Not Now

I’ve been struggling with what to write and what to share … You can probably guess from my silence that the pregnancy test was negative. I wasn’t really prepared for the emotional pain that this process would bring. A new friend sent me an email yesterday telling me that she felt like she could handle every kind of treatment as painful as it was, but it was almost impossible to handle the failure.

Yeah.

Last week was rough.

I wrestled through all sorts of emotions … the realization that I just spent over $4K and got nothing out of it … or so it felt. I felt very alone in my pain and grief. I felt like I had lost purpose. My why and drive for all of my goals …. gone. The Dr. told me it’s my age – we could try another IUI, but the chances go down — he said I would have maybe 3-5% chance of getting pregnant on the 3rd try. I waited too long. It’s too late. …. then I felt betrayal.

You see, I have waited to start a family … waited on God’s plan to provide my mate. I wrestled with this several years ago when I was considering adoption … I decided I didn’t want to do it on my own. But I’ve been faithful to God’s word in the wait. And now … the dr says my age is keeping me from conceiving?! And do you have any idea how difficult it is to adopt an infant for someone over 40 AND single? Pretty damn near impossible.

And don’t talk to me about Sarah. I’m not going to be birthing babies at 90. Or 50 for that matter. I don’t want to hear it.

Betrayed.

Angry.

Alone.

No purpose. No hope.

I was in a very dark place for a few days last week.

Fortunately I already had planned out in my mind what I would do if this didn’t work. I just needed to grieve and get a nudge in the right direction from my friends who have supported me in this entire process.  {Thank You}

I went back to the Dr. and visited about all of my options. And do you know that I have at least 4 friends who have shared with me that this dr has gotten them pregnant …um … well, you know what I mean. Anyway … seems IVF or embryo adoption are my best options at this point. Both very expensive. With IVF I can use my eggs assuming enough are harvested, fertilized and survive. It cuts out the question of whether the egg makes it down the fallopian tube, gets fertilized and begins to grow. I’m betting my eggs are playing hard to get … just seems like what my genetic material would do. (Hmmmm…. I wonder if there’s an oil for that?)

The cost is overwhelming but ironically puts purpose back into my goals…and I have an amazing mentor who is confident we can get YL to pay for this. (I am going to borrow some of her confidence … Silver, Gold, and Platinum, here we come! And we’re not stopping!)

In the meantime, I’m buckling down on working on my health. I still have some lingering issues with methylation/MTHFR, thyroid, hormones, energy and belly fat. I know it’s all connected. I have found a new integrative doctor/clinic that I’m checking out and will get all the labs done to start and see what I need to focus on first. And will be working on completing the Woman Code program that I purchased several months back.

But

The part about God is still a big struggle. Can I just be honest say, I’ve been struggling in my spiritual walk for a while. Oddly though, my struggle has been less about God and more about religion. But this feeling of betrayal was definitely directed toward God. Guess He’s big enough to take it. I turned off all music last week. Every song that came on the radio stung … the songs of God’s faithfulness, praising Him in the storm, how God is so good … UGH. It all just really ticked me off.

Don’t preach to me … I’m not in the mood.

A few nights ago, for some reason I was wanting to hear some music with a hammer dulcimer. I love that sound. And the only artist I know of that plays is Rich Mullins. So I pulled up youtube and started listening.

I started watching several of the videos. And then one of my friends commented on FB about the movie based on his life – Ragamuffin. So I watched it on Amazon.

I had no idea the struggles that he had. A man so profoundly used by God … he was a rouge in the Christian music industry – doing things his own way — I totally loved that. And so troubled by his past, dealing with alcohol and other addictions. I had no idea. I wish even more now that I could have met him.

I needed this. Someone to be real and authentic in their struggle with God. Then I came across a video of him telling the story about his song “Hold Me Jesus” … the quality is not great, but I absolutely love the story.

