Thursday, May 28, 2009

Borderline - what does that even mean?

We got the semen analysis results back.


We haven't met with a doctor. Why? I don't know- I don't think insurance will cover it, and I am too burnt out to find out. (Scroll to bottom to see results)

This test was a reminder for me that test results don't give you answers. They give you, at best, information. But not answers.(Typing that just made me well up with tears- I guess this topic was a bit more raw that I realized).


This is the range of emotions I have felt this week since getting the results back. The results can't tell me if I am ever going to be a mother. The test results don't tell me if his sperm are the reason for the two miscarriages. The results certainly can't give me assurance that there aren't also OTHER reasons. This piece of paper can't tell me with certainty that I have options that I can afford. They can't tell me when this dark cloud of grief will lift enough that I can start to hope again. And it surely can't tell me what the "right" next step is for me, for us.

My period came last week. I am grateful that it was on time- for some reason I find comfort in that. But it also brought a new wave of grief. And I thought that when the hormones rebalanced, the grief would subsidy. But it hasn't- my period is no longer to blame, and I am really really struggling under this dark cloud. I have ZERO interest in anything related to become a mother. And feeling that way just adds even more grief. Have I really become so calloused that I can't even yearn for being a mother anymore? I keep telling myself it will lift, that I will be able to hope again, but it sure doesn't feel like that will come true. I just feel done. D-O-N-E.


My step daughter spent the past 6 days with us. She lives out of state with her mom. She goes to college in another state. She is on summer break and came to visit us. I am not sure why i am bloggin about this- but i feel like it is part of my grief. I love her- I surprise myself sometimes at how much I love her. I didn't raise her- I have only been in her life for a very small part of it. But something stirs inside me that isn't of my own doing. And yet her visit was hard. She has pulled away. I am not sure if it is because of her age, her new freedoms as a college student- or if it because I am and always will be her "step" mom. Or maybe its the friction created from the divorce that chip away at her innocence. I think her visit, and this growing tension in the relationship stirred up in my some of this grief. It was a reminder that a) I am not her mother, and as much as I seek to be a nurturing, mentoring adult in her life- she will always make sure to keep me in my place- I am not her mother, I am nobody's mother. and b) parenting is f$@%cking hard. I watch as she and her dad, my DH, dance around the wounds left from the divorce. She was young- only a baby, when the divorce happened, but the wound has not healed, and for some reason I feel like it has been re- opened in the past couple of years. Grief, what if's, Anger and blame have become silent forces in the dance of this relationship. And my heart breaks as I watch my husband slowly lose the one thing he wants so much- his baby girl. And there is nothing he can do, or that I can do to stop it. The past is the past- she can choose to resent him for living 2hrs by plane away from his kids. she can choose to resent him for not being wealthy like her mom's side of the family. she can choose to resent him for being human. And all we can do is hope that some day, she comes around.

I told my mom a little bit about how I was feeling from this last visit of hers- and I said "ya know mom, it is a struggle to get pregnant, a struggle to stay pregnant, a struggle to raise them- and it hurts SO much- sometimes I wonder if the pain is more than I can take. do I really want this?"

That is where I am at today.......

Semen test results 5/8/09
volume 3.8 ml (Normal: 1.5-4.5)
concentration 60 million/ml (normal: 20-150 million/Ml)
motility 44% (normal: > 50%)
Progression 2.0 (Normal: 3-4)
Viability 53% (Normal 60-95%)
Morphology 5% (Normal <10%; Sub optimal 5-9%, Abnormal <4)

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Chicken in my fridge, my heart overflows

Excuse the sappiness, but I just need some levity to my normally crabby blog.

How in the world did I get so lucky to be married to HIM? My husband! I still can't believe it. Became friends almost 10 years ago. Dated several years, married now for almost 4. And it just keeps getting better. I still don't know how we ended up married (!!) but I am grateful for every day.

We joke that the reason that no sparks flew when we met is that I was too young for him. Still am too young, but dating a 23 year old vs. dating a 26 year old when you are 18 years old than her seems drastically different. So, yes, I was too young for him when we first met.

And we both have been married before. We both had just ended serious relationships (my marriage, his engagement to another women) when he and I first met. Dating him DID NOT EVEN CROSS MY MIND!

I hear new mother's talk about the depth of love and the overwhelming feeling of knowing a love so great for a babe you have only just met. That is the closest I can come to explaining my love for DH. I did not know I was capable of loving him or anyone- to the depth that I love him. It changes every day. And every day I am changed. My spirit has been transformed in a way that astounds me. I am grateful every day of what we have together.

And when he cooks me teriyaki chicken, turkey sausages, and tofu stirfry because I am swamped right now and stressed about not having good easy protein choices in the fridge for the week. I came home to all of it in the fridge- and he is plenty swamped himself right now.

But it isn't even the chicken in the fridge, it is, but it is so much more. It is who he is and what we are creating together. We are a team. Our relationship inspires us and nudges us to selflessness. And I am in awe.

Sometimes I wonder what our life would be like today if he had never gotten the diagnosis. If we never had heard the words "stage IV cancer." Would I be as grateful? Would I be in as much awe of that fact that I get to spend my life with him? I want to say that I would love him in the same way, cancer or no cancer, but I don't know. Surviving cancer together changed us in ways that it is too hard to speculate "what if".

