Thursday, April 30, 2009

dreaming of baby

I have a ton of reading of other people's blogs to catch up on, and several posts in the works, so bear with me as I recover from our whirlwind trip. Who knew that sitting in the car for 43 hours could leave one's entire body sore? Old age, anyone?

Anyway, I had a vivid dream turned nightmare last night. In the three plus years we've been going through this torture, I've had many uber realistic dreams about babies: being pregnant and feeling the baby kick, going into labor, giving birth, nursing, the whole nine yards. I always have a hard time waking up from these dreams, I think because part of me knows that these dreams are probably the closest I'll ever get to experiencing having a baby.

This nightmare was different. We were adopting. We had the cash, the homestudy, and a mother willing to hand her baby over to us. We were in the room in the hospital, watching this woman push out her baby. Our baby. It was worth it, all of it, to get there and know we'd finally be parents. And when the baby was born, we held it (not sure if it was a boy or a girl, so it is the only appropriate pronoun. I guess you can never turn off the English major inside.) We cried. We fell in love. We took it home. We were parents. And then, birth mom changed her mind. The police came and took our baby away. It felt like they ripped my heart right out too. I cried. I woke up crying. I'm crying now (at work no less. I can only hope no one comes in just yet.)My dreams, like my lady parts, have betrayed me.

I hate this shit. I can only hope this depressive state is the result of Aunt Flo's imminent arrival, and not a total mood change triggered by my visit to New York, aka the Land of the Happy Fertiles (more on that later). I've been so happy lately. I'm not ready to send that version of myself packing. Not just yet.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

on the dangers of bright lighting

I just caught a glimpse of myself in our downstairs bathroom, which, for the first time since Hubby and I bought the house, has light bulbs in all eight sockets. That's right. Eight bright, harsh compact fluorescent bulbs in a space barely bigger than a coffin. I do not advise close inspection of one's skin under such conditions. It's bad for the soul.

My brain, apparently, has not caught up with reality. In my brain, I am a cute, young looking chick. In reality, age is grabbing hold of my face. I saw wrinkles around my eyes, on my forehead. Life scars, writing my history all across my face. I saw age spots forming. I saw the emerging face of a woman, not a girl or a chick. I'm not ready. I'm not sure if its just the normal fear of aging/mortality, or the fact that these wrinkles are visual proof of my declining semi-fertility. In many ways, at 31, I still feel like a kid. I still have no idea what I want to be when I grow up. I'm still not a mom, except in my heart.

Hubby's gonna be unscrewing some of those bad boys, stat.

Oh, and once again, I'm writing instead of packing. Those wrinkles really threw me off course. I have to go to work shortly, and then this afternoon/evening (depending on what time Hubby can get away from the office) we'll be packing up the car and the dogs and heading to the NYC for the weekend. It'll be 18-20 hours in the car, and we plan to drive straight through, attend some family events, hang with friends, and head back Monday night. I think I might be crazy, because I'm looking forward to the drive. Hubby and I have driven all over the country, and we always have a great time chatting, listening to tunes, eating crap food. I think a big part of the appeal of road trips is that he's captive. I can talk and talk, and he really can't do much but listen, and comment occasionally.

I'm a little apprehensive about the social aspect, though. I'm not sure how the people who know what happened with our Cletus are going to react. If I see pity on their faces, I might puke. I always imagine these things to be worse than they are (except for when dealing with Hubby's parents. They manage to horrify me every time!) so I'm sure I'll survive, and allow everyone to go unpuked upon.

Okay, I still have a ton to do. Must. Get. Packing. And then feed animals, clean the kitchen, get ready for work, go to work, shop for snacks/roadtrip necessities, clean out the car, pack up the car, get an oil change (not sure how hubby thinks that's going to happen. This is Iowa. Shit closes early during the week) and drive across half the country. Wish me luck.

Thursday, April 16, 2009


***writing this at work so I may have to cut it short if my boss shows up ;)

I'm waiting for something to happen - for the grief that lays hidden in the shadows to pop its head out and eat my good mood, for depression to take hold and drown this new, semi-happy me. I realize that I am letting the fear of my next dark episode keep me from fully enjoying this latest bout of happy, but I don't know how to stop it. For now, when I need to, I run away from it. Literally. I put in seven miles last night, and it felt great. The runner's high was better than anything a pharmaceutical company could have done for me. And I'm still flying this morning......

I love to run because it is one of the only times during the day that I can focus solely on myself - the rest of the day is spent taking care of my pets, taking care of patients, taking care of clients, taking care of the house, taking care of Hubby. When I run, I have time to work things through in my head if I choose, or to ignore it all and focus on putting one foot in front of the other. Focus on breathing (in through the nose, out through the mouth. Repeat. It's actually harder than it sounds). Focus on life, and all the amazing things my body can do, instead of on dead babies and all the things my body cannot do. During a run (or, more accurately, a slow jog)I feel empowered - particularly when I'm out with Hubby and/or his workout buddy, both of whom try to pussy out and drop to a walk before the end of the run.