Well, sometimes my life
Just don’t make sense at all
When the mountains look so big
And my faith just seems so small

CHORUS:
So hold me Jesus, ’cause I’m shaking like a leaf
You have been King of my glory
Won’t You be my Prince of Peace

And I wake up in the night and feel the dark
It’s so hot inside my soul
I swear there must be blisters on my heart

CHORUS

Surrender don’t come natural to me
I’d rather fight You for something
I don’t really want
Than to take what You give that I need
And I’ve beat my head against so many walls
Now I’m falling down, I’m falling on my knees

And this Salvation Army band
Is playing this hymn
And Your grace rings out so deep
It makes my resistance seem so thin

CHORUS


~We are definitely not supposed to be traveling alone. And I am grateful for those who travel with me. You know who you are.

Two Week Wait Take 2

I’m excited to say I’ve had my second IUI and as of yesterday have begun my two week wait. YAY!

I learned a lot from my first experience and will not be doing any pregnancy tests before my test with the doctor. Getting so many negatives was just way too depressing. I will wait.

I feel much more at peace this time and am happy.

~Daily asking God to grant me fertility and fill my womb with strong, healthy new life.~

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The wait is over …

Two weeks to wait after an IUI … seems like an eternity!! It was quite a roller coaster of emotions for me.  I want to say that I appreciate all the prayers and support that everyone has showered me with since I started sharing my baby journey … the results are finally in …

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WELL… the answer isn’t what I wanted to hear. The test came back negative. I am disappointed and sad and even grieving a bit, but definitely not giving up. I will try again soon.

I’ve learned a few things in the last two weeks though …

First thing … it’s a bad idea to keep taking the home pregnancy tests … when the results come back negative each time, it just really doesn’t help the roller coaster emotions! And I learned that most women who are positive don’t test positive on a home pregnancy test until after a missed period. The HPT packaging is misleading.

And the BEST thing … I have AMAZING friends and family who have showed up and showed incredible support. I am blessed beyond measure and I love you all!

~Still Believing …

Knitting

Today I was thinking about this verse:
For it was You who created my inward parts;  You knit me together in my mother’s womb.  I will praise You because I have been remarkably and wonderfully made.  Your works are wonderful, and I know this very well.  My bones were not hidden from You when I was made in secret, when I was formed in the depths of the earth.  Your eyes saw me when I was formless; all my days were written in Your book and planned before a single one of them began. Psalm 139:13-16 (HCSB)

And so I wondered … “Is God knitting in my womb?”

BBorn

~Waiting … 6 more days for an answer

The Blackberry and The Morula

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Got my first blackberry from my bush today:

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Speaking of blackberries, around day 3 or 4 after fertilization, the egg is called a morula and has the appearance like that of a blackberry. If I have any fertilized eggs from Saturday’s IUI, I could be at this stage now. Of course, sperm can live for 3-5 days, so who knows….

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~Counting down the days!!

 

 

Waiting is so hard …

That was my lament to my friend Cynthia this morning. I love her response…

“Awww. Yes. But each phase of all of it has it’s own magic. You are in a beautiful space of potential right now.”

….a beautiful space of potential. Yes. So much potential.

I think of all the wonderful things my children might be. I hope they are loving, kind and compassionate. Strong, confident and full of passion. Courageous, truthful and full of integrity. So many things.

I wonder what they will look like. I imagine their features developing…will they have red hair like me?

Is it strange that I already talk to them?

“Are you there, little ones?”
“Are you growing?”
“Where are you now? … still traveling down the slip ’n slide?”
“Have you nestled into your bed where you will be nourished and grow?”

By the way, speaking of potential, there is potential for 2. My Dr said 2 eggs were ready on one side and I don’t want to leave anyone out!

Of course there are two sides to potential … but I keep my thoughts focused on the positive potentials … I don’t want to worry much about the negatives. I know they’re there.

~Dwelling on potential…new life.

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The Two Week Wait

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My IUI was this morning and all was good (minus the torture device they use to pry … ahh never mind). Doc said my sperm specimen looked great and had over 10 million swimmers.

And now I wait.

Two weeks.

This might just be the longest two weeks of my life.


The miracle of life …

We are all miracles … after seeing this video, I am reminded of just how special, unique and amazing that we all are. Created for a purpose.

I am overwhelmed by the support from my friends and family. You are all amazing! Thanks so much for your prayers and encouragement!
~Waiting with anticipation, hope and excitement!

Oily Baby(ies)

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I just ordered sperm today. That’s a statement that I would have never imagined ever saying … wow!

