Taking Up Hobbies While TTC

I’ve tried to be as open as I can be about my trying to conceive journey (I say “my”, but my husband has a part in this, obviously, since he’s a pretty important part; I’m just the one talking, so it’s “my” journey for simplicity’s sake), but I still get questions. In my video about fertility apps I’ve tried, I talked about how I had to stop using apps in general, because I would get too obsessive over the information involved. After posting, I recived a message from someone whose TTC journey is taking longer than expected, and she asked how I manage to keep my sanity, especially as a stay-at-home mom.

My response? Hobbies. I’m always doing *something*. In this post, I’ll share some of my current and previous hobbies – hopefully, this can help you if you’re looking for something to do in your spare time.

  1. WRITING. I love to write, so much. I’ve actually written and self-published two books, and I attempted to fit into the author scene in my area. Unfortunately, due to my son’s schedule and other limitations, I can’t attend very many author shows, conferences, or other publicity events; as such, I am not able to promote my book as much, and I lose out on sales. Without sales, I can’t continue to seriously write books. I do enjoy writing little things, though, especially to help me work though any emotions that may affect my real life.
  2. BAKING. This can be a fun and dangerous (for the waistline) hobby, and I’m sure you’re aware of why that would be.
  3. YOUTUBE. Yup, Youtube and the related activities are a hobby for me. I’m not paid to make videos, and the different steps to making a video (planning, recording, editing, and doing all the little related extras) takes up a decent chunk of my time, time that I used to spend obsessing over my fertility charts.
  4. GARDENING. This is a hobby I plan to take up when it’s warmer. Yard work is not only good for my mental health, but it’s good for my physical health. This year, I want to plan a few easy plants, just to see if I can without spending a ton, and I would like to put up a clothesline, so that I’m not overheating our house on hot summer days.
  5. VOLUNTEERING. This one is pretty self-explanatory: volunteering is a great way to get out of the house, meet new people, and get your mind off of things. Looking to start, but have no idea how to do so? Contact your local food pantries, animal shelters, place of worship, and public schools, for starters – even if they don’ have anything there, they could point you in the right direction. Helping others and not obsessing over every minute detail? Yes, please!

Anyway , these are just five things you can do to keep your mind off of any TTC struggles in your life – or really, any struggles that are out of your hands. Hope this helps, and thank yall do much for stopping by! 🙂

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What Santa Can’t Bring – A Moment with Secondary Infertility

This past week, the Kiddo and I went to Frankenmuth, MI, to partake in some Christmas joy before the end of the holiday season.  This is one of our traditions, mind, you – I’ve gone to Frankenmuth every year since I was a child, and he’s gone every year since he was in utero.  It’s fun to just walk around Bronner’s and downtown Frankenmuth, to spend time looking at the lights and picking out a slab of Frankenmuth fudge, you know, just the fun stuff.

But this year, my son broke my heart.

When he went to see Santa in Bronner’s, he originally had a list of three things – a deer, a dog, and a “real” sword.  He’d been asking for all of those for a few months now, so I wasn’t surprised (he’s not getting any of them, by the way, but he did get a cool sword, and I’m looking into stuffed dogs for him), but when we got up to Santa, he changed his tune.

He asked Santa for what I thought was a Bambi, and I translated it as such when Santa couldn’t hear him.  It wasn’t until I was leading him away that he started to cry and told me he hadn’t asked for a Bambi, he asked for a baby.

You guys.

I jokingly tell him to stop trying to steal babies because he adores them – he’ll lead them around by the hand and play so nicely, or calm them if they’re crying, little things like that.  Moms of babies think he is absolutely precious, and he’s often touted as the ideal big brother.  He’s the sweetest thing with a baby, and he’s asked me time and time again if I can have a baby.  I always say no, because I feel like it would be worse to give him hope and watch it die off…

So now, apparently, he thinks the only way he can get a baby sibling is by asking Santa to bring one.

I held it together, all through the rest of Bronner’s and Frankenmuth, until he fell asleep on the drive home; then, and only then, did I allow myself to bawl.  All this time, I’ve only thought about my husband and myself, and how we’ve felt with trying and failing.  I never thought about how it could affect him – heck, I never thought it would affect him!  I didn’t have this issue growing up – I always knew my parents were never going to have a child after me, so I never really thought about it, and my husband’s parents were divorced (plus his mom never remarried) – so it never once crossed my mind that our son could want a sibling just as badly as we want to give him one.  It’s not something I expected.

Anyway, I just thought I would share a hard thing I learned this holiday season.  Even though we’ve been dealing with secondary infertility for over five years now, there are still new feelings and new territories to be crossed.  I can only hope that one day, the finally territory will be beating it, but in the meantime, I’m just going to have to wait.

