Sunday, November 13, 2011

Feeling Peaceful

I had no idea it would be 2 months before I could write again. I've been trying to keep up with reading blogs but I knew my Sept & Oct would be crazy and didn't realize that it would seep into Nov too.

Here's an update on me and why I'm feeling so much more peaceful:
  • We booked a trip to Vietnam for the last 2 weeks of Dec!!!!  I've been wanting to go to Vietnam ever since I went to Thailand about 6 years ago and heard how amazing it was in Vietnam.
    • I love adventurous travel and felt like we'd been putting it off to start our family.
    • Now that we're about to embark on IVF, I felt like I needed something to give me energy before I pour out energy into something else. So, I am VERY excited! Any travel advice?
    • I am excited to not be around families for this holiday. I know that sounds selfish and makes me feel like that movie The Fo.ur but our families have not been able to give me the energy that I really need and I have taken it upon myself to give myself what I need right now.
  • We have a plan - IVF first 1/2 of next year and if that doesn't work, move onto adoption.
    • My husband really wants us to give IVF a try. Biology is really important to him. On the other hand, I'm not hopeful it's going to work. We've been able to get pregnant, I'm just not convinced it will keep us pregnant. But I'm willing to give this a shot (ha, ha) but also want to look forward to our next steps.
    • It's important for me to have that next plan in place (especially since I'm not hopeful on IVF) so that the IVF will be as little of an emotional roller-coaster on me.
    • I feel good knowing that at some point next year, we'll be taking really active steps toward building our family.
  • Work craziness is almost over.
    • I took us through an office move on Oct 1 which was pretty grueling.
    • I've had to replace someone on my team during this time.
    • My new person starts tomorrow (super yay!).
    • I can see the light at the end of the tunnel after spending every free waking moment with either working or work on the brain.
  • Feeling at peace with it all.
    • I've been through a lot of therapy, I booked the trip to Vietnam, I attended a 4 week infertility-medidation workshop, I've stuck to Wei.ght. Wat.chers and I've made sure to make time for my beloved bik.ram exercise.
    • I FINALLY feel really good about my life again. Our marriage is great. I'm doing well at work. I'm grateful for all the good things in my life and in general, not jealous of others (their children - we welcomed our niece into our world during this time). That's huge. I've been wanting to get to this point FOREVER and I'm finally here.
    • I really feel like I can say that I'm not in control of our family building fate. I'll try to do my part but I'm also open to possibilities, including being childless. It doesn't make me sad anymore. Life has so much to offer and I can give back in so many ways. This really is huge for me. I never thought I'd get here. And here I am. And it feels completely overwhelmingly amazing.
Thanks for your support!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

2nd Opinion on IVF/Lots to Work Through

I'm doing... maybe a little better?

Who knows anymore! It seems like every time I feel like I may be better, I take 2 steps back again. I guess that's just the way it is and am thankful that I continue to go to counseling!

The biggest thing is that I went to see another specialist for a 2nd opinion on whether IVF is really our next step or do we have other options. The facts are:
  • I've been able to get pregnant 4 times now (2 prior to fibroid surgery with IUI, 2 after naturally)
  • I can't stay pregnant past 5 1/2 weeks
  • One of my tubes may be blocked now as recently as a year ago
So, with all of this, 2nd opinion doc says that yes, he'd recommend IVF again. He said (like the other did) that we could do IVF but that won't really give us more data on why I'm having trouble staying pregant.

I have a lot to think through because I've been reluctant to do IVF. If they could tell me that doing IVF would help me stay pregnant, I think I'd do it, but they're just saying they can control a lot more and see a lot more and therefore figure out what the real problem is if there is still a problem.

Such heaviness.

In the meantime, I'm struggling with my own feelings of feeling like I don't have a choice in the matter. My husband has stressed to me that I do have a choice but his strong feelings about a biological link due to his father passing away during his childhood makes me feel like I'd be a horrible person if I didn't at least try to do this for him.

See what I mean? Heaviness.

So, that's where I am right now - with a whole lot of counseling to help sift this all through.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

On Taming the Jealousy & Feeling Alone

I'm not proud of being jealous, but I am. I have a hard time (still) dealing with others' pregnancies and everything-baby related. Especially when there is little attention on me and my problems.

I'm hurting - not as badly as before but I'm still hurting. And I need consolation. I need attention. I need empathy.

Infertility and miscarriages, though, create an isolated reaction from others. It's hard for people to know what to do, so they do nothing. Which makes me feel alone and ignored. And I'm sick of telling people that I need support.

With our last miscarriage, my sister-in-law who is pregnant, told my brother-in-law who told my husband that if I wanted to talk, I should call her.


In the meantime, I've had to hide her fb postings because I can't watch her weekly "belly watch" photos and nursery pics and new car for the baby.

My niece is coming early Oct and I'll need to figure out a way to deal with it.

It's fascinating to me, that as long as people acknowledge my pain, I can be happy for whatever is happy with them - mostly dealing with baby stuff. But when no one acknowledges my pain, I don't feel like putting energy into their happiness.

You always think that people are going to be there for you when you go through a hard time. Well, it's been an interesting experience that people seem to disappear when you most need them. Or ignore you and only deal with all the happy stuff.

In other news, I have a consultation with another RE after Labor Day and this Friday we're heading to the beach for 10 days of relaxation!

I'm sorry I haven't been as active as a blogger and commenter as before but I'm still out here, trying to figure out how to not feel alone from people who claim to care and how to not be jealous. Hopefully vacation and a new doc may help!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Miscarriage #4

I guess it's 'technically' not a miscarriage but the end to a chemical pregnancy. I just can't seem to make it past week 5 1/2...

It's been an interesting experience this go-around. I was elated in week 3 to be feeling symptoms - my sense of smell was crazy, sore boobs, tired... I was actually happy again. I couldn't believe it. With all my recent depression, to be happy again was such a foreign feeling that I just basked in it.

And then within 5 days, not feeling it anymore, so I knew something wasn't right. But still my period wasn't coming. I tested at home and negative result. Two days go by and I test again and just a faint second line showed up, so I knew something really wasn't right... but I also knew that I was kinda pregnant and that felt good.

I went to my RE and got confirmation that I was pregnant, but with a 75 beta result, so not great. Two days later, I start spotting and got my beta back that was down to 20, so no 'real' pregnancy.

But, I'll tell you this - I was happy to be pregnant and happy that it happened again so quickly after really trying. You see, I had fibroid surgery last summer. We tried in the fall and got pregnant on the 2nd try and then lost it at 5 1/2 weeks. All winter and spring, I couldn't try again - I just didn't want the hopefulness and disappointment. But this summer, I said, let's give this another shot and it happened again, on the 2nd try.

So now I need to figure out why I keep miscarrying at 5 1/2 weeks. Or rather, why I can't keep a pregnancy. The two we had prior to my surgery were via IUI and I really want to be determined to not have to do IVF... but I think we may be on that road because I realized I really do want this, at least I want to try for us to have kids.

It feels good to have a plan. AND most importantly, I'm not feeling as depressed as I was this past winter/spring/summer. I filled a prescription for anti-depressants but haven't started taking them. In fact, as soon as I filled it, I didn't think I needed them anymore. Maybe just having them there as my secruity blanket was enough. I hope. It's been a rough ride and I don't want to go back into that hole.

I've got a plan and I've got my mental health back (for now)... and that feels good for now.

Monday, July 18, 2011


I was going to title this: All Over the Place including Spain & Savannah but what I really feel is stuck.

I feel stuck in this state of continuous sadness.

We had an AMAZING time in Spain and then I came back and had a GREAT time with friends in Savannah. And yet. And yet.

It all settles back into sadness.

What is my problem? I have so much to be grateful for. I really have EVERYTHING but a child. EVERYTHING but control over my fertility.

It's been worse recently because I'm not able to exercise the way I normally do. Something's happened to my knee. Can't run and don't walk far. Don't bike to work anymore. And haven't done yoga. I've swam a bit. I'll figure that out but I know it's contributing to my extra sadness.

