Building Mastery

Back when I was in University, in one of my Psych. classes we talked a lot about the different types of therapy (CBT, DBT, etc).

One of the things that stuck out in my mind from DBT was “Building Mastery” – which is, essentially, when you have something really hard to do that you don’t want to do and you do it anyway.

It could be something as simple as riding city transit when you have agoraphobia, or speaking in front of a room full of strangers when public speaking makes you want to hurl. At the end of said experience, you feel a little bit better, a little bit stronger, a bit of pride in yourself for doing it even though you were terrified – that is the essence of building mastery.

This concept has stuck with me through the years because it is one I experience regularly as a person with OCD. Every time I resist the urge to wash my hands, which is very difficult for me, and touch the railing anyway – that is building mastery (albeit on a small scale). It’s chipping away a bit of the old self, encrusted in fear and anxiety, and revealing the shiny, strong, newness underneath.

Yesterday I did something so incredibly difficult for myself, that I spent the last two weeks *literally* sick as I dreaded it. I knew I needed to do it, I wanted to do it, but I was absolutely terrified to do it.  I had an appointment with someone who absolutely, completely, terrified me to address something I have ignored for 20 years. I stood outside the door the building for more than 20 minutes, fighting with myself on whether I was actually going to go in or turn and run, praying for strength, and shaking like a leaf. It was the hardest thing I have done in a long, long time (perhaps ever). Twice in the meeting I resisted the urge to flee…but as I used every ounce of my strength to remain, and hash out what needed to be hashed out. As the appointment continued, I felt myself slowly open up and began to settle. In that 45 minutes I grew as a person…and I left there SO thankful that I went, and am still so glad I stuck it out. It was so, so worth it…and will lead to so many beautiful, wonderful things.

But you guys, getting there was almost impossible. But I did it, and I am SO glad and SO proud of myself for doing it. That’s what building mastery is…getting a little bit closer to the person you were meant to be, through doing the things that challenge you most.

Have you ever heard of building mastery? Do you have anything like this in your life that needs to be done, but you’ve avoided because of fear or denial?


Wordy Wednesday

Before I tell you what amazing book I just devoured – I want to blather on for a moment (please, bear with me):


You guys, this adoption process is NO JOKE (and we’re just at the beginning). The application process is massive, invasive and super thorough. I knew this, and yet it is still surprising me how thorough it is. I am calling my adoption worker every few days to clarify something or other….I just, so badly, want to provide them all the right information so we get approved. There is literally nothing that would make them not approve us, but I’m still worried we’ll get rejected (I guess being rejected every month for like 7 years by Motherhood makes you constantly fear it). I’ve also learned that when it comes to adoption – nothing moves quickly. Nothing. Anyone who has any advice, especially on public adoption in Canada, please share!!

I tried to start a new blog to chronicle our adoption and my PCOS journey, but I couldn’t make it feel right. So I closed it down and posted the post I had put there, here. I just can’t help myself – this is my spaceI don’t actually know why I was thinking I needed a new space…I follow blogs who are TTC, parenting, adopting, parenting adopted children, living childfree, young and unmarried and not even thinking of children….so I don’t know why I thought this blog could only be one thing. So here I am, an unpredictable mess of things: actively adopting, but hoping for a natural pregnancy too. Thanks for reading along!

Now onto my book:

Caroline, Little House Revisited by Sarah Miller.

I grew up loving Little House, and this book was a perfect homage to an underdeveloped main character in the series – always there, but never really delved into.

I found the book to be true to her character, while deepening our understanding of who, exactly, she is. I loved the sweet, Little House-ness of the novel – keeping perfectly in tune, with a slight spin, on the true nature of the series. When you’re rehashing an old favourite, it’s so important to stay as close to true as possible – and I really feel Sarah Miller did that.

I loved this booked. It was sweet, gentle, realistic and honest – and I thorough enjoyed getting to know Caroline as more than the constant matriarch of the family, but as a woman, too. A must read for anyone who loved Little House!


