About Me

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I'm a 29 year old self identifying hippie and amateur photographer. I've been married since Summer 2006, and we started trying to get pregnant the summer of 2007, I have 2 cats and a dog, and I work as a secretary in a prison. This blog is about my battle with infertility and life, love, faith and happiness in the face of infertility. All pictures in the collage and those that I post in my entries were taken by me, unless otherwise stated (or if they are of me of course). Come visit my photography page to see more of my work here: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Hannah-Love-Chandlers-Photography/282550090053

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Faith Issues

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Let me begin this post by saying that this is not my best written blog, and I don't think it flows just right, but I am trying to be brutally honest about my relationship with God and it is ridiculously hard because I don't know if I entirely understand it myself. 

I am a Christian. I believe in God, and I know that God is good, wants good for us, and I try to live my life the way He wants me to. But I have a faith problem. I have such a hard time reconciling my faith with my infertility. It’s like a paradox. I believe in God, that He is good and that He wants the best for us, but then I want a baby so bad and I have suffered so much heart ache due to infertility. I have never been able to find lasting peace because I can’t even get a good, sure answer that I cannot have a baby, so that little hope keeps flaring up and bringing the pain back to the surface, and I can never fully get over it.

When I was on my way to the hospital to see my niece’s birth I had another crisis of faith. I was driving along and her contractions advanced so quickly that while I was praying so hard that she would wait until I got there they called to tell me that she was going to the hospital. At that point I started going back and forth between praying that I would make it and fighting with God, certain that I was going to miss it. I was so angry with God, asking him how it is that I can want something so bad, and pray for it so hard, like being able to see my niece be born, and then still miss it. I have an easier time accepting my infertility, because there have been a few times when getting pregnant would not have been best, like when we found the tumor on my spine in my neck and I needed all sorts of tests (x-rays and MRI’s and others) to see whether or not is was cancerous.

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Therefore, sometimes I can accept that God knows best (though intellectually I know He does, emotionally sometimes I don’t understand). Sometimes I think that He knows some good reason why now is not a good time, and why it might never be right for us, but I could not come up with one possible explanation of why I should not be at the birth of my niece, when I wanted it so much. Again, intellectually I know that God wants the best for me and that if God decided I shouldn’t be there than there apparently is a good reason I should miss it, but emotionally I have a harder time with that. It’s like I’m a child. A child knows mommy loves her, but doesn’t always understand when mommy says that she can’t go play at her friend’s house right now.

So I’m fluctuating back and forth between continuing to pray to make it in time, and arguing with God because I was sure I was going to be too late. When I was about 20 minutes away I called and my mom told me that they thought that she was still going to be a long time. The hospital thought that her contractions were being brought on by dehydration, and were having her drink water. Of course at this point I changed my tune again. I was contrite; I started praying about how I knew I was wrong to have doubts like I was having. I felt like I had a good heart to heart with God on that trip over, and it made me start thinking about these issues.
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When I was in high school I was so close to God. I read my bible all the time, I loved reading it! I prayed constantly, I felt God’s presence in my life on a regular basis, and felt loved by Him. I was comforted by praying when I was fighting with my dad, and I broke up with my boyfriend because I realized (eventually) that God didn’t want me to be with him.

After high school it was like a switch was thrown. I stopped being able to feel God. I read once I think in the bible about a man who God withdrew from in a way that He could not be felt, and that it was a test of that man’s faith to continue to have faith even when one could not feel God. It was much easier to have faith in God when I could feel Him there all the time. It is a whole different story now that I don’t feel like He is there.
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Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Storie's Story

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Being at the birth of my niece was such a blessing. (Remember her name is Storie) As I stated in my last post it was very important for me to be able to witness the miracle of birth at least once in my life. When she called at told me her contractions were a half hour apart and had been for several hours I decided I would finish dinner and then get on the road to start my three hour trip. When I was half way there her contractions had already advanced to 5 minutes apart and they were going to the hospital, but luckily for me neither the labor nor the contractions advanced for the entire hour that she was in the hospital before I got there. They even sent her home after an hour (right after I got there) and told her the baby wasn’t coming tonight, since she was only 1.5 cm dilated. We talked about walking around Walmart but the nurse said not to go walking because the baby wasn’t coming tonight and walking would only tire mom out. She said mom should go home and get some sleep. We weren’t sure how the expectant mom was supposed to go about sleeping while having contractions at 5 minutes apart, but we did what the nurse said.

When we got back to her house we started religiously timing the contractions using the stopwatch on my phone. Within the hour they were 2 minutes apart and very painful, so we went back to the hospital. Eventually they moved her to her own delivery suite, where mom stays through the labor, delivery and after the baby comes until she goes home.
About 5:15 mom was checked again to see how far she was dilated, because she wanted to get more IV drugs, but wasn’t going to do it if she was 7cm or more, because baby has to go to ICU if she is born within 4 hours of getting the drugs. She was only at 6cm so she opted for more pain relief. 10 minutes after getting the IV her water finally broke. Her pain got much worse and I made sure that the new dad was standing by her side, and asked him for his phone so I could call his mom, since she wanted to be notified when the water broke.

