Monday, September 30, 2013

What *NOT* to Say When They're Not Expecting!

Hi friends! Tonight's post isn't something I wrote. It's a brilliant article from another couple, Candace and Chris Wohl, who are TTC and experiencing infertility. We found some of these replies hilarious and wanted to share them with you. This is not a stab or jab at anyone but we figured you all could share the giggle with us! Enjoy!!
A random picture of our kitty, Diva, for your viewing pleasure!;)
WHAT NOT TO SAY WHEN THEY'RE NOT EXPECTING It is often said, and sometimes indelicately so, that you don't know what it is like to feel like someone else until you have been in their shoes. Although that is somewhat true, if we truly believe this, then no one would be able to relate to any other person on the planet ... the whole no two snowflakes are alike kind of thing. Everyone is an expert on making babies we found out. Good thing because I woke up today and thought to myself "Gee, I can't wait to talk to the checkout clerk at the grocery store about my broken uterus and why I am buying tampons instead of baby diapers." All snark aside, what do you say to someone who is suffering through infertility? We'll we can certainly share with you what not to say. Over the years we have pretty much heard it all. Being on the receiving end makes you feel very exposed, sad, somehow less human. It was like we just admitted that we lost the primal ability to procreate, or procreate easily anyway. If this has happened to you, we are sure that-regardless of the outcome-it was not an enjoyable experience. Or maybe you may know someone who is grappling with filling their empty nests, and can use some tips and mental slaps as what not to say. Therefore, we have made a list of the top 5 bonehead things not to say to people wrestling with infertility as well as cheeky responses that, if nothing else, you can think of in the moment. Chris, the other 'C' in our C&C will chime in as well on these. 1. Why don't you go on vacation? My friend _______ got pregnant that way. Candace- Well, we would love to go back to Mexico or somewhere else tropical and amazing, but oddly, all that is left in our vacation fund jar is dust bunnies and IOUs. We spent it on the $5K in meds that made me hormonal casserole and the $13K in IVF costs. Will you pay for us to go on vacation so we can make a baby like your friend _______ did? 2. Just means you get to practice more ... lucky man! Chris- Hmm, all the sex I can handle. That doesn't sound too bad. Unfortunately, it's all scheduled around ovulation, or transfers, or the last time we had sex, or Candace just had surgery, or whatever. Not only that, but the whole time you are thinking, "I wonder if this will work?" or "Why are we even doing this, it hasn't worked before." or "Alright, I need to make sure to get this over with so I can help Candace with some gravity-assisted fertility acrobatics." Talk about some erotic thinking! 3. Why don't you just adopt? Candace- Sure because it is really easy, no red tape at all! Now, all we need to do is drive over to the Adopt-O-Mart and pick out that cute little baby with blue eyes, blonde hair and the dimples! Why don't you give me the $30-60 thousand US that it costs to adopt? Better yet, why don't you make our profile book for the adoption agency, fill out the bazillion forms, hire an adoption attorney, freak out for us about our home study, provide proof of pet vaccinations, fingerprints, blood tests, anal probes, who knows what else on top of the costs to help us adopt? Oh, and then after jumping through flaming loops to adopt you get to wait a few years for you to get placed. 4. Why are you in such a rush to have a baby? Chris- Rush is kind of a subjective word. Molasses 'rushing' out of a container is still going pretty slow. We are 'rushing' to have a child if you consider the months-long process of IVF 'rushing.' We have 'rushed' through that process several times. We may even start to 'rush' through the 2-5 year adoption process soon. At that rate, our kids would 'rush' to graduate college just before we turn 60! 5. Don't you think you are trying too hard? Candace- Would you tell a cancer patient that they are trying too hard? How about somebody that is having trouble adjusting to a transplanted heart? Extreme analogies ... perhaps. The message here is that infertility is not sexual retardation. It IS a medical condition. What we need to keep in mind is that these comments are not personal attacks. They are insensitive, ill-timed, and just plain stupid BUT they are well-intentioned. Friends and family are grasping at straws to figure out what to say. It is awkward being in your childless shoes, and it is equally awkward in theirs. This has been a taboo topic for so long and no one really wants to make their baby-making activities public. For us, we had years of these instances to finally realize that educating our circle of support will help make this everyone. If you are on the other side of the coin, you are one of the people delivering these comments to a couple, our best advice is don't. It is difficult for any of us to hear a problem and not want to lend some one-line reply to help. Really though, it is often the person 'giving' the advice that feels better. You go away thinking, "Man, I am glad I could put their issue in perspective for them." Instead, offer your loved one support and encouragement, not the Spanish inquisition as to when they will start their family or why it is not working out. Or simply to quote my mom or Thumper from the movie Bambi obviously both sources that are profoundly wise, "if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all". If you like our posts, check out our blog at C&C from MTV's True Life Follow Candace Wohl on Twitter:

