Thursday, November 29, 2012

The Case of Miscommunication!

As an infertile I am sure at some point in your journey you have stopped to wonder what it would be like to be childless.  You have wondered what it would be like to go the rest of your life never getting pregnant, never becoming a mother and living alone just you and your husband.  I know I have and that was a hard image for me to get out of my head.  I love my husband dearly and am very happy with him, but I can’t imagine my life without children.  I have wanted to be a mother since I was 15 years old and that desire is so deeply imbedded in me that I have to be a mother!!!

G wants children as much as I do, but he has made it perfectly clear that if we never have children he knows that he would still be happy with just me.  I have really struggled with that statement and have felt guilty because even though I love G and am happy with him…I still want children.  Being childless has always been a fear of mine, but now I had this guilt that my husband would think he was not enough.   We spent a lot of time talking about it with each other over the last several months and realized that the problem was miscommunication. 

As I am sure infertiles can attest, infertility is riddled with miscommunication.  We have been guilty of this several times on our journey and have really had to work at making ourselves clear to prevent needless heartache down the road.  With the help of Dr. M we were able to talk about G’s statement and I have realized that he does not feel like I love him any less because I want children.  We have different goals and desires that complete us and for me it is to be a mother and G understands this.

I encourage anyone on this journey to take the time with your spouse and communicate your desires, wants and needs to each other.  Make sure you are clear and if issues arise talk about them because a lot of times it is just a matter of miscommunication.  If you are unable to resolve your issues or find a way to communicate effectively I would suggest seeing a counselor who specializes in infertility to help.  Infertility is stressful enough without putting undue strain on your marriage!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012


Have you ever had those times where you feel like a failure when it comes to your life?  I am sure most everyone has had those feelings at one point or another.  I think those struggling with infertility have felt it a little more than others.  I am currently in that frame of mind.  No, I don’t like it and yes, I know that it is not all reality, but the feelings are there nonetheless.

Today I am overwhelmed with the holidays and what that means.  They often revolve around family and friends which brings reality to the fact that we are still a family of two.  I realized that I would have been over 5 months along had I not miscarried in July which is really amplifying those feelings of failure.  I struggle with hormone induced depression while going through treatments and this week just happens to be the hormonal overload.  These are the things where I feel like I am a failure.

  1. Making G a father.
  2. Making our parents grandparents.
  3. Keeping the weight off; which seems to be much harder when you are struggling with keeping sane and warding off infertility depression.
  4. Keeping up my exercise routine.
  5. Being a good friend and keeping in touch with those I love.
  6. Keeping my house in some semblance of order.
  7. Being a good daughter by keeping in touch or visiting my mom more.
  8. Being the wife I was before this roller coaster!
  9. My body is broken!
  10. HAVING A BABY!!!!
Knowing that I can get pregnant, but have not been able to carry that baby to term is very hard and makes me feel like my body is failing.  Really I want to scream, cry and run away from this life sometimes.  The fears of the cancer returning, the struggles of infertility, the lost babies are sometimes more than I feel like I can handle!  I am trying to make things right, I am trying to be the person I want to be, but sometimes I think I am failing at this life!!!

Wow...Pity Party for One, huh!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Hope, Pain and Insanity

Hope springs when a new cycle begins.  Every shot brings us that much closer to having the baby we have been longing for.  Every ultrasound shows my body is that much closer to allowing conception to occur.  Every office visit is filled with encouragement from Dr. L and my favorite nurses.  Every procedure is reassurance that I am going to be a mother…that is until the 2 week wait.

The 2 week wait is a fickle bitch.  Her emotions range from joy, hope and excitement, to dread, desperation and despair.  I have learned over the last several years that the wait is split into 2 parts.  The first week is usually quite calm and filled with hope and anticipation.  The second week is when things begin to get ugly.  My hope weakens as the symptoms from my HCG injection fade and what I believe are PMS symptoms set in.  I cling to any sign or symptom that there is a chance that the cycle worked. As I become more and more convinced of its failure despair and depression set in.  All hope is not lost and the true pain doesn’t rear its ugly head until confirmation that the cycle was unsuccessful.

