Monday, December 27, 2010

The Best Gift of all This Season

I've been trying to focus on others this season and it's true that giving to others has this magical effect of making you feel good. I was on a giving high this week...

Our church has adopted a 17 year old girl and her sister. The 17 year old is a survivor of domestic sex-trafficking - she had been "convinced" by an older man (usually not older than 25!) to 'work' for him. I never knew how much girls in the US are forced into prostitution by merely feeling like they have no other choice because they are too young and oftentimes don't have good support systems at home. And how most of the girls (and boys) being prostituted are under-age. It makes my heart break...

I've learned so much from Courtney's House and from GEMS (Girls Educational & Mentoring Services). I've gotten to personally know the Executive Director of Courtney's House, who is a former teenage sex-trafficking survivor. Her story is remarkable and I'm inspired by her.

So, it was a no brainer for me to want to give back to this 17 year old and her sister this year. I organized the church's drive for this.

She had an MP3 player on her list. I knew someone was getting her a computer. She also had digital camera on her list among other electronics, clothes and teenage necessities like make-up. I had also heard some people in the church questioning her 'wants' of these electronics.

To that, I said, why shouldn't she deserve these things? Most typical 17 year olds would get these items, so why not her? And shouldn't our answer be: she's especially deserving of these things? Think of all she's been through and we're questioning why she should get a computer, MP3 player and camera???

So, I thought, I can get her this MP3 player and decided on the i.pod As soon as I clicked 'Confirm Order', I was elated!

This was the best gift I'm giving this season! Joy to the world!

And our present to each other? We're off to the Turks and Caicos... Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

And Now... For a Little Positive Infusion

Thanks to you for your support over the last few days as I struggled with my inadequacies at work as a result of sadness over my infertility and having it show at work. Not easy to confront about myself, but such is my story and luckily I have an actual new year ahead to wipe the (sadness) slate clean!

Now onto infusing some positivity...

I was inspired by Katie at From If to When on her post Strength. She admits that it can be hard to focus on positives when we're feeling sad and lonely but she does it anyway and I want to too.

She's motivated me to set up our nursery even though we don't know how that baby will come. It's something she says she has control over and I think I need that now too.

Lily from The Infertile Mind is always someone I know I can count on to have some positive vibes radiating on her blog. More recently, she's been posting a lot of positive quotes that I love getting my fill of every few days!

Rebecca at The Road Less Traveled has seen positive betas from her donor embryo transfer and I am so thrilled for her! She has been through a lot this year and this new news warms my heart.

And... my best friend just had her second baby. I feel so blessed to be such an intimate part of it all - getting calls as she was going through labor and getting to see her baby girl at less than 1 day old after she home-birthed her. It's so rare to get to be part of that type of experience. Sure, I got teary-eyed when I left particularly since she's dark-haired like I imagine mine to be... but I think I was just emotional overall at the gift of life.

Is that some good positivity or what? :)

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

So Glad I Said Something!

After a few days of angst over how to handle my boss's comments on my performance, I decided to have a follow-up talk with him today and am so glad I did. I started out by asking if he had any new performance concerns since we last talked 6 weeks ago. He said no, just that I hadn't seemed to change much.

I then shared with him for context that we've had a difficult past year most recently experiencing a miscarriage over Thanksgiving, so it's just taking me awhile to get back on my toes but that I'm committed to the company, etc. He was suprisingly empathetic and actually shared that he and his wife faced struggles in this area, and that he wishes us success with this. And let's work together to get me back...

Overall, I'm glad I shared (if only at a high-level) and that I also emphasized that I'm committed to the company no matter what happens in this area for us (I was afraid that he'd think I might not be once we got pregnant or had a baby).

Phew, do I feel like a weight off my shoulders! Now, I gotta get crackin' on all that work ;)

Monday, December 20, 2010

Infertility Can Seem so Cruel

What happened to me being peaceful? Seems like that only lasted a couple of weeks.

I think my boss's comments really struck me on Friday. I plan to have some sort of follow-up with him - just wanting to at least clarify what, if any, performance concerns he may have of me. Earlier this year, he said I was doing amazing and wanted to promote me, so I know I'm not ready for promotion now, but maybe my performance isn't necessarily bad, it's just not outstanding anymore... when we talked in October, he said it was inconsistent.

I just want to know if he was asking me "whether I was happy or not" and "doing what I wanted to be doing" more because he sensed I was unhappy and might leave, or if he also had performance concerns. He's usually straight with me, so I may be reading too much into this and he may have simply been worried about me leaving, which is actually a good sign on my performance... and he did say that while the promotion won't happen now, 'we've just kicked it down the road a bit'.

It bothered me all weekend. I didn't sleep well. Especially last night - I actually turned out my light at 8:30pm because of the lack of sleep all weekend! But then woke up at 1:30am-4:30am. Read about 100 pages of The Go.od Earth by Pea.rl Good book by the way.

My husband and I started again on what our next steps are... he wants biology so badly and I keep feeling like my body is failing us. His heart just isn't open to adoption right now. And honestly, deep down, I think we do still have a little ways to go on biology but I just wish the pressure would come off a bit. If he was the one to say 'let's start a homestudy', then I think I'd say, well, let's do some more tests...

I just want to be happy & peaceful!!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Infertility Can Bite!

Just when I thought I was ok... I had my last counseling session - at least for now. I've been feeling much more like 'myself' and not in this constant sad state, like I had been for the last couple of months.

I was even able to get excited about my sister-in-law's sister-in-law's ultrasound appointment to find out what they were having, and was ok with the ultrasound pics on facebook (though I think she took it too far to make her profile pic her ultrasound pic, but anyway). I'm ok with all the holiday cards streaming in with all the kids on them (why can't people also put themselves on the cards? why just the kids??), I'm ok with all the kids postings on facebook. So, I'm generally ok.

But then, my boss yesterday has a meeting with me to ask if I'm happy at work and I was caught off-guard. He and I are really not personal so I kept it very high level saying I've been going through something very difficult in my personal life and it's affected my work life as well but I've gotten help and I feel like myself again and am ready to get back to how I was before and am excited about upcoming projects, etc.

Then, I came home and cried and cried. Why is it that just when I feel like everything is ok, infertility comes back to bite me? I feel like infertility is bad enough with this deep sadness, and then it just kicks me even more because it's affected my work performance. It's not fair.

I've always tried to keep the lines between personal and professional separate. Heck, I'm HR - that's what I do. But I also know the human side to HR and that's exactly what this was. And somehow, I froze.

When I told my husband all of this, he thinks that maybe I should have given my boss a bit more context and said that I've gone through 3 miscarriages and a surgery in the last year, with the last miscarriage being over Thanksgiving and then explain how I'm just explaining that for context on the sadness I've had to experience which may be why I haven't been myself even at work. And that maybe even if I am going through something like this in the future to let him know in case I need understanding that I'm not operating at 100%. I definitely don't want his sympathy but simply want to provide context...

But it's not just the miscarriages. And this issue is complicated. And I'm not sure how to talk about it at a high level with someone who I respect and like but where we don't talk much about our personal lives. The reason I've been sad is because of infertility in general but maybe just stating the miscarriages is enough for him to understand? Potentially more tangible and 'understandable' in mainstream life rather than infertility, which people really don't understand at all?

Anyway, if anyone has advice on how to talk at a high-level with someone who isn't very personal (though he's by no means a monster...), please let me know. Maybe what I said is enough? Or is having a follow-up with him a good idea to provide just a tiny bit more context?

Sunday, December 12, 2010

A Must Read Chapter

I've been a bit quiet lately. I can't tell if it's because I'm not actively going through anything 'trying' related right now. Or if I'm busy at work or busy with holiday stuff. Or maybe I'm still feeling quite peaceful and don't have the need to pour out my feelings as much.

I just read a blog entry by Dr Lisa Rouff, Infertility Therapist on Resilience is the Real Fertility. It really struck me particularly since Eliz.abeth Ed.wards' passing was significant to me this week and I felt she taught us a lot about resilience. And maybe because most of what I've craved this entire time is peace. I know my children will take awhile to get to me, however they do, so all I want in the meantime is peace. A way to better handle the challenge.

