Tag Archives: nam myoho renge kyo

Unshakably Happy


So, I’m a Nichiren Buddhist, which is probably the best thing I have going for myself currently.  It’s really helping me not lose hope through this rough patch.  I’m sure people of all kinds of faith will understand that.  The organization SGI (Soka Gakkai International) is structured very much around the members and each individual experience.  We are encouraged to share our struggles and our triumphs with one another, strengthening each other’s faith and practice.  Nichiren Buddhism is not one for blind faith, really.  It’s more about challenging the practice, and learning from our results and the results of others.  THIS is how we grow our faith, by constantly seeing proof, and getting a better understanding of how and why it works.

Every month, each group has a discussion meeting.  There will be a specific topic that the group will delve into together, we will share our favorite quotes pertaining to the topic, read related articles, and share our thoughts and feelings on it.  But the real kind of meat and potatoes to these discussion meetings are the shared experiences by members.  Typically one member who has recently received an inspiring benefit, or has just made an exciting cause in their life working towards a major goal, will be asked to tell their story.  The human aspect of encouraging one another is massive.

I’ve been asked to speak at our meeting today.  I was asked months ago, and was really hoping to have something inspirational to talk about by now.  I was hoping my story would have turned around and I could talk about how I was coming out on the other side.  But that’s just not the case.

Our struggles are what shape us into better human beings.  And the goal of Buddhism is to be unshakably happy.  That means that your circumstances do not determine your happiness.  Circumstances will always change and shift, and if our happiness was dependent on them, that would mean our happiness would waver as well.  To be whole and complete and to find inner peace and happiness NO MATTER WHAT is what being a Buddha is all about.  The cool thing is that we are all Buddhas.  Whatever you believe in or whatever religion you practice, the key to your happiness is within you.  It’s YOURS.  You have the power to make great changes in your life, and the greatest thing you can do is have courage, and to make the determination to be unshakably happy no matter what challenges come your way.

I know I talk a lot in my blog about not giving in to the sadness that surrounds IVF.  It’s not that I’m suppressing my feelings, it’s that I am making the determination to focus on being happy instead.  It’s not easy, but it benefits me immensely.  When I feel sad, I allow myself to, but I try not to feed into it.  I respect my emotions, but I also realize that being happy is my choice.

Human suffering is something that every person on the planet shares.  People with small problems and people with big problems all experience suffering.  I’ve found that the people with only the seemingly small problems actually suffer just as much as the people with large problems.  Of course the people with large problems would love to trade with those that have small, superficial ones.  And that just proves that our situations are subjective.  If a person going through the loss of a child got to trade with someone whose biggest problem was worrying about making rent that month, they would feel light and free and HAPPY.  But that person who only lives in the realm of not knowing if they will make rent, suffers.  They are sad and consumed with worry and it most likely will effect other areas of their life.

I hope that makes sense.  And I also hope it does not come across as though I am making light of what any of us are going through.  I’m so happy to have found women to share stories with and a community of support.  I hope that we can also encourage one another to find real happiness through these challenging times.

I don’t have a happy conclusion to share at my meeting today, but I have the enlightened determination to face this challenge head on and win.  Let’s all be champions for ourselves.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Last Night

push-button toy

I wasn’t sure if I was going to post about this.  I try as hard as I can not to throw a pity party for myself and mainly focus on finding humor in this situation, with a little side order of being pissed.  That’s typically the recipe I need for survival.  But last night I just broke and could not for the life of me get it together.

I don’t know if it’s the BCP finally kicking in or what.  I mentioned before that the last time I took them they made me insane in the membrane.  But I was more just not myself, not an emotional wreck.  So who knows, maybe I really did hit some sort of breaking point.  I’m feeling a little better today, and I knew I would.  Things are always colored differently by the light of day.  That’s why I didn’t write this last night.  But I was like a moment away from feathering all my hair and swooping it across my forehead, putting on massive amounts of eyeliner, turning on some hair touching band with a whiny dude singer, and writing my lament a’la Lydia Deets.

While I’m glad I didn’t do that, I was reminded last night about how reading other women’s stories made me feel less crazy and less alone.  I guess, according to every person that has ever tried to console me while I was crying, you’re supposed to remember how other people have it worse than you do.  That never worked for me, it only makes me sadder.  The only time anything like that ever works for me is when I am feeling sorry for myself when my husband is on tour, and I make myself remember families out there whose loved ones are in the military, putting themselves in harms way, and then I usually feel so stupid I just laugh at myself.  The most danger my husband is ever in is getting accidentally clipped by the tiny, sweaty elbow of some overzealous teenage stage diver.