Pain is going into the doctor’s office before your blood test and seeing your favorite nurse tear up as she reads your facial expressions.  Pain is waiting for the dreaded call you know is coming from that same nurse saying, “I’m sorry Chrissy, but you’re not pregnant…this cycle didn’t work.”  Pain is looking into Dr. L’s eyes and hearing those words come out of his mouth saying, “I’m sorry Chrissy, but the baby is not growing and you are going to lose it.”  Pain is telling your parents that you have had another miscarriage.  Pain is the breath being knocked out of you as you realize that you are back at ground zero.  No surgeries, no shots and no painful procedures can compare to the pain of losing hope again!!!

The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.  The funny thing with infertility is through that insanity is where the reward comes from.  G and I are on a difficult path right now.  Every loss and every unsuccessful try causes heartache and depression.  We are so tired of making decisions that even the simplest of choices become difficult and we have no energy to get there.  Hearing those words that the cycle was unsuccessful or that we are going to lose another baby drains that hope and causes extreme pain. The climb to get out of the pit of emotional despair after these trials is difficult and requires great resolve and yes insanity.  We continue on this path of hope, pain and insanity because we know that the blessing that will come from our perseverance will far out-weigh anything we are going through now. 

Monday, November 26, 2012

How Old Am I in Fertility Years?

It’s official I am 37 and another year older.  This birthday really got me thinking.  How old am I in fertility years?  Is it like dog years…the first 35 count as one and then every year after that count as 7?  So fertility speaking am I 49?  Why is it after age 35 fertility decreases?  What is it about that magic age that causes those eggs to become decrepit and conception that much harder?

If you follow the news, you've no doubt seen the barrage of stories focusing on women trying to conceive after age 35 and them waiting too long.  The statistics show a steady decline in a woman’s reproductive health causing her to have trouble conceiving in later years.  People constantly tell me that I shouldn’t listen to statistics and quite honestly it’s not like I have ever done anything by the book, but the stats really are weighing heavy on me today.  The problem is I don’t seem to have issues getting pregnant it’s the staying pregnant that I seem to have a problem with.  All the tests show no reasons for the losses so that makes this that much harder.  Now let’s throw my age into the mix and yeah I’m stressing. 

Being married at the age of 19, yep you read that right, I am sure people assumed that G and I had an obvious reason to get married.  I am sure there were a few suspicious onlookers at our wedding that just knew I was pregnant.  Yet the years passed and no baby.  We really wanted to take the time to enjoy the early years of our marriage.  G was in the Navy and out to sea a lot so we didn’t want him to miss out on our kid’s lives.  At the ripe old age of 30 we decided that we were ready to expand our family.  We had no clue that we would have issues. 

After the cancer was gone and we began fertility treatments I was ovulating in no time.  We have been able to conceive multiple times now, but still no baby to bring home.  Since I started seeing Dr. L two more birthdays have come and gone and I am officially in what would be called my “late” 30s.  I can’t say that I have seen any changes in my treatment cycles with each birthday, but don’t doubt that with any slight difference I am immediately questioning if it is because of my age.  Dr. L tells me not to worry yet, we know that I have high quality eggs, can ovulate and can get pregnant; we just have to wait for one of those little guys to take up shop for 9 months.  Great…more waiting!!!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Wishing you all a very Happy Thanksgiving.  Remember to take a moment and reflect on the blessings that you do have.  I promise you even though they are sometimes hard to see...they are there!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Blessings Despite Infertility