Thank yall so much for stopping by, and have a good one!  Bye!

Secondary Infertility: October 2017

PSA: I will be discussing a form of pregnancy loss in this post.  Please feel free not to read this if that will bother you.  Thank you.

First and foremost, this month will not be good news.  This just wasn’t our month.  Before it even started, I knew it was going to be a rough one – the end of September and beginning of October, our house was plagued (heh) by sickness.  My son and I got pretty sick in September, and my husband managed to fend it off until the first week of October, which honestly upset me a bit (we still haven’t done my birthday dinner).  Finally, once things started looking up…they didn’t.

My husband couldn’t shake the sickness, and our water heater went out.  While we were getting the water heater checked out, we ended up finding out that our furnace was having issues.  We had to replace the water heater, and the furnace is still waiting on a part, but is luckily still usable.

Things start looking up again!  My husband’s car is working pretty well!  But then, disaster.

My husband’s car has a belt slip off.  It’s raining and dark when he finds out, so he just calls me to get him, which I do.  On the way to drop him off the morning after, my truck’s transfer case, which we replaced LAST November (just before my husband’s car stopped working) blew, about halfway to his work.  Giant hole in the side.  Not a chance in heck of even babying it home or to his work.  We had to leave it at a gas station with a promise that we’d pick it up.

In the meantime, we receive notice in the mail that my husband has a civil infraction in his name, for parking over a sidewalk.  The only problem?  He had no idea about it, because it wasn’t his vehicle.  He’d never even been to the place where the infraction had happened.  Luckily (and thankfully) that was easily squared away, but it was still an added stress on our plate as we were trying to figure out what to do about me suddenly being without a vehicle.

We rented me a car.  Everything went well.  Until we found out my truck’s necessary part, which we’d been told was in stock at three different places near the shop where we’d taken it, was actually a mislabeled part.  In all three spots.  And the part we needed wasn’t even available in the state of Michigan.  Oh, and we didn’t know if they’d even be able to get the part in by the next week, let alone have it installed and my truck ready to go!  Did I mention that we rented a vehicle, and it was expensive?!  Thankfully, the part ended up coming in on Friday *as I was returning the car*, and we got the call to pick her up on Monday.

Yes, this past Monday.

This has been a heck of a month.

So, when I felt like death warmed over on Tuesday, I didn’t think anything of it.  I was an emotional wreck, constantly yelling, losing everything even when I literally set it down for seconds…  And I jokingly told my husband, “I’m taking a pregnancy test in the morning, because I am not acting properly.”

At 1AM, I woke up ready to puke.  I managed to hold off for the moments it takes to get to the bathroom, and while I was in there, I decided to take a pregnancy test, just for giggles.  It’s too early, almost a week before I’d even consider my period to be early-but-close…

Positive.  Not glaringly so, just faint.  And I was so out of it that I simply went back to sleep.

Woke up the next morning with the image of the test in my head.  It was a positive, but it was faint.  That could mean it’s an early, early, early test, or the beginning of a miscarriage.  Only one way to find out, right?  Went into the bathroom, sat down, started rummaging through the drawer to find a test to take.

My period.

This isn’t my first chemical pregnancy.  I know what that’s all about – the baby wasn’t viable before a heartbeat was even there.  If I hadn’t taken the test, I wouldn’t have known a thing about it.

But I did.  And at the time of my video, it was still a bit painful.

It’s two days after I recorded that video, two days after I got my period, and I thought I would give a mini-update.

First off, I’m fine.  Like I said in the video, this isn’t my first chemical pregnancy, loss, whathaveyou.  This is old hat.  It honestly doesn’t even bother me to think about it now.  If I’m honest with myself, I know that this was biologically no different than me having a “weird” period, and if I hadn’t tested, I’d be quite sure that that’s all it was – a period, one week early, probably brought on by all the stress from this month.  On an emotional level, I’m fine now.

I didn’t make that video for me, even though it probably seems like I did.  Sure, it was cathartic, but that’s not why I did it.  You see, when I was 22, 23, 24, and my husband and I were still trying to figure out what was going on, I googled everything.  I remember the first time I had a chemical pregnancy, and I got the rundown from both my doctor as well as Dr. Google.

But not many people openly shared their stories.  I knew it was common, but I felt alone.  So I decided, even though I’ve done this before, I’d make a video for those who are like the young me, wondering what happened, what I did, what other people felt and how it affected them.  I made that video because it was something I would have wanted to see at that time in my life, had it existed.

Hopefully, this helps that one person, reaches that one person who needs it like I needed it, and if it does, I’ll be happy.

As always, thanks for stopping by, and have a good one! 🙂