A Piece of My Happiness Project

I’m reading a great book right now called The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin. It’s all about the writer’s plan to achieve more happiness over the course of the year. She sets different focuses for each month with measurements she puts into place to track the achievement of different goals.

She focuses on the strength and power of personal accountability, finding and focusing on things you are passionate for, gaining more energy and freedom from clutter and disorganization, while bettering love relationships, being more mindful, more creative…

Gretchen Rubin is amusing and I like her writing style and appreciation for research, love for reading and writing and the fact that she left her job as an attorney (a profession I once aspired to achieve) to follow her love for research and writing…for a living 🙂 (Big happiness goal for me).

Reading about Gretchen’s happiness project in this first week of the year has been perfect timing to get me thinking about my Happiness Project for 2013 — and beyond…

I celebrated my 31st birthday in December. As I grow another year older, my mind shifts to the fact that I am still a childless woman. The desire to have a child continues to grow everyday with silent yearnings as I spot beautiful young life all around me.

I’ve been off of birth control for about four years now with no luck of falling pregnant. There were times when my cycle was longer than usual (32 days) and I admit to getting my hopes up – only to face negative pregnancy tests.

At these times I suffered with immense heart ache spilled over in an intense kind of unrelentless pain deep in my center when my period appeared often shortly after breaking down to take the tests. This strong type of pain is understandable by any woman who has suffered with infertility issues. 

The pain with my period was so much worse as it was coupled with emotions of….loss. The loss of what could have been, as my mind opened up to the changes that would have to happen in my life with a young baby boy, of the warmth of his fingers around mine, his head against my chest…

This is a big goal for me this year — to have a miracle life growing inside of me. 

Reproductive Energy in Each of Us?

My mother in law stayed with us for Christmas and begged me one night to find a needle and thread. After digging through boxes in my closet I finally came up with one.

She told me to hold out my palm — OK stay with me… 🙂 and held the needle close to the top of my palm.

If the needle rocks back and forth it means you’re going to have a boy. If it goes in a circle – it means a girl. The needle predicts how many kids you’re going to have (boy, girl in what order). I know it sounds like of kooky – lol.

I watched it sway side to side, then in a circle – Boy. Girl. Perfect 🙂

Whatever, she’s turning it, I thought. This is some kind of positive mind trick she’s trying to pull on me. To prove to myself that she was moving it, I held it over her palm – my hand still – and watched as it outlined each of her six kids, by sex, in the order they were born.

Then she held it out over my husband. Boy. Girl.
No way?

We did it over and over again, taking turns holding the thread and we always got the same result for each of us.

OK so maybe it is just a positive energy thing – but I can tell you I didn’t move that string. Perhaps there is a reproductive energy alive in each of us that can be tapped if we search for it….

Regardless, the exercise provided me with a little bit of hope and I know that it’s better to have faith then to fall into the dark thoughts of never, nevers….

Reconnecting to My Body

What I realize now at a much wiser 31 🙂 …. is that I’ve been pretty clueless about the workings of my body during it’s cycle. I recognized that I get pain and twinges around ovulation and that my periods were anywhere from 26 – 32 days.

On the times that I really considered pregnancy were on the longer cycles. I think I based my idea of “late” on 28 days — as this is the normal cycle length – right? Well not for all….

I recently read an awesome, highly recommended book called Taking Charge of Your Fertility  by Toni Weschler. The book teaches how to chart your cycles by taking your daily basal body temperature and measuring cervical fluid.

For the past month and a half I’ve been charting my cycle, making sure to take my temperature first thing when I wake up (at the same time everyday) and checking my cervical fluid throughout the day. My charts have already granted me insights into my cycle that have lead me to look further into issues with my thyroid.

I had my thyroid checked before Christmas and since one of my antibodies tests came back high, I had an ultrasound done to get a better look at my thyroid. Turns out that the lower right part of my thyroid is inflamed, which indicates Hashimoto’s.

I learned that Hashimoto’s is an auto immune condition in which the body’s immune system starts to attack the thyroid hormones, shifting the body into hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism.

The diagnosis hit me kind of hard – as my mind shifts back to my pregnancy goal – yet another setback…another incurable condition.

From Darkness to Light

While I do try and remain a positive person most of the time, I struggled to force out the negative thoughts in my mind after receiving this diagnosis….

I hate endo.
Now this?
I’m never going to get pregnant. 
It’s just NOT going to happen. 
I need to accept it.

I felt further distraught from the temps I’ve been seeing on my first full month of charting my cycle. My temperature did rise, indicating ovulation on day 18. Then my temp dropped on the sixth, seventh and eighth day past ovulation (DPO), only to rise back up on day 10.

Today is day 30 of my cycle (12 DPO). and I’ve had no flow….a little cramping. My breasts have been super sore the last three to four days and I’ve been feeling really drained — and emotional. My face is breaking out. My back aches and I’ve had a headache all day – ugh.

(What sucks about endo is that it mimics the symptoms of pregnancy)

I ran my charts by the gals in the natural endo group I am a part of and they too noted the drop in my temperature after ovulation, then rise — odd.

I spent some time today perusing fertility boards online and found that a drop in temperature after ovulation, then a rise could be a sign of implantation.

OK so this gave me a little hope. Finding this info allowed me to shift my mind from what may never be, to what could be. Opening up my heart again to the possibility. And was enough to shift my frown upside down.

Being open to the possibility also opens up the chance for disappointment and hurt, but I understand this. Better to have love and lost then never to have loved at all? Isn’t that how the saying goes?

At least now I am better equipped to recognize symptoms in my body — to see what is going on each cycle – to note differences and patterns. This control and knowledge of my body allows me to uphold a bit of peace with lessened stress and anxiety.

Getting back in touch with my body is a big part of my happiness goal for 2013. I’m going to keep my eyes on my daily temperatures in hopes that they remain high (Perhaps I’ll be able to hit this goal in the first week of the year?) 🙂

On the Positive Side?

Today we picked up our new baby! Only he’s the furry kind…We picked up our two month old boy boxer puppy – Einstein 🙂 This will be our second dog.Alice – our one year old boxer puppy has truly been a light in my life this past year. She makes me laugh everyday without fail. Sometimes when I look into her deep brown eyes and I feel like she just knows….

She has an outline of what we refer to as her “angel wings” on her back – two rays of fur shaped like wings, a color lighter from the rest of her hair.

I do believe we have an unspoken connection. She’s distracted my mind from the obsession of pregnancy and the stress and heartache associated with infertility.I’ve set a goal to really try this year to get pregnant now that I better understand my cycle and what’s going on with my body.

I’m shifting my mind back to hope and possibility.

I promise to be more mindful of the natural symptoms my body is telling me and having fun with the whole conceiving part :-)If you are not already done so, I’d definitely recommend reading Taking Charge of Your Fertility (TCOYF) and to start charting your monthly cycles.

If nothing else, I feel less stressed knowing more about what’s going on with my body.

I pray that 2013 is the year of miracle endo babies 🙂
Much love to all of you who continue to try…

I feel the new era of love and life is upon us. Peace.

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