Monday, December 13, 2010

Happy Birthday

For the first time in months I finally have an opportunity to spend some time curled up on the couch in front of the Christmas tree. Every year I look forward to this moment. It is the first snow of the year. School is cancelled and I can stay up late in the silent peacefulness of winter. With my schedule what it is, it is very difficult to find any time to do this, so when I do, I cherish and treasure every second. Tonight is no different.

I actually hate winter. I dread it with a growing anxiety every single year. As the days grow shorter, my sadness grows stronger and I fight to muddle through until the sunny green days of March. Usually I am already struggling by this time of year and I really try to embrace Christmas and the holidays to help propel me through to spring. This year, I am surprised to find that the sadness has been replaced with a quiet melancholy that only rears its head in those precious quiet moments I try to steal here and there.

I try to allow myself this. I think I need those reflective moments alone in my head to acknowledge the feelings I try so hard to put away all year. Christmas is especially hard for infertiles. I know Hubby and I have struggled quite a bit in years past over simple tasks like putting up the Christmas tree. This year there is hope. I did not hesitate to put our tree up. I wanted to embrace the hope and the happiness I had. We are in our new place, and even though our child is only a wish and a dream in our hearts, I feel content and happy.

This year my melancholy lies in memories where it should be rather than in the fear of an empty future. As the snow swirled furiously to the ground tonight I remembered the last snow we had in our small town. Hubby and I drove cautiously through the town snapping pictures to take back to my grandfather. For reasons unknown to myself, I felt it was my top priority to find a way to show my grandfather the beautiful snow that blanketed the ground. I brought the camera back to him and slowly scanned through picture after picture. It was the last real moments we shared together. He struggled to talk, but he nodded his head and smiled as the dazzling snow flashed across the screen.

I can't look at those pictures yet. He was sick for so many years and our family, without ever saying anything out loud to one another, worked hard to make sure that each Christmas was special and meaningful, especially as it became clear that our time with him was drawing to an end. I miss him so much tonight. His birthday was yesterday. I felt his absence deeply, but I am so thankful that he no longer has to suffer like he did. I know our time was spent cherishing every moment and I am so thankful for those moments now.

Tonight I will smile at the memories we had, I may cry a few tears, and then I will look forward. Hubby and I have so much to look forward to this year. In the next few days we plan to contact someone about adopting a child and hopefully this can be the last year we spend as two. I will admit, the anticipation of another year without tiny footprints running through our home is the main source of most of my holiday sadness, but for the first year I feel like I might actually have a little bit of Christmas for myself.

Monday, November 1, 2010


For the past eight years I have danced around with hope, chatted noncommitally, we even went out for coffee a couple of times, but never have I dared to invite hope into my home and especially into my heart when it came to Hubby and I ever having a child of our own.

This past week our lives took a dramatic shift.

It started with our intense determination to move into a larger apartment with our own washer and dryer. Both of us were fed up with lugging our laundry down to the laundry room every week and we were feeling a bit cramped and frustrated in our tiny one bedroom.

Within moments of handing over our deposit on a beautiful new home (that we will spend the holidays moving in to yay!) the thought occurred to both of us that we now had the space for a child without the child. This is the very reason we never moved from our one bedroom. We both sadly shrugged and my wheels started turning (Prayers also began flooding out of my heart).

After many conversations, a visit through some wonderful websites, an amazing book, and those said prayers, a miracle happened and we have both agreed that it was time to start down the path to bring our child home. Our journey I believe will not be typical, but few journeys are.

I am excited, overjoyed, anxious, hopeful, and scared to death! We are only just beginning our journey, but I can't wait to have things to share as the months progress. I need all of the advice I can get. We are hoping to adopt through the foster system. As it stands right now, we are looking at a school aged child. I would like to hear from anyone who has knowledge of this process.

Up to this point we have always considered international adoption and we focused our information gathering on there. As it is, we are a bit clueless....

And we couldn't be more excited!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Are we trying?

I get this question a lot lately. I'm not sure when it became the business of my entire workplace, our church, friends, etc, but apparently it has.

I understand that they are just trying to care. They have (in most cases) a genuine concern for Hubby and I, but it rubs me the wrong way most of the time. I usually just smile, shrug, and go about my way without any real answer, but deep down I'm always rattled. Sometimes that question eats at me the rest of the day.


Well, truth is, I don't know the answer. I really don't want to be honest with myself either way. We are currently in limbo right now and I'm too scared to do anything about it. There have been a couple of times that I have reached out to grab the phone and call the doc, but I never do it. I make excuses and go out of my way to avoid thinking about the next step. I know at some point we will have to work on that, but I just can't.

Every time I think about opening the closet where I keep all of the horrible facts of my infertility tucked out of sight, I get physically ill. My heart starts to race, my palms get all sweaty, and I feel like I can't breathe. I get an overwhelming urge to throw up. I like being in limbo. There are possibilities and no certainties all at the same time. No one can say I can't, although no one will ever tell me I will.

Most of the people closest to me, even my family, think that it's all because of the provera. I tell them we can't think about anything right now because I'm on provera to keep the evil cancer cells away. Every time I say that I hear the words of my doc echo in my ear, "Call me the moment you become pregnant. It is a very real possibility now." My doubt usually laughs when this happens and I shake my head and move on.

In my own mind I have moved on to adoption. I just skirt over the entire issue with a whole new solution. Still, I keep up with my cycle and I get antsy after every refill of provera. I question when my body gets out of sorts and I cling to the tiniest shred of hope sometimes.

So am I trying? Well I guess the answer is I'm not not trying.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Today I Am Missing You

My Dear Sweet Baby,

Today my heart aches to be near you. I have never felt your chubby fingers grasp my own. I have never gotten the chance to breathe in your sweet smell as I kiss the top of your soft head. I've never snuggled you close or rocked you to sleep. My heart does not yet know the melody of your laughter or the pain of your tears. Someday we will share all of these things. Someday I will look deep into your eyes and we will both somehow know of the journey it took for us to be together.

I long for that day. I wait patiently, desperately. I pray fervently for that day to come soon. There are days that my pain is unbearable. The emptiness I feel that only your giggles will heal overwhelms me. Some nights I awake to my own outstretched arms, reaching out to you, but never touching you.

I know our eyes have never met on this earth, our hands have never touched, but today I miss you as if we had been together for an eternity and suddenly you were gone.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Reaching out

I have a really hard time with friendships. I've had things happen in my past that make it difficult for me to allow anyone into my world. I didn't realize until recently how much I hold back with the friends that I have now. A lot of it has to do with my past, but there is a significant portion of my discomfort with other people that originates with infertility.

I have a hard time making new friends because most of the people I know already have kids and there is just no common ground with them. It hurts a lot to hear them talk about having something I want so badly too. I was never a real eager friend getter, but now I actually find myself sabotaging potential friendships just to avoid the heartache.

I hate that I do this. I really try to push outside of my comfort zone and reach out, but I just can't. I miss having a really close friend to share my true secrets with. I feel isolated sometimes and lonely, like something is missing.

Today I got really brave. I called an old friend of mine. We were really close. Some things happened and I pushed away from her completely a few years ago, but I miss her terribly. She always understood me before, better than anyone. I could tell her stuff I can't even tell my husband because she just gets it, how my crazy mind works. We met at the park today and talked. She invited me to her house, but I wanted a neutral place where I could feel safe. It was great! There was no awkward silence or discomfort between us. I felt like I always have with her. I could tell her anything and she did the same.

We talked for about two hours and I felt as if someone had lifted a huge weight from my chest afterwards. I finally felt free from some of the crazy thoughts I store up because most people would consider me insane if they knew half the stuff I over-rationalize and internalize. It took a lot of courage to call her up, but it was worth it and I know it won't be the last time.

I'm sad that I can't open up with the other people I call my friends and I am going to try to work on that a bit, but for now I'm just happy for small steps. Never underestimate the power of a friendship!

Friday, August 13, 2010


I'm usually really good at distancing myself from my own pain when friends have babies. I genuinely share in their joy and I have no trouble wishing for their own happiness despite my own painful journey. Their journey is different and I would never ever want anyone to walk this path.

Today things were different.

I fully recognize the blessing that my friend and her husband have gotten and I truly feel nothing but joy for them, but there is a dark shadow that hangs over her name in my mind.

We've been friends since middle school. She lived an hour away and I only got to visit her when I stayed with my grandmother, but when we were together we were great friends. When Hubby and I got married Hubby went to basic training and I stayed with my grandmother while he was gone. When he came back we got the only real positive pregnancy test I have ever gotten. My friend at the time was pregnant and I was overjoyed to be able to share such a special time with her.

By the time I got to the doctor I wasn't pregnant anymore and she still was. It made my loss even more painful. I felt like the only girl in class that didn't get a birthday party invitation. I haven't talked to her since. I follow her on facebook, but I carefully avoid all of the pictures of her little boy, and I don't actually talk to her, I just keep up with how she and her family are doing.

Yesterday she gave birth to her second son. I'm so happy for them. He's beautiful and I couldn't help but look at her new profile picture. I clicked on it to see it in full size and all I could do was stare.

The new baby didn't upset me, but looking into the eyes of that new big brother took my breath away. All I could think of was "My baby should be that big."

I looked at his hands and his ears thinking about how our son or daughter would look now and a familiar ache settled into my heart. I hate that I can't be as close to my friends as I used to be. I hate that pang of jealousy I feel and the anger and frustration that almost always follows these moments.

It's days like this that I realize infertility robs us all of so much more than just holding our child in our arms.

As if that wasn't enough.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

That Which Makes You Stronger....

Almost always sucks!

Aunt Flo has landed and she sunk her claws in deep this time for a nightmarish week of red. Sometimes I hate provera and all that it puts my body through. There is no option anymore though. I can't just say "Oh I wanna take a break for a while." The provera is my lifeline. It is the only line of defense I have against cancer right now.

There are days like today when I wonder if all of this is really worth it. I wish I had a crystal ball and I could see a fuzzy outline of the future. If I knew there was no chance of a live baby in my future, I think I would beg the powers that be to remove this mess and let me move on.

