Before the years are gone and I've lost my nerve...

'Cause this is what I've waited for..

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

When dreaming of teak pergolas...

The smell of this crisp northern Minnesota air is changing as the summer is progressing.  Today it's raining and I can smell the promise of Fall.  Big changes might be coming for us in the next few months, the biggest one obviously being a possible pregnancy.  We also might begin the transfer process to another part of the state. 

Though we don't even know if we'll be moving, I've already begun the list in my head of all the things I'll do differently in my life, my house, my garden.  The list actually began shortly after we moved into this house when we realized how much space around us we actually NEED.  I'm not talking, "Oh, we've got so much stuff that we need a bigger house."  It's more like I-can't-look-out-any-window-of-my-house-without-looking-directly-into-my-neighbor's-living-room, kind of need for space.  I can't stand it, and the idea of living on 30 wooded acres with a possible river running through the property just sends me into an ethereal daydream I don't want to leave. 

It's hard to look at my life, my surroundings, and not think about all the ways that it could be better.  No 100+ year-old paint chipping off of doorframes and floors that have needed to be resurfaced since 1995, but maybe a back deck framed in a Teak pergola woven with wisteria and paper lanterns.  No more, "My back lawn isn't grass at all, it's just a dense ground-cover WEED," but maybe a rolling grassy lawn with a big maple tree in the middle where there's a swing and a treehouse with a collapsable ladder and a mounted telescope for late-night, mid-summer star gazing.
Doesn't that sound fantastic?  I can get caught up in it so easily, we all can.  "Keeping up with the Jones'", comparing our lives to others and what they have that we want, or even being motivated to work out harder because you'd like to have the abs of the girl on the Zumba video (guilty here of all counts, by the way).

But I was challenged many years ago, when we first started our journey of 'why-isn't-what-I-want-happening-yet', by my mother who asked me what pain I'd like to have instead.  Instead of complaining about the difficulites in my life, studying my discontent and basically telling God that He's not quite handling my life very well, that perhaps I should see my struggle in a different light.

Would I switch with someone else who was trudging through a different kind of pain?  Like perhaps the family on the news who's son disappeared from school.  His mom just hasn't been able to straighten the covers on her little boy's bed because he left it messy the last time she saw him- would I like to trade places with her?

So maybe the next time that my grief wants to swallow me whole, or when my relationships seem to be just a bit disappointing, or that roll of fat just WON'T go away, I'll remember that it's not about me- not about what I want and what's not happening for me- and I'll pull up my boostraps once again and gratefully walk forward.  Even if it is just out into my weed infested, uneven, clay-packed backyard.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Maybe this isn't about me~

Three months ago Lee and I decided to pursue our final option in this whole twisted infertility journey.  As much as we've pursued treatments in the past, we never felt like we were dealing with a doctor that specialized in infertility, so that possibility was always out there, floating around. 

It's been interesting, balancing this infertility-stuff with already being a mom, wanting Jeremiah to always know what an incredible blessing he has been in our lives. His existence has made me what I've waited my whole life to become, Mommy.  He is more than we could've ever asked for in our firstborn.  That's what he is-our firstborn, even if he wasn't born from my womb. 

We've always wanted a few kids, and as much as we would like to adopt again, the desire to be pregnant has never gone away.

I kept hearing about a doctor from the Cities, specializing in infertility, who made monthly trips to a clinic here in Duluth. The recommendations to see him where persistent enough that I felt like if I didn't just go and see him I would never stop hearing about it. I was going to go and just check it off the list and close the door forever.

I wasn't prepared to have hope come ripping through our lives again.

The diagnosis: 10 minutes into our meeting with Dr. Corfman, we were diagnosed with a very common, and very treatable condition:  Poly cystic Ovarian Syndrome.  We left that meeting with the most calming sense of relief.  Finally, after 10 years, we actually knew what the problem was.

The plan: One month of birth control pills followed by 6 months of relatively easy treatments (a combination of ultrasounds and medications).  Dr. Corfman said he didn't think we would even need to see him again, that confident that our problems would be solved.

This new leg of the journey started in April, and four months into the process I've just finally been able to actually start the treatments.  A completely normal cyst appeared on one of my ovaries which delayed treatments by 3 months.  I cannot tell you how frustrating it was to feel, at long last, like we were able to step forward only to be halted in our tracks.  After 10 years you'd think 3 months would be no big deal, but I struggled, thinking, "Haven't we had to wait long enough?  Why another complication?"

Round 1 was unsuccessful, and again I'm struggling.  My long-waged war with hope has crept up on me again. The flip-side to hope being disappointment, of which I've tasted for so long that I feel silly for hoping at all.
"Tiffany, did you really think this was going to work? Haven't the last several years proved otherwise?"
"Aren't you satisfied with the child that you have?  Isn't that enough for you?  How ungrateful are you???"

It's ridiculous, and these things that I struggle with are LIES- I know that- but it's my process month after month x 120 months.

This is the time when all I have left is to go back to the basics. 

What is faith?

"Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see." (Hebrews 11:1 emphasis added)  
"And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him." (Hebrews 11:6)

 Hope and faith are tied together.  I cannot believe that God is able to do something and not hope that He will.  That was my biggest struggle for so many years- I believed that God could, but that
He wouldn't for me


Because of past sin in my life? 
Because maybe I was just being used, like a puppet, for God to communicate some truth to the masses (that just might be paying attention to my life)? 
Because I am just... that... slow... in learning what God was wanting to teach me before this would be resolved?

Or how about this?  Maybe this isn't about all.  The selfish person in me says, "How cannot it NOT be about me?  It's MY pain!!"  

But what if the affects on me are important by-products but not the main goal? 

What if all these years of waiting are actually because of God's intricate, love-motivated plans for my children?  Maybe all these years of waiting are because there's a specific timing for when all my children are born. What they are going to accomplish, or give, or motivate, or change in the world is delicately woven into this great story that just hasn't started yet for the rest of them. 

Jeremiah's has- oh, does that boy have a story about the importance of his existence, of that I'm sure, and I cannot tell you what a privilege it is to be a vital part of it.  This time alone with Jeremiah, before any other children arrive, is vital to what God is going to accomplish in his life. 

So as I prepare myself to begin Round 2, I am readjusting my thinking.  I walk forward, knowing that God is not in the business of wasting time.  I continue to hope, embracing the disappointment if it should come, and believing that God is making beautiful things out of this whole story all along the way.