Thanksgiving has always been one of my favorite times of year; with football, brisk days, beautiful skylines, apple picking and pumpkin cheesecake.  It signifies the changing of seasons and harvest time, which for an infertile can be a reminder that we are not fruitful, the passing of our dreams, disappointments and our unfilled goals.  While on this journey, there have been many a holiday where my future and my life felt uncertain…and this year is no different.   I know that it’s hard to look at your life through your struggles and think about being grateful for the things you have.  After a lot of reflection I have decided to share some of the things that I am truly thankful for in my life and this journey.
  1. I am thankful for life -  After experiencing multiple miscarriages I know just how precious life is and how quickly it can be taken away. For that I am thankful for the life I have and those that are in it!
  2. I am thankful for my marriage –  After my cancer diagnosis I was so insecure that I thought my inability to have children would cause G to stop loving me.  If I couldn’t give him a baby why would he want to stay with me?  I even told him I understood if he wanted to leave me.  I know it is silly but I didn’t want to be the reason he didn’t have a family.  However through all the cancer treatments, surgeries, infertility and miscarriages God revealed just how great G’s love is for me.  We have been tested, twisted and have suffered great losses, but there is no doubt in my mind that we can get through anything TOGETHER!  Cancer and infertility may have bent our marriage but we refused to let it break us.  I am thankful that my struggles gave me the security and assurance in my husband’s love.  
  3. I am thankful for every tear I shed – I know that this probably seems silly, but it is true.  Each tear I shed has helped me cope a little more with the longing and desires of my heart to become a mother.  Each tear allowed me to express the numerous heartaches we have had.  The stresses of this life have been overwhelming at times and I wondered if they mattered to anyone.  My tears are often, they are in public, they are in private and sometimes are a surprise.  I have come to realize that when my heart was truly broken and those tears streamed down my face I could cry out to God.  I could feel myself growing closer to Him through these pains.  I know that despite all that we have been through the tears will one day stop because of the family that is coming.
  4. I am thankful for new relationships - I have had several new relationships prosper from this journey.  Because of my struggles I have met 3 amazing doctors in Dr. L, Dr. M and Dr.B.  They have provided us much guidance and comfort during a difficult time.  I have also been privileged to have an amazing nurse that has been by my side through many tears offering encouragement to stay on this path.  Through a surprise glitch with Facebook technology I met an amazing woman who had similar struggles as me and has been a fantastic cheerleader.  No matter whether this journey ends with a biological child or not I know that I have some amazing new people in my life that will help us take that next step in growing our family!
  5. I am thankful for this blog – I never thought I would be able share my story with others.  I have been so ashamed of my cancer, infertility and miscarriages that I didn’t want to be judged by others.  Through the urging of my doctors, pastor and husband I got out of my own way and opened up to others.  Letting my guard down has allowed me to grieve my losses, understand that I am not alone and that my feelings are completely normal.  I have been able to empathize and ease the pain of others struggling with the same issues.  I am thankful that my story is helping others!

I wish you all a very Happy Thanksgiving and I encourage you to take a moment and amidst your struggles find some things that you are thankful for.  Believe me…if you look hard enough you will find some blessings!!!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

The Dreaded Baby Shower

You know that it’s coming and you can’t stop it but it still stings when it happens.  You go to the mailbox and there it is…that adorable duck covered envelope.  You know what’s inside and your heart just sinks!  The dreaded baby shower invitation, another reminder that you are not pregnant!

We’ve all had these moments at some point during our journey and we struggle with the do we or don’t we go.  I am not going to lie I have missed many a shower over the last 5 years, especially following my miscarriages.  There are showers that we feel obligated to attend or showers of great friends that we want to attend.  So how do you handle those showers?  I can’t say I have the best answer, but I’ve decided that going forward if I have a shower I have to attend I am going to start with a pre-shower “Screw you, I’m not pregnant” party.  This party will include the following:

1.      Baby bottles filled with Jell-O shots to get a nice buzz before you leave.
2.      Playing an inappropriate game of “Guess the Baby Daddy”.  Doesn’t matter if you know who the father is it should still make for some good entertainment!
3.      Gorging yourself on a cake that says “Congratulations it only took you 6 months to conceive!”
4.      Handing out party favors which consist of a multi-pack of pregnancy tests.
5.      Crying and babbling incoherently!

No matter what we do or say, baby showers are always going to be a tricky situation.  We want to be supportive of our friends and loved ones, but that is not always possible.  We never know what those triggers are going to be.  It’s important to know that is OK to say NO when it comes to showers.  If the person is a true friend they will understand.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Who Wants to Have a Baby?

