Friday, December 31, 2010

Are your friends IVF Friendly?

The last couple of weeks have catapulted us deeper into the world of IF, and specifically IVF, faster than we had anticipated. This sudden change has much of our spare energy and brain time thinking and talking about this new detour in our journey to TTC.

As such, we are sharing varying degrees of this chapter of the journey with friends and family. As it was before with trying to get pregnant in the early days, repeat miscarriages, and infertility, we share more with some people and less with others.

There is my friend that knows every detail of my miscarriages and has been a great support. There is the dear friend who has shared a very similar path and knows all the IF lingo, goes to my same clinic, and is a great resource. There are family members that know bits and pieces- we share what we have the energy to share at any given conversation. And there are the friends that know nothing or almost nothing of our journey.

I have found it interesting as we now enter our IVF chapter that the unspoken rules and reactions from friends and family are changing a bit with some people. Some of our family and friends that I felt comfortable baring all to in the past, I don't feel as comfortable any more. One friend in particular, who has been a non-judgmental, well informed, eager learner throughout our TTC so far, seems to have changed the playing field now that IVF is our new reality. I'm don't know why she is pulling away, nor will I probably ever fully understand- but it has me taking a mental note that as we dive into IVF, not everyone is going to be IVF friendly friends. And predicting which friends will be is proving to be even harder.

On the flip side, I have two friends in my life that have been the most unexpected friends to rise to the occasion to be there for us right now. Both friends are as fertile as can be. (No, I am serious- we are talking fertile!) Both friends have very limited knowledge about IVF. They know about "test tube" babies, "petrie dishes", Oct.omom, and & K.ate plus8 (who by the way used IUIs not IVF). But I have to say, that these two friends have brought me to tears and to laughter in the last few weeks as they have sincerely offered support in their own ways. When it comes down to it, hands down I know their love for me as a friend. And that goes a long way to overlooking some of the comments that from others may sound ignorant or judgmental. But there has not been an ounce of judgment in anything they have said or done so far. They are eager to learn the ins and outs, and yet respectful of our boundaries. And I just wasn't expecting to have so much support from them. Because on the surface, they just don't seem like they would be very IVF friendly friends. They really don't "get" IF or IVF, and yet they are surprising me in so many ways.

No matter how careful I am to choose who we share with and how much we share, I know that it is still possible we will be unexpectedly hurt by some friends and possibly unintentionally hurt others. IVF, and all of its onion peel layers yet to be removed, is a hot button in our society. It is misunderstood, debated, disputed, condemned, and oversimplified. There is just no getting around it. It stirs up value debates around ethics, financial responsibility, ethics of clinical business practices, adoption, faith, God's will, and plain ol' personal choice. Add to that that we are stepping into the midst of that onion, with our own layers of complexities. ..namely three years of loss, three years of hoping beyond hope, and now- IVF.

My hope during this chapter is for me to find the strength and compassion to speak about our choice to conceive through IVF. I hope that through our openness others it might give others space to reflect on this complicated decision. Not everyone has to agree with us, nor do I expect IVF to be the right decision for all people. But I hope to find the words to speak honestly about why this is the right decision for us. And maybe, just maybe, we might help to nurture a few more people into more "IVF friendly" friends for others some day.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

The Pain- take three

The Pain hit again this morning- third cycle in a row. I am so so grateful that it was much more tolerable this time- it still was a 9 or 10 on the pain scale, but it wasn't off the charts like the last two months. I am guessing (and hoping) that the ibuprofen is what helped. Hoping that that means I can manage the pain proactively again in the future, if need be.....

But hoping there won't be a "next month"- hoping a two dark lines on a stick is all I see next cycle, or at least sometime this year.

If history repeats itself, AF will arrive about 48 hours after the pain episode, so still looking like Thursday will be Day 1. Blooddraw on Saturday (day 3) and if all goes well with that- we'll be approved for the shared risk program and we'll have our IVF #1 calendar mapped out for us shortly thereafter!

So so ready.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Mind dump

Excuse me as I just dump the contents of my brain in my blog: (Don't expect anything logical or intelligible)

- Patiently waiting for AF to finally come; Been spotting for four days. Ready to get this show on the road and nervous as heck all at the same time.

- Sinus headache has me feeling like I've been run over by a truck. Been hanging out with my laptop in bed all day doing nothin'.

- I'm cranky, just plain unexplainably cranky. Well, it is most likely PMS brand crankiness. So, I am just letting it be what it is today- and trying to ride out this crankiness, knowing this too will pass.

-Been mindlessly searching the internet, here is a sampling of some googling I have done: "IVF without lupron","maternity clothes","jelly belly new flavors," "IVF with large endometrioma", "living room end table".

- Been preoccupied with worrying about whether or not my "painful attack" will come again this cycle. If it follows the past two cycle's pattern, it will come anytime now. Been taking ibuprofen regularly this week trying to help prevent it or at least take the edge off if it does happen again. Oh I hope I can avoid that pain again....

- The end of 2010 is fast approaching. A reflection on 2010 deserves a post in an of it self, but January 1st will mark the three year anniversary of our TTC. I am so glad we are in active forward motion right now, working with an RE, otherwise I think that anniversary would bring pretty deep despair. Actively "doing" something helps to stimulate hope. I've have also found myself thinking about the fact that in our three years of TTC, this is the first year in which we did not experience a miscarriage. Granted, that means we also were not successful in getting pregnant, but I am (in a small way) grateful to have had a break this year from everything miscarriage. It has been much needed for healing.

- The Christmas holiday was nice, busy and quiet all at the same time. I think every other sentence started with "Next year maybe bambino will be with us doing this,", "This might be the last christmas just the two of us", and so on and so on. While I enjoyed it immensely at first, I started to get a little freaked out that we were jinxing ourselves. I know it is not logical fear.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Lab results

Fasting Glucose: normal
Fasting Insulin: normal
AMH: normal

Sigh of relief. Next step is to wait for AF (about 7-9 more days) to arrive and then day three bloodwork.

This is getting real.

(There is a small hang up with part of our funding source, good news is that I learned we don't have to pay until late January, but still stressing a bit. Hoping it resolves itself).

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Christmases Past

Last year I did a recap of our Christmases past, and I thought I would do it once again. Here is a recap of our Christmases as a married couple:

First Christmas
We had been married for all of 6 months. We had learned of DH's diagnosis of stage 4 cancer just two weeks before Christmas. Having just recovered from the 1st surgery to diagnose and biopsy, a week before Christmas we had our first day (of what would be many) hanging out at the chemo center as DH received his IV meds. We felt raw and stripped bare and yet full of life and purpose all at the same time. The shock was tremendous not knowing what was ahead. The hope and despair equally as jolting. The comfort and support that surrounded us from our community- family and strangers- was life changing. That year, DH decided he wanted to sing xmas carols together- it is a tradition that we have continued every year. So I printed out a ton of songs from the internet, and we sat by the fire xmas day and sang carols, and held each other.

Second Christmas
The second Christmas I was home on break from grad school after living on campus far away from DH for nearly 3 months (we racked up lots of frequent flier miles during that time!!). It was wonderful to be home. DH was done with treatments (final surgery had been in June) and 6 months later, he finally had his umpf back. We traveled out of the country (the trip we had had planned for the previous xmas, but canceled when he was diagnosed) and had the most wonderful xmas.

Third Christmas
Our third year of marriage, we rejoiced as we decorated the house for the first time. Year 1 we hadn't really decorated because we thought we would be out of the county for all of winter break, but instead ended up with doctors and chemo labs. Year 2 we were out of the country and so we didn't decorate, and so year three was a time to celebrate just being home. The simple things like hanging lights, telling stories about each xmas ornament we hung and how it came in to our lives. It also was the first year that my FIL was living in the same town as us and so it was the first year we celebrated xmas with more then just the two of us.

Fourth Christmas
Snow. Snowed in for days. Barely made it to the Christmas eve worship service. A quiet Christmas. We celebrated a 2nd year of having DH's father living near by. The grief was present as we had had our first miscarriage earlier that spring. The grief was magnified in that my baby sister had had her first child just before Thanksgiving, and the family was all together (across country in a different state than we live) oohing and aahing over the new grandchild over the phone. While the grief was there, and I was struggling with the fact that my estimated due date and the birth of my niece had come and gone and I was still not pregnant again. But I still mustered up some hope- assuming naively that the next time we got pregnant we would be home free.

Fifth Christmas
Last year was our fifth christmas as a married couple. We had had our second miscarriage the prior spring and had moved on to IUIs. We had just had two back to back BFN from IUI #1 & #2 and were leading up to IUI #3. My spirit was very heavy last year. I wrote on my blog that "the darkness has settled into my spirit even deeper this year. DH had to drag me kicking and screaming into the holiday spirit this year. I am glad that he did- he pulled out all the decorations and I watched, as the fire roared and the xmas music played, I felt my spirit lift a bit." Even as I wrote that, and even though the grief was very very thick at this time last year. I was still hopeful that we'd get pregnant in 2010 and that the third time would be the charm.