I am turning the page to a whole new chapter in my life … one which has been in the works for over a year now.

I have wanted to share this news for a while (and have with a few close friends) but I have worried some about putting this out there and then not being able to see it through. My fear is that it won’t work. But I have decided to share my news and my journey as a step of faith.

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Image by wollymood at deviantART

So, here it is … I will have my first IUI (IntraUterine Insemination) sometime this week using donor sperm. I’m single, 41 and going for what I’ve always wanted .. my own kids.

My own oily baby(ies)

Wait. Oily?

A year ago in April I joined Young Living Essential Oils as a distributor with my mentor health coach’s team. This has been one of the best decisions I’ve made – ever. Life changing. The healing power of the essential oils alone is amazing .. but combine that with the relationships and friends that I’ve gained as well as friendships renewed – I can hardly even describe how incredible this journey has been.

Shortly after joining YL, I was chatting with one of my new oily friends and in our conversation, she honed in on an area of my life that I had given up on. I was sad that I would never have my own kids … at 40 and still single, I just felt that there was no time and I was too old. What I didn’t know was, that she was a donor coordinator for a fertility clinic …. it was definitely a “divine appointment” type conversation. She encouraged me to follow my dream of having kids and assured me that I wasn’t too old and that I had many options.

As I began to think about the possibilities, I was very excited but also with that came a lot of fears that I had to work through.

The biggest fear was “what would people think? I’m single … I don’t want people thinking that I’m sleeping around…” The answer came .. it was really easy. It doesn’t matter what others think. I know what’s true. This decision is between me and God.

The next fear was “will my friends support me?” I started talking with my closest friends and found overwhelming support. I was pleasantly surprised. But I also came to the realization that with or without support, no one can keep me from my dreams except for myself. I realized that I want no regrets … no regrets of never trying and doing everything that I can to have my family.

“Go confidently in the direction of your dreams.  Live the life you imagined.” Thoreau
So I began taking steps toward my dream.

I joined an organization called Single Mothers by Choice and began reading stories of other women who have set out on their own to start their families. I joined up with a local group as well.

I visited with my gynecologist and she excitedly referred me to a reproductive endocrinologist (RE). I began learning about all of my options. The process isn’t cheap (and of course, not covered by health insurance).

I signed up for several sperm banks and started looking at donors.

I decided to get off the hormones I had been using and try to get my cycle on track without them. (I have a history of irregular cycles and dr in the past just prescribed hormones instead of trying to get to the root of issue). After a fertility cleanse and using Progessence Plus (from Young Living), my cycles started regulating.

So now, how do I pay for this?

In the fall, I started making small amounts of money from my Young Living commissions, so I decided to start putting those checks into my savings account. Baby money. As time passed, my commissions increased and so did the baby fund.

I began researching essential oils and other natural options to enhance fertility and started my own Facebook group dedicated to this information.

A month ago, my baby fund reached an amount where I was comfortable to begin. I chose a donor, contacted my RE and today I purchased my sperm. IUI will be at the end of this week or over the weekend.

And now I’m preparing myself. Nutrition, exercise, prayer, meditation and visualization with oils (one of my amazing Health Coach members created a beautiful visualization for me … if you want help with this, I will happily connect you to her!!). I even have a friend on standby for a raindrop treatment to help me relax and prepare.

I am so excited to begin writing this new chapter. I’m hoping for miracles. I’m well aware of the odds (no need to remind me) but I’m stepping out in faith and believing that this journey will be amazing. I am so grateful for the cheerleaders along the way.

This post is dedicated to my dear friends who introduced me to YL, coached and encouraged me along the way and inspired me to follow my dreams … I am grateful for all who have supported me but I want to name a few who I hold dear. I am also grateful for the amazing, healing oils that Young Living provides as well as the opportunity to share them with others AND realize my dreams!

Cynthia Henrich introduced me to YL oils. She started out as my health coach mentor but in the last 2 years that I have known her, she has become one of my dearest friends.

Kim Schultz-Ferrentino helped me to get started with YL and we quickly became amazing friends. She has been a constant source of encouragement and love.

