2

What 13 Reasons Why Shows Us About Bullying

In case you’ve, somehow, missed the craze of Netflix newest series 13 Reasons Why, I’m going to insert the obligatory spoiler alert here.

13 Reasons Why is a 13 episode adaptation of Jay Asher’s novel about a girl who commits suicide & leaves behind 13 cases tapes explaining what led her to do so. If you received the tapes, you were one of her reasons why.

Not only was the series griping from the start, but it also illustrated how much damage bullying can do to someone. As someone who was bullied themselves, I felt this message was accurately depicted.

Much of what happened to Hannah Baker, the main character, appeared to be subtle bullying/harassment at first that viewers later saw grow into larger ramifications. What seemed small at first became dramatically larger over time because each awful incident did one very unfortunate thing. It made it okay to treat someone so poorly.

Which is exactly what happened in my own life thanks to the girl who thought it was okay to start bullying me. At first, she was on her own having fun with making my life miserable. Soon after, I picked up side bullies that followed in her footsteps. Why? Because it was somehow then okay to pick on me. I was the new girl in seventh grade & it became the thing to do for several girls in my class.

On top of dealing with the bullying every day, something else happened to me as a result. Apart from the cruel ones, there were actually a few nice people in my class but, after being so beaten down, I stopped trying. I stopped trying to form friendships of any kind with any of the kids in my class because (as Hannah says in the series),  “it was open season,” on me, I never knew if someone asked me to sit with them to be nice or because it would be funny/allow me to be a target for one of those girls.

13 Reasons Why had a lot of very important messages to be had & one of those messages I hope viewers take away from it is be kind to one another & realize just how much a seemingly small action from you can effect someone else’s life. We live in a world where we, still today, hear abut bullying all the time. I see the pleas from parents on Facebook asking what to do for their child who is slowly being torn apart by bullying. We see the school shootings & later learn that bullying was involved. But when are we finally going to stand up as a society & say bullying, in any form, is not okay?

fc6b412f4e5da3519b7a23e53edc8929

Advertisements
2

& So I Kept Living

Last week was World Suicide Prevention Week &, this year, TWLOHA’s slogan is, “& so I kept living.”

Shockingly, one of the facts I read this week was that suicide is at a 30 year high in America. That is devastating.

When I think about why the numbers are so high one thing comes to mind…and that is the pressing stigma surrounding mental illness. People don’t talk about it &, if you do, you are often shamed. I know I was. I started this blog & hit on a range of topics, one of which was rape and depression I endured from it. An, “anonymous,” person was trolling my blog at the time &, under a blog I wrote on what flashbacks & PTSD had done to my life, wrote: “Wow, you’re so screwed up. You’re so screwed up that you get anxious when men yell at your on the street?? You don’t need kids, no wonder you can’t have them (in reference to our infertility).”

Wow is the operative word…just not in the context that it was used. I say wow that people are so cruel. Wow that individuals love tearing others down & taking the lowest of blows. Wow that, after someone courageously speaks their shame in hopes of encouraging & helping others, someone would make that something so ugly. It also shows how victim blaming is so alive in our society to the point of blaming women for the suffering  they endure post rape but that’s another post entirely.

The point is, I was shamed for being vulnerable when I already had more than enough shame to hold. And so, for a while, I stopped talking about it. I focused on blogging about infertility, foster care, & lifestyle things in an effort to normalize my life. I tried to act as if the crumbing of my life hadn’t happened at all & I had been just fine all along. But you know what, friends? That isn’t true. I skipped over the worst days. The days that last week were all about. I stopped encouraging others in those very dark places I know all too well & that has been the biggest disservice of all.

This summer, I’ve fallen in love with a beautiful lady who speaks her truth. Unedited, uncensored truth. Her name is Glennon Doyle Melton & she blogs about courageous things over at http://www.momastery.com

This week she blogged about her own dark time & the moment she kept living. And she encouraged me to do so as well.

There was this time in my life that all hope was gone. It was very dark, both figuratively and literally as I was sitting in the dark. I was staring down at the dimly lit screen of my iphone writing something in the notes section. It was a letter to my sister explaining why. I was staring down at my exit door after one literal hell of a year. I’d been raped, several times, & lost some very important people in my family as a result. I was having several flashbacks a day & bad dreams every night. Some nights I woke up screaming &/or in a cold sweat. I kept messing things up, relationships, my life. I was failing at getting out of the darkness. In my mind I knew what I would do but I didn’t..instead, the next day, I called my therapist & we made a game plan.

