Wednesday, January 26, 2011

unexpected kindness

I have been surprised so many times by the kindness of others. When I am deep in the darkness, it seems to me that others must loathe me as much as I sometimes do.

I've been proven wrong, again.

When I discovered my coworker's pregnancy, I had a meltdown. That meltdown paled in comparison to the one I had when I learned that her due date is very close to what mine would have been. You know, if that raging beast of a utesaurus didn't eat my baby - which I discovered, you might recall, hours after I had to make the most horrible decision of my life and put my sweet otherwise healthy dog to sleep. The worst fucking day of my life, also known as DDDBD (Dead Dog Dead Baby Day).

I just couldn't make sense of how I was going to face her every day - her belly growing, mine shrinking, she aglow with life, me casting the pallor of death. I was having panic attacks walking into the building, and at this point no one else (except the boss) knew.

I knew that I had been acting oddly for a few days, so I pulled aside the girl I work most closely with (a wonderful, wonderful girl whose friendship in the office means so much to me) and explained that she shouldn't take anything I say/do personally, and that I'd be acting weird for a while, because New Girl is pregnant (I didn't even mention the due date thing). And this girl - we'll call her Runway (she used to model) - this girl who isn't close to wanting babies yet and certainly hasn't lost any, her eyes welled up. I told her that I might have to look for another job because I just didn't think I could do it, and she got even more sad, but said she'd understand if it came to that.

That night, I emailed Runway to thank her for her kindness and empathy, since I know that my particular craziness is off her radar. She responded with, among other things, "Don't worry - I've got your back." And with that, the icy loneliness and fear in me started to melt.

I had also emailed another coworker, my friend A, to warn her. Her response was full of empathy and kindness, and so the ice melted just a bit more.

My final email was to my boss. I let him know exactly what was going on and how I didn't know if I would be able to continue working there, even though I am loving my job right now. I told him that I am just not willing to risk completely losing my mind for it.

He responded that he thinks I am a very valuable employee, and doesn't want to lose me. We are in the middle of some scheduling changes and he mentioned that he would try to work things out so, basically, preggo and I aren't around each other too much. He also suggested possibly moving my workstation into the office the doctors share.

And then he wrote "Let me know if you need anything else. I am willing to put up with a lot if you are willing to give it a go." And with that, the rest of the ice was gone.

I forget it sometimes, but I am a lucky lady to be valued so much by the people with whom I spend the bulk of my waking hours.

((And of course, the feel-good vibe is taking a hit from the bad voice in my head, which says  "Wow, I am a seriously fucked up person if my whole office has to be rearranged to accommodate my craziness. I mean, the girl is pregnant! It should be a happy time in the office, not one of walking on eggshells because I can't cope with life." That stupid mother fucker never completely goes away.))

Oooh, and I've won a blog award! Hopefully tomorrow I'll post about that and my Making Babies beginnings.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

a shout out to local ladies

I have volunteered to be the Des Moines area group leader for the new Face2Face Friendship Group program started by Faces of Loss. If you're local, and interested in hanging out with like minded super fun ladies who have also survived loss - and you're not offended by tattoos and salty language - join our Facebook group. I've made it super easy too - there's a box on this page that says "Find us on Facebook!" and all you need to do is click "like." Or you can search on Facebook for the "Face2Face Des Moines" page. It's pretty lame right now but I'll be working on it tomorrow.

We will definitely be having our first get together soon, and likely in a bar/restaurant. Well, it might just be me unless some of you join up!

I know I have local readers - I do occasionally look at my stats. Delurk, delurk I beg of you! I so don't want my group to be the FAIL of the program. That would just suck monkey balls.

Monday, January 24, 2011

hope, and an offer for you!

I’m not off to a great start with ICLW this month ((flogs self)) but I swear to the gods that I will be caught up on my commenting tonight. It’s hard to comment from work since I’m really not supposed to be on the internet….. posting is easier since I just type away in Word and it looks like I’m being a good employee :)

Anyway, this post is not going to be about my shitty work situation (btw, the knocked up coworker just walked in! Yay!) or how much I hate my life or how sad I am.

