Tuesday, December 28, 2010

In which a new word is invented.....

I survived Christmas Eve (after, you know, various parental guilt trips, other minor family drama, cajoling, and of course, a tide-turning bribe).

The huge gift was money. It was nice, and took care of a lot of debt that was weighing us down, which will allow us to save for treatment/adoption/whatever much more quickly. Yay. We were also blessed to receive many other nice gifts from our families (including the juicer I’ve been wanting so that I can kick off my health nut streak). Our gifts to everyone were generally well received, as well (a nice bonus).

I won’t lie – there were several moments of “That was awkward,” and several moments, involving some combination of pregnant mother/big sister to be/expectant dad, of “I think my soul is tearing in two,” and a few unnoticed tears shed. All in all, though, I thought I handled the evening with grace.

We spent the next day at home, paying off debt (yay for online banking!), eating and enjoying each other’s company. Later that night we had some folks over to the house to hang out/drink whiskey. All in all, I thought I might have made it through the holiday unscathed without permanent damage. Hubby said he was proud of me. I was proud of me.

That is, until last night. Quick backstory: Hubby’s SIL is pregnant and in danger of losing the baby (my MIL’s exaggeration) getting put on bedrest. She is, I think, around 32-33 weeks. They have a not-quite-two year old and three dogs, and he is a new medical school graduate/slave doctor. Hubby’s mom has been going to stay with them (they live 2 hours away) during the week, and since my FIL travels for work, we get their own dog dumped on us.

Anyway, the MIL came over last night while I was at work to drop off the dog and subject Hubby to a lecture. Among other things, she told him – get this - that B (his SIL) and M (his brother), were upset on Christmas Eve because they felt like “no one was making a big deal about the new baby” because of me. (To his credit, he didn’t want to hurt my feelings by telling me this but it came out in unrelated conversation). Later, she called to tell him that B and M didn't necessarily actually say anything like that to her. She had simply inferred it. And felt the need to lecture us about it.

Nothing she says surprises me anymore, not really, but that was really hurtful and a pretty terrible thing to say. I mean, I never asked anyone to treat B and M differently because I just lost a pregnancy 2 months ago. I would never do that. In fact, I didn’t want to go to Christmas celebrations because I didn’t want anyone – myself, Hubby, M and B, or anyone else – to feel awkward because of my presence. They coerced us into going to serve their own purposes and then try to make me feel bad about it. I didn’t run screaming at the sight of the creepy pregnant belly. I didn’t break down crying when Hubby’s grandma gave me a present – wrapped and with my name clearly on the tag – that, when opened, turned out to be a maternity and nursing shirt, clearly meant for B instead (FML).

I know, my life sucks. It is depressing. It makes me sad to see myself contrasted with someone who can have babies, to see my pathetic “family” of two next to a growing family of nearly four, to think of how I would have fit into that maternity shirt if only the last pregnancy had been different. I’m sorry if it makes other people feel sad or awkward too.

That’s why I wanted to stay the fuck home.

There were other things said, but really I am just too livid and sad (can I say “sivid” instead? Did I just invent a word? Awesome!) sivid to begin the process of unraveling what it all means.

But let’s end this on a positive note, shall we? The hubs got me a GORGEOUS set of emerald earrings with a matching pendant. I am not really a sparkly kind of girl (I actually asked for a Dyson) but green is my favorite color, and these are truly beautiful. I am so thankful that he knows me well enough to know what I would like even though I didn’t even know I wanted them! I’ll try to get a picture of them up later…..

I hope you all had a very blessed holiday, a Merry Christmas, or simply a good weekend.

Monday, December 6, 2010


Things are just trucking along in my life. We’re still assuming that the “really huge” Christmas gift is cash (although I’m hoping that I’m not going to be whoring myself out for, say, another hideous china set) and while there are things that bother me about the whole situation I’ve got the lube all ready to go. I will suck it up and deal with it, because if it is money, well I’m going to go out and buy myself a whole diaper load of happiness, conflicted ideology or no.

I feel steady, solid, like my two feet are planted firmly just where they need to be. Aunt Flow and Thanksgiving came and went, without so much as a tear from me, which felt weird and good and sort of like I was living someone else’s life. I’ve been taking my fucking pills as prescribed like a good little mental patient and (family gatherings aside) drinking less.

Sometimes it surprises me, how functional I’ve become. I’ve been paying bills. Working out. Cleaning the house. Working on crafts (don’t laugh!). Cooking. Most importantly though, I seem to have found perspective. No, I don’t want to be around creepy pregnant bellies that stare me down. They make me feel sad and less-than, and I will tell people why I don’t want to do seven Christmases even if it makes them uncomfortable to hear that I should be wrapping gifts for my own kids by now, baking cookies for Santa and playing all the crazy parental mind games that Christmas inspires. My oldest would be four. I can’t even imagine what that life would have been like, who that me would have been.

But I do know that, even if it shreds me to do it, I can survive one night pretending to be happy for the perfect little soon-to-be-added-to family. I can go home afterwards and cry my eyes out with a nice fat check to dry my tears, and even if the whole experience knocks me down, I know that I’ll catch my breath and get back up and keep living.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Cash Rules Everything Around Me

'tis the season.....

..... to self medicate!

Thank you all for your support on my last post. Your comments really made it easier to deal with the crappiness (and gave me something to chuckle at while discreetly checking my email under the table!). It warms the cockles of my little heart to know that you all see the manipulation at play.

I survived our two Thanksgivings, better than I thought I would, but man. Those little arrows of hurt were flying through the air everywhere! I had a sizeable alcohol shield  (my patronus is patron) but there were a few times I thought I might cry anyway. Have you ever noticed that a giant pregnant belly can be like the eyes in one of those creepy pictures, eyes that seem to follow you around the room? Yep, that's how Thanksgiving was. Everywhere I looked, that thing was staring me in the face, teasing and taunting me. Lest I end up kicking the belly to shut up the taunts (and in prison with the headlines screaming "Crazy barren infertile kicks pregnant belly 'to shut it up.'") , I spent both gatherings stealthily avoiding my SIL

And of course, Christmas is becoming an issue again already. And I am a whore.

(I guess that last line deserves a bit of explanation, no?)

Recap: we weren't going to Christmas. We stood our ground despite all of the guilt trips and everything else, and got hoodwinked into Thanksgiving. Now, my FIL is joining in the manipulation. He has told hubby that this Christmas will be different, and that we will be getting a very large gift, as will his brother, and he wants all of us there to open he gifts at the same time. 

It MUST be money, and probably a sizeable amount. BIL (the favorite child, the doctor who married a wife who gets pregnant and actually has grandbabies, not some clotty blobs destined for the toilet, and beyond, a waste treatment facility) recently graduated from medical school, is not making very much at the moment and has a wife who isn't working because she has a baby and another one on the way. I've been told about their money issues several times, in my MIL's weird attempts to get me to appreciate my own life. Of course, that only pisses me off more - they know we're certainly not wealthy, especially since we asked for a loan to pursue adoption and they turned us down. We need money too - not to support our family (we'll be fine there) but to create our family.

Anyway, I suspect that now that BIL is having money problems the parents want to help him out but don't want to seem unfair to us. Uggh. It anoys the piss out of me. They wouldn't help us when we asked for a LOAN, and because BIL is in trouble they're just going to give it away.

And I am a dirty, dirty whore, because if it is money I want it at all costs, even if that means enduring another holiday with the pregnant belly staring at me and the rude comments other people make and the pregnancy and childbirth stories....... I'll deal with all of it because right now, our biggest stumbling block to further pursuing parenthood is money.

Therefore, I am a whore  :)

Thursday, November 25, 2010

drama drama, call your mama

We've been hoodwinked. I suppose you need a bit of backstory, so read on.

After my latest pregnancy FAIL, which occurred a few weeks after we learned that Hubby's SIL is expecting again (timing is everything, huh?) we told his parents that they shouldn't expect us around for Christmas. I knew that she would be a huge fat preggo at that point, and that, combined with all of my other loss and IF related holiday anxiety, multiplied by the in-laws' giddiness at having the whole family together - even the new grandchild to be - was just too much to bear. We told them several times that Christmas is hard for us, that our family will never feel whole and that this year we needed to spend it alone.

At first, they accepted it. But then, slowly, as the weeks began to pass, my MIL started laying on the subtle hints, and the guilt.

"We're going to get those gluten free crackers you love for Christmas," she says.

"Christmas is going to be so wonderful this year!" she says.

"This could be my last Christmas," she says (even though her health is pretty darned good).

"This could be Grandma's last Christmas," she says.

"This could be Grandpa's last Christmas," she says.

"It's been so long since we had the whole family together for Christmas," she says.

And then she cries.

Hubby cannot stand when his mother cries, because she uses tears as manipulation, and so her tears inevitably start us toward an argument of some sort. Divide and conquer; it's what she does best.

Despite our internal commotion, we have presented a united front to them and repeatedly said no, we're not coming this year, it's just going to be too hard.

So for Thanksgiving, MIL and FIL decided that they were going to go see BIL, SIL and grandchild (and grandchild to be), who live a few hours away. They left their dog with us earlier this week, and took off, but not before making Hubby promise that, no matter what, we'd make it to both family Thanksgiving dinners (one at Grandma's, one at his cool aunt and uncle's). I thought it'd be fine because there would be no babies/preggos in sight at either affair.

And then, last night Hubby got a text from his dad that said "Great news! We're bringing BIL, SIL and grandchild back with us for Thanksgiving!"


We had already committed to going to both dinners, and couldn't back out last minute. His family loves the drama, you know? After the demise of the Ocho, which occurred on a Tuesday, I didn't feel like leaving the house for about a week. That weekend I bowed out of lunch with his Grandma, who knew about Dead Dog Dead Baby Day and yet still insisted that the only reason I didn't show up was because I hate her. Drama drama.