I also want to share a chapter of a book that I think is a must-read for anyone facing the 'what's next' in adoption, donor sperm/egg/embryo, surrogacy, childlessness, etc. I would NEVER have picked up this book a year ago and I wish I had. The book is called Af.ter In.fertility by Pat.ricia John.ston.

My counselor recommended it to me when I was telling her that my husband and I are stuck on not necessarily agreeing on adoption vs. continuing treatments. The book was written in the early 90s and there has been no update since but it's still extremely relevant.

The first chapter is called The Challenge of Infertility and focuses on ranking 6 areas that matter most to you and your partner so that you can begin (often difficult) conversations about what you are both willing to explore, or something along those lines.

I'd list the six areas but am afraid I'd be plagiarising... suffice it to say that it's well worth getting on ama.zon or some other place!

It made me realize that I may want to give conceiving more effort before we consider adoption. There's a lot that goes into this but that's what the chapter tells you to do - talk about putting a plan together.

My short-term plan: we leave for Turks & Caicos in 2 weeks!!! :)

Saturday, December 4, 2010

In a MUCH Better Place, Dare I Say Peaceful?

I AM in a much better place. I don't know how it happened. Maybe it was getting past Thanksgiving. Maybe it was my in-laws finally talking with me. Maybe it's the work I'm doing with a counselor who specializes in infertility. I don't know. But I'm grateful.

I didn't think I could get here. And who knows how long I'll actually stay here. But I want to surrender this bitterness. And I think I have.

I somehow was able to deal with our 3rd miscarriage over Thanksgiving with amazing grace. I think partly it's because I knew what our chances were from our first beta and therefore prepared myself. But I also think a remarkable peacefulness has overtaken me.

It was so nice to finally talk with my in-laws about everything. I especially bonded with my sister-in-law who I really appreciate now that we've talked in depth about a lot of this and what it's also like to be the in-laws in this family. :)

My counselor has been great. We've spent a lot of time talking about my mom and how disappointing it's been for me to feel like I've 'lost' her in not being able to talk with her about this the way I had been about everything else. She explained that people normally have 2 natural reactions when loved ones are in distress - fight or flight.

My in-laws clearly had 'flight' by not talking to me about it at all. And my mother had fight. She wants to make my pain go away so she says all the 'unhelpful' things rather than just acknowledging my pain. It helped to understand that. And it also helped for her to let me know over Thanksgiving that she's understanding that I'm going through a hard time and that she'll wait for me to be me again whenever that may be. She'll be patient with me is basically what she was saying.

I also saw our embryo in the toilet the Friday after Thanksgiving. I really wasn't ready for that and couldn't flush for the longest time. I just kept starring at it wanting to find more meaning in all of this that is happening to us. It was just a very striking moment for me.

And I think back on our fertility journey so far - on what the last 3 years have meant, and what this last 12 months have bee like - 3 miscarriages, starting and ending at Thanksgiving, and a surgery. It's been quite a year. And I'm ready to acknowledge it and move past it.

I know this is going to be a long road for us and I'm prepared to keep at it but equally prepared to enjoy life again and fully embrace it. Much easier said than done and I know I'll have little pangs of sad childlessness but I also know that I don't and won't feel that way most of the time anymore.

And we decided to use our miles and take off for a vacation to the Tu.rks and Cai.cos after Christmas and through New Year's! Yay!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Email to My In-Laws: Preparing for Our Visit

I'm sending this today to my in-laws. Warning: it's very long but felt so, so good to write and was a letter about a year-long in the making:

Dear In-Laws [insert names here],

I wanted to personally write in anticipation of the holiday and our time together, and to let you know what's been going on with us, and in particular how it's affected me mostly and how I feel you can help. I apologize in advance for the length but it's been something I've been drafting in my head for awhile now, so please bear with me! I decided to write this because I realize that what B and I are going through is not an easy thing for us to process, and much harder sometimes for loved ones to process. And by writing, I think it may allow you time and space to actually process this without having us bombard you with this without you knowing how to react.

Infertility is not often something people know much about and because it still seems rather taboo, people aren't sure how to ask or talk about it. I hope I can shed light on some of this. If you weren't sure, this is how infertility is defined if under 35: trying to conceive unsuccessfully for 1 year or if the woman has had several miscarriages.

We've been trying to conceive for almost 3 years now. The enormity of this 3 year milestone has been an incredible one for me. On top of that, this Thanksgiving will mark one year that we experienced our first miscarriage. And it's been hard for me to face that my best friend is about to have her 2nd baby in Dec, when I thought we were going to be on similar paths. Or that our nephew just turned 3 and I thought our children would be closer in age to him.

Infertility can be a continual grieving process. Each passing month is a grief in in of itself. It's a grief that isn't named and isn't obvious to others, with no rituals, making it difficult to navigate the emotions around it. Someone recently shared with me an excerpt from Laura Bush's biography that was helpful to me:

For some years now, the wedding invitations that had once crowded the mailbox had been replaced by shower invites and pink-or-blue-beribboned baby announcements. I bought onesies or rattles, wrapped them in yellow paper, and delivered them to friends. I had done it with a happy wistfulness, believing that someday my time, my baby, would come. George and I had hoped that I would be pregnant by the end of his congressional run. Then we hoped it would be by the time his own father announced his presidential run, then by the presidential primaries, the convention, the general election. But each milestone came and went. The calendar advanced, and there was no baby.

The English language lacks the words to mourn an absence. For the loss of a parent, grandparent, spouse, child or friend, we have all manner of words and phrases, some helpful some not. Still we are conditioned to say something, even if it is only “I’m sorry for your loss.”

But for an absence, for someone who was never there at all, we are wordless to capture that particular emptiness. For those who deeply want children and are denied them, those missing babies hover like silent ephemeral shadows over their lives.

Who can describe the feel of a tiny hand that is never held?- Laura Bush

I think you know that we had another miscarriage in May followed by my fibroid surgery in August, which they thought might have been the cause. We actually just experienced another miscarriage late last week, though this time, we were able to conceive naturally, which felt like a small victory. Still, we've never been able to make it past the 6 week mark when you can usually hear a heartbeat. And twice I've had to actually get a shot to dissolve the pregnancy because it was developing abnormally, they think in my tubes - that's what happened last Thanksgiving and that is what happened this past Friday.

I say all of this for a couple of reasons:
  1. I haven't felt like "me" for awhile now. You may have noticed (especially [FIL’s name here] who emails the most) that I've been pretty silent and unresponsive. I've been very sad. I haven't been to be aloof or unloving; I just haven't been 'me'. I've had a hard time returning phone calls or reaching out to others or even going to church. I've been getting help. I'm seeing a counselor who specializes in infertility and I've been attending a support group. I've also found an online community and have met some amazing people from around the world who have become my friends, all of whom are going through similar experiences.
  2. I've had mixed emotions about Thanksgiving. It's been very hard for me to go on about my life 'as normal', let alone as a celebration and occasions like Thanksgiving and Christmas can actually accentuate my sadness. I'm not sure how I will react this week, but if I can't really laugh or if I'm spending more time than normal in my room or have gone for a run, it's because sadness has hit me and I need to retreat or outlet.
  3. I've asked B if we can skip the 'what we're thankful for' at Thanksgiving this year. It can be hard for me sometimes to feel even sadder that I have trouble seeing past this one thing that we don't have yet, even among our many, many blessings. I have a hard time when all I covet from my neighbor are their children! So, I hope you're ok if we skip this part of Thanksgiving this year.
I also want you to know that this is how you can best help me:
  • I need love, support & empathy most of all - things like - I'm sorry you're going through this, this must be hard for you, is there anything you need right now, I love you - those are all helpful things to say - most of all listening and caring.
  • I'm ok talking about it, in fact, it feels like an elephant in the room if loved ones aren't asking me about how I'm feeling. It can make me feel even more alone when I'm not asked. I may get sad talking about it, and that's ok. I'm ok with crying as long as you are. Or I may actually feel in control. But I do appreciate being asked.
  • I need distractions too! I'm looking forward to playing games - App.les to App.les? :) or watching a movie together or things like that
  • Hugs & prayers feel good too
I actually do think I'm doing better. The last couple of months were especially hard with the upcoming milestones and holidays but last week, I resolved myself to get back to "me" and to try to live life again the way we are intended to - with joy & gusto. So far so good since my resolve on Thurs but I know that the grief of infertility is always lurking somewhere nearby and I never know when it will hit.

