Thursday, December 31, 2009
Lately, I'm stuck on one point: Hubby.
I just love that man so damned much. Nothing, NOTHING in the universe could make me happier than being able to carry his child to term. Of course, it looks like that will probably never happen.
And adoption is great - truly it is, and I am excited to be moving forward, even if it is one baby step at a time - but I think I will always mourn not being able to give him a biological child.
He claims he doesn't care, that he loves me despite my faulty parts, and that even if we remain a fmaily of two forever, he'll be happy.
I think he's just too sweet to say otherwise.
I carry such a weight of guilt around with me. He deserves more, you know? Watching him over Christmas with the kids in my family was so hard.
So here's my confession: sometimes, I fantasize that he leaves me, knocks up some fertile chick, and has the family he should have. I'll always be damaged goods, but at least if he left me and made a life for himself I could let go of all of that guilt, gather up my shattered soul, and slink off somewhere.
Of course, I don't think he'd ever leave me. And I certainly would never leave him. So here we'll be, with me bowed down by guilt and grief and the fear that someday, he'll get tired of having a wife who cries everyday and can't make babies.
2010 can only be better right?
Side note: I'm starting the downward slide again. I can feel it happening, the tears coming more frequently, the heavy heart, my mouth turned into a frown more and more often. And today, I'm at work, and will have to deal with a gloriously pregnant client. Sometimes, I really hate life.
Tuesday, December 29, 2009
Hubby wants to max it out, which would equal approximately $833 per month.
We can afford it (just barely) but it leaves us NO wiggle room in the monthly budget.
The catch is that that money HAS to be used for adoption related expenses in 2010 or we’ll have to pay the taxes. I don’t know if we’ll be able to get the rest of the funds together in a year.
I should be happy about this, right? Hubby is taking initiative, and making a major financial decision without stressing me out over it. He’s getting the ball rolling on moving forward with adoption.
So why did I spend the morning crying? Why does this whole scenario scare the shit out of me? Why does it feel like giving up on me ever staying pregnant?
It feels like starting out on this road again is just opening more doors into the unknown. I don’t handle uncertainty well.
In my head, I’m stomping my feet like a two year old and whining that it’s not fair, NOT FAIR, that I want it all, that I don’t want to have to choose between adoption and IVF, that I don’t want to put myself in the poorhouse just to have a child when crackheads pop them out every day.
On my face is my work smile, professional and detached, despite the tears that keep settling into my eyes.
We’ll see, I guess.
Friday, December 25, 2009
I'm feeling slightly less antisocial this year, but just slightly. I'm definitely thinking Mexico or Dominican Republic next year (unless, of course, I get pregnant with a keeper, but we all know that's about as likely as pigs flying).
I've been reflecting a lot about the transformation that I've been undergoing, due in no small part to the ALI blogging community, and I will write more after we get back to the frozen tundra we call home.
For now, Merry Whatever to all and Happy Blogoversary to me!
Friday, December 18, 2009
That pregnancy, and it's aftermath, was rock bottom for me, both emotionally and physically.
I'm not sure why that loss stands out as so traumatic amongst so many others, but I think the timing (right around Christmas, when I had had another miscarriage two years before on Christmas Day) combined with the fact that it was my only pregnancy to have appropriately rising betas - my only pregnancy to have hope. I was convinced that something was wrong, despite my doctor's assurances, and insisted on an early ultrasound.
I thought we wouldn't see anything at all, that my uterus would appear as that familiar empty blackness on the ultrasound screen.
I never thought we'd see a baby - okay, an embryo, but developing! as it should! - in the wrong place. I never thought I'd have to have a doctor cut my baby out of me, ending his doomed life.
All of my worst fears were confirmed - it seemed as if every. possible. thing. that could go wrong on our journey would. It seemed as if we would never see daylight again.
From that moment of darkness, over the past year, I have been climbing towards the light, trying to fix myself. Trying to live. I finally feel as if I'll be okay, no matter what.
But I am still crying a little today, remembering what could have been. Oh Cletus, you changed me, so deeply. I'll never forget you. I wish I had gotten to hold you, just once.
Thursday, December 17, 2009
I still hope, but I know that in fact we may never become parents.
Pregnancy doesn't seem to work for us. Adoption isn't heartbreak and hurdle free, either.
I am figuring out how to be okay with whatever the future holds.
I am blossoming. I hope I can be beautiful.
Saturday, December 12, 2009
I have had six weekly acupuncture sessions, with at least two more to go. I have to say, mentally/spiritually/emotionally I've been feeling better than I have in a super duper long time, and I think that acupuncture is playing a large role in my well being.
In the veterinary field, acupuncture is a proven therapy for certain conditions. The success of our patients with acupuncture makes me a believer in it's power, since dogs and cats are immune to the placebo effect. When we saw a dog with back problems who could hardly even walk, even with the aid of powerful pharmaceuticals, come bounding into the office after a couple of acupuncture sessions, I was sold. There's also a lot of data out there regarding acupuncture's success in getting breech babies to turn, so clearly the techniques do something to the uterus/pelvic area.
I was so nervous before my first appointment. I really had no idea what to expect, but I dutifully filled out all of the paperwork I was supposed to bring in with me (the medical questionaire was 8 pages long!). And after we sat and discussed my reproductive history, my acupuncturist reached out, grabbed my hand and said "I'm really glad you came to see me. I think I can help you," which gave me chills. She is absolutely wonderful, warm and caring, and she has made me feel like I am finally being completely taken care of.
The sessions are the highlight of my week. I leave feeling relaxed, confident in my abilities to handle anything that might befall me as I stumble toward motherhood. My perspective changes after each appointment.
She has made several recommendations: first and foremost, that I be tested for gluten and wheat sensitivity. She said that she has only ever seen one person with a clotting disorder who did not have an underlying gluten issue. I have not gotten the test results back yet, but I have been gluten free for about 3 weeks now and I am really pleased - I have a rash on my legs that has not responded to any treatment so far but seems to be clearing up now. My brother in law, who is a med student, said they've been learning all about the skin issues associated with gluten intolerance and how they are often misdiagnosed. Hubby has been gluten free as well, and he is free of his usual intestinal distress. It's a pain sometimes to not just be able to eat what everyone else is eating, but it's worth it.
She has also recommended that I meet with a perinatologist to get her recommendations for future pregnancies and possible further testing. I'll need to have a relationship with a perinatologist if I ever get out of the first trimester anyway, so that is definitely going to happen (but after the holidays, when life returns to a slower pace).
Anyway, the long and short of it is, I love acupuncture. I don't know if it will help me get/stay pregnant, but it has done wonders for my mental state and outlook for the future. It's definitely the best investment I've made in myself in a long time.
I'm not quite sure when I ovulated, but I am either 12 or 13 dpo. I'm not having pregnancy symptoms, but I'm not having PMS symptoms either, which is beyond weird. I am not stressing about this cycle though - it is what it is. I've tested several times (even though I'm not stressing - I'm an addict!) and have gotten BFNs. We'll see. Hubby is travelling again next week, when Aunt Flow is due to arrive (sometimes I think he does that on purpose!) so hopefully my solid mental state holds up.
Friends and Kinfolk
I'll be going to visit my family in NYC for Christmas. Our original plan was to boycott Christmas and hide out somewhere warm, but I got suckered into it. I always feel like a failure when I go home - I am the only kid from my generation who has not reproduced. I have always envisioned myself getting on the plane with our baby, introducing our baby to my family, celebrating my baby's first Christmas with them, etc. Every time I go home without said kid, I am reminded of my failure. I hope I can actually enjoy myself.
Hubby's family has been driving me crazy, as usual. They cannot accept that we won't be celebrating Christmas with them, so we'll be having four Christmases this year.
Our friend M is due in March, and is quite popping right now. She looks so stinking cute. Every time I see her I look at my own flat-ish, unmarred-by-stretchmarks belly and feel a twinge of sadness, jealousy, whatever. I haven't cried about it (yet), though.
Our friend A got married just before Halloween. I saw her this past weekend, and in the course of the conversation, she said "Well, we're going to have children soon." As if it were a fact, a given, a right. I didn't say anything, but I should have. I should have let my bitter out, and schooled her on the reality of infertility, especially since she engages in some activities that are not recommended for people trying to get pregnant. Oh, who am I kidding, she'll get knocked up on the first try.
