Archive | April, 2015

You Are Not Alone

24 Apr

Every year, Resolve hosts a National Infertility Awareness Week to raise awareness of infertility, provide support to people going through treatment for infertility and raise money to lobby for legal “things” (i.e. better coverage of infertility treatments by insurance companies and prevention of laws against things like IVF).  Each year, the week has a different theme.  This year’s theme is “You Are Not Alone.”

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Sometimes I wish I could just pretend things away.  Those inconvenient things.  The things that hurt me or make me sad.  It’s such a childish hope: If I can just forget about them, they’re not real.  It’s a childish way to handle “tough” things, and I realize that. But I also realize that sometimes it’s important to walk away from stressful situations and get your head back on right before you face those situations again.  And there’s no harm in wishing the crappy parts of life would just magically disappear while you’re taking a break from them…

I took a little break chronicling our battle with infertility while we took a little break from the meds and decided what to do next (since meds are not working we are being faced with some pretty tough decisions).  But the battle didn’t go away. Deep down, I always knew it wouldn’t… Partially because it’s always going to be there, even if somehow, by some miracle (and at this point, I feel that it would be nothing short of a miracle), we end up conceiving, carrying and delivering a baby.  The past (almost) 5 years don’t just go away.

But the bigger reason it hasn’t gone away is because I am not alone.

Since I started being more open on my blog (and sometimes in real life), I have received a plethora of messages from friends who are in their own battles with infertility, people I didn’t even know were trying to have kids. Even when I wasn’t writing about it, I was getting emails and messages–in the four(ish) months I haven’t written about it, 3 new people have told me their stories.  This just adds to the list of friends I now know are part of “The Club.” People who aren’t ready to go public. People who are new to the game. People who have been on this roller coaster for longer than we have been. People with questions. People with words of encouragement. People who just need to commiserate (as a language nerd, wow is that a perfect word to describe it–being together in misery).

According to stats I’ve seen, anywhere from 1 in 8 to 1 in 6 couples experience infertility.  The number is always increasing. The number of people I know who I didn’t know were going through it is always increasing.

We are not alone.

Every new story I hear, every person who comes to me with their personal narrative, it just reminds me…

I am not alone.

I draw strength from the stories.  And that is a major part of why I share our story.  Because when this first started, I felt alone.  Very, scarily alone.  I didn’t want to talk about it with people.  I couldn’t talk about it with people.

Then I found an online community full of bloggers sharing their “stuff,” and even though it was completely different from what we were experiencing, just knowing that there were other people out there going to the doctor as often as us, feeling the frustrations we felt, and worrying about the things we feared made me feel (marginally) better.  In a world where I felt like I was surrounded by couples effortlessly popping out babies, I realized we weren’t actually alone. There were actually a lot of other couples out there struggling like we were.  We were not alone.  And so I choose to add my voice to that group of voices that say “you are not alone” to the next couple.

So if you are struggling, know that I am here for you: to talk to, to listen to you vent, to cry with you, to hug you, to be indignantly-pissed-off-at-how-unfair-life-is with you…whatever you might need, I am here for you.

You are not alone.

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If you’re itching to read more, visit Resolve’s website to find links to pretty much everything you might be wondering about infertility.

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New Recipe #3: Potato/Spinach Patties…and some Eagan-style ultra adventures to come???

1 Apr

If you know me, you know that I love carbs.  Before I started running, I used to really crave sweets.  All. The. Time.  Now, I crave all things carb–sweets AND very often salty.  So potato chips are kind of one of my current favs.  I’ve recently decided that if eating white potatoes a few times a week is going to help me curb the cravings, those are a heck of a lot healthier than potato chips or French fries.  So Spanish tortilla (which is basically an onion and potato omelette) has become a staple around here.

So I was going through my list of pinned recipes to try and saw this one for Potato and Spinach Patties and was intrigued by the short ingredient list.  Potatoes?  Spinach? Garlic????  I figured this was a “healthy indulgence” that would make the perfect post-run trail-gating dinner.  (In case you don’t know:  Trailgating:  Tailgating at a trail head post-run.  Eric and I are specialists in this, so if you’ve never done it, join us for a run.  Trust me, the run will be worth the post-run festivities.)

The recipe came together pretty easily.  The first batch that I tried to pan-fry fell apart in the pan and I lamented that we were just going to have to go out for dinner.  I think if I were to do this again, I’d just spray the pan with some non-stick spray rather than use oil, as they held together better without the oil (the second and third batches came out perfectly).  I don’t have a food processor, so I just made mashed potatoes, in case you are trying to make this.  We ate them top-less…as in without toppings.  I think they’d be delicious with ketchup, but I have a ketchup addiction, so I’m not sure if you can count what I say.  Someone else suggest sour cream.  The blog it came from suggests a slew of toppings.  They were ok without though. I was amused by the fact that the potatoes turned green from the spinach and decided they were perfect for March–St. Patty’s Day!

As with all of my cooking experiments, I try to have a good back-up plan in place, in case the recipe ends up flopping (ya know…something like a twix bar if the tempeh attempt fails–I looked for this picture and couldn’t find it).  Tonight’s was German potato salad, which I’ve been craving since we went out for dinner with some friends at Genny Brew House and someone ordered it.  I can’t currently find the recipe, but here’s how it goes.  Chop up into bite size pieces about 4 potatoes.  Boil til soft, then drain.  Meanwhile, chop 1/2 cup onion (or more because who doesn’t love onion???) and set aside.  Then cook 4 (or more because who doesn’t love bacon haha) pieces of bacon in a skillet.  When it’s done, take out the bacon and drain and crumble and set aside.  Add 1 tablespoon flour, 2 tablespoons sugar, 1/4 cup white wine vinegar and 1/3 cup water to the bacon grease.  Stir and cook on medium heat til it forms a thick paste/dressing.  Add the potato, bacon, and onion and stir til coated.  Enjoy delicious sweet AND salty potato goodness.

Perhaps all of this carb (but unprocessed!) goodness is because my body knows that it is likely gearing up for another great ultra adventure.  Eric just got some good news (that he’s not supposed to share yet, but it’s going to be EPIC) regarding his next 50(+)k race.  And if he’s going to be putting in miles to train for that, I may as well just put in the miles to train for a 50 miler.  I would still be much more uncertain had I not just been able to run RUN on trails for the first time in months!!  When I tell you that rinsing my filthy sneakers in a mud puddle in the parking lot tonight was the highlight of my day, please take it seriously.  I. Love. Mud.  Seeing dirt on trails today for the first time since December is a big deal.  It makes me feel like FINALLY we might be getting closer to real runs.  There is still a lot of snow and ice…but I am finally feeling hopeful.  Or maybe it’s just all the carbs making me giddy. 😉