All this said, B has handled this much differently than I have. He's much more patient, trusting that our time will happen with proper care & help in whatever way that is meant to be for us. I worry more sometimes about how he has to deal with me! But I'll let him talk about this.

Thank you so much for reading this & understanding. I know you must be going through your own thoughts and whirlwind around this, particularly as hopeful future grandparents and of course, as people who love us.

We really look forward to your visit and being able to share the love we all have for each other!


Friday, November 19, 2010

And... It Wasn't Good

My bloodwork results from yesterday were only at 154 (from 107 on Tues) and it turns out my obgyn's office had specialists look at my ultrasound and they did find a 1cm mass at the entrance of my tube.

So, metho.trexate it was.

What are the odds of that happening to 1 person twice? And almost a year to the day. Incredible. We've had 3 chemical pregnancies now ending in the 5th week, only one was a natural miscarriage.

I'm sure we'll have follow up tests and such. I'm eager to try to figure out why this may be happening. It just doesn't seem like it should.

Anyway, my positivity from yesterday is still coming through. I'm largely feeling unaffected by this (maybe it's just denial...) but maybe I'm also past my big grieving period. Maybe I'm finally ready to grab life by its collar again and really live, the way I know we're supposed to, which is to say by really enjoying it.

So, I continue to be resolved & determined to try to find happiness (despite all of this). I want to be back! And I will be.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

It's Not Looking Good

My ultrasound & sonogram showed nothing today. They couldn't find anything. They did bloodwork and I told them could they please not wait until 5pm tomorrow to call me. They said they'd try. I really wish I was back at my RE and not at this obgyn.

Anyway, they said I'd likely have to repeat an ultrasound on Monday and I'm pretty sure we'll have to do methotrextate (sp?) next week. I just hope that my levels actually start decreasing so that I don't have to do that.

The irony. Almost 1 year to the day where we went through the same thing. At Thanksgiving.

We got pregnant on our own this time but now I'm hesitant to put more money into treatments if I can't ever make it to week 6. There's one more test my new RE wanted to do. I guess we'll do that when this is all over.

I feel kinda numb but I think I also want to be resolved to handle this better. I had told my husband that this unbearable feeling lately has given me insight into why people contemplate ending their lives. Not that I'm near that point AT ALL but I could just see it. He wanted to know if he wasn't enough. And I had a hard time with that because, in a way, no - because I really can't imagine us without a family. And on the other hand, if the tables were turned, I would want to feel like I'd be enough for him to never contemplate something like that... (and please don't worry - I'm really not contemplating anything).

So after our big conversation around it, I'm even more determined to try to get back to ME and handle this better. All I need is peace and resolve. I can do this!

Not in a Great Place

This week has been a bit of agony for me. I am not used to not getting the level of care I had been getting with our RE and in retrospect, I should have just called them first rather than my obgyn. They don't call me until 5pm with results!!! Who does that???

So, I tested Friday & then spotted all weekend. Called Monday to say I think I needed to be retested. They said wait for the results. Ok - 5pm they say tell me 61 & to re-test Tuesday. Got those results at 5pm last night - 107. (I'm more used to a 5 hour turnaround, not 28 hour turnaround!!).

Anyway, it should have been around 240. So, less than half of what it's supposed to be. The irony is that I stopped spotting yesterday.

They're having me repeat bloodwork today - though I guess I won't get the results till 5pm Friday - ARGH!!!!! I'm also doing a sonogram today at 1pm. I'm worried it's either miscarrying or ectopic. Maybe it's just a really slow grower...

Think peaceful thoughts for me today, please.

I also had a hard time seeing the gift that my sister-in-law's gave to her sister in law on facebook - new onesies.

The thing I want most of all is just to be ME again. To be happy & chipper and not bitter. I don't know who this person is who has overtaken my body.

On a happy note, being in HR, I got my office to play App.les to App.les yesterday (and we even had apples & peanut butter as a snack!) & people LOVED it. (If you haven't played it, it's the MOST fun game ever - and a great family game if you're anxious of too much sitting around with your family over Thanksgiving!). I was very pleased that our office enjoyed it since that is my favorite game & because most of them hadn't heard of it before! And it let me forget about my problems for a little while...

Monday, November 15, 2010

All Over the Place

Go figure that after I posted that my home test was negative last week, I was late. I tested again on Friday morning this time and was 'a little pregnant', meaning only faint line on the test.

Because of our history, I called my normal obgyn who had me come in for bloodwork Friday. I still don't have those results.

I spotted a bit both weekend days. It felt like every 4 hours or so, I was either up or down depending on whether there was spotting or absolutely nothing. This morning, more spotting than over the weekend. Called my doc again, they're going to call me back.

This is so nerve-wrecking. I hate this in between stuff. I hate the hopeful/reality yo-yo. It's driving me crazy.

As my husband said, 'even though we were taught in high school that there's no such thing as being a little pregnant, it sure does feel that way now'. Definitely.

So both good & bad... kinda small victory feeling we could do this on our own finally but I also won't rest easy (easier) till the 6 week mark. We have yet to ever hear a heartbeat and I just don't know if I can have much hope for this.

Please don't say 'congrats' or anything just yet. That's part of the reason I haven't said anything yet. I really do feel like this could slip at any moment. I just need support.  I need to be more than 'a little pregnant' before the congrats can roll in... you know, the delicate balance.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

It Pisses Me Off

I just took a test and it's negative. Quelle surprise! What else is new? The thing is, I haven't taken a home test in a verrrrrrrrry long time. Found them pointless. But for some stuuuuupid reason, I decided to be extra hopeful this month.

Grrrrrr. It just REALLY angers me. Why? Why can't I just be normal? Just once?

And better yet, since I'm clearly not, then why can't I handle this better? Why can't I be one of those people who really seek to make this situation better, or accept it, or make the most of it, or see the blessings that could come of it?

My husband was saying the other day that he thinks we've gotten closer as a result of all of this. Maybe. Maybe not. I'd like to think that we'd be closer in a totally different way if we hadn't gone through any of this. And I can't think that my friends who conceived naturally are not closer to their hubands. And I'm just not ready to see the silver lining yet in this.

And part of it is that I'd like for our silver lining to be adoption. I really do. I'm sick of my (failing) body. I'm sick of monitoring. I'm sick of timing sex (especially when we really don't want to). I'm sick of being anxious for 2 weeks. I'm sick of being hopeful. I'm sick of negative tests. I'm sick of doctors appointments. I'm sick of drugs. I'm just sick of it all.

I want a different silver lining. But my husband isn't there on that. So, I feel totally stuck. And this impasse is almost more painful than our infertility. Do I just 'give in' and do all the doctors appointments, more drugs, more everything? Why can't he see this beautiful thing that can be for us - a different silver lining?

I'm also sick of being angry. And sad. And withdrawn. I just want to be me again.

A Glimpse of Normal

I got a glimpse yesterday of what it might be like to conceive normally, the way we were meant to. My thought was that maybe my fibroid surgery allowed us to be able to conceive this way. So, yesterday I decided that I would go about my day thinking that I was pregnant. And it was amazing. Truly amazing.

I'm supposed to get my period today and of course I've been doing all the neurotic things we do by checking out every possible thing that is going on with my body. So far, no signs -- except this pimple on my forehead.

I even tried taking an early pregnancy test last night and... it was defective!

Anyway, the amazing thing was that I allowed myself to think I was pregnant yesterday, and it was oh, so good.

I couldn't get over how over the moon I was that it could be that simple. Monitor your cycle, have sex a couple of times during opportune moments and bam - pregnant.

Wouldn't that be amazing? No drugs, no drama, no crazy person living within my body. I felt this cloud lift over me - like I was ME again! It made me smile all day.

How unfair that we don't really get to feel that way, huh? And that others take it for granted?

So, while it was nice living in la-la land yesterday, I have no idea what today holds, or what tomorrow and next month and the month after hold for that matter.

But how amazing to have felt that for just 1 day...

Monday, November 8, 2010

A Talk with Dear Ol' Dad About Mom

As many of you know, I continue to have a hard time figuring out how to deal with my mother in this whole process. So, I decided to call on my dad for some expertise.

