you’re the only TENN-i-SSEE

Recap of our trip to Tennessee… it was AMAZING. I forgot how much I love that state. I love our family there. I love the scenery. I love the moonshine. We had a great week celebrating my birthday and spending quality time with our cousins. It always goes by so fast!

Highlights::

We drove the loop in The Smoky Mountains, which was insanely beautiful and we made it just in time because the next day it snowed!!

We homemade some moonshine. {Rye is my favorite}

We went to Gatlinburg, which is such a fun little town. We drank more moonshine.

We sat on the front porch in rocking chairs.

We had family dinner at my husbands Aunt and Uncles house. It is so awesome. It is a log cabin that they built from the ground up. Auntie Kris even made my favorite cake for my birthday. LEMON!

We antiqued. And found a cool vintage moonshine mug that we couldn’t live without.

We hung out the little cousins {Charlie and Tatum} and it was so fun.

We drank more moonshine.

Here are some photos from our trip… Enjoy xoxo

 

 

 

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Birthday Wishes

Today is my 29th birthday. With that, I know I get one birthday wish. I have decided to make a promise to myself this year. This birthday I will not wish for a baby or a pregnancy.

For the past 3 years every candle I have blown out on top of my birthday cake has been a wish that goes something like this, {and not exactly because I know wishes don’t come true if you tell them}… “please, please I wish that I will get pregnant and have lots of babies!” With every year that has come and gone, so has my wish. Maybe I need to be more specific. “Please, please let me get pregnant tonight!”

This year I have a different wish for myself. I am going to wish for world peace. Ok, maybe I am not going to wish for that because we all know that would be a waste of a wish, but I am going to make a wish that has nothing to do with babies, pregnancy, or infertility.

I don’t want to go into the last year of my twenties wishing for another life that is not mine or that I may not ever have.

Birthdays are a new start. Fresh beginnings. A time to start new endeavors with new goals. I am going to move forward with fresh confidence and courage to take on the next year with a happy heart!

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Tennessee.

We have come full circle. 3 years ago we began our “real” baby making journey on a trip to bring my husband back home from the South. A trip which began in lovely Tennessee. In a few days we will be heading back there to visit family and celebrate my last birthday in my 20’s. A spontaneous trip non the less!

Let me back up. Hubs and I had started trying/not trying in September of 2011. In the midst of that hubs was going to be attending an accelerated paramedic program in Indiana in January 2012 for 3 months. We decided if we were not pregnant by the time he left, that we would start trying/trying in April when I flew out to meet him in Tennessee to road trip back home. {hubs has awesome family in Tennessee, which is why we were meeting out there}. Fate would have it that I was ovulating on that trip, but God had other plans. Interesting enough if I do fall pregnant this month we will be in Tennessee finding out either way. And if I’m not, you know who will be moonshinin’ their heart out? THIS GIRL.

So here we are again. Heading to Tennessee 3 years later, right in the same place as we started. Maybe a little wiser and definitely a little bit older.

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The Loneliness of Grief

Lately I have been noticing that a lot of the lady loves I follow are feeling the same way I am about infertility kicking our asses emotionally. Today Resolve posted a great blog post by The Broken Brown Egg, and I think it pretty much sums up my feelings exactly about loneliness, anger, and grief in regards to infertility. I just adore it. I hope you enjoy as much as I did.

“October is pregnancy and infant loss awareness month. During last month’s #MoonshineMeetup, a conference call for the Broken Brown Egg’s Shellshocked Support Group, one participant said something so profound that it really made me stop.  She said, “If someone’s child passes away, they are expected to mourn, and they are allowed to think about it.  Because my child was never “born”, does that mean I should act as though it never happened?  Why don’t I get to think about them?”. 

It was a heartbreaking thought, because it made me really stop and think about how lonely grief really is.  I started to really think about how many women and men we encounter every day who we never suspect to be in mourning.  They are right in the middle of their pain, and we look right through it.

Infertility in and of itself, is an ongoing bereavement.  With every month gone by, you are constantly grieving over your vision for your life, your hope, or your plan for your future. Every single day is a readjustment period.  Every reset and restart is like signing yourself up for the same pain all over again.

And the hardest thing about grieving, the absolute worst thing, is that it feels as though everyone wants you to forget. They will say that it’s because they want you to feel better, but you feel as though what they really want, is for you to not bring them down.  They don’t want to look at your sadness anymore because it is an uncomfortable inconvenience.

“Grief is like the ocean; it comes on waves ebbing and flowing. Sometimes the water is calm, and sometimes it is overwhelming. All we can do is learn to swim.” ― Vicki Harrison

To our credit, most of us do a pretty good job of keeping our sadness to ourselves.  But it crushes you.  Your heart feels like it’s beating out of your chest, and your body does what feels like a double-step.  You think to call or message someone, or just scream “Help Me!!”, but then that overwhelming feeling of loneliness sets in.

You’re not actually alone, but it feels that way.

Because everyone else is over it.  And you just know that when you start laying out your issues, their facial expressions will say, “are you still talking about this?”, or “umm,…isn’t there someone else more qualified to listen to you about this?”.  Everyone else seems to have moved on.  Everyone else can act as though nothing ever happened.

But something did happen.

And it is happening.

And it hurts.

It feels as if everyone wants you to “just” let it go.

And you’re left thinking, “But why do I have to forget?

