Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Decisions, Decisions

I knew it was time to write a blog post but as I sat down to a blinking cursor, I couldn't think of what to say. So like many decisions in my life, I asked my husband, Jeremy. He said just write about what you want. That would mean I would have to make a decision...something I am not the best at. In fact, choosing our date night dinner location is a struggle. It frustrates Jeremy that I don't know where I want to eat but I seem to have a reason not to go to any of the locations he suggests.

Right now, I am faced with a difficult decision in my career. Do I leave the school that has been my home for six years? Do I leave my friends who are now like family? For what...a "better" district...closer to home...for more money? BUT teaching a subject that I hate? I am definitely at the point where I either want them to turn me down, so I don't have to decide. Or wanting them to meet my demands so it makes it impossible for me to say no. Decisions, decisions.

However, we have had to face touch decisions before. We have had so many heavy decisions to make in our desire for parenthood. Each one is so important. Not something easy like deciding what to have for dinner or what movie to see or even what district to work for! No! We have to decide whether to pursue IVF or trust God for a miraculous and unassisted conception. We have to decide whether to go into debt for treatment, or keep trying on our own. We have to decide if adoption is the right step for us. I have to decide if torturing my body is worth another failure. Most importantly, we’re talking about the creation of an eternal soul. What could carry more weight? How do we know what God wants us to do? How do I discern God’s will for me?

Prayer is the only option we have, because after all, God is the one who is going to make it happen for us. In those times of dreaded disappointment and tough decisions, it is hard for me to understand why God is making me have such heartbreak. I think, “Why not me? I’m a good, Christian person. Why the unwed teenage mother, the young woman at the abortion clinic, the one complaining that she had another accident?” It is something He could so easily fix. I’d love to say that I have a grasp of understanding on the reasons why, but I don’t. I only believe that God has us here and in His care, and He has a working plan in progress. Although I am not in agreement with His plan all the time nor do I understand it, I finally accepted the fact that I do not have the power and submerge myself in prayer during the tough times. Biblical encouragement is the one thing I could hold firmly in my hand. It has become clear to me that God did not put the desire in my heart to be a mother, if He was not going to fulfill that desire somehow or someway.

I have had the realization that God wasn’t going to make me live my entire life with heartache. Of course, I don’t know if that means I will eventually bear my own children or adopt, but I know the heartache will go away with Him in control. I feel like if I trust Him and trust His plan, those heavy decisions will become easier. If I listen to Him and work for Him instead of against Him, my heart will be lighter and my thoughts clearer.


Tuesday, March 20, 2012

How to Help, What to Say

I know that my friends and family have struggled with what to say to Jeremy and I. We are sometimes tiptoed around because people are afraid of saying or doing the wrong things. My own family has asked what is appropriate to say and what isn't. So I have been making a list of things that might be helpful when talking to couples that carry the load of unplanned "un-pregnancy."

 As we struggle with infertility, our relationships with friends and family are undeniably touched. Those who conceive easily may have difficulty truly understanding the struggle an infertile couple faces every single day. 

What to Say...

I’m so sorry.
I’m praying for you. (Only say this if you really will pray!)
I’m here if you need to talk. (Then don’t be afraid of what we may say. Don’t be offended if we don’t want to talk. Being available to us as a sounding board is priceless.)

What NOT to say...

Relax, honey. It will happen. (This minimizes the hurt the couple is feeling. Also, sometimes it doesn’t happen.)
You’re so lucky not to be tied down with kids. You can go on vacation any time you want.
At were only a few weeks along, At have one child. At have time with just the two of you. (A good rule of thumb is--if you start a sentence with “at least” it’s probably the wrong thing to say!)
So whose fault is it--yours or his? (Infertility is not an issue of fault. It is a medical condition that carries a heavy emotional and spiritual burden. This is an intensely personal battle. If we want--or need--to share personal, medical information with you, let us. It’s really quite an honor to be trusted with such vulnerable information. If we don’t want to share, please don’t ask.)
I know how you feel. (No, you don’t. Even if you suffered with infertility or miscarriage, you cannot know exactly how this person feels. You may have a good idea based on your own experience, but not the specifics of this situation.)
Don’t cry. It’ll be okay. (Let us cry. Let us cry with you or on you. Just let us cry.)

Be Sensitive...

Realize that the grief an infertile couple carries begins anew approximately every 28 days.
Don’t panic if the couple “emotionally vomits” on you. 
Don’t be afraid of anger. Hurting people tend to lash out. If they are angry at their spouse, their doctor, their baby, their body or even at God, let them vent.
Let them know you care. However it works for you and those you care for, just let them know you care.

As Philippians 4:13-14 says, we can do all things through Christ who gives us strength, but it is so good of you to share with your infertile friends/family in their trouble. Thank you!  Thank you for caring for hurting people and making such a wonderful effort to ease the pain of unintentional childlessness.


Wednesday, March 14, 2012


I haven't written in awhile. I have a lot to say. But I won't blab it all in one, lonely blog post.

I went to my 10th Weight Watchers weigh-in. It is old hat now. I have lost 19.2 very close to 20 pounds! Our meeting leader, Becky, talked about Nixing Negative Talk.

Negativity? Me, negative? Nooooooo...

Absolutely! I took a hard look at who I was on the inside and I didn't like the way I was treating myself. I have allowed negative thoughts to enter my mind WAY more than I should ever allow. I am hoping that actually posting these negative, no-good thoughts here will allow them to exit my mind so I can focus on the positive aspects all around me.