This year
So as Christmas 2010 was approaching and we were not closer to answers or a child, I felt the anxiety creeping in. In a strange way, the diagnosis of Endo, and the doctor advising us that IVF is our only option, was an early Christmas gift. Christmas is a hard time of year for infertiles, at least it is for me. Three Christmases have come and gone and we do not yet have a family of our own to celebrate it with. DH and I don't have any relatives in the area, so it is just him and I during the holidays. I've become a Scrooge at the holidays and I am convinced that IF is to blame. But finding out that mystery behind why we haven't been able to get pregnant and why I have been in so much pain- gives us some clarity, and makes the decision for us that IVF if the next step if we really want to try to get pregnant. And we know IVF has really good odds. Better than anything we have tried so far. As the Christmas approaches, I feel like instead of grief, I am feeling a flicker of hope. A hope that lets me believe that maybe, just maybe by next Christmas we make truly have a family or be well on our way.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Dare I say..

This is the most hope I have felt in a long time. I think there has only been one other time in the past three years that I have felt so hopeful, truly hopeful that indeed we will come out of this IF journey with a baby in our arms.

Knock on wood, but it feels so good for a change.

I daydream at work. I find myself smiling as I am driving, thinking about what it would be like to see a flicker of a heartbeat on an u/s screen, for a change.

Co-workers talk about plans, 3, 4, 9 months from now- and I grin as I calculate how far a long I might be.

I know this is a very presumptuous. And I would be lying if I didn't admit that there is a voice in the inner most part of me that is screaming "you silly, silly lady, why subject yourself to more disappointment, you know the rug will be pulled out from under you - FAST AND HARD!"

And yet I am giddy and hopeful and looking forward to AF arriving so I can call and starting scheduling blood work.

Approximately 17 days and counting until Operation IVF Cycle #1 commences.

And the one thing that is most certainly true. I have no doubt that this is what I want more than anything.

Monday, December 13, 2010

40 Years ago

It is eerie how history is repeating itself. My mom dealt with infertility caused by endometriosis. I always knew this, and I always knew that the fact she got pregnant with me was pretty miraculous. But now as I am facing the same diagnosis, the magnitude of this is hitting much closer to home.

40 years ago, almost to the month, my mom ended up in the hospital with severe pain. She was diagnosed with endometriosis and told to get pregnant sooner versus later. She was 21 and newly married.

Years went by and they were never able to get pregnant. They decided to adopt and 5 years after her diagnosis they adopted my older sister as an infant. 4 more years passed and they looked forward to adopting again soon as they were nearing the top of the wait list.

My dad ended up in the ER after breaking his ankle at a party. As the story goes, my mom had been throwing up, assumed she had the flu. My dad's nurse convinced her to take a pregnancy test. They got the call the next day that it was positive, and my mom had even forgotten about the test. She had been living with endo for almost 10 years at this point. And never in all that time did she get pregnant. I had always found meaning in this story, I grew up not taking being able to get pregnant for granted because I knew from an early age the grief and joy my parents experienced as they grew their family. But the reality of just how long they waited is hitting close to home. I know all about waiting. The nearly a decade that they were unsuccessful in getting pregnant, and then out of now where she gets pregnant with me, has a healthy uneventful pregnancy and birth. This boggles my mind.

I snuck into this world. There is no rhyme or reason why I am here. I defy all research and statistics.

Hoping our child some day knows the depth of the miracle that he/she too will be.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Where my thoughts are

When we first received the diagnosis, I grieved pretty hard. I wasn't expecting that, and it caught me off guard. I can feel that shifting now and I am certain that the day we did our bloodwork and banking helped. For the first time in a long time, we were making forward motion towards our goal- of having a family. And, now I feel like I am patiently awaiting diving head first into our first IVF next month.

But where I get stuck in my head with thoughts that are less then helpful and sap my positive hopeful mood is when it comes to my body and old history-

My body- I have wanted to lose weight. I don't feel good about my body at all right now. And I have been trying, and it just hasn't been coming off. I always imagined losing this weight before getting pregnant. And now, we are talking about diving into IVF immediately. And I am fearful of how this will be. I know the injections and such are tough on overall health to start with, and I know how pudgy I felt in the two previous pregnancies, even early on. And I just dread the thought of adding all of that on top of my current weight, in which I just don't feel very comfortable in my own skin. And yet, I don't have the energy to postpone this IVF cycle either- I am ready to do this now. I just hope that even with the extra weight I am carrying, I can embrace my body and all of its changes if (when?) I get pregnant. I fear that instead i won't enjoy the pregnancy because of how uncomfortable I already feel in my own skin.

Old history- I've written about it before, but the grief of our two miscarriages has always been amplified because of how identical they were in the calendar. So, our miscarriages both were in the same month, one year apart. And our unfulfilled due dates then were also were both to be in October, one year apart. If we proceed with this first IVF as planned, we would be following that exact same timeline. And we'd have the same approximate due date as both of our previous losses. this has been tugging at my heart- scared that we are being set up for yet another loss in the same time frame and only compounding and reopening the hurt. Then the other side of me secretly wishes for this very first IVF to work- for it to all go smoothly, and in the end finally fulfill those October due dates that when unfilled previously. I long for the story to be written that way, but fear that we will just be walking the road of deep despair instead.

Like I said, I know this isn't very helpful thinking, and I hope to stop dwelling on it and just move on, but maybe by writing it out, I can start to let go of the fears and trust I'll be able to do this one day at a time.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Bloodwork and Banking

Yesterday I had a quick blood draw. My RE wanted to check my AMH to look at ovarian reserve. I was going to object, because it isn't covered by insurance and I just had this done a year ago and it was fine then.

But a year ago, I didn't have a grapefruit size endometrioma encasing my ovarian. And after consulting Dr. google, I am learning that ovarian reserve can be hindered by this cyst. Ugh! Just what I need. Saying some prayers that my eggs are still plentiful.

The doctor also ordered a glucose/insulin test. Which I am so glad. I have been concerned that I have developed insulin resistant and I mentioned this to me. And he took me seriously! (Novel concept- can you tell that my experience with doctors in the past has me a bit jaded). I'll have both tests back in a week. That is about the only thing we are waiting on before knowing for sure if we'll start IVF next cycle.

Then the bank. We had some unexpected extra time after visiting the lab and before I had to get to work, so we stopped at the bank to explore one of the options we are considering in figuring out how to make the finances work for IVF. DH admitted to me later that he was fully expecting the trip to be a waste of time. And instead it was the easiest, most straightforward process and we gained a ton of information from a very sweet banker. Basically, if we choose to go this route, we are now all set to be able to make the IVF for our next cycle. And all it took was 20 minute conversation and setting up a few things. As we left the bank, arm in arm I teared up a bit- grateful to have something go so smoothly for a change, and I said to DH "She (the banker) has no idea the significant role she just played in the final steps to bringing us home a baby." DH giggled and squeezed me and we walked to the car in amazement. He has mentioned that moment several times since as he says he loves hearing me talk with hope again for a change.

And he is right, it does feel good to let hope seep back in just a bit-

Thursday, December 9, 2010

YES! No, Maybe, wait, I mean...

Where am I?

Tired. Spinning. Interspersed with itsy bitsy tiny glimpses of hope and excitement. (Emphasizing tiny).

I think I am grieving, which is surprising me a bit. I am glad there is a clear answer why we haven't gotten pregnant, I'm glad there is a definite reason for the pain, that it wasn't all in my head.

But I guess I am sort of not ready to leave naive land where I could dream that maybe, just maybe we could just give it time and eventually we'd get pregnant on our own. So, as I come in to our new reality I feel some grief.

The endo is stage 4. It has entirely encased one of my ovaries in a grapefruit size endometrioma (spelling?). Most likely it is spread lots of places.

Doc said that we could do surgery to remove it- but it will come back, and in the meantime removing it won't improve our chances of TTC that greatly and given we also have not so great numbers in the sperm area of things, and we aren't getting any younger- he recommends IVF as the next step.

And by next step I mean as in the very next step- starting our first IVF on my next cycle which starts in just a couple of weeks.

Commence freak out.

Part of me is ready- i like the idea of not thinking about it or planning for it, but just doing it. we've been on this journey for THREE YEARS. part of me feels like ripping the band aid off and just diving in. Waiting accomplishes nothing anymore.

But my responsible side if stressing about the money. As of a few weeks ago, I had finally declared to DH that I felt like we were on track and that we'd be able to make this work to do IVF down the road. But in three weeks? We would have to make some financial decisions now that I wasn't yet ready to make. So, my anal excel sheet side of me is freaking out a bit.

But - we know now that our only option is IVF. and by all accounts we are good candidates for coming out on the other end with a baby. And that makes me so joy ful and so scared to death at the same time. I'm not sure if I am ready to handle the emotionally fraught 1st trimester. Waiting for the chance at seeing a heartbeat. I'm not sure if I can handle any more bad luck.

IVF, I am ready to take you on (i think), and I will do so with courage (i hope), but please or please spare us a little bit (or a lot), will you? Let us not fall on the wrong side of statistics yet again. (if this is even the step we decide to take).
I beg of you.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010


Extensive Endometriosis

Diagnosed today by my RE

My right ovary is the size of a grape fruit

The rules of the game just changed and my head is spinning.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Step 1& 2 done- 3, 4, & 5 to come

My Plan I've added one more plan of action, so my 4 step plan is now 5 steps. The goal in all of this is a) having movement so I feel like I am pro-active in our TTC and overall health, and b) making sure at the end of this journey, however it goes, that I can feel like I advocated for myself in making no stone is unturned. Step 1 was my current gynecologist- I was skeptical. She hasn't been the greatest doctor for me and I have been on the verge of walking away from my 12 year relationship with her. This appointment sealed the deal. I talked about my extreme pain I had experience last cycle and she was patronizing, tapped me on the knee, and said- "pain is just a part of getting older, make sure to have some advil handy." She also repeatedly reminded me I was soon to be advanced maternal age and I needed to "get a move on" and get pregnant. My jaw hit the ground- she KNOWS my history- two miscarriages and now infertility- WHAT DOES SHE THINK I HAVE BEEN TRYING TO DO. Anyways. Done with her. Needless to say, the appointment didn't accomplish much, other than confirming for me she is not a good doctor for me.