#microblogmondays – The cure for IF

I have been having this painful problem with my neck for a year. I’ve been through the medical system, massage and physio and now have decided to try Chiro. (at this point, it’s worth a shot). I have mixed feelings about Chiropractics … I know lots of people who swear by it, but what unsettles me is that once they start going, they are never able to stop.

I had my consultation on Friday. I first filled out a mile long questionnaire, had some tests, and then chatted with the Doctor.

She began by asking me how many kids I have, to which I explained none. She then explained to me how infertility can be cured with an adjustment, and regular adjustments after. She explained how if I had come to her at the beginning of my fertility journey, she could have saved me from all of the meds, tests and pain. All the time she was explaining this, her assistant was nodding along enthusiastically.

I was so stunned, I just took the package she gave me and left without speaking my mind. Now I wish I had, but I will see her again tomorrow to find out how much her miracle cure will cost me (for my neck, not my infertility)…and I have been tossing around a few words in my head.

There is little that makes me more angry than people who swoop in, on the heels of years of treatment for one condition or another, and proclaim to have a miracle cure. Sure, the new person may have something helpful to offer – but pretending that your cure could have saved that person the years of treatment is both insulting and degrading. Do you honestly think I haven’t researched everything to find something to help? Do you honestly think my GP hasn’t spent more of her free time than she ever should researching the unorthodox treatments I’ve asked her opinion on? (she has, I have an amazing GP). Do you honestly think my GP is so cruel, and ignorant, that she wouldn’t refer me to this treatment if it proved to be valid sometime in the last 7 years? Or, if not her, then how about the other 5 specialists I have seen for my infertility? (My feelings on how the modern world loves to view Physicians as villains looking to prescribe anything that will line their pocket books is for another post, as it is both long and winded.)

I have to be honest, I would love to have them prove me wrong and for this to actually fix more than my neck – but let’s be realistic here. I understand how Chiro works and it is common sense that where there is a restriction in blood flow, there will be problems, and where there is a return to full blood flow, there will be improvement – but it is no miracle cure for infertility and the simple act of a few adjustments isn’t going to fix the condition I have grappled with for almost 7 years. Lastly, I didn’t come for infertility. I came for my neck, and would love to keep my treatment focused on that.

Do any of you go to a Chiropractor? Have you ever heard of this? Is she an odd-ball, or is this standard for Chiropractics?

See here for more information on how you can participate too.

Vacation 2017 Recap

This summer we have not been able to carve out much time at all for Vacation (busy around the house!) – but we finally managed to squeeze 9 days at the lake with my in-laws.

Due to Mr. Big’s parental sit-ee-a-shun, the trip is always broken into two halves – the first half with his Mom and Step-Dad and two brothers, and the second half with his Dad and Step-Mom and two brothers.

Part #1 – With Mom (M) & Step-Dad (SD):

This relationship is very complicated – we love M & SD very, very much – but their life is VERY different from ours, and visits with them are often stressful and exhausting. Mr. Big was raised by his Dad (for very good and real reasons), which adds a bit of complication to this equation as his Mom has never quite moved on from that. Regardless, we all love each other very much and work hard to maintain as good of a relationship as we can.

  • Sat/ Sun: The trip started on a sour note – our flight was 1.5 hours delayed – which isn’t so bad except it was midnight, the airport was mostly closed, and the flight (when it finally boarded) was so packed that Mr. Big spent the entire time leaning forward to prevent squishing anyone with his Neanderthal-like shoulder span. Neither one of us slept a wink, but thankfully it was a short flight (2.5 hours).
  • Mon – Wed: We spent the next few days visiting with all of the family on that side, and their friends. It was nice to see everyone, but very loud and long days with lots of booze, heat and not much else. We really enjoyed getting to visit with everyone, though, and it was nice to finally see their house – they’re surrounded by the most beautiful country.20170823_183435
  • They live near a pen of Bison, which was really cool to see – we got really close! P.S: Bison are HUGE and smelly.20170823_150246

Part #2 – With Dad (D) & Step-Mom (SM):