We got buried - almost 18 inches of the fresh stuff. My Hubby and I got to have a nice snow day on Wednesday. Now we just have to clean it up. Damn, we need to have kids so we can train them to shovel, while we watch through the windows with a warm cup of cocoa in hand. It took Hubby almost 3 hours to clear our driveway with a snowblower, and there's more to go.
I hope everyone is doing well and sleeping on schedule!
Tuesday, December 8, 2009
And it scares the ever loving shit out of me.
The holidays are always so fraught with delicate situations, conversations, and emotions, and I usually find no joy whatsoever in all of the hooplah. Have you seen that Kay Jewellers commercial? You know, the one with the couple with the new baby, talking about how it would be their first Christmas as a family? Uggh. That message, that hidden message that if you are, in fact, not parents, you do not qualify as a family - it's everywhere. It sickens me that people so whole heartedly buy into it. It sickens me that I buy into it.
And while all of the feelings of exclusion and loss and grief and uncertainty and anger are still there, they do not bubble to the surface nearly as often. They no longer cripple me. I am sort of puzzled by this, but thankful just the same. Could it be the acupuncture? The exercise? Whatever. It's working.
I'm waiting, though, for the inevitable tide. The straw, if you will, to break my camel of a back. I know it will happen - all of these emotions will churn to the surface, and soon, I will lose my shit.
I just hope that when it happens, I can get my shit back again, and quickly.
Yesterday I received a special package in the mail from Christa, with a lovely angel wing ornament.
The card read "In memory of your babies/Please place upon your tree/This golden pair of Angel's Wings/In hopes they bring you peace."
So sweet. Thank you so much, Christa.
(We don't have a tree this year but I wanted someplace pretty to put the wings so I decorated our mantle.)
Made me smile despite my grinch-like heart :)
Thursday, December 3, 2009
No, I'm not knocked up, sillies. I have my very first urinary tract infection!
(Disclaimer: If you are related to me, or the thought of me having sex somehow makes you squeamish, please read no further. There really will be TMI in this post. YOU'VE BEEN WARNED!)
So, I ovulated Monday or Tuesday. According to biological imperative, we had a fun filled, sex filled weekend which even involved a trip to the local adult superstore. It was pretty awesome, and it didn't feel like that forced, we-have-to-do-it-now baby making sex. It felt like hot monkey loving. I hope it makes a baby.
And now I have a UTI. I have to say, not fun. And I really want to punch the people who call my office to say that their pet is peeing blood but they don't think it's an emergency. Umm, trust me, if your pet is peeing blood, he/she is in pain. He/she may not show it, because animals don't show pain like we do, but seriously. fucking. painful.
I was the problem patient for the doctor and pharmacy yesterday - I can't swallow pills AND I might be very barely pregnant, so the med choice became difficult. Good times.
And I thought that a miscarriage was the only bad thing that could come out of a weekend of sex.
Thursday, November 26, 2009
In a couple of hours, I'll be headed to the out-laws (ahem, excuse me, the in-laws) to "celebrate" Thanksgiving.
It's not going to be fun.
First off, Hubby's brother will be there with the new baby. The first grandchild. The first great granddaughter. The baby that reminds me off all my dear Hubby may never get to experience.
Secondly, I made the mistake of purchasing a fresh free range turkey from one of the doctors I work with. She raises them every year, and they are supposed to be delish. They run around on her farm all year, and truly do get to live the life of a turkey (until, of course, they are butchered). "How thoughtful," you might say. "How could a delicious free range turkey be a mistake?" Well, dear readers, you are not my mother in law. Nothing is ever quite good enough for her - it's a little too small, there are still pieces of feather in the skin, etc, etc. If it tastes like crap, I'll be the villain of Thanksgiving. Yay.
Thirdly, the octogenarians will be there. If I think my in-laws are bad with the baby references, they are the worst. Maybe they are going senile, and have forgotten about our losses. Maybe they are so old they just don't care about hurting our feelings. Whatever. I know it'll be painful.
Fourthly, I am now on a gluten free diet, on the advice of my acupuncturist (more on the acupuncture experience this weekend). It has been a fairly easy transition so far, but today will be hard. No stuffing! No pies! No cookies or bread!
And, last but not least, today marks four years since the death of my aunt, my mother's only sister, who was like a second mother to me. She drove me crazy sometimes because our personalities were similar in so many ways, but lord oh lord do I miss her. She was irreplaceable - throughout the many hardships she faced in her life, she never lost the joy. She LIVED, ya know? (Shortly after she died, and another family member died, we got pregnant for the first time. And we all thought "Finally. Something to be happy about." Yeah, that was short lived.)
I've spent the morning trying to figure out what I am thankful for this year, since the last few months have been really. really. rough.
And then - like a lightbulb went on in my head - I realized it's you all. I am thankful to have found such a wonderful community of survivors who hold my hand and tell me I'm not crazy, not broken, not weak. A community of people whose stories echo my own, whose dreams are the same.
I love you all, even if we haven't actually met. And I'll be thinking of you all today as you head to your own holiday meals. If you need a virtual hand to hold, here's mine.
Side note: I tried to do a google image search for hands to put a pic of a hand in here. Disturbing results, I tell ya. Don't try that at work!
(Jesus Christ, am I sappy today, or what? And I haven't even hit the wine yet! But I will, oh yes I will!)
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Normal people don't fling a book across the room when the heroine gets pregnant.
Normal people don't dread meeting their newly birthed family members.
Normal people don't feel like their husbands are cheating on them when they hold someone else's baby.
Normal people don't walk out of the room every time a pregnant belly appears on the tv screen.
Normal people don't spend their lives wishing for something they might never get.
Normal people don't cry every day, and consider it a victory, because they didn't cry ALL day.
Normal people find joy in spending time with their families (okay, well most normal people!).
Normal people don't envision punching an octogenarian in the face for loving a newly birthed family member so much.
Normal people don't wish for their friends to experience pregnancy loss just so they would GET it.
I JUST WANT TO BE NORMAL.
Thursday, November 19, 2009
IF that pregnancy had lasted, we'd have a 3 year old.
IF the next one had worked out, we'd have an almost 3 year old.
IF the third pregnancy had been successful, we'd have a two and a half year old.
IF the fourth hadn't failed, we'd have just celebrated our baby's second birthday.
IF the fifth pregnancy hadn't been in my tube, Cletus would be three months old.
IF the sixth pregnancy had lasted, I'd be showing and damned proud of it.
IF the seventh pregnancy had stuck around, I'd be looking at ultrasound pictures and planning how to break the news to the fam.
IF, IF, IF.
If we hadn't enjoyed our child free life - travelling, eating out, fixing up our house, we'd be able to afford treatment or adoption RIGHT NOW.
IF I hadn't been a smoker for several years, maybe none of this would have happened.
IF I hadn't had sex until marriage, IF I hadn't planned my life out, I'd have gotten knocked up accidentally.
IF, IF, IF.
IF I believed in god, went to church, bowed down like a good christian, I'd be blessed by now.
IF none of this had happened, I'd have more friends, and better relationships with the people I love.
IF I were a better person - a better wife, daughter, sister, aunt, cousin, friend - maybe I'd get to be a mother too.
IF I hadn't already lived through so much god damned suffering, I wouldn't expect my luck to change.
IF, IF, IF.
But, in the immortal words of my grandma Vincenza, if my aunt had balls, she'd be my uncle.
IF doesn't mean a damned thing - it is what it is.
Four fucking years.
I recently met another infertility blogger from this area and I found it wonderful to actually connect - in person! - with someone who gets it.
If you're looking for that, and you live sorta nearby, let me know. We'll plan something.
ETA: Probably should have mentioned this in the original post, but I am in Des Moines.
My email is firstname.lastname@example.org
Monday, November 16, 2009
Sigh. This’ll be a long one. Bless you if you read it all.
I guess I’ll need to start at the beginning. Hubby and I met and got engaged 2 weeks later, and married four months after that (if anyone else had done this, I’d call that person crazy. But I knew I was going to marry that man before we even met face to face). His parents were sort of shocked, but they were happy for us as well. At that time, they were beginning their big religious awakening, which has turned them, over the past nearly seven years, as we moved around the country and finally settled in their area, into full blown born again evangelicals.