Anyway, we both feel like the whole thing was a set up to get us to both events despite the presence of BIL and huge preggo SIL. They know that we (well, I, at least) would never have gone had we known in advance that they would be there.

We had Part 1, at Grandma's, already. Predictably, it sucked. The only thing anyone wanted to talk about was the grandchild and the soon to be grandchild. We exited as soon as was polite.

Part 2 will be upon us soon. I am trying to avoid an anxiety attack by repeating "Serenity now. Serenity now. Serenity now."

I feel really disrespected by all of this. I don't expect anyone who hasn't walked this road to understand one ounce of what we've gone through, but I do expect people to respect our wishes and feelings when we make them clear. And we sure did make it clear that we didn't want to spend any of this holiday season around a huge fat preggo.

We love BIL and SIL, we really do. Things are just too raw right now, you know? Plus, I don't feel comfortable enough around any of his family to cry or scream or run out of the room if I feel like I need to. Right now, home is the safest place for me.

And I must get ready to leave it and face the evil in-laws over the carcass of yet another dead bird.

Fuck serenity. I need lorazepam now!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

I am the face of RPL (and Happy ICLW!)

This was also posted on Faces of Loss, Faces of Hope on Sunday. I thought it would be appropriate as an ICLW welcome post. 

Mama to eight stars: January 2006, April 2006, October 2006, December 2006, December 2008, June 2009, October 2009, October 2010.

There are many things I was prepared to fail at in my life, but somehow, becoming a mother never made it onto that list. I had expectations; children were inevitable. Motherhood loomed in my future, a sure thing, something I could reach out and grab when the time was right.

I have always been one to follow my gut. Eight years ago – after a broken heart and the tragedy of 9/11 brought me to my knees – I followed my gut and moved from New York, where I had lived most of my life and where my very large, very loud Italian family and most of my friends were centered - to Arizona, where I knew no one. Not a soul. I was idealistic; I just knew that I could change my life, even if I had no prospects for income other than an AmeriCorps position. I looked forward to the challenge of making my own way.

Of course, when I least expected it, love smacked me hard in the face. I met my husband on an internet dating site; two dates later he moved into my tiny apartment (so much for making my own way!). Two weeks after that we were engaged. It was a true whirlwind romance – I trusted my gut. I knew he was the one. We had so much in common, and we both agreed that we wanted a large family. Oh, and he gave (and still gives) me butterflies whenever he walked into the room. Of course, my family and friends thought that I was supremely CRAZY and that the Arizona heat had fried my brain. When my mom told my brother I was engaged, he asked “To who?” I’m sure they all thought divorce loomed in our future; I don’t think anyone could have imagined the tragedies our marriage would survive.

We had the Las Vegas Elvis wedding of my dreams (it was seriously awesome) and moved to New York, where I became a high school teacher and graduate student.

So of course when, two years into our marriage, we decided we were ready for a baby, I trusted my gut. We threw out the birth control pills and let nature run its course. I got pregnant rather quickly.

That morning, staring at the word “Pregnant” on the little digital test screen, was the best day of my life; it was the last time I remember feeling really, truly happy. My husband was still snoring away but I couldn’t help myself – I had to wake him up. We were both so overwhelmed, so happy. He kept whispering “We’re going to be somebody’s parents!” as we snuggled in the darkness and pictured the life ahead of us. It was pure bliss.

And it was over all too quickly. I remember seeing the blood in the dingy faculty bathroom at my school and feeling absolutely, utterly crushed. The bell rang and I had to pretend to be normal (something I’ve done a lot of since then) as I passed pregnant teenagers with huge swollen bellies in the hallway.

Another pregnancy and another miscarriage soon followed. Still, I believed the doctors who told me that we were young (we had both just turned 28) and it was just bad, bad luck. I trusted my gut and believed that if we could conceive so quickly, we were bound to have a successful pregnancy soon.

I quit my job and my graduate program, and again we moved across the country (this time to the Midwest) to a place where we could buy a house and live on one income (you know, so I could stay home with that baby who was just around the corner). That image of me as a mother loomed just ahead; I could almost touch her. I took a part time job that was meant to be temporary - just until that baby arrived. We changed everything about our lives to prepare for our mythical babe.

Over the years, my utesaurus has eaten eight babies. Eight. (Well, that does include Cletus, our ectopic babe and the only one to have given us an ultrasound picture. I guess I have a tubeasaurus, too.) She’s one cannibalistic bitch, that utesaurus of mine. She’s also eaten my self confidence, my ability to relate to people of proven fertility, my friendships, the happiness of a positive pregnancy test, most of my sanity, my belief in a higher power, and my trust in my gut. I’ve had a few diagnoses and a few treatments, but nothing can tame the utesaurus, or my desire to drop elbows to the skulls of people who give me advice about how to get pregnant. I’ve done it eight times, people; I’m pretty much an expert on how to get knocked up.

Slowly, the image of the mother I thought I’d become has shifted from something tangible, something to be grasped, into a nebulous being who slips through my fingers like a ghost whenever I reach out to her.

There have been days throughout these years that I thought the grief and sadness would swallow me, that I’d never feel joy again. I’ve been punched in the gut by too many pregnancy announcements to count. I dread weddings because I know that, inevitably, the happy couple will conceive and have a healthy pregnancy and a real live baby and I’ll feel like shit for feeling like shit about it. Of course their pregnancies will go smoothly because, as a fellow RPL mama says, I’ve taken the statistical bullet for everyone I know. Some days, I hate my (mostly wonderful, and now full time) job and my house (with its guest room that should have been a nursery) because they are constant reminders of the life I don’t have. I have been wounded a million times by the pointy arrows of cruel, insensitive words and friends who don’t call or visit. Some days I am rocked by the minefield of the calendar, and all of it’s reminders of what could have been. The irony of the fact that we got the big family we always wanted, except that they’re all dead, haunts me.

But every time I get knocked down, I get up again. I have found an inner strength and a bond with my husband that I could never have imagined on my wedding day. RPL has permanently changed me, like wood warped by water, but it hasn’t destroyed me. I still laugh, and make other people laugh, even if my sense of humor is tinged with darkness. I find a reason to smile even on my worst days; I find beauty in things others wouldn’t look at twice. I have found that all human beings don’t suck, and that even if people in my real life abandon me in my sadness, those that I have never met in person can lift me up with their love. Mostly, I still have hope that someday, someway, I’ll be able to grasp that ghost-like vision of myself as a mother and hold onto her, make her real.

And through it all, I AM NOT ASHAMED.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010


is it strange to read your own archives, and cry as you relive your own heartbreak, and realize that despite all of your proclamations and efforts and all of those goddamned drugs you are still in the same. fucking. place you were when you started your blog almost two years ago?

I sure hope not.

Things to think about

Today I had my annual "WTF do we do now" appointment with my RE.

It went, I'd say, pretty well. Any appointment during which both patient and doctor laugh several times and doctor tells patient "I love you" (not in a molesty way, more in a "Oh my gosh you are so funny. I love you and your jokes" kind of way) and the speculum is warm is a decent one. Hell, any appointment that doesn't end with the two of us in tears and him saying "I'm so sorry" is a decent appointment.

I'd say you've probably been seeing too much of your RE when the fact that he is feeling your naked boobs and sticking fingers and other things into your va-jay-jay doesn't make you feel the slightest bit uncomfortable.

I digress. Once I was fully clothed again we discussed options. There are, it seems, several, when we're ready:
  • Try with no intervention (save folic acid and aspirin, and upon confirmation of pregnancy, lovenox and prednisone). We have not tried pred with any other pregnancies, but I have recently been diagnosed with another autoimmune condition. It could possibly increase the odds of success, but it could do nothing. Pros: cheap, easy, and involves lots of monkey loving. Not invasive (unless I, um, let Hubby invade...... never mind. TMI). Cons: Could lead to another miscarriage.

  • IUI. Pros: Increases the odds of pregnancy, and is relatively inexpensive (around $400). Minimally invasive. Cons: Does nothing to decrease the odds of miscarriage.

  • IVF. Pros: has been shown to increase the odds of success in women with RPL. Cons: Expensive (upwards of $18k with my clinic's shared risk program). Time consuming. Highly invasive.

  • Embryo adoption. Pros: Increased odds of success (around 40% for women with RPL). Somewhat inexpensive (around $4500). Less invasive than IVF. Cons: A year long waiting list (which I am now on, just in case). No biological link to the (prospective) child.

  • Surrogacy with donor eggs and hubby's sperm. My cousin, who has had two easy pregnancies resulting in two healthy babies, has offered many times to be a surrogate for us. Pros: Genetic link to child for both of us. 70-80% success rate. Cons: Missing out on the pregnancy (she lives in NY; we're in the midwest). Logistics. Cost (at least $12-13k; could be significantly higher) - we'd have to go through the adoption process and pay for either IUI or IVF (which would add significantly to the cost), depending on her comfort level. Could be highly invasive for her.

  • Surrogacy with my own eggs and hubby's sperm. Pros: Increased odds of success, but not as high as with donor eggs. Genetic link to child. Cons: Cost - would be at least as expensive as an IVF cycle, possibly more. Logistics. Missing out on the pregnancy.

 The fact that we have so many options - not even including the adoption option - is both great and overwhelming. They all seem so out of reach, and yet so close. My head is swimming. And I don't even have the hubs to run it all by. He is out of town until tomorrow, and regardless, he has made it clear that for him, being on a break means not even discussing options. I am trying really really hard to respect that.

In the absence of Hubby's opinion, I totally welcome any thoughts you might have.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

it ain't good, but it ain't all bad

"Grief and sadness knits two hearts in closer bonds than happiness ever can; and common sufferings are far stronger than common joys." 
- Alphonse de Lamartine

Faces of Loss has a monthly writing challenge. I like a challenge.