Last time we all three ran together, the boys did as boys do and rushed out at way too quick a pace before gassing out a couple of miles from home. They began to walk, and when I told them that they could walk but I'd be jogging home, they acted like I stole their manhood. With much grumbling, we made it home at a jog. A slow jog. Barely more than a walk, actually.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

it's only life, after all

Closer To Fine by the Indigo Girls

I'm trying to tell you something about my life
Maybe give me insight between black and white
The best thing you've ever done for me
Is to help me take my life less seriously, it's only life after all
Well darkness has a hunger that's insatiable
And lightness has a call that's hard to hear
I wrap my fear around me like a blanket
I sailed my ship of safety till I sank it, I'm crawling on your shore.

I went to the doctor, I went to the mountains
I looked to the children, I drank from the fountain
There's more than one answer to these questions
pointing me in crooked line
The less I seek my source for some definitive
The closer I am to fine.

I went to see the doctor of philosophy
With a poster of Rasputin and a beard down to his knee
He never did marry or see a B-grade movie
He graded my performance, he said he could see through me
I spent four years prostrate to the higher mind, got my paper
And I was free.


I stopped by the bar at 3 a.m.
To seek solace in a bottle or possibly a friend
I woke up with a headache like my head against a board
Twice as cloudy as I'd been the night before
I went in seeking clarity.


We go to the bible, we go through the workout
We read up on revival and we stand up for the lookout
There's more than one answer to these questions
pointing me in a crooked line
The less I seek my source for some definitive
The closer I am to fine
The closer I am to fine
The closer I am to fine

I'm starting to think that I really might be fine. At some point. Probably in the future. But the light is there, and I'm really digging life right now. I know this can't last long, this lightness of spirit, but for now, I'll do my happy dance, and ignore the insatiable hunger of darkness.

I know I'm starting to claw my way out from the darkness (without the aid of therapist lady, with whom I've broken up, or the pharmaceuticals she recommended, I might add). Last evening, Mom and I were chatting when she said, timidly, "Can I tell you something?" The alarm sounded in my head: Preggo Alert!! Preggo Alert!! Beware of crashing mood!

And I'm not going to lie - I did shed a tear or two when we hung up the phone, mostly because the last four people we know who have gotten knocked up have lost to me, hands down, when I played the "Who Would Make a Better Mommy?" game. This friend is no exception (and I still feel like an asshole just for playing). And it is so, so frustrating. Hubby and I could afford for me to stay home with a baby. We're ok financially. Our relationship is good. And yet, all of the preggos we've known lately have been in rough financial spots, or rough relationships, or both. It's hard not to compare myself to everyone else and wonder why it's so easy for them, and so tough for us.

There weren't too many tears shed, though. After all, I really wouldn't want to be this friend: preggo with number 3, Hubby unemployed, living in an expensive city, relying on resentful family for help. No sir! I feel kind of like myself again - for now, I'm going to enjoy my life. Someday, we'll have a family, and I just have to accept that I don't yet know how crooked the line will get before it takes us there.

Side note: reason 4,376 why you shouldn't envy my job: I had to work today. We had a surgery patient, a lab puppy who was spayed yesterday, waiting for her owners to come pick her up. My coworker had already walked and fed her, so I went up to her cage to say good morning and give her a little love. She then peed (we call it puppy bladder). And laid in it to show me her tummy. And wagged her tail, just to show me how far pee can spray when a happy puppy's tail is whipping through a puddle of it. Spray it did. I had my very own golden shower this morning, and it wasn't nearly as much fun as folks claim (the ones who are into that sort of thing, anyway).

Off to take a soap and water shower now. Wifey out.

Friday, April 3, 2009

less than

One of the worst side effects of semi-fertility has been the absolute decimation of many relationships that were important to me in my life "before". I also find that this journey has led to the utter destruction of my self-confidence/self-perception, which has rendered me useless when it comes to building new relationships in our new city. I cannot bear for others to know about my failures. I am ashamed of how my body has betrayed me. I am less than: less than a woman, less than a mother, less than a wife, less than myself.

This desire to keep my imperfections hidden certainly did not spring up as a result of my unrequited baby love (I remember not wanting my own dad to attend my Confirmation, back when things like church mattered, because I was afraid he'd show up wasted, or even worse - in the DTs), but at no other time in my life has it infiltrated so deep into my being, and affected so many aspects of my life, as now. As a child, and teenager, and college student, I excelled at school. I defined myself by it. I even had looks to fall back on. Now, I am defined by my semi-fertility. Worse yet, I let it happen.

And so, I am (mostly) alone. I cannot talk to old friends. No one wants to hear about my misery. At best, they just won't get it or give a damn. At worst, they'll actually care, and my sadness will color a moment in their lives. I must admit, I'm also a little angry with some of them. We have been friends for many many years, yet the girls who know our story, and know of our most recent loss, have not called once in the months since the debacle with my tube. It's not really justified, this anger, this hurt, since I am notoriously bad about keeping in touch, and am definitely not allergic to talking on the phone. But still, that twinge is there.

