Tag Archives: infertility


If you would like to contribute to Liz’s Bike to Build fund, click here.

Having worked in and around the addiction recovery community for many years, I have often heard people say that if they wrote a list of goals they wanted to accomplish at the beginning of their sobriety, they would have sold themselves quite short because they far surpassed the goals they had for themselves. While this certainly sounded encouraging, if not inspiring to me; I did not believe this was going to be the case for me.

For the greater part of the last three years, I had written down only one goal. This goal was written literally in my daily journal, was sent silently and audibly to my Higher Power in my prayers, was said aloud to dozens of close friends and family members, was scribbled on small pieces of paper and put in my prayer box, and the successful completion of this goal was visualized hundreds of times. I had only one goal…and this was to get pregnant and have a healthy child.

If I sold myself short with this simple goal, one would think I must be like the old woman who lives in the shoe by now, who has so many children that I don’t know what to do. NOT EXACTLY. So does this mean I didn’t sell myself short? Definitely NOT.

The emotional roller coaster of early sobriety is comparable in some ways to the abrupt highs and lows of infertility because

  • your body is totally out of whack from chemicals
  • feelings fluctuate drastically by the microsecond
  • everything feels out of your control and yet you want to control everything
  • your mind plays tricks on you because one day you feel like you’ve had enough and are all done, and the next day you want to do it again just one last time
  • you feel like you are the only one going through this even though nothing could be further from the truth, and
  • the last thing you want to do is reach out to someone for help and yet that is the best thing you could do.

I would have to say the last year of infertility treatments was “my period of early sobriety.” Emotions had hit an all time low, and I was losing all hope of ever accomplishing my one goal of having a child. Equally as bad, I was losing all faith that I would ever be restored to the person I was before infertility. I no longer recognized myself because the happy-go-lucky, laid-back, and naturally optimistic shadow of myself had been replaced by her despondent, jaded, and resentful twin.

Flash forward a year or so to the present…and my one goal was not actualized…still no baby. However, I am not only back to the person I was before infertility, but I feel better. I have changed myself from the inside out over the last several months meaning that I have learned…

  • To not give up no matter how bad things may seem
  • That it is easier to let go and accept than to try to control and resist
  • That I did enough, I have enough, and I am enough
  • When I am so hyper-focused on my plan, I might miss my Higher Power’s Plan for me
  • As long as my heart is beating, I can learn and try something new
  • 40 is to be savored, not feared
  • When I reduce sources of stress and anxiety in my life, I feel closer to my Higher Power…and when I feel close to my HP, I reduce stress and anxiety in my life
  • When my mind is not weighed down with struggles and stress, I can accomplish great things
  • My body feels much younger and stronger when I feed it well, give it adequate rest, and exercise regularly
  • Losses can tear apart relationships or strengthen them
  • A problem shared is a problem cut in half, and
  • Service to others takes my mind off of me.

If you had told me a year ago that I would be 1) enrolled at North Bennet Street School for Preservation Carpentry for the fall of 2014; 2) administering a personal fundraiser to raise funds for my tuition to NBSS and for South Shore Habitat for Humanity; 3) writing my own Blog about my training, fundraising, and schooling; 4) getting into the best physical shape through cycling, dog walking and weight training than I have been in for more than 15 years; 5) networking with executives to try to spread the word about my blog and fundraiser; 6) sending letters to large corporations looking for sponsorship and donations for my cause; and 6) having an article written about this journey of mine in the Boston Globe…I would have told you that I wanted whatever Kool Aid you were drinking. Does that mean I would have sold myself short?


If you would like to contribute to Liz’s Bike to Build fund, click here.


If you would like to donate to Liz’s Bike to Build at NBSS fund, click here.

I would be remiss if I didn’t give a shout out to my main training partner, Hope Rice. Although we have not biked together YET, she has been with me during my training every step of the way. She gets me out of the house everyday without fail, be it sunny and 90 degrees or 20 degrees and two feet of snow. She is psyched to be outside, regardless of the conditions. She hangs out and watches me lift weights, and is unfazed by the din coming from the speakers as I blast Pink and Eminem. She jogs with me, speeding up when I am feeling ambitious and in shape…and slowing down when I am feeling tired and out of shape…which happens most often. Most importantly, she has been my most loyal and dedicated friend throughout all of the ups and downs of the infertility, always by my side no matter what mood I was in. I can’t wait for her to meet our future child because I know she will be the best big sister and protector that a dog could be.