November’s topic: It’s easy to focus on all the negative things that come from losing a baby, but have you discovered any ‘blessings in disguise’ throughout your journey? What can you find to be thankful for related to your loss?

First and foremost, I am thankful for you all. When I have felt abandoned, lower than low, you have lifted me up and showered me with love and kindness. My heart, each time it has shattered, has also grown more than I ever thought possible; love can only be answered with love, and though we may never have met (but I'm working on that!) and though I may not say it often enough, I really do love all of you.

(Any diabetics out there? I know there's one who'll read this, and I'm sorry if all that sugar causes you trouble. But it applies to you too. You know who you are.)

I'm thankful for the love my family has shown me. They may not be near, but the ones who count have always lent an ear when the sadness has threatened to swallow me up unless I let it out. They may not always know the right words to say, but they listen to my verbal diarrhea, and they say something, and cry with me.

I'm thankful for my pets, and how they seem to know when I need them. Nothing can end a crying jag more quickly than my dog kissing away my tears (ass breath or not) or the motor of a purring kitty. I'm also thankful for the love I feel for them; sometimes, it's the only thing that gets me out of bed. They depend on me, and when I think I can't go on, they still need to be walked and fed and loved on.  They have rescued me, just as I have rescued them.

I am thankful for the sting of the winter air in my lungs, because it reminds me that I am alive.

I am thankful that I have my legs and that I can run and walk for miles, because they remind me that I am not broken.

I am thankful for the love of my husband, my incredible husband, who can never fail to make me feel beautiful and sexy and loved, even when I'm at my worst. His commitment to our marriage - despite the fact that I keep killing his babies - leaves me breathless.

I am thankful for music and that I can sing at the top of my lungs and shake my booty until I sweat without my neighbors breaking down the door with a muzzle and a tranquilizer gun; it reminds me that I can still feel joy and that I do have gifts, even if I can't birth a baby.

And I'm thankful for (prescription) drugs and alcohol, because sometimes when I don't want to be reminded of anything, they let me escape.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

follow up - good times before end times

I'm totally serious about organizing a bloggy vacation get together in 2012.  I've been working  two jobs and 14 hour days and my brain is shot, so I haven't had much wherewithal to respond to anyone.

But y'all, let's do it! Feel free to pass the word along.

(See how brain fried I am? I just typed "y'all"!)

Anyways, if you're interested, you can fill out  this form to let me know.

That's how serious I am - I figured out how to make a Google form! Well, I tried to figure it out, but I won 3 bottles of wine tonight, and since it'll be a while before I ttc again....... I'll have to figure it out when I'm sober.


Ed: Maybe I'm smarter than I thought..... I think this link will take you to the form. If it doesn't work, feel free to email me at wifey.to.hubby@gmail.com

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

my so-called life

I keep being told that I need to find a way to cope with the fact people in my life will continue to get pregnant and have babies.

My therapist tells me. So does my husband. My mother-in-law. Even my inner voice contributes to the litany.

I shouldn't constantly avoid people, I've been told. I shouldn't lock myself away in the safety of my own home because, dammit, that's life, and I have to live it.

I know how to cope: I just need to get knocked up - just once -with a baby that my stupid defective body won't kill. After all, if you can't beat 'em, join 'em, right?

Apparently, this is not an acceptable response to anyone. I've been told that I need to accept that it just might not happen, because, really, an eight time loser can't really expect to break the streak with a win.

And I say FUCK 'EM. (Remember that scene in Legends of the Fall when the Hopkins character - recovering from a stroke - says "Fuck em" in his slurred speech, after - or maybe before, I can't quite remember - heroically defending his family? That's how I say it, anytime I have occasion to. I don't know why, or why I felt the need to share that particular craziness here. But, for authenticity's sake, imagine me saying it just like him, only I'm not holding a shotgun.)

I have come too far down this road to turn around now. I need to follow it to the end, wherever that may be. There are things we haven't tried; there is hope for me, even if I'm the only one to see it. I'm too damned stubborn for my own good, perhaps. But isn't that what we are all taught as children? We are told to follow our dreams, to fight for what we want, to try try again in the face of failure, that we all have the potential to be whatever it is that we want to be in life.

It's the American way.

Unless, of course, you happen to be semi-fertile, and what you want is to carry a pregnancy to term and look into your baby's eyes for the first time and fall in love. To feel his kicks in your belly and to push him out when the time comes; to smell his sweet smell and finally have him here to fill your empty arms after all of this waiting and heartbreak .

Then, you are told that you need to find a new dream. You are told that really, you should spend Christmas with the family and your very pregnant sister-in-law and you shouldn't have a panic attack, watching her and her fat belly care for a toddler; it shouldn't bother you to watch the family fawn over her - the giver of life - knowing that no one even gives a flying rat's ass about the fact that you - the giver of death - just lost another one. You shouldn't think about how she will have conceived and given birth to two children in less than half the time it has taken you to give death to eight. And really, you shouldn't cry about it at all because, dammit, that's life, and you have to live it.


Monday, November 8, 2010


My heart goes out to Lily Allen, who recently lost her son in the sixth month of pregnancy and is dealing with medical complications (and is very much in the public eye, to boot).

Lily, I know you will never read this, but please know that if I could, I would hug you and tell you that I love you, because although our experiences have been different our hearts have both been shattered in a way that only someone who has walked this path can understand. I am thinking of you and your sweet boy today.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

a feeler

I hope this doesn't reek too much of desperation, especially considering my last post...... oh hell, I don't care if it does.

Hubby and I are planning an early 2012 vacation. We're going somewhere tropical and all inclusive - possibly the Dominican Republic because we loved it there and it's relatively inexpensive. We think it might be fun to have some friends along as well. So far, another couple and my cousin are likely to be joining us.

Anyway, would any of you dear readers be interested in an infertility stress free getaway? It might be fun to get together somewhere and cut loose for a few days or a week.

I realize that I could be pregnant or possibly have a child by then, but the chances are slim, and I'm done planning my life around a maybe. I also realize that saving for a vacation while we're trying to get out of debt and save for treatment/adoption is irresponsible, but hell, I'm alive. And I damn well should enjoy it.

So, if by chance anyone might be interested (I'm not creepy, I swear!) feel free to leave a comment or email me at wifey.to.hubby@gmail.com.

The thought of beaches and meals I don't have to prepare and adventures of all sorts has me feeling a bit better about life already.

And the winner is...

Aunt Flo!

I have never been so happy to see that red headed bitch show up. Alas, I had to reschedule my appointment because we were going to do a pap. I'm a little bummed - I had lots of things I wanted to discuss, and now I've got to wait two more weeks. Another 2ww - I've had enough of those for a bit, I think.


In other (non) news, the up and down cycle of my mood persists. The high of our anonymous donor still makes me smile, but I'm definitely on a down swing of the pendulum. It makes it hard to enjoy the high moments - I know the down is just around the corner. I'm hoping this down is just my usual period-related depression, and that it'll lift soon.

I don't know. I feel very alone these days. Hubby and I had a serious fight Friday night - bad enough that I thought the neighbors might call the cops (oops) - and I seriously thought about getting in the car with my dog and driving 18 hours to be with my family. I have no one here - no one - to whom I could go in a situation like that. I have no one I could even call at that hour to talk it out with. I sat in the car in the driveway, my pooch licking my ear from the backseat to get the tears, and then we went back inside, since I had had a few tequilas, and upon further reflection, driving seemed like a very bad idea.

I've realized that alcohol, under any circumstances, is a bad idea for me right now. It just complicates things, and I need to get my head straight before I complicate things any more.

Anyway, since then I've felt so alone. I rely too much on Hubby to be my everything - best friend, confidante, lover, soul mate. But when we hit a rough patch, and things between us feel disjointed, I am faced with overwhelming loneliness. Right now, he doesn't get me at all (and our therapist warned us that this could happen - working on issues causes other issues and emotions to bubble up). He's accused me of causing us to lose friends, and while there may be some truth in that, it's also true that my "friends" know what we've been through (for the most part) and do not reach out to me. When they have babies, they are flooded with love and calls and well wishes; their ability to procreate is a bonding experience for them. It seems like I am shunned because of my dead babies and my sadness; I want to scream at them that miscarriage is not contagious, that I can still be witty and fun to be around, when people want to be around me. I get no phone calls, emails, cards or even fb messages.

I know that I need to make new friends. I have no idea how, though. It's always been so easy for me to connect with other people, to find things to bond over. Now, I feel as if I am a piece of warped wood in a pile of straight boards. I just don't fit.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

oops, I did it again


Brief update: AF never showed up after DDDBD (dead dog dead baby day). Hubby and I, um, did the deed as soon as we were able. Several times.

The next day, I experienced many of my "I've ovulated!" signs. Weird thing is, I never experienced any of my "Ovulation is imminent" signs, so I figured we were safe.

Now, ten days later, I am experiencing minuscule amounts of pink spotting - perfect timing for that infamous implantation bleeding.

I'm freaking out a bit because, well, fuck. I can't do this again right now. I'm really really hoping I'm misinterpreting things and everything is a-ok.

Luckily, I have my annual "What the fuck do we do now" appointment with my RE, and I can discuss all of this with him. And maybe get some labs run.

Well, aren't I a wonderful contradiction - the infertile praying that she's not pregnant.

(And, BTW, as soon as I can get my hubby to get a computer up and running for me, I'll be back to reading/commenting regularly. He uses his computer constantly to either work or play WoW. He's an IT guy, and we have half-broken computers all over the house, like the cobbler with no shoes.)

Sunday, October 24, 2010

strange days

I was lost in the darkness for so long, the light itself was painful; I turned my face away. It was easier to hide in the dark than to try to live in the light.