Hope is a dreadful thing sometimes.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

A Family Affair

We recently went on vacation with Hubby's family and of course the first question from everyone was "When are we going to have little people from you guys?" Every single person pulled us aside or brought it up at the dinner table at some point throughout the ten day vacation. Hubby has always been great at fielding these questions for me and he went to bat against his family for the millionth time. We got lots of wonderful advice and many suggestions like take a cruise or forget about it or stand on your head.

This time was different though. We got brave this time and tested the waters a bit with adoption talk. One of our main fears for a long time has been his family's reaction to us adopting, especially if we chose to adopt internationally or if we adopted a child of a different race.

At first the conversations were okay. Everyone agreed that it didn't matter if we adopted or where we adopted from. They all encouraged us to do what we felt was right and assured us they would love any child of ours no matter what.

This lasted about two days.

Then we found ourselves pulled aside from time to time to discuss the issue. "Why couldn't we at least adopt in the US?" "We'll support whatever you decide, but we really wish you would choose a child that would fit with our family." We understand your feelings about adoption, but don't you owe it to yourselves to try again for a biological child?" "We'll love whatever you bring home, but you owe it to the child to try and find one that looks like you."

We both fielded these questions as politely as we could. I was proud of hubby for not losing his cool. He held his own which surprised me because I often feel like he doesn't listen to me much about this stuff.

It took about a week after I got home for everything to really simmer.

To be fair, we have enjoyed many opinionated conversations with my grandmother too and at one point I decided I would refrain from any family expansion attempts until she had passed because I couldn't bear to have her say something to me or my child. Since then I have realized that it isn't up to her or anyone else for that matter. This is our child. A child we want and ache for every single day.

It infuriates me to have someone give me permission to parent a child much less under certain conditions that make them feel more comfortable! At the same time my old fears surface. I am terrified to bring a child into our family that may be subjected to these opinions and feelings. How do I do that? Is it fair to my child? Do I truly consider these close minded opinions on which child will be most preferred in our family? I want my child to feel equal and loved and cherished by every one of his or her family members. Even though we see most of these people two or three times a year, I don't want my child to feel different or unloved in their eyes. I know in our house, no matter where our child comes from or what our child looks like, that child will be ours, is already ours in God's eyes. The stork just took a different route.

Has anyone else dealt with these issues? How did you manage to keep your anger and frustration at bay? Did you take their feelings into consideration or did you find a way to tactfully tell them to kiss your tush?

Saturday, July 31, 2010


Provera does some strange things to my body. I'm not sure if anyone else has ever had this particular side effect, but I get cravings. I thought for a long time it was in my head, but during my ill fated break from provera I forgot all about it. It wasn't until the second day of desperately trying to get my hands on 'just - one - more - strawberry' that I realized it was happening again.

This week is a provera week and once again I am slave to the "can't get enough, I have to have it Now!" cravings. This month is tomatoes, and thankfully my mother has been visiting our Amish friends so I am fully stocked on the ruby goodness of fresh, out of the garden tomatoes!

At first I was a bit upset with my body for such an insensitive side effect. I mean if I can't be pregnant, why subject me to such horrible symptoms? Once I got over my grudge, I realized it's actually kind of funny. My craving is different every month. Sometimes I devour peanut butter or chocolate. Most of the time I would cut my arm off for some sort of fresh fruit or veggie (my waistline thanks me for that). Hubby and I jokingly guess what I'm going to crave each month and we are almost always wrong, but at least it gives us something to giggle about in all this mess.

Friday, July 30, 2010

The Controls

I think for me one of the hardest parts of this whole infertility journey is the lack of control. As I struggle through the normal difficulties that life presents, I am forced to hand over control of the most basic desire for any woman. Granted, I realize that all women are at the mercy of fate when it comes to having children, however for infertile women, there isn't even a level of control with the amount of disclosure we are willing to give all sorts of people on the most intimate aspects of our lives.

Sure there are doctors that probe and question our methods. There are plans, pills, and opinions. The appointments are intrusive and frustrating and often I am left feeling exposed and confused. But there are also the voices of family members, friends, and sometimes not quite acquaintances. Those voices that insist on making sure you understand their feelings and concerns. You know, so that when you are struggling to create your family, you will be sure to consider their desires before making any decisions (but that's a whole other post).

During such a whirlwind of uncertainty, as an infertile, I am forced to follow a strictly controlled protocol of medicines, times, temps, and do's and don'ts. It is as if I am caught in the force field between two repelling magnets, being pulled first one way then the other. Then, as if this isn't enough to cope with, someone brilliant genius pipes in with those ill fated words.... Just relax!

Friday, July 23, 2010

A Spoonful of Sugar

For the past few months I've really been struggling with some things. I tried, as I am unfortunately wont to do sometimes, to handle things on my own, but I think it got out of hand a bit. During our latest vacation with the in laws, my anxiety got the best of me and now I am really struggling to keep my head above water.