& so I kept living.

I moved to another city that was 2.5 hours away, away from all my trauma reminders. I took some time off work to dive into working on me. I went to a lot of therapy. I saw a lot of my nutritionist. & I did a lot of work.

& so I kept living.

I got married to my best friend in 2015 & graduated with my masters degree in 2016.

& so I kept living.

I started going to walks about things that matter & talking about them, too.

I started being honest with my closest friends & members of a phenomenal group I’m in.

I kept blogging about infertility.

& I learned a lot of things. But I wouldn’t have learned them if I hadn’t kept living.

I learned that, most often, other people have had some difficult moment in their lives. They may have struggled/struggle with depression, anxiety, an eating disorder, etc, etc. So they get it. Or they want to try to. I’ve learned that none of us has had a perfect life &, even if our stories are very different, we can empathize and relate to other people. I’ve learned that talking about it matters, it really matters.

& so I kept living.

“Life is forever tries.” -Glennon Doyle Melton

 

 

10

More Answers

I got a call from my doctor’s office today about the blood work I had done two weeks ago.

The nurse started off with (after the initial hello, I’m ___ from Dr.___ office), “Well, overall, everything came back normal.”

& my heart sank because I thought we hadn’t gone anywhere. I thought, after all of this time, we still had no answers.

But she continued.

“You do have a blood clotting factor. So she wants you to go ahead & start taking a baby Aspirin, about 87 mgs, daily before you even get pregnant. When you do get pregnant, call us back immediately & we’ll start you on a blood thinner injection called Levonox.”

Poor girl went on to try to assure me the shots weren’t he bad &, “we’ll show you how to do them,” until I chimed in with, “after all the shots i’ve had for IVF, I’m sure it’ll be nothing.”

I was probably the most ecstatic person a medical professional has ever informed they had a blood clotting issue that would require further treatment. I AM OVER THE MOON!!!!!

I’m sure if you are, or have ever been where I’ve been, you get it. After a miscarriage, two miserable/hellacious/insert all other synonyms for terrible here, rounds of failed IVF, on top of the 3 preceding IUIs, then the laprosocpic surgery, & then the oh, wait-miracle baby…just kidding, I am past ready to know why. 

&, after the worst summer of my life that has consisted of nothing but bad news, I was well over due for some good today. I needed some hope. I haven’t seen any in a while & it is much welcomed.

I’m hoping that this was the reason I’ve miscarried around the same time in both pregnancies & that, FINALLY, we will be able to stop it. Hopefully.

Be hopeful with me friends!!!

&, again, I’ll jump back on my soapbox for a minute to reiterate:

  • If you ever feel you aren’t getting the care &/or attention you need, GET A SECOND OPINION!!!!! I REPEAT, GET A SECOND OPINION!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • BE YOUR OWN ADVOCATE!!!!!!! If you want something done, ASK FOR IT!!!!! Bring up your concerns & how you’d like them to be addressed!!! I.E. me asking for blood work
  • Lastly, as hard as it is with infertility & all its hell/absence of glory, don’t lose hope. After all, some Disney movie says miracles happen all the time……

 


My snapchat update of the day to all my friends (thanks, for limiting my words & forcing me to resort to drawing them like a 2 year old again Snapchat. Not cool).

Bless her heart, one friend responded, “oh, no!!” To which I quickly replied….


Don’t feel bad…I just said wow in my own head as well.

10

A Broken System


Well before we ever entertained the idea of becoming foster parents, I knew this was a harsh reality. With over 8, 000 kids in care in our state alone, it’s no surprise that this tragedy exists.

When we took in our first respite placement 11 days ago, I never dreamed he’d potentially become our very first placement. After a weekend with him, I may have hoped it, but never believed it’d be in the realm of possibility. He already has a foster family. He’d been with them 9 days prior to coming to us. As his foster mother & I talked more, however, it became clear that she & her husband were open to leaving him in our home. One problem, though: we aren’t officially approved yet.

They need respite again later this week so we all talked (& talked and talked) and agreed that what may be best for him would be staying with us for the duration of that time. We felt that, since he was doing so well here, there would be no point to disrupt his life again before his foster family would no longer need respite any longer at the least.