Shanna Wahlquist is my dear friend who inspired me to follow this dream. We met when we both joined YL about the same time on Cynthia’s team. We started working on our YL businesses together as accountability partners and we call ourselves Team SASS.

And special thanks to Angel for the beautiful visualization and Elizabeth for the Raindrop treatment.

goconfidently-cropped~Chasing the dream…

 

Taking Thoughts Captive … or Herding Cats?

I was on a training call last night when the speaker, Stacey Hall, said she was going to tell us how to wake up in the morning. Instantly I perked up.

This is something I need to hear. I don’t know about you, but most days, I’d rather stay in my bed just a little bit longer than my schedule allows. And for me, it’s not because I’m tired … though there was a time when tired followed me all.day.long.

Not anymore. I am finally getting real rest.

For me, I don’t look forward to my day. At least M-F from 8-4:30….It’s actually not bad — I am blessed with a great job — it’s just not my passion and there are numerous other things that I’d rather be doing…. Like working on my golden handcuffs and coconut money.

So, when my alarm goes off in the morning, I often wake up angry. Yes. Angry.

Over the last few weeks, I’ve started diffusing my lovely YL essential oils as I’m getting ready for bed and going to sleep. I’ve tried many different ones, but the blends Believe, Release and Abundance seem to be my favorites lately. There is no science telling me which one to choose, usually I’m just drawn to one and I go with it. I’m learning to trust my inner voice.

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I have noticed a change in my attitude as I am rising to meet the new day. I’m not excited to get up … yet. But I am also not angry anymore. However, I still have room for improvement and I want to start my day on the right foot. Which means I have to venture from the bed.

Stacey mentioned (this is my paraphrase) that going to sleep with positive thoughts will help your mind to marinate in them and you can wake up in the morning with positive thoughts. Prayer, meditation and gratitude are great places to start, but how often do we affirm ourselves for the great things we’ve done?

Time to go APE.

It’s awkward … kind of like when I started talking to myself in the mirror … but appreciating yourself goes something like this:

“Tracie, I appreciate you for taking the time to invest in yourself and your business by joining in on this training call … and really great job for stepping out of your comfort zone and attending that networking event!”

“Tracie, thank you for nourishing me with healthy, delicious food today. Thank you for listening to your body and giving it what it needed today!”

And so on … reality is, my mind wandered a lot. Kind of reminded me of my kayak lesson. At the beginning of our lesson, our instructor (Jamie) taught the 5 of us to “raft up,” which is what what he would say when he wanted us all in a line, our boats parallel with each other and we would hold on to each other’s boats while he gave us instruction. At first as we tried to get our boats together, he kinda laughed and compared it to herding cats…. LOL!

But he patiently taught us the different paddle strokes and at the end of 3 hours we could paddle forward, backwards, sideways, in a circle and make a sharp turn. Some of us even took turns practicing “wet exits” (getting out of a capsized boat) and rescuing each other. I have to mention that facing the fear of capsizing the boat really helped me to enjoy the whole kayaking experience more. Nothing left to fear … but that’s a whole different lesson!

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Practice … yes at the end of 3 hours Jamie called out for us to raft up and we had it down! In control, no injuries, calm and having a blast!

Ok, I’m going to have to practice the appreciation for myself at night and I’m sure in time that my thoughts will be less like herding cats. I think it means I have to practice awareness of my thoughts throughout the day and start training them to focus on the positive, on solutions, on action, gratitude, integrity and so on…. Over time, I’ll strengthen the focus and the awkwardness will dissipate…I’ll be able to raft up those thoughts and get to my goals much quicker.

So, this morning when my alarm went off, I caught my thoughts. They were going negative, but I was able to intercept them and think about how I wanted to start my day.

I am grateful for the job I have – it is the springboard that will get me to where I want to be.
I am grateful for another day to show my love and appreciation for those in my life.
I am grateful for the amazing journey that God has me on now – I know there are many great things in my future.

~Rafting Up!
I AM a Master Attractor of ALL I desire to support me in achieving my B-All!