But, no, thinking about how other people are sadder/worse off than I am does not tend to make me feel appreciation for what I have.  I feel even further down the hole, like sadness is insurmountable.  I can’t save those people, I can’t even save myself.  The world is a terrible place.

What set me off yesterday was the nurse at my appointment for my MMR vaccine.  No, she wasn’t a bitch.  I fucking WISH.  She was totally warm and sweet, and that is my kryptonite.  When I’m sad or upset, I can be pretty tough.  And when people are terrible to me, I can hold it together and defend myself and be strong, I have no problem with that.  But the second someone shows me real kindness, I turn into one of those tiny push button toys of a horse or giraffe that collapse when you press the bottom.  I crumble.

Of course one of the first things out of her mouth before giving me the shot was, “Any chance you are pregnant?”  I pressed my lips together, and even though I smiled politely as I said “no” it was like she was somehow able to see through it.  She didn’t say anything but smiled back warmly.  “Do you plan on being pregnant any time soon?”  Now I can feel the sensation of water pressure building up behind my face, but I was still holding it together, at least I thought so.  “No.”  Then she said the most terrible thing she could have said to me in that moment.  “Are you ok?”

She said it so sweetly, in the warmest voice, and there was nothing I could do about it at that point.  I cried.  Like ugly face cried.  Then she really went above an beyond, asking me questions and not taking “I’m ok” for an answer.  It took a little bit to get anything out of me because I didn’t want to burden her with it, or make her feel like she needed to continue to be sweet to me.  Like she would feel trapped and be sorry she asked if she really knew what was up.  But she was really wonderful, and talked to me for a good amount of time and offered to let me sit in the room with her until I felt better.

I never really recuperated from that yesterday.  As I was going about my day, I would look down at the band aid on my arm and it would all come back to me.  I even did my very best to focus on whatever I could that was shallow.  I turned on my go-to antidote for all things feelings, Bravo TV.  But none of my familiar beloved sociopathic housewives were available to hang out.  It didn’t matter, there was some show on about money grubbing realtors in Miami and I thought “perfect.”  Halfway through the episode, the sort of deadpan Jewish American Princess with the personality of a dial tone took her dog in for a teeth cleaning and it fucking DIED.  I lost it.  Why Bravo, WHY HAVE YOU FORSAKEN ME!?

I turned off the TV, pulled it together, and tried to focus on something else.  I have been asked to speak at a meeting of the Buddhist organization I belong to this Sunday.  I wanted to work on what I was going to say. I was really hoping I would have something inspirational to share at this point, and I just don’t.  At that point balloons and confetti dropped from the ceiling and Lionel Richie played over the speakers, this pity party was in full swing.

I guess I try to fight it too much.  I don’t WANT to be sad about this.  And I know I shouldn’t be, things could be much, much worse.  But am I going to be am mom??  I seriously need to know.  Cool I have my health, and a great husband, and lots to be happy about.  But is it ok for me to actually admit I might trade every bit of that for a baby?  I mean, that’s kind of messed up, right? There’s something to feeling sad when you know you shouldn’t be.  It would be one thing if something horrendous had happened to me.  Then I could cry and grieve and let it all out.  I almost feel like I’m not allowed to be sad right now, but I am, so it’s really messing with me.  I don’t want to burden my husband, family or friends with it.  Everyone has their own stuff going on.  And honestly there’s really nothing they can say or do about it anyway.  So I cried.  Hard.  Like violently vomiting up sobs.  And my body oscillated  through numbness and then stabbing pain, and then numbness again, over and over.  But I think I just needed that.  I feel better today, I do.  I think I may have exorcised the demons, at least for right now.


Tagged , , , , , , , ,

Time Out


I can’t even go into all the set backs we had due to the changes in healthcare in the past couple years because I’m one step closer to the edge, and I’m about to break.  But just to sum it up for you, between my diagnosis of the uterine septum and possible endometriosis (which turned out to be stage 3) and my actual treatment, it took a YEAR.  A whole mother-loving year.  And in that year, I had 5, count them, F.I.V.E.!. doctors retire on me.  (Not that I blame them, I would have retired as well)  So we were just lost in the shuffle every step of the way.  There were tests I had to take multiple times because my results were lost, or by the time they got them back to us, they were old news and they wanted current info on what was going on with me.  I had to have an HSG TWICE because of this same reason, and those are miserable.