Unfortunately, there is a rule on respite. A foster child is only allowed to be in it for a certain number of days. Which, for this little guy, meant he had to go back to his foster home. Again. This was his third move while in state custody. And he’s not done. The plan is that he’ll be coming back here again for respite in just a few days.

He is a very scared toddler with extreme separation anxiety. A toddler that cried like he’d just broken a bone each time me, or my husband tried to leave the room. A child who fought sleep in a dimly lit nursery to make sure I was still sitting in the floor next to him while he chugged his bottle.

In the days we had him in our home, I slowly started to see this get better. I could go to the bathroom without him having a full on meltdown, or beating the door down until he could come in and try to sit in my lap. If someone else was downstairs with him, most of the time, he was t a point he wouldn’t scream at me through tears if I went upstairs to fix something to eat.

And, right now, I know all of that progress is probably gone. The improvements that were made because he felt safe & secure have vanished. When he was finally able to act like a regular kid his age, he had to undergo yet another disruption (& more still on the way). All of this because of some bureaucratic red tape that stood in the way. And that is what makes me incredibly angry.

What’s more is that I know he is not the first foster child that this system has failed. And he most certainly won’t be the last.

I am not sure what the answer to fixing this broken system is for these children. What I do know is that I sure hope someone else does. I hope that other foster children don’t have to endure situations like theses that inevitably create more trauma on top of what they have already endured.

That is my hope.

4

Back On The Horse

Yesterday, after a hiatus from infertility TX, regular programming commenced.

The time to begin downing hormone pills that would send my body & mind on overdrive returned.

fert meds

So far, knock-no BEAT-on wood, I haven’t had the mood swings from the darkest pits of hell I had with Clomid. Funny thing, yesterday after reading an article a husband wrote on he & his wife’s experiences with treatments, I got a little emotional…okay, a lot-al emotional & worried it was the Femera playing mind games with me. After some time passed since reading it, however, I feel it was just an emotional piece. Even more so for those struggling with infertility & so relate to everything shared in this man’s post (which I plan on sharing on the blog today as well so my fellow infertility warriors can read it for themselves).

In addition to that, it was also yet another beginning in our infertility journey. A new medication. A new plan. Yesterday also happen to remind me of the beginning of our journey-via Timehop. I’d had one of my monitoring appointments for our first IUI. Today, I saw the video I took of the very first time Scott had to stab me with a needle in the form of the trigger shot. It’s difficult to look back on all of that & remember how we were so hopeful that things would soon change….& now, here we are, a year later starting again. Only this time, with a new diagnosis in hand that neither of us anticipated-my endometriosis. When adding in the tags for this post on the sidebar, I thought to myself, time to add some new ones (Femera, endometriosis, endometriosis awareness, endowarrior) & it was incredibly strange. At the end of the day, all I can say is that I hope, this time, things will finally change….this time, I’m going to continue to hope & pray is the last time I will have to promise myself Mother’s Day will be the saddest day of the year for me. Our last Halloween & Christmas without children.

Note: I’m not saying our journey is worse than anyone else’s. Others have been through far more than we have so far. Some not so much and that’s okay too.

How do I feel (since starting Femera)?

I’ve had a constant nagging headache, felt a little nauseous, & am having random HOT FLASHES  but that’s it so far. Granted, I’ve only taken one pill so far so I can’t speak to how much better Femera will be than Clomid as a whole but I can say so far so good!

I’m a little nervous about just beginning a new fertility medication & going away for the weekend without knowing how it will effect me. Should I expect to be more sensitive? Should I expect to have to rest more and take breaks from the family fun of the weekend, the way I had to do last year on Clomid? I don’t know…& that’s what scares me.

We shall see!

Wish me luck & Happy Memorial Day!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I can’t think of anyone else who deserves a holiday  weekend filled with happiness than all of you. ❤

 

4

IVF 2 For The Win!

As I mentioned in my earlier post, while I’m not stressing out as much preparation wise, I am feeling even more anxious going into this IVF as opposed to last time.