He's hard to talk to - mostly because he works in cube-land and can't talk easily at work and my mom is always around at home, so can't talk with him there. I decided to call him at work anyway last week to talk about this pain I feel about my mom.

I told him how she and I have always had a close relationship and that now, with her constant unwanted advice - even though I tell her repeatedly that unwanted advice isn't helpful - I don't even want to spend time with her anymore. It's gotten to that point.

I feel like in a way, I've lost my mom.

He says that she hasn't changed. That she's always been this way - giving unsolicited advice and, at times, not being sensitive about it.

And I know I've changed. I know I'm now hyper-sensitive about anything anyone says.

I don't know where to go from here, though. Just accepting that our relationship has changed? That it's ok to not talk with her about this stuff anymore? Dad says she comes at all of this with a loving heart for me, and I know that... but practically, she's not listening to me about what I most need from her - her listening ear and her empathy. And until she can get that, which I'm beginning to think will be never, then I simply can't talk with her about infertility anymore. It's too painful. And more than that, it really angers me. And I have enough to deal with without being angry about her.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

The Determined Joy of Meeting (a Blog Friend)!

I have been excited for about 2-3 months knowing that my friend from Determined to Have Joy was going to be in my area for work!

We clicked almost instantaneously last winter via our blogs and began emailing each other on the side. So, when she told me she was coming to DC, I got a bit nervous. I'd wondered if I should even suggest meeting in person, contemplating that sometimes an online relationship needs to stay online... That maybe this amazing relationship we've developed would fizzle once we actually met in person.

But, no!

Last night, I met her in person and it exceeded my expectations! We had so much fun and talked 'deep stuff' too!

How amazing that we can find friends online who know some of our deepest emotions that we don't really share with others, or who others in our 'real life' just don't seem to get as much!! What a true joy!

She's currently on a hiatus from blogging but I hope she'll be back, not just in blog-land but in DC too! :)

(Pretty fitting for me (given my reluctance to 'come out') that our pic came out blurry)!

Monday, November 1, 2010

A Bit of a Silence

I've been pretty silent lately and was not a good ICLW participant. I feel badly that I've been neglecting my dear friends in blogland. But I've also needed this introspection time.

The last couple of weeks were difficult. I was still dealing with a lot of sadness and grieving important milestones of 'could have been's'.  I think I'm better, but each time I say that, I relapse.

What's going on this time? My last counseling session indicated that I'm now grieving the loss of the relationship that my mother and I had. That ever since this world of infertility I've been thrown into, our relationship has changed. And most signficantly, it changed this past spring as I was experiencing our second miscarriage in which I felt she blamed me for things I either did or didn't do. I'm still resentful of that.

And as a result, I'm processing it and have distanced myself from her - the person I thought I could always go to for everything, who was my comfort. Yet, she hasn't known how to comfort me in this trying time.

Just last week, after months of not talking about it, I re-opened up to her. I had told her again that I don't want advice and all I need is empathy. The conversation started out ok. She was offering me (albeit extremely awkwardly and forced) what I needed to hear - "I'm sorry you're going through this and that it's difficult for you". And then she did it: she offered me advice that I didn't want, telling me that I just need to accept my situation, that I'd be better able to move on if I just accepted it.

All that advice after I had also just told her that my counselor says this is different. That it's hard to just accept something when there isn't a finality to it yet.

I honestly don't remember what I said next but remember trying to just get off the phone because I just didn't want to hear it.

We're likely going to have to have another conversation about this but it just zaps my energy and therefore creates distance and makes me feel all the more that I've lost my mom - the mom I used to have. The mom who used to be able to comfort me.

I'm still grieving, not just for lost baby milestones but for my mother who can't comfort me the way she used to.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

October ICLW - Welcome!

Hello & welcome if you're new!

I've taken a bit of a break from ICLW but am excited to rejoin this month. Here's my brief story and where I am:
  • Been trying for almost 3 years, 3 IUIs resulting in 2 miscarriages at 5 1/2 weeks and latest was fibroid surgery in August
  • Had been feeling very low emotionally with a 3 year ttc milestone looming as well as a 1 year milestone from 1st miscarriage around Thanksgiving
  • Discussions with husband ongoing about trying naturally, no drug fertility treatments and/or adoption
  • Sought support group & counseling, which seems to be helping
  • Feeling better in general - want to approach this as life is bigger than this, while of course feeling the absence in our lives...
Happy ICLW & thanks for stopping by! :)

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

No Drug Option?

At my support group last week, a woman was talking about how she's doing a no-drug IVF cycle (aka cy.cle IVF). Interesting, I thought.

And then it wouldn't leave my head. I kept thinking about it. Part of what I haven't liked about our IUIs is that the drugs make me a crazy person. I remember asking our clinic if they would do IUI for us without drugs and they said they wouldn't recommend it. Not knowing much about anything at the time, we just went along with what they recommended.

But now, with 3 IUIs under my belt, I am more informed. And I'm about to be more informed. I'm curious to meet with this new clinic and discuss no drug IUI or IVF, and I'm especially curious about IVF. I always thought I'd have mixed feelings on it but now that there is an option that wouldn't make me a total crazy person and would increase our chances without the cost or invasiveness being insane, I want to know more.

The support group helped tremendously last week. And I want to make sure I keep a peaceful state of mind, but I also think I'm ready to get this show on the road again.

Do you know more about no drug/natu.ral cycle options? Can you share?

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Oh... And I've Come Out, Sort of!

In my quest to remain anonymous so that I can continue to write whatever is on my heart without fear of someone in real life finding me, I've been pretty protective of my identity.

I've also struggled with how I'm viewed and how close of connections I can make if I'm not totally open. I should feel rest assured - I have made several very close connections as a result of being able to be as open as I can be on here while still not posting pictures...

But because I get such joy when I see your pictures, I thought I'd share just a tiny bit of myself:

I am real! :)

Calling In Reinforcements

This was a rough week. I've been feeling the lowest of lows lately. I got my period. And I went to a Wed night church event where unbeknownst to me, they served communion and I just wasn't ready. I cried on bike ride home. And then I completely lost it when I got home.

I cried and cried to the point where I could hardly breathe anymore. I don't know that I've ever cried harder or more passionately EVER. It was pretty intense. Telling my husband that I just can't take the enormity of all of this anymore. That I feel absence in our life so much and that he and I can't agree on next steps - both of those combined creates this immense sadness.

Which is why I felt like I needed reinforcements.

I found this infertility support group last year and for various reasons stopped going (inconvenient location, feeling hopeful with fertility treatments, finding bloggers). But last week, my counselor recommended I connect with people going through this in real life. So, I thought it time to go back.

And it was quite a feat - I had a daytrip planned on Thurs to our PA office, a 3 hour one-way trip! And I still made it to Thurs night support group, albeit 10 minutes late!

And I'm so glad I did. The leader is an acunpuncturist who leads us through discussion along with guided meditation. It was hard for me to get into at first and I don't know that I can do meditation on my own, but I see the benefits.

What resonated the most to me was how:
  • This can be all-consuming to us and we have to remember that this is a slice of our lives and not everything. Life is bigger than this, she kept saying.
    • And I know she's right. I know that I'm more than whether or not I'm a mom right now. And when I will be a mom, I know that being a mom will still be one facet of the many things that define me.
  • We need to reclaim our happiness. We need to write down 15 things that make us happy and then spend each weekend doing one of those things.
    • I finished a book in bed yesterday morning (A Marr.iage for those of you wondering, and I'd give it a solid B - good read but not one of the best books I've read), I walked in my neighborhood to get froyo and went to a used bookstore, then came home to read on our front porch swing.
  • We need to move our bodies. Even when we don't feel like it. The endorphins that exercise creates will help to make us feel better. (We know this, right? So, let's do it!)
  • Paying attention to nutrition is important. She's also a nutrionist so I got inspired...
  • It's ok to create the space we need to feel whatever we're feeling - sad, mad, disappointed... and not feel like we shouldn't feel that way.
  • We need to be kind to ourselves.
  • We need to learn to be flexible when we're faced with challenges. We need to pick up the stake we've put in the ground and move it.
    • This may have been what made me perk up the most. I've had my stake in the ground for everything that's going on this fall - coming up on the anniversary of our first miscarriage (around Thanksgiving no less), coming up on a 3 year trying to conceive milestone, coming up on my best friend's second baby's birth and mostly coming up on what do we do come January if we're still not pregnant? Her answer: move our stake in the ground. I like it.
So, what did I learn this week? That it's important to lean on others and seek help. That life is bigger than this. That if we're not pregnant come January, it'll be ok... I'll just pick up our stick and move it.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

A Plea to My Husband on Adoption

My body has failed me once again. My period showed up today and while it is/should be no surprise, this was the first month of our new "clean slate" after fibroid surgery and trying.