Sometimes, though, the light is just too strong to ignore forever.

The last week or so has been filled with strange days. I was feeling the weight of the future, the disappointments of the present, the grief of the past. Things didn't seem like they could get better. Sometimes, though, it just takes one thing, one act or accident, to change everything.

It seems that some kind soul - or a fortuitous accounting error - has wiped out most of my dead dog debt. I was stressing hard about paying it off, since I have a professional relationship with the specialty clinic that treated her. I spoke with the administrator last week, and he insisted that my balance was much lower than I knew it to be. He looked up my history, and showed a check that took care of most of it. I asked him if it were possible that it was an error, and he said that it was unlikely and that I shouldn't worry about it. So, the most probable explanation is that an anonymous person walked in and wrote a check for nearly a thousand dollars.

I am completely flummoxed by the situation. It warms my heart and soul to know that someone loves me enough to lift that burden off of my shoulders. No one has confessed, and I really have no idea who would have done it, but I am so incredibly grateful.

I am grateful not just for the financial assistance, but for the light I have been forced to face and for how loved I feel. Good things can happen to me. I have been smiling more, laughing and really meaning it. I didn't think that I could ever feel this hopeful about life. I am growing more confident that I can survive whatever lies ahead in our journey to parenthood, even if we fail.

So, although you likely don't read this blog, I am sending a million thank yous to our unknown benefactor. Your kindness has pulled me out of the dark.

Thursday, October 21, 2010


My soul, these days, isn’t sure what path to take. I swing, wildly, from high to low. Moments of incredible despair and thoughts that torment me, that tell me that NOTHING will ever be ok and all I will ever have is a life of pain and grief so what’s the point swing to moments of, perhaps not happiness, but enjoyment: Beautiful weather and sun on my face, amazing blue sky and leaves turning; songs that make me sing as loud as I can and shake my booty and wish that I were in a band; my super-duper hubby – these good moments startle me sometimes and shock me into smiling despite myself. Sometimes, I think, life is decent. Maybe I can do this, maybe I can live.

And then the pendulum all too quickly swings back the other way and reminds me of all that I have lost: those babies, all of them precious, all of them gone, leaving behind nothing but holes in my heart and pictures of positive pregnancy tests; the life I wanted, filled with family and babies and joy; the weight of my dog as she wormed her way onto my lap, the silky soft touch of her fur and the way it wrinkled around her neck and the fact that I will never be able to touch her again. As quickly as it came, the joy is ripped out of me.

I find hope in those high moments, before the pendulum swings back around, and yet hope is dangerous for me because it makes the low times seem that much worse. I wonder – as much as I hate to admit it – if the meds are actually working, or starting to work.

Damn. I thought I’d be able to wear mascara today. File that under “Bad Ideas.”

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

the things I've learned

I am not - by any means - a religious person. Throughout my adult years, I've made the transition from believer to agnostic to atheist. My feelings about God were pretty well summed up by Kurt from Glee a few episodes ago: "God is kind of like Santa Claus for adults." Indeed, Kurt. Indeed.

Don't get me wrong - a lot of people I love are spiritual and believers, and I respect anyone who has faith and sticks to it. In fact, I think this whole journey would be easier if I did believe in a benevolent God, overseeing all with some sort of plan for me. I just don't believe that's true.

I have found - and perhaps this explains some of my disdain for organized religion - that those who claim to be the closest to God say some of the cruelest things and have the least empathy. I may not believe in God, but I do believe that Christ lived and was a social revolutionary who opened his arms to one and all; I also believe that Christ would be appalled by many of the things that are done and said in his name.

Anyway, I've learned a few things over the past few weeks. And some of it has to do with people of faith.

1. Religious people can be very very cruel. Sometimes, I am sure, this cruelty is unintended. Other times, I think some people hide behind the shield of religion to say whatever the fuck they want. We've recently heard that God doesn't give a person more pain than they can handle (really? then why do depressed people kill themselves? Did God abandon them?); that it will happen for us in God's time (so is it God's time when crackheads and abusers give birth to babies who will face a lifetime of horrors?); that God has a plan and everything happens for a reason (really? God planned for me, and my IF/RPL sisters to experience this heartbreak again and again? If that's true, God's kind of a jerk, and definitely not a woman).

2. I can sometimes be overwhelmed by the surprising desire to punch sweet little old ladies in the face, particularly when they spout the nonsense mentioned above.

3. People who don't have pets, and don't get why my girl's untimely (in so many ways) death has left me in ruins, are almost always assholes. Likewise, people who love pets, and have lost pets, seem to have bigger hearts and more kindness in their souls, and are generally more likable folks. Just as I am unable to befriend the fertile, I am also unable to befriend the petless - I'll never understand them, and they'll never understand me.

4. Sometimes, especially when the universe is falling apart, people you have never met can lift you up more than those you have known for years. Thank you, internet friends, for embracing me. I will try my hardest to pay it forward. And I feel really driven to meet you all, and share a drink or two and some laughs. Maybe I'll actually get motivated to plan "Camp Dead/No Baby," even if I have to come to your homes and drag you out to join me. You've been warned.

5. The people who have always been there for me - my mom, my brother, my hubby and some others - are rock solid, wonderful people. I need more people like them in my life. Seriously. It is so beyond true that when you cry, you cry alone. I've reached out to long time "friends" and have not been terribly surprised by their non-response. I get it - it's more fun to hang with the friends who are getting married and having babies and looking forward to happy-filled futures than with someone like me, who wonders if I'll have the strength to face my fate and slog through another hour, another day.

6. The personality trait - stubbornness, I guess - that propelled me towards success in my pre-RPL life is holding me back now: when I decide to do something I commit. And I've decided, dammit, that I want to have a baby, and that nothing will stop me. Rationally, I know that there is very little chance of things working out for us pregnancy-wise. I need to accept it and learn how to live with that new reality. I just can't. I will try anything to experience a  full term pregnancy, to see my belly swell and feel the little kicks, and know that for once, I gave birth and not death. Sigh. I just can't let go.

7. The depression diet works. I'm down quite a few pounds. I've realized that I am the type of girl who cooks my feelings, so that others may eat them. I'm finally learning to bake (I had a traumatizing experience with cream puffs years ago, and though I am a darned good cook, I've avoided learning to bake until now). I also drink my feelings - which really isn't good, and is something I'll be addressing with my kick ass therapist - and have become quite friendly with tequila and whiskey. Tequila plus whiskey plus baked goods - sometimes all in the same night, and sometimes all at 3 am - make life bearable.

Okay, tequila fueled ramble over. Love to you all.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

A purpose driven life

I was watching “The Early Show” yesterday, and they featured an interesting piece on gossip. Apparently – as generations of women have known, but I guess academic researchers have nothing better to study – gossiping makes a person feel better about her own life.

Sharing good news – pregnancies, marriages, engagements, births – resulted in good feelings for the gossips. It's likely there won't be any good news to share about my life again, which makes me pretty damned sad.

Sharing bad news – such as, ahem, a person’s eighth miscarriage – caused the gossips to feel better about their own lives. It seems that my life brings bad news galore.

Just when I thought my life had no purpose, “The Early Show” gave me one – I am a reason for (most) other people to feel better about themselves. Yay.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

in mourning

Tuesday was - bar none - the worst day of my life (and I've had some pretty shitty days). I thank you all so much for your words of support. It helps to know that people - strangers, even - have us in their thoughts.

But let's back up, so I can tell my sweet girl's story (sorry it's a bit long, but I have to get it out). She spent much of the day last Sunday enjoying the unseasonably warm weather we've been having. She ran all over the yard, chasing and barking at that damned squirrel - her longtime nemesis - who always happened to be just one step ahead. She sunned herself on the deck. She rolled in the grass. All in all, she had a good day.

It also happened to be a mostly unsupervised day. When she came in in the early evening and vomitted, I didn't think much of it. Dogs puke, ya know? Then she puked a few more times, and the alarm bells slowly started going off in my head. I knew I'd have to bring her in to work with me the next day, but I still didn't think it was serious - we've seen a TON of pukey dogs lately, and with medications and TLC they all recovered without a problem. She didn't seem terribly comfortable though, as she kept pacing and coming in and out. I thought that maybe I should bring her to the emergency clinic, but wrote it off as overreacting. Those of us who work in the veterinary field sometimes imagine the worst for our own pets. I woke up sometime between three and four in the morning, and went to check on her. She seemed to be resting a bit more comfortably, but there were numerous spots of vomit throughout the living room. I kept an eye on her until my office opened, and then dropped her off there so I could clean up the pukey house before work.

I was pretty worried about a foreign body obstruction, based on her symptoms. A series of xrays seemed to confirm it, so just before lunch we decided to open her up and do an exploratory. While she was getting prepped, I decided to grab a quick bite since it was sure to be a long day of surgery, recovery and aftercare. I had just taken my food out of the microwave when my boss came in to the break room and said "You need to get her to a specialist." Apparently, she spewed bloody diarrhea all over the place after intubation. Pure panic overtook me. The doctors woke her up and off I went to the specialist. She never quite woke up, though, not that I saw. The specialist decided to admit her and run some more diagnostics, and then to go ahead with the exploratory because they thought they saw a foreign body on the ultrasound. I spoke to the surgeon afterwards, who explained that they didn't actually find a foreign body, but it seemed she had Hemorrhagic GastroEnteritis (HGE), which could be medically managed. He said she woke up just fine, and was resting with sedation and pain relief.

At this point I thought the worst part of all of this would be dealing with a large healing incision, and paying for a surgery that proved unnecessary. I called Monday night before bed to check on her - about 10pm, I think, and the tech said she was doing great and had been out for a short walk. I decided not to visit her because I didn't want her to get too excited and think she was coming home.

