Welcome 2016 – What’s New this Year…

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Our first walk of 2016, in the snow.

I’m so psyched to be back here. And I’m looking forward to being back here a whole lot more in 2016.

2015 was a crazy year for me. I built this blog and got it going, and then pretty much left it in the dust for awhile. That was truly a bummer. I was in a place of really needing to try something different, but honestly it was a “Is the grass greener over there?” kind of experiment. And to be truthful. It wasn’t. The grass was just as green, or maybe even less so, because I didn’t have the time to stop and enjoy it, roll in it, smell it with my whole self. It was grass, and I was walking through it, but life was much richer when I had the time and space to roll, lay, and dream in the grass.

So what’s new in 2016? I’m coming home, again. I feel like I have done this before. This drop everything that doesn’t matter to me and get back to my true self kind of thing. I’ve done it a few times in fact. I guess it takes me a few times to learn my lesson. Kind of like gluten. It’s taken me forever to accept the fact that my body doesn’t like it. I grew up eating pasta at almost every meal, how could my body not like it?!? But it doesn’t. So finally… lesson learned. I’m gluten free starting in 2016.

It’s also taken me awhile to learn that I have to follow my heart. Like truly, I have to do what it’s telling me to do or I get torn up, emotionally, physically, I can’t handle not following my heart. Some people can I guess. Neither one of us are better or worse. I just can’t do it. So, my heart has always wanted to homeschool, and in 2016, we are officially taking the plunge with no going back (at least for as long as it is working for us). But there’s more to the story than that. As there always is…

2015 was filled with the desire to get pregnant. From the day (almost exactly a year ago) that I got my cycle back postpartum, until now, we have been trying for a baby. I really wanted to have my babies close together. I wanted Everett to have a sibling close in age, and honestly I didn’t want to get too used to all the good things like sleeping and eating and showering. I wanted to conceive in a way that was so deeply rooted in my soul, and when it wasn’t happening, I got to a place of extreme despair. A few months ago, after breaking down (like sobbing on the floor in a crumpled heap) I had to make a decision. I had to decide to let this desire go.

I never expected creating a family to be so hard. My husband and I spent the majority of our relationship preventing babies, (cause a baby at 16 wouldn’t have been a good idea for us). We conceived our first child naturally, but it did take a while. My cycle was crazy and irregular for a full year after I stopped birth control. But this time, I thought we’d have better luck. My cycle has been regular all year. I am so much more informed about my body, and what it takes to conceive. I track, I temp, I eat well, and I take ALL.THE.VITAMINS. I’ve spent this past year wondering what is wrong with my body, what is wrong with me that I can’t conceive? I’d developed this huge mistrust of my body. Then finally after above mentioned breakdown, I decided we needed answers.

Hormone tests, ultrasounds, x-rays of my uterus, and repeat. Semen Analysis, x2. And, finally we’ve got our answer. It’s not me. It’s my husband’s motility. (Sorry babe, you know I’m an open book). The swimmers, aren’t able to swim to where they need to be to get to that egg. The doctor is recommending IVF, because to him the numbers are clear. An average healthy couple with no fertility issues has a 20% chance of conceiving each month (which I know, seems crazy low!). We have about a 5% chance. IVF gives you a 40-50% chance.

So anyways, IVF means lots of doctor’s appointments. It means having to take days off without much notice. It means hormone injections, and perhaps not feeling quite like myself at times. It’s a big deal to me. One that I am still wrapping my brain around. It’s part of why I decided to leave my job, and go back to working for myself. But even if we decide to go down the road of IVF, I had to make the decision to let ALL OF THIS go.

We have one amazingly beautiful, amazingly awesome child. He was conceived naturally, born naturally, and he is the absolute light of my life. He is enough.

Whether nature, or science decides to bless us with another child, we are fine. Whether E grows up an only child, or a big brother, we will all be fine. Whether I get to experience pregnancy and birth again, or not, I am fine, more than fine. I am a mother. I have everything I need, and everything I want.

So, I didn’t plan to write all of this in one post, but I guess I needed to. My intention for this blog going forward is to keep it real, keep it personal, and keep telling you about my journey. Everything from our homeschooling adventures, to what we are eating, what we are creating, and what happens along the way in my fertility exploration. My plan for 2016 is to take each day as it comes, to enjoy and embrace it for all its beauty, and all the lessons it holds within it.

I hope 2016 is already off to a beautiful start for you, my dear reader. Thank you for being here on this adventure of life with me.

my favorite spot to soak in the vitamin D
my favorite spot to soak in the vitamin D

Dear Stress, Let’s Break Up.

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I’ve hit a rough patch. No, that doesn’t quite describe it accurately. For those of you who live in my hometown of Worcester, you will understand this metaphor better. For the past few months I have been going back and forth, up and down, Plantation street, at rush hour, weaving in and around the ever active construction, and hitting just about every pothole in the road. Bumpy, to say the least.

Last year at the Caya Retreat, I met a mom who had 5 young children. She described the experience like this, “Imagine that you are drowning, and then someone hands you a baby.”

I’ve been wishing, hoping, praying, for someone to hand me a baby (my own, in my uterus) for months now. (More on that later) But lately, I’ve been feeling like I am drowning. In typical Jozie fashion, I have made too many changes, and taken on too much all at once. Why do I keep setting myself up to crash and burn? Why do I have this unrealistic idea that I am super woman and can handle IT ALL? Oh, because modern society likes to tell me that’s what I should be.

I had a wise teacher in massage school that used to say, “Quit shoulding on yourself.”

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The truth of the matter is, I am once again at a point in my life, where something has got to give. The beauty of this experience is that I have recognized it (from having seen it many times before) and I have a choice. By something has got to I give, I mean I have got to stop doing one of the things I am doing that is draining my energy. To some this may look like quitting. To others, who have an understanding of energy, priority, and healthy balance, this will look like a reasonable decision. In truth, it doesn’t matter what this looks like to anyone. What is important is how it feels to me.

Honestly it’s one of the best and worst feelings that I have the privilege of experiencing in this beautiful life. 

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The guilt of “giving up”, the resolve to stay truer to myself next time, the relief from exhaustion, and the realization that my choice always brings me back to what is truly most important to me, my family.

Every time I make a decision to leave something, to “give something up”, to stop doing, I decide that what is truly worth my time and effort is the ones I love. Nothing is more important to me than them.

Some will say I’m losing out on my goals and aspirations by putting my husband and child before myself. Some will say I should be able to do it all, work, parent, and go to school, because lots of people do it. But I say, my family IS me. By putting them first I am putting myself first. And I say, that I cannot do it all at the expense of my physical and mental health. Lots of people are sick and miserable in this country, because they push themselves too hard. I do not want to be one of them, not for any goal or aspiration.

And so to me, saying, “I Quit” or, “I Give Up” really means that I am saying, “I Choose Me” or, “I Choose Us”. I choose to keep myself healthy and happy, so that I can keep you healthy and happy. I choose to be with you, instead of running myself ragged in pursuit of “goals”. Yes this means I won’t achieve what I set out to achieve. Yes this means that I am accepting a path that is different from what it might have been. But in all honesty, I am OK with that. I am OK with being a mom who chooses to put my family first. This thing I am giving up on, really isn’t mine anyways. When the goal or the dream IS something that is truly my heart’s desire, I won’t give up, but it also won’t be as hard.

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And so, dear stress, dear self-induced exhaustion and overload, let’s break up. I don’t need you. What I need is the me that is calm, and happy, and in love with the world.