And, “Why don’t THEY remember?”

You get furious at their impatience.  At their painful indifference.  At the way they treat you as though you want to stay there.  That you want to feel this way.  That you want to be unhappy.

We spend a million hours every week with all types of people.  Laughing, talking, hanging out, working our jobs.  Mundane things.  And most of the time, nobody realizes who is actually broken inside.  I mean, if you can do your job adequately, and you provide enough of a “you” for it not to be so obvious that you aren’t firing on all cylinders, not one person is going to touch your shoulder like in the movies and say, “Really, are you okay?”.

“Grief never ends… But it changes. It’s a passage, not a place to stay. Grief is not a sign of weakness, nor a lack of faith… It is the price of love.”
— Unknown

Wherever you are in your process, it was on my heart to share this simple truth: Grief is lonely, and it often outlasts sympathy, but it is necessary.  Allow yourself to grieve. No matter how you come out of this, or when you reach the ever-elusive “other side” of it, know that it is your right, to remember and reflect and regroup.

Whether it is a child who never took a breath, or one who took far too few.  If it were a dream that never came to light, or a loved one who is no longer with you,…you have the absolute right to remember that it/they mattered.  The condition of your heart, is important.  What it feels like to YOU, is valid.  And what you’re going through, is real.

Take all the time, and love, that you need.  You have my empathy.”

source: thebrokenbrownegg

Take care my friends and know that I too, have so much empathy for you. I am always here to just listen, for a shoulder to cry on, or to have a glass of vino ready to chat. xoxo Rikki

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I am popping a boner over Coldplay’s newish album Ghost Stories. This post has nothing really to do with infertility other than the fact that music is my lifeline and it helps my mood and helps get me through hard times, happy times, and everything in between. Do yourself a favor and GO GET IT!! It is definitely hitting the spot this Sunday morning. That is all.

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infertility is kicking my ass.

I have been having a rough few days. I feel like when I am making progress in my journey I encounter more set backs. How can I be soooo high one day and so low the next? It is a very helpless feeling.

It all started Friday. Ok, if I am being honest, I haven’t really been feeling great since the bachelorette party when my bff told me she was pregnant. I guess I have been taking the news harder than I wanted to admit. My inner mind has been driving me crazy for a week. I haven’t been sleeping well, I have been analyzing her situation, my situation, the whole nine yards. Anyways it all caught up with me over the weekend.

My period started Friday. Usually this doesn’t effect me anymore, as I assume it is coming and I stopped getting my hopes up a while ago, but for some reason this month I really felt like maybe I could get pregnant on my own. I have been eating healthy, working out, praying, thinking positive, and I even started my Fertilitea.

I had a crazy busy weekend with weddings, which adds extra stress.

My bff is pregnant, along with about 5 other people I know who have announced their pregnancy within the last week. Its weird how it comes in waves and it is one of those times. oh joy.

Did I mention my period started?

So on top of feeling like shit all of Saturday- I literally was holding back tears the whole way to do my wedding and then again on the way home, I come home to a box and a note from my fertility Dr. {Mind you I have not heard from him or the clinic since our last failed IUI in June.} Inside was my camelback water bottle that I had accidently left at the office the day of our IUI and a note that said,Dear Rikki, I hope you’re well and perhaps even successful with a pregnancy… it really doesn’t matter what the rest of the note says because this fucking set me off. REALLYYYY??? You never called to check on me after my last IUI and now you are writing a note hoping I have a successful pregnancy? Remember how YOU didn’t get me pregnant?? You know I have unexplained infertility right? You know you should never assume an infertile is pregnant on their own? I am super thankful to get my camelback back considering they are expensive and my husband has banned me from buying another one until I got this one back, But really? Really?

Obviously I lost my shit. Totally and completely lost it. Hubs was a saint and so was my Mom.

The only saving grace was that I got my Diva Cup in the mail and I couldn’t wait to use it. Gross I know. But super cool. I cannot believe that this was the little shed of light that was carrying me through the day… I can’t wait to get home and see how much blood I have in my little cup!

I feel like my feelings surrounding my friends pregnancies are not validated. Like when I say I wasn’t that upset or I didn’t feel like crying when my bff told me she was pregnant and I get the response back “good. that’s good you didn’t feel that way.” It is like people are saying “good, you shouldn’t feel like crying, because it is not a crying matter.” But what if I said I wasn’t ok and that I wanted to scream and cry? Is that ok or just selfish?

I feel like no one is empathetic or understands what I am going through. Sure people feel sorry for me or have sympathy, but I do not believe anyone truly understands how I am feeling.

I feel so alone.

I feel frustrated.

I feel like I cannot grieve yet. I cannot grieve because I don’t know what I am supposed to be grieving. I cannot grieve yet because we haven’t gotten any answers. I could grieve if someone told me, “Rikki, you will never get pregnant.” Ok I could grieve that and move on with how I am supposed to have a child in another way. I cannot grieve because we are not done trying. We are in this miserable, shithole limbo.

I feel angry. At myself and every pregnant girl out there.

I just want to feel “normal” again. I want my life back pre infertility, when I was naïve and happy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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ever upwardI am so excited I could spit! In the mail today was Justine Brooks Froelker’s new book, Ever Upward!!! I can’t wait to start reading it tonight. Thank you Justine for the little note, it made my day 🙂 Get your copy now…

 

 

ever upward

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