I monitored my cervical fluid. We had sex twice around the fertile times. And still nothing.

And, I know. Even if everything is working fine, it's not like it should happen the first month or anything...

I cannot continue to feel like my body is failing me. I cannot continue to have timed sex (though honestly, at least it 'forces' us in our busy lives to have sex 1-2 more times than we would have otherwise, which is a good thing!). I cannot continue to have 2 week waits. And I cannot continue to be disappointed by blood every month.

What I want is a baby. In my arms. Today. I want what jrs has. She's In Love and I'm in love for her! (check out her beaming new picture in that link).

I'm starting the process with research. And looking into suggestions you've given me (I've ordered Ad.opted for Li.fe on ama.zon - thanks Rachel!)

And I know we each have our long roads. I was comforted and surprised to hear of Lau.ra Bush's journey thanks to Jess. Read it. It's worth it.

Here's the conundrum I'm facing: My husband is not comfortable with adoption... 'at least not now' is what I keep telling myself. He's open to research and that's what we're doing and maybe that's ok for now.

But all I want is to forget about all these biological options that are energy-draining for me and for us to both be excited about adoption, which I feel so incredibly compelled to explore. How do I get him to share in that? What do we do?

Monday, October 11, 2010

Adoption Research, Here We Come!

Adoption has been on my mind for so long now, and my husband is finally ready to have us start researching.

So... I need some help since I'm really starting from scratch.
  • Any good checklists that you can recommend on the steps needed for adoption? And does it differ if it's private vs. public? international vs. domestic?
  • Any good agencies to recommend? (We live in DC if that makes any difference)
  • Any information on adopting from India? How is that done? Any agencies that specialize in that?
We don't really know our specific thoughts on all those questions - private vs. public, int'l vs. domestic, but for various reasons, we feel pulled to India.

I'm half Indian so I think we think it would be a nice tie back to that part of my family that my husband has become very tied to as well. I think for whatever reason, it may be easier to have a child who really might not look like us so we don't get the mistaken 'oh, your child looks just like you' comments, though we've also considered the opposite of it being obvious that we've adopted and the questions that would come from that. I have no idea what to think of all of this since it's so brand-new to us.

And, my husband's not fully on-board which makes it harder... he really believes that we still have good chances on having biological children. But for whatever reason, I just feel 'done' with that option. I've poured too much energy into it and it's drained me. I know adoption isn't easy and it's full of it's own challenges, but I'm ready for something different.

I've always wanted adoption to be part of our story anyway, so I'm hoping my husband will be open enough to potentially have this option come into our lives sooner than we might have thought.

And I'd love any help I can get on getting started with looking into this process.

And on a joyful note - a HUGE congrats to jrs at Find Joy Now who brought home her son this weekend!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Time for Counseling

I finally took the plunge and went to counseling. I felt like there was something different about how I've been feeling now than my previous lows and I couldn't wait around any longer to see if/when it would go away.

And it seems like I'm not the only one. We're all hurting. We're all in need of healing. We all want the same things.

I was struck by Rachel at The Pughs, who I wrote about just days ago with how much positivity she brings to me. Well, yesterday, she finally admitted that she needs time for healing. Her post is so touching. It so incredibly resonates with what I feel - and what, apparently, lots of us are feeling.

My counselor was helpful. I wanted someone who understood infertility and I found her on the Re.solve website. Luckily she had a cancellation that same day. Here's some of the things we discussed and that I'm working through:
  • Upcoming 3 year milestone of trying to conceive
  • Upcoming birth of my best friend's 2nd baby
  • Upcoming anniversary of our first miscarriage last Thanksgiving
  • Disappointments with how family members have dealt with me
  • Unresolved conflict between my husband and I on next steps and thoughts about adoption
Those last 3 points I hadn't fully realized until I started talking through it in counseling.

Our miscarriage last year was a big deal and I'm still disappointed about how everyone handled it by basically ignoring it. I'm particularly disappointed with my in-laws about this and their continued supposed ignoring with our 2nd miscarriage.

And I'm still disappointed in my mom with how she dealt with my 2nd miscarriage, essentially making it seem like it was because of something I did or didn't do. It still makes me angry to think that I had to deal with her on top of my miscarriage.

And my husband and I are conflicted on next steps. He wants biological kids so badly. He lost his dad at a young age and wants that connection. But he also doesn't want me to endure more drugs and the heightened expectations, appointments, mood swings and energy that goes into a fertility treatment.  He also has a hard time conceptualizing adoption, which is what I really want us to look at as the next step.

We finally talked about all of this in more depth this week and it has helped. I think I can open my heart up to potentially doing more treatments and he's opened himself up to researching more about adoption and understanding the true toll treatments are on me.

So... counseling is helping for now.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Just When I Thought...

Just when I thought I was doing so well staying positive, my mother leaves me a voicemail asking me if I'm mad at her for not calling in awhile.

First of all, I've been traveling and she knows this.

Secondly, I've been sad. Along with a whole host of complicated feelings that most people don't seem to get.

It takes energy to stay positive. And for whatever reason, I haven't really been reaching out to anyone. I wonder sometimes if I'm mildly depressed... I haven't wanted to see many friends, talk on the phone, go to church, etc.

And just when I think I'm over a sadness hump, there it is again.

Big cries with my husband last night. Same things... why don't people understand, why don't people reach out to me more, why can't I just enjoy this journey of life instead of thinking that children is our destination?

I'm ok for the most part. It just kicks me sometimes.

And I can't get a call like that from my mom. It's too much to put on me... 'are you mad at me?' NO! I'm not mad at you!!! I'm sad and can't deal with my own feelings right now.

I'm not mad at you but I also can't deal with your underlying negativity. It drains me. And I still harbor resentment about how you treated me after our last miscarriage. And I don't know how to answer the question 'how are you?' and because you don't seem to really understand, I don't want to talk about it with you. And other than talking with my husband about it, no one else seems to understand or say the right things. And I feel like I sound like a broken record. No one likes a pity party, right? So, it's just easier to not talk.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Trying to Stay Positive

I've been pretty silent lately. This is the most I've gone without writing since I've started blogging.

I partially think that I don't have much to say right now. We're post- fibroid surgery. And nothing much has been going on except getting my energy back slowly (7 weeks now and still can't do the cow pose in yoga!!! hoping for a couple more weeks). I did start running this week and biking to/from work. That was big.

I have been traveling - to Chicago for work & fun... and to the NC Outer Banks for some relaxation with friends.

But mostly I've been trying to stay positive. I realize that I've been negative and just not feeling like myself. And wonder how it's affected my friendships, my family relationships, my marriage, and the relationship I have with myself. We've all gone through this "I just don't feel like myself" feeling.

So, I've been trying to focus on the positive and surround myself with positive thoughts and somehow focus on them more than I normally would with the hope that they will stay and radiate within me.

While in Chicago at an artistic bookstore, I bought this book called "The Little Things" that is visually pleasing where each page is dedicated to a postive thought with a quote. The titles alone are enough to keep me going:
  • Living with intention
  • Staying optimistic
  • Something to hope for
  • Having faith
  • Making every moment count
  • Being grateful
  • Taking the scenic route
  • Enjoying the journey
I want to fully embrace life NOW. I want to stop waiting for when we have children. I want to live in the now and radiate positivity.

I also want to believe in the future. This store also had these wall art frames (that I regret not getting) with the words: Love, Hope and Believe on them. I want this to be my mantra.

Rachel from The Pughs really helped too. She and her husband made an ah-mazing adoption book and throughout it radiates incredible love, faith, hope and positivity. Thank you, Rachel! You've helped to re-focus me and keep me positive!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

It's Time for a Church Break

It seems odd, doesn't it? I need comfort. And going to church is supposed to provide that for me. I'm supposed to find solace and support at the place where I'm most likely to feel closest to God.