And therein lies one of our main sources of conflict.
Disclaimer: I have no problem whatsoever with religious folk. I went to Catholic school, received all of the Sacraments, went to Mass every Sunday. I get the appeal of religion, and sometimes I do wish that I were a person of faith – I think it would make our journey so much easier if I could just have faith that some benevolent father-like figure in the sky had a plan for us. But I’m pretty sure I don’t believe in god (although Hubby does, and I do find myself praying - to whom or what I have no clue – when the shit hits the fan), and even if I did, I’d have a problem with a religion telling me what to think about complex issues such as abortion, or whether or not my gay friends are sinners simply for being who they were born to be.
Anyway, Hubby and I try not to judge his parents – who raised their two boys to be open to Buddhism, to visit Hindu temples and synagogues and all denominations of Christianity, who brought Transcendental Meditationists into the house to work with the boys – when they proclaim that theirs is the only true path. But they seem to have taken it upon themselves to convert us, and we cannot have a conversation that doesn’t involve god, or them trying to get us to some mega-church related activity. Vomit. I know that Hubby often feels like he doesn’t know them anymore, and that they don’t care to know him.
My main issue with their newfound god-love centers around our babies, and their views on abortion. I hope I don’t get flamed here, but I am decidedly pro-choice, for many many reasons. We have debated the issue ad nauseum, and his parents feel very strongly that abortion is murder. I accept that this is their point of view.
Except it isn’t, at least when it comes to our losses. We are supposed to “get over it” as quickly as possible. I am supposed to chat about their new granddaughter without feeling like I’ve been kicked in the uterus, and attend parties in her honor weeks after another devastating loss. On my 31st birthday (which I found unspeakably depressing, as I was still recovering from the surgery to remove Cletus, my ectopic baby), before said granddaughter was born, I was supposed to chat about how difficult the pregnancy was, and how terrible B, the new baby’s mama, was feeling, even though I would have cut off my arm to get to the third trimester.
A couple of months ago, after my sixth loss, my mother in law asked Hubby and I why we looked so sad all of the time.
His response: We are the parents of six dead babies. How are we supposed to look?
His mother: You’re not really parents, they’re not really babies, and you both need to get over this and move on with your lives.
(Even my father in law had the presence of mind to look shocked as she said this.)
I can’t wrap my head around her belief that it is a baby when it is growing in the uterus of a woman who doesn’t want it there, but it is not a baby when it is her grandchild, desperately loved and wanted by her son and I.
Shortly after that conversation, in an effort to open dialogue and give her some insight into what this journey has been like for us, I printed a shit ton of information from the SHARE and RESOLVE websites, and mailed it off to her. Information such as: how an infertile couple feels when their siblings have children (which we just experienced), how life altering pregnancy loss is, how to talk to a family member who has been through this shitfield.
Her reaction? She called Hubby – not me – and told him, through sniffles and tears, how hurt she was by my actions.
WTF? Excuse me? I am the one who has survived this horror, and I have to walk on eggshells around her?
Another source of conflict revolves around Hubby’s brother, M, and his wife, B. They live in the Southwest, where he is in medical school and she just recently graduated from school. They had the first (living) grandchild. They are hailed as heroes in every conversation, because the in laws “finally” have a baby to love on. Hubby and his brother have always had a close relationship – Hubby even has M’s name tattoed across his back – but the parents consider M to be the “good child.” He has always been studious to Hubby’s rebellious. He never caused trouble in school (can’t say that about Hubby). He graduated from college (Hubby never did, although he’s been supporting himself – and doing a dang good job at it – since he was 17). In short, M is the favorite, and always has been. They rarely try to hide it. I have had independent verification of this by someone who has known the family for many years.
So, the favoritism. Shortly after our sixth loss, when we were looking into adoption and getting the news that our funding had failed, the mother in law said to Hubby “I just wish we could snap our fingers and help you out.” So he asked – which he hadn’t planned to do – if they would lend us the money. Just a short term loan, with interest, until we got tax money back. Believe me, the amount we needed to borrow is chump change to these people. And, after all, they help M and B out financially, and they financially support a church program for unwed mothers.
I wouldn’t have been surprised if they said no. But they never said anything at all about it again. I know that it is their money, and I can’t – shouldn’t – resent them for not wanting to lend it to us. What really burns me is that they don’t even have enough respect for their wonderful son to tell us no. The question hangs in the air whenever we are together.
On Saturday, the mother in law tried to pressure me into going to an adoption information meeting at their church. I politely said no. She kept pressing, wanting to know why, and so I explained that since we won’t be able to afford it for several years, I would prefer not to get myself super excited and then be stuck in a holding pattern, unable to move forward with it because of money.
She just doesn’t get it.
I could go on forever, but this is long enough. The fact is, I feel the doors closing on our relationship, and while I used to want Hubby and I to have a good relationship with his parents – for the sake of our future child(ren) if not for ourselves – I simply no longer care to inflict heartache upon myself.
I would appreciate any words of wisdom, advice, or similar rants :)
Thursday, November 12, 2009
1. The mother in law problem
2. Holiday stress
3. Acupuncture (I frakking love it!)
4. Hubby's longest trip yet (9 days. Seriously.)
5. The truth behind "Cry and you cry alone," as seen through Facebook
6. My state of mind/feelings for the future as represented by my favorite hot beverage travel mug
7. Vice, and my battles against it
My fingers are itching to write but I've been a busy busy bee, trying to ignore the fact that Aunt Flo is on her way and Hubby is out of town - again, just as he was when I found out that the ute-saurus had reared her ugly head and devoured the latest young in my womb.
Friday, October 30, 2009
Except: There will be a pregnant chica there, just starting to show, surely announcing the pregnancy to all who haven't yet heard. I'm cringing already at the thought of all of the congratulations, and her glowing happy motherliness, while my still only slightly swollen belly announces my empty uterus to the world.
And then, there's all of the anticipation for the couple embarking on their journey of married life. The expectation that they will conceive, and have a baby (or babies). The happy joking about building a family. The celebration of their future.
And there I'll stand: the cautionary tale. My presence will shout "It doesn't always work out like that. Some people expect it to, and end up with a belly full of sadness". People will avoid me, as if miscarriage is contagious.
I have no doubt that this couple will have a baby before we do. That shouldn't make me sad, or jealous, but it does. It does.
I wish I could fast forward my life.
Thursday, October 29, 2009
I don't really think we're friends anymore.
What happened? She married a guy I think isn't good enough for her because she was knocked up. We started trying to have a baby and I started having miscarriages. We moved away. She had another baby, her loser husband lost his job and they planned (!) another pregnancy. He is still unemployed, and she's about to give birth. They are struggling financially, and they planned (!) this baby. And got pregnant, no problem. Had a worry free pregnancy.
I am a bad friend. I am resentful and judgemental, and I have lost my ability to relate to people who can reproduce without medical help, who can plan (!) a baby when they probably shouldn't, and are overwhelmed with the two they have. I cannot talk to her without wanting to cry and pull my hair out. It took all of my strength to send her a message on FB wishing her luck with the upcoming birth.
I think I will be bitter and alone (save for Hubby, who really doesn't deserve any of this bullshit) forever. My lighthearted, funny, witty, laughing self has been drowned lately. I hope she comes back soon. I miss seeing the world through her eyes.
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Sunday, October 25, 2009
Then there are days when I thank the universe that we are still standing - we have been fucked by life, kicked in the balls over and over, and yet, and yet, WE ARE STILL STANDING. Still trying to build the life we want. Still trying to become parents.
So which is it? Standing still or still standing? A little of both, I think.
Thursday, October 22, 2009
Over the last week, I've been all over the place emotionally: hopeful, sad, despondent, guilty, and overwhelmingly angry. I am not naive enough to think that just by wanting this so badly, we'll be guaranteed a happy ending. It pisses me off.
I do want this, though. I want to try, at least once more, and then IVF if we can. This determination to keep plugging along has me questioning my sanity.
I'm going to wake up soon, right?