I have difficult days for sure when what I want and what I have sap each other of their beauty- I have days when I can't see beyond the word "recurrent miscarriages." But on days like today, when I am so in tune with the gift that is our marriage, I can't help but think that even if it was only us forever, I could still be joyful and at peace.

Oh, Universe, you are taking me on a ride- of this I am certain.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Let's talk about his swimmers

The swimmers have been delivered to be scrutinized by microspose This was a long process. I knew it was long, but I hadn't realized it was that long until I just looked back at my blog. April 3rd was the original appointment. Needless to say, it didn't happen. And it was hard on so many levels- ranges of emotions felt by one or both of us: disappointment, anger, humiliation, indifference, failure, frustration, blame, hopelessness, apathy.

It took a long time to reschedule. It was hard to attempt it again. This time he chose to do it at home and drive it to the lab.

It still wasn't easy. But we got it done.

While before, DH and I had some shared reactions, this time, I think we are experiencing different things.

DH is releived and (dare I say) -proud (I mean that with respect and admiration).
But I just can't help by feel like "What the hell are we doing?" This isn't what it is supposed to be like! This is absurd." I just don't know what I want (if you haven't noticed in, ummm...., ALL of my other posts.) And I don't have much confidence that we will actually find anything out from this test. And if we DO find anything out, what are we supposed to do with that information. What the heck are we supposed to do.

So his sperm are happy, and active, and dancing for joy. Well, then what?
So his sperm are slow, and sluggish, and not plentiful. Well, then what?
And if they are non-existent? Sigh... who knows.

whatever the answer, it will cost us to get the medical help we need. I wish our insurance paid for at least some of the costs. I wish I had a guarantee that if we pay x dollars, we are guaranteed to have a child. (See, here I go again with the not knowing what I want. I really should find a new rant for my blog posts)

I don't want to know the results from the lab, ....and yet I already put a reminder in my calendar to follow up with them on the results.

Stay tuned.

Friday, May 8, 2009

I am more than what I am not

It doesn't take long as you read in the IF blogosphere to see that this Sunday, and the days leading up to it are often tough days. I know that is where I am right now... So, here is what came to me today.

As Sunday approaches and I put one foot in front of the other,

I choose not to grieve who I am not and what I don't have.
Rather, I choose to celebrate who I am and what I do have.

I do not know what it is like to give birth to a child
I am not experiencing the butterfly kicks of a child within me.
I do not have children according to the definitions of society.
I am not a mother in the eyes of most.

But I am more than what I am not.

I have a mother that loves me with all her being and has done her best to raise me to be who I am.
I am who I am in part because of the women who have been mother's to me- my mom, my mother's mom, and my aunt.
I have had the privilege of knowing what it feels like to have your heart gripped by love for children that you did not give birth to or raise. My step children and my "daughter" Yolle who we came so close to adopting- you have forever changed me.
I am keenly aware of the ways in which my desire to "mother" can give back to this world in so many ways.
I have clarity in my heart and soul that I am living out a purposeful life here on this earth. I do not know how or what, but of this I am certain.

Saturday, May 2, 2009


Not sure where I have been.

I keep thinking about blogging, but thinking never turns into typing.

Grieving and healing are funny things. So unexpected and yet so normal.

The grief has been raw at times in the past couple of weeks. I didn't know why at first. But I think having my period start once again triggered another wave of emotions. Which probably explains why I have not been blogging since my last post when I wrote about my period starting. Coincidence? I think not.

I am ambivalent about trying to create our family. To be clear, I am not ambivalent about wanting to have a child. I KNOW that I want a child and that I want it now. But I am ambivalent about how to go about making that happen. Our international homestudy adoption process is on hold- cuz I don't have the energy or interest or excitement any more. I don't even have clarity any more that an international adoption is what I want. My period returning was complicated for me because now it means that a) sex could mean pregnancy and/or b) I could start trying to get pregnant again (charting temps, counting days, OPKs). And I really don't know if I want either option. I DO NOT WANT TO LIVE THROUGH weeks of sheer fear between HPT and 1st ultrasound. and I DO NOW WANT to think about this every single day. I can't/won't do it again. And yet I don't want to give up my dream of being pregnant. Fuck. I hate this.

I haven't been reading many blogs lately. I just have been too raw. But I have come across some stories and it feels like a theme. Stories of unexpected adoptions, unexpected journeys, women finding themselves, not by their own doing, becoming a mother in unexpected ways. And I think to myself- I so wish I could just DO NOTHING and trust that something will happen. But I don't trust that. I hear other people of faith talking about Trusting God, and trusting God's will for your life. and I do in a big picture way- I trust that there is a purpose in living out a life of grace, compassion, and love- but I plain don't trust in the specifics. I don't trust that I will indeed be pregnant some day. I don't trust that I will be a mom. I don't trust that any of it will just miraculously happen. I struggle with the "just have faith" mantra. What does that mean anyways? And the flipside to this is I feel like I have to be DOING something, like i have to push and fight and struggle to make this happen if I ever want to be a frickin' parent.

Oh, the tears are flowing. Sorry. I didn't realize that all this was brewing in me.

so now what? i don't know. I am tired, I am tired of trying to give life to the dream. I am tired of even hanging on to the dream. I am tired of not knowing what is next, or if this is all just a waste of time.

And I am tired of gloomy blog posts.