And maybe that's part of the problem - being in the place where I feel closest to God. The place where I feel most vulnerable because it's where I can most feel God's presence and open up.

But honestly, it's been a loooong while since I've felt close to God. So, it's not just that.

The children at our church seem to almost be there on purpose to made me feel more sad - make me feel more deeply what I don't have. There seems to be a focus at our church right now on growing the congregation with young families, so even when there are just a couple of toddlers in the entire place, we still have a children's sermon. And it kills me every time I watch it happen. When am I going to get my chance at bringing my toddler up there?

And even if there really isn't this intended focus (which I think there is), I get fixated on it more. And I'm there for over an hour with no escape. I see the newborn so clearly and then strive to avert my gaze upon it. I see the pregnancies so poignantly and I try to fight back tears the entire hour.

And what's ironic is that this week I became inspired to just 'go with it' and really convinced myself to not be obsessive anymore about when this is all going to happen for us. And then Sunday morning happened, once again.

My Sunday morning has become about mustering up the energy to not cry when I'm in church. How fun is it to go somewhere knowing you're going to sit and have to distract yourself to fight back the tears?

I think it's time for a break. I can't brace myself each Sunday morning for this type of draining energy.

I don't want to take a break, and frankly, I don't understand why this is happening. Church is supposed to be comforting. So then, why isn't it right now???

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Why More Downs Than Ups Right Now?

I had a hard week. I couldn't get out of my funk of 'why not me?'. After hearing of our infertile friends this week who are now pregnant and not being able to figure out why I have these mixed feelings on it has just got me down. I am happy for them, but I'm also sad for us. But, why can't I just be happy for them and leave it at that? It doesn't always have to be about me...

And my best friend's growing tummy with #2, when we originally started trying to conceive around the same time, just keeps hitting hard to me that I'm almost at our 3 year infertile milestone. And it really hurts. And I've been anti-social in general as a result.

I went to church today because we had a big event and I felt I needed to be there for it. And I'm glad I had that excuse to go because I don't know that I would have wanted to muster the energy to go otherwise.

But as I sat there during service, looking over at my friend's growing baby in her body and our infertile friends who are now pregnant, I got the sadness for us again. Tears welled up and I just thought - here we go again. This is why I don't like coming to church when I feel like this. I see all kinds of families around me and I feel extra vulnerable and I just don't feel like crying on Sundays.

It's been a rough week and even though my fibroid surgery is supposed to bring me renewed hope, I'm having a hard time feeling it right now. I hope I can feel the hope again soon because this isn't fun...

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Wanting to Scream

I can't stand that I feel this way. I got 2 pregnancy news items today.

One was via my pastor who told me that the other couple in our church who has been 'out' with their infertility announced in church this past Sunday that they are 12 weeks along. I was extremely happy for them upon hearing this. And as the day wore on, I began feeling really upset for us. Why isn't it happening for us? Why does it feel like it's working for everyone else but us?

I know that's not necessarily true, but it sure feels like it today.

Then, my husband, who was calling to check on me after I emailed him that news also tells me that our close family friend told him today that they are 9 weeks along.


It's so hard not to feel sad. It's so hard to feel like it's always about everyone else.

And I know that if I take a huge step back and look at my life as a whole, I know our time is coming (in whatever way that is). But right now, just right this day, it's hard to feel that way.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Sleep. Eat. Read.

That's what my vaca basically entailed. Here are some re-cap thoughts on our time in, SC:
  • I was really tired still from fibroid surgery and slept A LOT
  • I felt the pangs of infertility watching the other 3 couples with their kids... us with none
  • My husband's friend's wives/girlfriends are great and were interested in knowing more about our journey
  • Ended up finding out that one of the women is 37, hoping to get married next year and also has a fibroid, and is scared about it affecting her infertility
  • Another woman is on her second pregnancy but has had recurring miscarriages - two before her first child and two before this current pregnancy
  • We ate a lot
  • There was a lot of book swapping going on therefore I got to read some good stuff
  • We played App.les to App.les one of my favorite games!
Here's a fun visual re-cap of our time (minus me sleeping!):

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

A Little Sadness Strikes on Vaca

I want to be positive, I really do. But sadness can creep in, even on vaca... especially on this vacation.

I'm low energy still - 3 weeks in from fibroid removal surgery. I'm sleeping a lot and am not moving the way I'm used to moving.

I can't get in the water. It's not as bad as I thought due to the low energy parts, but it's still hard to not get fully in the water.

I'm still swollen in my abdomen area, which means when I do put on a bathing suit, it can feel a little snug and uncomfortable.

And there are kids all around me. When we booked this trip earlier this year, I knew it might be hard for me. Three other couples, all with 1-2 kids each. And us: none. True, we don't have to wake up at 7am like the other adults do, but I also don't get to have a toddler run up to me and give me a big hug as he says 'mommmmy' like the other adults get. And they don't have to walk the beach alone with tears spilling down their cheeks thinking about when someone will call them 'mommy' like I do.

And I got an email from my best friend yesterday who is planning another beach vacation away next month who has suggested that because my husband isn't coming that I should room with her toddler. (Who I love). But a bittersweet thought.

Ok, piti-party over. I'm at a nice beach. Away from work. Away from responsibilities. It's relaxing and much-needed. And I'm lucky to have that all.

Just needed to unload the sad parts to move on and put a smile on my face and in my heart.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

In My Mind I'm Gone to Caro.lina...

South Carolina, that is!  A much deserved and anticipated vacation that we planned in January of this year. We're off to Ed.isto Island, an hour south of Charleston, SC to share a house with some friends for the week.

I'm hoping for some major relaxation since I pushed it too hard going back to work this week after fibroid surgery 10 days ago.

Enjoy the last days of summer!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Anything Can Happen If You Let It

A couple of weeks ago we took my 6 year old nephew to see Ma.ry Pop.pins - and what a treat it was!

In fact, Ma.ry Pop.pins sent me an email yesterday, which is adorable (but for some reason I can't save the middle of this which bascially wants you to go to the and twi.tter pages):

I couldn't get the song "Anything Can Happen if You Let it" out of my head yesterday. And it made me sooooo happy and sooooo positive & hopeful.

The play and all its songs are so whimsical, carefree and brought me back to a time in childhood when you can truly believe that anything is possible!

Pardon my over-optimism today but I'll share it with you in the hopes of infusing some happy thoughts into your day today!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Why Does it Seem Like Everyone's Child is Turning 1 Now?

Gosh, I thought I was doing ok this week. Recovering from fibroid surgery isn't great and I'm still not back to myself. It's only been a little over a week...

It's been over 2 1/2 years of us trying to conceive with a lot of heartache throughout. And at the same time, this week, it seems like everyone is turning one. And it's painful to see.

It's painful to think that our child should at least be that age. That's how long we've been wanting him/her to be here with us. Why is it that between postings and cards in the mail for birthday party invitations, I am feeling jealous... and left out. Left out of this motherhood club. Parenthood.

Yet, this week I've felt hope. I've felt hope in a way that I haven't in a really long time. And I'm scared because I've known hope before, and it's failed me each time. But I want to think this is different. I've heard of at least two people who were able to get pregnant after the removal of a fibroid.

And, God, I hope that's us too. Please let it be. I can't stand being jealous and left out anymore.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Road to Recovery

Five days is all it's taken for me to feel normal again. Unbelieveable. Can't believe they can cut me, take out a 4cm fibroid and I'm pretty ok 5 days later. Thanks be to God... or the powers of the universe!

Thursday, the day before surgery was probably the hardest. "De-toxing"  - those laxatives were NOT fun. Nor was not really being able to eat solids. I was hungry by 9:30am!

Friday went ok. The hospital was... hospitable. I only got really nervous as they were prepping me and I tried to throw up, at which time they said 'glad we did the bowel prep'. Ewww. I don't remember anything after that; they apparently gave me some 'calming' medicine.

I remember Friday being all about mor.phine and sleep... one hour at a time because they kept waking me to take my vitals.

Mor.phine was still my friend on Saturday, until they replaced it with its cousin Turning over was hard, and I considered it a great feat when I went to pee for the first time, and I took a walk down the hall.

