Saturday, January 29, 2011

A Manly Point of View

I have wanted to write about how infertility and adoption affect each spouse differently. The endless poking and prodding, mounting medical bills, frustrations in waiting, and invasion into your love life can take a toll on any marriage. Couples who struggle with infertility have a choice to make. They can either blame each other for their problems, or they can face the challenge head on, hand in hand. Infertility can either drive a couple apart, or it can strengthen their marriage in a way they never thought possible. Spencer is always good to remind me that I am not infertile, “WE are infertile.” It is his struggle just as much as it mine, and together we are going to get through it!
With that in mind, I asked Spencer some questions about how infertility affects the husband differently from the wife. With his permission, I share some of his responses here.
Whitney: Thank you so much for agreeing to share a husband’s perspective on infertility, you hunk of burning love.
Spencer: My pleasure, darling one. But I can’t speak for ALL husbands out there, this is just MY point of view.
W: Of course, of course. Good point. Something I have noticed through this experience, is that I am very vocal about our situation. I talk, I write, I cry, and I am always updating you on how I feel about our situation currently. My methods of coping are to vocalize my thoughts and feelings. Please, why don’t you tell us about your methods of coping?
S: Well, I have a hard time vocalizing my feelings sometimes because I am so shy and reserved. {Whitney here, just have to interrupt and let you know that this is Spencer being sarcastic. He is anything BUT shy and reserved. This man will yell my name out at the top of his lungs if we get separated in the grocery store. This man will laugh and joke with any waiter or cashier as if he has known them for years. This man will wear a penguin emblazoned onesie to a Halloween party. You get the idea, moving right along…} I guess my method of coping is just pushing forward with life. Not in a calloused way. I DO feel the loss. However, I have a special responsibility to provide for my family. I have felt sadness also, but then the time comes for me to buck up and go to work. Keep in mind that a man’s role from husband to father might not change as much as women’s role from wife to mother. A man will still go to work to support his family. In our family, Whitney will stay home to take care of the children when they come. Emotionally, the transition to parenthood will be significant for both of us, but my lifestyle will not be altered as much as Whitney’s will.
W: I should say that it was important for me, to realize the different ways that Spencer and I have coped with our situation. At first, I was worried that Spencer wasn’t as affected by this loss as I was. It took me a while to learn that Spencer did need to talk about how he was feeling, just not as often as I did/do.
S: I think that’s partially because women are often deeper than men, emotionally and spiritually.  Whitney has more to say on the subject because a woman’s feelings are more complex.  And because a woman is more in tune with her emotions than a man (as a general rule), she may be able to better articulate how she is feeling. 
W:  I will also say that even though Spencer may not need to talk about the issue as much, he is ALWAYS been a good listener. There have been many times when he has given me his undivided attention whether I needed to vent my feelings or cry in his lap. Spencer, why don’t you tell us how you feel about the adoption process?
S: Well, I am excited to find our baby through adoption. I must admit, however, that it took me longer to get there than Whitney. I have had a harder time letting go of the idea of children that look like us. I wanted little Whitneys and Spencers, but mostly little Whitneys. Eventually, I came to feel, as Whitney does, that it doesn’t matter how our baby comes to us. I know that however he or she comes, they are meant to be ours. It just took me longer to realize that.
W: Like Spencer said, I was the one to kind of… present adoption as an idea. I would love to have children of our own. But my goal is not to get pregnant, my goal is to be a mom. We didn’t proceed with the process until (after much fasting, prayer, and temple attendance) we were both equally on board with the idea. Perhaps I wanted to move in this direction first because as mentioned earlier, I am the one who is not able to entirely fulfill their role as nurturer. Thus far, I have been able to devote more time than Spencer has to the adoption process. He often works twelve hour days, I am currently working part time. We are both working hard, in different ways to build our family. Nevertheless, I have wanted reassurance from Spencer that he is okay with me proceeding “full speed ahead.”
S: I TOTALLY am. Whitney has had more time to devote to some parts of the adoption process (for example, creating our adoption blog). This is probably often the case. I mean, if you look at the adoption blogs out there probably MOST of them were created by women. The woman perhaps takes a more active role in the seeking part of the adoption process. I also like to be involved with what is going on; but a large part of my contribution is working.
W: And he does a great job of being involved. He writes letters to our baby too. He has helped spread the word too. He has researched too. He works so hard for our family. Dealing with infertility and adoption, like all things in a marriage, take team work. We’re doing different things, but all for the common good of our family.  What has been most useful to us is to communicate about how we handle things differently.  Because we have been able to do this, we are not offended by each others different methods of coping.  We also know the best ways to offer comfort, because we talk about what the other person needs. 
For another AWESOME look at infertility from a man’s perspective go here.  Another fabulous blog, by the way.  Please take a peek. 