Step 2- I had an appointment with a nutritionist I have been working with a bit. Nothing earth shattering came from it, but good for overall health. I told her I believe I have insulin resistance, and she was helpful in saying that it is a credible disorder and that any (good) doctor should pursue exploring this.

Step 3 is this week. And I am surprised that i am the most nervous about this one. I'm seeing my RE. I haven't seen him in a long while (9months maybe?). I'll be talking to him about this severe pain and insulin resistance. But also, I want to map out as plan b (well, C? D? down the road a bit more) the pre-testing needed for IVF. I'm still giving us another year or so, give or take a few months, but once we reach the point of feeling ready to move on to IVF, i don't want to dawdle getting to the start line.

Step 4 and 5 are for good measure- seeing an naturopath/acupuncturist the following week and a gynecologist that came highly recommended by a friend. If my RE takes me seriously and is aggressive in trying to understand this pain, and my insulin concerns- I may cancel the appointment with the gynecologist. But if not- I wanted a back-up option already on the calendar.

It is a lot of appointments, it feels like overkill. But then again, it feels good to have a plan. Most of all, it just feels good to finally have the energy (again) to plow forward- I feel like we've refocused on what we want in all of this (family) and what we have to do to move us in that direction (push the rock up the hill of TTC).

Thursday, November 25, 2010

The things that most deserve our gratitude

We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures. ~Thornton Wilder

We often take for granted the very things that most deserve our gratitude. ~Cynthia Ozick

(Forgive my rant from yesterday, my heart is still raw with the news, but for now, it is a day for gratitude.)

My husband- I can't begin to express my gratitude for this man, my best friend, life partner and the most amazing manifestation of "family" I have ever known. There are not words to express how grateful I am to share each day with you.

Our home- Every wall, door, electrical outlet in our little condo has been our handy work, and our vision for a simple, modest home that we can share with others. I'm grateful we chose to live small and simple and cherish all the ways in which we have shared it with others.

Steady income- I give thanks that for right now, we have good jobs, steady income, and a plan to pay off our school loans very soon.

Friends that are like family- My family is small and always has been small. I have only a few cousins and we never really were close with them. My mom was an only child and my dad's siblings didn't have many kids. My husband's family is also small, fragmented, and dysfunctional. We've always viewed our close friends as part of the extended family we never had- and I am continually in awe of how loved we are from these friends.

The love I glimpsed- It is hard to talk about "gratitude" when it comes to our miscarriages. Most of the last almost 3 years has been healing and grieving those losses and living in fear that we'll never have a living child. But I would be amiss if I didn't speak my gratitude for those tiny windows of time in which the two lines appeared and I was carrying life in me. I never knew it was possible to love in that way, I never knew I could feel such immense joy in the blink of an eye. For two tiny windows of time, my love overflowed for the life created within and all I hope he or she would be. And for those slivers of time, I am grateful.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

So messed up

10 weeks.

my younger sister is 10 weeks pregnant.

she finally had the guts to tell me today.

Happy f&%@$in thanksgiving to me.

it is her second baby. Had our first pregnancy not ended in miscarriage, her first daughter, now 2 years old, and our child would have been the same age.

she is not married. no education. no job. nothing.

she has been separated from her boyfriend, and the father to both babies, for more than a year.

the layers of why this is so messed up go on and on....

Talk about a slap in the face to how much time, energy and emotional energy we've put into trying to have a family.

Lord, God, there is so much i don't understand. So much....

My heart is breaking in two tonight.

Friday, November 12, 2010

the makings of a plan

I have a plan. Rather I am making a plan.

Something connected for me and I have found a renewed energy and interest in making sure that no stone is unturned.

We have been TTC for 18 months since our last miscarriage. And to be honest.. I thought we would be moving on to IVF by now. But I am just not ready. I need to feel like IVF is our only option before committing that much money towards it. Part of it has been the emotional healing I needed to do, and now that has taken place in a significant way, I am realizing that I just don't feel like we have enough information to go on. I want, I NEED, to feel like we have exhausted all our options short of IVF.

And I have had lingering suspicions that a few stones have not bee thoroughly turned over yet. Namely: Endometriosis and PCOS/Insulin Resistance. But also, I just need to explore all corners of possibilities.

So I have a plan. In the next 4 weeks I have appointments made with my gynecologist, my RE, and a new naturpath (I stopped going to my old one because he was 45 minutes away and not convenient. I needed someone more accessible). I don't fully trust that any one of them will be as aggressive as I want them to be in exploring these concerns- but hopefully, going to all three of them I'll get some movement.

The pain I experienced this last cycle was a wake up call. And it made me realize I have probably been overlooking quite a bit of pain over the past year (years?) related to AF and just pelvic region- unexplainable pain. So, while I am a little worried what it might mean, I feel like I will now have a better chance of being heard by my doc when I explain what happened this past cycle. That level of pain can't be normal. My mom had severe endometriosis. I have no doubt now that it msut be explored more thoroughly in my case.

I also am convinced that I am insulin resistant. I struggle writing that because I feel like I have been asking around the edges of this issue with doctors for a long time, and don't feel like I have been taken seriously. Which makes me feel like I must just be making this up. But losing weight has been a nearly insurmountable task. Diabetes is in my family. I have long complained to doctors about feeling like my body doesn't regulate sugars well. All this is a roundabout way to saying possibly PCOS? Or maybe something else? Maybe something that naturphatic medicine might be more in tune to? I don't have the classic symptoms for PCOS, but I believe that not everything fits neatly in a diagnosis box. Regardless, I need to feel like it has been thoroughly explored.

A plan is in place. Here is hoping that I come out on the other side of this next 4 weeks with some more information.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Another chapter. ?.

It feels like I am moving into a new chapter of this story. I am not sure what that means- and I am not sure if I am entering with hope or despair or indifference- or a mix of those. But it seems like there is enough shifting around in me and in life that warrants calling this the next chapter.

I have just one more session with my counselor, been working with her since Spring on letting go of the trauma of the miscarriages and the last (almost) three years of TTC. I was skeptical- I was skeptical that telling the stories over and over and over would be good for me, cause it was brutal at times. But now looking back I feel a free-ness in my spirit, a new way of carrying my story, that I am certain is contributing to this feeling of a new chapter unfolding.

I like my job, peoples. I should take an inventory of my blog to see how many rants (or raves) I have had about my job. It seems like I only rant about it. But, around the time that we had given up on IUIs and taken a break from aggressive TTC, I unexpectantly and probably reluctantly - went from part-time to full time at my job. I put my aspirations for my start-up business on hold. At the time, I grieved that decision as I was focused more on what I was sacrificing by taking that job. But 8 months later I feel like I have grown more professionally and personally in this job than anytime in the last three years. And I have reminded myself that I am (damn) good at what I do. And others think so to. So I found myself more and more focused and absorbed in my work and making plans for my future career. And I like it.

Which brings me to the question of family and what next. I have no idea whatsoever. As much as I am immersed in my career right now and not doing anything pro-active to ttc or adopt,but I think about having a family everyday. every single day. I still want it so badly. In fact, I think the desire is stronger than ever. But I am in a weird place where I am not grieving it every day but I also don't have my excel sheets and to-do lists and my calendars all mapped out actively working towards this goal. Sometimes I wonder if I have surrendered? If I am trusting in that which is outside of my control? Or Sometimes I fear it is complacency or indifference? I don't know. I just don't know.

It is nice to be in a place where I feel like I am me again- my career is on track and feeding my soul, my relationship with my husband is so rich right now. I like not being a slave to infertility and TTC plans at the moment- and yet....I want a family more than anything else. So, now what...

Read my mind

There are times when another blogger, a complete stranger, writes something that you are convinced was written with a window into your heart and soul-

The Mad Hatters words are just one of those posts: Click here

Friday, October 29, 2010

On the office floor

A tidal wave of pelvic pain hit me today- out of nowhere. And I am still gingerly moving around....and my mind is spinning into place of worry that are not very productive.

AF is due momentarily- so cramping, run of the mill or even stronger than usual cramping wouldn't have surprised me. But this was double over, nauseating, make me delirious pain. In lower abdomen. I spent 40 minutes laying on the floor of a vacant office down the hall from my cubicle before I felt like I could stand up and go back to my desk.

Aside from the severity of it, it also concerned me that it didn't feel the same as menstrual cramps. So now it has me worried: Is something wrong? Will it happen again? Tomorrow? Next time AF comes?

I have always worried about endometriosis. My mother had it- so I've always worried. And yet oddly it has never been discusses with any of the umpteen Gynegolosits and REs I have seen. But tonight's episode has be reobessing about it- and also frustrated because from what I know- it is often hard to diagnose and harder to get pregnant with it.