Tuesday, I rolled out of bed and called again to check on her and to my surprise, was informed that she struggled all night. She had been doing great, the doctor said, until about midnight. She then had a large seizure and was in a semi-conscious state. I almost had a panic attack right there, but I pulled it together enough to jump in the car and go see her. I spent an hour with her, petting her and telling her how much I love her. It broke my heart to see her like that - my sweet, crazy, enthusiastic about everything and everyone pup, just lying there, barely blinking, just giving the occasional groan.

Throughout the morning she continued to decline, having seizure after seizure, vomitting, having explosive, hemorrhagic diarrhea despite IV anti-seizure and anti-nausea/diarrhea meds. Her neurological symptoms worsened - her pupils were unevenly dilated and it seemed that she was unable to control her eyes at all. She was also unable to maintain her blood sugar, despite IV dextrose.

Nothing they were doing helped. The doctor in charge of her case said they could try a few more things but he wasn't too hopeful (he suspected a stroke), and it would have cost upwards of $8000 (in addition to the $2000 for the surgery). I decided to give her another few hours to see if anything improved at all. Nothing did.

I decided to pick her up and bring her back to my office for euthanasia. I just couldn't stomach the thought of her taking her last breath in the place where she was so so sick. I wanted to bring her home, to her friends and a familiar environment.The only way they could get her to stop convulsing for the ride was to give her a paralytic normally used to induce anesthesia (which didn't do anything for the cause of the seizures, just prevented her muscles from spasming). I felt - still feel - like a complete scumbag for letting money influence my decision, but we are BROKE (and trying to save for treatment) and the thought of her suffering any more while we tried shots in the dark destroyed me.

That car ride was the most difficult thing I have ever done. I tried to be soothing to her, but she was struggling to breathe and with each labored breath, I died a little inside. Hubby met me at my office and together we said goodbye to our sweetie. I still can't believe she's not coming home. My heart has broken a thousand times this week - every time I think I see her shadow or hear her collar it hits me all over again: She's fucking dead! I can't sleep because every time I close my eyes, I see her. Oh, and then we got to go find out that our baby had died. Yay.

I wish I would have done so many things differently - supervised her more in the yard, brought her in to the emergency vet late Sunday, brought her to a different specialist, gone to see her after her surgery, made different decisions about her care, given her more time to pull through. But she's dead - dead! I can't fucking wrap my brain around it - and I can't change anything about it. I just hate that her last days were spent so very ill, getting cut open and handled by strangers and feeling so fucking shitty. I'm haunted by it. I was her mama, and I failed her, just as I failed Ocho and all the others before him.

I had accepted - expected - that things probably weren't going well with the pregnancy. I was somewhat prepared for the horrible encounter with the dildocam, and the growing realization that being an eight time loser means I will probably never get to have what I want so badly. I just never imagined it would be two hours after I watched my dog die. I didn't know that I could cry as much as I have this past week and not run out of tears, that I could hurt so terribly and not just die.

My dog is dead. My baby is dead. I fail at life.

Oh sweet Lulu, you were the best cuddle buddy I could ever have. The bed feels so empty without you. I'll miss your butt wags, your face licks, your sniff downs and snorts and snores, your huge personality stuffed in that little body. You loved everyone - and everyone loved you - and if I could have just half the enthusiasm you had for everything, I'd be just fine. I'm so very sorry you suffered. I love you.

PS - Papa wanted to kill that squirrel for you, but I thought you'd like it better if Big John got him instead. Here's hoping (but we all know you were the better hunter!).

BTW, this post will totally out me to some peeps I know IRL, and I just don't give a damn.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

white flag

Okay, universe.

It seems you're pretty determined to keep me miserable.

I'm tired of fighting it, of trying to pursue happiness.

Nothing has worked - acupuncture, change of diet, herbs, anti-anxiety meds, anti-depressants, therapy, exercise. I even gave up on the idea of conceiving without medical intervention.

So I surrender. I accept it. Misery is my path. You win.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

and that's that

Dead dog, dead baby.

Crazy town, here I come (but first I'll be making a stop in Drunksville).

Taking the train to crazy town.....


My ultrasound is this afternoon. I'm not too optimistic about that since I've been bleeding and my nausea has basically disappeared.

In the meantime, my poor dog is in a coma in a specialist hospital. (I'll post more about that if I can actually get on a computer instead of typing on my phone). It's not looking too good for her either.

So today could be the day I get to put my sweet girl to sleep and find out that my utesaurus has eaten another baby. I have a feeling I'm going to be taking a long trip to crazy town....

Whoever said "What doesn't kill you makes you stronger" must have been one lucky son of a bitch.

Friday, October 1, 2010


Ocho update: Still spotting, though it varies from nothing to almost worrisome, depending on the hour (this hour, it’s almost worrisome). I’m pretty nauseous as well. I’ve done some quick consulting with Dr. Google, and he assures me that it is quite common for women who are on lovenox and aspirin during pregnancy to have some light bleeding.

My RE assured me that unless it becomes heavy bleeding, I should try not to worry about it (and as we all know, that is easier said than done). I’m still wearing that grin, and trying to keep my mind in a good place, but I have my dark moments.
My real worry is the ultrasound Tuesday. I have NEVER had a good ultrasound. The closest we’ve ever come was Cletus – the ectopic – because even though he was in the wrong place, he was developing like a normal embryo.
I’m scared that we’ll be saying goodbye to The Ocho on Tuesday. I’m really really scared that I’ll have a panic attack before the ultrasound even starts. I’m really really really scared that if the u/s doesn’t go well, I will fall off the precipice of mental well being into a dark hole from which there is no escape.
One day at a time, I guess. For now, I’m still pregnant, and I guess that’s enough.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010


Holy Crapola.

3rd beta = 627. Right on target.

While I know that this is no guarantee of anything, I'm going to get at least a few more days of walking around with a shit-eating grin on my face (what a strange phrase that is!).

For now, I'm pregnant!

Now off for a celebratory lunch with the hubs, before he gets outta dodge for a few days for work.


Tuesday, September 28, 2010


Of course things couldn't stay on the upswing for me.

I'm trying not to freak the fuck out but I started spotting tonight.

I don't have a good feeling about this.

Monday, September 27, 2010

what would you do?

I want to thank you all so much for your wonderful words of support. They make me feel almost like a normal pregnant woman, one who gets to make pregnancy announcements a happy thing.

I have my ultrasound scheduled for 10/5, so I'll know more about the fate of the ocho then.

I'm debating telling my coworkers. My boss knows, since he asked me to help xray a patient Saturday and I had to fess up. I don't know if I should tell the rest of the office. Most of them have limited knowledge of our troubles (some know more than others). My duties will definitely be limited, and it will affect them. I just don't know if I want to lay my heart on the line for all of them to see.

What would you do?

Sunday, September 26, 2010

maybe baby?

2nd beta is 207!

Maybe the ocho will be the one to stick.

My doctor said what I need right now is a healthy dose of optimism, so I'm going to try very very hard to stay positive.

Next hurdle is an ultrasound sometime in a week or so. I'm not quite sure how I'll survive the wait but I'll do my best.

Still processing. Head spinning.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

is this irony?

or tragedy?

or comedy?

or just plan ridiculous?

or just the story of my life?

Yesterday I went to the pharmacy to pick up my new meds. On a whim, a bought some hpts because they were on sale, and I've had a stomach bug for a week so I figured it couldn't hurt to rule out pregnancy.

I got home, took the test, and nearly passed out.

Positive. My eighth pregnancy. We've decided to knickname this one "The Ocho" (having just watched Dodgeball for the 90th time this weekend).

I almost had a panic attack because, since we weren't trying, I was not behaving like a good fertility patient - eating crappy food, drinking a lot, not taking my aspirin or folic acid, among other things. And, since this pregnancy has started out like so many others for me - I had bleeding and cramping this weekend and assumed it was Aunt Flow - I am trying really really hard to keep my mind open to the possibility that it might actually work out, to walk that tightrope between hope and despair.

First beta was 91 (not great, but not terrible). I go in tomorrow for the second. Fingers are crossed very tightly.

Oh boy. I hope I'm ready for whatever happens.

Friday, September 24, 2010


Heart racing, chest tightening, holy shit I can’t breathe I can’t breathe I can’t fucking breathe I think I’m going to die panic.

My mornings have not been starting well.

I’m just so afraid that things will never get better, despite the meds and the therapy and the reassurances of my kick-ass therapist.
I’m afraid that when my husband says “I don’t want to live like this anymore” what he really means is “I don’t want you anymore, you miserable, barren bitter shell of the woman I married.”

Yesterday morning, I left the bathroom door open when I showered so the mirror wouldn’t get too foggy. As soon as the water hit my face, the sobs came. I wailed at the unfairness of it all, and because I’m not ready to rewrite the narrative of my life, but I can’t get better unless I do. I opened the door to find Hubby standing there, looking shocked and broken. “Were you crying in there?” he asked. “Yes Sherlock.” I said. I wonder if he’s figured it out now – that I go into the shower to let it all out, like somehow the hot water washing away the tears will wash away all the rest of it too. (Well shit I sure hope he has figured it out because it’s pretty damned obvious that laying on the couch does not make one filthy enough to warrant 4 showers a day.)

He’s made it clear in therapy that he wants the old me back. I’m afraid, though, that she is dead. Back then, I was so sure of myself, of my place in the world. I knew – I just knew – that I could accomplish anything. I could decide in a snap to move to the other side of the country, to a city where I knew no one and had no apartment or car and only a couple of hundred bucks, and the promise of an Americorps stipend, and make my life work. And it did work, even though I spent my first weeks living with an old crazy lady who pulled a gun on a man she thought tracked dirt onto her carpets (umm, it was me, and I found my own apartment two days later.)