Here’s Why:

  1. After my egg retrieval last time, I was in excruciating pain. The nurse had me take my pain meds before I got anesthesia, had apparently (unbeknownst to drugged me) given me a second hit after surgery, & then, when Scott came back to recovery, I asked for more. Once I got home, I slept until 7 or 8 that night & only woke up for more pain pills once they’d worn off. Also, TMI, I thought I’d never be able to go to the bathroom again….it was the oddest pain every time I attempted it & the constipation from all the hormones definitely didn’t help here..it was hell. A 2 day extended hell of terror every time I sat on the toilet. lol
  2. Transfer….it was not the easiest of times for me. Thanks, to my uncooperative retroverted uterus, getting the catheter in took some time…some time consisting of our RE poking around down there in an effort to get where he needed to be. It hurt so much I was cringing & tried deep breathing.
  3. Financial pressure: we’ve already spent around 19, 000 on our infertility journey so far. With that being said, we really need this to work.
  4. There’s also the added pressures of hope & faith in becoming parents. IVF itself is already a much higher stake in the land of infertility. After a failed cycle, the pressure is even greater for the next time to work.

I’m trying not to focus on the latter two & calm myself with first two, “whys.” By that I mean, I will probably try not to think about it until the day before each.

In other news, I’ve been reading another infertility (& fashion) blog I stumbled upon on Instagram. It’s called A Slice Of Style & you can find it at http://www.asliceofstyle.com

On it, I read that the Jenica had tried some interesting interventions for her FET. For one, she gave herself human growth hormone shots 5 days before egg retrieval to strengthen eggs & also had her RE give her a neupogen wash inside her uterus 5 days before implantation. In addition, she had also tried an experimental drug Neupogen. She explained that this was a drug that got embryos to stick better. She listed in her blog on the subject that it was $400.00.

Even though it is experimental & not FDA approved, I would soooo be willing to try it! Her Dr. put it in 5 days before transfer & I would jump on that if ours would be willing to do the same. What’s another $400.00 & another procedure to us now? lol If it improved our odds, it could only save us money in the long run. Things turned around for this lady after all of that.

Since I always try to end on a positive note, I am comforted in the fact that Scott was able to take off for all the ultrasounds this time, as well as egg retrieval & transfer. We also just booked our 1st wedding anniversary trip to New York!!!!!!!! So we have something to look forward to after all these shots, pain, & procedures (hopefully, on top of a pregnancy!).

So excited. After the year long hell of infertility treatments, we deserve it!

 

6

Almost There

Even though our second shot-see what I did there ;)-at IVF hasn’t even started yet, the lead up to this time around has been so much different.

A month leading up to our first attempt (key thoughts that this sounds like suicide from my social work brain), my perfectionism came out to play & took over my mind. I downloaded, printed, & created a binder full of the 21 Day Fertility Diet. I religiously went to the grocery for Fertility Superfoods, limited my caffeine far in advance, stopped alcohol completely, & got angry with my husband when he wouldn’t conform to my crazy.

& guess what? We still didn’t receive the outcome we had hoped…&, to me, this illustrates a far greater message. Sometimes, we can do everything right but we still don’t get what we hoped for, what we prayed for. We can go above & beyond in preparation, we can set alarms for shots that don’t even have to be given at certain times, we can be told all along that our ultrasound and labs looked great until….they don’t. Until we are left with the hollow disappointment of defeat. &, in that realization, I’ve came to the conclusion that, if something is going to work, it’s going to work. While that doesn’t mean I won’t cut my caffeine, eat healthy, & continue my prenatal & folic acid when IVF begins, it does mean I am not going to further stress myself out.

So what have I done in preparation for this cycle??

Quite simply, I’ve had fun. I’ve tried to enjoy my life again, as much as I can from the sickness of icky birth control.

We threw our 2nd Ugly Sweater Party!

I went with an, “Ugly Sweater Skirt,” this year with some candy cane thigh highs, huge Christmas bow earrings, & a light up necklace. Scott had an ugly sweater shirt with 1 hideous tie & red suspenders. & oh, let’s not forget all the food-we do live in the South ya, know?

Apart from that, I’ve been trying to relax over winter break & spend time with friends. I’ve also watched entirely too many episodes of FRIENDS & SVU..who am I kidding, like that’s possible??? 😛

Vitamin wise I did take Fertility Blend for women for a few weeks (I stopped about 2 weeks before shots were scheduled as I was afraid it may interfere with things). I’ve also been sure to take my prenatal vitamins & extra folic acid daily.

Currently, I’m still swimming in this whole relaxation thing as I’ve had no energy for an entire month. With IVF 2 being only 4 days away, the anticipation & anxiety for this round has started to build….but that’s for another post 🙂

HAPPY NEW YEAR’S EVE, FRIENDS!!!!!!