I'm hoping that by doing acupuncture for my knee and for fertility, it will help my mental state. If it doesn't by a month from now, I'm going to look into anti-depressants.

And I think I need to commit to IVF. It scares me. It scares me a lot. I don't know that I could go through a 4th miscarriage after having gone through ALL OF THAT. But I also know I can't stay in this state of sadness with less than a 5% chance of getting pregnant & staying pregnant on our own.

I just want to ME again!!!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011


I think I'm really bordering on depression. No matter what I seem to do, I feel lulled into sadness. And I'm seeing a lot of the signs: takes a lot of effort to make plans, haven't been going to church, don't enjoy socializing as much.

I'm wondering if I need anti-depressants. But how to reconcile that with actively trying to get pregnant? I talked to my fertility doctor about it and he actually said that it's better to treat depression even while pregnant than not. It still seems scary to me.

And... am I really at that point? Though I've kept asking myself that for months and months now.

Telling signs this past week: went to a baseball game with my husband and as soon as we got there I couldn't wait to leave because it felt like such an energy drain for me and we're going to Spain on Friday (Spain!!) and I'm not excited.

Or am I not giving myself enough of a break with my signs above: it was hot at the baseball game and I needed rest, so no wonder I didn't want to be there, and with Spain, we're mostly going to be with my husband's friends so is that a normal-ish reason to not be excited?

I just know that I'm not me. And haven't been for a long time. All due to infertility.

But then yesterday, I saw two old friends - one for lunch and one for dinner and really enjoyed seeing them (even though I talked about my recent emotional struggles with infertility... or maybe it was because I was able to talk about it).

But, bottom line is, will a pregnancy make me not depressed anymore? I think so... but who knows. If it's taken me this long to get this down, would being pregnant really make me feel better? Or have I been so anxious that I would just continue to be anxious during pregnancy?

And... the magic question is: even if wedid IVF this summer, there's no telling that it will work or how long it would take.

So, do I go for the drugs??

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Blocked Tube News & Vaca Coming Up

Wow, I haven't written in awhile. I'm not quite sure why.

Work has definitely had an uptick in hecticness! But I'm also wondering if I have as much a need for this blog. It may also be because I'm in limbo right now...

BUT the big news from last week was that as part of pre-IVF testing that I'm doing (in case we move to that as a next step), we found one of my tubes is blocked. This was news to me - I had an HSG done 2 years ago and I was all clear. I'm having a follow up consult with my doc this coming week to discuss.

I was actually really upset, crying on the table when they were showing me that it was blocked. What a blow! But I had also told myself going into all this testing to keep the long-term view on this. I didn't want to go back to getting knee-deep into every day details that would constantly alter my mood.

So, I allowed myself one afternoon of being upset and then I went back to big picture. A little easier said than done, but I think I did it (probably helps that work is so busy right now!).

I also decided to talk to my mom about it, knowing I was risking upsetting myself even more since she typically hasn't been able to support me the way that I need for her to. But - she came through and that made a TON of difference! So, maybe getting the emotional support means so much more to me than the physical challenges...

And I'm trying to keep my mind on our upcoming vacation - next Friday we leave for Spain!!! :)

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Sadness Dissipating

I think I'm getting over my last miscarriage from Thanksgiving. I can see a clearing ahead of me. And it is starting to feel less and less of a struggle to keep it together everyday.

I've been keeping a gratitude journal. It's been a week. At first I didn't think I'd have much to say in it but from the first day, I have been able to write down 5-6 things a day. I am trying to focus on the positive and relish in small pleasures each day. And I think it's working!

I also mentioned The Happi.ness Project book that I think is making a difference.

And I've been reading the book When Bad Thi.ngs Hap.pen to Go.od Peo.ple.

(And just for fun, I just finished two good fiction books back to back - one was for & the other was The He.lp- I highly recommend them!)

I'm also taking next steps ahead - scheduling another HSG, blood work, pap - all things 2 of my docs would want me to do before starting the IVF process. I think it feels good to be moving toward something.

I'm still hopeful we can conceive on our own (we were able to quickly after my fibroid surgery last fall) BUT I also don't want this to go on indefinitely, so I'm getting everything together to do IVF if we need it. I'm not sure what the IVF timeline is but I'm thinking maybe August. We'll see.

I'm just glad to finally not feel like I'm at rock bottom anymore. That I'm coming out of it, slowly but hopefully surely.

Friday, May 27, 2011

A Need to Move Forward & Weekend Trip

I just went through a mini-two week wait of trying on our own. I knew slim chances of it working so it's no surprise my period is coming today but it's making me realize that I need A PLAN!

I need to move forward. And that needs to include my plan.

We had talked about trying on our own for the next few months while we wait to go on our trip to Spain (yay!) at the end of June, and in the meantime, take all the tests we need to take in order to be ready for next steps on IVF.

On IVF, I'm leaning toward trying this nat.ural cy.cle IVF even though my husband feels more comfortable with the doc we've been seeing and would rather us to the traditional route. So, we still need to figure that piece out. And I guess depending on our timing, we may look to do a cycle this summer. Yikes!

IVF really scares me. I know many, many have done it and I shouldn't be whiny about it but it all just scares me. BUT staying stagnant on this whole thing also isn't good for us.

And, I think as much as I've been contemplating being childless, I'm not sure I'm ready to plunge into that just yet. Having my nephew in church with us on Easter really re-ignited my desire to keep trying.

So, that's my plan. And I need to start working on it!

And this weekend: a fun trip to FL to visit my cousin - girl time! Yay!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

5 Steps Back

I put up a good front sometimes on trying to be happy... my last post was all about The Happi.ness Pro.ject and how I'm going to do things for me that make me happy.

And then, I talk to my mom. And it all goes downhill.

Why can my family not figure out a way to best support me? Why does she continually bring me down rather than lift me up?

I feel like every effort of me trying each day takes 5 steps back when I talk with her. And yet, every time that happens, I resolve myself to distancing myself one more pace away from her.

What a way to live! If she only knew, she'd be crushed. I'm just so disappointed in the way our relationship is turning out right now, at the time when I would need her most.

Just there saying "would need her most" is a HUGE acceptance on my part. Normally, I would have said "when I need her most". But I KNOW that she just can't be there for me with this the way I would have wanted her to be. And that's been a HUGE loss on top of our already infertility-related loss.

How do you learn to expect so little out of people? How is life worth it when that's all you demand out of it?

My mom is such a downer. She doesn't mean to be, but she is. Just so full of negativity. Ugh. I have to just walk away and shake it off. It's almost too bad that she's family because I would have long stopped being her friend by now.

But what do you do when it's family? It takes so much energy and effort to do any one thing when I feel this low sometimes and it's all I can do to focus on positivity each and every hour of the day. Sure, when it's family, you can minimize it, but you can't make it go away altogether. I have to shield myself from it but then it just feels like I'm going through the motions with someone who I'd rather not be spending time with. even on a phone call.

So, I'll end this post with some positivity (some of which is repeat from yesterday):
  • I signed up for a summer pottery class - something I've been wanting to do for 10 years! There's a studio in my neighborhood and I'm finally doing it. Yay!
  • I bought a 3 month bik.ram yoga pass for the summer too! Yay for exercise and taking care of my body!
  • I scheduled a massage for tomorrow. I needed to treat myself after that weekend with my in-laws and am finally getting around to doing it and so looking forward to it!
  • I may be spontaneous and see a play this weekend, by myself while my husband is occupied. Yay to enjoying alone time and taking advantage of what my city has to offer!
But, seriously, if you have any advice on how to best deal with family that isn't offering the best support, please send it my way! :)

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Over a Hurdle and Onto Happiness :)

Last week I was just emotionally spent after having anxiety confronting my in-laws on a visit that entailed my BIL and SIL's baby shower as well as Mother's Day.