I was happy when we met. I could make major life decisions with the assurance that I should trust my gut, that somehow my instincts would guide me. I could say “Yes, I’ll marry you!” to a man I had barely known for two weeks and not have a single doubt. I could plan my Elvis wedding without caring that my disregard for certain traditions would piss people off. I could trust that we were right for each other because we both wanted the same things – a bunch of babies, a chaotic family life filled with love and family dinners and tight budgets and each other.

But the truth is that I cannot accomplish anything. I cannot force this body of mine to work – just once, for crissakes, just once – like its supposed to. I cannot accept that, nor can I change it. It’s all tied in together now. I cannot make decisions because I’m just not sure about anything. Adoption? IVF? Say goodbye to this whole thing and go child-free? I love my husband to the depths of my soul and I want to stay with him for the rest of my life, but I’m not sure if that’s the right thing for him. I’m afraid to stay with him, afraid of how he’ll change because of my misery. But I’m afraid to go, to live without him, afraid that I am no longer capable of making my life work on my own.
And all of it together causes this panic to consume me. My doctors have adjusted my meds. I’ve started acupuncture again. I have therapy again next week (all of which makes me sound crazy. But if you’ve read this far, it’s pretty clear that I am).

I hope it works, but as I well know, hope is a dirty word. It’s what’s gotten me into this whole mess.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

you're in trouble now

I've sort of figured out how to blog from my new phone (although commenting on other blogs is still far too technically advanced for me).

anyway, there just might be a number of typographically challenged posts from me in your future (those of you who still bother to read, that is).

Rock on.

run away

I just want to run away.
I was doing better, feeling - gasp - normal.

I was smiling more. My eyes stayed dry. August was a taste of life for me.

I thought September's downswing would pass quickly. I am, after all, behaving like a good mental patient. I'm taking my meds - antianxiety and antidepressants. ='m going to therapy.

I survived a friend's fb pregnancy announcement - handled it like a champ, actually.

And then my husband's brother called to say that his wife is pregnant again.

I swear to you - all of my dead baby sisters, I think, know this feeling - I felt as if someone shot me in the chest. Right where my heart used to be is a smoking black hole.

Internets, I lost my shit. I've been crying for three days. This is as bad as I've ever felt after a miscarriage. What's the point to therapy, to meds, if I'm right back in the midst of the crapstorm?

All I can think about are my dead babies, and the chances they'll never have. My hubby, and the pain on his face. The fact that I'm still a bitter, sad, selfish shit who cannot manage to summon an ounce of excitement for this soon to be babe. How Christmas is going to be unbearable because I'll be surrounded by the complete happy family. But my family will never be complete.

What if this is as good as it gets for me? What if, no matter what I do, the sucker punches keep knocking me out? I look ahead and see a life of blah punctuated by bouts of deep sadness. I don't see happiness waiting out there for me at all.

And all I want to do is run away.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010


I’m still here. I’m sorry if I made anyone worry about me with my long absence!

For the most part, August was a great month for me – I was extremely busy at work, extremely busy at home (5 houseguests! Including a baby!) and had little time to think, breathe or blog.

Now, though, things are slowing down. Life is returning to normal. And for the first time in a while, I feel sadness creeping back into my life.

September 11 always takes my breath away, even now, nine years later and half a country away. A flash of footage on TV and I am right back there, in the midst of the chaos and the panic and the overwhelming, monstrous sadness.
And then there’s this – the knowledge that, had my first pregnancy been normal, I’d have given birth four year ago this week. We’d be celebrating a fourth birthday. I like to think that we’d pull out all of the stops and throw a huge bash – cake, magician, pony rides, the whole nine yards.
We’d be a family.

And instead of a four year old, I have no child – just arms weary from emptiness, and an aching heart.

Friday, July 30, 2010


I have a totally dysfunctional relationship with my job.

I work for a veterinarian - a job for which I have no formal training and to which none of my many years of higher education apply. I took it as a part time position four years ago, just something fun to do while I waited to get knocked up.

I had such high expectations for my life.

Now, years later, I am full time, part office manager, part vet tech, part doctor wrangler, marketing coordinator, client satisfaction specialist, poop recipient and cleaner of various bodily fluids. I wear many hats at work.

I love animals, so any time I get to have contact with them, or help puzzle out a diagnosis, is sweet. There is nothing better - nothing - than going about my daily routine with a kitty in need of TLC in my lap. I like to help people too, and so there are days when my job rocks.

Lately though, I've been feeling burnt out. Part of the problem is that my work world has been insulated from my infertility woes because for a long time none of my coworkers had kids or wanted them. Then, a coworkers best friend got knocked up and the insulation started to get torn away. I hear a lot of baby talk these days. And then, a new girl was hired.

She has a kid. He's four. And yet somehow, she still manages to tell a story every day about her pregnancy. If that weren't annoying enough, she has taken to harassing me about having babies because she "just loves them."

Insulation - gone.

I know that she couldn't even imagine my history - and I don't like her enough to tell her - but I still find her assumptions fucking rude. Soon enough, I will call her out on her rudeness.

Anyway, I thought I would bless you all with my very own top 5 list.

Top 5 Most Awful Things About My Job

1. I play with poop. Namely, I take samples from clients and mix the poop with a solution that will make parasite eggs rise to the top of a little glass slip, which is then read under a microscope. Daily, I get to smell the wonderful aroma of dog/cat (and occasionally, ferret) ass, fermented in plastic bags. If that weren't bad enough, the other day a lady literally walked in, threw a bag of poop in my face, and walked out (without paying!). Seriously, people, poop in my face. Go ahead and laugh - you know you want to.

2. Speaking of ass, let me mention anal glands. They are supposed to express a very pungent liquid when an animal defecates. Sometimes, for a variety of reasons, they do not express as they should, and that is when we come in. I get to restrain the animal while my coworkers glove up and dive into the rectum to express the glands. Usually, the smell is the worst part. Every so often, though, something goes awry and that dark horrendous liquid from a particularly juicy gland ends up shooting onto a person. Hair, eyes, skin, mouth - all have been invaded by stinky anal juice. Hungry?

3. People suck. Some neglect their animals, or let them suffer because of money, or just don't train their dogs so even minor procedures become a wrestling match. Once, I got elbowed in the head - by my boss! - so hard I nearly passed out while trying to restrain an untrained dog. Some people are simply rude, like the folks who come in talking on their cell phones and expect me to stop what I'm doing to help them while they chit chat away.

4. Knowledge is a burden sometimes. I will now freak out whenever my animals seem off, because I always envision the worst case scenario.

5. I am (almost) an animal hoarder. It comes with the job. I dare you to find a veterinary employee who does not have a ridiculous number of pets (I have 6). You will fail. We all work in the field because we like animals, and part of the job inevitably becomes bringing the needy home (such as my latest addition, a 17 year old cat whose owner died and was facing euthanasia. He came home with me that day). The problem? See number 4. We obsess over their health, to a ridiculous degree. It becomes expensive, and stressful.

None of those, though, are enough to make me quit (yet). I need to find a new direction for myself, especially now that my insulation has been torn away, but I don't know which way to turn.

Hopefully, that magic fucking pill will help me figure it out.

the fucking pill

Yesterday was THE DAY.

I had put off starting the antidepressant all week, even though I knew with reasonable certainty that I was not pregnant.

I swear, I really am a head case. Even though I am on anti-anxiety meds, I had a mini anxiety attack regarding the fucking pill. My heart raced, and I couldn’t hold back the tears. I felt like I had the word “Failure” stamped on my forehead. I tried to control my life, to plan things out, to have babies, to treat depression, first without therapy and then without meds – and I failed.

I wanted to take it, because I want to change my life; I was scared to take it for so many reasons. I don’t know what it’s like anymore to be happy – sadness and despair are my home now. They are - in a sick way - comfy to me. I was scared of the unknown side effects. I was afraid to face the rest of the summer cookout/hangout season without wine (goodbye, my vine ripened friend. I shall see you on the other side, in vast quantities).

Mostly, I was scared I would choke on the fucker. I have a serious issue with pills, and this one is considerably larger than my folic acid, which I do occasionally choke on. Hubby stood by, ready to break out the Heimlich maneuver if necessary. We discussed various swallowing techniques. And then, I just did it – opened my mouth, popped it in, swigged some water, and swallowed.

And down it went, mocking me all the way to my stomach. “You were scared of me?” it said. “I was made to slide down your throat, you fucking nutcase.”

That was it. I’ll take another one tonight, and head off to therapy. No side effects yet, although I am tracking my weight since I was promised that 99% of people actually lose weight on this drug.
We all know, though, that I am a walking statistical anomaly. I fully expect to be the one percent that blows up like a pig, and whose fat thighs strain at her scrubs until they finally give up and burst open one day right in front of a client.

We’ll see.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

camp dead baby?

So, I read lots of widow blogs, for a lot of reasons: to explore a sadness other than my own, and also because my mother was widowed (with 2 young-ish kids), my grandmothers were both widowed with young kids, and my cousin, although she wasn't married to him, lost her son's father. I identify with the grief process in others, particularly widows and dead baby parents.

Many of the widowed bloggers I read will be attending what they call "Camp Widow". They'll be gathering together in community, support, celebration and hope. I read many of the blogs after Camp Widow last year, and people really seemed changed by it. And, as odd as it seems, they had FUN! After all, camp is always fun (isn't it? I never got to go away to camp as a kid so I have this vision that camp = heaven).

I want to go to "Camp Dead/No Baby." I know it sounds morbid but I just have this need to be around other people who know - who just know, and who think my dead baby jokes are funny and not indicative of my need for serious psychiatric help.

I'm wondering if a) there would be interest in the ALI community for something like this and b) if folks are interested, if someone would like to collaborate to try to get it off the ground.

