Here is my twelfth week of #100happydays.

Day 78 – September 22, 2014: Today, my favourite happy moment was made possible in part by my mail man and fellow a fellow blogger. Upon hearing the sound of the mailbox lid drop close, I went to collect the usual bills and flyers. Instead, I found a signed, advanced copy of Ever Upward: Overcoming the Lifelong Losses of Infertility to Own a Childfree Life by Justine Brooks Froelker, with a beautiful note that filled my hear with love. I hurried to finish up a bit of work, and proceeded to spend a few hours curled up on the couch reading.

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Day 79 – September 23, 2014: When we got home from the farmer’s market last week, my giant haul of peppers were immediately cut up and mixed with our garden fresh tomatoes and a few other ingredients from the market to create a massive Greek Salad. We have been eating the salad constantly for the last few days, but it’s only now that it’s good enough to make the coveted happy day photo status. There is just something awesome about having a Greek salad that has had time to sit and soak in the juices of the dressing and percolate until the flavours blend perfectly together – and today, is that day. I love happiness in the form of an amazing salad.

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Day 80 – September 24, 2014: So, there is a bit of a back story to today’s happy moment Last November, we put a deposit on a custom made rare wood mantel for our fireplace. The company cut it wrong and we said we’d rather wait for exactly what we ordered. After about 8 months of getting the run-around, we finally spoke to the company’s co-owner and explained our frustration. (Normally, we would pull the plug on the company and find someone else, but we love their work and it took us a long time to find them). Anyways, this conversation determined that they were struggling to source the same type of wood. So, we choose a different local wood (which also dropped the price drastically – yay!) and today they asked us to come by their shop to make a few decisions regarding the final finish. So, after 10 months of waiting, I was incredibly happy and excited to finally see this coming together!! I love it already and cannot wait to see the finished product and have it installed in our house!

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Day 81 – September 25, 2014: I was being irrationally grumpy, so I decided some fresh air might help. So, my furball and I went for a walk. We cured the grumpies with some happy leaf playing. And, I was thankful no-one was around with a camera to capture the actual moment, because I’m sure it was quite the sight to see a grown lady and her 82lbs black dog frolicking in the leaves!

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Day 82 – September 26, 2014: A very dear friend of mine gave us a gift card to a high-end local Italian restaurant and/or market for Christmas. We decided to go to the market, and create our own tapas menu for supper and pick up some beautiful olive oil and risotto imported from Italy. Our tapas menu included cave aged gruyere cheese, stuffed grape leaves, eggplant parmesan, artichoke hearts and a stuffed portabella mushroom. We had an awesome evening camped out on our couch enjoying some amazing food and wine. It such a great way to unwind after a long week!

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Day 83 – September 27, 2014: The impending winter does not make me happy, but putting on a pair of cute boots for the first time this year sure does!

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Day 84 – September 28, 2014: We went for a walk this afternoon in a park that was hit hard by a flood a few years ago and some areas are still in rough shape. While we were walking along the river bank, every now and again I noticed little green plant growing up between the rocks along the shore. I love seeing the natural rejuvenation process occurring and nature slowly reclaiming the damaged landscape.

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Wishing everyone a great week filled with happy moments!

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Okay, that title might be slightly misleading.

Clearly, I am breathing, otherwise the very act of sitting here typing would be super creepy and would call into question much of what I understand to be true about the necessity of breathing.

But, it was pointed out to me, that I stop breathing normally when I get incredibly stressed.

So, the short version of the events is that my husband and I were at an appointment with my counselor. We were talking about the events of the last 2 weeks, and our decision to seek a second opinion in Dr. Braverman, and our worries about our current RE and clinic and the need for someone in our home city to monitor us to help with the costs. And the fact that we have 3 medical appointments at the end of this week, and basically the stress of it all.

And then, my phone rang. And, for whatever reason I didn’t ignore it (as I normally would when I’m engaged in another conversation). By some odd coincidence / twist of fate, my fertility clinic called me while I was sitting in the room with my counselor and my husband.

I answered it and had a quick conversation – it turns out they called just to remind me of our upcoming appointment next week – no big deal.

But, the important thing about this was that our counselor was able to witness the conversation unfold. She was actually thrilled that she was able to watch the conversation. She was actually able to see my physical stress response, and see how my body stopped doing what it needs to do properly.

I stopped breathing.

Not the type of stopping that requires immediate medical attention to prevent death. It was more like, I was preparing for the worst, and lost the ability to remember to inhale and exhale at a normal rhythm as I was focusing on the things that this phone call could mean. As our counselor observed, I evidently stopped breathing normally the entire time I was on the phone – a good 1 or 2 minutes.  While clearly, I continued to breath or I’d be dead, my breathing pattern turned very erratic and shallow for the duration of the call.

I can honestly say I had never noticed this. I have observed that when I get incredibly stressed in a conversation, I get really cold – so cold in fact that I’ll actually start shivering. I am now so aware of it, that if I was expecting a stressful interaction with someone at work (i.e. dealing with poor performance of another employee), I would dress in layers! And, I’m also now very aware when this occurs that I need to take a step back from the heat of the conversation and refocus the conversation to a less stressful place. Anyways, I digress.

I have never noticed that I stop breathing normally. This was new to me.

So, it became very evident to our counselor that we to develop a plan for me to get through our appointment with our RE because it turns out that asides from remaining alive, there are a lot of physiological benefits from regular breathing. She explained a lot of this, but I didn’t pay enough attention to the details to share them here.

So the plan now is that

  1. I have to remember to breath. My husband has to point it out to me if he notices that I stop breathing – he can do this by simply taping my leg, so that its’ not obvious to anyone but us (i.e he can secretly tell me in our RE appointment).
  2. I have to develop a mantra of some sort to repeat in my head, a few times. Even if it’s just the world calm repeated over and over.
  3. I had to practice deep breathing during our medical appointments – in through my nose, filling my lungs so that my stomach is pushed out, and holding for a few seconds, then releasing through my mouth. And repeating this a few times. She actually taught me to do this when I was stressed at my old job and I used to do it on my drive to and from work – and now I still find myself breathing when I’m in my car driving somewhere – so now I need to remember to use it during stressful events.
  4. My RE clinic gets a new ring sound on my cell phone so that I am aware that it is them instantly.  This will enable me to remember to start breathing before I even answer the phone.

Here’s to hoping I breathe through the appointments this week and that our medical professionals locally agree to work with us and support our efforts to really get to the bottom of our RPL.

If you like this post, please feel free to share it and please return to myperfectbreakdown.com to follow my journey.

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