  • This relationship is much more solid. We have a very close relationship with D & SM – and we always look so forward to seeing them. Mr. Big was raised by them, so hearing the stories of him growing up is so much fun. I also love to see him with his Dad and younger brother – they are like three parts of one whole, so similar and so content in each other’s company!
  • Thurs – Sat: We drove to their Lakehouse – a beautiful cottage on a quiet lake, perfect for relaxing! We spent these days lakeside relaxing and getting ready for their 25th Anniversary party. Check out this fruit tray we made:20170826_162754
  • Every day I got to wake up and sip my coffee to this view:20170825_092525
  • It was so relaxing and just what I needed! 20170825_092559
  • Sat/Sun: The 25th anniversary party for D & SM could NOT have gone off better. We surprised them with custom built Adirondack chairs, with designs on them for their beautiful deck. 63 friends came to the party and it was a beautiful, fun, gathering that lasted until the wee hours. It was the kind of party where everyone is respectful, kind and just has a really good time (complete with Tiki Bar and Margaritas!) – no drama of any kind (my kind of party!). They truly have the best circle around them – probably because they are the very best kind of people!
  • Mon: We were all weepy when we parted. We are so close to D & SM, and I hate that we don’t live closer…but we cherish every moment we have with them. I cannot wait to finally have children, so we can share such an amazing Nana and Papa with them.
  • Our flight home was WAY better. We paid the extra $100 for the Plus seating and were so glad we did – the seats were roomier, the middle seat was empty, and Mr. Big was thrilled with the unlimited snacks!

Overall, it was a really good trip. We made some wonderful memories with both sides of the family and had a blast. As always, we were sad to leave, but are very happy to be home.

#ThoughtfulThursday – POAS PTSD

Does any one else have an anxiety filled, PTSD like reaction to the mere idea of POAS?

I do – and it’s become such a big thing that I cannot use one. It literally makes me sick.

We have been TTC for 6.5 years. In those 6.5 years, I have peed on thousands of tests (HPT and OPK). Not one *NOT ONE* has ever been positive…this is closest we’ve ever been to a positive of any kind.

I’m currently a ball of anxiety because I’m at that point in my cycle (CD39) where I should take a test…. but I just can’t bring myself to do it. The devastation (and it is devastation) is too hard for my heart right now and I just don’t think I can handle it. I can’t deal with the downslide that comes from the inevitable negative test … the self loathing, the sadness, the anger, the frustration. And then , when it is negative, I just convince myself that I didn’t take it at the right time, or I ovulated later than I thought and therefore may be too early to a positive HPT…and so I keep taking tests over and over, until I finally get my period and then slide into the abyss for 5-7 days.

It’s a violent, penetrative cycle…and it’s easily my most hated part of infertility. I have an appointment for blood work on July 14th…by then I should know for sure…but I don’t know if I can make it.

What do you do – HPT or wait for blood work? Does anyone else share in this fear?

I know, I don’t know, but I know

A woman I work with, who is a work-friend and a lovely person, is pregnant with her first child – due late June. I was so happy for her – she is the kind of person who sponsors refugee families and spends her well earned funds on supporting a plethora of local and international charities. She is a really good person…so when I found out there would be a little CG, I was super excited for her.

This past week she called to let me know that her baby had been born still, at 37 weeks. There is no reason, no diagnosis yet, and nothing immediately evident that could have caused the still birth. Not that it would make it easier, I just hoped a diagnosis or a reason would enable her to know how to move forward.

My heart is broken for her. I wish there were words, but there just aren’t.

I so badly want to reach out to her and say I know. I know how it feels to ache for a child you will never meet. I know the pain, the heaviness in your heart while your body feels so empty. I know it all, and you don’t have to be alone while you wade through this horrible wasteland of grief.

But I don’t really know. I’ve never had a still birth, or even a miscarriage. I’ve never had a pregnancy…despite trying everything. But I do know grief. For me, it comes from the silence echoing with the memory of my so wanted babies, my 50+ failed cycles and my disappointment that swallows me whole. For her, it’s the little baby she knew, she cradled, she loved and she grew … and one she had no reason to think she wouldn’t bring home.