Anyone? Anyone?

Monday, July 26, 2010


If I even thought for a second I might have been pregnant, I got schooled yesterday.

Aunt Flo showed up with a vengeance. I was crippled all day, physically. And I am mentally drained.

This was it, our last chance before we start dropping serious money on the problem (which we don't, at the moment, have).

I've gotten pregnant seven times. Seven. And I couldn't conceive once on femara.

And all around me, in blogosphere and on fb and in real life, people keep getting knocked up and having babies. I feel more left behind than ever, more alone than usual.

At least I have my (everything that isn't reproductive) health. I'll drink to that.

And then tomorrow, I'll start taking that fucking pill.

Friday, July 23, 2010

my own best friend

I thought things were set in stone for me, that sadness and grief and depression would be constants in my life, sorta like the evil monkey from "Family Guy" who pops out randomly to terrorize Chris.

I was wrong.

I had a therapy session Tuesday night that left me sobbing in the car on the way home, shaken to the core. Dr. A has been questioning my resistance to taking antidepressants. She told me, in no uncertain terms, that my refusal to medicate amounts to a subconscious desire to sabotage my marriage.

My first reaction was to give her the finger (she didn't see, as she was writing something at that moment, probably something along the lines of "batshit crazy").

But then I thought about it, and accepted that she was right. You see, I've felt for a long time like Hubby would be better off without me. In my darkest moments, I've told him to divorce me. I mean, I wouldn't want to be married to me - I have issues (ummm, that would be an understatement). If he left, I could let go of this guilt that consumes me, this feeling that I am an anchor around his neck dragging him down. He could go off and find a woman of proven fertility and have a family and be happy. So I stay sad and hopeless and inert, in this sick effort to push him away.

Only, he won't leave. I should have expected nothing else from a man who firmly believes that if you work out and don't puke, you didn't really work out. He commits, that man, even to the unpleasant.

And then I thought about my situation as if I were one of my friends. What would I say to friend-wifey? It might go a little something like this:
"You deserve to be happy. After all of the awful crazy things you've been through, you deserve it. Grief and trauma have changed you. Therapy is a good step, but if your therapist recommends a pill, don't be a dumb, resistant shithead (I can be a little meaner to myself than I would be to any other friend). Take the fucking pill. Make yourself well. Stop sabotaging your life."

So I decided to take the fucking pill (that is, if the red headed bitch comes for a visit this weekend, which, in all likelihood, she will). I will join the legions of Americans who medicate their sadness away, because I need to. I need to live, for myself, for Hubby, and for any child who comes into our lives (however that might happen). And as soon as I made the decision to get the prescription, I felt a weight lift off of me. I could breathe, and see hope in my future.

Plus, one of the side effects of this particular drug is weight loss. Who wouldn't be excited about that? I have to confess, that sold it for me - the thought that I could be a skinny happy girl makes me giddy. Nope, I'm not vain at all.

So, once I start the meds I'm going to try to blog more often, to have a record of me officially kicking depression's ass.

That's right, evil monkey, you are hereby evicted from my closet.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

ICLW - welcome!

Hi there! Thanks for visiting! I love the feeling of community that ICLW brings, and I'm looking forward to finding some new blogs this month (and hopefully some new readers too!)

If you're new to the world of semi-fertile, read on - a brief recap of my long and tumultuous ttc journey follows.

I met my Hubby in January 2003. We got engaged two weeks later, and married in June 2003. I went off of birth control pills in June 2005, got pregnant in December 2005, and promptly miscarried in January 2006. Pregnancy number 2 occured a few months later, which also ended quickly. Two more early miscarriages occurred over the next few years, during which I endured every RPL test known to man. I did test positive for antiphospholipid antibodies (a clotting disorder) and was prescribed aspirin, a mega dose of folic acid, and injectable Lovenox (an anticoagulant) upon confirmation of pregnancy. My fifth pregnancy, in December 2008, was devastating, as it seemed to be normal until the ultrasound - and then, an ectopic was diagnosed. I had surgery to remove cletus the fetus from my tube - poor cletus, who was actually growing on schedule and looked good aside from his location. My seventh pregnancy, in the fall of 2009, ended in early miscarriage as well. Further testing revealed a high level of prolactin, which has been corrected with medication. And despite 6 cycles with femara, we have not conceived since (although I am currently in the 2ww from the last femara cycle, but not exactly hopeful).

Since the demise of cletus, I have been deeply depressed. I am working on getting myself well and healthy while we take a break to save for IVF. We may do a couple of IUIs in the meantime.

So there you have it - my utesaurus eats babies, and it makes me sad. I still try to laugh, though, and I am determined to kick depression's ass before I move on to beating the shit out of RPL.

Monday, July 19, 2010


In so many ways, I have been defined by infertility and loss. My primal drive to become a mother, and my failures along the way, have warped me, like wood that has gotten wet repeatedly, and has swollen and morphed into a new shape. It is still essentially wood - all of the things that make it wood are still there - and yet it's different. There are ridges and valleys where there weren't, although the grain is still visible. There might even be a little mold. And no matter how dry that wood gets, it will never look like the wood it used to be. Those ridges and valleys are permanent, until the mold eats it away into dust.

I am still essentially me, and yet I'm not. Infertility has seeped into my soul, rotting me from the inside out. I am warped. My life was once even, defined by the expectation of  "when." Now, I am all ridges and valleys, riding the rollercoaster of "if:" If I get pregnant again. If I don't miscarry again. If we save the money for treatment. If my marriage isn't wrecked in the meantime. If I can pull myself together enough to become a fully functioning, happy human being, regardless of how this all turns out.

All I can do is to hang out, dry out my soul enough so that the rot stops in its tracks. Those ridges and valleys are here to stay.

I am forever changed.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

the crawl

Slowly, surely I am putting one foot in front of the other on the path towards wellness. Okay, maybe that’s a bit of wishful thinking –most times I am army crawling inch by painful inch, through the sand traps of grief and the water traps of sadness and despair, under and over obstacles lobbed at me by infertility. I see a normal life ahead, just out of reach, and I want it, so badly, even if children aren’t in it. I want to live, and smile, and lessen the stranglehold of depression.

Therapy is so helpful, as are the anti-anxiety meds. I am really thankful that Hubby is open to the process, that he acknowledges that he needs to change too, if I am to get well, and that maybe he needs help to reach his own happiness. Our therapist gets me, I think. She sees right into the heart of our relationship and zeroes in on what is good, and what is bad. She has, in her own roundabout way, convinced me that I really truly am suffering from clinical depression. I don’t think I realized just how ill I have been until recently. I can’t believe I let it get so bad. I also can’t believe that I was more willing to accept a vision of myself as a total fuckup – a wife who can’t keep the house clean and the bills paid, whose inertia almost brought us to the brink of financial ruin, who barely has the energy for work and surely can’t fit time for friends in – than as someone with a mental illness. And so now I am double stigmatized – I am a mentally ill infertile who happens to take breast cancer meds and Parkinson’s meds and anxiety meds and aspirin and folic acid in the foolhardy hope that something will make it all magically work as it should. Yay me.

Hubby and I have a reasonable plan ahead (I know, I know, our plans change almost as frequently as our underwear). We’re going to try with our last cycle of femara. Then, we may take a couple of months off so I can detox a bit and get physically and mentally as healthy as possible. Exercise. Sweat. Do acupuncture and yoga. Eat well. Spend time with friends (or maybe actually make some of my own, since all of our friends here are couple friends and I let all of my female friendships die). All the while we’ll be building our savings account towards that lofty goal, IVF. And since it will take a while – since, in my depression, things like “paying the bills” and “not getting sent to collections” were not high on my priority list – we’ll try a couple of iui cycles. If all that fails – as it likely will – we’ll move on to IVF (which scares the shit out of me, because if that fails as well, I’ll be cliff diving off the precipice of depression to the depths of complete batshit crazy!).
We’ll get there, inch by inch. We might be the oldest parents of a kindergardener EVER, but we'll get there. I hope.

Friday, June 25, 2010


So, I'm still here.

Remember how I said I can change my mind regarding the whole adoption vs. IVF conundrum?

Well, Hubby and I have started couples counseling and individual therapy, mostly to prepare us for our adoption journey.

Only Dr. A, our therapist, thinks that we should forget adoption right now and move towards IVF. She thinks I won't be able to move on with my life if I don't at least try it. I think she's right, but I'm still trying to wrap my head around all that that means. I've also started taking anti anxiety medication, because she's helped me realize that I am really really clinically depressed and that I need to address it, and that most of my depression stems from anxiety.

I'm sorry that I haven't been commenting. You all mean so much to me and I feel terrible about it but I've been spending a lot of time working on myself these days. I've been starting to read blogs again, though, which is good.

I'm making lemonade, I am.

Monday, June 21, 2010

unlucky seven

Seven years ago today, I married the love of my life, with visions of a future that wasn’t to be dancing in my head.
We’ve spent more than half of our marriage trying to bring a baby into our lives, and experiencing heartbreak after heartbreak.
He’s still the love of my life. I couldn’t imagine walking this road with anyone else by my side. Dead babies have a way of either pulling a couple together, or pushing them apart, and I guess we’re lucky that we’ve been cemented together like we have. We have an intimacy that people who have been married three times as long as us lack.
I’d trade all the closeness, though, for one of my babies to have lived; I’d trade it for sleepless nights and stress and dirty diapers and spit up and stretch marks. I’d trade that intimacy to not have to see the look of pain on my husband’s face when idiot family members make stupid comments, and tell him that babies don’t like him because he’s not a daddy.

He IS a daddy, in his heart.