So, needless to say, I’m getting rather effing antsy!  Also with 35 just around the corner for me, time is of the essence.  So I pretty much had a melt down the other day when the nurse informed me that the Dr. was insisting I get my Rubella vaccination and that you can’t start treatment for 3 whole months after!

We had been over this in his office in our last meeting.  He told me that my blood work showed that my Rubella levels were “a little low” and that we should “think” about getting a booster.  He also told me the risks on BOTH SIDES of the issue.  It sounded to me like it was my prerogative.  I am a believer in vaccinations, but I knew that I did still have some of the vaccine in me, and it seemed like something I could do after the baby was born.  Also, the fact that there were a couple risks on the side of getting the booster as well, pushed me in the direction of waiting.  I’m never around children and would make sure I wasn’t in this time, limit my traveling, and be super careful.  The fact is, the vaccine is in my body still, and had I not started this process of ttc I never would have known it was a little low.  I felt like it could wait 11 more months.

But now, the WEEK we were supposed to start the IVF process, I find out that it is mandated by the Dr. and he won’t let me start unless I get the vaccine, well, 3 months after actually.  I don’t mind him being cautious, he is a doctor and that is his job.  I’m also not going to argue with him when he tells me what is best for me and my baby.  He is the EXPERT.  I am not, I don’t care how much I sit in front of Google.  I was still having a very massive woe is me moment after receiving that news.


Anyway, so after all this, I got some pretty good news today.  My doctor said that it’s actually only a 30 day period from the time of vaccination and actually getting pregnant that is unsafe.  But I can start the treatment within those 30 days, so I’m good to go!  I have an appointment this afternoon for my MMR and then I don’t have to worry about it anymore!  It’s kind of the best outcome because I would have been a little worried about it even if the doctor had allowed me to sign a waver or something and start treatment without it.  And now we can proceed on schedule!  For now.  We’ll see what this TTC wants to throw at me next.  Sometimes I feel like this infertility odyssey is a huge game of dodgeball.  *WHAM* You’re out.  Go sit in the corner until your next period.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Here Goes Everything!

I can’t think of many things more personal than dealing with infertility.  Even when you try to be open with people about it, there are times it can be met with so little understanding you’re almost left feeling like you should be ashamed of even paying attention to this thing your body can’t do.  Like you’re greedy or something for not just focusing on what you DO have.  Unfortunately I’ve learned that, for some people, not understanding something has absolutely no correlation to how opinionated they are about it. Despite all that, I want to share our story as it happens.

The main reason for this is because I know I would not have made it this far if it weren’t for all of the awesome women who have shared their stories with me. Infertility is heartbreaking. And I guess when we put all our little broken pieces together, we can make something cool out of it, a sort of mosaic. There are so many feelings when dealing with infertility, I believe if you can’t have some sort of outlet, you’ll most certainly explode. I’d like to dig up unsolved mysteries of spontaneous combustion and see if I can’t find a link to infertility.

So before I go BOOM, I’ll share my story. Some of our history is in the About Us section. Our IVF cycle is still brand brand new, but it’s been about a 3 year trek to even arrive here. I started my BC pills on Friday night, so far I feel no difference, which is a good thing. The last time I was on birth control I was cah-ray-zay! And not in the fun way, either. I think I tend to be a pretty hormonal person on my own, puberty took roughly 8 or 9 minutes to completion for me. I went from long standing member of the Itty Bitty Titty Committee to carting around my very own set of Dub Ds faster than you could spell Soleil Moon Frye. I’ll never forget the inopportune moment it happened, either. My mom had just bought me a plum colored t-shirt dress from the Gap that were all the rage in 1991. I tried it on and went bounding down the stairs to show it off to my family. As I hit the 3rd or 4th step my sister gasped, pointed and sang “KATIE’S GOT BOO-BIES!” I hated that song.

So I don’t know if the hormone thing really has anything to do with my reaction to birth control. All I know is that some of my less boobified and more tomboyish friends loved taking it. They were all Zen about it and felt great, the dumb bitches. It just made sense to me that it was like a scale, leveling them out, meanwhile sending me into overdrive, pressing heavily against the “Serial Killer Mode” switch in my brain. Let’s hope that doesn’t happen again.

I have no idea how women did it in the 70s. Weren’t they taking like a bajillion milligrams back then?? I guess that explains the adoration of shag carpeting, puke green and baby shit yellow that decade, women were out of their poor minds!

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , ,
%d bloggers like this: