Friday, November 30, 2007

Turkey days gone by...

I know I've been MIA for a few days but things have been insanely busy lately. Hubby and I decided to rent a car and go visit his parents and family for Thanksgiving. He hasn't seen some of them in almost two years so it was a well overdue trip. We ended up with a rental truck but it was a great little truck and had four doors so we took it. We had planned on taking the puppies with us which is much like packing children up for a week long trip. Everyone had special blankies and bowls and toys and sweaters and such to go with us not to mention their crates and get the picture. We decided to best avoid the bulk of the traffic we would leave as soon as hubby came home from work around 1am. For some this is nuts but for us this has worked many times in the past and seems to be the best way for us to manage the drive. I get terrified of some of the mountain driving so I prefer to sleep and hubby is a night owl by nature.

Anyway, the trip was great. We got to see our 3 year old nephew that we haven't seen in a year and a half. We got to spend time with family and this year surprisingly the big feast didn't involve any icky bickering and bitterness (well not that much anyway) so things were happy and festive and we enjoyed each other. We went back to his parents house to stay a few days and despite one incident with hubby's dad getting out of hand things were pretty good. I did get a lot of "I wish you all would move back" and "You know Arian you have done some things we didn't like too ya know" and "We don't want to butt in but you know that one time? Well you should have done it better." I was a bit on edge and pretty defensive by the time we left but not enough to make me angry, just sad. On the way home hubby decided to take a veeeerrrry long way around to get home and it irritated me.

I got irritated that he refused to acknowledge that we had done this trip a gajillion times and that he was adding on two hours to our trip home but still griping that he was ready to get home and that I should have packed quicker etc. Well, I was about to get over it by the time we got home until I went to pee. Before I could unpack anything I ran up to pee and there was the beautiful pink tp we all dread. I came out and tried to be as nonchalant as I could when I told him. We hugged and that was that.

When the truck had finally been unloaded and puppies take care of for whatever reason we got into a heated argument. The first in weeks. It was short but pretty bad. About ten minutes into it I swear someone came down from heaven and turned on my lightbulb. I realized that we weren't arguing at all. We were dealing. I just stopped mid sentence and said "You know what we are doing too don't you?" It was as if the weight of the world had dropped from around us and we both just melted into tears. I realized as we cried and held on to one another that we had done this several times before too. It was a heavy blow to realize that infertility had done this to us. It had conditioned us to lash out at each other and it bothered me a great deal.

What I thought was af dropping in turned out to be a false alarm, but I have been on pins and needles all week about it knowing that the likelihood of anything this month are so slim it is almost nonexistant. I still held out for "just in case." The past couple of days I could feel her unpacking for a nice lengthy stay and I just knew. I tried to let it go and just get ready but something held me back. It caused such frustration and sadness and pain that I was rather a grumpy Itch all week. This afternoon she finally settled in for the week and while crushed once again I feel relieved that finally I can move on and start all over. Is it ever going to happen?

After unloading the truck

Tuesday, November 20, 2007


I've been brewing this post for a few days now and I'm still not sure if I can really describe how the upcoming holidays have wrapped their joyful arms around me this year. Already I feel the urge to hustle and bustle. Case and point, I put up our Christmas lights this afternoon and decorated the house (minus the tree). I did this because we are going to see hubby's parents this week and I am a bit anal about having our tree up the day after Thanksgiving. The idea that I can put the tree up on Saturday or Sunday after we return is just a horrid scary thought for me so I have to get things done before we leave.

I'm excited about going to see his folks. We haven't seen anyone on the mountain since we moved here with my family and it will be nice I suppose to see them. They are a different sort, full of drama and unsettled bitterness with every single person on the family tree so it is never dull. We will get to see our niece and nephews. We haven't seen either nephew for quite some time. We will assuredly see his aunt and uncle and his grandparents. I am already braced for the questions and prepared to make a quick getaway to the restroom to cry once they start rolling off the tongues.

Usually I get excited and allow the holidays no matter how we celebrate them, to help pull me through the beginning doldrums of winter and then I can skate along through January on the skirt tails of all the frenzy. Usually this leaves me with the shortest month of the year to teeter on the edge of insanity with depression and in March I'm giddy at the idea of daffodills and butterflies again. This year, I've been very quiet and reflective. There have been many things happening in our families that have helped I suppose. The clincher was our service at church on Sunday.

The pastor discussed compassion, humility, generosity, and peace. He said by living with compassion, humility, and generosity, we will find peace in our lives. I try very hard to live by this every single day. Ask anyone and they will hopefully tell you I would give my right arm to someone if I didn't need it to sign the consent forms. I love everyone and try my best to be happy with what I have and recognize what others don't. Why then? Why am I so tormented? Can I truly be living this "peaceful life" if I feel so frustrated that I'm not content and peaceful with just what we have? Of course a baby comes into play as it does every other aspect of my life and that makes me sad. I feel that I could be content with so many things but to be without our child that we dream of every day is just beyond acceptance for me.

Thanksgiving has over time become harder and harder for me to embrace. I love the family and enjoy reflecting on my thankfulness and blessings almost more than the joy and spirit surrounding Christmas. I love being a thankful person every day so this holiday comes naturally to me. I look and see such a beautiful place that we live in on our own. I see how far my husband has come and how much closer we are (which is truly very close). I look at our jobs and our friendships. We have friends now that we deeply care for and that we can depend on. We have close family near by all the time and his family seems at least for now to be ok with us. He and his dad are working on growing a relationship and I see forgiveness and healing wounds there. I should be so thankful for all these things. I am truly. I'm very blessed and words cannot express how grateful I am that I have these blessings.

But... there is an unspoken and very quiet corner of my heart that only God can see and I can feel (and you can read about). It's like being at a party. A really big party with tables all around and at the very back of the room is this table that was simply put there to fill up the corner and to balance out the room. It sits there in a spot where the lights don't quite reach and no one cares to sit there. It is a place that you could go to get away from the party without leaving. It is a quiet dark place where you can sit in the shadows and watch the party unnoticed. I feel like I have a quiet place like that in my heart that I visit once in a while. The past few days as the holidays approach, I feel myself staying there longer and visiting more frequently. I long to be fulfilled and peaceful. I yearn for the joy I know I could feel. I imagine myself visiting there with our future child. I imagine her sitting there silent beside me, both of us only aware of the other's presence and nothing more. In this quiet place I find my thankfulness and pray it will soon follow me onto the dance floor of life. Keep dancing and enjoy the party, I'll be there soon....

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Guilty... and it isn't my fault!

I have become increasingly aware of the guilt that comes with Infertility. I feel guilty every single day for various reasons. Isn't it enough that I have to go through all the stuff that comes with the title? I can just see someone "upstairs" saying "Oh, let's make all this heartache worthwhile and dump a boat load of other crap on her too. It can be a well rounded learning experience."

Here are some things I've been guilty about lately...

1. I feel guilty for all the crazy mood swings I put my husband, family, and coworkers through on a day to day basis.

2. I feel guilty for not revelling in the joy of a new birth in our church, at work, or even in our family. It is truly a miracle for them and I hate that I feel so bitter and grumpy about their happiness.

3. I feel guilty for failing myself. I feel like I should have done more or prayed more or been more. Maybe if I had worked harder or if I did more for others or... something....

4. I feel guilty for the pain that my husband has to go through month after month only to be followed up with some seriously grumpy days from his wife.

5. I feel guilty for thinking that I would be a better mom than some women I see in passing. I see them in grocery stores and I think "If I had a child I would sooo not allow that to happen!" Truth be told? I don't know what I would do. Maybe that mom is having a really bad day and the child missed his nap or something. Maybe that mom is a single young mom doing the best she can which leads to number 6...

6. I feel guilty for being so angry at teenage or very young mothers. I understand that they should have been more responsible, but honestly isn't having your childhood ripped from you punishment enough without the added criticism and knowing glares from people like me?

7. I feel guilty for my lack of patience with other children on bad days when my bitterness runneth over. Sometimes the only way I can cope with having children frolicking in my presence is to make myself think I don't like what they are doing or convince myself they are driving me nuts.

8. I feel guilty for my questioning if all this is really worth it sometimes. I usually have this thought at a very weak moment and then of course I get a toothless smile from one of my seven year olds at school and a hug just because they are happy to see me and I immediately feel a flood of guilt.

9. I feel guilty that I turn down my friends invitations to go do things and I have isolated myself more or less over the years because the pain of seeing friends with babies hurts too much. I have let many many good friends slip to the wayside because I just can't bear the questions and glances and I hate that some of them have children and I don't.

10. Lastly I feel guilty for a very odd reason. This one takes a bit to explain so please bear with me....

I always heard as a child that sometimes people die so new souls can come to earth. I have heard that babies pick their families and I have heard that there are children in heaven waiting for us sort of like waiting for their turn. The latter of the two don't bother me too bad but the first one eats at me a lot lately.

I am terrified to become pregnant right now. My grandfather (mom's dad) is in failing health. He has been for many years but he keeps fighting on and he's such a wonderful man and I love him so much. Last night my grandmother (dad's side) had what we think was a stroke. It terrified me. I've had this in the pit of my stomach terror lately that one of them will get sick and die just so I can selfishly bring a baby into the world.

Now before I get a lot of "I can't believe you would think that!" or "How morbid and horrible you are!" thoughts let me say. This is only a manifestation of my trying to explain my infertility. I know we all have questioned why and even wondered what force of nature would have to change in order for things to line up and a baby fall in our arms.

One of the bizarre fearful rationalizations that I have come up with in the bottom of the bottom of my heartache is that maybe my heart and family is just full right now and in order to have another I will have to wait for one to leave. It is silly maybe but it is no less terrifying.

Last night as I heard my tearful mother on the other line explaining to me that no one knew what would happen at that point as they had also found pneumonia on top of the stroke and she was not doing very well, the bottom of my stomach lurched and I felt like I was going to be sick. I sobbed for hours. I wept bitterly pleading with God that this was not the case. At that time I felt it beyond irony that my just done hsg coincided with the wonderful throes of upcoming ovulation and the fear of losing a loved one. This morning my mother assured me that my grandmother is much better and in fact they have questions as to whether she really had a stroke or if her oxygen levels just got way too low because she has been stubbornly trying to prove she doesn't need her oxygen.

I'm not sure how to overcome this fear and pain that I feel about my grandparents to whom I am very very close, tiring and moving on to make way for the new. I have struggled for a while with it and after last night the fear has gripped me in a new way. I want my grandparents to see their first great grandchild and it breaks my heart to think otherwise.

I feel so guilty that I want a child so bad despite the thought of losing a loved one and I feel guilty for thinking such horrid and outlandish thoughts.

I'm going to go and look for a way out of this tunnel of guilt now....

Friday, November 9, 2007


Today was it. I am so tired I will probably have to spend all weekend catching up on my lost nights of sleep over this. For those of you who are unfamiliar, a hysterosalpingogram (hsg) is a diagnostic test that they do with a dye injected into your girly bits that flows into your tubes and all that goodness and out into your abdomen if all is well. If there is a blockage which would prevent eggs from meeting their friendly fishies the dye will stop at the blockage.

Well anyway, first my wonderful little brother (who is a very good sport) was the one who took me to the hospital for the test. We had a bit of fun at school with him yesterday because he didn't know why he was taking me to the hospital just that he was. He was still a great guy and graciously waited in the waiting room for me and I made sure to thank him with dinner later on.

I got to admitting and at first the volunteer couldn't find me in the system. Finally a nice lady came and helped him out and got me all set up and then they walked me down to the waiting room for radiology. I was scared to death!

I wasn't scared so much about the procedure but more about the results which would determine our next step in the IF journey.

The radiologist was super nice and explained in detail the procedure and told me to go drop my skivvies and don a gown. The other radiologist who had set up the room forgot to put a gown in there so I had to wait a bit for her to hunt one up. Then they got me up on the table and I was shakin in my socks but geared up for the test and she came in to say the doctor had gotten stuck in a CT scan and would be 15 minutes to an hour late. She brought me a nice heated blankie and told me to just hang out (skivvyless) until he showed. I was about to doze off and he showed up. He was very nice and personable which is unusual in the medical world sometimes.

I want to stop a bit and tell about the procedure because before I had this I was terrified and I wasn't sure what to expect. Thankfully my Cysters at Soulcysters prepared me and I felt much more confident knowing what was going to happen so hopefully I can help someone else out too... bear with me....

The doctor came in and explained what was about to happen and we went through it step by step. I was told to lie on an x-ray table and the speculum was inserted. The doctor inserted a tiny catheter into my cervix and inflated a small balloon on the end of it. This was not exactly painful but I did feel a bit uncomfortable. It was nothing like having a urinary catheter but at the same time I did feel it going into my uterus but it wasn't so much painful as it was weird.

I did feel the balloon also but that wasn't as odd as the actual placement of the catheter. It took a minute to get the balloon in place and then he injected the dye. It was a strange feeling at first and then it did hurt a bit going in. It was almost like a burning but not exactly and it wasn't bad at all just (again) bizarre. They will take multiple pictures at different angles now. I was lucky to have a very new x-ray room where I never had to move. The x-ray machine moved all around me, but I had a friend at work that did have to change positions several times at her hsg. Once the pictures are done the speculum was removed. Some doctors will show you the results right there, some won't. My radiologist explained that with my doctor sometimes he just didn't think about it and that I should ask. She was great and went on to ask for me. The doctor stopped before removing the catheter and showed me the pictures and explained it to me. He then removed the catheter and exited stage left. By this point I was cramping a lot but it wasn't a heavy feeling like my af. It hurt more than it was heavy like af is for me. It wasn't unbearable at all though just a pain in the butt. the radiologist told me I could go get dressed and had a pad for me. I brought my own because I had been told that sometimes they don't provide those. I was more comfortable with mine anyway. She led me back out and took my ID bracelet and sent me on my way. The paperwork and prep for it took longer than the actual procedure which took maybe five minutes.