When Hubby and I met, I had some serious issues with anxiety and I was under the care of a doctor that thought the solution to every problem was more medication. I was a terrified zombie. None of the meds worked well and I could barely function. When we got married, I took a huge step and came off of them. I've worked really hard to stay off of them ever since.

I think I feel like if I go back on meds, I am a failure, like I let these irrational thoughts get the best of me; but I have to function, and right now I'm not doing so great at that. I look at my schedule this past semester and then forward to the fall schedule I am about to have to tackle and meds don't look like a bad idea anymore. At least I could make it through an exam without falling apart.

This is where infertility once again takes a firm stand in every aspect of my life. Hubby and I have seriously looked at adoption. We have a plan in place even. It is a long term plan, but a plan nonetheless. I don't want to jeopardize that. I've noticed on the criteria for several international adoption areas (namely China) that anxiety or depression meds can disqualify you. I hate to think that because I don't have my act together now, I will ruin our chances of adopting a baby in the future. I also wonder how anxiety issues would affect a domestic adoption or sway the vote when doing the initial home study and such for any adoption.

I would really like some input about this. I'm trying to work through things on my own, but with the school semester starting in less than a month, I think talking to my doctor might be a good idea. I have to keep telling myself that I would not be a good mother - even to future children that we may or may not have - if I didn't take care of myself during the process. It's hard being a mother to a child you can't have yet.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Ode to Provera

Dear, dear provera!

I'm so sorry that we parted ways for so long. I will never allow myself to be found drifting through the red seas without you again! I am so grateful that you willingly came back into my life without any grudges or anger. How could I ever have been stupid enough to believe that I could cope with that dreadful aunt of mine without you by my side?

Thank you ever so much for promptly dismissing that nasty ole' acne and her hideous lack of social grace and timing! Thank you for helping me remain calm and control my wacky mood swings! (Hubby thanks you for that as well!) I appreciate the remedy you supplied me for those horrible hot flashes (just in time for July too!). I also underestimated the amount of support you offered me when fighting those terrible urges to consume mass quantities of icky sugar and carbs. Thank you so much for all you do!

I now realize that no matter how much I loathe visits from dear ole' Auntie Flo, it is imperative for our family's future that she visit as scheduled each month and I can't thank you enough for helping me beat her into submission when she does pop in for a few days.

I really wish you wouldn't cramp my style quite as much as you do, and the whole hair falling out thing is a bit much don't ya think, but I guess you were right, it is July and it needed a bit of thinning anyway. I guess no friendship is perfect right?

I look forward to seeing you in the coming days. Stay close and expect me to call on you regularly from now on!

She who remains childless (for now)

Friday, June 11, 2010


I have a secret. I haven't taken my provera since April. It started out innocent enough. I just put off getting the script refilled for a few days, then a week went by. I wanted to set my visit from af up for a better week of the month I kept telling myself.

April came and went, then May, I held my breath. AF never once reared her ugly head. Red flags should have been screaming at me to take my meds, but I opted out for the underdog - hope. I stopped at the store on multiple occasions to buy a test, but chickened out every time. What's the harm in another week I would think.

June came into focus and I started to get a little nervous. Hubby finally said something and we both agreed I should test. I did once. I threw it away after two minutes, came back later for a shower and there were two lines. I rolled my eyes and waited another week.

Which brings me to today....

I thought I would burst as I waited in line, still in my pajamas at the dollar store just down the street from our house. I had to pee so terribly bad, but I just needed to get through the checkout line. Of course there were six people in front of me, and one cashier. I've never had to wait in line at this store for more than one or two people and I've lived here my whole life!

Got home, finally got the drops into the test, pulled out a wad of tp, and after three stinking months, there she is. Yes af had dropped by. I'm sure she was just dying to see the look of disappointment on my face as I stared at the stark white window.

Hope hopped on a plane and flew to another country this morning.

Unfortunately, this isn't the most horrible part of this whole mess. I was on provera to keep things out of my uterus, namely cancer. I haven't taken it in more than three months. I can scarcely breathe when I think about the buildup of sick cells in my body right now. How could I have been so stupid? I've called in my script already and I guess we'll start over, but this time there will be no hope in this house to get us through the tough times.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Inquiring Minds

Every year it happens. I am usually more prepared and handle the situation better than I did today. Usually, the questions don't probe as deeply as they did today. Normally, I can manage to smile and walk away with only a medium size butcher knife in my heart. Today, none of that happened.

I work in an elementary school. Most of the kids in my school are poor and come from broken homes. I'm always shocked at how long it takes for them to put it together that Mr. Hubby and Mrs. Arian really are married. Unfortunately, once that happens, the questions begin to surface and I try to tuck tail and run.

Today two of my favorite students were in lunch. Out of the blue one of them said to the other "Don't you think Mrs. Arian should be pregnant?" The other girl nodded and they looked up at me as if they had just stumbled on the greatest idea ever.

Mrs. Arian, do you have a son or daughter?
No sweetie, I don't.
But you should. Everyone has a son or daughter. Why don't you?
I'm not sure.
Well, you would be a great mom. You should talk to Mr. Hubby.
Oh yeah?
Yeah. How long have you and Mr. Hubby been married?
7 years.
Wow! That's a long time. Don't you want a son or daughter Mrs. Arian?
Yes, I want one very much, but it just isn't the right time.
Well, we think you should have a baby.
I'll see what I can do.