No, this post is going to be about hope (shocking! I know!). Specifically, the hope I have found in Making Babies: A Proven Three Month Program for Maximum Fertility. These people – a top fertility doctor and an acupuncturist/herbalist – are the real deal, and they know their shit.

I’ve been saying for a long time that I need to get my body in the best possible shape to conceive because if I can get pregnant – and clearly, I can – then there must be something I can do to stay pregnant. I’ve just been going about it piecemeal, trying to blend Western medicine and Chinese medicine without a guide. I’ve just about finished the book, and it will become my bible for the next three months (our “premester”).

I was hooked when I read the Western doctor’s take on ART – he believes it has it’s place but that it is overused and most women, when given the appropriate guidance, can help their own bodies conceive naturally. If the program itself doesn’t work and ART is still necessary, the body will be in the best possible shape for treatment to work. It’s so empowering, and I really believe it can work for me. I plan to use this blog to document my premester in the hopes that it might be able to help someone else.

Anyway, I have an offer: If someone out there wants to walk this walk with me, I’ll send you a copy of the book (for free, y’all!). Just be the first to let me know in the comments and I’ll send it off.

And then we can skip hand in hand off into the sunset. Just kidding. Sort of.

Friday, January 21, 2011

and the universe continues to fuck with me....

Yay. Just found out that through the evil of FB that the new girl we hired - the girl who shares a workspace with me - is pregnant. I'm expecting the work announcement soon since she seems to be 16-17 weeks along.
Our clients are a bunch of friendly nose folk who like to comment on everything: "Oh your hair is so long!" "I really like your makeup today," etc. Oh, and this is the first time someone in our office has been pregnant for realz. It's going to be torturous.
It's just my luck too - I was starting to resolve the whole love/hate my job thing (it was shifting mostly to love) and now I have to quit.
I have to say, I didn't handle this discovery well. The ugly cry made an appearance, as did self pity and self loathing. I have got to learn to handle this shit like a grown up. Sigh.
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Thursday, January 20, 2011

by the numbers

This week marks 5 years since our first loss, since the last time I remember being truly happy and hopeful. I think somewhere my brain knew that milestone was looming, which would explain my recent funk.

Anyway, the numbers:

4 - how old that first doomed baby would now be

7 - how many times (at least) I've been pregnant since that loss
40 - number of times I've been poked for beta testing

50+ - number of babies born to people I know in that time (not including all of my blogging buddies, who seem to be getting knocked up regularly these days)
56 - approximate number of weeks I've been pregnant

680 - approximate number of sticks I've peed on (opk and hpt)
$1040 - how much I've spent on sticks to pee on (approximately)
$3500 - how much we've spent on copays for visits and meds and surgery

10950 - number of folic acid pills I've swallowed

1,257,333,123 - number of times my heart has been broken (approximate)

I can't believe I'm still here.

Monday, January 17, 2011

worn out oars

There’s this girl I know, K. We went to the same high school, and although we’ve never been close friends we’ve always run with the same social crowd.

Truth be told, although many of my (formerly) close friends love her, I’ve always found her to be more than a little annoying. She’s a bit of a control freak, and has always expected that things would go as she planned them. She married her 1st husband in a ceremony that was beyond extravagant.

Anyway, shortly after her 1st wedding, Hubby and I started trying to conceive. And then we had that first mind shattering miscarriage, followed closely by the devastation of the second.

This slice of time was hideous for me – I was starting to wonder if it would ever happen, what I could have done to deserve a double dose of failure, and if all I had ahead of me was heartbreak (guess I know the answer to that question now!). I spent days pouring over books on conception and pregnancy and miscarriage. K and I were at some party together during this time, and the conversation turned to having babies.

“Well,” she said, with a haughty shake of her head, “I know that when I want to have a baby I’ll have one right away.”

“And how do you know that?” I asked.

“I can feel when I ovulate every month. The rest is simple,” she said, looking at me.

