the corner...

Listening to: American Dream, Neil Young,

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Reflexology and Coming Home

Over the past few weeks, my husband and I have been soaking up the all of the last little bits of China that we can before we head back to Canada. One of the greatest luxuries that I've gotten comfortably accustomed to is frequent massage and reflexology treatment. So, to make the best use of my dwindling time here in China, I've taken up, uh, a sort of personal "clinical" study, so to speak... in other words, I've become extremely hedonistic and have gone for a massage every day that I can... :)

I've done a bit of reading about Traditional Chinese Medicine, acupuncture, and endometriosis, but hadn't had the opportunity to try it out for myself. This past month, I had a number of reflexology treatments leading up to my period, and aside from the total bliss that I experienced during the massages, I also (if you can believe this) found my period to be somewhat, uh, blissful as well. Well, I guess blissful is a bit extreme, but... on both days 1 and 2 of my period, I only needed to take 2 painkillers per day. I was shocked and awed! Yay for pampering!

I could chalk this all up to coincidence, but I'm not ready to throw in the towel on this experiment (hehe, who can pass up the opportunity to get their feet rubbed and be pampered like a princess?)... on the contrary, it's produced awesome results. It's been a great stress and PMS-reliever, not to mention cramp-reliever. From what I've read, there is correlation between endometriosis and reflexology, pointing towards pain relief and alleviated endo-related difficulties, which is good news for me. When we get back to Canada, both my husband and I have decided to look further into TCM treatments, such as reflexology and acupuncture. We've read that acupuncture is a good starting point for natural treatments, and I'd really like to do my best to get my body in tip top baby-making-shape...

On a more personal and less endo-related note, we're going back to Canada in 7 days after a year of studying and traveling in China. I'm not 100% sure yet how this really makes me feel... my experiences here have exceeded my expectations. I've had an amazing opportunity to explore - my culture, my goals, my limitations, my expectations, my hopes, and my fears. I am happy to be going home for some obvious reasons: my sister is expecting a baby in 4 months and I haven't seen her in over a year, I miss BBQ, I'm sick of squatting over yucky toilets, and I miss my dog. But I'm going to miss so much about my new life in China, like my friends (whom I don't know when I will get to see again), and Chinese noodles. I feel so ready, yet so unprepared to go home. I'm hopeful, yet hesitant. It's all a big mouthful to swallow, to say the least... from dodging bicycles and spit on the sidewalk in China, to obeying traffic rules and eating with a fork in Canada, I'm sure the journey back home will be an adventure with both benefits and challenges.

In the meantime, to keep my mind off the potential bumps and bruises of the re-entry process, I think I'll continue to stick to my routine of daily foot massage... so far so good, and hey, why must all good things come to an end? I'm going to do my best to get this routine to stick... ;)

Listening to: Bob Marley and the Wailers - Mix Up Mix Up,

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Chinese Fortune

My husband and I have been living in China for the past year, participating in a study abroad program and traveling around Asia. The experience has been awesome and we've definitely learned a lot about Chinese/Asian culture. We're coming home in a week, and in a state of "last hurrah" a few nights ago, we decided to stop at the night market to have our fortune's told by an old man who sits on a little mini stool with a blanket on the side of the road.

With our Chinese friend in tow to interpret for us, we headed over and sat down on two little stools, which immediately gathered a big crowd of people interested in hearing our fortunes and to find out what sort of luck laowais (foreigners) have for the future. The fortune teller got our birth dates and approximate birth times and then proceeded to tell us what the future had in store for us.

Luckily, they were both great... mine slightly more lucky than my husband's. There did seem to be one bump... in 2010, I'm going to have relationship issues. But my husband won't, so that's good news. We had the opportunity to ask questions,so naturally I asked if we would have children. He peered into his little book and thought about this for awhile, then triumphantly stated that yes, we would have children. And that the first one would be a boy. He then told us that 2008 is a lucky year for my husband to successfully have children. And that for me, 2010 is the year. Too bad the years don't coincide... All these damn obstacles!

When we were just about to leave, he had one more thing to say. He said that to have more success in conceiving, we just need to change the direction of our bed. Ohhh.... change the direction of our bed... that's the ticket! I wonder why our gynecologist and doctor never told us this?! If only we had known so long ago, it could have been so simple... :)

So in the spirit of Chinese infertility remedies, feng shui it up gals!