I went home Sun afternoon and haven't really needed much pain meds, luckily & gratefully. I've taken before going to bed to make sure I get a restful sleep but I haven't even needed much ad.vil during the day. Yay!

Thanks for all your support, thoughts, prayers and checking in on me!

Here's to positive feelings, a journey forward on this road to recovery!

ps - I also pooped today for the first time, which I'm happy about because it's supposedly a big deal :)

Monday, August 9, 2010

Recognition & Friday Freak-Out

I can't believe it! Stirrup Queens recognized me on her (300th/200th) Friday Blog Round-Up with my post on liking kids! It was almost surreal to see my blog name listed there!

I was surprised... mostly because I felt funny posting it, because it's taken me an awfully long time to even remotely feel this way. And, as I probably figured, not many people commented from the Round-up. I wouldn't have thought so, even though I was secretly hoping for a few new readers.

It's a touchy subject and most/many of us are just not there, hardly at all. One of the things we struggle with a lot is feeling happy around other people's children.

This weekend ended my 2 weekend time with kids - we had my 6 year old nephew almost the whole weekend, taking him to see Ma.ry Pop.pins at the theater and then the next day to the park & zoo. We had tons of fun with him... and we were also completely & utterly exhausted when he left. And he's a good kid.  It made me wonder what we'd be getting ourselves into when we finally do get on with our family building!

I'm also starting to freak out about the fibroid surgery this Friday. In looking through my paperwork last night, I didn't realize that I needed to be on a liquid diet on Thursday - and take laxatives starting at 4pm - every 15 mins for 2 hours. Gross!!!!!!!!

I'm so not looking forward to this AT ALL.

Ok, now I know I have to stop being such a baby about it and I know the end result will be fine but this all stinks!

Do you have any magical advice on getting me mentally prepared for this? Any post-op must do's/do not's?? I could really use them!

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Back to Liking Kids

I had to take a little breather - from being around kids, and particularly kids who are close to me: my nephews and my best friend's kid.

After our 3rd IUI in April/May in which I got pregnant for the 2nd time - and miscarried at 5 1/2 weeks for the 2nd time, I needed time.

I couldn't hear about every cute thing these kids did. I didn't want to see families at church or hear about how the nursery needs to grow. I couldn't be near parks. Baseball games with kids even made me sad.

It helped that my mom noticed and limited talk about our nephews. It helped to retreat and do my It helped to go on a trip with my best friend - without her kid. It helped to heal.

And I think I'm back. I've been excited to see my nephews again in the last couple of weeks. I quickly saw them Wed night, I'll be seeing them today to go to the pool and again next weekend to see Ma.ry Pop.pins.

If you haven't read Lily's book Infertile Inspiration at The Infertile Mind, please do. I've gone back and read it several times now. The statement on page 8 (if you download the book into pdf format) says:

You can impact a child's life at anytime.

That really resonates with me. I have great children in my life. I remember the adults in my childhood who made an impact. I want to be that person in children's lives who can make an impact. I'm ready to do that again.

Last night, I kept my best friend's toddler over at our place and I can't wait for him to wake up this morning. He is so cute and so much fun! We took him to the park last night, we'll take him again this morning. He makes lion noises when I ask him what his favorite animal is... (I think he really just likes the noise, not necessarily the animal!)

So, hopefully I'm back. Back to liking kids. Back to hearing what cute things they do. Back to taking them to the park or pool. Back to being the adult who can make an impact in another child's life, simply by being with them.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Giving the Benefit of the Doubt

Oh, haven't we learned the importance of this golden rule in all of our relationships? Don't jump to conclusions... give people the benefit of the doubt? Especially to those who we know love us???

So, then why is this so difficult to actually do?

I learned this week... I learned once again to extend this grace to others. And in particular, to my mother-in-law.

I've been wanting us to be closer, and I've been disappointed somewhat by her lack of communication with me about everything IF related. When I first found out about the size of my fibroid and scheduling the surgery last week, I, of course, called my mom, and then a few days later I thought, you know, I ought to let her know too, the same as I would my own mom.

So, I wrote her an email on Friday along with other news, though the biggest one was my upcoming surgery. She wrote back but did not comment at all on my surgery. That lack of communication had my wheels spinning all weekend long...

Why can't we be closer?
Why wouldn't she have mentioned anything?
Did I give her too much information?
Is she uncomfortable with me sharing too much detail?
Is she just trying to be a good mother-in-law and give me my space?

I just didn't get it. And as I questioned these things with my husband last night, the phone rang. It was her.

It was her asking if she and my father-in-law could come over and help take care of me after the surgery.

Wow. Just wow.

Why didn't I give her the benefit of the doubt? And better yet, I learned from this and I know from now on that I will. Because I know she loves me.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Surgery's Scheduled & Feelin' Good

Yes - I am feelin' good! At first I was feelin' scared but once I committed to the date for my fibroid-the-size-of-an-orange surgery, I started feeling like everything was going to be better!

Friday, August 13

When the surgeon coordinator asked if I was superstitious, I said no, so she scheduled me for Friday, the 13th!

It seems like it will work out ideally to minimize time away from work too, with major recovery over the weekend and hopefully working some from home that next week. Then hopefully one week in the office and then our week of vacation, where I will continue to recover.

So, that's the plan, Stan! And I am feeling like this is the right next step. I'm feeling postive about things, whereas I hadn't in awhile. Maybe sometimes just having a plan helps. I sure hope this will help us!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Happy July ICLW!

I love ICLW - thank you for visiting if you're new and thank you for continuing to support me if you visit frequently. It makes me smile! :) 
A bit about our journey: TTC since Jan 08. 3 IUIs. 2 miscarriages at 5 1/2 weeks (one requiring methotrextate - sp?). Fibroid the size of an orange discovered to potentially be the problem. Trying to get surgery scheduled so that we can be on our way to parenthood... somehow!

This blogland has saved me. I'm not sure what I would do without it... without you.

I leave you with this - a meaningful book that Lily from The Infertile Mind made called Infertile Inspiration. If you go to her website, you can view it in either video or pdf format. She's been an incredible friend to me. She's super creative and this book will warm your heart as as it did mine. Promise.

Happy ICLW! :)

The Size of an Orange, You Say?

Whoa! That's how large my fibroid is! I can hardly believe it. An orange??? In there? And I never knew it?

Yeah, let's get that sucker out of there! Make room for a baby, please. Make my uterus hospitable finally! (They've called this fibroid making my uterus inhospitable!).

Next step is scheduling surgery, which will mean 1-2 days in the hospital, 3-4 days recovery and probably a week working from home. A month total till back to normal.

And because they have to get into the muscle too much, if I do get pregnant later, I'd have to have a c-section.

Oh well... all this doesn't sound fun, but if it gets us to where we want to be then, so be it!

Monday, July 19, 2010

In-Law Visit & Stranger's Loss Story

We decided on a whim (even though I had been prodding my husband for weeks to plan this) to visit my in-laws this weekend - a 9 hour drive away - for my mother-in-law's birthday in the mountains of NC.

It was nice. Another peaceful setting:

What I thought was strange was that no one mentioned our recent miscarriage. Again. The one in May was our 2nd one and while I got nice emails from both my mother and father-in-law, you'd think they would have pulled me aside, given me a little hug, and said something.

It's just so bizarre. I can't understand it. I just can't. And should I mention again that they are pastors? All of them - mother, father, brother. Yes! So, they should be used to dealing with life's difficulties... I just don't get it.

On the ironic front, I happened to be in conversation with a woman at a barbeque... her adult son was signing gospel at this church fundraiser and he had one of the most amazing voices I've ever heard. I asked her if he had any siblings, wondering if this talent was in the family.

She shocked me by saying that he was a twin but lost his twin and that was her only pregnancy. I said something like "I'm really sorry for your loss" and wanted to say more but couldn't think of what... and I couldn't tell if it felt strange bringing it up since this happened for her 25 years ago or if I can't possiblity know the definition of loss like she does. But I felt like saying "I know your pain more than you think."

... But do I? And would that have been appropriate? What would you have said?

And maybe that's why my in-laws didn't say anything this weekend. But one big difference is that my in-laws are not strangers. Though, I admit that I did feel a kinship with this woman knowing we've had similar struggles. Yet, she'll never know because I didn't say anything beyond "I'm sorry for your loss"...

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Just What the Doctor Ordered... For Once!

...or what I ordered - the weekend away with my best friend - just her and I, no husband and she did not bring her 1 1/2 year old.

It was marvelous! So needed. Everyone needs to remember how important time like that is. Sure, there was some talk of her child and some talk of my infertility but just a part of the conversation, not the entire conversation.

Lately, when we've been catching up quickly by phone it's her saying "oh, listen to what cute thing he did" or me saying "here's the latest on my infertility yo-yo". It got to be too much - I'm sure from both sides.

We laughed, talked about all kinds of life stuff including past, present, future, random thoughts, dreams - basically everything best friends talk about.

We used to go on vacations - a week somewhere when we were single & in our 20s, then it became a few days and in a group situation with husbands, and then it became none since her child. Even though it was just a weekend, we both felt like we were worlds away... and back in our friendship.

Just what I ordered and what everyone should order! Get back to that place, where the real, whole you can come out...

Some peaceful pics from our trip:

Monday, July 12, 2010

Needing Surgery

After 3 IUIs, 2 that took but miscarrying at 5 1/2 weeks, my doc referred me to a surgeon to recommend I get a fibroid removed. That appt was this morning.

Ugh. No fun. Talked a lot with the surgeon about "what are the chances of staying pregnant if I have this surgery done?" And no real answers. They just can't say.

I need more info but apparently my fibroid isn't huge, but it's grown, and grown closer to the uterine lining, making my uterus 'inhospitable' he said. He recommended doing the surgery.

I'm a big baby. I don't take pain well, so I'm not thrilled about this recommendation especially not knowing how much it would increase our chances of staying pregnant. And because of the incision he'd have to do, I'd likely have to have c-sections in the future... if we get pregnant.

Surgery means 1-2 days in the hospital, 3-4 days recovery and 2-4 weeks lifestyle recovery. I just don't feel like dealing with this. I feel like I've been on such a yo-yo in general with inactivity and recovering from stuff - miscarriages...

Will I gain weight as a result of not exercising and then have to work hard to lose again? Getting bigger has had an impact on me psychologically, and just when I feel like I'm making progress on my weight, I'll bet this makes it worse again. I felt that way at Easter, so close to goal weight, feeling so good again, and we did another IUI, throwing a lot of my hard work away as I gained 5 lbs (I'm small so that makes a difference) again...

So, I'd like advice. Anyone out there had fibroids removed and were successful with pregnancies after? Heard of anyone who has? Anyone know statistics on increasing chances once fibroids are removed? I just want to know - if it's 10%, not sure that I want to do this but if it's 60% , then yes.

So, help me out please :)

Friday, July 9, 2010

Best Friend Time

My best friend and I are going away together this weekend to a lake for some chill-just-us time. I can't wait. We need this so badly - or at least, I need this from us so badly.

She has a 1 1/2 year old who I just love, but as you can imagine, it's been a rocky road with dealing with my feelings about everything infertility and therefore, somehow even though this kid brings me joy, he can also bring on my sadness. He's about the age that I feel my child would be.

My best friend and I had both agreed to start trying around the same time - about 3 years ago. She took the lead though and started 4 months ahead of me. She got pregnant within 4 months but then had a miscarriage at 10 weeks. She got pregnant the following month.

I sometimes still can't believe that even with her set-back, she still has a  1 1/2 year old... and I have nothing. I try not to think about it too much - or think about it in that way. But it's hard not to.

And that's sometimes my biggest challenge. How do I let others' joys not become sadnesses to me?

I really need this weekend with her. Just her.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Broken Into

Our house got broken into yesterday. They took 2 tvs, my work laptop, camera and ipod.

And you know what? I don't care.

Yeah, interesting view, huh?

I think we are very lucky to have homeowner's insurance. Nothing sentimental got taken (thank goodness I wore my engagement ring that day - I almost didn't). I think it may help that I got broken into about 10 years ago. It doesn't seem as frightening.

But I think infertility has put perspective on things. The trauma I feel I'm going through right now just doesn't compare. As my husband says 'it's just stuff'. And as Rebecca eloquently puts it with dealing with her grief and what she's learned: We would trade every material thing we have to have our daughter healthy & with us.

So, take all the tvs you want... I just want a baby.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Operation: Get My Body Back - Week 6

I haven't been highlighting this program week to week necessarily but it's still going on!

How are you doing with it?

I had a little set-back after my trip to NYC but I worked really hard at it last week, even over the 4th of July weekend and I'm back down to where I was before NYC. My weigh in is Thursday, so I hope I can maintain this or make it better!

I keep being inspired by what my friend, Hannah says: "If I'm not pregnant, I'm going to be skinny."

And I was feeling skinnier this morning. Just gotta keep it up. And how, you ask?
  • Writing it Down! Yes, ladies (and gentlemen!) - it does work. I'm so less likely to eat more if I write it all down!
  • Exercise. Well, it's too hot for running this week, which is too bad because I was starting to get back into it, having ran 2x last week. BUT I am committed to bik.ram yoga (yes, I'm self-torturing by going into a hot room!). I did that 4x last week. Yay!
  • Weighing In. I felt it was too cruel to weigh in last week and attend my meeting after having indulged so much on my trip and having gotten my period. BUT I will this week. The Thurs meeting speaker is a barrel of laughs, so I feel like I'm going to a mini-comedy show on Thursdays at lunch!
How's your week going? I've been inspired by some of you...

Who else inspires me? Did you know that Sweet Pea started a blog called The Weight is Over. I'm loving it! And I actually really love the Wei.ght Wat.chers' CEO's blog too - Man Meets Scale. Check it out for your inspiration!

Monday, July 5, 2010

Not Such an Uphill Road but an Incline?

I'm stuck on this journey feeling like it's a steep, steep uphill road with no end in sight - no ultimate goal in sight - our own biological children.

But does it have to seem that way? How can I make it not seem so hard, so far out of sight?

A friend who recently went through infertility problems gave me her insight when I explained my latest quandry over these thoughts and I thought I'd share them since they've seeped in and made me look at things in a different way:

I know that feeling extremely well. I felt so often like I couldn’t even get out of the gate, how was I ever going to get to the finish line. But I do really believe that it can’t be that challenging at each step, just a matter of getting past the one that is holding you (one, I mean, not you specifically) up. Does that make sense?

 Like for me, if I could just produce enough eggs for them to get a couple, the rest of the steps should be doable. And for you, once you get past whatever is stopping them from sticking, the other steps won’t be an issue (or any more than they would for any other person). Does that bring any comfort? It helped me, just knowing it wasn’t entirely up hill, just a really steep incline for that one step!

I hope she's right. One steep incline. Okay. I can do this.

I think...

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Marching On, But Continued Grief

I still can't get Rebecca out of my heart and mind. My thoughts continue to surround her as she grieves for her baby girl who was born too soon and left our world too early. (((Hugs))), Rebecca...

And then I saw this post from Sara, who I met during June's ICLW. It's called Who is This Person? It's a great post that I'm sure many of us can relate to. As I commented on her page: I just want to be normal again... to be happy when I see others with their babies, especially my best friend's whose baby is the age mine would have been had we gotten pregnant relatively early on.

And my journey continues... with an MRI this morning, bright and early at 6:45am. Not eating or drinking beforehand. My doc wanted to check out my fibroid before moving to recommended surgery. Have you ever had an MRI?

It was a miserable experience for me - at least at first. I knew I was clautophobic but I surprised myself with how I reacted. Just thinking about it makes me want to hyperventilate again.

As soon as they put me in, I asked to be taken out and I started to cry saying that I didn't think I could do this today. The tech calmed me down and said that he could remove the pillow and let me look out the back way if that would be better. So, we tried that. And it worked.

I still didn't like it but I just tried to keep breathing. Yoga actually helped in this case - I just kept focusing on my breath (though not taking deep breaths was hard!).

And all I kept thinking of was this is for the greater cause, remember the purpose and if this is what is needed to bring me my children, my family, then I'll stick through this.

I told myself the same thing 2 months ago when I posted Scared of Self Injection but unfortunately, that didn't bring me my baby. I have a feeling I'm going to have to go through many, many more steps before that happens and I'm trying to take that information in while continuing to breathe.