By the end of last week, I think I was finally able to sigh with relief and feel like a HUGE weight had been taken off of me.

So, now what?

I really want to take a long-term view on what's next. If I look back at the last 3 1/2 years, I just see how my happiness was either severly diminished or completely extinguished during that period of time. I refuse to allow that to continue to happen. At least I want to work really hard on refusing that to happen. This could take another 3+ years, we don't know.

Which leads me to being ready to start trying again. I say this with a lot of trepidation. I DO NOT want to be all consumed with a 2 week wait every month so I'm trying to take this in stride.

I know I had been talking a lot about living without children but having our 3 year old nephew with us in church on Easter stirred something in me that I had buried.

So, we'll see where this leads us. I'm not going to make plans around anything anymore. We have a trip to Spain planned at the end of June, I just signed up for a pottery class for the summer and also bought a bik.ram yoga summer pass as well. I will not let life be put on hold anymore but my heart is also open for what may be next.

In the meantime, I just finished The Happi.ness Pro.ject and just loved it! I thought it may be too trite and stuff I would already know but it's inspired me to 1) make small changes to make my life better (going to bed earlier, exercise more, etc) and 2) to be an active participant in life and do things (sign up for a class, stretch yourself, make new friends, etc).

I highly recommend this book! All I've wanted is to feel happiness again and this is a great guide and positive reinforcer for me.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Emotionally Drained

For better or worse, I went to see my in-laws this weekend. I think that I'm glad I went but honestly, I don't know. It was emotionally draining, that's for sure.

We arrived Friday, full of anxiety for me. My in-laws did well by addressing my needs immediately. As soon as we sat down, they said they wanted to talk about me and how I've been doing. I really appreciated that and we spent some time talking about how difficult it's all been for me especially recently.

I told them how my counselor has had me focus on our 3 miscarriage losses and how that grief has been hard. I told them how isolating infertility can be. I told them how I've had a hard time not being acknowledged. I shared with them that it can be hard for me to feel others' joys particularly when my pain isn't also being recognized.

I may have been more forceful than I needed to be, but I got most of it out. They explained how they have been praying for me but just haven't been sure what else to do. They also said how much they love me and support me. They gave me hugs and then prayed for me, which really helped. Their prayer included giving me strength for the weekend.

We then went to my sister-in-law's graduation from grad school. Surprisingly, her mother was extremely sensitive to me. I think K had talked with her mom about our struggles and my difficulties with my MIL, so this woman seemed to empathize with me and I so much appreciated that.

Baby Shower Day for SIL and BIL. I was actually pretty fine that day and was looking forward to sharing the joy of that day. I made sure to make myself busy and took my SIL's camera to take pictures all day including during present opening. That helped a lot.

The only hard part was feeling like once again, my pain wasn't really acknowledged. My father-in-law prayed before lunch and said "this day couldn't be any more perfect" and I thought 'yes, it can...'

I just think that B's family just tends to 'see the bright side of things' and doesn't realize that by 'ignoring' the not so bright side, it can make things worse for some...

The dreaded M's Day. I did not do well this day. This was a day I wanted to ignore altogether but knew that I couldn't with my in-laws... I had decided that I would skip church to go for a run but saw my in-laws before and managed to say "Happy Mother's Day" to my MIL and she, not thinking, replied back "you too, I mean, Happy Mother's Day to your mother..." It was very awkward and made me even more sad.

About 1/2 mile into my run, I broke down crying. I made myself keep running though which was good.

When I got back, I had a voicemail from my brother saying he was thinking of me today because he knew today would be hard. Wow. That meant so much.

But that made me break down again.

When I went to join B with everyone for lunch, I couldn't stop crying so he recommended that maybe I didn't go... which was good advice. I couldn't handle Mother's Day. I just really couldn't. And I didn't want to go. I just couldn't be social.

I went into a cute nearby town instead and the first shop I went into, the owner says "what brings you browsing today?" and I couldn't think of anything better to say other than the truth "honestly, I'm trying to ignore Mother's Day". Ha.

I had to join B's family after lunch before we actually left and that was hard because I just couldn't chit-chat and we had to sit there for 20-30 mins talking before we left. At least my MIL understood that the day was hard for me and said it was probably a good idea that I didn't go to church. She also said that she had hoped that the weekend hadn't been too bad for me.

So, take-aways from the trip:
  • I'm glad we had our chance on Friday to let me share how I've really been feeling. B says he probably did his family a disservice by not really talking about it with them.
  • I was pleasantly surprised by my sister-in-law's mother and her sensitivity.
  • I'm glad my sister-in-law and I had a good conversation before I came and appreciate her.
  • I wonder if I'll ever have a meaningful conversation with my BIL; he's just so private.
  • I'm still not sure I'd do it all over again. It was extremely emotionally draining and I think in the future, if I'm really not feeling like I can be around others, especially family, I may need to just bow out of events. I've considered that for Thanksgivings and Christmases, etc. but thinking that I need to just be there and show up, but you know, I don't think I do.
  • I really wish my family (his and mine) were somehow better able to support me. Maybe it's taking this long to finally be able to. Having my brother call on Sunday and my mom understand that I couldn't all her on Sunday really helped. And who knows, maybe this weekend will help with B's family's understanding...

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

The Email I Want to Send to My In-Laws

Here's the email I want to send to my in-laws regarding our upcoming weekend plans which includes my SIL's graduation from a Master's program, their baby shower and, of course, Mother's Day!

My FIL sent an email earlier this week on how joyful everything will be this weekend and it honestly made me a bit sick. Here they go again not acknowledging that we are also in the midst of pain. That while one side of the family is experiencing joy, the other is sad right now and we can't ignore it - and everyone should be sharing in all these feelings.

My husband really would rather I speak to them about all of this rather than send an email and suggested instead that I have a ready blog post! So, I'm sharing this here instead and hoping this leads to some good talking points for me this weekend:

Hello everyone,

B and I are looking forward to our visit and I appreciate all the thought that has gone into how to best support me/us during some of the weekend's festivities. I wanted to take a moment to try to express some things that we may hopefully get a chance to talk about but just in case we don't, you have an idea on where I'm coming from.

I know it can be really hard to understand what we're going through and I'm always open to talking about it and how to best support us, but just like any other experience in life, if we haven't been through it, it's hard to know what it's like. The easiest way to describe it is that pain is pain. We've all (unfortunately) had painful moments in our lives, so that is something we can all relate to, and probably easiest.

And while there's been a lot of sadness, it's not all doom and gloom in our household... B and I have felt closer than ever before and are so thankful for our strong marriage bond, we've been able to enjoy our nephews (and will enjoy another one in our midst as well!), I've had an amazing trip to India, we're both enjoying our jobs, etc, etc.

I think what helps the most is feeling like our pain is acknowledged. We talked about this at Thanksgiving and I wanted to revisit this. I've read recently that it's human nature to want to be heard. A parenting trick seems to often be to repeat what the child is saying so that they feel you are hearing them. As silly as it sounds, the same goes for me. It truly helps when people empathize and say 'that must be hard' or 'I'm sorry you're going through that'. By acknowledging my hurt, I feel heard and loved, and then feel I can go onto being able to more actively participate in 'normal' life activities. When I can't talk about my pain, when I'm not asked or when it's not acknowledged is when I start to feel like there's something wrong with me.

B may have shared with you this link for family and friend support from the Nat'l Infer.tility Association. It's extremely helpful in explaining a lot of what we go through and feel. It talks about family dynamics as well, particularly if another sibling is experiencing a pregnancy. 

I am also sharing with you part of our pastor's weekly church email below where her words make me feel completely acknowledged and supported.