I have been putting off another IUI for months. Why? Because I only attach negative feelings towards the procedure. I find excuses of why it isn't a good idea. I am afraid of failing again. I am afraid of not being able to keep it together. I am afraid that if I don't do another IUI that Jeremy will be angry at me. I think that it cannot work. I don't want to try again if it is just going to fail. Which it will...
(Those are the thoughts coursing through my brain right now...)

Speaking of did I allow myself to get like this? I tend to have negative, self-loathing thoughts about my weight, my career, our family situation. Here goes the rant:
How did I allow myself to get this FAT?
I hate seeing pregnant women. I really do. I can't help the jealous hatred that boils right under the surface.
We will never have a family. We better really like each other because it is just Jeremy and I forever.
I wonder if Jeremy would be happier with someone that can carry his child. Because I can't.

Feeling sorry for me, yet? I hope not! I don't want empathy.
I know that my negative thoughts are just a part of life. We tend to pull ourselves down even when so many miraculous events are going on around us. I would NEVER speak these un-healthy thoughts aloud (except maybe to God who already knows them).

I am hoping that I can become more positive. Tomorrow is a new day and so a new outlook as well. Writing the negative thoughts out releases them (even if just a little bit) from my body. I can move on and start filling my brain with more positivity like: God loves me. We WILL have a family even if it is not the way we planned. I am so blessed to be living through this obstacle because I am learning so much about myself and my relationship with God.


Friday, March 9, 2012


The silence of infertility can be deafening.  I cry out time and time again with all the strength I can muster.  I find myself begging with God, pleading with God, bargaining with God. Yet He chooses to remain silent.  I try making promises.  I do all I can do. If I thought He expected something, I have done it. If giving to others would help, I would give every earthly possession I have. For some unknown reason, God seems to be doing nothing.

When I feel hopeless, I fall into the arms of God. They are strong enough to hold me and they’ll catch me every single time. For you see, when you can go no further and your strength is gone, His strength becomes perfect in our weakness. And you know that terrifying stillness in the dark times? Those times when God seems a million miles away? Even though you know He can do anything, you’re just so afraid He won’t. Whenever I need proof that God is working in my life, all I need to do is simply turn my hand palm up and look at the inside of my wrist.

On the insides of my wrists you can see my blood vessels as clearly as though I had no skin.  To me, these bluish tubes buried just below the surface appear stagnant. No movement. No action. To my eyes, they appear as nothing more than streaks of color on my arms. I don’t feel anything. No throbbing. No pressure. They have no sound. If I didn’t see them, I wouldn’t know they are even there.

But what is the reality?  Blood is pumping through those tiny veins keeping me alive. I can't feel it, I can't see it...but it is there.

Are you beginning to see where I’m headed?   Just as I am blissfully unaware of the blood in my body flowing, working, moving through my veins, God through Christ is flowing, working and moving through the story of my life!

I may not see Him.  I may not hear Him.  I don’t have to! That doesn’t squash His ability!  I may have never been as aware as I am now, but He’s been working on my life since long before my birth, and He’s working for me even now. As I write these words, He’s working.  When tears stream down my face, He’s working. As my hopes rise and fall, He’s working.  As I find those few precious moments when I forget I have a problem, He’s working. He never stops working on my behalf. And He never will.

It is such an amazing feeling! I have FAITH that He is working in my life and He has a plan designed especially for me. I can rest easy knowing the Almighty is in charge of my life.


Monday, March 5, 2012

Missing My Nana

I make a calendar for the Bruno clan every year for Christmas. Each of my 7 nieces/nephew get their own featured month. Each birthday and anniversary is marked clearly with my family member's photo. It keeps me organized on who needs a card but also all of my appointments, etc.

March is a busy month on our Bruno calendar with five birthdays.

As I sat down to mark conferences and appointments on the calendar, one photo jumped out at me. My Nana. She passed away March 15, 1999. Her gorgeous picture falls on that day for us all to remember (we would without the picture) this amazing person.

Granted, I was fairly young when she passed but her influence, love, and words live on deep in my heart.

I know that everyone loves their grandparents dearly and my love for mine isn't especially unique. But to me it is. I loved my Nana more than I could ever express in words on this silly blog. She was the kind of lady that would literally "give her shirt off of her back" for anyone in need. She was tough when she needed to be and I knew not to cross her. She dressed "to the nines" and had the best sense of humor. She loved to sing, play piano, and dance. She was definitely the life of the party. Everyone fell in love with her.

I didn't want to believe she was sick, and I definitely didn't want to believe that my Nana was going to die. She was a lady I absolutely loved spending time with. Our afternoon lunches are fond memories of mine.

The best part about our relationship was that Nana loved me just as much as I loved her. Her words have fueled my internal drive to do the best at everything. She thought and believed I could be something. She believed I could do something really special.

Consequently, whenever I felt like I couldn't do something...Nana's words made me believe I could. When it seemed like I should just give up...Nana's beliefs eased my pain. So many times, I have felt like we never will be parents and maybe we should just throw in the towel.  But then, Nana always believed I would do something special.

I miss Nana a lot. I wish I could talk to her. I wish I could see her. Even as it approaches 13 years since she was been gone, I take her everywhere I go. I am confident that I will have the opportunity to be reunited with Nana and my other dearly loved grandparents one day.

Thanks for listening. Just missing her today.