Hey there Lovelies,6277170943_639025bd76_z

I’ve been working hard to be a positive, driven infertile and a good advocate lately. Trying to think up posts to discuss infertility with cool detachment and introspection. I’ve been working on the slides for my guest speeches and trying to think up answers to discussion questions that are sure to arise from the students attending them. All of this is really awesome and I’m very excited. However, all these tasks are really cerebral and the thing about infertility is that it’s less about your brain and more about your heart. Your emotions.

To be honest, my emotions have been running riot over here.

Lately, I’ve been talking about loving the infertiles of the infertility community after they get pregnant as well as how to stay friends with an infertile if you’re the pregnant one. But in the midst of all that I’ve been starting to feel startlingly alone. Mostly because my two closest infertiles are no longer in the trenches. My two best infertile friends are going to be parents. And even though I write on how to deal with these things, I’m struggling.

I desperately want to move on to the 'YAY phase', but I’m not there yet. Click To Tweet

It turns out I’m still grieving and that grief is not intellectual. Right now I’m feeling selfish and petty. I hate it. I’m pissed at myself for feeling messed up about their transitions to parenthood. I feel like I’m not setting a very good example and not taking my own advice. None the less I’m hurting.

So I want to use the blog today as a place to vent and process my feelings. That’s what I began blogging for at the start. The advocate part is incredible, I’m thrilled to be developing it, but I’m still human.

This is still a fucking hard journey.

Today is for processing.

My “In Real Life” infertile friend, Amy, has been struggling an unbearable 6 years.  Recently she and her husband had moved past the idea of having biological children and entered the adoption process. YAY! Super pleased for them. I invited her to write about the process for Squawk Box and was blown away by the heartfelt peice that she sent to me. Wonderful! We kept helping each other through this quagmire, just as we had been for years… Then it happened:

They got matched.

After 8 months with their agency. Amazing! I was very pleased for them. Only that joy was tinged with bitterness and hurt. I was sad for me. Amy was the only I.R.L. friend I know who’s also infertile. She’s the only one I have a personal relationship with and who knew me “before”. It’s a terrifying thought, that I would suddenly be left here alone in the “after”. Amy has always been supportive and helpful through this process. She’d gone through it for years before I showed up on the scene.  But we are now reaching a point in treatment where we’ve made divergent choices. I’ve chosen to try IVF, which is something she ultimately chose to avoid. Meanwhile, I haven’t got to the point where I would be considering adoption.

We’ve been each others shoulder for a long time. I really want that to continue! But all of a sudden we’re at very different places in our family building journey. By the time her gorgeous baby boy comes I’m terrified that we’ll no longer be able to relate at all or at least not as well as we once would have. I feel I’ve lost my safety net. If I wind up without children Amy won’t be the only other person I know who gets it. She’s moved past that and has her fulfilled family.

Not me though, I'm still here... Alone. Click To Tweet

At around the same time as Amy getting matched my dearest blogger friend, SecondVoice, found out she’s pregnant. SecondVoice has been struggling for a relatively short amount of time, one month shy of a year. I’ve been following her journey over on her blog “At least I still have humor” and  she did hilarious peice for Squawk Box as well. She’s still pretty early in the process and was finally thinking about getting referred to an RE. In the mean time her ObGyn put her on Clomid as she has PCOS… just in case that would do the trick.

We’ve become very close, both of us being in the “after” and beginning our blogs within a week of each other. I mean, I sent her a Christmas card.  I literally only sent two this year: one to her and one to my grandmother. We’ve been instrumental in helping each other maintain sanity through this journey and I’ve very much relied on her. Where Amy has been my safety net SecondVoice has been my rock.

And then she got pregnant.

On her second round of Clomid.

I’m thrilled. I’m shocked. I’m envious. I’m scared…

I’m alone.

The one person with a super similar outlook and coping style to mine is no longer in the trenches. Ok, shes still technically infertile… but it’s been put on hold. Where does this leave our friendship? I can talk her through some of the stuff related to pregnancy because I’ve had so many friends go through it. But Ive never been there. I can talk her through some of the stuff about parenting as I’ve helped others navigate that transition. But I’ve never done it myself. I can’t support her the way I used to or want to. The worst part is that she’ll be ok,  she won’t need my support as much anymore because she’s now part of the “motherhood club”. Almost every other living woman on earth can help her through these things better than me. They’ll actually get it. They’ve been there.

I cant.