So in the midst of many, many joys this weekend including simply being together as a family, I hope there will be time to also acknowledge that there is pain going on in our midst as well. I love you all and can't wait to give you hugs. And all the best to K to wrap up her projects this week! I do know what that's like :)


Our Pastor's email:

We have many prayer concerns in our congregation, and I invite you to please join me in praying for the following people and needs: 
  • K still in the hospital with hopes of going home tomorrow.
  • B will have surgery tomorrow morning at 8:30.
  • R is waiting for additional news regarding her recent cancer diagnosis.
  • M, B and ML are also facing health challenges.
  • You are also invited to keep the women in our church who are struggling with infertility in your prayers. Mother's Day can add additional pain to what is already a painful place of emptiness.
  • Finally, you are invited to please pray for the people of Alabama and others across the South who know too well the pain of violent storms. We'll be taking a special collection for the Uni.ted Meth.odist Com.mittee on Re.,ief, and you are invited to give. I'm also wondering if it is time that we respond with our bodies - that we go and help rebuild. Is this something you might be interested in doing? Please let me know.
So, maybe this is an email template you can use?
I still can't help but feel that we are in enough pain already. Family (and friends) often say they love us and want to be supportive. So, then why does it seem so hard for some of them to do???
If I was getting what I needed from them, then I think this whole experience would feel completely differently for me. It just adds to my sadness that they are not there for me in the ways in which I need them to be.
Maybe talking it through this weekend will help? I'm not hopeful but willing to trust my husband and give it a try...


Monday, May 2, 2011

Oh the Drama!

My sister-in-law's baby shower is this weekend. I've been mulling it over for weeks and weeks including this post from several weeks ago entitled Preparing for SIL Baby Shower in May.

Well, it's finally here - this coming weekend. I was 99.9% sure I wouldn't go and called my sister-in-law to let her know. As we were talking, I felt her understanding and compassion, and suddenly I realized that I wanted to be there for her - it was just not knowing how to best deal with my mother-in-law who is the difficulty for me right now.

My SIL offered the suggestion that we stay somewhere else - the baby shower is supposed to be at my MIL's house so being at her house around the decorations might be too hard for me. Plus, I just need my physical and emotional space this time around.

So, I was all geared up with that plan and called my MIL to tell her and you know what she does? She cries that she's upset we wouldn't be staying with her. I really sometimes can't get over this.  This is my pain we're dealing with so why can't she have a little more compassion?

I get the sense that because she's talked to other women who have miscarried that I should just be able to get over this. B tried explaining to her how painful this experience has been.

She's a pastor on top of it all. So, I just don't get how someone can be a pastor and claim to love a family member yet just not know how to be understanding or compassionate toward us.

I get the sense that all she's concerned with is being able to express her joy over this new baby.

My husband really thinks that he's explained the emotional aspects of what we're going through enough with her that we should be able to have a good weekend. I'm not convinced.

How is it that I can have an amazingly meaningful conversation with my SIL yet my MIL causes me so much angst on top of an already pained heart that I have?

Why is this so hard for her to understand? Why can't it be enough to say I'm in pain? Why can't she just have compassion for us?

Monday, April 25, 2011

I'm out on

In honor of In.fertility Aware.ness Week, I came 'out' on about my our in.fertility.

I'd been mulling it over and over the last few weeks wondering whether I wanted to be that public about it. I realized that I'm ready to be more public about it. We've sat with it for 3+ years now and I'm much more comfortable with it. I realized that I can raise awareness for others who either may just be in the beginning stages of their infertiliy journey and that I can potentially make someone who is going through this feel less alone.

I also know that most of our close friends and family knows about our struggles and those who don't have probably wondered so it didn't seem like such a secret. :)

Here's what I wrote:
it's National Infertility Awareness Week... Did you know that 1 in 8 men & women are diagnosed as infertile? This week I'll post more on this topic in the hopes of shedding a bit more light on this not-often-talked about topic & difficult journey that Bill and I have been on. Here's a great resource for friends & family:
We'll see how it goes this week! I'm proud of what I've done though!

Friday, April 22, 2011

To Go or Not To Go... to the Baby Shower?

I'm still feeling very conflicted over going to my brother- and sister-in-law's baby shower in 2 weeks...

It was originally just supposed to be her graduation celebration from grad school and now my husband and my mother-in-law want to do a small, family baby shower for them also. It will be at my mother-in-law's place, where we are staying.

It's also on Mother's Day weekend and B and I agreed to leave Sun morning and go to a B&B and then do something fun on Monday.

Here is why I'd want to go:
  • To celebrate my sister-in-law
  • To be part of the family
  • To not be selfish
  • To be there for my husband
Here is what I would need from them if I go:
  • Not ignore the fact that I'm grieving and that sometimes baby-related things make me sad
  • Pray for me before and after the event so that they are actively partaking in my grief - I am part of the family after all and if I'm to participate in their joy, they need to participate in my sadness
  • Talk about other things than just the pregnancy
Here are my conflicts:
  • They say they care but haven't shown they can properly support me
  • I think I'll likely feel sad and don't need to feel that way if I can help it
Here's why it may be better if I don't go:
  • They are able to enjoy the event with pure joy without having to think about me & my sadness and grief
  • I save myself from likely feeling sad & ignored

I thought writing this out would make it clearer. When I was discussing it with a friend this week she asked me "why do you want to go?" because it really didn't seem clear.

It seems to all point to not going but there's something inside me that's uncomfortable with that decision too that I can't put my finger on other than I want to be there for her in her moment of joy (even though I'm not sure I've really felt her be there for me in my sadness). I also don't think life needs to be quid pro quo and therefore I'd like to be there for her even though I haven't felt that be reciprocated.

I know many of you have offered helpful advice on just staying busy at the shower but I'm afraid that may not be enough. I think what I really want is to feel acknowledged for what I'm going through. And I don't think that's too much to ask for.

I guess it comes down to whether they're able to do that for me or not. And I'm not sure.

So... to go or not to go?

Sunday, April 17, 2011

What I Learned From Counseling & Support Group This Week

It was quite an emotionally-cleansing week for me - my bi-weekly counseling was this week and so was my monthly support group.

Here's what I learned:
  • I'm still grieving my last miscarriage
  • I'm grieving the immensity of having had 3 miscarriages in 1 year
  • I need to let my mother-in-law know that I'm actually grieving
  • I need to stop minimizing the fact that my prengancies didn't make it to week 6/a heartbeat
  • I understand that my dog dying a few weeks ago is another loss in this difficult recent loss journey and that it felt like 'piling on' to my already going through a grief cycle
  • I need to stop saying that life could be worse and grieve the bad stuff that has happened to me since this is my reality
  • The grief cycle takes approximately a year and I'm only 5 months from my last loss
  • I need to understand that this journey is a slice of my entire life and try to take it in a larger context
  • Despite that I think it feels better to be authentic and talk about how infertility is affecting me, it can be sometimes helpful to not talk about it and realize how much I have going on in my life that is not infertility-related
  • My true passion is adventurous, international travel and I can't keep putting this on hold
Here's what I'm going to do:
  • Allow myself to grieve, fully
  • Talk to my mother-in-law about my grief (I've never named it as such with her) so she can understand the immensity of it
  • Focus on a lot of the wonderful things going on in my life:
    • My amazing marriage/husband
    • My career that I love and a potential upcoming promotion
    • Our beautiful house
    • Our health
    • Springtime and what newness of exericse energy it brings
  • Be more spontaneous
    • Last weekend we went to a movie in another part of town and decided to stay at a nearby hotel that had a special going on - just being out of the house was fun (we had planned a night away at a hotel in our city a few years ago and really had fun!)
  • Plan some travel trips that really fuel my passion
    • I'm going to Chicago next week for work and will stay to see a good friend
    • I'm visiting my cousin in FL over Memorial Weekend
    • We booked tickets to northern Spain in June, a place we've been wanting to go to for awhile in conjunction with a wedding in southern Spain
    • We have 2 more wedding trips this summer
    • We have been talking about Vietnam over next winter which has been high on my list for years!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Comforting Pastor's Prayers

I had that moment in church again this week where I felt myself shielding myself from feeling anything. I didn't really even feel like going but we haven't gone in a few weeks since our dog died, and we thought we should go particularly to be there for others going through hard times.

