As I continue to share our process and journey with others, I continue to learn of many others who struggle with the same thing, or that are going through something else in their life where they can relate to the strength needed in “waiting”. I appreciate the many people who have felt comfortable sharing with me their struggles and love the opportunity to pray for them. Any struggle, should it be Trying To Conceive (TTC – a new acronym you will start to see used here) or something else, is an opportunity for us to show the world where our faith is rooted. In any difficult situation, my prayer for you is that you see it as something greater to be used for His purpose. Actively look for that and I promise you, He will show it to you. “Don’t compare yourself with others. Each of you must take responsibility for doing the creative best you can with your own life.” (Galatians 6:5, The Message)
Circling back on a previous blog about “What Not to Say to Someone TTC” (see, told you I would use it again) – I had a lot of good questions from readers about “Well then, what DO I say?” I wanted to bring a condensed answer of it to the blog for others to read. I think this is a great question and I appreciate the willingness to try to say something supportive. Here are three things I would suggest:
1) “I am so sorry you are going through this.” I have found the simple acknowledgement that this sucks, to be one of the most encouraging things. Simple validation that TTC it isn’t easy, makes a world of difference.
2) Something along the lines of “I’m here for you whenever you need to talk about it. Let me know if you want me to wait for you to bring it up or if it’s okay for me to check in on you.” A lot of people want to avoid the subject because it is uncomfortable or they think it makes me uncomfortable, but honestly, when someone checks in with me, it allows me time to vent or process what is going on. If I think you are uncomfortable talking about it, I will never bring it up, and then I feel like we are dancing around the major topic in my life. (Granted, please make sure the location and timing is appropriate.)
3. “What can I do for you?” Most of the time I will say “nothing” and mean it. But there are some moments where I have a sincere, specific prayer request to share, or will take you up on your offer to bring over Chipotle and sit with me in front of classy tv, like Vampire Diaries or Revenge. Meds kick my butt. (More on that later). Sometimes, not often, I do need something and it’s great when you ask.
Moving on – this weekend I got to share in the joy of two special women in my life welcoming a new addition to their family. Many women TTC struggle with the news of pregnancies and the hospital visits to welcome and hold new little blessings. There is such a complicated mixture of emotions that transpire within me when I visit the families and meet babies for the first time. The anticipation of which emotions will make their debut make me nervous, nearly the entire 9 months of someone else’s pregnancy. Here is the deal – I knew one of two Chelsea’s can show up – the self-pitying, jealous, sometimes crying, bitter Chelsea, or the Chelsea that is joyful for their blessing, celebrative, and genuinely happy for them. I have to be honest that it requires intentional prayers daily for the second Chelsea … and I can sincerely say that through God’s grace and comfort, that better-half version of Chelsea was able to take part in their joys this weekend. While I completely understand that this is not an easy feat and may be one you are still struggling with, here is a tip that I have found that makes it easier for me.
When I think about the pregnant mom and their baby-to-be, I have to think and pray very purposely for this baby, which is THEIR baby, which is the baby that God selected for THEIR family. This was not a mix up and wasn’t meant to be my baby. Separating out each pregnancy by family and praying prayers of thanksgiving over their blessing helps me separate out my self pity. When I clump pregnancies together and think “EVERYONE AROUND ME IS PREGNANT! 7 women will have a new baby this month. WAHHHH.”, I pretty much am inviting Ben and Jerry into my home. (Get it, the ice cream, pity party .. eh eh? No? Oh well.) I find when I take the focus off of me and what I don’t have – and give God thanks for their baby; it helps put into perspective this: Conceiving a child is obviously difficult. It doesn’t always come easily. It is a miracle, truly, when one is created. So who am I to take away any of the credit that God deserves in the fact that he created the blessing and created it for another family? It simply wasn’t meant to be my baby. And with that understanding, I can truly be joyful that this world has 2 more adorable baby girls in it (one of them being my new niece!). It simply was meant to be their baby and for that I rejoice for them!
So far this month has been a tough one for me physically speaking. Typically on the variety of hormone medications I have taken, I get really bad hot flashes, occasional headaches, and dry mouth. But that’s it. My motto is “I can choose my emotions right now, I can chose to get irrational or I can chose to let it go.” And in the past that has worked for me. This month – totally different. I can’t explain it. The round of hormones this month has turned me into a completely irate, exhausted woman with absolutely no patience! Story:
J – (walking in from work whistling a peppy little tune) “Hi honey, how was your day?”
C – “STOP WHISTLING! That is the most annoying pitch ever. OH MY GOSSHHHHH.”
J – (confused slightly, but immediately stopping whistling) “Sorry hun. Hey, guess what?”
C- “I DON’T WANT TO GUESS ANYTHING RIGHT NOW. Just tell me. Come one. Tell me. Tell me. Waiting. Tell me.”
J – (confused at where his wife went). “Um, never mind. Maybe I will go work outside in the yard. Love you.”
And with a wise amount of speed, vanishes from the kitchen. And then I realize how irritated I got over … whistling. I check myself only enough to not break down weeping over the whistling, but seconds later become enraged at an empty toilet paper roll or unfolded towels in the laundry room. It’s insane. I go from 0 to 100 in seconds and then my motto comes into my head “Chelsea – this is the pills talking. Take a breath and calm down.” And then this BULLY VOICE comes into my brain and slaps logical Chelsea in the face and says “YOU KNOW NOTHING! I CANNNN’T.” It’s been a battle! One that I still have not conquered and am still perplexed by, as this hasn’t been a common side effect for me thus far. My poor family is the ones that need the prayers. As I add a whole new medication to the mix later this week, I pray that God will replace the psycho Chelsea with a sane, logical Chelsea and that my brain would conquer the initial gut reaction to stab something.
“Friends, when life gets really difficult, don’t jump to the conclusion that God isn’t on the job. Instead, be glad that you are in the very thick of what Christ experienced. This is a spiritual refining process, with glory just around the corner.” (1 Peter 4:12-13, The Message)
One thought on “STOP WHISTLING … please.”
Yesterday I found out, somewhat inadvertently and unintentionally, that my best friend is pregnant with #3. Our sons are only 3 weeks apart and are best friends too. I made a joking comment about her maybe feeling the baby itch and she just isn’t a good liar. She was going to tell my privately, well before telling others, because she knew how much we have been struggling the last 20 months. I am certainly beyond joyful for them and their new baby, but I just couldn’t help myself. Anytime I find out someone I know, whether close friend, family or acquaintance, is pregnant, I can’t hold back the tears. I’m happy, but the emotional reaction is involuntary. One time I was at the grocery store with my hubs and I saw an adorably pregnant girl and was both happy for her and sad/angry at the same time (that I wasn’t preggers, not that she was). My hubs saw me hesitate; an immediate physical reaction. You mention in this post about “the self-pitying, jealous, sometimes crying, bitter Chelsea”. Did you ever get her under control, or does she still show her face?