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

I Needed A Change

Heavens knows I’ll probably change it again soon.  That is what I do.  I am a tweaker.  I am constantly rearranging things, especially in my house.  The problem is, I can never commit to one style or way of doing things.
Does anyone else ever feel this way?  Like they like such a variety of styles and colors that they have a hard time committing to one particular scheme?  If I am able to finally make up my mind, I find I want a change a little while later.  Sheesh.  I don’t know what to do with me.  
I have been playing with ttv effects lately, and I am HOOKED I tell you HOOKED.  Any picture I take looks infinitely more awesome ttv.  Even boring ole’ ordinary ones. I'll have to share more later. 
Well, laundry calls. 

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

From Blah to VoilĂ 

You really can’t have too many white shirts, but this one mostly sat in the back of my closet because it was kind of boring, even for a white shirt.  I think I’ve had it for years.  Anyways, I took this poor little forgotten, neglected, lonely little shirt and gave it…
… ruffles.  Lots and lots of ruffles. 
(please pardon the close up of my bosom.  I should have taken a close up of the ruffles on the hanger, not on me… you don’t think I’m a perv, do you ?) 
And now I wear it all the time. 
The end. 

Monday, January 24, 2011

Places to Visit

Desperately, helplessly, longingly, I cried:
Quietly, patiently, lovingly God replied.
I pled and I wept for a clue to my fate,
And the Master so gently said, 'Child, you must wait'.
'Wait? You say, wait! ' my indignant reply.
'Lord, I need answers, I need to know why!
Is your hand shortened? Or have you not heard?
By Faith, I have asked, and am claiming your Word.
My future and all to which I can relate
hangs in the balance, and YOU tell me to WAIT?
I'm needing a 'yes', a go-ahead sign,
or even a 'no' to which I can resign.
And Lord, You promised that if we believe
we need but to ask, and we shall receive.
And Lord, I've been asking, and this is my cry:
I'm weary of asking! I need a reply!
Then quietly, softly, I learned of my fate
As my Master replied once again, 'You must wait.'
So, I slumped in my chair, defeated and taut
and grumbled to God, 'So, I'm waiting.... for what?'
He seemed, then, to kneel, and His eyes wept with mine,
And he tenderly said, 'I could give you a sign.
I could shake the heavens, and darken the sun.
I could raise the dead, and cause mountains to run.
All you seek, I could give, and pleased you would be.
You would have what you want But, you wouldn't know Me.
You'd not know the depth of My love for each saint;
You'd not know the power that I give to the faint;
You'd not learn to see through the clouds of despair;
You'd not learn to trust just by knowing I'm there;
You'd not know the joy of resting in Me
When darkness and silence were all you could see.
You'd never experience that fullness of love
As the peace of My Spirit descends like a dove;
You'd know that I give and I save.... (for a start),
But you'd not know the depth of the beat of My heart.
The glow of My comfort late into the night,
The faith that I give when you walk without sight,
The depth that's beyond getting just what you asked
Of an infinite God, who makes what you have LAST.
You'd never know, should your pain quickly flee,
What it means that 'My grace is sufficient for Thee.'
Yes, your dreams for your loved one overnight would come true,
But, Oh, the Loss! If I lost what I'm doing in you!
So, be silent, My Child, and in time you will see
That the greatest of gifts is to get to know Me.
And though oft' may My answers seem terribly late,
My most precious answer of all is still, 'WAIT.
I found this poem here.  I LOVE that girl.  I think I read everything on her blog in one sitting.  I love the grace and hope with which she has handled her situation.  I want to be like that. 
And if you want to read a REALLY good article on infertility go here.  I love Sister Kapp.  It is a comfort to me, that she could never have offered such powerful words of hope and strength had she not gone through those trials.  It’s a beautiful reminder that we can use our struggles to bless the lives of others.    
And if you want to read an article on birthmothers from a prospective adoptive mom (me) go here
And if you want to go to Europe with me, click here(Just kidding, kind of)