These conversations absolutely break my heart. I love my kids and I love their innocence. I wish it was that easy.

Sunday, May 2, 2010


I knew I should have invested in those extra swimming lessons last summer! It is seriously nuts where we live right now! Thank the Lord I am home finally, and only my socks and shoes are dripping wet.

My dad and I had planned on rehearsing some music for Mother's Day (I got conned into playing for the service and I usually skip church on that day altogether!). I left around 4 o'clock to meet him at the church before evening services.

When I pulled into the church parking lot I was shaking all over and crying. I ran into four spots on the main highway in our town that were covered over with water; one of those spots had about 8 inches of water. There are no streams or rivers anywhere near this road, there just wasn't anywhere for the water to run off. I haven't gotten that scared in a long time!

After church my parents followed me home and we took a different route. My sister called us before we left. The town she worked in was under a forced 6pm curfew and the police came in and shut them down. They put the curfew in place to keep people in their homes and off the roads.

People keep saying "It just happened so fast." I always wondered about that, I mean shouldn't you be able to see water building up? I sing a different tune now. Before I left for church, it had only been raining about a half hour. Within half an hour, roads that had never ever flooded and were no where near a water source were under water. It really did happen before anyone had a chance to react.

Please pray for everyone in Tennessee and the surrounding areas that are affected by all this water. Thank goodness Hubby and I live in one of the highest areas of our town, and our town hasn't been devastated. Many towns were not so fortunate. One woman that was rescued today escaped with nothing but the sweatpants and t shirt she had on. She didn't even have any shoes. Another woman and her two very small children were stranded in an attic. Her mother pleaded with news reporters who broadcast her cries to save her daughter and grandchildren. They could hear them screaming for help, but could not get to them. Thankfully emergency responders managed to get through and rescue them in time.

Schools here are closed tomorrow and hopefully waters will recede throughout the week. Until then, I'm wearing my floaties to bed!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

The One That Got Away

In the first year Hubby and I were married, we were certain we would get pregnant right away. We were young and very naive about the ways of the world and about raising a child. We got married in January and Hubby enlisted in March. He thought it would be the best thing to do for his family, so he packed me up, sent me to my grandmother's house and flew off to basic.

He never made it past the first week. The recruiters had tried to slip him under the radar I guess and never told anyone about his left eye. Hubby has near blindness in that eye and a degenerative genetic disease. Once he got to basic, they took one look at his eye and sent him home.

It took 22 days for him to be processed out of the army and back at home. During that time, one of my best friends died, my grandmother, unknown to any of us, began the first stages of dementia, and my hormones started doing somersaults. When he got back, there was so much going on that neither of us thought anything about children for a couple of months.

One day he brought it up out of the blue, "Umm when was your last period?"

Half an hour later, we were sitting in my grandmother's bathroom with a test. It was positive. We were so sure I was pregnant. We were over the moon.

It took a couple of weeks to get in to see a doctor, by that point I had already started and stopped bleeding. I went anyway. They did bloodwork and it came back negative. They did an exam and the doctor said "Well whatever was there, if it was there is gone now. Want some birth control pills?" I politely refused, dressed, and ran out of there. I was uneducated in what to expect, what had happened to me, and how to respond to a terrible doctor that saw me as uninsured and unimportant."

We don't talk about that time in our lives now. One of my best friends found out she was pregnant a few months before all of it happened and I don't even talk to her now. Her baby has already started school and they have another on the way. I avoid looking at pictures of her little boy. I just can't bear to see him.

Knowing now what my body has gone through, I'm not sure we were truly pregnant, but it sure felt like it. The loss was there and it hurt so much. Still, I don't tell people about it. I don't talk about it and I don't join into loss discussions. I don't feel like I belong.

I do think about it often though. I think about that baby and what it would have looked like. I imagine what life would be like if we had a child about to graduate kindergarten and I wonder how different our lives would be.

My friend is at 22 weeks now and the doc has put her on bedrest. I see her online every day and I try hard every single time to work up the courage to say hi. I just can't. I put up a wall around that part of my life and I'm not strong enough to break it down. I know if I talked to her it would open up a floodgate for the past to come pouring in. I feel guilty, but I can't move past the fear.

I feel more anger than anything. I wish I had never taken that test. I wish I had never dared to hope that the things I was feeling were real. How can I grieve for a child when I don't truly know if they were there in the first place? How can I not grieve when there is a chance?

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Final Papers

Finally! I wrote the last of my papers for school last night. I still have three finals and a final project, but those will be fine now that I have all these papers out of the way.

I learned a very valuable lesson this semester!

Do not take three writing intensive classes in one semester! The stupid topics chosen by college professors and the oppressive requirements do not help you further your writing and it makes life miserable! 6 papers in 7 days two weeks in a row is too much for any human being (especially one that works full time and runs a household)!

Two more weeks of classes and three weeks of teaching and I can take a few weeks off.