I know it’s not the same. Losing a child you carried, loved, wanted and prepared for – completely unexpectedly – that’s a pain I cannot imagine. All of the babies I’ve lost existed only in my mind, and my hopeful heart – but I do know what it feels like to miss something with every ounce of your soul, every pore in your body, every breath you take and to be so, utterly, disappointed.

I just wish I knew how to say that to her in a way that wouldn’t be offensive or hurtful. Instead, I just offered her a warm hug and a promise to come running if she needed anything at all.

Is that enough? I don’t even know.

WTF – Possibly the most negative post I’ve ever written, please forgive me for my nastiness but, for real, WTF

I work SUPER hard not to be jealous or bitter about our inability to conceive while being surrounded by super fertile family and friends who are constantly having surprise pregnancies. I do…because I DON’T want to bitter or nasty, but sometimes….sometimes, I just have to let it out. Please be gentle with me, I know this post is not my usual style but I just have to get it off my chest.

There is this girl I have known all my life (MM). Her family has been friends of my parents since forever, and for as long as I can remember, she has been a deplorable human being.

She has zero concern for anyone but herself, and is totally OK with ruining someone else’s life for her own satisfaction, based on completely false claims. She lies…oh she lies. She lies about people abusing her, she lies about pregnancies and miscarriages (to date, has claimed 15 in two years, all within 3 weeks of each other…and includes 14-16 week ultrasound photos, with the names blurred out, claiming she is “3 weeks pregnant today!”), she lies about experiences and services received at local businesses – and then she spreads her lies in hopes of hurting the business. She spews hate and racism like it’s her job. She cheats on her husband shamelessly, without any concern for who knows. She treats her parents – who have given her everything – like garbage. She refuses to work, and instead lives off the government and is constantly complaining that she is not getting as much money or benefits as she deserves because she is 1/265th Aboriginal, and therefore entitled to the same benefits (? Ya, ok? Blond haired, blue eyed white girl). She has received multiple interventions over her life time to try to help her, but she simply does not agree that she has any kind of problem. The worst part is? She posts this stuff all over for everyone to see and doesn’t see anything wrong with that. (For perspective, she joined a group for Support for Teen Mothers on F.B….and then posted hateful, nasty comments wishing them all miscarriages and/or stillbirths. Her excuse was that she has struggled with infertility (her fake pregnancies and fake miscarriages) so she is allowed to be bitter. They deleted and blocked her, but not before she accused them all of being whores and incapable of adequate parenting – asking them all to “throw themselves down a set of stairs before they ruin another kids life”.

This is all 100%, actual truth that I could show you from her wall. Horrific, right? Probably the worst person I’ve ever known. The logical person in me says she is obviously hurting, and miserable, but the other part of me says – who isn’t? That doesn’t give you the excuse to be so SO HORRIBLE.

So imagine my surprise (not) when she posted another pregnancy announcement. I expected the customary 3 week miscarriage announcement, followed by the collection of sympathy and gifts…but it didn’t come. Then, there was an ultrasound photo WITH HER NAME ON IT, captioned “infertility survivor” (Please tell me this makes you boil too?)! That was when the lead ball dropped into my stomach.

Then – yesterday – I ran into her Mom and she confirmed (she appeared majorly stressed about it) that MM is, in fact, pregnant. 16 weeks, to be exact.

What. The. Fuck.

How does someone so cruel, so unpleasant, so malicious get blessed with a baby?? How?? How is that fair for that poor child who will, undoubtedly, suffer? There is nothing in the world that will change MM, she has been this unpleasant since she was born – so HOW CAN THIS BE FAIR? To the child, to the world, and to people who are *actually* infertile, and also decent human beings who want nothing more than a little human to love??

Whatthefuck. Whatthefuck. Whatthefuck. Whatthefuck. Whatthefuck. Whatthefuck. Whatthefuck.

That’s all I have to say. Now I will return to being a kind, nice, genuine human being because there are NOT enough of us in the world, and I will get back in the line of similar people waiting for OUR miracle babies…(even though, for some reason I will never understand, they are given to people like MM).