Oh, yet something else related to my girly parts that baffles me and isn't in my control, that I don't understand.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Time passes

October is here. October marks the next season of anniversaries for me. Anniversaries of due dates never realized. Our first pregnancy due date was Halloween 2008 and our second pregnancy due date was mid-October 2009.

And now it is 2010. There is a roller coaster of emotions- it is truly hard to comprehend at times, how this much time has passed. We are nearing the three year mark of starting to TTC. That fact makes my heart hurt at the core- heavy with desperation. Three years of TTC no doubt gives us not only the label of recurrent miscarriages but also infertile through and through.

3 years. I can't help but wonder how many more years will pass- empty.

So many what ifs.

So not how I thought this would be.

Trying so hard to be okay with what it is.

It is October once again.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

I bought a bookshelf.

I bought a bookshelf. It is such a simple statement, and yet this bookshelf purchase has seemed really significant to me.

I'm not sure why this particular act is carrying so much symbolic meaning. My hunch is that my father-in-law's recent death has our household in an introspective space, that opens us up to see meaning beyond the surface.

So my craigslist purchase this week of a white Ik.ea bookshelf for dirt cheap, has me hopeful, and feeling like I am opening up after a long dark winter.

I researched it, measured and remeasured, spent 5 days arranging a time to go see it, figured out my husband and I's crazy schedules in order to go pick it up together, we loaded it in to the garage awaiting an opportunity to put some finishing touches on it- it has been a labor of love....

Like I said- it is silly given it is just a bookshelf. But is has our household hopeful.

The bookshelf is the perfect height, width, and measurements to fit in our guest bedroom closet. The goal has always been to make that closet as useable as possible, and this bookshelf was just perfect.

This bookshelf is part of a larger project the husband and I have been working on to organize and clean up and- here is the most significant part- to create more space in our condo....and in our life. This bookshelf feels like a significant next step to preparing that space and readying it for a child.

And that's where the tidal wave of fear starts to creep in. The fear whispers and screams at me at the same time "WHY DO YOU CONTINUE TO HOPE WHEN HOPING ONLY LEADS TO DESPAIR." And I will admit- Oh, It is scary to embrace the hopefullness. Sometimes, if I really give it thought, it seems absolutely absurd to allow myself to hope. It seems like self-inflicted punishment to prepare a room, or even think about preparing a room, for a child I have NO idea if it will ever come to be. Hoping can feel ridiculous.

And yet this damn bookshelf has my husband and I a bit on the giddy side of what it could mean. He will stop me in the middle of the garage while getting the groceries out of the car, and he will motion towards the bookshelf standing off to the side, and he will hug me and tell me how perfect it will be with cute little baskets and books for our bambino someday. And he tells me how ready we are and how badly he wants all that that bookshelf stands for.

And I can't help but hope....and it brings me to my knees humbling begging for the strength to walk with hope and not fear what is on the other side.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

The capacity to hope

I am, in some ways, dumbstruck by the depth of grief that takes hold following recurrent pregnancy loss. I never saw a heartbeat, never even saw fetal growth, only only empty sacs. And yet the wound it left deep within has rocked me to the core. It has been 2 1/2 years since our first miscarriage and 1 1/2 years since our second. And there is still a real rawness to the grief. I am certain that rawness has been stoked, by not only the two losses themselves, but the loss that is experienced month after month of now not being able to even get pregnant. It makes those momentary losses, perpetual losses.

But even as I find myself shocked at the grief that I carry with me, what is even more astonishing to me is the heart, the soul's, ability to hope. Spontaneous, unbridled hope.

There is no predictability for me as to what will be triggered in me at the sight of a round belly or a newborn infant. Sometimes it is a wave of hurt, envy, bitterness. But there are times in which I am overcome by wave of pure hope. That comes out of no where. There is no glimmer of grief. No envy. And in that moment, no doubt what so ever. Only hope.

A co-worker of mine came in to my office today with her 4 week old son. I didn't know she was coming to visit. I didn't have any opportunity to mentally prepare myself. I walked around the corner, and there she and he was. She stayed and visited for an hour, and we oohed and aahed at her little tiny boy. And the wave came- the wave that runs through me that says "I want that more than anything, and I will keep up the good fight..." There is no doubt, only hope.

The capacity to hope really astonishes me. There are no odds or statistics in my story that tell me that it makes sense to hope. The odds are against us and the longer we get into this journey, the less realistic it seems to have hope that we will ever bring home a child. And yet those waves of hope rush over me at times....

We are actively TTC again. It has been 6 months since our third and final IUI that failed. After that we decided to go it on our own for awhile and see what happened, save money for IVF or something, we didn't know. I (we) needed a break at first, and so weren't watching the calendar or tracking ovulation. But that mini-break turned in to 6 months of almost no sex anywhere near ovulation time. There was no one reason for that long break- but many reasons I guess- exhaustion, busy schedules, DH out of town, a tiredness in our relationship, etc. I feel like it was lost time, which is frustrating when I feel like the clock is always ticking. But I am trying to let it be what it is, and more on and recognize we probably really needed that time.

Life is back in sync, and we started actually trying again this month. DH is enthusiastically asking for me to tell him about my ovulation signs. It cracks me up that he is so interested, but I am also grateful that after all this time, even he can hope....

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Our daughter has a middle name

It seems like my husband and I have been discussing names for as long as I can remember. We go in phases- sometimes we talk about it frequently, other times months or years go by between conversations. I'm not sure when exactly it started. But it seems like it has always been part of the fabric of our conversations, even long before TTC.

Through it all, there has been one boy name and one girl name that remain constant in our discussions. No matter how many ideas we come up with, how many combinations we play around with, these two names haven't changed. We feel like these are "the" names for the family we hope to have some day.

Amidst this certainty for first, names, try as we might, we haven't come anywhere close to middle names for a girl. We've talked and explored and gone in circles, only to end up back where we started.

Sure, there are plenty of names that we like, but we wanted a name that had some meaning, some significance. It just didn't seem right to select just any old middle name when our first name has so much meaning for us.

Nagging me, in the back of my mind, I really really wanted the middle name to have some family significance. But unfortunately, I had the bad luck to be born into a family that doesn't have that many agreeable names. We scoured our memory banks of aunts, great aunts, and other great greats, and never found anything that we could live with.

A couple of weeks ago, my favorite aunt flew out unexpectedly for a surprise weekend visit. My aunt is my dearest friend and was the most significant adult in my life growing up, besides my parents. I love her to pieces and so does my husband. I'm not sure how the conversation came to be, but we got to talking about middle names. And I realized that I didn't even know what my aunt's middle name was. As I heard myself ask the question, i knew in that instant, before the name was even on her lips, that the answer she was going to be giving me would have some significance in my life.

"Elizabeth. My middle name is Elizabeth."

My husband was on the other side of the living room, only semi-listening to the conversation. But he heard enough of the conversation to catch his attention. He made eye contact with me, and we both knew- that was it. A middle name for our daughter to-be.

Conversation changed topics, the weekend passed and my aunt flew back home. But several days later, I was still thinking about how much I loved that name. My curiosity took hold of me and I turned to the internet to look up the meaning.

Elizabeth means "My God is abundance"

My heart did a little beat-beat. That hard-to-describe inner hunch that comes when you just feel that something bigger than you can comprehend is at work.

It has been something I have held on to these past several weeks. There have been some low times again that have crept in, causing me to doubt that something beautiful will ever come to be from all this loss. But what has carried me through is hanging on to that hunch, those small moments surrounding something as simple and profound as the name "Elizabeth."

This past Sunday, all of this came together in yet another even more moving way. DH and I went to a new church that I have been attending this summer, but that he hasn't been to yet. My period was in full force, I had just learned of yet another friend that is pregnant. I had been in tears on the husband's shoulder just the night before, drowning in doubt.

But as the pastor spoke, I felt like she was tying my faith back together with the words of her sermon. She spoke about how often we are conned into believing in a God of scarcity- which leads to fear, self-doubt, and holding tightly to the finite. But God, she preached, is a God of abundance, not a God of scarcity. A faith in a God of abundance leads us to dance in all that is beautiful.

At times I it feels silly to believe that all of this means that some day I will hold a daughter in my arms whose middle name will be Elizabeth, and what is even sillier is that I feel like just be writing this, that I am jinxing myself and in deed none of it will ever come to be.

But amidst all of the doubt, I still can't help but hold on to the hunch, the hunch that calls me to trust, to believe in something unseen at work. That maybe, just maybe, a daughter whose middle name is Elizabeth, will some day come into our lives.

Or even more importantly, that maybe I will never forget that we worship a God of abundance.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Something Beautiful

Hey now, this is my desire
Consume me like a fire, 'cause I just want something beautiful
To touch me, I know that I'm in reach
'Cause I am down on my knees.
I'm waiting for something beautiful
Oh, something beautiful

- Something Beautiful, Needtobreathe

It was a friend of a friend on FB that made a comment in passing about this band, , and so in my mindless internet surfing, I starting listening to this song. And I haven't been able to stop listening to it all summer.

This is my desire
Something beautiful

It really is that simple, isn't it? Life? the infertility journey? If I could truly learn to trust that there will be something beautiful that will come from all of this, wouldn't the burden be a little less to carry?

Even though it is hard at times being on "this side" to read blogs of those on the "other side" I still follow along with blogs of fellow IFers who have their miracles in their arms. And regardless of whether their child is 3 months or 3 years, I am struck by how time and time again, IF moms reflect back on the darkness of their IF years in contrast to the the peace and contentness they now have. And it is authentic they aren't sugar coating things or overlooking how motherhood brings on a new type of difficulties in life. But there is a sense of..of..perhaps healing? There is something beautiful about their spirit.

If I could pray, that would be my prayer. As simple as that- that some day there will be something beautiful that will consume my spirit. I don't even care at this point how it comes to be. Maybe I will never be pregnant, maybe I will never have children at all. Maybe it won't look how I think it will look-

I just pray it is something beautiful.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Over and over and over and...

There are many reasons why I blog- for support, to vent, to grieve, to celebrate.
There is pretty much one reason why I stop bloggin'- when I am stuck- Emotionally stuck by something. As I have been slowly returning to bloggin' I have realized there were two icebergs that I haven't been able or willing to face, and those icebergs are what kept me from bloggin. Because when I blog, I process things, and I just wasn't willing or able to face the icebergs.

The icebergs are starting to thaw-

Iceberg 1-

I started seeing a counselor in November. I had been wanting to start seeing one for a while- actually right after grad school. In fact, just out of grad school, I started seeing a counselor, and quit after the fourth session. I don't think she was very good - but I felt like she also was trying to tell me to grow up and get over it which I wasn't ready to hear yet either. I hadn't even started TTC yet when I started seeing her. I had my first miscarriage during the time I was seeing her. I stopped going.

Fast forward two miscarriages, two failed IUIs and I finally found the inertia (or desperation!) to start seeing another counselor. I have been seeing her 2-4 times a month since November. I mostly like her (which is good enough for me), but more importantly I trust that she is very skilled at what she does.

So, we have done some of the traditional talk therapy. I can tell she has let me grieve and been gentle not pushing me too hard, which I appreciate. And then, sometime this spring, her approach started changing. She started picking up on my times of depression, particularly around the loss anniversaries, and some of the raw, open wounds that are still very close to the surface and not healing despite counseling.

She asked if she could do an assessment on me for PTSD, post traumatic stress disorder. I shrugged my shoulders figuring it couldn't hurt to answer a list of questions. Not thinking it would really tell us anything.

The answers said quite a bit- even to me. I could see light bulbs of understanding connecting in my counselors nods. I could tell that she felt like she had really touched on something significant.

I will be honest, I didn't know much about PTSD and still don't. I know it is commonly association with veterans returning from war. Or victims of rape, or other abuses. But miscarriages? I never made the connection. And interestingly enough, to this day, since she brought it up, I haven't even consulted Dr. google. In part, I decided I didn't want to label this, or create expectations. And I didn't trust at first that she really knew what she was doing. So, I humored her. And I went along with her plan.

The plan, you ask?

At every counseling session, she would have me do a few minutes of some calming breathing exercises, and close my eyes. And then, from the very beginning, tell the story of my 2nd miscarriage. Recalling every possible detail, in depth. And when I was done, and the Kleenexes were all used up, she would have me start all over again. Over and over and over.

For the past two months!

We don't ever talk, she just listens as I tell the same story over and over. And at times she has me pause, and she asks questions, she gets me to tap into the grief, and the woundedness and recall the raw emotion I felt at the time.

And it has not been pretty.

I have wanted to quit from the very beginning. I came home after the first and second session and I told my husband she was a lunatic, uncaring, and cruel. it felt plain cruel.

I didn't think I was going to be able to continue on. I started dreaming of making up excuses in my head to skip sessions, I would have to talk to myself to convince myself to pick up my purse, grab the keys, and drive to the session each week.

At one point I even told her that I didn't trust that this process was going to benefit me. I told her, and yet she had me start from the beginning of the story all over again and just keep telling it.

And this is part of why I haven't blogged. It truly was one of the most grueling counseling seasons of my life. I thought many times about wanting to talk about this process of "de-sensitization" and the research she talks about that shows how it helps people heal from trauma. I have wanted to share what a relief it was to feel validated finally that indeed my miscarriages were traumatic. They weren't just losses, they were traumas- physically, emotionally, and spiritually.

And I am breathing again. And the change hasn't been subtle. Daily, I catch myself noticing something is a bit different.

She says that the desensitization process, the retelling of the story, is a way to start to own the loss. Acknowledging that yes this happened, and yes this is a devastating loss(es) that has shaped and redefined me and my life, but it is not all consuming. And in retelling the story, she says I am able to acknowledge this as part of the fabric of my life, but be released by the all consuming grip of grief and fear.

And she has been right. And frankly there is a bit of inner strength that bubbles up in me when I to realized that I faced the story, and as I tell it now sitting in her office, there are far less moments of feeling like I am suffocating, there are far less moments in which I feel like I will be sucked into the couch if I really share ALL the details. Instead, there is a subtle knowing that this will always be a wound I will carry, but I can also carry forward and be okay.

We have come close to being done retelling the 2nd miscarriage story. When we started this process many weeks ago, she had asked me to list my three most traumatic occurrences during the last two years of infertility and loss. Of the three, the 2nd miscarriage I had said was the least traumatizing. Soon we will be moving on the 2nd hardest event, and then on to the first. This won't be a short process, and I imagine I will relive many of the same emotions again, but for now, I am holding my head up a bit higher, trusting the new breath that is coming.

Stay tuned for Iceberg #2 that is thawing- this is plenty for one post.

Sunday, June 20, 2010


It's been nearly two months since I last posted. I'm not sure exactly why. It just has gotten hard to post here. I continue to read along, but I have gone quiet on commenting as well.

I find myself not posting here because I don't want this place to only be about the darkness and I tend to be drawn to bloggin when I have stuff I need to dump. And life isn't actually all bad right now. I find myself not posting because I don't know where I am going on this IF journey. This blog was started as we began to navigate TTC after our miscarriages. But we are no longer working with an RE. We no longer have a plan (or the option of) saving for IVF or adoption right now. And while I want to still be TTC on our own, to be honest, that just isn't actively happening either right now.

I feel like what hyper active dog must feel like, tethered on a leash staked into the ground, that just keeps running and running in circles until it has worn itself out. That is where I am at. All paths toward parenting that are within my control have been explored and ruled out as options right now. And I am just tuckered out and trying to come to terms with living life without knowing the plan. I think in part, coming back to this blog reminds me of the energy spent running in circles, only to not feel any closer to the goal.

To be honest, more often than not I think I subconsciously spend a lot of energy convincing myself that parenting is not really the end all, be all. Convincing myself that it really isn't what I want. I know that is just a coping mechanism, but that's how it goes right now.

But then I witness some of the most beautiful moments in the lives of women I don't even know, but whose perseverance amazes me. The birth of Natalie's beautiful daughter, seeing Stacy's healthy pregnancy with her long awaited lil' girl Lily, and Katy as she is preparing to welcome her 2nd child. All of whom have endured more loss than humanely imaginable. I have been lurking on some of their blogs and many others even before I knew the pain of miscarriage, heck some of them even before we started TTC. And I am reminded what this journey is all about. And I hope that in whatever is around the corner in this next chapter of our journey, that I can find their kind of patience and perseverance... and hope.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Anti-depressant and Marriage counseling

How's that for a heavy blog title.

Anti-depressant- my counselor asked if I might consider exploring is an anti-depressant would be right for me. Ugg. DH brought this up several weeks ago as well (unfortunately, the timing or manner in which he brought it up wasn't good, and it led to an all out fight- tears, cussing, the works.) Sigh.

I know I probably should at least talk to my doctor. I loathe the idea of making the investment of time it will take to find the right drug and wait until i've been on it long enough to even know if it will work. And then rinse and repeat. I don't like the idea of being on one while ttc. are we even ttc any more? who knows.

But I know that my "blueness" is now probably more than just normal grief associated with all of our losses. Grrr.

I don't like this. But it is time to be a grown up and deal with this- or at least explore my options.

Marriage counseling-
I brag about my marriage here. I talk about how I have the best DH in the world. And yet, I finally had to come to admit that this journey we have been on with IF and losses has taken its toll. Things have been rocky lately. Longer than just lately. Hard to say for sure- it just feels like it creeps up and in.

Usually when we have tough spells, they are brief, we find a way to reset and come back to who we really are, and even at times we end up a bit stronger in our relationship. But that hasn't been happening. And for the first time in our marriage- we both have been a bit scared by the fact that we haven't been able to find our center again.

I brought it up to my counselor yesterday. And she asked how long I have felt like we have been having this tough spell. I said it's hard to know for sure, but probably since January/February.

"Since you decided to take a break from TTC."

Duh. But of course. It made so much sense. I hadn't even considered the similarities in the timing.

when we were TTC, there was a purpose, a shared mission, a common goal. And now, now the grief and discouragement just settles in deeper and deeper.

She encouraged seeing a counselor together. And it was a good reminder that by acknowledging that we probably could benefit from marriage counseling, we're not admitting that we are failing or even in crisis. rather it is an acknowledgment that we could benefit by having someone walk along side us, and carry a bit of this very heavy burden we've been shouldering.

Update on the phone call
Nothing really to update. We called our friend, let her know that we'd be interested in at least asking some questions if her friend (the boys' aunt) wanted to. We haven't heard anything. Which is fine. We did our part in opening the door for conversation. And I have found myself spontaneously and without effort gravitating to praying for her and the boys often. For everyone involved, it is a tough situation. As as tough as it is for the Aunt to be raising the boys, I also can't imagine making the decision to initiate a conversation around having someone else adopt them. How would you ever pick up the phone and start that conversation?

Thursday, April 8, 2010

A phone call

I got a phone call from a friend today.

She and her husband both work at the same place my husband and I work. They have adopted two kids (international adoptions) and so a common interest was the catalyst for the friendship, and while we don't know each other really well yet- we really enjoy the time we have spent with them so far- a few dinners, walks during lunch break at work. She is one of the few people I have shared pretty openly with our journey - the miscarriages, the fears, etc. She is an IFer herself and just understands.

She called me at work- we have both been busy and barely seen each other lately. She apologized in advance that her conversation was going to cut right to the chase and we'd have to do lunch to do the true catching up that we were overdue for.

She had just come from a long talk with a friend of hers. The friend is also an employee at our company. I recognize her name, but don't know her personally. This friend recently, and unexpectedly, became the temporary guardian for two little boys, 2 and 3 years old, when their dad died. As much as she longs to keep them connected in the family, she is not in a place to raise them as her 4 kids are already grown adults. Sounds like there are no other family members either.

She wants the best for them. A family that could adopt. My friend thought of us.

My friend apologized for the out of the blue phone call. But as unexpected of a call as it was. It also felt a bit, well, I don't know- it just didn't feel as crazy as it sounds when I type it. It felt like at the very least the spirit was whispering "Listen." Listen to the unexpected ways in which I work in your life.

Is it of interest? Worthy of at least some consideration? I would be lying if I said no. My curiosity is peaked. (A post for another time- because I know that might sound exactly opposite to the recent mood of my posts-) Is it crazy? Unrealistic? Probably.

But at least for the weekend, I will listen. Maybe "this" isn't anything. Maybe it is a piece of the journey that we are meant to ponder and move on- but even that is a stepping stone along the path of where this road may take us.

My prayer is just that I may listen well.

The end of anniversaries

Today is the anniversary of one of our d&c. But I feel that hopefulness might just be around the corner.

While is is a tough anniversary, it marks the end of a long long series of anniversaries. Both of our pregnancies were in February (one in '08, one in '09) so all of our anniversaries of our BFP, blood draws, u/s, confirmation of blighted ovums, and finally d&Cs happen from February, throughout March, into April which brings us to April 8. The last significant anniversary date of our two miscarriages. The next dreaded anniversary is not until October (when both our EDD were to be).

So, maybe, just maybe, I'll reconnect with hope again. And embrace all that Spring is meant to be about in the coming months.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

It's about time

I've been playing ball on a womens team for a couple of years. They have become, and are becoming, good friends. I enjoy the outlet for healthy competition, and they are a good group of women, and we truly enjoy each other.

But even in the safe community of friends, words can sting.

One of our teammates announced she is pregnant. As an infertile the sensors go up, even before the words are spoken. We know the non verbals that signal the announcement is coming.

And as our team congratulated her, one of our team mates said, "Well, it's about darn time one of you finally got pregnant."

I know what she meant. i know she meant no harm, but oh how it stung ...and stings. She is the only one on the team that has a child, and her daughter is almost school age. So I know what she meant- it has been years, and no talk of babies in this group of friends. Until now. So I know what she meant. But...

I think of our two losses- I want to scream out "But I was pregnant too!! Two times, I just never could tell you, because they came in to my life, and left, all too quickly and with far too much pain." I want to scream it, but I know I can't. Cause society doesn't give space for the pregnancies that came and go all too quickly. But I was screaming it inside, longing to have our little ones acknowledged too.

I left the game pretty quickly afterwards, but not quick enough that I would make anyone take note as the chin started to quiver a bit. A few tears fell as I drove home. But some clarity also came in that exchange tonight.

I realized how much I want that.

I realized that I am not done trying to achieve
"that". I want the chance to publicly celebrate among a community of friends that care for me and I care for them. I want the chance to honor the life within me. And to find some healing for the lives within me that came and went too quickly. Silently slipping into the darkness, never to be celebrated publicly. Two lives that I loved so much, that changed me forever, and I never got to share them with anyone.

I have been beating myself up a bit lately on this whole adoption thing. Adoption is something I have always envisioned for my family. And yet, I am so completely blocked right now that I just can't bring myself into a mental space where I can fathom pursuing that path right now. I can't summon up the excitement anymore for it. And tonight confirmed that for me. It confirmed that I am not ready to walk away from the chance of getting to someday announce those two little words to a group of friends and to get to celebrate with them about the life that is within. that someday will be in my arms.

I want that. And even if it takes more time, effort, and money than I would have liked. It is what I want. And I won't regret it.

Lord let it be.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010


I am on day of being fully full-time at my job after my job share colleague took a long leave of absence.

Oy- the job is exponentially expanding by the day. I'll admit I like the distraction for now. But I also second guess the decision some days. Time will tell I guess. I just keep telling myself it is only temporary.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

A child meant for me

Do I trust that God has a plan for us? for me? for my future family?

I have no idea.

I know that the "correct" answer as a person of faith is "yes, absolutely." And I know that there have been many paths in my life that have unfolded in ways that have been beyond human understanding (let alone planning). So I have seen this before in life. But, I just can't find that I can connect with this beleif again.

Do I trust that there is a child for me? And that someday I will look that child in the eyes and see the grace of God's timing.

I have no idea.

I know it would be easier if I trusted in that. I know that I would be less filled with angst, if I could just let myself beleive in that.

But I struggle to trust. I struggle to beleive that there is a divine plan in this path to parenthood.

It feels very human, and not very divine. It feels as if I am pushing this path along, but then it also feels like I am unengaged when I do nothing.

Saturday, March 27, 2010


My third and final IUI was New years eve day. BFN to follow in mid-january, and my last test and consultation with the RE was also in mid-January. We have done nothing since then. Two cycles (soon to be three) of doing nothing- nothing with the RE and nothing in the bedroom. I am not sure how I feel about that.

I have either intentionally avoided DH during peak window of ovulation each cycle or we have just not connected out of busyness or exhaustion. It has been nice to know that without a doubt, AF will be coming. It has been nice to not wonder "what if" each cycle. But I feel hollow. Indifferent. Conflicted.

I wonder if I have lost the energy to keep pushing. I want it to just happen on its own. ha! What a ludicrous thought.

I wonder if the energy will ever return. I guess I have just lost the hope that doing it the natural way will ever result in a lasting pregnancy. And I am losing hope that we will ever save enough for IVF. Life expenses keeping coming out of nowhere as much as we are really intentional about budgeting and saving. I feel the hope being squeezed out of our savings account, and my spirit.

I even wonder, more frequently than I care to admit, I wonder if I still even know what I want. I wonder if I still even truly desire to be pregnant. I see the pain (emotional and physical) and exhaustion of my dear friend who just had a baby (more on this later), and I am reminded that even the end result of this desire is not the "amazing birth experience". I feel so far away from that innocent longing to be a mom that I once felt. I wonder if I am even capable of every feeling joy again if a BFP were to happen.

I am not sure why this is just a downer post today. More than anything I just feel, as I said hollow and indifferent. I don't hurt and I am glad about that, but I don't feel joy, excitement, and hope either.

I also am feeling like I can only invest the bulk of my drive and energy in one part of my life. In the past two years and three months that has been in TTC (well, and healing and grieving from loss associated with this). I am feeling like the cost is too great to continue to invest exclusively in TTC. There is just too much potential for more loss and brutal disappointment.

But then I ask myself, so what is the alternative? Give up on TTC? Give my desire over to God? (I have so much baggage associated with that phrase.) Do I plunge head first into my career, furthering my own business and "just relax"? I don't know... I am feeling paralysis in some many areas of my life right now.

Grrr... my post is saturated with more layers of frustration and angst than I realized. I might have to leave this with an unpolished ending for now... cuz I just don't know where to go with this.

Monday, March 15, 2010

3 days old

I held a baby today. 3 days old and oh so perfect.

And I didn't feel hatred towards him.

Now isn't that a twisted thing to say?

I have admitted here on my blog, that there have been times when I have seen the BFP announcement from yet another fertile friend on FB or when I have caught a plump pregnant belly pass in front of me that a wave of hatred flows through me. As much as I would like to find a softer nicer word than hatred, I would be less than honest if I chose any other word. That is the emotion that has sears through me. It doesn't last, and I feel like it isn't me. I don't know where it comes from. And yet I do- it comes from the darkest places, the places even darker than grief and loss.

So today, when I went over after work to meet my dear friends' new baby- I braced myself for this emotion. Of envy, of disdain, of hatred, of brokenness. But it never came-

All I felt was love. Pure love. For this new life. For my friends who I love so dearly. I felt a softness in my heart that I don't feel too often these days when it comes to pregnancy and baby topics.

Maybe this is what healing looks like.

Welcome to the world Baby W.

Push through or close the door?

We have two emails in our inbox right now from our homestudy social worker and our adoption agency. They want to know what we are doing with the adoption process we started 2 years ago.

And I just don't know.

We keep avoiding their emails. I feel so conflicted about where I am in the healing process, that I don't feel like I can move forward with adoption. And yet I used to want this so badly. I remember DH and I doing lots and lots of research only to find ourselves in tears while we were going through the webinar in which we learned about adopting from Ethipia. And we had the sense that this was right for us. We both just new it was right. Two years, two miscarriages and a unattentive social worker and we are stuck.