Saturday, September 21, 2013

$70 Shipping??

Hi all!
I have just been made aware the shipping issue on the website. Instead of charging per weight, it's charging PER ITEM. I apologize for the error. I'm working on getting it fixed right now. I will post again when I've fixed the shipping. If you wish to order in the meantime, please just send us a message and I will create an invoice for you with actual shipping. Thank you so much for your support and your patience!! K

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

God and Hatred?

Hi friends! So, tonight I responded to a post on a popular Mom's forum. The lovely lady who created the post shared her story of infant loss with us. When I saw the title of the post, I instantly felt that familiar knot in my throat and tears beginning to well in my eyes. I hadn't read the post yet but the title told me I was about to read a story of another angel mom's heartbreak. For her privacy, I'm not sharing the post but I will share this entry with her so she can comment if she feels compelled. As I read her detailed description of the loss of her baby, tears were streaming down my face. I could feel her words in my chest. That devastating pain, the disbelief, the odd feeling that provokes laughter because it's just too ridiculous to believe that babies die...that OUR babies die. We also struggle with the question in our minds whether we are still Moms since our babies are not here with us.
When I replied to her post, I was trying to find words to really articulate that I know exactly how she felt. I know my words fell short but I think that I really didn't have to say much for her to grasp that I know her pain all too well. I very briefly shared our losses and posted some of my absolute favorite poems/images. One mom replied to me asking if I talk to God. Reading her comment, I paused to think for a moment. I'm no longer an intensely religious person. I used to be. I haven't gotten back to that point yet. Yes, I believe in God. I do pray. I shared with this lady that when my first child, Hunter, was born sleeping, I HATED God. I called God every name I could think of. I told Him that I'd never, as long as I live, forgive Him for taking my baby. By this lady's next comment, I could tell she was, in the most gentle way she knew how, trying to tell me to turn to God to help me through the grief and anger we all feel with the loss of a child. I replied to her comment and told her the following:
....... At first, when Hunter died, I absolutely hated God. I called Him every name I could think of, told Him how much I hated Him. I had to have someone to blame when I ran out of reasons for it to be my fault so God caught the heat. I have asked for forgiveness and I have to believe that God knows what this pain is like. While I don't think He 'approved' of my anger and hatred, I think He understood it. I'm sure I'm neither the first nor the last to blame God. :( It took a VERY long time to come out of that.
As I wrote it, I could feel that anger try to creep it's way back up. Now, after 13 years, we are dealing with the loss of our twins. I didn't feel the same hatred this time. I was hurt and angry but I didn't have a place to lay the blame. There are two things this wonderful lady shared with me. One of them was something she was told by a friend:
When you ask God for forgiveness he goes to his black board and erases that sin or bad thing... its gone. He completely moves on and it's over. He always gives us chances.
As I read it, I could actually envision the blackboard and my hateful words scribbled in chalk. I instantly fell in love with this idea and asked if I could share it. Over the years, I did have to deal with some guilt of the things I had said to God. Even though I asked for forgiveness, I still felt some of that guilt. When I read about the blackboard, I envisioned that God and I were now ok. I know that my relationship with God isn't perfect, nor am I but I didn't mean those things I said and I believe He has forgiven me.
Source for blackboard image:
The second thing this lady shared with me was a quote she opened right up to in a book she has. We were discussing that sometimes, I have nothing to say to God. Sometimes, I think certain things and I believe God can 'hear' me. She told me that in her book, it says that God can hear you during these times and if you need to, use them to communicate with Him. She said she wasn't sure why but that she felt she needed to share the following with me from her book:
"I am nearer than you think, richly present in all your moments. You are connected to me by love bonds that nothing can sever. However you may sometimes feel alone, because your union with me is invisible, ask me to open your eyes so that you can find me everywhere. The more aware you are of my presence the safer you feel. This is not some sort of escape from reality; it is turning in to ultimate reality. I am far more real than the world you can see, hear and touch. Faith is the confirmation of things we do not see and the conviction of their reality, perceiving as real fact what is not revealed to the senses." ~Source of original quote is unknown~
When I read the quote and her comment about not knowing why she felt compelled to share it with me, I instantly knew why she was moved to share it. I can only think that God told her, in some way, that she needed to share it with me. I have felt abandoned by God more than once in my life. The losses of my children were the most devastating events in my entire life for me. I realize that I still feel, in a small way, that God has abandoned me. It feels sometimes that He's left me standing out here, in what can be a very cruel, painful world, all by myself. I honestly believe there was a plan for this post on the site to show up today and speaking with this mom was no accident. I can't help but to be thankful and thank God for this. I will truly try my best to seek God more often than I do, especially when I feel that He has just left me all alone. I hope this post has some meaning for each of you and that it may touch you the way my conversation reached me today. Thank you all for all of your love and support! With wishes of many blessings for each of you....Until next time. So long, Khrysti

