After three years, three months, and eight days of waiting, hoping, and praying… WE GOT OUR FIRST POSITIVE PREGNANCY TEST! Somehow, in all that time, we’d never gotten a positive. To learn more about what it took us to get to this point, check out the “Infertility” category on my blog, and read my previous post about our InvoCell/IUI cycle. While we were obviously quite happy, infertility robs you of the blissful ignorance many first time parents get to enjoy at the beginning of their pregnancy. Even if you haven’t ever personally experienced loss, you become acutely aware of when and how everything can go horribly wrong. Infertility is also extremely traumatic, and that trauma can cause you to subconsciously protect yourself by disconnecting you from the experience.
This post has taken me quite a while to write, because I was extremely dissociated from my pregnancy until very recently (I am 22 weeks pregnant while writing this). It felt like I was watching a very detailed vlog of someone else’s pregnancy, not that everything was happening to me. It’s a very weird thing to explain, but the people who have had the misfortune of dealing with infertility all have seemed to understand exactly what I’m talking about. It’s like a constant “when is this all going to go wrong” sensation, mixed with a lucid dream.
The world is weird right now. Rightly so. There’s never been anything like this. The world has shut down.
Everyone seems to be getting serious cabin fever due to the lockdowns, the shelter-in-place orders, the social distancing. Initially, I was confused by this. Then it hit me: everyone lives a dramatically different life than I do.
I’ve been seeing a lot of DIY hand sanitizer recipes lately, thanks to the novel coronavirus (covid-19). Unfortunately, a lot of the DIY recipes leave you with a product that is less than the CDC recommended 60% alcohol. I want to share why and how that happens, and give you a basic recipe to make your own hand sanitizer that follows the CDC guidelines.
First, it’s important to understand what your bottle of rubbing alcohol is: a bottle of 100% isopropyl alcohol and water. “Wait, my bottle says 70% rubbing alcohol!” I assure you, it’s still 100% alcohol mixed with water. Imagine an empty bottle, now put pure (100%) alcohol into the bottle, but only fill it halfway. Now fill the bottle the rest of the way with distilled water. You now have 50% rubbing alcohol because the solution (two or more things mixed together is a solution) is made up of 50% isopropyl alcohol and 50% water.
My first 2019 review got longer than anticipated, so I divided the year in half. Be sure to check out the first half of 2019 in this post.
Both summaries include links to my Instagram posts (where I’ve remained active) for further details, when they’re available. A few items, especially in part one, also include links to blog posts. All links below are to my own material.
Now, without further ado, let’s get to the summary! This post starts with July 2019:
April 2019 was the last time I was consistent on my blog, and a lot has happened since then. I got burned out and overwhelmed, so I needed to take a break from blogging. My life has continued to burn me out and overwhelm me, but from a blogging perspective I’m feeling more like myself again!
To help catch everyone up on life’s happenings, I wanted to do a summary of 2019. No matter how “quick” I try to make these, they always end up long. This post will be January through June, and part two will be up next week. These summaries will include links to my Instagram posts (where I’ve remained active) for further details, when they’re available. A few items, especially earlier in 2019, will also include links to blog posts. All links in this article are to my own material.
Thank you all for your patience while I took a break. I was burned out and having a rough time with my mental health. Unfortunately, infertility is still a major part of our lives, but that has needed to be put on hold for a few months because I need to have surgery on my right hip.
On August 13th, just one week from now, I will be having surgery on my hip. The surgeon we met with originally had been practicing in Denver, but then she moved up to Vail (which is two to two and a half hours from Denver). She is an amazing surgeon and was willing to work with all of the complications of my life and health conditions. We live in one of Denver’s suburbs, but we will be driving up to Vail for my surgery. Since it’s such a long drive, and surgery check-in is usually very early in the morning, we will be spending the night up there before the surgery.
“When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.” A common phrase almost all of us have heard at least once in our life. (At least I know it’s common here in the western USA, let me know in the comments if it’s common in your neck of the woods!) Even though it’s common, it’s a phrase I do not like. At all.
The phrase is supposed to mean “make the most out of a less-than-ideal situation.” Yes, it’s a good idea to take whatever circumstances life has handed you and try to make the best of it. However, I’ve found it gets used a lot to minimize or dismiss uncomfortable feelings. Using this phrase, or other phrases, to dismiss the negative feelings that come up when life gives us negative situations does far more harm than good.
When life hands you lemons, it never hands you the sugar needed to make the lemonade. It’s alright to be frustrated, or even angry, that now you have to go track down some sugar and take the time to make the lemonade. If life had handed you the oranges you had ordered, you would already be enjoying your citrus-y snack!
As I talked about in my first self-care challenge, not all self-care is glamorous or fun to do. Sometimes, it’s simply doing what we need to do to keep ourselves alive, even when we don’t want to do them. “Self-care” just means taking care of yourself!
One of the things I really do not like doing is sorting my medications for the week. I take a lot of pills every day to keep me functional, and for infertility. (This is not something that is open to debate and comments telling me to get off pills will be deleted. My doctors have put me on each of my pills for specific reasons.) With Dan also taking a lot of supplements prescribed by our fertility clinic, it’s easier for me to sort out all our medications at once because I’m already sorting pills.
I’ve always hated the phrases “online friends” and “friends in real life.” Sure, back when the internet was first getting popular for social uses, all your internet friends were “friends in real life,” and it felt necessary to differentiate between people you enjoyed talking to (usually anonymously) in chat rooms or on forums versus people you knew and socialized with offline. But, that’s not how the internet works anymore.
I know several people who met their now-spouses (or serious significant others) online, and many of us with disabilities find that a majority of our social lives take place online. Via this blog and my associated Instagram account, I’ve met some amazing people and have greatly expanded my world. My sister went on a foreign exchange program while doing her bachelor’s degree and made friends from all over the world, and I used to be jealous of that. However, I’ve realized that I have close friendships with people from all over the world, as well. Granted, a majority of the people I’m close to are from the USA, but I have good friends in other countries even though chatting with them is more difficult due to time zones. When I think about it, my sister is probably the only person I know “in real life” that has friends that are more spread out than I do.