Finally brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable — if there is any moral excellence and if there is any praise — dwell on these things. (Philippians 4:8 HCSB)

By the way, if you’re interested in learning more about Stacey Hall and going APE, check out her website: http://www.chi-to-be.com/ and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ChiToBe
I got to meet Stacey at the YL convention in June and we have chatted several times since then. She is genuine, inviting and full of a lot of wisdom, and her book is helping me to reach my goals. If you feel stuck, then this is a great resource to start working through that!

If you live in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area and are interested in learning to kayak, I highly recommend Discover Kayak. You will have a great time!
Discover Kayak

You Have Blessed My Life

I am so blessed … for so many reasons but there is one thing that I want to share my gratitude for today. My tribe.

The last few years I have been finding my way out of darkness and into the light of healing … the light of love. I learned something recently … the more I open myself to receive love, the more I can give love.

There was a time when I shut everyone out. I remember the day. I was in junior high school, a boy was picking on me on the bus. I stood up, turned around and pulled my fist back like I was going to deck him … he stopped. Everyone was shocked, including myself. I sat back down and in tears, decided that no one would ever hurt me again. Ever. This was only one incident in the long line of hurts that had already piled up in my young life. And I was tired of it. That decision came with some hefty consequences. I shut down emotionally – the decision to not be hurt also meant that receiving love became difficult. The armor around my heart didn’t just keep the bad stuff out, it kept everything out.

I guess the armor served a purpose for a while. I survived though I can’t say that time was pleasant.

But God.

Isn’t He just so good to His children?
He is always pursuing … He never gives up.

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God put people in my life who loved me anyway. And over the years, the armor has softened, cracked and began falling away. It started with the one special friend in high school who took me under her wing, then my faithful college buddies (we call ourselves “Sarah”), my best friend, church friends, Life Group, CR, and those I’ve met here and there along the way …. wow! I’m so blessed. And every year, it just keeps getting better … this last year has been the most amazing. Starting with the journey with Precision Nutrition’s Lean Eating program … and one special mentor who reached out to me and showed me beauty that I could not see. My heart opened up allowing me to receive the next part of healing — which started with my mentor coach at The Institute for Integrative Nutrition — and led to an amazing friendship with a group of people who are on the same path as I am.

My tribe. These are the people who really “get” me. We share many common interests but are free to be unique…my weaknesses are their strengths and vice versa…We share a passion and a vision.

As I look back at the people in my life who have had the most impact on me, I realize that I have several tribes or circles of friends. Life is dynamic and multi-dimensional, after all — It makes sense. Each tribe is just as important to me as the next.

I met my newest tribe when I joined Young Living and quite honestly, I am having trouble expressing in words how I feel about these amazing women. Our friendship started online via Facebook, phone calls, Google+ hangouts, Skype … and we finally got to meet in person a few weeks ago (except for one — and we will meet soon, of this I am sure!). It was a family reunion — and the whole week we bonded and shared and loved as if we had known each other all of our lives. I experienced so much healing through them and through some emotional release work that I did using the YL essential oils. I am so blessed that they were there with me during that time. My heart is so full … and this is how I realized that the more I open myself to receive love, the more I am able to give. Otherwise, how can I give what I haven’t received?

God demonstrates love the same way — He loved us first as described in 1 John 4:7-21

7 Dear friends, let us love one another, because love is from God, and everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. 8 The one who does not love does not know God, because God is love. 9 God’s love was revealed among us in this way: God sent His One and Only Son into the world so that we might live through Him. 10 Love consists in this: not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 11 Dear friends, if God loved us in this way, we also must love one another. 12 No one has ever seen God. If we love one another, God remains in us and His love is perfected in us.

All of my life, God has been loving me and I’m just now getting it.
Really getting it.

“Keep the spark of passion kindled by finding a way to connect with people who inspire, uplift, encourage and empower you. Because however passionate you are about following your chosen road, you will experience uncomfortable moments of doubt and fear. Being an entrepreneur doesn’t mean you have to do everything on your own; and drawing on the encouragement of others, whether in person, through virtual networks and forums or through reading uplifting material, will calm and inspire you to get right back in your groove. And don’t forget to have some fun along the way as well.” ~ Kathryn Bryant – Brillyantliving

Every single friend in my life has been a blessing to me and I value each one. Thank you for loving me through thick and thin … and know that I love you more than you’ll ever know!

~Loving Deep

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