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

It's been a long time.

Hi friends! I know it has been quite a while since I posted my last blog entry. I apologize for that. Life has been quite hectic around here and we were taking some time to think about our goals. ;) We decided to revise a few of them a little bit and found ways to help us reach our goal to a healthy baby a little more quickly. In that time, a lot has happened. Our kittens are almost four months old, I've decided to take a position to work from home, we've decided to change our diets a little. I learned that one of my step-sons (from my ex) has a new family of his own, several friends have announced new babies on the way, a few friends have suffered losses, of their parents, other loved ones and pregnancies. It has been eventful, fun, strange, exciting and heartbreaking all rolled into one. No matter how many sad and disappointing things may happen in our lives, we have proof that it won't be that way forever. We have proof that there is a reason to have hope.
Source for photo and quote: During the last two months or so, I also lost my faith a little, decided I was going to give up then found a renewed sense of hope. I'm anxious for the next chapter. We are planning for a lot of wonderful new things in our lives. I've come to accept that no matter how much I want to, there are just certain things I have no control over and I have to let God lead the way. That is hard for someone like me. Someone who is a bit OCD, a little Type A and isn't very patient where certain things are concerned. lol I decided that tonight was a good time to write as the rain parades down the sun-lightened wooden pickets of our backyard fence. The fresh smell comforts in a way and washes away some things to allow the chance for a fresh perspective. Each new rain, just like each new day, is a chance to start over, make new plans. An opportunity to find appreciation for things we might have taken for granted and accept that life follows the path it is meant to. Today is a special reminder of those things. It is September 11, 2013. Twelve years ago today, I was in an executive suites hotel because we were having new carpet installed in our entire home. I was very happily pregnant and sleeping when my ex woke me up to tell me about the Twin Towers. My first thought was that it was a had to be. We were just in NY at the end of April visiting some of my family who still live there and everything was fine. As I heard the news in the background, I sat up, looked at the t.v. and watched as the second tower was hit. I was filled with disbelief, sadness and horror that such an accident could be happening right before our eyes. This was about 9:45-10:00am NY time and little was known at that point. I watched the news all day while at work, tried to call my relatives there and prayed they'd answer. The phone lines were busy every time we tried.
I did finally reach my family back home and everyone was ok. There were a few friends of theirs they were waiting to hear from. Those calls were mixed with both happiness and sorrow. As the hours turned to days, days to weeks and weeks to months, we all got back to our lives. I watched on t.v. and heard stories from my family of complete strangers coming together to support one another, offer comfort and rebuild. Though I was many, many miles away, I was touched by their strength, determination and compassion for one another. Today was a day in history that we won't ever forget, we will miss those we lost but we are also reminded of how important it is to band together and help others, even strangers. For that, I'm thankful! That's all for now folks but I'll be back tomorrow. I wish all of you comfort, a place to call home, that you are thankful for what you've got and that you are surrounded by people you love. So long, farewell for now, friends! Khrysti