While I was on the phone with his mom to tell her that the water broke Storie made her quick entrance into this world. From the time her water broke to the time she was completely out it was about 3 minutes, and from the time she started coming to the time she was all the way out it took about 10 seconds. I barely turned my head in time to see her make her grand entrance into this beautiful world. She came out with some great lungs, screaming away and with a full head of dark hair. She was born at 5:28 am, 7 lb 1 oz, 20 inches long. Since she was born 10 minutes after mom’s second dose of IV drugs she was soon taken to ICU, after dad cut the umbilical cord and she was cleaned up and held for a couple of minutes. I teared up when she came out and when dad cut the cord.
Big sister Layla and Storie

It was a terrific thing to see this beautiful baby be born into our strange world, and I am so happy I was able to witness it. She did great at ICU and they brought her back an hour sooner than they said they would, so we all started to take pictures. Mom and dad were both so happy, as were all the grandparents, aunts, uncles, and even big sister (who is almost 3) was a little happy, though I don’t think she was entirely sure what was going on. Storie latched well and breastfed for the first time, diapers were changed, baby was held and loved, family was together; it was a great scene with which to begin or end a movie, and similar to the picture I would use to portray my dream for my husband and myself.
Dad, Mom, big sister Layla, Baby Storie

Friday, January 13, 2012

Niece #3

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My sister is due with her second baby at the end of this month. We are all thinking she might come early, and I am hoping for today because I have a three day weekend since I have Martin Luther King JR Day off and then I wouldn't have to take any vacation time to go there. She lives about 3 hours from me, so when she goes into labor she is going to call me so that I can get there as soon as possible. I have a bag packed in my car so that I can leave from work or in the middle of the night with no packing necessary, and I have it approved by my boss to leave from work when she calls. I have a couple of vacation and couple of sick days built up so I should be able to take a couple of days, but I hope she goes into labor right before any given weekend so that I can take maybe 2 vacation days and have 2 weekend days also to meet my third niece, Storie.

I am very excited to be there and I hope the labor doesn't go by so fast that I miss it. I have never been there when somebody was in labor and I am really looking forward to it. I wasn't able to make it to this sister's first baby's birth because my old boss wouldn't let me leave, and I couldn't make it to my other sister's baby's birth because she lives out of state and I couldn't afford to fly there on a moment's notice.

When I missed the last one because my old boss refused to work with me or reschedule any of my rides to go with anybody else I was so upset. I really wanted to be there because I don't know if I will ever have one of my own, and this might be my only chance to be present at a live birth. So this time I am hoping that I can make it and I can be there to witness the birth of my new niece. I am so excited to be able to welcome another baby into my family, judging by my awesome two nieces I already have I bet this one will be a great addition.

My darling husband (who thinks he's a 4 year old)
And, just to remind my husband—the Hargraves women ONLY have girls. When and if WE ever get pregnant it is going to be a girl, and we are going to give her some kind of wacky hippie name like this third niece coming this month. Deal with it. Whining like a child will only be accepted while you are wearing your Mickey Mouse footie jammies that you got for Christmas this year.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Are You Pregnant?

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This is not a fun question. I usually hear it when I’m sick, as a question or as a prediction- “Maybe you’re pregnant”. I don’t get mad, and I don’t blame the person asking it, because most people don’t realize that I would know if I was pregnant. I always know what day of my cycle I am on and whether or not I could be pregnant. Also it is SO hard for those of us trying to keep from getting excited during our “two week wait”.  For infertile couples the Two Week Wait (2ww) is the time between ovulation, at which point some have had Intrauterine Insemination (IUI) or In Vitro Fertilization (IVF). Others that not doing IUI or IVF may have just been taking medication to help them ovulate and having Timed Intercourse (TI) which is just planning to have sex at the right time of the month. Even those that aren’t on any medication, like me, are still stressed out. Most of us already read too much into every twitch and stomach ache and mood swing thinking that it means we are pregnant, that we don’t need others predicting for us.

Another problem we have is dreaming we are pregnant. Most people I know battling infertility dream on occasion that they are pregnant and/or have just had a baby. I had another dream last night about getting pregnant and giving birth.  Every time I dream about it I dream that it goes really smooth. It’s such a bummer to wake up from a dream like this, but I guess it’s nice while I’m dreaming, because I’m so happy.

In conclusion: Infertility Sucks!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Nothing New

So I haven’t posted in awhile. When I think about it I’m not surprised. My last post was about starting anti-depressants because, unfortunately, it was time. One of the reasons I hate anti-depressants is because even though I don’t feel as bad after I go on the meds I also notice that things don’t seem as funny, and my interests aren’t as interesting to me. I love that I’m not crying all day or snapping at my husband every other time he speaks, but I don’t feel as much like writing or taking pictures, and of course the worst side effect of anti-depressants: no sex drive.

So I guess all I have to say is that I did take my own advice and go on the anti-depressants and they are doing what they are supposed to do. I’m not angry like I was and that is terrific! Also I want a new puppy so much! My husband’s cousin who lives right next door got a new puppy who is so cute and he was telling us that there is one left and it’s free and so cute! They are a Pug/Shih Tzu mix. But I have three cats and a dog already, and we don’t really have room for another.