It started when we arrived late and we couldn't sit in our normal place. The only obvious spot was behind my friend's parents who had their grandson with them. The grandmother, who had watched her own daughter (my friend's sister) deal with infertility and then successful pregnancy, thought she knew what I was going through... Last fall, she approached me saying those empty words to me "don't worry, it'll happen, look what happened to my daughter. It has to happen for you too." I know she meant to be helpful but... you know. So, I had to sit behind her.

And then I've been having a hard time lately with the children's sermon. Just seeing all those kids up there. And our church is growing and focusing on little ones right now and I can't figure out how to best process that.

Then, we heard about how a couple in our church was in labor that morning. This is a couple who I had journeyed with because they too had faced infertility and miscarriage. But I've felt hurt as they've gone on to have a pregnancy and have seemed to have forgotten about me. Not once since their pregnancy have they asked how I am...

And then the reading and sermon was about Lazarus and how Jesus resurrected him from the dead... How Jesus can hear our prayers.

I'm just not feeling comforted by it all. I wish I could. I wish I could be one of those people who turns to God for comfort but I've just felt more distant during these hardships...

I left church early, which was too bad because the last song was one of my favorites but I knew I had reached a breaking point and couldn't sit through Great is Th.y Faith.fulness.

My pastor called me later on and offered to pray with me by phone. We talked a bit about how I was feeling and then even though I wasn't feeling it, I allowed her to pray for me, right there on the phone. And... it was amazing. I still don't really remember what she said but I almost immediately felt comforted. She's got such a gift.

And then today, while announcing the couple's new baby (amidst complications that I was very worried about, though the mother is doing fine now), our pastor added this - which I know reflects me:

As we celebrate the arrival of a new baby in our congregation, we also pray for the families in our congregation who long to become parents but have not yet been able to do so. May God hear all of our prayers.

Comforting, huh?

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Is it All Worth It?

I keep hearing my mother-in-law's voice in my head from a few weeks ago when she told me that all of this IS worth it. It's so worth it to have that baby, she said to me.

And, it just didn't resonate with me... anymore.

It's been a very painful 3 years. With 3 fertility treatments. With 3 miscarriages. And surgery. And even before the 3rd pregnancy and miscarriage, I began a downward spiral. A spiral so bad that I understood for the first time in my life why people would want to end their lives. Why the day in, day out misery has to end.

I never actually contemplated ending my life, but I understood it better. Better than I ever had. I finally understood how a friend of mine did it to his life years ago.

So, when I look back on the last 3 years, I see losing myself. I see putting my life on hold. I see extreme measures to get something I was having a hard time getting. I see darkness. I see misery. I see gloom.

And I think - that can't be what life is supposed to be like. It just can't be. As my friend, The Infertile Mind, reminds me - I used to be a happy person before all of this.

I just want peace. I want to be happy again. I want to be ME again. I want to find that passion in life again.

And I can only do that if I let go of this want so badly. And letting go of it for me hasn't meant "we'll just see what happens". It's meant "I don't know if I actually want this anymore".

So... no, I don't think it's worth it. Not when I can look ahead and see sunshine and color and my heart singing again. Having children is NOT worth that misery again. I just can't do it. I won't do it.

I've got plenty of people whodo exist that I can love. With my whole heart. I have children in my life that I can influence, that I can spend time with, and that I can support and care about. That may be enough for me. That may be more than enough for me.

I'm also not ready to say this is it, I'm done. Not yet. This journey has been a long one and I know I need to sit with this idea for awhile longer. But right now, right this second, I can say wholeheartedly that it's not worth it. There's more to life than this one thing. There's so much more.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Relating IF to TV and Movies

In the last couple of weeks, I've seen 3 instances in tv and movies where IF/loss were addressed in ways that completely resonated with me:
  1. Gre.y's Ana.tomy. Last week Meredith broke down admitting that she was jealous of Callie's baby shower.
  2. Parent.hood. Julia and her husband have been trying to get pregnant for a few months and the show started out with her negative pregnancy test once again. The show ends with her describing uterine scarring which will likely prevent a pregnancy from happening.
  3. Rab.bit Ho.le. This movie, starring Ni.cole and Aa.ron Eck.hart, is about how they deal with the grief of losing their 4 year old. What got me was the relationship between the wife and her mother. It was so tenuous, with the mother clearly sometimes saying the wrong things (by mistake) and sometimes being helpful. At one point, the mother says 'sometimes I don't know your rules'.
While I don't love that infertility and loss continue to exist, it does make me feel better knowing it's at least getting 'out' there. And while it is still characters playing these roles, it makes me feel like I'm not crazy to have similar thoughts and reactions.

I also like that making these issues more prevalent may help others understand what it's like to go through infertility and loss.

I'm glad to see tv and movies helping us to feel less alone.
And that completely resonated with me.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Back to Counseling

I've gone back to counseling. I can't seem to figure out how to best deal with disappointments I have with my family members AND I want to further explore what could be our next step.

Disappointment of Family Members:
  • MIL: I'm terribly upset with my mother-in-law and how insensitive she can be toward me. From going on and on about ultrasound pictures of my sister-in-law to me to not acknowledging my pain and hurt over our dog dying, she just doesn't get how to empathize and be sensitive. The way she is with me when I'm going through something painful makes me feel ignored.
  • My mom: She just sometimes doesn't have a filter. So, while most of the time we can have a fine conversation, I never know what she'll say related to fertility and it can catch me off guard. She also just doesn't know how to listen and really be there for me, which has left me feeling like I just don't have a mom when I need one the most.
  • The rest of my family (dad, brother, sister-in-law and father-in-law, brother-in-law and sister-in-law): They are just utterly SILENT. They don't really ask about how I am and acknowledge how painful this must be.
All of this makes me feel alone (though thank goodness for my husband, best friend, close friend and pastor!). It also  makes me question what family really means. People always say that family is there when you really need them, but I haven't felt that to be so in my case.

Next Steps:

I've been thinking a lot about being childfree and really feel being pulled in this direction. To me, trying to conceive and build our family has been nearly nothing but a painful road for us. It seems natural that after 3 years, fertility treatments, 3 miscarriages and surgery I'd say 'no way' to that anymore.

When I look back at trying to build our family, it's a dark and sad time in my life. When I look toward the future without any of that, I can see rays of sunshine.

I've had to accept and embrace the things are are in my life and stop focusing on what isn't.  In doing that, I've been able to really feel happy about my life and take advantage of what life without children brings to me.

BUT I also know that not being a mother is something I never envisioned for myself. And I know that my husband still wants us to keep trying, so my immediate next step is counseling.  I want to try and see if I can sort out this pain enough to potentially feel like wanting children again or if my husband and I have further discussions ahead on trying to deal now with different wants.

I'll keep you posted on how it goes!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Mourning the Loss of Our Precious Dog

His name was Profit. Though we had a million names for him. One of my favorites is Precious P.

He was a Chesapeake Bay Retriever. He lived 14 years and 4 months. He had a really, really good and active life - was totally a fetching and swimming dog. Old age just got the better of him.

It was so hard when he leg finally gave out on him last Friday night and we knew we'd have to take him into the vet to put him down.

Saturday morning was bittersweet. We got to spend some great quality time with him, petting him lots and giving him tons of love. I'd never been through something like this before so being with him as he passed was such a privilege but also just so, so hard.

And yet, the grief I felt was just too familiar. Grieving 3 miscarriages in a year on top of infertility for 3 years... and then to lose our dog. It feels like too much.

He really was our baby - we always called him that.

And it just feels so empty and quiet now without him.

We love you Preciousness!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Reflecting on Turning 36 & Children's Educations

Happy birthay to me! :)

When does middle age start? I kinda feel like now-ish. 35 seems to feel like an end to something. And I keep asking myself - how is it that I'm 36?

I guess I'll be of the mindset that age is only a number. It's how you feel. And what you do with your life that can make you feel any age.