Monday, October 19, 2009
Finally the phone rings. It is S, the nurse who seems to have been assigned to me (it is always S, the poor thing, who returns my calls and gives me my test results). We exchange pleasantries, and then she wastes no time in delivering the blow. I am to lose this baby, this tiny piece of hope, as well. I can hear sadness in her voice, and I feel bad that my broken heart has colored her day. I am sobbing now, but somehow I manage to ask her to have the doctor call me when he has returned from surgery.
I call my husband, who has been out of town all week. The words nearly choke me. It is as if I can hear his heart break, and at that moment, I want to die. I manage to type out a text to my mom, who has been nervously waiting, too. I have to stop and wipe my tears off of the tiny screen three times. I feel as if I've been punched.
I cannot believe that the world hasn't stopped, yet the fact that it hasn't reminds me that I am still at work, that I need to pull my shit together. A client comes in, with a stinky bag of bloody poop, and questions. I have answers. Autopilot has taken over. As I watch her leave, I see that another client, an elderly man, has pulled into one of the handicapped spots out front. He is here to drop his dog off for her weekly treatments. He struggles to rise from the driver's seat, and I rush outside to get the dog and save him the effort. "We'll call when she's done," I say, smiling brightly before I turn to walk back inside. Just then, something cracks inside of me, and this tsunami of shit that I've been barely holding back rises up. By the time I reach the treatment area and the coworker who is getting set up for this dog, I am sobbing again. Two thoughts flash into my brain, in rapid succession: first, that I must look like someone has died, and second, that someone has died.
I think about lying, about making up some crazy story to cover the quick exit I am about to make. I feel like I cannot let others know about this baby, dying or dead inside of me, because they just won't understand. The least I can do as a mother- literally, the absolute least I can do - is to shield this child's brief life from those who would reduce him to a collection of cells. I don't have the strength to lie, though, and the words spill out to my coworker. Even at this miniscule motherly task, I fail.
Driving home, I am surprised by the howl that rises up from my throat, and I find that I am beating my fists against the steering wheel. I remind myself that I need to pull it together, at least until I get home, because while I might want to die, surely most of the other folks on the road don't.
I make a quick stop for provisions (beer) and then I am home. The tears are coming hard and fast now, and my dog sits patiently in front of me, licking them off. I know that he simply loves their salty deliciousness, but at that moment he is my best friend. I wonder if this will be it for me, if all I'll ever get to mother will be things with fur.
Another coworker, who is also a friend, calls and offers to come over. I decline - I need to be alone with this right now. I try to justify this to myself, but really, I am just pushing her away, as I always do.
I talk to my mom. We both cry. It feels so familiar, and I want so badly to give birth, not death, to celebrate the arrival of a baby instead of mourning the departure of one.
Finally, the call I've been waiting for. I take a deep breath, answer, and hear my doctor's voice on the line. He, too, sounds sad. I tell him how frustrated I am, how I've been doing everything I can. He reassures me that there is nothing that I did, or didn't do that could have caused this nightmare to descend on our lives yet again. I ask the question: can we, should we, try again? Is it pure foolishness to believe that this will work out, eventually? I feel a little crazy for even thinking the question, but the conviction in his voice startles me. "There is no reason," he says, "to believe that you cannot have a healthy pregnancy." I am reminded of the conversation we had at my annual appointment, just before this baby was conceived, when he told me that the only question was how much we were willing to endure to get there. He is still talking, giving me statistics about how often these early losses happen, even to couples without a history like ours. He says that this changes nothing, that as sad as it is, and as much as it sucks, early miscarriage is a part of trying to get pregnant and it doesn't mean that I am doomed to uterine failure. Something is forged inside of me with his words, that cracked place in my soul is welded together, and I suddenly see myself differently. I begin to let go of that vision of myself as weak, as a destroyed, broken failure. I know this, and it is as clear to me as my name: I will not be defeated by this. I will not tuck tail and run. I am not a quitter. I know that I can't just walk away now, that I have to see this thing through. I will not stop until we are parents, or I can be sure that we have tried every possible thing we can try. I will not live my life with regret - I will not look back on this time when it is too late to try and wish that I had done more - because that would destroy me more completely than a miscarriage ever could. And if we get there - to the point where we've done all we can, and the conviction leaves my doctor's voice, to the point where my husband no longer smiles when I show him a positive pregnancy test - then I'll be able to walk away, free from thoughts of what if.
Until then, though, it's on.
Friday, October 16, 2009
Thursday, October 15, 2009
I will be thinking of what could have, what should have been. I'll never know who they would have been, what they would have looked like, whose nose they would have had. I don't know who I would have been if they hadn't been in my life, however briefly.
Please light a candle at 7pm tonight. I will. I'll be thinking of all of our lost children, all of that possibility and promise. And hoping, against hope, that I don't lose this pregnancy as well.
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
So, that's pretty ok. Also, spotting is pretty diminished right now, and I nearly ralphed four times this morning.
The bad: progesterone was down to 7, from 64 at my day 21 check. Fuck.
I get to go see the vampires again on Friday, and if the hcg is good-ish, I'll have an ultrasound next week. My doctor is probably worried about another ectopic. I'm worried about another ectopic. He said we'll just have to watch this one very closely.
I feel oddly detached at the moment. I am afraid to hope, to plan, to even think about it, which is odd because I usually consult Dr. Google about everything pregnancy/miscarriage related. I'm pretty stressed and could really use a glass of wine right now. Or some Southern Comfort. I'm glad, though, that for the moment I can't indulge.
Off to try to nap.
Monday, October 12, 2009
I keep trying to tell myself to stay positive, because even if I do lose this one too, this baby deserves a happy home for whatever time it has left before the utesaurus rears it's ugly head. I am struggling. I took the day off today to process (um, cry at will). I did not have the strength to lift the mask of my public persona, and hold it in place all day. Surely, I would have been crushed to rubble beneath it.
I have so much that I want to write, but I cannot right now. I am still processing, still considering where my path will lead if this pregnancy fails. The critters await feeding time (yeah, I get to take care of my in-law's dog - in addition to my own two - this week, while they are travelling to visit their living grandchild, and I am most likely miscarrying. Good times). Laundry must be done, the kitchen cleaned. Life goes on, even when the thrill of living is gone.
Wednesday cannot come quickly enough.
Oh, and thank you all for the kind comments after my last post. You truly have no idea how much they mean to me, you "strangers". Thank you all.
Sunday, October 11, 2009
And that, just after I saw the word "pregnant" pop up on the digital screen, I wiped and came up with pink toilet paper. The morning urine giveth, the morning urine taketh away.
I know better than to hope, but I do. I hope. And I am happy, although it is a happiness tempered by fear, by doubt, by experience. But I am pregnant - today anyway - and today, I will enjoy it.
If this little bean sticks around - please, please, a million times please - my due date will pretty much be our seventh anniversary. The seventh pregnancy - please don't take this one too, universe. I have paid my dues, and then some.
And for all of my talk about not believing in god, I find myself praying to something, someone, the universe. I guess I'm in my own particular foxhole now.
Oh, and the topper? Hubby leaves tomorrow for a week halfway across the country. I will be alone if/when I find out that my betas aren't rising. I may need some serious handholding this week, ladies.
Monday, October 5, 2009
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Next month I'm temping again (even though I hate temping! hate, hate, hate it!). Unless, of course, I end up knocked up this month.
Yeah, right. I'll be trying to get pregnant until menopause, I'm sure.
Friday, September 25, 2009
Thursday, September 24, 2009
One of the things I love about my RE is that he somehow lifts my spirits, and I always leave his office feeling peaceful. Hopeful. Believe me, peace and hope are in short supply around here.
Basically, I appear to be doing everything right. We discussed nutrition (I'm definitely doing well there - lots of veggies, lean protein, extremely limited processed carbs), exercise (training for 1/2 marathon: ok. training for full marathon: not ok), alcohol (I can drink guilt free on the weekends! But I probably won't. That guilt sure clings!), my mental/emotional state, and pretty much everything in between.
