Monday, June 29, 2009

A Year

Mentioned: Loss, PG

So much can happen in a year. This is probably the most cliche statement that can ever be made in the ALI blogosphere. As we approach 4th of July this Saturday, I am reminded of what I was doing in 2008.

This time last year, it had been two weeks since we miscarried. I was off work for the summer and was finding that the people in my life were dealing with my loss in very, very different ways. Some comforted me with flowers and cards, which I adored, and others, well, they decided to comfort me by telling me that "it's so common!" and "I had an abortion at 18, so I know exactly what you're going through" and my all time favorite, "at least you didn't lose a pet or a family member". Then, there was the de-invite.

Perhaps I'm making a bigger deal out of this than what it really was, but you know how it is when you're at your absolute lowest and then the smallest of kicks feels like a guttural punch? Well that's how this felt. I made the decision to not let myself drown in isolation. After sitting alone in my pajamas since my D&C, I got a last minute invite from an acquaintance to attend a 4th of July BBQ. Knowing that the hostess' pregnant friend would be there, I didn't immediately respond (waited a day or so), but then eventually decided that I had to face life again. It wasn't an easy decision, but I made it with every last shred of courage I could gather. Only after I accepted her invitation, she never responded back. Emails, phone calls and a text went unanswered. I spent most of my 4th sitting alone as Mr. S. slept and just sitting here, remembering how it was to feel as if I had hit the bottom makes my heart sink. I was infertile, had failed my only chance at motherhood in 4 years and now, I was unwanted. I wouldn't wish that feeling on anyone.

My guess is that she decided against my presence because it was too awkward. She knew about the miscarriage and had not spoken a word about it to me. No sorry, no lame platitudes to make me feel better. I don't think that she committed the gravest of sins, it was just the place I was in magnified it. She eventually called the next day and said that her phone was broken. I think I've seen her once since, but that's not the point. She has now come to represent a place I never want to return to, a place far from where I'll be on this 4th of July.

As I sit here a year later, marveling from the latest of this little one's increasingly strong karate moves to my stomach, I am not just counting a successful cycle amongst the changes this year has brought, but I'm also counting all of you. At this time last year, I had never read an ALI blog. I had never met someone who had openly battled infertility or loss and I had never stepped foot into an infertility support group. I was alone, in every sense of the word. As I celebrate the 4th this year with two of my new IF friends, I feel anything but alone. I have spent this last year surrounded by a warm circle of the type of support I never imagined existed and for that I thank you. What a difference a year makes.

Friday, June 26, 2009


PG mentioned**

Wow. Half-way. Ok one more day, but I'll be too busy to post tomorrow. I never, ever, ever thought I would be here. I mean obviously when you embark on a 5+ year journey of trying to conceive (which sounds so flippant, it should be moving mountains to conceive, or MMTC), that is the plan. But being faced with failure after failure, the possibility becomes even more remote in your mind. There is not a morning when I don't wake up, touch my belly to see if it's still there and thank God for this and pray that it will stay and that he will be born healthy. With every mostly uneventful second that passes in this pregnancy, I am grateful.

This weekend, we are purchasing nursery furniture. It's funny. I got two of my pregnant IF friends some onesies the other night and one of them, who is about 27 or so weeks along, said that it was the first piece of clothing she had gotten for her little guy. Understandably, she's superstitious and gun shy and has not purchased anything baby related. I always thought I would be that lady, and I had even stated before that I would wait until my 3rd trimester to even set foot into a baby store. Now, I have at least half a wardrobe for our guy. So, what changed?

Well, I don't think I am any less superstitious than I was before. I think for one, Mr. S and I are the biggest consumer whores you'll ever meet. Any excuse to spend money brings us out of the woodwork (not that we have it to spend, especially after IVF!). But then there's the faith. Am I growing in my belief that this baby will actually be born safe and sound? I must be. But I still don't make these purchases lightly. I still have a slightly sick feeling in my stomach when I set the item on the store counter and I still have a plan B. Where will the furniture and clothing go if something happens? I've already decided this. But then I imagine our little guy in the room, his little chest rising and falling in sleep, and I am at peace. The roller coaster rides on...

We had our 20 week scan earlier this week and it was amazing. But still, for the first few minutes I held my breath. The god forsaken tech announced that she would be taking measurements of my anatony before going to the baby and all I wanted was to see a heartbeat, to hear that yes, your baby is still alive. I can't say it was the longest two minutes of my life, but I'm fairly certain I didn't breathe the entire time. This despite the fact that within the week prior I had had a live baby confirmation provided to me many times, once by my OB/NP after running to them following an evening of dead baby dreams and what I perceived as decreased movement, and a few times after finally caving and purchasing a doppler (in hopes to save us from unnecessary medical expenses).

The relief of hearing his strong heartbeat, of seeing him stubbornly turn away from the ultrasound, of seeing his now rounder limbs and beautiful proportionate body is too overwhelming to capture in words. So forgive me. I made what is likely considered a social blunder, but I just simply couldn't help myself. I posted the ultrasound pics on F.acebook. I know, bad. Of all the times I cursed others and here I am, claiming my hardy hypocrit crown. I have to get some props for not taking it that obnoxious step further by making it my profile picture at least, right?