And yet I'm reminded by someone's recent post who watched her neighbor grow up into a young woman who is now married and pregnant - and this someone posting said she was old enough to be this person's mother. And I thought I'm old enough to be an 18 year old's mother! Yikes.

Yikes for me, but not for a lot. Some of us looking into adoption are potentially looking at babies of mothers around that age.

I was with my brother and sister-in-law this weekend, away from my parents, so I got to see another side of them, perhaps the truer side of them. Her 7 year old is in a read-a-thon at school which involves him reading at least 15 minutes a day. I was very interested in this as I love books and for almost every occasion I get my nephews books, knowing full well that I may be one of the main people exposing them to books in their lives (my dad may be the other).

She explained the program to me and said sometimes I just let him think that it's been 15 minutes because I can't take spending that much time reading with him.

Yes, that's right - she can't spend 15 minutes reading with him. How is that possible??? I said bring him over anytime, I'll spend 2 hours reading with him!

It made me so upset that I talked about it for the rest of the weekend, with my husband, with my friends. It was so incredulous to me. Maybe I'm not being fair. Maybe I don't know what it's really like to read books over and over and over again...

And then she talked about how her mother used to get on her about how much she drank and whether she was able to take care of her kid (at the time). And she boasted that she feels she can drink and take care of her children. Like that was a big feat.

Yet, I'm reminded that my brother's wife had her first child at 19 and then the next one by accident as well 4 years later. These were both unplanned children. And that's not to say that they aren't good parents or can't put in the effort now.

But I couldn't help but feel like these kids are somehow potentially doomed. Or will most likely have a pre-determined route based on what they're exposed to, or rather not exposed to. And I mentioned to B that maybe we shouldn't put as much in their 529 colleage savings plans... I can't help but feel like how can they say school's important but then get annoyed at reading with their kids? Or maybe education isn't the only thing that predicts making it...

My husband just said that this is all the more reason we need to keep up their 529s, to give them incentive and encourage their educations.

I will do whatever I can to expose them to books, reading, education. In fact, I walked into a bookstore that's closing yesterday and bought several books for them... for Christmas already!

And, I plan to spend part of my birthay reading. :)

Monday, March 21, 2011

Preparing for SIL Baby Shower in May

How do I muster up the... the what? courage? emotional stamina? for my sister-in-law's baby shower in May? This is for B's side of the family...

I've got some time to prepare but I'm sure that if I don't do the work now, that date will soon be upon me and I will be unprepared.

I could always not go, but I'd rather try to prepare and think I can deal with it.

It's going to be a big ordeal and I'm actually surprised that it will be a big ordeal. And I don't know if I can handle a big ordeal.

It's mostly my mother-in-law, though. I think she's the one I have to prepare for the most. She will likely say 20 things that will bother me and I need to figure out if I can let it just roll off or what.

In thinking this through, wespent Saturday with my side of the family and micraculously without any references to pregnancy. In fact, after awhile, I was the one who asked my (other) sister-in-law about her best friend who just had a baby and her sister-in-law who is expecting in April. It actually felt good to be able to talk about it all and feel normal about it.

I really do just want to be normal. But I also know that what we're faced with isn't normal, so trying to create normalcy is challenging.

And in the meantime, I have to contend with our church's focus right now on our toddlers and babies, and it can sometimes get to me. Not as much as it used to but still... The good news is, I spent time with my nephews and my best friend's kid this weekend and loved every second of it!

Seven weeks till this big baby shower. I can do it! :)

Monday, March 14, 2011

Happy For Them, But...

I feel like nobody in my real life really understands how I'm feeling right now. And I don't know what I would do without this community and without my monthly support group. Thank you for your supportive comments this past week.

And I feel like I'm being whiny about this and really want that to stop.

But: my brother- and sister-in-law posted their ultrasound pictures to fb yesterday. And while I'm happy for them, this really caused a stir in me. And I don't like that it did.

Why can't I just be plain and simple happy for them? Why does seeing their ultrasound pictures have to create mixed emotions for me?

And now I'm wondering if this really does mean that I want to start trying again. So much in me is saying no way. I'm not ready and don't know if I ever will be again.

This time last year, I was still grieving our first miscarriage (I keep calling them miscarriages but I know they were only biochemical pregnancies since I never make it to week 6, so not sure what it is but it still feels like a loss). It took me a long while to get over that. And it wasn't until April when my best friend told me she was newly pregnant with #2 and after I cried and cried over our sadness still, that same weekend I decided I was ready again.

So, I'm wondering if that's happening now. I don't think so but I don't understand why this is making me so upset when I'm generally happy with our lives and with our decision right now, and I am happy for them...

Friday, March 11, 2011

Needing a Mom

So, my mother-in-law calls me, leaves me a message saying - your birthday is coming up, we're thinking of you... I'm thinking oh, this must be her way of reaching out to me over the awkwardness of them announcing they are going to be grandparents to my brother-in-law's pregnancy.

Our conversation starts out slow - what are you doing this weekend, it's snowing where we are, etc. And then I realize our conversation is potentially going to end and there's the big proverbial elephant... on the phone.

So, I bring it up and say "I know it's been awkward with R & K announcing their news of their pregnancy and I want you to know we are thrilled and excited about it... and at the same time, it can't help but raise sadness with us for what we've gone through."

And she says something like "oh, we understand and appreciate you saying that. We are excited. You know, I've been carrying around the ultrasound pictures with me everywhere I go... and B was sharing with me that you were considering IVF; wouldn't it be great if you and K could be pregnant at the same time?"

Wait - what????

I am NOT considering IVF. We might have been but definitely not anytime soon.

So, no. K and I will not be pregnant at the same time.

In fact, I went on to tell her that I'm really protective of my peaceful state because I'd been depressed for so long having to go through infertility and 3 miscarriages and I just want to focus on the joys that are present in my life right now, rather than continuing to focus on what is not there, and that it doesn't seem worth it to me to risk more depression to get there.

And she continues by telling me that yes, it is worth it. That having a baby is incredibly worth it and for me not to lose hope.

Blood is boiling at this point in the conversation and I just reiterated that I'm really happy right now and maybe we'll re-evaluate after some time, but I just can't be depressed like that again.

Our phone call was terrible. I'm sure she felt awkward and I was just infuriated.

And I fully recognize that grandparents have their own dreams wrapped up in our family-building plans and that I may have been bursting this (crazy) dream she's had of 2 grandkids at the same time. But this has to be about us, not them. They don't get to make this about them after all we've been through.

The most disappointing thing I've had to realize is that both my mother and my mother-in-law just can't be there for me in the ways I wish moms were able to be. And I've had to learn the hard way by trying, and trying, and re-trying. But it just doesn't work with them. This was my last attempt with her.

And it's just disappointing. More than anything right now, I need a mom. I need a mom to be there for me, to listen to me, to love me and support me. But neither of them can do that for me, so I feel like I just don't have a mom right now. And that's made me sad. And makes this heartache of infertility all the more difficult.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Dear Anonymous Poster:

You are awesome. You made my day. I wish I could find you to learn more about you and thank you for your comments to me.

When I posted Sadness Triggered, you wrote me a long comment about your struggles and how you can completely relate. You talked about how, despite all you've seen in your military life, infertility has affected you like nothing else has.

Gosh, my heart went out to you and your wife. You gave me that virtual hug I really needed.

I have no idea how you found me... and how I can find you but I want you to know that your comment made a difference and I thank you.

Mixed Emotions

I'm still trying to process the news of my brother- and sister-in law's pregnancy that we learned about on Sunday and the way in which they told us.

I think I'm partially mad at myself for getting upset. I'm disappointed that I can't handle it better and just be plain happy for them without getting my emotions tied into it.

Mostly I felt sad and alone because the only 2 people I talked to about it (my husband and best friend) basically told me to "look on the positive side" about it... which I already know and just have a hard time with. I felt like I wasn't being fully heard which can feel isolating and can make me feel like I'm wrong to feel the way I feel and therefore I think to myself I must be crazy for not being able to be normal about this.