I feel like I am lacking the healing and the wholeness to be able to open my arms to adding to my family through adoption. And I feel like such a failure for feeling that way. It feels like such an awful thing to say. My sisters came to our family through adoption. My husband to his parents through adoption. And we have always talked about how much we have valued that this is what we have known of what "family" is. This is who we are! Why, why am I feeling so blocked emotionally?

Do we just walk away from the adoption process we have started? Do I just fight through the emotional paralysis knowing that the process is a long process and trust that healing will come in time? Usually I feel like I can play through the different scenarios in my head and decide which decision will bring me peace, and I honestly don't feel like I can live with either answer. I don't feel like I have it in me to finish the paper work pushing and commit to moving forward adopting from ethiopia and I don't feel like I will be at peace closing this door.

Sunday, March 14, 2010


I wonder sometimes what healing will look like. Will it come? When? And when it does, will I recognize it immediately? Will it come in a flash, with a lot of hoopla, or will it come slowly, over time.

Will it be physical healing? Emotional? Spiritual healing? All of the above?

I long for physical healing. I do. I want to be the couple who "just relaxed" (yes, that phrase causes me to cringe even when I am the one to type it) and the miracle comes. I want to save up our hard earned pennies for IVF, only to not need it at the last minute it'll happen on its own. I want my physical health to be balance, to feel strong and well, in order to support a life within me. I want physical healing.

I also want emotional healing. this is the weekend of the 1 year anniversary of our 2nd d&c. And AF is just around the corner, so PMS is in full force. So the wave of grief is strong. It takes my breath away sometimes. I have to stop and remind myself that I am healing emotionally over time, and that there are ebbs and flows to the grief. Otherwise, it is easy to start to wonder if I am indeed healing at all. I know I am, but I wonder what it will look like around the corner. Will the emotional healing come, even if I never heal physically?

I spend most of my time thinking about these two types of healing- physical and emotional. I think about how to plan my calendar and time with DH around just the right peak cycle time. I think about what it will be like to finally hold a child in my hands and be beyond all of this. And sometimes I think that these two areas of healing are all I want, are all I need.

But most of all, I want healing on a soul level. Wholeness. I know on a head and heart level that this type of healing will superpass any peace that would come from any other type of healing. This is what I want. I want that peace that passes all understanding. I want to be able to trust in the Love that is bigger than all of this, that is at work in a way I may never fully understand. I want this healing more than any of it.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

I'm not finished

Last year, after our second miscarriage, we were right in the heart of Lent. I wrote about a devotional letter that the bishop of our church wrote. As we have entered the season of Lenten once again- I have found myself thinking back to that post. And his words are just as profound to me this year, as they were last year. More often than not, I feel like the language of faith and the way we talk about God and Jesus in church misses the mark for me. Something is either missing, or there is some sort of disconnect with how faith is articulated compared to how faith is experienced for me. But this- this is for me the essence of it:

*When Mary Magdalene, Mary and Salome came to the tomb, their hopes and fears intersected. They wondered aloud about the impossibly large and heavy stone that presented an obstacle to their immediate plans. Worse, what they thought lay behind the stone was unspeakably devastating. Jesus, who embodied the hope of God's promise in a fully human life, was not simply dead, but crucified -- executed in the most extreme humiliation, a savage mockery of the hope that had lived with him.

everything about our journey of trying to create a family, and how devasting it has been, for something that should have been so beautiful. The barriers feel impossibly large. And I am terrified what lays behind the rock, if we were to overcome it.

And then..the unimaginable, the unexpected, the start of an entirely new story, and the continuation of a story that started at the beginning of time...

But the stone was gone, the grave empty. Where they had expected to hear the silence of death's mockery, they were met by an astonishing message that the crucified one was raised from the dead, that their hope was victorious over humiliation, and that Jesus lives and is leading the way into an unexpected, surprising future with God.

I am at a loss as to where this path is taking me right now in life. I am struggling with the issues of my contract at work, I am struggling with the need to make the most responsible decisions in terms of our finances, and yet wanting to live out my calling in my career and wanting to have a family. And I fear the rocks that are in the way are immovable.

And yet He says, But remember my child, I am not finished yet with this story. Come write with me...

*Click here for the full text of the letter

Tuesday, March 9, 2010


Random thoughts dumped into this post in no particular order:

This week, I think I'd rather be a kid, than a grown up. Too many grown up things to fret about. Too many grown up decisions to make. Too many times I just want to crawl under the covers and stay in bed.

The modified contract at my work, from Part-time to FT didn't look how I had been told it would look. There are some minor major things, if that makes sense, that have caused me to rethink this offer. I had an appointment with HR today to sign it, and I asked for more time. The thing is- I have NO idea what will happen if I don't sign it. It is possible that by NOT accepting the FT contract, I would also lose my PT job. I'm fretting.

And to be honest- I just think I need to be honest about the fact that during the month of March each year, there is just not going to be anything I like. Subconscious grieving most likely at work this week. Too many anniversaries. I feel like I am dragging.

I have 4 blog posts saved in my drafts- started and never finished. Been having trouble what to say. Tired of..., I guess just tired. Tired of saying I am tired. Trying to have grace for myself that I know this too will pass. I won't grieve forever. I know it comes and goes.

I'm leaving the church I have worshipped at for the past 11 years. I don't know what "leaving" means. Maybe just a break, maybe permanently. I have been struggling for a while- and when I started dreading Sundays, I knew something had to give. I went to another church service this past week. I am remembering how hard it is to "church shop." Especially after 11 years at the same place. But hoping I can find a safe place to heal some of my hurts, and find a faith community that shares my values.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

If I could

A while back, I posted this post titled If I Could Pray...

I decided that the post needed to return. Maybe this should be a regular posting on my blog.

I can't seem to pray these days. And I know for certain I am not able to listen, even if I were to pray.

But if I were to pray....

I'd pray that I could come to peace with the topic of adoption. I'd pray damnit that the decision to or not too wasn't so frickin' painful.

I'd pray that I could be a better wife each and every day. But also that I continue to learn to ask for what I need.

I'd pray that it won't hurt too much when I hold my dear friend's baby for the first time who is due any day now.

I'd pray that I'd find more peace. Peace to get through the day. Peace in making plans and also in not making plans.

I'd pray that I'd find some direction, and not feel like I am wandering in the wilderness.

I'd pray that I am making the right choices and not simply avoiding the difficult ones.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Left behind from another "club"

We IFers talk often about the pain of being left behind. In real life, we feel as if the rest of our friends are moving past us, joining the "club" and we get left in the dust of wondering if it will ever be our turn. Even in blog world, we come into this place, creating a space in our blogs to open ourselves up to connecting with others who know what it feels like to be "left behind" among our IRL friends. But the irony in it is that even here in our IF blog community, for the most part we are all still seeking to be on the other side. And inevitably, some will get there and others won't.

I have been very aware lately of this sense of being left behind in my IRL community. But it hasn't been related to the club of parenthood. Rather, the club of couplehood. I am not sure what has triggered this for me, but if I were to guess, it would be because of a close friend of mine who got divorced last year. She is slowly trying to navigate singlehood again. My heart goes out to her. And it has stirred up in me all the old emotions that I used to feel before meeting DH. Wondering if I would ever marry? Wondering if I would ever be in the couplehood club? I see all this in her and I feel the rawness of that time...not all too different than what I feel now with IF.

As I try to walk alongside her, I am painfully aware that I now am the one in the club, that she is desperately wanting to be in. I am coupled. She is single. When I refer to DH and I as "we", when I post on FB how much I adore DH, when I say anything that talks about what I have, that she doesn't.....I can't help but see the feeling of being left behind written all over her spirit. In my IF journey, I so desperately want others to be careful to not flaunt, intentionally or unknowingly, that they are in "the club". And now I am even more aware,that there is more than one painful "club" in life.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010


Two years ago, before this blog existed, before we ever new the pain of is what I wrote the first time we found out we were pregnant- February 2008.

Journals from The First Pregnancy
A little plastic stick, bought just out of curiosity. It measures a hormone in my body. A hormone that is only in my body for a specific reason. The second line, forming a plus sign was faint. Dr. google tells me that positive is positive- but I still am skeptical. I’d be at 3 1/2 weeks. At four weeks, the culprit of all this hubabaloo will be the size of a poppy seed. I tell my DH I hope it sticks. He tells me its not like its snow.

Its not even the size of a poppy seed. How is it that I already have so much love for this creation. I know its early, but we created this. And I love my DH and the little poppy seed all the more.

To the cells growing inside of me: we call you poppy seed. When we first learned of you, your mama read that you were barely the size of a poppy seed. The name stuck- I have been absolutely in love and absolutely terrified from the day I learned about you. A bundle of cells, a missed period, two pink lines on a plastic stick- and our lives have changed. I have changed. I have been terrified of losing you- and your poppa reminds me that this is just the beginning. As much as I want to grip and control and keep you safe and well- I can’t entirely do it. You are not mine- you are a creation of our Creator, entrusted to me. I have lost some, a lot of my innocence in these past years- I know darkness. I know we are not immune from its reaches. I can find myself terrified of its grasp. And yet, in this knowing, I have also known light. And that light is . . is.. life.
So, little PS, my prayer today, and every day that I have the gift of having you in my life, I want to allow the light in-
So tonight, PS, I thought I would reflect on all the ways you have already brought light to my life in just a few short weeks:
- watching your poppa overflowing with joy
- feeling poppa’s warm lips against my pudgy belly as he tells you are story, and asks how you are doing, and tells of his great love for you
- realizing my heart’s capacity to love- I love your poppa more than I thought possible- and now you, a little stranger.
- learning to trust that my body has been created to give light in this way- the creation of light, from a little poppy seed, to a change maker in the world, a beacon of light, a servant, a gift giver.
- learning to take life at a pace suitable for today
- loving that my body is nauseous, and sore, tried, and pudgy- all in order to sustain you-

Monday, February 15, 2010

A new day

Today was a new day. The nit picky squabbles with DH, turned into our usual playful selves. My lack of motivation subsided and I felt a bit more like myself. Biking did help. I did 18 miles yesterday in the freezing cold rain. and 39 miles today (much nicer weather day).