It's just that to date, this is the most miraculous, amazing life event that I have ever experienced and I am beginning to understand how others (as in, ahem, fertiles) can be so thoughtless and shove it in people's face. The joy is hard to hide. This doesn't mean I condone thoughtlessness, but that I am catching wind of another perspective. But alternatively, F.acebook provides the lovely option of hiding news stories and such and after this feature has saved me countless heartache, I am hoping that if my sharing brings anyone the same grief I've experienced, that they'll use it in full force, too.

So here I am. Half-way. Ecstatic, but still partly terrified. He was the carrot that was always dangling in front of me everytime I put my feet up in stirrups, everytime I put a needle into my body, everytime I got a negative and managed to keep on. He kept me hoping that my long-awaited dream, our long-awaited dream, would finally be realized. If it is, it makes these last five years well worth it, as I always knew it would.

**By the way, thanks to all of you who have responded to the poll so far. For the time being, I will take both ideas and write openly while posting a little warning at the top of each entry for those that might have a harder time reading about PG on that particular day (or year, as it was for me). And for those who might have been regular readers previously, but have not continued, I obviously, completely understand. But then, you're not reading this anyway. :)

Thursday, June 25, 2009

IF Blog

While I never begrudged anyone their happiness, especially after enduring the hell of infertility, it always irked me a little when infertility blogs turned into full-blown pregnancy blogs. In fact, oftentimes, it made my heart drop just to see posts comparing offspring to various produce, littered with pictures of baby bumps just sitting in my reader. And yet here I am finding that it is only natural that in writing about my current experience, pregnancy will be one of the main topics of discussion. I never intended this blog to go in that direction and that is likely one of the reasons preventing me from regular writing (that and I am one lazy mo fo). In a way, I feel I am doing a disservice in not speaking about what's actually going on. I'm back to censoring, something that led to the demise of so many of my previous blogs and it defeats the purpose of having one in the first place. So, I'm stuck and I need your help!

I've posted a poll on the side bar looking for general opinions. Please share them openly! And if there's a choice that I've not included that you come up with, please share that as well!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Two One Day!!

This is a quick one for Mr. S. Today marks our anniversary...9 years! Through all the shit that has been thrown at us (not just IF, unfortunately), we're still here and still completely in love. Happy Anniversary!!!

And to the jackass of a bridesmaid who said we would never last to a friend of ours shortly after being in our wedding (by the way, she does not read this blog, nor has she been a friend for many years), I would like to loudly proclaim, SUCK IT! Ahh. That feels better.

Looking for the Rainbow

I never intended to go so long without a post, but work has been beating me senseless. Once I arrive home, I have already spent all of the energy that could be devoted to anything more than staring blankly at a TV screen and drooling a little bit. Sadly, I'm probably not exagerrating on the drooling part.

Many have said that once you pass your 12 week mark, especially after the torrent of ultrasounds I've had, the anxiety lessens considerably. Ultrasounds are
met with more anticipation than fear. The plans of what the nursery will look like dominate any thoughts of what would happen if anything were to go wrong. While this is the case with me, it is only to a point.

Do you know how with infertility, everyday is a roller coaster? One day, you're up and feeling strong, ready to fight, and the next day, you're defeated and can barely lift your head up. Well, somehow I learned how to transfer that reaction straight over to pregnancy.

I'm wondering when I'll ever be able to speak of anything baby related light-heartedly without an inkling in my heart that perhaps this chatter will disappear tomorrow after a fateful ultrsound. Sometimes I even feel as if I'm lying to others when I say I'm due to have a child in November. But then the next day, I'm ready to shout it from the roof tops, especially on the heels of an OB appointment. At what point does this constant fear cross over from a natural reaction to infertility and loss to an unnatural anxiety that might rob me of possibly one of the happiest times of my life?

Don't get me wrong. I am happy, happier than I've ever been, but I'm aware that I have so much to lose at this point and am not naive enough to think that it could never happen to me. There are moments when I 'let go', when I let myself 'just be' in this pregnancy and wrap myself around the idea that in just a handful of month's time, my little boy will be home safe and sound. I imagine this is how it must feel to be fertile and pregnant, never having experienced loss. It's all consuming and with the way it feels, I can almost forgive them for their insensitive blunders. Almost. :) The feeling of this is enough to sustain me for a day at most, but then the battle ensues again between security and fear. It's a day-by-day journey, vascillating between hope and well, less hope.

My calendar this summer is packed. Every weekend is filled with weddings, baby showers (blech), bridal showers, out-of-town trips. And yet even at 17 weeks I am tentative to RSVP or book tickets for any of it, wondering whether when that date comes, will all be well? Rather than looking forward, I set myself up for catastrophe. I get my rain jacket out and wait for the storm all the while trying hard to appreciate the rainbow in front of me.

I think this difficulty in letting go is also a function of my personality and learning, not just infertility. While I'm generally happy-go-lucky, I do come from a family that does more than embrace reality, they embrace negativity, inadvertently so. Although my parents always mouthed the words, "you can be anything you want to be", when it came time to grasp it for themselves, they never did. They accepted their 'lot in life' and in many ways, believed that they didn't deserve more.

I'm telling you, children learn more from examples than words. I think I've been fearful to actually believe this baby will be born because "why would that happen to me?" I'm afraid to believe that a dream could come true, that I could experience anything beyond the misery and loss I've for so long embraced as my lot. I think as the days pass, I'm getting closer, but it's not without effort.