On a lighter note: dogs are silly, and make me laugh (and keep me semi-sane). My big one (a stray, rescued from a flood last spring) has been learning, like a sponge, from the little one, even when the behaviors are not big-dog appropriate. The latest: he stands on the arm of the couch to look out the front window, just like the little dog, even though he's quite tall enough to simply look out the window without standing on anything. I guess he thinks he's little too. This has also manifested itself in a desire to sit in my lap, just like little dog, even though he weighs nearly seventy pounds. Cute at first, but not so much when the phone is ringing and he refuses to get off of me so I can answer it. Ah well, it was most likely telemarketers anyway :)

Wednesday, April 1, 2009


The few people who know about the full depressing depth of our fertility struggles seem to respond the same way: "Well, you can always adopt!" As if adoption would be some sort of magical cure for my depression, or desire to have a biological child.

The truth is, I'm not so sure how I feel about adoption these days. Before we married (actually, on our second date!), Hubby and I discussed our future family plans. We both agreed that we'd like to have biological children AND adopt. The plan was to adopt a harder to place child, or sibling set. Semi-fertility has changed that. If we cannot have biological children, and we do decide to pursue adoption, I'd like to adopt an infant. I want to experience all the firsts, the sleepless nights, the colic, etc. (I truly MUST be crazy, right?) But there are some things about adoption that rub me the wrong way.

For one, there's the cost. Adoption, particularly of an infant, is quite costly. I know that children do cost money, and a couple needs to have the financial resources to support a child, but no one asks biological parents to prove it AND pony up thousands of dollars up front, before they bring their little ones home. It feels a little like shopping for a baby: brown ones on sale! save thousands!

There's also the whole home study thing. I understand the reasoning behind it (of course, someone needs to make sure that the potential parents are capable of actually parenting) but again, no one asks biological parents to open every aspect of their lives up to inspection by a stranger. It's not as if Hubby and I have anything to hide, but it just feels like another slap in the face by the semi-fertility gods.

And then, there's the social stigma attached to adoption. I really don't give a fuck what other people think, but I worry about the implications for a child, particularly if we adopt outside of our race. Will I always have to defend/explain myself? Will Hubby's parents love an adopted grandchild as much as they love PIG? Will my family be open to a child of another race?

Recently, Hubby and I were visiting some friends who have two young children. They are aware of our most recent loss, and that we've had some issues in the past, but we've never gotten into the specifics of it all. The wife was slightly inebriated, and as we were standing around chatting, me with her hubby, and she with mine, I caught snippets of what she was saying: "I mean, adopt if you have to, but natural is so much better." And so on. I'm glad she voiced it at least, because I know people think things like that but are afraid to say it out loud.

Having said all this, I've set a deadline: February 2010. If I am not preggo (for real this time, with a baby that will actually live!) we'll start the paperwork. It could be years before we actually end up parents, if that becomes our route. I hope the semi-fertility gods smile upon us by then.

the birth of PIG

The weeks since our return from Mexico have been tumultuous - in my brain, anyway. The therapist would like for me to keep track of the dialogue in my head, and boy oh boy do I wish I never tuned in to that particular disaster. I'm really, really hard on myself, and I don't know how to turn off - or at least lower the volume of - the part of me that responds to our current frustrations and heartbreak with such gems as "You can't stay pregnant because you are a horrible horrible person. Why would a baby want you as a mom?"

sigh. I'd actually been quite proud of my state of mind - for probably two weeks, I felt hopeful for the future. I didn't break down into tears at the mere sight of a pregnant belly. I walked through the baby aisle at Target and imagined what it would be like to shop for my own precious bundle (I haven't been able to do that since we first started trying to procreate, at least not without the aforementioned tears.) And then, like the bitch that she is, reality came crushing down on me. PIG has been born. The pictures of her precious little face are a stark reminder of what I will, most likely, never have. Dreams - crushed. Hope - crushed. Functional me - crushed.

bigger sigh. The emotions that I've been experiencing have made something quite clear to me: eventually, Hubby and I need to decide to get off the hamster wheel of semi-fertility. At some point, we'll even need to figure out a viable form of birth control, since I can never go back on the pill due to my clotting issues. It's quite difficult for Hubby to wrap his head around that one, and I don't blame him: we can't seem to have kids, so why do we need birth control? Well, I cannot go on having pregnancy loss after pregnancy loss. I'd rather just not get pregnant at all if heartbreak is all I get in the end.

Speaking of heartbreak, I know that the decision to stop trying will mostly come down to me. Hubby is wonderful and supportive, and while he's sad about our babies that weren't, he also has this delusional idea that if we keep getting pregnant, eventually one will stick. I'm not so sure. At what point do I kill his dreams of having a biological child? After 6 losses? 8? or maybe 10? At what point do they lock me up in an insane asylum? I am so so sad for him. He is so kind-hearted, so gentle and yet so tough, and he would make a great daddy, but because he's stuck with me, chances are, he'll never get to experience watching the birth of his child. Sometimes, I truly wish we had never met. He'd be someone else's incredible Hubby, and he'd probably be a daddy by now. Happy. Oblivious to the shit hand that life has dealt me.

Can you tell I'm feeling down?