I’ll support, but it’s incomplete as I’ve never been there. It’s also incomplete because I’m hurting and feeling upset that I’ve been left alone here. Now what will I do when I’m having a meltdown at 1 am because I’m bleeding… AGAIN? Now what will I do if IVF doesn’t work and I don’t get a baby? What happens when I’m standing here all alone and no one gets me anymore?!

*Deep breath* Obviously, this is ridiculous. I’m not actually alone. I’m surrounded by you wonderful people every day online and my family is very supportive.

Yet, there's something so isolating about your friends leaving you in the dust time and again. Click To Tweet

I’m sure over the years I’ll make other close infertile friends and I’ll feel understood and not alone anymore. This will likely happen often if I’m not pregnant soon.

That’s the thing with infertility. The condition doesn’t go away, but the presence of it in our lives fades some as we enter parenthood. When you’re infertile, and have many infertile friends, you end up watching a lot of them go through trials and come out the other side with a baby. That’s tricky. Especially when you aren’t there yet. I would like to clarify, I AM happy for these friends. I’m not upset at how they shared their news, I’m not unhappy that they’re luckier than me… I’m just so fucking LONELY.

As an infertile you expect to be lapped by your annoyingly fertile friends. It happens all the time. You prep for it. You pray for strength. Then you plaster on a smile and go to showers and christenings and babysit. But when it’s an infertile friend there’s a shift that happens. They go from being a friend who 110% gets you and your feelings to a friend who can 80% relate. That -30% isn’t huge, but it’s hard to adjust to.  I need to remember that these women are the same as they were the day before they took the exit ramp for parenthood. They haven’t changed in any instrumental way. But their experiences will now be different.

Thinking about it really has helped me weed thorough these emotions. See, this is why I NEED the blog. I’m still going to support my friends. But it’s also ok for me to have feelings about it. Lots of feelings it turns out. That doesn’t make me a horrible person. Or a hypocrite. It just makes me human. I’m willing to allow myself a small amount of time to be human, to let my blood run out and the hurt to set in, and then I’m gonna pick out some awesome baby shower gifts and go back to listening to their joy. Because I’m infertile. Because this is something I will have to learn to endure. But also, I’m just that kinda friend.

XOXXO,
Unpregnant Chicken

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34 thoughts on “Adrift On Infertility Island: Alone

  • February 5, 2015 at 7:54 am
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    *gives you a big fat hug*

    What an honest and heartfelt post! Can’t wait for you to be on the other side of this!

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    • February 5, 2015 at 7:59 am
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      Renuka,
      Thanks love! Me too. I hope I get there soon and I hope I’m able to be supportive again in the mean time. Pretty hard at times though.
      XOXXO, Unpregnant Chicken

      Reply
  • February 5, 2015 at 8:12 am
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    This post has really hit home with me today.
    I have been struggling with secondary infertility for a year and a half… with 1 miscarriage in that time. I literally had 5 friends get pregnant all within moths of each other when we started trying and they are all walking around with 7-9 month olds. The difference is, I’ve never had friends who shared my struggle, which I’m not sure if it makes it harder or easier, since I’ve never had anyone who could relate with my struggle.
    I say I’m happy for them, but I too feel lonely and a bit resentful, and for a few of them I even avoided their company while they were pregnant. It was just too hard.
    It’s like we already hurt because of the struggle of TTC, and then we hurt (and feel guilty) for not being elated and supportive of our recently pregnant friends. You’ve said it so eloquently. And I guess I would only be repeating all of your sentiments if I expressed how it feels for me too.
    Thank you for your blog… I’m so happy to have found it when I needed it most.

    Reply
    • February 5, 2015 at 12:35 pm
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      Ftgrl22,
      Pregnant friends whether they understand the struggle or not, are always a challenge. I’m glad you are finding solace here. Sending you strength.
      XOXXO, Unpregnant Chicken

      Reply
  • February 5, 2015 at 8:35 am
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    I hope it’s ok as a pregnant infertile to comment here. I just wanted to offer my perspective. This shit sucks. Period. No infertile can experience infertility and not feel that pit in the stomach when hearing about someone becoming pregnant. No infertile is immune from wondering if it will be their turn, feeling that mix of happiness and envy that a former source of support has moved in a different direction, and feeling guilt and shame for not feeling utter happiness for someone who has struggled. What you are feeling is normal and understandable. I hate it for our community. Because it makes us feel like shitty people, but in fact you are not shitty. You are a human with normal human feelings. Many of my infertile friends IRL and on the web have distanced themselves from me because it is too painful for them. I understand completely, I have done it and been much less classy about it. But sometimes going through infertility is about protecting ourselves as much as possible – it’s not being selfish but it’s giving ourselves a little extra love that we definitely need and deserve. So glad you blog so eloquently and honestly – I know your post will help many and this needs to be discussed more.