Now if I could only get someone to field all my requests and give everyone a very quick no before I have a chance to cram my summer full of projects, I might actually get a breather!

Sunday, April 18, 2010


I've been such a bad poster, but I'm having serious issues right now. I really need some help I think trying to deal with all of this. I've been hiding out since last March and I just can't do it anymore.

Last March was our last real attempt at having a baby. I was at my wit's end and a month after that last try I ended up with the shingles. The doc explained that it was my body's way of telling me to chill out. We decided to step away from ttc for the summer and take it easy. Then September came and I had surgery. It all went downhill from there.

I backed myself further and further into a dark corner and tried to pretend nothing was wrong. I worked hard to convince people that I was taking care of myself for a while and putting ttc on the back burner was my choice. I smiled and spent a couple of months convincing everyone around me that I was okay and I was happy about what was happening to me. I quit posting here because the cursor demanded the truth and I couldn't even look at the truth in print without this huge fear that I would fall apart.

More than a year later and fifty pounds lighter, I realized things are no different. I didn't save myself from any pain at all. I didn't even tell Hubby last month when I skipped out on my refill and missed a cycle of provera. I snuck a pregnancy test into the bathroom when I was a week late and angrily refused to cry when no line appeared. Three days later the test proved true and I found myself wanting to curl up in a ball and give up. I'm sitting here typing to you now with fresh shingles scars and a very real threat of a new flair up. Doc told me it was the stress from school. I know some of it is from the residual winter anxiety that never went away after my grandfather died.

I tried hard to be stoic and brave in the beginning, when that didn't work I thought I would hide and defiantly deny any desire to expand our two to three. Truth is I am a huge ball of mess. I hate this. I'm not sure how many more days I can walk into this house and be greeted by silence. I heard a speaker at a Women of Joy Conference I went to two weeks ago. She said "I don't want this to be my story". I burst into tears at that comment. Her story had nothing to do with mine, but it was so true. It is what I have felt all along. This shouldn't be my story. This wasn't my plan. Give this story to someone who doesn't want kids.

I dream all the time that I am standing in an open field shouting at the heavens with my fists raised in anger demanding that someone send us our child. Just an fyi, that doesn't work either.

I met up with a very dear and special person last night. He and his wife saw me through some of the darkest times of my life. They chose early on not to have any children at all. He made a comment last night that it was the best decision they ever made. I never said a word. I just sat back and thought "Could Hubby and I ever be happy with that life? What if we spend all of this time hoping and praying only to find that we have wasted our lives chasing a broken rainbow?" The thought was too much to bear and I ordered another round.

Sometimes I wish I had never wanted a child. I think if I can just convince myself that I would be happy without one that I could just move on and forget all of this pain. I feel guilty because God has blessed me with a chance to love so many children that needed me in one way or another when their parents couldn't. Why can't that be enough?

I know thanks to all of you wonderful ladies in the trenches with me and those of you who have been there before that I am not alone. These feelings are okay. Still, how do you go on with life when you have this painful poison stirring inside of you? Is there a way to make it all okay again?

Thursday, February 11, 2010

There is No Reverse

I hate that. I hate that there is no reverse in our lives, a magic button where I could just revisit moments and treasured jewels in my life in vivid reality over and over again. Unfortunately, I fear that people like me are the very reason we do not have this ability as human beings.

Hubby and I were about to go to sleep a few nights ago and I mentioned this to him. He sort of chuckled and brought up Hiro from "Heroes" which we have recently started watching. We both agreed that I would be the worst Hiro in the world. I know that time and time again, I would rewind time to revisit those that I miss and love. I would bypass saving the world, putting it off over and over again as I waltzed through my own personal time line savoring every moment.

This week has been very difficult. It is one of the worst parts of losing someone you love - that morning when you have to return to work and a regular routine. It is hard to watch the world continue to spin while you try to figure out how to fill the hole in your heart and jump back into life. It reminds me of when I was a kid waiting for just the right moment to jump into the ropes as their lines spun over and under, over and under.

This has bothered more than I expected. My grandfather was sick for many years and I have jumped at the phone every single time it rang for nearly ten years. I still jump. Then I remember. My family seems to be handling things really well. I see the strength in my mom and my grandmother and I feel like a coward. I try to put on my strong face and muster the strength to make it all day without any tears. Every day this week, I have taken a quiet lunch in a secluded room so that I can cry alone.

I lie awake some nights and think about our plans. In May we will begin the process of bringing new life into the family again. If we are successful, this little person will be the first one in our family to never know my grandfather, it will be the beginning of a new generation. I try so hard to turn my face forward and carve a path for the future, but I catch myself looking over my shoulder from time to time.

Thank goodness, I'm not a Hiro.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Farewell to a Hero

I've known for a long time that this post was coming. I knew the title of it and had even mapped out some of the things I would say. Still, I kept hoping and praying that God would keep pushing that day further and further into the future.

