10 things you may not know about me

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Hey this is Chrissy, and I wanted to share some things about me that you may not know about me.

  1. Commercial jingles stick with me, and they may be repeated to you at random times.  You may hear about an insurance company, a drink maker, or a toy store.
  2.  I met my husband through my brother, they were best friends and on the volunteer fire department together.  I was on the auxiliary and so many of the guys were like brothers to me.  My brother is now a professional fire fighter, but my husband is no longer on the fire department.
  3. Myself, my husband, and my grandmother all have the same birth day – different years of course.  My grandmother always thought I was born 2 days after her birthday until she had to get a copy of her birth certificate and found out she was incorrect on her birthday.
  4. My first job was a telemarketer for a cemetery.  I had to call and schedule appointments for the sells representative to go out and try to sell plots to them.  I then worked as a hostess in a seafood restaurant, in child care as a 3 and 4 yr old teacher, at a law firm, and then in the District Attorney’s Office.  I now work at a domestic violence and sexual assault agency.
  5. I was almost named Crystal Gayle after the singer, but thank goodness they changed their mind.  My oldest brother also ran away from home when I was born.  Granted he ran to our uncle’s house, but he still reminds me that he ran away.
  6. Sea turtles are my favorite animal. To learn about their odds just to make it from the nest to the ocean is inspiring.  The beach we go to always has sea turtle nests, and each year I stalk the nests just trying to see them making their journey, but I have never seen one hatch.
  7. I love the smell of tractors and tobacco curing.  I grew up on a tobacco farm and those smells take me back to memories of my family and especially my grandfather.  I was assigned the job of cutting the string on the stringer, driving the tractor, or helping at the barn.
  8. I do not handle emotion well.  Most of the time I bottle it up until it overflows and then the tears flow.  I feel like I have to be strong for others and if that means I cry in the shower of by myself then that is what happens.  I will of course talk about issues to my husband, family, and friends but there are lots of times that emotions overtake me.
  9. I have the support system ever!  They support all of my crazy ideas and ventures.  If it is something that will take 30 minutes or an all night Relay For Life event.  I do not know where I would be without them, but I do know that I would not be nearly as sane as I am today.  My best friends and I may not be able to decide on where to eat, but we can quickly decide to meet for lunch.
  10. The beach is my refreshing place.  When we worked in tobacco our payment every year was a trip to the beach.  My first trip with Steve was to the beach.  We got married at the beach.  The first time we thought I was pregnant was at the beach.  Two years later we went to the beach for our anniversary and a month later we found out I was pregnant.  I would love to live at the beach, but don’t tell Steve because the last time he mentioned it I wouldn’t discuss it because I want to be close to my family and friends.

What do we not know about you? Feel free to share below.

 

Hidden Hurt

Inside you feel like you are sinking.  Broken hearted, drowning in grief, or digging deeper into depression.  Do you hide your hurt?  Who do you hide it from?

For me I hid it from just about everyone – my friends, my family, my husband, and sometimes even from God.  I didn’t want anyone to know that I was imploding.  I didn’t know what was wrong with me, what I had done wrong, or more importantly how to fix it.  I saw others get pregnant with what seemed like no issues (if they had infertility I didn’t know it).  I saw women upset that they had become pregnant, women not caring for the child they were carrying, or had already had.  I worked in a career that brought lots of people to my attention that were not caring for their children.  How could God give them a child or children but not me?

I finally realized that I couldn’t judge those women.  I didn’t know their story or their hurt.  Keep in mind that was a long road or realization, but I had to let go of that hurt.  Was it fair that I was dealing with infertility, no.  However, it was not my fault or the other women’s fault that I was dealing with infertility.  I couldn’t blame myself or blame them as they were just as innocent in my diagnosis as I was.  Plus, they had no idea what my story was so I couldn’t hold them responsible.

I was blessed with an amazing support system that I realized just how important they were.  They could lift my spirit, make me laugh when I wanted to cry, or if I cried they would join me.  We need to share our hurt and not keep it hidden.  It is not healthy to keep it bottled up.  At some point the pressure in that bottle will explode, and from my experience it typically does not explode at the best time, place, or person.