I wanted to scream and shout that she didn’t have a fucking clue, and then I committed the cardinal sin of the infertile: I wished IF on her. I did, and I’m ashamed of it, but at that moment I wished that she would know just a slice of the pain I was experiencing.

Anyway, she went on to divorce first husband, marry second husband, and start trying to conceive.

Nothing happened.

She tried for years, and then because she lives in a state that mandates coverage for infertility, she tried IVF. It worked. Yesterday, she gave birth to a baby girl.

And again, I am slapped hard with the realization that my life is stuck – we’ve decided to become parents, we’ve changed our whole lives so that we could be good parents. We’ve left behind the life of the DINKS (dual income no kids) that we were, and yet we can’t get to where we want.

We’re in limbo. I’ve been here long enough for K to have gotten divorced, remarried, try for a baby long enough to get diagnosed as infertile, try fertility treatments, get pregnant and have a healthy baby girl.

I feel like we’re in a rowboat, stuck in the middle of a lake so big we can barely see the shore. We’re rowing and rowing and rowing, as hard as we can, sweating and panting and getting desperate to get to shore, where it seems the happiness is. We can hear the party, and all around us boats are moving. Some are moving more slowly than others, some so slowly they hardly appear to be moving. Some boats find a current and drift in to shore with no effort at all. But us – we’re stuck, we’re stranded, our oars are falling apart from all that damned rowing, and I feel like we’re going to die here. (I may have read this somewhere – not sure – but it feels like such an apt description).

Friday, January 14, 2011


I'm in a funk. It scares the shit out of me - I've come so far in the last few months thanks to Big Pharma and therapy and hubby. The creeping constant tears, the overwhelming sadness and hopelessness - I am reminded not only of what I long for and can't have, but also of the years I lived existed so far down in the darkness.

And when I feel like this, the world just seems too sad to bear: the Tucson tragedy and Christina Green, the rough time my brother is having right now, my older cat who has taken a sudden and likely very not good turn for the worse, the floods in Australia (and that brave boy who sacrificed himself so that his brother could be saved). It is just too much.

(My rational brain says "Duh! It's PMS! Happens every month! You'll be fine." Despite her assurances I feel like I'm on a precipice, on the edge of another major depressive episode.)

Of course, while I'm writing this, this song came on. I know he's not writing about my life, but man do his words hit close to home:

I'm not surprised, not everything lasts

I've broken my heart so many times, I stopped keeping track
Talk myself in, I talk myself out
I get all worked up, then I let myself down

I tried so very hard not to lose it

I came up with a million excuses

I thought, I thought of every possibility

And I know someday that it'll all turn out

You'll make me work, so we can work to work it out
And I promise you, kid, that I give so much more than I get

I just haven't met you yet

I might have to wait, I'll never give up
I guess it's half timing, and the other half's luck
Wherever you are, whenever it's right
You'll come out of nowhere and into my life

And I know that we can be so amazing
And, baby, your love is gonna change me
And now I can see every possibility

And somehow I know that it'll all turn out
You'll make me work, so we can work to work it out
And I promise you, kid, I give so much more than I get
I just haven't met you yet

They say all's fair
In love and war
But I won't need to fight it
We'll get it right and we'll be united

And I know that we can be so amazing
And being in your life is gonna change me
And now I can see every single possibility

And someday I know it'll all turn out
And I'll work to work it out
Promise you, kid, I'll give more than I get
Than I get, than I get, than I get

Oh, you know it'll all turn out
And you'll make me work so we can work to work it out
And I promise you kid to give so much more than I get
Yeah, I just haven't met you yet

I just haven't met you yet
Oh, promise you, kid
To give so much more than I get

I said love, love, love, love

Love, love, love, love
(I just haven't met you yet)
Love, love, love, love
Love, love

I just haven't met you yet

This mood I'm in, this day, calls for two hours of sweating my ass off in the gym tonight, followed by a bottle of wine and a good hard ugly cry. Maybe I can all of these tears out all at once.