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    • February 5, 2015 at 12:37 pm
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      Nicole,
      Yes of course you are allowed to comment still. Unless there is some way that pregnancy is affecting your fingers? No? Good, comment away. It’s nice when the pregnant IFers in our lives understand the need for space. SecondVoice has been amazing! Not that that will come as a surprise to you. LOL Still… It is hard.
      XOXXO, Unpregnant Chicken

      Reply
  • February 5, 2015 at 8:42 am
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    *hugs*
    You are not alone on this stupid IF island. So many of us are with you. Thanks for being so open about this, you’re quickly becoming my IF inspiration.

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    • February 5, 2015 at 12:39 pm
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      Jenn,
      OMG, your so sweet! I try to keep it real over here. Can’t just be butterflies and rainbows all the time. Sigh, though one can dream!
      XOXXO, Unpregnant Chicken

      Reply
    • February 5, 2015 at 12:40 pm
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      Perfect Breakdown,
      Thanks hun. It is hard, and super unfair, and very shitty, but I love these women. I keep telling myself that. They’ve been amazing to me in my times of need and I’ll do my best to return that favor even now.
      XOXXO, Unpregnant Chicken

      Reply
  • February 5, 2015 at 11:30 am
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    i can’t believe the timing of this post! This is so hard sometimes. I had a bit of a meltdown today when I found out that a third person that I work with is pregnant right now. And I’m not. And she has had all sorts of issues getting this far, so when I have calmed down a bit I know I’ll be happy for her. And the other two people. But right now I’m devastated. Even SHE managed it. And I didn’t yet. After two years of trying, two miscarriages and a period of depression, this shit just doesn’t get any easier. And the hits keep on coming. And I will have to see all three of these really nice women be pregnant every day, and I don’t know how I’m going to cope with it!
    So today I am trying to treat myself with compassion and forgiveness. May sound silly but I feel like I need to forgive myself for not being pregnant yet. And then tomorrow will be better.
    Thanks as always for sharing your perspectives – it’s nice to know I’m not the only one and that I’m probably pretty normal for feeling this way xoxo

    Reply
    • February 5, 2015 at 12:41 pm
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      Geo-Chick,
      But melt-downs are good for the soul… right?! I hope so, Ive been having them lately as well :). Best of luck dealing with those preggos in your face at work all the time. I’ll need to come up with some snarky retorts to shut em up for you.
      XOXXO, Unpregnant Chicken

      Reply
  • February 5, 2015 at 3:05 pm
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    I’m sorry. I know how much it sucks. Even when my infertile friends are pregnant I hate them madly for it.

    I have a daughter, that I fought long and hard for, and trying for #2 with infertility has been no easier than #1. I have a friend who had TWO babies in the time I’ve been trying for my second, and I had a miscarriage last June.

    And.. as I enter my 12th week of pregnancy #3, baby #2… I still feel so sad and sick for the many friends I have to are struggling to conceive. I hate telling them, because I know how it makes them feel. I know that their joy for me is tinged with a blackish purple ring of anger, frustration, sadness, and jealousy.. and I completely understand them.

    I hate infertility. I hate it for me and I hate it for anyone who has to deal with it. I’ve had my success, but I still have a bitter, bitter taste in my mouth when I think of all I’ve had to go through, and what others have to go through, and the fact that even more have had a worse time than I.

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    • February 5, 2015 at 4:26 pm
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      Dana,
      Thanks, it does suck. It can suck a lot of the joy out of an otherwise glorious situation. Hope you’re pregnancy is going well.
      XOXXO, Unpregnant Chicken.

      Reply
  • February 5, 2015 at 6:51 pm
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    I love love love this post about all of your feels. Thank you for being our voice and saying the things we sometimes can’t get out. *hugs* I know you said it in your post but let me reiterate that you are not alone in this! There are still plenty of us infertiles out there who will have these feels when you get to the other side!