The lifestyle changes and training I’ve gone through have benefitted her greatly because she is now getting scraps of lettuce and turkey instead of the junk I used to be eating…and it shows because she has definitely lost more weight and looks more toned than me. Thanks Hope for showing me up!

If you would like to donate to Liz’s Bike to Build at NBSS fund, click here.

Hope on Wollaston


Click HERE to contribute to Liz’s Bike to Build at NBSS fund.

Its funny how life works…just a few months back, when I was firmly planted in the quick sand-like pit of despair, otherwise known as infertility, I would never have imagined that I would be feeling anything other than a host of D’s (despondency, discouragement, disappointment, disheartenment, and desperation). Certainly I could not have conceived that I would be graced by a deep sense of hope, calmness…and dare I say HAPPINESS. Just two months ago, and for the 33 months prior to that, I was chronically fixated on one thing and one thing only….doing anything and everything I could to get pregnant. I didn’t have much space in my brain for anything else. From the time I woke up in the morning until I went to sleep at night, the thoughts bounced around my head like a pinball machine. Initially they were pleasant and naive thoughts about baby names and how we were going to decorate the baby’s room. After a short time the focus shifted to picking new donors, insurance claims, prior authorizations, injection hormones, countless blood tests and internal ultrasounds. I became a walking acronym because if I wasn’t ordering IUI or ICI specimens or talking about PCOS, I was having an IUI or IVF done, and when I hit the lottery, the payment came in the form of ICSI with a side of AH (assisted hatching). I shed humor and light on the situation because laughter helps me heal. And after a three year long rollercoaster ride with steep downhill drops, I need laughter and I need healing.

So, as I said…how is it that I find myself largely free from these toxic emotions (fear, envy, resentment, and self-pity), which strangled me over the last three years? There is a long answer to this, which will perhaps reveal itself in future posts. The short answer is that I have turned the corner to see what is behind door number two. I have accepted that the door I always dreamed of entering…the one that ends with me giving birth to a baby girl or boy has closed indefinitely…and this has freed me up to see other possibilities and opportunities, which tunnel vision did not permit me to see. I have let go of the reins (for now), am trusting that we will in fact be parents in one form or another one day, and I am focusing my energy on my midlife career change instead.

During the last few years of infertility treatments, the one creative outlet that brought me the most peace was woodworking. I grew up in a family full of carpenters and I have worked at construction sites doing grunt work, but I have never really been trained in carpentry because I went another route professionally. However, while all jacked up on Gonal F, Crinone, Ganerelix, Lupron, and God knows what else, I was Rosie the Rivoter and I couldn’t get enough of saw dust, 2×4’s, and power tools. I mentioned I am a wee bit compusive, which is a trait I actually can appreciate these days because it is filtered in positive ways…(hence why I am blogging at 11:40 p.m.). For me, a brief example of compulsivity occurred when I got the idea to refinish furniture midway through my first summer of baby making attempts. Just like the acorn that sprouted into the oak, the refinishing furniture idea grew rapidly into making a coffee table, taking apart what was our office and turning it into a new workspace where I could do future carpentry projects. And how could I be expected to do carpentry projects if I didn’t have a workbench…so I must make a workbench…and of course I need to make a couple of cabinets with shelves for my tools…and since a new bedframe for our queen bed is way overdue, how about I just make one myself. Lumber coming in by the cord…nail guns, compressors, and compound sliding miter saws being delivered to the house…saw dust in every crevice of the apartment…oh yeah, I did mention that this is an indoor shop in a 3 bedroom apartment, right? My partner deserves a peace prize for the patience she displayed during these manic months of hammering, drilling, carving, and nailing. Alas, the end products weren’t so bad…she put up with the noise, dust, and my constant project preoccupation, and it paid off because we got a nice new bed.

bed before stain      dangerous with a weapon

my first bed

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So I guess God had a plan for me all along. He/She gave me carpentry at a time I most needed comfort and healing. This allowed me to connect with my late brother, Derek, as I was using all of his tools to do my woodworking. And these projects led me to the doors of North Bennet Street School, which God so graciously opened for me….and God willing, on September 2, 2014, I will begin a new journey and help to carry on a family tradition. I AM BLESSED!

Click HERE to contribute to Liz’s Bike to Build at NBSS fund.