The plan: while hubby and I are saving the dollar dollar bills for IVF, we are going to try everything else that we can. The doc actually thinks that I'll get pregnant - for real this time! - before then. He said - and I quote - "I am very confident that you'll get there. It's just a matter of how much you want to go through to get there." Well, doc, the answer to that is whatever it takes. I'll deal with it. I've been dealing with a shitstorm for four frakking years, so I think I can handle whatever else might get thrown at me (I say this now fully aware that it may come back to bite me in the ass!). We're going to be repeating some tests to see if there are any changes and also to recheck my thyroid levels, because the guidelines on normal for thyroid function have just been way narrowed (like in the last month, so it might be worthwhile to have yours rechecked!). I'm also going to have another HSG done, to make sure my journey into ectopic land didn't do any permanent damage.
I asked him about endometrial biopsy, and he basically said he doesn't do them because they are junk tests - the information you get back can be misleading and could lead to unnecessary treatments, which could cause more problems. Oh, and there's risk of infection, etc. Apparently, there was a whole edition of some big name infertility journal all about endometrial biopsy and why it's unreliable. So, no biopsy for me (and I'm definitely ok with that!). That's another reason I like this doctor so much - he definitely takes the time to research and read all of the latest studies, etc, and form his own opinions about things.
I'm still on a high from that appointment. If he believes in me - and I have no doubt that if he didn't think I had a chance, he'd tell me - then I believe in me. I should be ovulating in a couple of days so let the cheerleading begin. Come on, ovaries! And uterus!
Oh, and I got to order grown up furniture for my living room yesterday. I am beyond excited. One of the legs on our hand me down couch broke recently, which was the last straw. We live pretty frugally - we've NEVER bought new furniture except for some cheap ikea stuff. Everything else is hand me down, so, since we're going to need more time to save anyway, we bought a lovely set on clearance: sofa, loveseat and chair, all with recliners. To be delivered Wednesday. The only drawback is that we need to get the tile in our living room done pronto. But yay! Grown up furniture!
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
I have my appointment with my RE tomorrow, the one where we look at my records and try to figure out what the heck we can do next.
Anyone who has been through RPL testing or IVF: what should I be asking? what tests did your doctor run? I want to be as prepared as possible, so any/all suggestions welcome. The last time I spoke with him, he didn't think any additional diagnostics were necessary but I want answers (if at all humanly possible!)
Thank you in advance to anyone who comments!
ETA: We have already had the whole bloodwork panel done, as well as karyotyping and the thingy where they shoot the dye into your tubes and then xray. Everything has been normal aside from the antiphospholipid antibody.
Monday, September 21, 2009
Monday, September 14, 2009
Here’s the long and short of it: I’m swirling around in a tornado of grief and despair. Around and around and around I go. I feel trapped, as if – no matter my efforts – the tornado will set me down, broken and battered, when and where it pleases. I spent the weekend crying and reading and crying and cooking and crying and lying on the couch, trying to shut out the world. Oh, and did I say crying? Yeah, I did a lot of that.
(Side note: I picked a chick lit novel to escape into this weekend. Not even halfway through, I encountered a miscarriage, an ectopic pregnancy, an abortion, and IF. Seriously, universe? MUST you fuck with me like that?)
I really am making an effort, though, to claw my way out from the tornado, however futile it might be. I made my annual appointment with my RE to get my Pap and talk about moving on to IVF (there have been some very promising new studies concerning IVF and RPL, and my doc thinks this is the way for us to go) when we can afford it. I’d like to start getting my body ready for it now, and am interested in hearing my doctor’s thoughts on what I should/shouldn’t be doing in the wait time.
I’ve also been reading some miscarriage/grief books, which have made me feel slightly less crazy (oh, you had ONE miscarriage and felt suicidal? For 15 years? I guess after six I should be glad I’m not driving my car off of a bridge).
Lastly, I’m buying flowers for myself, today, to remember that sweet almost babe (even if everyone around me has forgotten). Numero Uno. Three years ago this week, I should have been giving birth. Finding out about that pregnancy – shortly after two shockingly sudden family deaths – was the last time I remember being truly, deeply happy. Happy with my present, happy with my future. Oh, the joy that flooded into me when the word “pregnant” flashed on the pee stick screen! Dear sweet baby, how loved you were, right from the beginning! How wanted! Your daddy and I, we just held each other as the dawn broke and we waited for the alarm to go off. We were too excited to go back to sleep, dreaming of you and how you would change our lives. The highest high of my life, followed too swiftly by the lowest low. You’d be three years old! Trouble, I’m sure, given your genetics ;). Walking. Talking. Getting ready for pre-k.
I hope you are happy wherever you are, with your siblings, running as a pack. I picture you all, sticking together in the Great Somewhere, sticking up for one another when the other dead baby bullies come around. I hope it’s a long, long time before any others join you all. I love you. I always will.
Friday, September 11, 2009
There is a family in Rye, NY remembering a father, a husband, a brother lost that day. A man named Francis Noel McGuinn, who went to work at Cantor Fitzgerald that sunny Tuesday morning, just as he would have any other day. Although I never met Frank, I am sure he was the kind of dad to his three daughters that any little girl would cherish. He was a man of many layers – he loved showtunes and singing, and family time, and yet Frank had a tougher side as well – he was a military history buff , and regretted that he did not have the opportunity to serve in Vietnam.
Take a moment today to remember Frank, a man so filled with life that, according to his wife, "If we were out to dinner and there was a combo, he didn't need much prodding to go up there and sing." Take a moment to think of his family, and the thousands of other families whose hearts were broken that awful day, eight years ago.
This was written as part of Project 2996, an effort to celebrate the lives lost on 9/11/01.
Click the links below to learn more and to read more tributes.
Thursday, September 10, 2009
Could I handle another loss after all of the hassle of IVF?
Why would we even consider trying to get pregnant again after so many losses?
Why am I afraid Aunt Flo will show up this weekend?
Why am I afraid she won't?
Why do I care so much?
Why do I turn into a jealous, sobbing mess every time someone else announces a pregnancy?
Why do I see preggos EVERYWHERE?
Why do I feel like the last kid picked on the schoolyard?
When does it get to be our turn?
Why can't I appreciate what I DO have?
Why is this my life?
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
Fuck my life.
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
I have been trying – although it’s been a struggle – to think positively about our family building future. And for the most part, it’s been working. I’ve been happier, more cheerful than I have been in a long time.
(Even though the aniiversary of my due date for my first pregnancy is fast approaching. Even though I’m constantly smacked with the realization that I should have a three year old. Even though no one realizes this/cares but me.)
But today, I reverted from Positive Polly to Negative Nelly completely. And what was the catalyst? Some momentous occasion? The arrival of Aunt Flo, perhaps? Oh no, internets, simply a meeting with a local sales rep. A sales rep who happens to have both a healthy three year old, and a healthy newborn. The thought hit me like a ton of bricks: she has conceived, gestated (is that a word?), and given birth to two children, all in the time that it has taken me to fail miserably at having just one.
Sigh. I just can’t believe how quick it can happen, that trip into Grief-ville. One minute – fine. The next minute – hiding in the bathroom so I can cry like a baby in private.
I’m trying to claw my way back to Positive Polly, I just don’t know if I can get there. (See, there I go, being negative again!)
I'll leave you with a quote that I just love (I guess I am truly massive!):
Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls; the most massive characters are seared with scars.
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
My mom just sent me an email with my horoscope:
You could be celebrating in the very near future, Aquarius! If you've been waiting for a financial refund, extra cash or a return on an investment, then you're in luck because it could materialize over the next months. Be confident that life is headed in the right direction. Think positive. It's time to move forward in pursuit of your dreams and hopes.
Guess I should buy some lotto tickets or something!
Monday, August 24, 2009
In my head, logically, I know that things will eventually work out, somehow, some way, for us. My impatience and frustration have been at the forefront for so long, so today, I'm going to change things up a little.
I saw this on another IF blog, and while I would love to give credit where it is due, I have completely forgotten (been doing a lot of reading lately!).
HOW HAS DEALING WITH FERTILITY HELL IMPROVED MY LIFE?
(I figure if I can put a positive spin on this, then I am well on my way to transforming from
Negative Nelly to Positive Polly).
1. I have so much empathy for anyone dealing with any sort of IF. Before all of this, I might have thought that anyone who puts so much on the line just to have a baby must be a little nutso. I know better now. Or maybe I'm just nutso myself?