    Reply
    • February 5, 2015 at 6:53 pm
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      MrsV,
      Hugs back. Yes we are a large crowd. Sometimes I fear it’s shrinking away but, unfortunately for all those newly diagnosed, it continues to replenish itself.
      XOXXO, Unpregnant Chicken

      Reply
  • February 5, 2015 at 7:15 pm
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    This post is beautiful and honest and I know how you feel. To some extent at least. You just put into words how so many loving and reasonable women feel. Yes im happy for my pregnant friends but will I forever be the brides maid and never the bride? Great post.

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    • February 5, 2015 at 7:24 pm
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      Emma,
      That’s totally it. Well put! Always the brides-maid never a bride. Sigh. Here’s hoping we both get there.
      XOXXO, Unpregnant Chicken

      Reply
  • February 5, 2015 at 10:27 pm
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    I’ve been reading your blog lately as I found it through pregnant chicken. And I’ve wanted to write something to you since the beginning and this post finally prompted it. For me, it took me three years, lots of clomid, 4 IUIs and then IVF with ICSI to have a child. But even though I’ve had a baby, I AM STILL INFERTILE.

    What I mean by that is my experience will never leave me. It has colored my life from here on out. And maybe that’s how it is with your friends. They, more than anyone else, will UNDERSTAND how you feel and give you the space you need. They won’t be offended when you pull away, when you don’t attend the shower, when you…just…can’t. And when you come out on the other side (whatever side that ends up being), they will be waiting with open arms and love. Hang in there, lovely! And be gentle with yourself. That above all else.

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    • February 6, 2015 at 7:16 am
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      Becca,
      Yes totally. Both of these friends understand in their core what I’m feeling and have been incredibly supportive. I asked their permission to post about them and they both agreed that I should. I am blessed to have such wonderful people in my life, we will stay friends, I’m just adjusting. And that’s allowed.
      Glad you finally commented!
      XOXXO, Unpregnant Chicken

      Reply
  • February 6, 2015 at 1:59 am
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    Oh, Unpregnant Chicken, you have me in tears and I just want to wrap you in a big big hug! How this post resonates with me. I am sure I have written one just like it during my IF journey years before I ever got pregnant and almost every single person around me was pregnant or just had a kid. It is so F-ing hard! And even though I have made it to the other side, I haven’t forgotten, not one bit. I still feel the pain of trying, waiting and wondering if it would ever happen to me. Sure, it is a bit different now, but those life experiences just don’t go away!

    Also, I honestly don’t believe that you and Amy (or anyone else) will have nothing in common or nothing to talk about anymore. You are supportive and caring! That goes a long way in a friendship, with or without kids. Yes, your paths are different (hopefully only for a while), but you have parents that raised you (in good or not so good ways), you have opinions and thoughts on how kids could be raised, you’ve heard tips from other parents, etc. IMO, there is nothing wrong with sharing your thoughts on how you hope to do it someday with your friends. Who knows, maybe you even have some insight that they might not have or thought of. Just don’t push your thoughts or ideas on to your friends and I believe all will be fine. At least this is who I was with my pregnant and with kids friends and I like to think my thoughts mattered some.

    And as you’ve pointed out, there is nothing wrong with how you are feeling. It is totally 100% normal. And on the days that you aren’t feeling sociable or graceful enough to be around others who are pregnant or with kids, acknowledge that and take time for yourself. My friends who truly tried to be there for me and understand me, understood I had good day and bad days. And on my bad days, it wasn’t about them. It was about me. The friends who understood that have still been my friends and we had lots to talk about, kids or no kids.

    It took 3,5 years for me to get pregnant. A shorter time than some, longer than others and it was a horrible ride. The feelings have never fully gone away. It also took 3 rounds of IVF and me preparing for never being a mom, as adoption just wasn’t for us. I hope it doesn’t take you as long, but if it does, I’ll be here reading and supporting you. *big hugs* I know these feelings and I won’t ever forget.