Listening to: John Lee Hooker - Mr. Lucky,

Conception Curve?

After googling "trying to conceive," I came up with this image:

Is this for real? I know that we're all in the same boat and that we all go to great lengths to make the baby that we're all rooting for... I know that we've read about how to do do it, when to do it, where to do it, when not to do it, what to eat, what not to eat, what to look for... I know all about laying still and propping my butt, but... a conception curve? Hmm... who would've thought...

Listening to: Johnny Cash - I'm Alright Now,

"Seasons of Hope and Despair"

I thought some of you may enjoy this video... I thought it was beautiful.

Thank you Pamela Jeanne!

Listening to: June Carter Cash - Keep on the Sunny Side,

The real, unedited, infertile me

This past weekend was an interesting and very fun one... thanks to meeting my new friend, M, who is the wife of a friend of our's from school, B. I instantly liked M... she had a bright smile and her beauty shone from the inside out. I was certain that we would be good friends the instant I saw her.

When we first sat down to talk alone while our husbands were doing their thing, M told me right away that her mom was bothering her about having a baby... I asked M about this, and she said that she didn't really want to have a baby anyway, that she enjoyed her freedom, that she and B would work on it later... there was definitely something suspicious in the way this all came tumbling out and it all sounded awfully familiar... I had an inkling that I could push a bit further to get the real scoop, so I came out and told her that it was possible that my husband and I couldn't have children of our own. Her big brown eyes got even wider and she started pressing me for details... ah ha! I'd uncovered the truth. She admitted that she and B had been trying for a year to conceive but had been unsuccessful. This all happened within 10 minutes of meeting each other. She had no idea that my husband and I had experienced difficulty, nor did I know the same about her. That said, I think there is something so raw, powerful, and honest about our desire to have a baby that women who have difficulty conceiving can sense it with another in the bat of an eye.

It was so great to meet another woman who didn't start making excuses or trying to make me feel better with the typical, "You're still young, don't worry!" or "Just relax!" or "Just keep trying, it's gotta work." It was so great to not have to make excuses to someone else or shrug it all off as though the thought of having/not being able to have a baby isn't the single most important thing on my mind most of the time! It was so great to be able to talk freely about how much it sucks and even to offer limited advice to someone else who is in a similar situation. It was so great to be real about it all.

It brought me a great sense of relief to meet another woman who could relate to my frustrations and stress at not being able to conceive. I didn't even feel sad when we wandered down to the Chinese night market and M helped me pick out little outfits for my sister's unborn baby (he'll be born in December). I felt more free and open than I had in a long time... suddenly, I didn't have to pretend to not be sad, nor did I have to tell others not to worry about me. I could just be me. The real, unedited, infertile me. It rocked.

Listening to: Bob Dylan - Buckets of Rain,

Saturday, July 26, 2008


Well, here it is... my first waiting mamas entry... welcome to those of you who are along for the ride. My hope is that, in my quest to become a mama, I can have a little fun at the same time as unloading stress and anxiety that inevitably results in this seemingly endless mamas-in-waiting game...

A bit about me: I am 28 years old and am happily married to a super great guy. After a few random bouts of trying to conceive over the past 9 or so years, we have begun to come to terms with my endometriosis and our infertility. This has been hard for both of us, but especially for me. If you are reading this, I am supposing that you have at one time or another sat where I have sat, and you know that it sucks to be faced with the possibility of (eek!) never conceiving. So to help alleviate some of my angst, I've decided to write about a bit of my experiences to help ease some of the heartache, while at the same time keepin' it real and embracing life for what it's handing my way.

Over the next two years, my husband and I will both be working full-time towards professional accounting designations and towards Master's degrees. We're anticipating a lot of work and, in the meantime, are putting our baby plans on hold until we emerge from the rat race with papers in hand. So, despite the fact that my brain knows darn well that it's time to wait, my mama urges are not subsiding...

Hence the blog. Waiting isn't easy. Especially when you suspect that at the end of it all you're going to have a bit of a row to hoe with your baby-making biology. One way or the other though, my husband and I are determined to become parents at the end of this two years, either through adoption or through fertility assistance. It's a great feeling to know that, despite the lack of control I have over my own body's capability to conceive a child, I WILL be a mama.

It's just a matter of waiting. Welcome.

Listening to: Feist - Mushaboom,