I can remember as a little girl having this Cabbage Patch Kid named Bev Molly (no I didn’t name her) that I just adored.  I loved the fact that she smelled like a new born baby.  Every day I would diaper her, change her clothes, feed her and put her down to “nap”.  I was playing at being a mom, but it was from that moment I believe my desires to become a mother started.  That desire has grown leaps and bounds over the years and to this day there is nothing I want more in this world than to be a mother! 
I was sitting here thinking about how creating a baby seems more like childhood games than it does reality.  What seems like such a natural progression of events I have learned is difficult for more couples than I could have ever imagined.  Sometimes it seems like conceiving a child is like playing a game of Russian Roulette.  You spin, you shoot and hope and pray one of those millions of sperm meets with one of those eggs and a baby is created.   Or maybe it is like “Operation” where you carefully gather one sperm and insert it into a single egg with such precision and skill in hopes that an embryo develops.
Over the last several years our personal attempts to conceive have been more like a game than our lives.  I’ve decided to call it “Who Wants to Have a Baby?”, the exciting game of possible parenthood, losses, heartache and financial overload.  Picture it like a giant board game.  You roll the dice and draw a card.  You have 3 mature follicles go ahead 2 spaces.  Awe…your IVF ended in a chemical pregnancy go back 4 spaces.  You have a ruptured ovarian cyst skip a turn.  Just when we think that we have the game beat we draw some tragic card and get sent back to start.  It’s like a game that never ends and I shudder to think about what it means to “lose”!  I continue to have faith that we will win this game and have the most amazing prize at the end, but sometimes this game just sucks!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Infertility Changes You!

Early on in our infertility journey I had promised myself that I was not going to let this change me.  After all there are no guarantees that say life is going to be easy.  Struggles really are just part of life and we have to accept that.  The funny thing is for a while I think I actually believed that I would not be changed by this journey.  I took those blows over and over and would get back up, brush myself off and start again.  I knew that together G and I could overcome absolutely anything…yes even infertility. 

In the beginning I put all my efforts into putting that smile on my face and allowing myself to have some sort of “normal”.  I would meet friends for dinner, movies and shopping.  I talked on the phone, texted and answered emails.  I was diligent about remembering everyone’s birthday and continued to bake the cakes they asked for.  I tried so hard; I was going to stay the same fun loving person I was before the dreaded diagnosis.  The problem was I was suffering in silence.  My life was a façade…I was not alright!  Yes, there were a few close friends who knew about my cancer, my infertility and miscarriages, but I was reluctant to share my constant thoughts and fears because I didn’t want to burden them.  I tried not to talk about it unless they asked, and for the most part they didn’t ask.  I kept those feelings buried deep down inside where no one could see.  To onlookers it seemed as if I had jumped that obstacle and was doing fine.   

At first I asked about those new babies.  I bought adorable little onesies (I have a fetish for onesies; cutest piece of baby clothing ever), I oohed and ahhed at the appropriate times, I looked at baby pictures, I cooked meals for the new parents and I even held those little babies close.  I swaddled, snuggled and rocked them as if they were my own.  I would smile, hug and say my goodbyes then I would get back into the car and lose it.  I was putting on a brave face, pretending I was alright for fear of hurting those I loved.  I would sit there sobbing…wishing, wanting, and childless feeling lost and alone.  It was at that moment I realized that I had changed.  I cried for the babies that I had lost, I cried for the thoughts of my dreams never coming to fruition and I cried for those friendships that I was not sure would survive this journey.  Our friends are moving on with their lives and growing their families and I don’t fault them for that.  I feel like everyone is moving forward and I’m still stuck in neutral full of sadness, anxiety, frustration and uncertainty.  

I am not the same person anymore.  Yes, I can still laugh, joke and make those somewhat questionable comments at times, but I am definitely not the same person I was 5 years ago.  Though I never wanted to change from my infertility I guess it really was inevitable.  I have experienced a mixed bag when it comes to how I have been changed.  I have allowed myself to become vulnerable and let others in, especially G.  I have realized that sometimes it’s ok to do what is best for me no matter what others feel is best.  I have learned that I am much stronger than I ever imagined. I have discovered that I have an ability to empathize and comfort others despite my own trials.  Most of all I have learned more than ever I know that I am going to be a mother…some way, somehow!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Infertility Proverbs

Someone said to me the other day, "Your time will come” which really got me thinking. We all know someone who has the "glass half-full" type personality.  I’m sure you can think of someone who always has one of those famous clichés on the tip of their tongue for any situation.  So I decided to come up with my own list of "Infertility Proverbs" for those struggling on this journey.  If nothing else I hope they make you laugh!