As a kid in school when we had those "Who is your hero and why" essays, I never had a solid hero per se because I didn't want to hurt anyone's feelings by leaving them out. It was always so important to me as a child that no one's feelings ever got hurt and they never ever felt that I favored one over the other. I shed many tears over the torn ache in my heart as I decided whether to go with my parents or stay at my grandparents' a few days longer. I always based my decision on who I thought sounded the most disappointed or hurt about my choice.

Not long after I got married, I realized who my hero was though, and I also realized that he had always been my hero, I was just too afraid to admit it out loud to anyone. My grandfather passed away this afternoon. He had been sick for over 12 years after miraculously surviving a very serious aneurysm rupture in his stomach while out feeding his cows. His battle to survive that only bolstered my admiration and love for him as did the long road of recovery for many years after.

He got very sick with an infection a few weeks back and the doctors were gentle and honest with all of us, including him. They didn't think he would make it out of there but he surprised them as he always does. Because of the constant and complicated medical care that he needed, he had to be moved to a nursing facility. Once there, we knew he would never leave. He fought his infection and subsequent delirium to spend a week or so talking at very brief intervals with each of us and allowing us all to say goodbye. Last night, he told everyone that he just wanted them to stop everything and let him go. It was the last thing he told us.

I feel like my heart is breaking in two. I keep thinking of the last thing we shared alone together as granddaughter and grandfather. I stayed with him while my aunt went to pick up her children from school and he happened to wake up for a while. I was reading one of my assigned books for class and he asked me to hand him his book off the table. He hadn't been able to read for several weeks by that point, but I understood his point. I helped him open the page and try to steady the book in his hands. He read maybe a page before he dropped the book. It was too hard for him to hold it. He looked up at me with heartbroken eyes and said "Hon, I can't read anymore."

I sat in the parking lot that night before going home and sobbed. That was one of the things we had always shared together was our love of books. When we were together, you could usually find us on the couch eating quartered apples out of a bowl between us as we sat together silently, lost in our book worlds. He told me that day of several authors that he knew I would like and told me to go to the house and get those books soon. He'd been wanting me to read them. I will go someday and get that box of books and one by one my hero and I will read them together again, only this time, I will have to eat the apples alone.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

My bike; a love/hate relationship

For Christmas, my husband and my parents bought me a recumbent bike. I had been walking, mostly outdoors, and by December it was just too cold to walk outside for any length of time. The bike not only allows me to exercise indoors, but it helped me burn more calories in a more effective and low impact way.

With my schedule, it was hard for me to consistently exercise every night. I had to let Hubby take over some of the household chores and I had to really push myself to stick to it, but after a couple of weeks, I had a routine carved out each night before bed. Now, I don't sleep well unless I have exercised first.

I bought a bike with a full seat on it. It has a tall back on it to prevent lower back strain and allow for comfort. I love that I can do other things while riding which has helped me to stick with my commitment more easily.

At first, the bike and I argued. I had to really dig deep to work up to an intensity that I felt was effective. After about fifteen minutes, I would start to get crabby and tired, but I kept pushing through because I knew I could do it if I really wanted to. Usually after about a week of consistently trudging ahead, I could feel the workout getting easier. I try to constantly challenge my body, so I never keep it easy for more than a week.

The past couple of weeks, things with my grandfather have been really bad. He is slowly fading from us, and its been really hard on me. At first I skipped the bike, but lately I have been craving it. I didn't realize how much I relied on that half an hour for myself. I tend to lean more on my ipo.d these days and I've moved the bike into the living room, so that I can workout alone (Hubby's computer is in the bedroom). I picked out a handful of uplifting, happy songs, that help me to set a positive, fast pace for my workouts, and I often lose track of time now. Sometimes on the weekends I may exercise for an hour if Hubby doesn't do an occasional time check.

It feels so great to finish my workouts now. I stop pedaling and I feel a true sense of accomplishment and energy. I feel revived and uplifted. I love that I have been able to find a positive outlet for my anxieties and frustrations. When I have a bad day, those are the days that I walk in and head straight for my bike. Hubby knows that this is my time to vent and relax. It's my escape.

I'm telling you all of this, because many people fall off the resolution wagon towards the end of January. They get frustrated and overwhelmed. This is the time to push the most though. It is important to make the most of your time. Do what works for you. Instead of thinking that you are going to have to squeeze in some time to exercise, allot a specific time, and make it all about you. If you like television, watch television, if you like music, get you some positive tunes to help you pass the time. If you need to be quiet, turn everything off and focus inward. Let your family members know that this is your time, and you need their support to keep going.

The first time that you end a workout and feel the stresses of the day fade away is an empowering and addictive moment. If you can strive for that moment in all of your workouts, not only will you look forward to your workouts, but you will also find that you are better equipped to deal with stressful days and frustrating situations.

I hope this helps encourage even one person to stick with their routine and push forward into spring.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Endometrial Biopsy

I've been putting this post off. I'm not sure why. It wasn't one of the worst procedures I have endured by any stretch of the imagination. I think there is just so much anxiety and fear that surrounded this particular doctor's visit, and emotionally I just wasn't ready to go back there.