My sister-in-law and I had a nice email exchange about it on Monday. I appreciated her saying that she knew their announcement would come with mixed emotions for us and they weren't sure, and still aren't sure, of how to best handle talking about it with us and want to respect our space on it. That made me feel a hundred times better. Awwwww.

My mother-in-law I still don't understand. And I think she hurt me enough to where I don't know if we'll ever get to a point of feeling close, and this certainly put more distance between us. I know she means well, and I should give her credit for that, but the outcome is just hardly ever what is helpful.

I'm glad she could talk gush to B about her excitement. And I'm glad he's unphased. But, I'm not and I can't take it. And I think that's ok. I know their pregnancy is not about me. But I also know the pain I've been in because of infertility and I don't think it's too much to ask to not gush infront of me.

And I also don't understand why she can't reach out to ME about this. She calls him to talk about it. She did it after our miscarriages. She does it now. I'M the one affected, so call me!!!

But this is a difficult thing to navigate and I have to remember that I'm 3 years DEEP into this and no one else is. So everyone else's level of understanding is much lower.

I've been watching Parent.hood lately. And I've appreciated how they've brought aut.ism and As.perger's to light. And it's made me wonder all the more about how I may not be/may not have been as sensitive to certain people on things I don't know much about. And I can't help but think of how I need to give that same perspective on how others deal with me on infertility.

There's always something to work on, I guess!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Sadness Triggered

I knew it was just a matter of time. I've been feeling peaceful and happy with our lives, knowing that this state is extremely precious and temporary.

Last night, my brother- and sister-in-law announced to us that they are expecting.

I was fine... at first. And not just fine but - happy. I told them that I've been enjoying being an aunt and that I can't wait to be again.

But they had us on speaker phone with B's parents too. And after awhile, I knew I was moving into danger zone. I was no longer peaceful. I was sad. And the tears started and then I couldn't control myself. B got us off the phone relatively soon. And I lost it to the point of hyperventilating. It was really, really bad. That pain is just so deep and so dark...

I'm not sure what triggered it. It could have been anything, right? That news alone can be difficult enough for us no matter how peaceful we're feeling.

My mother-in-law at one point said something about how excited she was that they brought ultrasound pictures over with 'nana' and 'poppa' written on them. She also said that she was excited to have gone to our family friend's baby shower Saturday and wondered when she'd be able to get excited about being a grandmother.

Yes - that was it. I thought 'what?????'. Did she really just say that? What does she think we've been trying to do??? And can she not think for a second how hurtful that might be for us.

The only way I could equate it (which is still far off I realize) is: I've just reached my goal weight and am very happy and proud of this... but I would never tell my friend who struggles so hard with her weight. It can be like telling someone you're promoted when they are unemployed. You just don't do it. Or you do it gently.

Yeah, I should be a bigger person and be able to be truly happy for them without bringing my own issues into this. But, isn't that nearly impossible for us? And isn't it not too much to ask for a little compassion?

There was no acknowledgement of 'we know this news might be difficult for you to take...'. And for all they know, I'm still depressed like I was at Thanksgiving.

The grace in all of this: Our brother and sister in law each wrote us last night and mentioned that it probably wasn't the best idea to call with his parents... and that they wished his mother hadn't said insensitive things.

Ok, good. At least I wasn't going completely crazy in thinking these things. And at least they really do care and thought out how to best tell us the news, and then realized that they probably should have done it differently.

And I hope that I can be truly happy for them as this news processes through me. I want to be the happy aunt. I really do.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

1 Year Blogoversary Came & Went

I've been so busy getting ready & going to India... and have taken such a turn for the better that I missed my own 1 year blogoversary!

So... happy 1 year of blogging anniversary to me! :)

I don't know what I would have done this past year without this space. It's been my haven. And if it didn't save me, it eased my pain in a way that I don't think anything else could have come close. And it has a lot to do with all of you I've met along the way. How we've connected. How you've heard me. How you understand. Like no one else does.

So, thank YOU for allowing me to be able to celebrate this momentous occasion!

And I want to specifically thank Stirrup Queens for being out there, for her advice on blogging (since I knew nothing about blogs and was extremely lost on knowing how to start & what to do) and for being the central point for so many of us to find each other (the blogroll, creme de la creme, LFCA, IComLeavWe, for starters...). Thank you!

Where am I one year later?
Factually-speaking, I am nowhere closer to my goal. I started out writing at our 2 year ttc mark with one miscarriage giving me the impetus to seek a world out there who understood. That's when I wrote First Post - My Journey So Far. This is the "year later" post, only a month late. :)

And while I haven't reached that original 'ultimate' goal, I think I've created a new goal for myself along the way: to be at peace with my life. In so many other ways, I'm a completely different person who has decided not to make having children be the be-all-end-all of my life. I've taken charge to try to enjoy life as much as possible for what it is, not what I wish it to be, and to not define myself by my fertility... or infertility.

No matter how we arrive at feeling better about our situation, it does change us. I am marked by infertility. But I'm at a point now, past the pain, of wanting to turn it into a positive, which for me is to appreciate the children who are in my life and be a more empathetic person to others who are going through hard times.

I'm grateful for arriving at this place, recognizing that a state of peacefulness is difficult to get to and can be temporary. But I'm trying to maintain that by working hard at my awareness of where I've come from on this and where I want to continue to be.

Thank you for being on this journey with me! I can't wait to know what the next year holds for me... and for us.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Travel Does Wonders for Infertilty Journey

I got back Sunday night and had a FABULOUS 2 weeks away! I felt like me again!

It's been 3 years since I've done really big travel. It's also been 3 years since we started trying to conceive.

Traveling has been in my blood. It's been my passion. Ever since studying abroad junior year in college, I have tried to plan 1 big trip a year, planning well in advance, saving up, looking forward to it. And everytime, it has left me so incredibly satisfied. On a high. Passionate about life!

I've done Europe, several times, including Eastern parts, I've gone to Costa Rica, Thailand, Peru, Tanzania, Mexico, the Carribbean, our very own US National Parks - and all have been amazing for my spirit! I'm adventurous and I crave seeing new things, experiencing other cultures and being on the go.

So, it was no wonder that this trip to India re-ignited some energy in me. I felt alive as I worked for 2 weeks and also visited with relatives. I loved being able to stopover in Dubai on the way home to see more extended family. I felt independent as I took in all kinds of new experiences. Everyday I was overwhelmed with positivity and so appreciative for this opportunity.

Yay for passions! Yay for focusing on something else for once! Yay for new experiences! And yay for resurrecting the 3-year-hidden me again!!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Too Much Childfree Living Talk?

I don't know how this happened but I have literally done a 180 - I no longer want children. At least for now. But I say at least for now, but I fully 100% feel this way.

And how can this be when I felt completely 100% opposite as little as 45 days ago?

I've been through much pain, I've done the work in therapy, I've grieved for my 3 years of ttc and 3 miscarriages and I've tried to focus on life as it is, the blessings in our life and living in the present. I've wished for nothing but peace.

And I finally have it.

And I'm thrilled that we're enjoying life. Friday night spontaneous dinner date? Bring it! Sunday afternoon ice skating escape? Right on! No daily cleaning of poo, pee and vomit? Yes! Being able to do whatever we want whenever we want? Sign me up!

I know, I know, I'm simplying, but I really do love life right now. And the thought of children does not interest me now.

But, is it too much for me to continually be talking about enjoying this new-found freedom when I know my husband doesn't feel this 100%? I know that parenting wasn't his #1 reason for wanting children, so he didn't feel it as deeply as I did. But his top reasons had to do with genetic continuity so I don't want him to feel like I'm squashing that dream.

It's interesting being on the other side. For 2 years, I've talked about nothing but getting pregnant, adopting, fostering - anything to get us the children I so desperately wanted. And he kept saying he wasn't ready for adoption and didn't think he could ever consider fostering. And it hurt so badly that he didn't want what I wanted.