Families of all shapes and sizes were out today, and I found myself able to connect back to that part of me that really believes that that will happen for us. The part of me that believes it is SO worth it, that it will be okay to spend the money on IVF if we need to.

If I were a betting kind of gal, I'd bet AF comes tomorrow- thus the lift in my mood.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

It is Februrary

I have been pregnant twice. Both times it was in February.

February 2008.
and February 2009.

It is February again.

I am not pregnant. And I do not know when (if) I will be. Sometimes it feels like the mountain is too big to climb in the TTC journey. It seemed to happen so easily the first time. Even the second time. And now it just feels so daunting.

I am grateful that with the possibility of my job increasing to full-time that we will have a chance of being able to save to afford (the outrageous costs of) IVF. But I am also bitter. Bitter and angry that that is what it will take. It makes me sick to my stomach to think of paying that amount of money for something that is supposed to just happen for free. But what is the alternative? Adoption is also an expensive endeavor. And while I would like to pursue BOTH paths, if I had to choose, if they are both going to be expensive, I really want the experience of being pregnant.

But is makes me sick to think of spending that kind of money.

I find myself praying that we'll take the next 12 months and save as much money as we can. But that just at the last second, there will be two pink lines....

If only I could be in charge of how it would all go.

But I am not.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Pajama paralysis

I am anxious today.

The kind of anxiety where you can't quite pin point why.

It was the same thing yesterday.

It is taking all of my will power to get out of my p.j.s and out of the house.

I have my bike gear on. I have actually had it on for near an hour now. And I was "thinking" about putting it on for two hours prior to that.

Not sure why I feel so paralyzed by anxiety.

Maybe there is a lot on my mind? Maybe it is just PMS as AF is just a day or two away. I am hoping it is just PMS. Cuz, the level of anxiety doesn't match reality.

Hoping it doesn't take another hour to get out the door. I need some momentum today, and staying in my p.j.s will not help one bit.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Gameboard of life turned upside down

I know my list of goals in my last post was very type A of me. And I know, even though the choices I am making for my goals are good, healthy choices, I know that those goals and plans are, in part, my desire to pretend I have control. When what I REALLY want, I don't have control over obtaining. I know all of this.

And I know my "plan" can be turned upside down in a heart beat- leaving me with a new path to follow. Sometimes when I the gameboard is turned upside down, and the pieces land back on the game board-- sometimes, sometimes- I smile, knowing that the path ahead just got very interesting.... and in a way that I couldn't have every planned for.

That happened today.

Preface: We are taking a break from TTC. For my sanity and for me to focus on some other goals, and for us to try on our own until we really truly feel sure IVF is our only option, and until we have saved enough money for IVF (our insurance doesn't cover it).

This is where it gets interesting.

I work part-time at my paying job. And I have my own business (which doesn't make much). My own business is at a crossroads and I had some decisions to make. I also knew I needed to find someway of increasing our income if IVF would ever be an option. I thought it would be through my own business. But looks like that isn't the way it will go.

The president of the company I work for just told my boss, that he is upping my position to Full-time. My salary will double. It is a much longer story than that- I won't bore you with the details, the fact that our company is going to be laying off a lot of people in the next 4 weeks and I got spared, that this full-time gig might only be for 1-2 years with the option to returning to part-time (insert ideas about maternity leave and being able to not have to work full-time if baby comes).

I couldn't have planned this. this wasn't even on my radar. I had planned for my job to maybe be cut. I had planned for changes to my job, but not an increase to full time.

The longer version of this story is that I job share- and the reason I am going to be going full-time is that my job share person needs to take a leave of absence for 18 months or so to be home with her twin toddlers (ironically, also IVF twins). And in an ideal world, she would want to come back to job sharing. Which I LIKE that idea. In the mean time, her unexpected leave coupled with the grace of our president in sparing our job, give me 18 months of full time income- more than enough to save for IVF.

Holy smokes sherlock.

If feel like the combination of my goals from last post and this new full-time job and income, has given me some expectant peace. A knowing that maybe in deed, this IS going to happen. IVF or by some natural miracle, we will get pregnant, and it is okay with my soul whenever it happens. If we need IVF, the odds are in our favor. Meaning, if come 2011 we start IVF- chances are we will be pregnant or even have a baby in 2011.

And now, it looks like affording that option just got even easier...

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

I have a goal

After this last failed IUI, I found myself jumping in neck deep to new goals. Distraction? Denial? Coping? Healing? Not sure, probably all of the above. I just keep reminding myself, that regardless of the reason as to WHY? I have gotten gung-ho about these new projects, at least they are healthy choices. It has been almost 4 weeks since the last BFN, and I have had such renewed vigor and energy for these new goals, that I have honestly found myself NOT wanting to get pregnant right now. Distraction? Denial? Coping? Healing. Not sure.

After this last BFN, while the grief was real and very dark, there was also a relief knowing that I was at the end of the IUI chapter of this story. (3 IUIs was my max). And knowing we would be taking a long break before exploring IVF seriously, it gave me a chance to dream and plan for new goals. And I like goal setting and I like making plans.

Goal #1: Weightloss- I'll be honest. I have had to work at weight loss and weight maintenance my entire life. Just out of college and in my first full-time job, I was at my all-time highest weight. I joined WW, knowing it was a life-long program based on healthy lifestyle model. I lost about 22 pounds and maintained that weight for three and a half years. But then I started to struggle for the next 4 years. Gaining a little here and there, sometimes losing it again. DH and I got engaged and I don't think I ever fully learned on how to make healthy choices for myself now that I no longer had the same independence that I did as a single women. I also had been sick for over 5 years with some mysterious, never fully diagnosed hormone imbalance that made maintaining my healthy lifestyle challenging. And, I was content in life (aside for the mystery illness), I had everything I had ever wanted in a marriage, so I cared less about being at the "perfect" weight.

Fast forward to today- 10 years since reaching my weight watchers goal weight. Now, in addition to that gain, add on two pregnancies, two miscarriages, clomid, grief, and depression. And I am almost back to the highest weight that scared me into going to WW the first time. I have still been going to WW for most of the past 2 1/2 years, but with limited success. Detours such as miscarriages and clomid induced hysteria quickly undo any progress I do make from time to time.

I have set 10 goals that I have on my way to getting back to my healthy WW weight range. They are all small goals so I can feel like I am making progress toward my ultimate goal of losing, and keeping off, 23 pounds (ugg, I hate admitting that I have that much to lose). It will be the first time that I will reach and have stayed within my healthy weight range since around 2003.

Goal #2: I also have signed up for a bicycle training program (i am so excited!), gearing up for some big rides this summer. I started biking 2 years ago- just a short distance to work. And my love for biking was born. A new bike, several big rides accomplished last year, and I am excited for seeing how far I can push myself this summer.

Goal #3: I have a small business. It has been doing okay- my business partner and I have put little effort in to it and in return generated a little revenue. It has potential, but we have only been sort of committed. But I have finally had to admit to myself that my partner and I are going in different directions. This has been brewing for a while, but I finally had "the conversation" last week that I am walking away from the start my own business. I know it was the right decision- i needed to do it for me and for the business. That doesn't mean I am not frickin' freaked out about this decision. Add to this that my partner didn't receive the news very well, and my other part-time job, which is my only job I really have a consistent salary from, is in limbo (might be cut, I might be forced to go full-time, who knows). Which adds a whole new monkey wrench into my ability to plan long-term for my new start-up business.

So, Do I need to point out the obvious of these three goals? Is it glaringly obvious to everyone else that goals #1, #2, and #3 are not exactly conducive to being pregnant?

I know I need a break from TTC, and it is nice to have these to look forward to. But how long? We truly took a break this cycle- I avoided DH during "peak" season. And it has been a relief (I never thought I would say that). My period will come next week, and I don't have to wonder "what if?"

But what about next cycle, and the next?

Will we intentionally try NOT to get pregnant into spring? Through the summer? It is a hard decision to make when TTC is pretty much all we have known for the past 24 months straight. And its hard because I feel like the longer we wait the older DH will be (he is a lot older than I am ).

But reclaiming my sanity and focusing on these goals for mysake feels so damn good.

I know we are done with IUIs. I know we will not do IVF until at least the very end of 2010 or sometime in 2011. The plan was that once we tried on our own for so many more months and still weren't successful, we would move on to IVF. But I am also so relieved to be NOT trying. But by not trying, we are delaying our timeframe of when we would move on to IVF. So do we take a break for 1 more cycle? 6 more cycles? Somewhere in between?

I am stuck between these goals I have made that make me feel so good and the goal of being a mother that is what I ultimately want, but have no control over.