2. IF has taught me empathy towards anyone dealing with loss, illness, struggle in general.One of the most frustrating things about being a "habitual aborter" (don't you just LOVE that term?) has been the lack of compassion from others who have not been there. I am sure this is true of people dealing with many other things. I always try to put myself in others' shoes(always with socks, of course!) and not judge. I had an interesting conversation several months ago with a friend who has Crohn's disease. She was involved in a fundraiser and had just sent out a mass email explaining how the disease has affected her life, which she said was a huge step
for her. It really struck me when she said "I normally don't talk about it, because I don't want people to define me by it." This is EXACTLY how I felt for years regarding RPL. And I know that this friend is such a wonderful person that no one would ever define her by her disease. Hopefully, the people that I've been opening up to feel the same way about me.
3. RPL is one of those things that can make or break a marriage. Because of it, my bondwith Hubby has been forged in steel (or whatever metal might be stronger than steel). I cherish him more than ever, now that we've been together through the most awful shit that's ever happened to either of us.
4. I've learned to open up to people, and to own my emotions. It's okay to cry (before this, though, I could never have imagined myself, in an ultrasound room, sobbing my eyes out while clutching the hands of my doctor and my husband, both of whom were crying as well). I've forged connections with people that never would have been in my life otherwise, and I've become a source of strength for others.
5. I've learned a very painful lesson about finances. Depression and grief are no excuse for letting your credit score take a nose dive, because this in turn can create more grief and depression. We make PLENTY of money. We could have saved for all of our adoption expenses, or at the very least, have had our bills paid on time so that our credit was good enough to get a short term loan. Hindsight is 20/20, right? At least we can look forward...
6. Last but not least, I've become a much healthier person in my quest to achieve
successful pregnancy. I eat a mostly organic, and mostly balanced diet. I exercise more. I drink less. I've even made great inroads into kicking the caffeine addiction - I'm down to ONE (albeit large) half-caff cup of coffee per day. This, from someone who used to routinely drink a pot of full-caff coffee before work, and then down a highly caffeinated energy drink in the afternoon. In short, I am much more careful about what I put in my body, and what I expose myself to.
Well, this list is about 6 items longer than I thought it'd be when I started working on it.
Drop me a comment - how has IF improved YOUR life?
Thursday, August 20, 2009
Thanks for all of the comments/advice on my last post, ladies. We actually did reach a compromise, as someone suggested, of me having ultimate veto power over any baby furniture decisions.
Looks like we argued too soon.
Our loan application was denied. Fuck. Options now are: 1. Take out a home equity line of credit (if we're even approved), which Hubby doesn't want to do because he doesn't want our house to be mortgaged to the hilt. 2. Beg for a loan from family members (not likely to happen - the Hubs has that whole male pride thing going on, and no one in my family has a pot to piss in, much less money to lend) or 3. Go the old fashioned way, and save up the half of the money we need to make this happen.
Option 3 sucks ass. Option 3 means MORE waiting, MORE time of my life being on hold. But it looks like Option 3, it'll be.
I definitely had a breakdown yesterday. It seems that every time I get excited/happy about something in relation to having a child, it gets snatched away. And of course, I feel tremendous guilt about the whole situation. You see, I've always handled the bills in our house. Hubby has neither the time nor the inclination to do so. Money stuff is not my strong point, though, and through these years of pregnancy/loss/frustration/depression, I let some things slip. Like making sure bills get paid on time (they always get paid though!). Apparently, our credit ratings have suffered greatly, and we're not a great credit risk.
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
This little girl loved babies and children and always spent time with any babies she could. She dreamed of running away and growing up and meeting her knight in shining armor, and being so deeply in love, and one day having babies and babies of her own, with her knight.
And she did grow up and run away and meet her knight, and he was everything she had ever dreamed of. And he loved babies too, and they planned to have lots and lots of them. But she felt uneasy, this girl, like the road to baby might be paved in heartbreak. And so, the knight and the girl decided that they would indeed try to have a baby, even though at that time they had very little money and lots and lots of debt.
The not-so-little-anymore girl dreamed of telling her knight that his baby was growing inside of her, and of growing a huge baby-filled belly, and of feeling their baby move and play inside that huge belly. She dreamed of nesting, and decorating a sweet-ass nursery, and getting her house ready for baby. She even dreamed of labor, and delivery, and had visions of a home water birth and nursing (no drugs for her!).
One morning, she got to tell the knight that his baby - their baby! - was growing inside of her belly. She had never been so happy, or more in love with her knight, who was also very, very happy.
But then, their baby, who was very much wanted and loved, died long before he was big enough to live. And so did the next baby, and the baby after that, and the baby after that, and even the next one and the one after that. And the girl and her knight were very, very sad for a long time.
One day they decided that their baby just wasn't meant to grow in her belly, and even though she was very sad, the girl knew that she wouldn't get to live her dreams. She let them go, and embraced a new dream, a dream of a baby that grew in someone else's belly.
But she couldn't let go of one little part of that dream - the nursery. She hung onto the vision of going into a shop and finding the perfect baby furniture and the perfect baby decor, sparing no expense.
Okay, if you haven't guessed by now, the girl is me. And the knight? Well, that would be Hubby. And we had a huge fucking stupid fight about the damned nursery this weekend. Basically, he thinks we should run the cheap route (since adoption is so costly) and take whatever hand me downs we can. Me? I can't let go of that last dream. I've let go of all the rest of the baby anticipation dreams. But this one thing, I want to experience like a so-called "normal" mom. I mean, we're going into debt to fund this adoption anyway, so what's a few extra c notes in the hole?
So, if you're still reading, please chime in with a comment. Am I a complete whiny idiot for insisting on furnishing the nursery with things of my own choosing? I promise I can take it if you think so....
ETA: The only furniture in our entire house that is NOT a hand me down (or a family antique, true) is our bedroom set. Said bedroom set came from Ikea, and was purchased 4 or so years ago (and parts of it are falling apart now). So it's not exactly as if I have designer/expensive taste in these things. I just want some control, I guess.
Sunday, August 9, 2009
We spent a total of 17 hours driving several states away to go to a 4 hour informational meeting at the agency we've chosen. It's the first step to getting registered with them. The meeting solidified our desire to adopt, and led to many interesting discussions between Hubby and I on the drive home about our fears, our hopes, and our desire to be parents. It was fantastic. We love the concept of open adoption, and are so proud and excited to have finally gotten started.
We also solidified a major decision for us: we will not pursue IVF, at least not unless our financial situation changes drastically. And that's unlikely to happen, because if - or rather, when! - we get chosen by a birthfamily, I will be staying home to be with baby.
Oh, and there's the cost of the adoption itself. Oh boy. It's within reach for us, sort of, when we scrape together everything we have, but we'll still have to get a loan from someone to cover the rest. We were going to ask Hubby's parents, but they're, well, awful (his mother, Mrs. Pro-life, flat out told us today that we are not really parents because our children never lived. I get that we're not REALLY parents, but how can a pro-lifer say our children never lived? But I digress), and we decided we cannot subject ourselves to that. We do have other family members that we can ask before we have to resort to a bank. We won't be able to ask for a couple of weeks, and it's killing me. I need to plan it all out now!
Another possible complication: I could be pregnant right now. I've been nauseous as hell lately (although I'm sure all of those hours in the car didn't help) and weepy as hell lately (which could be due to the clomid). Hubby and I discussed it though, and even if I am knocked up, we'll stay on the adoption train. Because if experience has taught us anything, it's that the chances of me staying knocked up are not good. Like morons, though, we're hopeful.
I'm only 7 dpo right now, so I've been repeating my mantra: I will not pee on sticks, I will not pee on sticks, I will not pee on sticks. Say it with me, ladies.
Jeez, a whole two posts from me in one day. Momentous.
Thanks to Jess at Baby Paramore for giving me my first award! The rules of the “One Lovely Blog Award” are: Accept the award, post it on your blog together with the name of the person who has granted the award, and his or her blog link. Pass the award to 15 other blogs that you’ve newly discovered. Remember to contact the bloggers to let them know they have been chosen for this award.