    Reply
    • February 6, 2015 at 7:20 am
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      JustHeather,
      Thank you for your kind words. Yes to all of that. I intend to discuss their pregnancy and child rearing with them. I’ve been a teacher, a nanny, and a coach, my whole life IS kids. Lol so I feel comfortable speaking on that topic. Even though I don’t have first hand mom experience. That will help to ease the transitions I hope.
      XOXXO, Unpregnant Chicken

      Reply
  • February 6, 2015 at 6:08 am
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    Another amazing post that hit so close to home. I actually think you’re very brave for being able to write the things you do and the way that you do. I am actually too scared to start my own blog for exactly what you write about-that I will be the last one standing among a sea of infertile supports who all go on to have a baby. I also can’t bear to write down my TTC journey because it is an equally depressing thought. So, Unpregnant Chicken, I think you are not really a chicken at all…maybe a turducken? 🙂
    I cant tell you how much I love your blog and am truly rooting for you.
    Maria

    Reply
    • February 6, 2015 at 7:23 am
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      Maria,
      Thanks, it is a little brave. Hmmm Unpregnant Turducken… LOL doesn’t have the same ring though does it ;)Sometimes I scare the shit out of myself with the things I write but I have to hit publish anyways because I vowed to be transparent and honest. Then I sit back and cringe and dream of all the horrible things trolls could say to me. 😉 Glad to have you along for the ride.
      XOXXO, Unpregnant Chicken

      Reply
  • February 6, 2015 at 12:44 pm
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    How do you do this to me every.single.time?! Your words – if I didn’t know better, I’d swear you took them straight from my brain, and transferred them onto your blog! You state so eloquently everything I have felt lately, and this post is particularly poignant, as a coworker is pregnant, and I WAS pregnant with our 7th (and subsequently lost, again – no living babies), and feeling so alone in the journey, so lost, and honestly, sort of, maybe, ready to just give up the fight.

    Truly, it brings my soul comfort to know I am not alone in this total mess of emotion, confusion, hope that is infertility.

    Reply
    • February 6, 2015 at 3:50 pm
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      Nicki,
      I am so glad to hear you felt heard and validated. Yes, your feelings are very common and nothing to be upset and ashamed about. Although, I for one, know how hard it is not to be upset about them. I’m so sorry you are having to deal with this pain while also grieving the loss of your children. May your heart heal with time and reach I hope that rainbow is right around the corner.
      XOXXO, Unpregnant Chicken

      Reply
  • February 6, 2015 at 6:28 pm
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    This is just so spot on. I am coming up on year 2 – one year with no success at all, and then with Clomid I’ve had three chemical pregnancies. I know I’m early in the process as compared to others, but it is still such a struggle. I’m 28, so in the meantime, every single other person that I know has gotten pregnant. Not really, but it feels that way. It is such a struggle to be happy for all of my friends – I AM happy for them, but I am sad for me. I am so thankful for this blog that just resonates inside of me every time!

    Reply
    • February 6, 2015 at 7:52 pm
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      Nicky,
      I’m 29 and trying for almost 3 years. I hear ya. Everyone I know is pregnant or about to be. It’s the age. It sucks very badly. I’m thankful you are here as well.
      XOXXO, Unpregnant Chicken

      Reply
  • February 17, 2015 at 4:57 pm
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    Thank you for this! I feel so guilty comparing my journey to others that have gone through IF. I can’t wait for the day when I’m on the other side, but today is not that day. Thank you for showing me I’m not the only one that feels this way!

    Reply
    • February 17, 2015 at 5:49 pm
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      Moira,
      You are definitely not the only one feeling this way. Also, it may make you feel better to know that I love that you are with me. And that I smile really big every time I read your blog name.
      XOXXO, unpregnant Chicken

      Reply
  • October 18, 2016 at 12:01 pm
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    You are not alone! Thank you for sharing your story and your heartfelt words. My piece of advice for you is to find a good fertility doctor. I struggled with fertility issues for years. It was a hard road filled with doubt and self-loathing. All we wanted was a baby and we tried for years to have one. I tried every medical and old wives tale I could think of to try and get pregnant. I even slept on red sheets to promote fertility. It was starting to get crazy and I was overwhelmed. My husband found out about California Fertility Partners through a good friend. I was skeptical because I thought we had tried everything but I was wrong. We worked with Dr. Guy Ringler My first IVF transfer at the clinic is coming up and Dr. Ringler has made us feel so confident about the process. We are crossing our fingers that it will be successful!

    Reply
    • October 20, 2016 at 9:46 am
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      Mary,
      Thank you for your comment! It is so overwhelming and takes a lot of strength to walk this journey. I hope your IVF works out and you get the baby you so desire.
      XOXXO, The Chicken

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      • October 21, 2016 at 9:38 am
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        thank you so much! Your thoughts mean a lot to me! Keep on writing, I enjoy it!

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        • November 1, 2016 at 8:21 am
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          Mary,
          I am so glad it spoke to you.
          Be Well,The Chicken

          Reply

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