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Things Aren’t Always What They Seem

I’m sure by now you know my fascination with book projects.  Here’s my latest one:3
Book becomes jewelry box.  I suppose you could put whatever the heck you want in there.  But I needed a place to keep my really valuable, really authentic, 100% plastic pearl jewelry.    2
I just took an old water-damaged book, and hollowed out the pages with the world’s sharpest knife (which I got for free after listening to a lengthy, live, infomercial-like presentation at Sam’s).  Then, I modge podged the pages together.  I have lots of fun ideas for things to do with all of the pages I hollowed out too.  I’m off to get started. 
Toodleoo… Toodle-ooh… no idea how you spell that.  Why anyone would even want to spell something with “toodle” in it I don’t know. 
Spell check keeps insisting that I’m trying to spell Toledo.  So…

Thursday, January 20, 2011



I’ve noticed a pattern in my journal writing/blogging.  I am consistent for a while and then life catches up with me and then the next thing I know, it’s been some time and I have all kinds of things to catch up on. 

I can’t count the number of journal entries that begin with, “Sorry it’s been so long…”  usually followed by a promise to be better.  No more apologizing and promising for me.  I’m doing the best I can, and my journal will just have to accept that. 

And as far as blogging goes, I share when I have time, and don’t stress if I don’t because it’s all just for fun anyways. 

I have more book projects to share.  But I haven’t had time to take pictures.  That’s okay.  I’ll be back when life slows down a bit. 

Happy Friday-Eve. 

I Don’t Believe You’ve Met

I didn’t want to show pictures of these until AFTER I had given them away as gifts.  Well, they made their way to their new homes long ago, and I completely forgot to show them off here. 
Better late than never?
I constantly go back and forth on whether or not I should try to sell my creations.  I like making things.  It could be a fun way to earn a little extra money.  But on the other hand, I worry it might just take the fun out of it.  I hate mass producing stuff.   
I think people might buy them… I even sold the necklace right off my neck one time!  I always get compliments on my handmade accessories.  Then again, I don’t know if I really could make a go of it.  There are so many make-it-and-sell it entrepreneurs out there right now.  I don’t want to have to compete.  That really would take the fun out of it for me.  I just want to make what I love because I love it.  I don’t want to have to compare my product to someone else’s and fight to be seen.  Bleh. 
I think for now, I’ll just be content making and wearing, and sometimes gifting my trinkets and what-nots.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Mr. Blake

It is this little fella’s birthday today.  A QUARTER OF A CENTURY YEARS OLD!
I sure do love him.  On long car rides we like to play this game called “You’re the _____ to my _____.”  It’s really exciting, let me tell you, and it goes something like this:
You’re the hot to my tamale.
You’re the shop to my aholoic.
You’re the oak to my lahoma.
You’re the stink to my pot.
You’re the green to my grass.
You’re the neck to my tarine.
You’re the corn to my cob.
See, I told you it was a really exciting game.  We could play for hours.  Hee hee.  It’s all true.  He really is the cup to my cake.  Happy Birthday Spencer!  