When I was done on the way home I was very thankful for someone to drive me home. The cramping was very uncomfortable and it was nice to not worry about driving. Again though, the pain wasn't that bad just like cramps sorta. Three hours later I'm not really having any cramps at all but I am still leaking a bit. The doc also told me to expect a bit of spotting and bleeding but that it was totally normal and did not mess up my cycle.

I will say, I came knowing there would probably be a bit of cramping so I had taken an 800mg ibuprofen before leaving the house so that it would have time to take effect. Was it totally necessary? For some maybe not. I think for me it was a really good idea. I also made sure to have a warm shirt and warm socks because hospitals are usually cold. It made the cold metal x-ray table bearable. The driver was wonderful and just knowing that it wasn't a painful procedure made it better. The results were the scariest part of the whole thing and they were what kept me awake at night. I have a lot of scar tissue from previous surgery though so the odds of a blockage were really high for me.

The results.....

ALL Clear!!!!!

Just hearing the results made the cramps seem so insignificant and the loss of dignity worth it! Let's face it though with IF there is never any dignity. Our girly bits are left out there for all to see.

I guess this means we are on our way to Clomid and I feel like maybe trying with a little more gusto this month. At least I know that things can get where they need to get. Hubby still needs to get his SA done but for now we can go on with our lives as planned. Sorry for such a long post but I wanted to share my experience in case someone else has the same fears or questions.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Borrowing the mommy title...

This particular situation has happened a lot in my life. I baby sat a little boy for a friend in high school (she was only a year older than me) while she worked a third shift job. I would pick the baby up after school and keep him while she slept and worked until 7am the next morning when I would drop him off and go to school. I loved it. But.... and this is the only place I have and will ever admit this... I found a guilty pleasure in keeping him all the time. It is one reason I never charged her for keeping him and why I did it for so long despite entering college classes early and ending up with a two year old and a very sick grandfather for a long time that I helped care for also (My aunt and uncle's son became deathly ill with a "mystery virus" and nearly died several times. This left his two year old sister at home over an hour and a half away needing a care giver. Of course my mom volunteered me trying to get me to stop caring for the other baby and therefore convincing me that teenage motherhood is unacceptable and uncool... if only she knew that it was an impossibility for me in the first place lol. Life is sick and ironic sometimes eh?).

Anyway, sorry for the rant, the pleasure I found was in the mommy title. When I took him out in public to the park or to "The World of Wally", or the mall, or just out for a ride, I found that I loved the idea that people saw me as his mommy even for a split second. I understood at the time and I was well aware that people thought ill of me as a very young mother of a very rambunctious baby but I didn't care. I loved the thought that for a little while I was only a technicality (a large one nonetheless) away from "mom."

That was only a small peek into the many guilty "mommy title stealer" moments in my life and last night I added one to the board. "Dan and Dot" came over with the baby last night and hubby and Dan of course had one too many. Dan had planned to get his boys a Wii for Christmas and they were to go on sale in our small town World of Wally at midnight. They only had a few of them in stock so we set out at 11:30, drunk men in tow to buy a Wii. Just as we left the men got so rowdy that they woke the baby up. They certainly made the trip interesting and us women chose to leave them to wait half an hour in electronics while we rambled around. Dot was busying herself looking at something and I was oohing and ahhhing with the baby pushing the cart around and around the store trying to keep her from remembering that she should be asleep and that she hated being in her carseat. I ran into an old flame from high school and he just stopped and looked at me funny. He said hi and then asked how the "Little one" was and admired her for a bit and we went our own ways. I felt so guilty. I never once told him that she wasn't mine. Really and truly the encounter was far too short to go into an explanation like that but I felt like such a fraud.

Why was I so ashamed of myself? It has eaten at me a bit today and I can't shake it from the back of my mind. It made me feel so guilty, like I had commited a serious crime or lie. I've allowed myself many times to enjoy the pleasure of borrowing the title with my nephew and even my cousins but never before have I felt so guilty about it. Was it just simply that I knew that Dot was nearby or was it the fact that I want to have that title so badly and it hurts so bad and I am terrified that this is the only way I might ever be considered mommy? I know it isn't that big of a deal I guess but it really has irked me that I've become so "addicted" to the mommy idea that I would consider borrowing another woman's child just to be considered a mommy even if for only a second.

Have you ever had this happen? Did you ever feel this way? Inquiring minds want to know....