Okay, so here it goes:
Widow in the Middle
Okay, so that's not quite 15, but it's as good as I've got right now!
Thanks again, Jess. I feel like a real blogger now ;)
Monday, August 3, 2009
There are many aspects of my job that I love - the days when I get to play with puppies and kittens, and love on patients needing some tlc. The days when everything goes right and pet owners agree with recommended treatment plans and everyone goes home happy.
Then there are the awful awful days - euthanasias of beloved pets suck, as do people who neglect and/or abuse their pets, or refuse treatment because of cost (and then get into their shiny luxury cars to drive home). People who expect me to diagnose their animal over the phone, and then bitch me out when I tell them they need to come in for an exam, suck.
And then there are the days, like today, when I'm slapped in the face with the reality of my own non-evolution.
You see, somewhere in the woman-wife-mother evolution lies the jump into pet ownership. Perhaps it's just couples wanting to test the water and try out a pet before they try for baby. Maybe people have been waiting to get "settled" before they tackle pet ownership. But time after time, I see it. The single girl with a boyfriend and a dog announces the name change, the evolution into married woman. Months later, she comes in with her gloriously swollen belly, looking for advice on the seamless integration of baby into the family. More months later, and she comes in with kid and pet, looking exhausted but marvelling over how well the pet and baby get along.
I had one of those days today - a woman with a hugely pregnant belly and a sick cat. We've been seeing a lot of her lately, as they've been trying to get all of their furry charges updated and checked out before the new arrival wreaks havoc on their lives. Every time I see her, I see how she's grown. I picture her baby, safe and snuggled inside her, and wonder why I can't have that.
I realized, as I looked at her today, how stuck I really am. I want to evolve into a mother, I do. I'm ready for it. I was ready three years ago, when I took this job on a part time, temporary basis - you know, until I popped out a kid and quit to be a stay-at-home mom. It's turned into a full time, permanent for now job. And while I woke up today loving it and looking forward to the day, I left hating it. But really, I hate the road my life has turned down. I hate being stuck. I feel like a little kid, always looking toward the future, just wanting to get where I'm going.
Oh, and Wednesday would be my due date for cletus, the babe who lived in my tube. The only one of my brood to have actually developed, only in the wrong place. I cannot believe I just realized this now. And I get to have root canal part 3 that morning, instead of getting things ready for cletus.
I'm thinking there will be some wine consumed Wednesday, even if I have to suck it out of my shirt because I can't get my numb lips to work appropriately on a glass. To hell with Operation No Regrets.
Thursday, July 30, 2009
Using only song names from ONE ARTIST, cleverly answer these questions. Try not to repeat a song title. It’s harder than you think.
YOUR ARTIST: Pearl Jam
Are you male or female: Daughter
Describe yourself: Alive
How do you feel about yourself: Nothingman
Describe where you currently live: State of Love and Trust
The first thing you think of when you wake up: Go
If you could go anywhere, where would you go: Oceans
Your favorite form of transportation: Footsteps
What is the weather like where you are at: Bugs
Your best friend is: Dirty Frank
Your favorite color is: Black
If your life were a TV show, what would it be called: Life Wasted
What is life to you: Given to Fly
What is the best advice you have to give: Do the Evolution
If you could change your name, what would it be: Glorified G
Your favorite food is: Stupid Mop
How I would like to die: Worldwide Suicide
My soul’s present condition: Spin the Black Circle
What are you going to post this as: Master/Slave
Now it is your turn—
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
I keep expecting to see tumbleweeds blowing through when I drop trousers to pee.
It makes that actual baby making act more than a little difficult. We've been muddling through. Thank god for pre-seed.
Other side effects: I've been a little more emotional lately (okay, I cried reading the front page of the newspaper today. And nothing was even really on it!) but no crazy mood swings or rages. I have been sweating a ton. A ton. Thankfully, I have a rather physical job, so it's not unusual for me to sweat, but this is borderline ridiculous.
I haven't ovulated yet, so I'm sure more fun side effects will pop up as this cycle continues.....
Saturday, July 25, 2009
It started with a bit of a toothache Thursday night. I wasn't too alarmed, and ibuprofen took care of it. I woke up Friday with the worst. toothache. ever. Nothing took the edge off. It felt like there were little daggers digging into all of the teeth on the left side of my mouth. I went into work, broke into tears from the pain more than once (which is really really unlike me - I once fractured my pelvis and thought it was a muscle strain for two weeks. I went snowboarding and running on it!). My dentist couldn't see me until early Monday morning. I agreed to the appointment, but kept feeling worse and worse.
So I called the dentist's office, and stumbled upon an interesting fact: half of the dentists in Des Moines close at noon on Fridays. And its not as if they have weekend hours either. Great.
I left my dentist a message on his emergency line (cell phone) that I was in extreme pain and needed suggestions on how to deal. He did not call back.
So I said "Fuck it" and started calling around until I found 1. a dentist that was open and 2. a dentist that could see me and 3. a dentist accepting new patients and 4. a dentist who accepts our insurance.
Luckily I ended up in a great office. I'm pretty sure I'm going to switch to this doctor. It could have been really sketchy. Once, years ago in a similar dental emergency (when will I ever learn?), I ended up in the office of a man who worked alone. As in, no assistant, no receptionist, nothing. Just him, and his combover. Oh, and opera music blaring. He also eschewed high tech equipment, like x ray viewers and computers. Interestingly, the root canal he gave me hurt less than any other I've had.
So that brings me back to yesterday. I had an emergency root canal. My tooth was majorly infected. I'll have to spring for the crown, too. I could have just had it yanked, and saved a thousand bucks, but to me, having a full set of teeth (even if they are troublesome and rotten)? Priceless.
Oh, and remember how I mentioned that I'm bad with pills? Well, now I get to take antibiotics and pain meds too! Yay!
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
I'm sitting here waiting for some kind of womanly epiphany to descend upon my body (I'm picturing an ethereal glow, magically bigger boobies and a uterus that suddenly decides it's tired of killing babies), but so far, nothing. I am, however, talking to my ovaries and uterus like I'm a high school basketball coach for the losing team at halftime. "Come on, girls! You can do it! Make a good, quality eggy. Uterus, you get in there and start growing a nice thick lining. We can win! It's not over till it's over!"
The insanity that this mess has brought into my life - I don't think I've ever had a conversation with an organ before.
In adoption news: our trip to get the ball rolling is in 2.5 weeks. Holy crap. I want to do the happy dance every time I think about it, but then reality smacks me in the face: We have a TON of work on the house to do, and we really don't know how we're going to finance this right now. Our original plan was to scrape together all of our savings, etc, and then ask Hubby's folks for a loan to cover the rest. I don't know if it's going to go down like that, because they've been tough to deal with lately. Hubby's dad has been okay - he's usually quite understanding and non judgemental about this shit. Hubby's mom - well, she's another story. When we told her a couple of weeks ago about our latest loss, she basically said that this is god's plan for us and we should accept it. I call bullshit - if there is a god, and he/she/it really wants us to adopt, I think there's a better way to go about it than to have us experience loss after loss, heartbreak after heartbreak. A vision or something, perhaps? A booming voice declaring that we should pursue adoption full force? What kind of god wants people to suffer like we have?
She also made a point of pulling Hubby aside at the party for his niece and saying that she "hopes we can get over this." Ugh.
Speaking of the party, Hubby has declared that it was a good thing I didn't go, because he was reduced to stifling the desire to punch family members in the face as they went around declaring PIG a "miracle baby" and other such crap. Had I been there, I'd have sat in the corner crying, or downing a bottle of wine. I did cry while he was gone, but alone in my house with the curtains drawn and shitty tv on, just the way it should be.
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
Thursday, July 16, 2009
Hubby has been super supportive; others in his fam, less so. I left it to him to explain my probable absence to his dad, and got to overhear this gem of a conversation (they were on the phone but Hubby's BB was loud enough for me to eavesdrop, just the way I like it):
Hubby: You know I'll be there, but Wifey might not make it.
FIL: Well, that'd be a shame.
Hubby: But you know why, right?
FIL: Well, yep, sure do.
Hubby: And we don't need to discuss it any further, right?
Hubby: Okay, great. Love you, Pop.