It is important to me that I tell you about this procedure though. Most of the fear that I had built up was thanks to good ol' Dr. Google. The things I read there were horrible and sounded dreadfully painful. My doctor kept assuring me that it wasn't painful at all, but Dr. G can be mighty persuasive sometimes.

Before the exam, the Nurse Practitioner came in and saw my trepidation (it didn't help that she was carrying in wire cutters). She laughed and took the time to show me everything in the kit that they would be using. It is a very simple brush on a stick. The wire cutters were to cut the brush off into the sample container. I felt better after she showed me this. The brush is very small and it is sheathed during insertion so that you don't feel the bristles.

The doctor came in and prepped me just as he would for a pap smear or a regular exam. He put a speculum in place, swabbed iodine on my cervix and proceeded to insert the brush. My case would have to be an exception of course. The brush is on a flexible wire and my cervix gave too much resistance for the brush to go in.

The nurse brought in a sound to help guide the brush into my uterus. I will not lie to you. This was a very uncomfortable moment. It was painful, but not unbearably so, and as I have said before, I have been through many other experiences that hurt much worse than this did. Usually the sound is not even necessary, but I thought I would mention it, as this is as bad as it gets.

Once the doctor was able to move past my cervix, he took a quick swab and that was it. The whole thing took about five minutes and the residual pain was very minor. It took about a week for my results to come back, but my procedure was done three days before Christmas, so I expected a long wait.

Just some tips in case you find yourself in this situation...

Bring a pad. The doc told me I would spot lightly for a day or so. I actually had a full on period. Some of that has to do with the way my lining is though, so I'm not sure what you should expect normally.

Take something. The NP talked to me several days before and told me to take three ibuprofen about an hour before the procedure. Thanks to that tip, my husband and I actually went shopping after I returned home from the doctor. The small amount of pain I had was gone the next morning.

I hope this helps. I don't think the biopsy would have been near as bad if someone had explained to me what the procedure was ahead of time instead of leaving me to consult Dr. G.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Yes, I'm finished with my homework...

Ever feel like you are swimming to catch up with the boat, that hasn't noticed you fell overboard? That is my life right now. I just don't feel like I will ever be back on that boat, headed for sunny beaches and hot cabana boys in tight shorts.

My grandfather is very sick right now. We are pretty sure there isn't much time left. My grandmother on my dad's side is quickly becoming more demanding and frustrating as her mind very slowly slips away.

In addition to all of that, this semester I chose (not knowing what I was getting myself into) to take several writing intensive classes. I have a hard time with depression in the winter and I was hoping that the writing would give me the out that I needed to get through unscathed.

All of these things had to happen despite the medical nightmare that we have been dealing with since September. This is one reason why I haven't blogged much lately. I'm just trying to stay afloat. The other reason: I couldn't talk about it. My whole life revolves around getting better, making my body healthy enough to work on its own without all of the hormone medications and schedules. The less I talked about it, the better.

I am better now. I can feel my body trying to work on its own already. I am a long way from my goal, but the effects are wonderful.

Today I took the time to catch up on homework and reading assignments, visit with my grandfather, and finish up several projects. For the first time in weeks I feel as if someone finally noticed I've fallen off the boat. Maybe I will catch up after all.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

No Excuse

There is absolutely no reason why it has been nearly three months since I posted. I've started to a hundred times. Every time, I would log in, hands poised to type up a new post, and then I would just freeze. I think some of it had to do with impending test results and all of the crazy that has now become my life thanks to my ridiculous desire to become a mother. I'm over it now, test results are in, and life will move on.

If you don't remember, our last episode ended with the heroine Arian sitting in the doctor's office nodding numbly as he told her that there was a grave possibility that she had uterine cancer and would most likely forfeit any hope of having a biological child if something did not dramatically change over a period of 12 weeks. The 12 weeks dragged on in an agonizing tempo of torture and I sweated and worried to the beat the entire time. Thanksgiving came and went, finals were taken (and passed!), and we prepared for Christmas.

Christmas was more than just a holiday this year. It was a time of anxious anticipation, hope, and trepidation. My biopsy was scheduled for the 21st. We knew we would most likely have to suffer through the holiday wondering about the future of our family. Despite the nurse's promise that we would have the results the next day, we trudged from house to house the week of Christmas, tucking an anxious little secret in our back pockets while we tried to smile and enjoy the time with family.

Two days before the new year we finally got a call.

All Clear!

Everything is completely clear and we have a new plan of action that for a moment even involved the discussion of birth control! If all goes well, we hope to begin a new round of clomid (if necessary) in May. The doctor and I have some different feelings about what is happening to my body, but I hope to goodness that he wins. He swears by May that we will no longer need to use Clomid and that my body will begin to work normally. I'm just happy to know that we will finally have a fighting chance for the Clomid to work this time.

We have a lot of work to do between now and May for this plan to work, but I am well on my way. So far, since Sept. 25th I have managed to drop 37 pounds and I'm still counting. I always shy away from discussing my weight here because I have so many issues with it in the real world, and I dread bringing all of that here, but I think it is important to do so now.

I will share things a little more in detail over the next few days, but I couldn't stand the thought of leaking out all the good news in tiny morsels.