In fact, his seventh baby would have been due today, on our seventh anniversary, a day after Father’s Day, if my utesaurus hadn’t killed it.
And so we struggle on, and whisper “Happy Anniversary” to each other yet again, while neither of us is truly happy or in the mood to celebrate, not while the thoughts of our seven dead babies – one for each year we’ve been married – haunt us. Oh, the irony! We have the big family we always wanted, only they’re all dead, all of them.
My heart hurts today.

Monday, June 14, 2010

poor neglected blog

I've been a bad, bad blogger, and am prepared for my whipping. Got yer stitch?

I apologize for my absence in comment land. I have not been reading or writing much of anything lately. My brain has been sort of like a shaken up snowglobe lately, and things are just settling back to normal.

I do have some updates though and will hopefully have a longer post this week.

no, I'm not pregnant. sigh.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

let the darkness in...

I have noticed over the past several months that my dark days arrive with a pattern. Usually they are tied to the imminent arrival of the crimson tide. I can be positively sunny and upbeat one day, and feeling the depths of despair the next. I lose perspective, and the ability to evaluate a situation with any intelligence.

Right now, things just seem insurmountable. The housework is piling up. The yardwork is out of control. The bills that need to be paid before we can start saving for adoption scare the shit out of me. I mourn the relationships that I have let fail. The fact that am probably not pregnant this month, and I probably will never be again, makes me wish desperately that my husband would leave me and find a happy life with someone else. The first baby who would have been approaching four - FOUR! - years old (you know, if my body didn't kill him) haunts me.

Right now, today, I feel as if everything is falling apart and I will never be enough, not in any way.

I didn't feel this way yesterday, and I know that soon, things will look up (I hope).

But right now, I don't want this life.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

the darnedest things

The scene: that backseat of my friend's minivan, about to be dropped off for a girls' evening of fun. My friend's cute little boy is keeping me company. We're chatting about, well, whatever the hell a five year old in a minivan talks about.

And then he says, "You know, Wifey, I really wish you had kids so that when I come over I'd have someone to play with."

And I say, "But we have dogs. You always like to play with our dogs."

His reply: "I know, but dogs aren't kids. They're just not."

Don't I know it, kid.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

the rapist strikes again

Hubby and I had our first joint therapy appointment last night. I'm trying to be open to the whole process, but I just don't know if I am a good fit for therapy.

I did feel a real connection to our therapist, Dr. A. She was funny at times, and used profanity in a way that made me smile. She also agrees that my husband's parents are fucked up.

I think that she'll try to convince me to medicate. She thinks I'm depressed, and a shell of a person. I think I laugh a hell of a lot for a depressed shell, but maybe I'd be Tina Fey if I medicated. Honestly, if medical marijuana were legal here I'd rather smoke the occasional joint when feeling down than pop a pill every day and risk turning into a zombie. I really really really really really really don't want to take antidepressants.

Dr. A did note that, despite the rollercoaster to hell we've been on, it is clear that we love each other deeply, and that we're best friends. That was reassuring - to hear from a professional that my fuckedupness hasn't completely ruined our marriage makes me feel like less of a failure.

We'll see how it all turns out. Our next step is in a couple of weeks: we'll have individual sessions, and then another joint session to decide how to proceed.

Anywho, in other news, the two week wait has begun. This is the third to last 2ww for me (for the forseeable future). The thought of not trying anymore scares the shit out of me. I don't really know how to turn off that part of me that is hyperaware of my cycles and fertility signs and possible pregnancy signs. I don't know who I am anymore when not wrapped up in trying to reproduce, and obsessing over what I can put in my body to help me reproduce.

I guess that's what Dr. A meant when she called me a shell.

Sunday, May 9, 2010


No cards.
No flowers.
No "Happy Mother's Day" greetings.
No hugs.
No mention of my dead babies.

I am invisible, unloved, marginalized, forgotten.

Mother's Day can suck it.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

flip flop

Including this month, I have three months left on femara.

And then, interwebs, when my body fails yet again to produce a viable pregnancy - as it surely will - I do believe we'll be taking a big long break from this whole baby making thing to seriously pursue adoption.

I've flip flopped so much about this, and may again, but I need to be moving forward, striving towards some kind of happiness. And while I know the road to a successful adoption can be bumpy as hell (and let's face it, with my luck it probably will be) if it's not my own personal failure, I think I can probably handle it.

Miscarriage after miscarriage does not a happy girl make.

We think we might just be able to put together the funds by the end of 2010. It means no fun for us this summer, no trips or concerts or cute summery dresses, but I can handle that. I can.

So for the next few months I am going to be as healthy as I can be to give my body the best chance possible to do this, and then, I'll turn down that fork in the road to parenthood and leave the timed sex, fertility drugs, blood draws and dildo cams behind, at least until we recover financially and emotionally from the adoption process.

That's the plan, anyway - for now. I reserve the right to change my crazy infertile mind at any time.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

I found her

Aunt Flow, that is.

I guess she just needed to fuck with me for a bit.

I'm so tired of this life: the tears, the fears, the anxiety, the dark sadness that seems like it will never end, the stab to the heart that comes with seeing a big pregnant belly. I'm worn out, used up, I have absolutely nothing left.

But you can bet your sweet bippy I'll be at Walgreen's tomorrow picking up more Femara and folic acid. 

It's a sickness, I tell ya.

How to grow time.... infertile style

Hey there fellow IFers!

Do you find that there aren't enough hours in the day?

Does staring at pee sticks and contemplating when to have sex interfere with your jobs and household duties?

Do you ever wish you simply had more time to dream up imaginary pregnancy symptoms?

Well, step right up, because I've got the solution for you!

Listening to your fertile friends discuss IN GRAPHIC DETAIL the births of their five collective children is a sure fire way to make 2 hours stretch into a time warp that feels like two years!

I guarantee it.

Man, I really need more infertile friends in real life.

Saturday, May 1, 2010


Aunt Flow is playing games with me again.

Today is 14dpo, and I keep awaiting her knock on the door.

But there is no sign of the bitch, and my hpt was stark white today. I think I even heard it say, "Move along, nothing to see here" as I searched under the brightest lights possible for the hint of a line.

I am NEVER late, but I guess my body just keeps the surprises coming.

If you see Aunt Flow hanging around, give her the Stockton Heybuddy for me.

Friday, April 30, 2010

What IF.....

What IF we save the money we need, blow it all on IVF, and fail?

What then?

Money has been a constant factor in our IF journey. Hubby and I are a professional couple - I certainly wouldn't call us well off, but we both work and make decent money and try to live within our means. In those nightmarish beginning days, when we were just a few miscarriages in, money was like a balm. We used it to soothe our souls and our broken hearts with vacations, dinners out, and a bit of retail therapy here and there. We were reminded, by our spending power, that there are financial advantages to not having children. Our friends with kids would look at us wistfully when we announced another trip, just as we would look at them wistfully when they announced another pregnancy.

You see, in those days, we still believed that we'd be able to have a child with minimal medical intervention. After all, we thought, conception does not seem to be a problem. Eventually, we thought, one will stick and our days of lounging on a beach chair drinking frosty drinks will come to an end, replaced with the bliss of diapers and spit up and sleepless nights and chubby baby thighs.

Those sunny, child free days are now behind us. And no, we didn't magically have a child that I told none of you about. It has become glaringly obvious to us, four years and seven dead babies in, that a family won't come cheaply.

The physical costs - fertility drugs, hormones, supplements, miscarriages - are astronomical. The mental and emotional costs - well, I could write a whole blog about them. (Oh wait, I did!)  The financial burden of infertility is another layer of hurt, magnifying the other million daggers.

 My doctor has suggested that in vitro fertilization probably represents my best hope of having a successful pregnancy. Unfortunately, we do not have any insurance coverage for infertility treatments. Zip. Zero. Zilch.

And so we are left to scrimp and save, trying to pay off debt and build our savings, in a race against time. I started this journey at 27. I am now 32, and have precious few sort of fertile years ahead of me. We no longer go out to eat, or to the movies, or to see bands play. We don't take vacations. We cancelled our lawn service, and I walked to work every single day this winter (no small feat in Iowa) so we wouldn't have to purchase a second car. Our home is quite a mess right now, but things like renovations, repairs and upgrades will just have to wait, and we'll deal with the demolished bathroom that we can't finish right now. We want a family, and are willing to make whatever sacrifices we need to make, but the fact that we don't have a child, and cannot enjoy our child free life, sucks monkey balls (especially when plenty of folks we know are absolutely in no financial position to support a child, and pop them out like pez dispensers!).

I know that, for my own future mental health, I need to exhaust all of my options before we accept that birthing a child is an impossibility. I cannot have regrets about this process, or I will end up more bat shit crazy than I already am. My biggest fear, though, is that we will make all of these sacrifices, and drain our savings for IVF, only to fail. Then, we would have no back up plan, no option of adoption, no family, no future.

I don't understand - I really, truly don't - why insurance companies are free to discriminate against the infertile. Sure, infertility is not fatal, but neither is eczema, and I have coverage for that. If pregnancy is considered a "lifestyle choice" for the infertile, why is it not for the fertile? I think about people who don't have any extra income to save, and who will never be able to afford treatment, and my heart breaks into a million more tiny pieces. I think about the economic impact of millions of infertile couples in the same boat we're in, who are dumping every single penny into saving for treatment instead of stimulating the local and national economies, and it's clear to me that insurance coverage for infertility treatments benefits everyone.

What if insurance companies covered infertility treatments, and infertility was no longer a disease only the wealthy could afford to treat? What if everyone could pursue the dream of parenthood, without having to put themselves in financial ruin?

What then?

This post is part of Project IF: Part 2 in recognition of National Infertility Awareness Week (April 24-May 1). For more information about infertility, please click here. For more information about NIAW, please click here. If you'd like to check out more about Project IF, and see the list that inspired this post and many others, please click here.