FIL: Love you too, son. Bye.
Short and to the point. No need for explanation, soul searching, etc. No lectures about how I should just give thanks to god for what I already have.
Sometimes I wish I were a man.
Wednesday, July 8, 2009
Thanks to Mel at Stirrup Queensfor hosting the Show and Tell. I am a Show and Tell first timer, so I hope I've done everything correctly :)
This is my big dog, Big John McCarthy. We just celebrated a year of having him in our home, so it's a wonderful time to tell his story.
One Saturday, just over a year ago, a client of the vet clinic I work at called, frantic, and said she had just picked up a stray and wanted to have him checked out. At the time, the Des Moines area was literally under water. The rivers were out of control. She had been on one of the bridges, watching the water rise, when she noticed a dog running from person to person, unleashed and uncollared. A group of men took an interest in the dog, so she (being the dog lover she is) went over to ask if he belonged to one of them, and why he was unleashed. She noticed that they were quite inebriated, and belligerent. They told her that no, he didn't belong to any of them, and that they could take care of him by tossing him into the raging river.
The client, who is a tiny little unassuming lady, told them where to go and then led the dog to her car and promptly to our clinic. I was working that day, and he immediately stole my heart with his beautiful eyes and serious face. His initial health check was fine, and the client took him home until she could get him neutered and find him a permanent place, since she had too many dogs to consider keeping him. I immediately went to work on Hubby, who wasn't sure that it was the right time to add another pooch to our family.
Fast forward to the scheduled day of his neuter: we ran all of his pre-anesthetic testing, and discovered that he was infected with heartworms. The neuter was cancelled, we were all devastated, but I knew then that I had to keep him. A fan of the underdog, I am. Hubby came to see him that day, and melted. We took him home and began his treatment shortly thereafter.
Treatment for heartworm disease is excruciatingly painful for the dog. Our hearts broke as we watched him writhe and moan in pain. It was clear that he had belonged to someone, as he knew basic commands, which made us so angry - heartworm preventative is cheap! There is no reason not to have your dog on heartworm meds - after all, if you can't afford the vet, you can't afford the pet.
He is a wonderful dog - naughty and mischievous, but sweet as can be. He is a mama's boy, and wakes me up with a cold nose to the ear every morning. He keeps us on our toes, and keeps our other dog entertained. Big John has taught us so much about unconditional love, and we are so grateful to have him in our lives. I love him so very much, it's scary.
Not surprisingly, he hates the rain. As you can see from the picture, though, he loves snow. Which is great, considering where we live.ETA: While I was writing this post, he got into a trash bag Hubby left on the deck and had a feast. It's a good thing he's cute (that goes for both Hubby and Big John!)
Oh, and I obviously can't read, as I posted my name and not my blog name on the Show and Tell page. Sorry.
Monday, July 6, 2009
Exit, barren old hag. Enter, sexy sex kitten. Purrrrrrr.
It goes something like this: if I can't be the kind of woman who makes babies for her hubby, I can be the kind of woman all his friends want to screw. I've grown my hair long again. It is full and shiny, and, if I do say so myself, quite lovely. I get a lot of compliments on it, even if I think I'm having a bad hair day.
Let's not forget the boobies, either. They too are quite lovely. They are my solace, at times. If I had completed a pregnancy and nursed an infant, they'd surely be less perky. In my childless state, they rarely require a bra (bonus, because I hate bras! Oh, the humanity!)
I've also been told I have a nice rear. Hubby likes to tell me, when I go to work out, "You can do sidebends or sit ups, but please don't lose that butt." Apparently, wifey got back.
And so, when sexy sex kitten makes an appearance, all self doubt regarding my appearance disappears. Nagging thoughts about my flabby arms, large thighs, fat ass, chin hair and the like - gone! and replaced in an instant by a desire to show my assets (for all too soon they will disappear into the wrinkly mess of old age). I wear flimsy shirts and tight jeans and vamp up the makeup, and get a little thrill when men (Hubby included, of course) can't take their eyes off of me. I know I should feel objectified, or less than, or whatever my Women's Studies prof would have said, but it makes me feel whole. It makes me feel more like a real woman, and less like an imposter with a bum uterus.
I'm just glad Hubby's not the jealous type.
Sunday, July 5, 2009
I've been on one hell of an emotional roller coaster lately, and really all I can do is observe and report. I feel like I have no control over inner workings - I am just a passenger here.
Yes, we are still thrilled to be finally moving forward with adoption. No, adoption is not some magical cure for my grief. We always planned on adding to our family through adoption, regardless of my failure as a woman. I'm still going to start clomid next cycle, but really I've lost all faith that we'll be able to produce our own spawn.
The final push to this long downward roll came when I learned last week that Hubby's brother, along with his wife and new baby (AKA PIG), will be visiting in two weeks. Hubby's parents are planning a big to-do, so the whole family can meet the baby, the first grandchild. Or, more accurately, the first grandchild to survive pregnancy, but whatever - it's not as if they ever acknowledge our losses.
Enter old hag.
I felt physically ill at the thought of having to spend time in the company of fertiles and young children and babies. My heart started racing. I started sweating and felt nauseous and immediately weighed down like someone had placed an iron yoke around my neck. It's been there ever since.
My mind ran to the crazy - how can I get out of showing up? Can I break my leg? Get hit by a car? Stick a pencil in my eye? Perhaps I can manage to get bit by an animal at work that day. I have to do something, though - I do think I might actually have a breakdown if I'm forced to go. I'm too raw right now. I can't bring myself to hear everyone ruminate on who the baby resembles, or to see Hubby holding his niece and being tender and sweet. Little knives, right to my heart. What kind of person reacts this way to such a wonderful family event? A fucking horrible barren old hag, to be sure.
The timing of the party will be horrendous in another way. My body - my crazy, crazy body - is getting ready to pop out an eggy already. I find it absolutely amazing that my lady parts are always ready to go so soon after a loss. It's been less than two weeks, for Christ's sake! So, do the math, my friends: yep, that's right, I'll be having a visit from Aunt Flo that weekend, or close enough. I'll also, possibly, be on clomid for the first time and discovering the wonders that little pill will inflict. Yay.
More little knives - this time around, nobody gets it. I think the two people closest to me - mom and Hubby - are frankly sick of dealing with mood swings and weird unexpected grief moments. They think I should just suck it up and deal with it, go to the party and keep my mouth shut about my own personal hell. Or better yet - mom thinks I should, if I can't go, write a letter to BIL and his wife explaining my absence. Sure, I'll just bare my own dark soul for people I hardly know to see.
I'm ready for the next up on this ride, although I know it'll be followed far too quickly by a down.
Thursday, July 2, 2009
This baby who needed a home actually had four couples interested in becoming parents. And of course, these four all had completed home studies. Once again, hopes dashed. Of course, it wasn't an unexpected turn of events, but the disappointment still stung. However, Hubby and I had any and all doubts/fears that we might have had about adoption completely erased: the excitement we felt at the prospect! the willingness to do whatever it might take to be approved! the feeling of wondering WHEN we could become parents, as opposed to IF!
We've decided to pursue adoption. As in, attending some meetings next month to get the home study ball rolling. Figuring out who we can beg, borrow and steal from to meet our expected expenses. We're going for it. I have not felt this upbeat for a long long time. We know the process might take longer than we'd like, and the road will be paved with frustrations, but we've become experts at dealing with frustrations.
We'll also be starting clomid next month. It seems a little crazy to be actively trying to conceive while starting the adoption process, but it feels right. It just feels right. I mean, me getting pregnant and staying pregnant is such a long shot at this point, but I feel like I should give the assisted ovulation aspect a try. Why should that stop me from trying another avenue toward parenthood as well? The agency we'd like to work with does not have any restrictions regarding ttc for infertiles, so why not?
Hubby and I have always discussed adding to our family through adoption, even before my many miscarriages and issues came to light. We just thought we'd have bio kids first. I'm okay with it not happening that way. I just want to be a mom.
So Operation No Regrets is in full effect, with a twist. And I'm beyond thrilled. I did, however, indulge in some wine last Saturday night, and I may this Saturday as well. If you can't indulge when your sixth dead baby like entity is slowly leaking out of you, when can you?