You may not have a huge support system, but you have us.  You may not know how to deal with the pressure building up, but we are here.  You may not know the best way to deal with how you feel, but we are here to listen.  Will you trust us, and remove the top from the bottle of emotions you are storing?  You may choose to completely remove the top, or maybe just release it a little at a time.  Regardless we are here, and want to support you on this journey.  Do not continue to hide your hurt, let yourself begin to heal your hurt.

Creating a Community

One reason for starting this blog is to create a community regarding infertility.  During the journey with infertility I often felt alone as I watched others get pregnant and have children.  Infertility makes you feel broken, alone, and unworthy.  Now lets look at that sentence again – satan makes you feel broken, alone, and unworthy.  Faith Like Hannah is a chance to change our mindset.  We do not want to disregard the pain of infertility, but instead create a community that supports, encourages, and uplifts each other.

We know that it is difficult to watch others get pregnant, but as sisters in Christ and as fellow infertile women shouldn’t we also see the joy?  I am not saying that you are not entitled to your emotions because you most definitely are.  I am just suggesting a community that is able to share the tears and the joys through the journey of infertility.

Imagine dealing with infertility and finally getting your miracle baby, but you no longer have friends around because their pain is too great.  Imagine being in a group regarding infertility and once you become pregnant you are no longer seen as “one of them”.  Imagine going through infertility with no one to encourage you, listen, or share the joy or pain.  A lot of times that is exactly what people with infertility experience.  We want to change that.  We want to share in the joy, pray and support in the pain.  Most importantly to be there for each other as a community.

We hope you will join this community and also help us to reach more people who so desperately need this type of community.

Galatians 6:2
Share each other’s burdens, and in this way obey the law of Christ.

Day 1 – Prayer for Clarity

“Your own ears will hear him.  Right behind you a voice will say, “This is the way you should go,” whether to the right or to the left.” ~ Isaiah 30:21

 

Another translation words it as “this is the way turn around here” and it is from the Blessings for the Lord’s people.

To me this confirms that He will always be with us, listens for us to ask him for direction and clarity. We also have to be sure that we listen for his direction. If He says to go to the right why would you go to the left? He sees the big picture while we only see the small puzzle pieces. Do you trust the path he says to take? More importantly do you trust God?

We often think that we have all of the answers, but our answers are often tainted by the wants of the flesh, the desires that we have, and with infertility all of the emotions we have take a role as well.  I remember thinking maybe this is what he wants for me, or maybe this, or maybe this.  The whole time I was not listening for his direction for me.  I was working from emotion, want, desire, and my own agenda.  Entering into infertility my husband and I decided how far treatment wise we would go.  This was a personal decision for us, and I am so glad that we made this committed decision prior to starting on the infertility journey.  Knowing that we had made that decision beforehand took the option of changing our mind along the path.  There were times that I could clearly hear God telling me to wait, and those were reassuring moments but then my own mind would start running through options.  I had to silence my own mind and keep repeating his words to me.  What if the path didn’t involve me having a child was I okay with that?  My husband told me one day that even if we didn’t have a child we still had a good life.  That was hard for me to hear but also exactly what I needed to hear.

 How can we be sure we are listening for clarity?  What do you need clarity on? Maybe what treatment, what medication, or maybe God’s plan for your life.

Lord, we come to you asking you for clarity during infertility.  Clear our minds of our own thoughts and allow us to clearly hear you and which way you want us to turn.  Lord we want to silence ourselves so that we can hear you, grow closer to you, and affirm that we trust you.  Lord you know what tomorrow holds, as well as what years from now hold.  We struggle with knowing what today holds, and we ask for your clarity on your plan for us.  Does your plan involve more treatment, more waiting, children, adoption, or no children.  Lord we struggle with the thought of our future not involving children, but we know we can trust you.  Please make our thoughts, prayers, and paths clear. In your holy name we pray Amen.

~ Chrissy

 

Infertility still hurts

Infertility is such a confusing, hurtful, emotional, and mental attack that it changes everything in your life.  You may think this goes away once you have a child, but I have found that it doesn’t.  I still have lots of beautiful, strong, encouraging women around me dealing with infertility.  We laugh together, cry together, and find our way through this journey together.