And now the tables may be turned. He is being good about just letting me talk. I think he hopes I'm in a phase. And I think we're letting myself just be like this for awhile but I worry that if I still feel strongly about this in a year from now, it may be here to stay, in which case will our tables turn - will he be begging me to seriously consider children when I really don't want them anymore?

Interesting turn of events...

In the meantime, India, here I come (tomorrow!)...

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Our Parents' Essence of Us

As many of you know, I had felt dismayed over the way that my parents and my parents-in-law have treated me particularly in the last year when I was at my lowest with our infertility struggles.

I just felt like they didn't do enough. I'm still upset with my mother who seemed to have blamed me for one of our miscarriages (though working on getting over it & forgiving) and for overall just not saying the right things. And I still don't understand how my in-laws stayed silent throughout it all.

Here I was in the depths of sorrow, mildly depressed, no energy, jealous, sad, angry... and I just couldn't get the support from the people who are family.

What a disappointment.

And I'm beginning to become aware of this phenomenon that our parents like the essence of us but may not really know us.

They think they know us, but it's become apparent that they just don't. Both my husband and I feel this way. They hardly know what we do for work (which we both feel passionately about). And in general, they don't really ask probing questions about things that really matter to us, things we're into, what we care about...

I can't help but think that our parents love us, but if they are not in our day to day lives, they can easily get stuck in remembering us for who we were, back when we did live with them...

I've felt disappointed that they seem to place so much importance on family, but then don't seem to want to really know who we are, at our core. The relationships with them just don't seem as authentic anymore. I've felt this way for a long time.

About 5-10 years ago, I began traveling moreso than I had done before, venturing outside of my only-having-gone-to-Europe zone... to Thailand, Tanzania, Costa Rica... I'd plan my trips a year ahead of time, saving money each month looking forward to this, but my parents seemed only mildly interested. You see, they hadn't moved forward with who I was becoming.

And with my in-laws, I had had a big coming-to conversation over Thanksgiving this year, writing them an email ahead of time letting them know how I was feeling and that I wanted to talk about our struggles, that it hurt when no one ever asked.

And, after all that, my mother-in-law calls me yesterday. I haven't gotten a phone call from her in months, maybe even close to a year. And you know why she called? To find out the color of the tie that my husband wore on our wedding day. They are re-painting their bathroom and want to paint it that color.

"And you're doing well?" she asked, hurriedly from the store. "Yes, I'm fine, " I replied, knowing that she didn't really want to know.

And for once, I wanted to say yes, I am fine! Better than fine - I'm GREAT! And did you know I'm going to India this Friday??? She still doesn't know that. She doesn't really want to know...

It's just the essence of us that they want, it seems.

Friday, January 28, 2011

How We Need Our Moms

I had an a-ha moment this past week. A friend was over whose sister lost her husband a year ago. It's sad & tragic. They'd been together since college, had recently married and 6 months later died suddenly.

One of the hardest things about my friend's sister is dealing with her mom - who is a sweet woman but who just doesn't seem to know how to be there for her daughter.  And, in turn, it hurts their mother to know that she has to tip-toe around her daughter...

I couldn't help but relate it to me. And what me & my mom had gone through this past year. She just couldn't be there for me the way I had needed her to be. It hurt that during a time of the worst sorrow I've experienced, I felt like I didn't have my mom.

Everything she said (or didn't say) was wrong.

She said all the (empty-sounding) "comforting" words of don't worry, it will happen soon (oh, yeah, when?) and there are worse things that could happen (yeah, I know I'm not dying) and just relax (ok...) and you have so many blessings (yes, and it upsets me even more that I can't seem to focus on those instead!!!).

And what she didn't say - I'm sorry this is so hard for you/that you're going through this/that you're sad.

My friend's sister has a hard time calling her mom. And when they do talk, it lasts a minute or two. The words How are you? seem loaded to her.

I can relate. I can so relate.

That time my mom called to say are you mad at me, you haven't called in 2 weeks... Well, the reason I hadn't called was because it just took too much effort to talk to someone who wasn't there for me. It made me feel even more alone to not have her be able to comfort me.

And even though I couldn't see it then, I had to trust that it would pass. That my mom & I would be able to just be "us" again... somehow.

This weekend, I drove an hour to have lunch with my parents, not out of obligation, not because they asked, not because it had been too long, but because I wanted to.

Sure, it's still not great to think about how I needed her last year and she wasn't that person for me. But I feel like I'm past that now, living life again, and only now can I feel like we have our relationship (back) again. I say (back) because I know it's not exactly the same. It can't be. But it's close. Closer than we've recently been, at least. And it's only able to be because I'm not in the depths of my sorrow anymore.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Living Life!

Not much to report on the ttc-front except that I've been living life! And that, actually, is HUGE!

I have finally been approved to take my work trip to India. We opened an office there 8 months ago and I oversee HR for it, so am going for 2 weeks in 2 weeks! Huge! I'll also get to visit relatives there and have a stopver on the way home in Dubai to visit other relatives. I'm really excited about this travel. And for getting away to warmer weather during our winter :)

I am also discussing with B an overseas vacation this spring/summer. One of my goals was to get back to traveling, something I had loved doing but stopped doing these last few years because of the 'just in case' factor and then all the planning that goes into ttc. So, we're discussing Spain or Turkey/Greece. I am so excited!

And... I signed up for a 1/2 marathon in May! I did this one in 2009 but with all our treatments in the last couple of years, I didn't do it in 2010 (we actually were in treatment then with an IUI), but I am excited to get my life back on track and training again for this one in May! Which, of course, will mean hard work but I also have 3 more lbs to get down to goal weight and think/hope this will kick it into high gear.

We're also taking our nephews this afternoon to a really fun indoor pool & can't wait to spend time with those cuties!

So, there you have it - Living Life to its fullest & feeling good!

Monday, January 17, 2011


Can it be 2 full weeks into the new year and I'm still feeling peaceful? Have I achieved that state I've been longing for? Will it last?? I sure hope so!

It's taken a lot of work & reflection... and the book Sweet Grapes: How to Stop Being Infertile and Start Living Again has really helped. It's mostly about moving to a childfree state and while I'm not sure I'm there, I am sure that I want to be happy with what I do have and with our current situation, which does not include children.

Truthfully, I just don't want to put our lives on hold anymore. I want to live life without thinking 'well, what if we get pregnant'. That hasn't worked and doesn't bring me peace.

I never thought I could be a person who may not want to have children. In fact, I was ready to jump into foster care a year and a half ago! But, in getting to this peaceful state, it's meant embracing the fact that we don't have children. And reading this book on how to embrace life without children has got me thinking that that may actually be a good life!

And, I visited with my best friend yesterday, who has a 2 year old and a recent newborn and I had a BLAST as the auntie and helper. No jealousy, no sadness, no pining. How incredible is that? I never thought I'd get here.

Who knows where my state in mind will be in the near future but for now, I AM happy to say that I am embracing our lives the way it is. And that is the amazing peace that I've so been wishing for, moreso than a child.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Resolved in the New Year

I wish I could take all my zen-like feelings from our beach vacation into the new year. That's what I will strive to do.

I had some long and hard moments with myself and with B discussing how easy it can be once we're away from our daily lives to feel fine about our situation and to enjoy life for what it is, and not for what we don't have. It's a harder thing when we're around friends with children and back to our daily grind.

But...I am resolved. To trying. Trying to see the good in life. Trying to make the most of our situation. Trying really hard to enjoy being childless right now. Trying to take advantage of the things we wouldn't be able to do otherwise.

Yes, easier said than done. Especially since we've had another consult with our doc and talked about IVF and how I need to do more tests and bloodwork. Oh, how I don't want to go through all of these steps. We'll take it easy for now. Take small steps in some direction. But I refuse to stress over it all. We'll do what we can when we can.

And in the meantime, I need to fit travel back into my life. It revives me and it's something I haven't really done much of in the last couple of years. So, here's to fun planning ahead!