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

A Post Looks So Naked Without Pictures

Right now I am not happy. 
I am usually a happy person, I promise!  Most days I am cheerful and have a smile on my face.
If I am not happy one of a few things has probably happened:
1. I found out I am not pregnant (usually via that stupid-poopid monthly visitor I love to curse)
2. I found out a friend or family member is pregnant
There are of course other things that can make me unhappy, but I am talking about my infertility happiness.  Much of the time, I am happy in spite of our current situation.  But if situation 1 or 2 arises, I am not a happy infertile that day.  And if 1 and 2 happen on the same day… well… lets just say I wouldn’t want you to witness the blubbering mess I become.  And if we add a situation 3 to the mix (I received a baby magazine in the mail) or a 4 (I saw an ultrasound picture on facebook) it is not a pretty sight.  Often the next day, after I have cried it all out, I can be happy again.
Today, I am dealing with situation 1 and 2.
I am afraid that unfortunately, this blog sometimes sees more of the unhappy side of me than the happy side.  When I am sad, writing helps me sort out my feelings.  I also keep a personal journal, but (as I mentioned in a previous post) I have wanted to share some of my struggles with infertility in hopes that it might help others who are struggling as well.  Because though none of us want to focus on the negative in life, there are not many things more comforting than knowing that someone else understands how you feel. 
These feelings make me feel like such an ugly person.  I don’t like falling apart.  It is embarrassing to lose it once a month.  I hate to admit that someone else’s good news can’t be good news for me too.  It is not that I don’t totally love my pregnant friends and family members!  I do!  I do want them to be happy!  One of my greatest joys is sharing their children.  I love being a part of my nieces and nephews lives.  I wish I lived closer to them and could be a bigger part of their lives.  Our dearest friends have a baby, and I love her more than I can say.  They are so good to let us kiss and cuddle and love her.  The friend who I just learned is pregnant is also very dear to me, and I am really excited for her little family to grow even more. 
In my heart of hearts I am happy for them… just sad for what I am missing.  I tell Spencer all the time, “It’s not that I’m mad at them, they are just so lucky!  I can’t help but feel a little envious.” 
So there you have it.   Infertility makes you feel ugly sometimes.  You feel ugly on the inside for feeling jealous, and you feel ugly on the outside because you can’t make a baby.  You feel unfeminine and broken and somehow less than what you should be.  I may never get to be a cute pregnant girl, and that makes me sad.
Tomorrow is a new day.  I will be happy tomorrow. 

Monday, January 3, 2011

It Was Worth It

There are a few books that I try to read every year.  The ones that teach me something.  One Tattered Angel by Blaine M. Yorgason is one of them.  This is one of my top three favorite books of all time, and that is saying something.  Every time I read it, I am filled with a spirit of gratitude and humility.  Without giving too much away, it is the true story about the family of a baby girl with lots of major health problems.  Here’s a quick excerpt from one of my favorite parts.
           “And suddenly I knew, if I could have spoken with my tiny daughter- if I could have talked with her for just five minutes about her seemingly unfair pain and suffering- she would have told me [one thing].  ‘It was worth it!’ she would have said.  ‘It was worth every agonizing moment’.”
Life is so hard sometimes.  As I reflect on the challenges I have faced in my short life, I have different feelings towards each struggle.  Some I am grateful for.  Others, I am learning to be grateful for.  But I am certain that the day will come when each of us will look back on our lives and say, “It was worth it!”  Even if we don’t feel that way now, I believe we one day will. 

I have spent a lot of time lately pondering on the challenges of those I love.  It seems like I have many dear friends and beloved family members who are facing very real struggles right now.  Sometimes I just feel like throwing my hands up in the air and shouting, “Why does life have to be so hard!”  I look at my sweet family who has suffered so much this past year and think, “Haven’t they suffered enough? How much longer do we have to trudge on until there’s some kind of relief?” 

I don’t know.  I am not sure how long they will have to wait.  I’m not sure how long I will have to wait.  I do know that everything will be all right in the end.  Even if we all have to wait a really long time.  I know it.