When I had Emma I couldn’t wait for everyone to see her, and meet her.  However, I have a friend that when she walked through the door at the hospital I had to take a deep breath and fight back tears.  She had been on this journey with me, but I didn’t know if Emma would hurt her.  Not the typical hurt, but the emotional hurt.  This friend is the one that I dreaded telling that I was pregnant because I didn’t want our friendship to hurt, and I didn’t want this announcement to hurt her.  Instead, she kept asking about my next doctors appointment, and when I was going.  I tried to blow it off by saying oh I had to reschedule, but she stayed persistent asking questions.  Finally I said I am not going because I am already pregnant.  Before I could finish “pregnant” she jumped in my lap hugging me.  It had gone so much better than I imagined, so how would this first time of seeing Emma go?  As she walked in I just reached my hands out to hand Emma to her.  Needless to say the visit went well, and we both did good because we didn’t cry.  When that same friend would have a bad doctor’s appointment she would ask for me to bring Emma by to see her.  Each time I would ask if she was sure because I didn’t want Em to bring more pain.  She would reassure me that it would help not hurt.  Now if you have never experienced infertility I will let you in on a little secret.  Infertility impacts your mind to the point that you find yourself hating pregnant women.  Strangers, friends, or family members it doesn’t matter it just hurts you so the defense is you don’t like them.  I would take Em to visit and for that time frame I just let the friend take care of her, hold her, and feed her.  I wanted the friend to experience the peace and love of a baby even if it wasn’t her own.  the friend now calls Emma “puddle” because she says Emma melts her.

While that visit was the first infertility experience after having Emma, it wasn’t the first slap in the face of infertility for me.  After having Emma I was thanking God for giving me this wonderful blessing, and enjoying every minute of her.  I never complained about the pregnancy, the labor, or any of the rough days.  Everything was good until my cycle stared back.  That first one after having Em was BAM in the face reminder of all of the negative tests and infertility.  The reminder of all of the times I thought I was pregnant only to find out I wasn’t.  The reminder of the hurt, the pain, the questions, and the miracle in the other room.

Since I started talking about infertility I have realized how complex infertility is.  Once you get pregnant it is like others with infertility don’t want you around because you are now what they hate.  Then other pregnant women don’t want to hear about infertility because it doesn’t make sense to them.  Now you are lucky if you keep infertile friends, and if you go through parenting with someone else who dealt with infertility.  I am so lucky to have friends in both of these categories.

Infertility is tricky.  You catch little details like the length of time they tried to get pregnant, the number of treatments, the number of medications, and the amount of “work” they put into their infertility.  However, that shouldn’t be the focus.  The focus should be on encouraging each other and uplifting each other.  I have formed so many wonderful relationships through this journey.  I hope I am able to encourage others through my journey, and show them that there is hope.

I still have fears from infertility and grieve because of infertility.  What if I was so selfish to have a child that she has my smile, my tiny little toe, but also my infertility?  What if I cause her to have the same pain from infertility?  I grieve for women who may never hold their babies this side of heaven.  I grieve for the women who have to say goodbye to their baby before they ever say hello.  I also grieve for the friends who do not know what to say for they do not understand that sometimes no words are the best ones.  I am an open book about infertility so if you have questions feel free to ask.

~Chrissy

Why is sharing my story important?

While praying about starting all of this infertility stuff – this blog, the Facebook page, the Facebook group I kept asking myself why is sharing my story important? What will I accomplish by sharing my story? How will I be able to help others?  After a lot of thought I wanted to share with you why sharing my story is important.

Most importantly because God brought me through the darkest valley of infertility.  During this valley I was able to grow closer to God, grow as a christian, grow as a person, and most of all just grow.  God was the biggest support that I had during infertility.  I had amazing friends and family but I decided not to share this valley with all of them.  I hid negative pregnancy tests from my husband, why would I then share with so many other people my hurt?  I was selfish, I made it about me when I should have been making it about God.  God was there waiting for me to turn to Him, cry out to Him, and most of all trust Him.

Sharing my story lets others know that they are not alone.  So many women and couples go through infertility and satan whispers in your ear that you are alone, you are broken, you do not deserve a child.  That is so untrue, but as long as we are quiet and do not share our story then those with infertility will continue to feel alone.  We can come together to support each other and let them know they are not alone, they are not broken, and they are deserving.

Here is the catch to all of this though, sharing your story is important as well.  All of us have not had the same journey, but I bet we have felt a lot of the same emotions.  We have had the same thoughts, we have had the same envy, and we have had the same hurt.  We all should share our stories so that we can help each other!

Will you share your story? Remember your story is important too.

Chrissy