  • If patience is a virtue than I must be Ghandi.
  • Good things come to those who wait and wait and wait!
  • A watched follicle never grows.
  • Don't count your embryos before they’re hatched.
  • An infertile couple and their money will soon part.
  • You can lead sperm to eggs, but you can’t make them fertilize.
  • Strike while the HCG trigger is hot.
  • All’s fair in love and infertility.
  • Another day, another ultrasound.
  • Hell hath no fury like an infertile with a negative BETA.
  • A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single RE appointment.
  • Seize the egg!
  • The early bird catches the sperm!
  • An infertile in need is an infertile indeed.
  • Every BETA tells a story.
  • There's a time and a place for everything, and that time is 36 hours after the HCG trigger.
  • Don't bite the hand that inseminates you.
  • If at first you don't succeed, try, try again...and again, and again, and again!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Should Have, Could Have, Would Have

Lately I have been having nightmares that wake me up in the middle of the night.  Often they're giant snakes chasing Sherlock Holmes and me down the road while spitting venomous balls at us…you know, typical dreams.  However over the last several nights they are hitting a little closer to home and filling my head with thoughts of doubt. 

  • I should have gotten a second opinion sooner.  Then maybe I would have more time before I am “too old” to have kids.
  •  I should have started trying to get pregnant in high school then maybe I would have caught up by now.
  • I should have lost more weight and given up caffeine before we started trying to get pregnant then maybe I wouldn't have had my first miscarriage.
  • I should like chocolate like everyone else.  OK, maybe that one doesn’t really haunt me, but it is a thought.
These thoughts do more than disturb my sleep they also haunt my waking thoughts.  I know that there is nothing I can do to change what has happened in the past, but that doesn’t stop me from “shoulding” all over the place.  If only I had done these things sooner then I could or would have my baby now.  If only there was a road map to life that tells you the direction you “should” go.  It sure would make my life easier and keep me from second guessing myself on everything not just the big things.  I SHOULD go to the grocery store on Thursday instead of Friday.  I SHOULD be nicer to these people.  I SHOULD continue on the path Dr. L suggests.  I SHOULD NOT eat a bag of Doritos.  Should is a word that gives us the ability to have guilt when things don’t turn out as we planned.  I fear that I will always wonder what I SHOULD have done differently when it comes to having a baby; especially if we never have a biological child!  Should have, could have, would have...right?

Monday, November 12, 2012

Gender Selection

This topic has been a common thread from other infertiles and I wasn't really moved to write about this topic until recently when I had my own experience.

I was talking to someone the other day and learned that they were expecting a baby, for the 3rd time.  I was genuinely happy for her until she spouted out, “We really hope it’s a boy because we already have two girls and we want a son now.”  Uhm…ARE YOU KIDDING ME?  This just mildly annoyed me; not really enough to write about it until this week.

I was reading through several online pages and they were all blowing up in response to an episode of the Ricki Lake Show about infertility.  First comments were positive and thankful that she was dealing with a topic that has long since been considered taboo and bringing awareness to a growing epidemic.  From what I gathered as the show went on the comments began to turn from praise to rage.  You know me, I had to see what the big deal was.  As I read on I found the trigger..."Designing Babies".  "Designer Babies" refers to a baby whose genetic makeup has been artificially selected by genetic engineering combined with In Vitro Fertilization to ensure the presence or absence of particular genes or characteristics.  The couple they showed had 3 boys and wanted a girl this time.  I paused as I read this.  Going through IVF and genetic testing just to choose the sex of your child.  I didn't even realize this was an option.  As someone who has been through the entire gamut of fertility treatments including IVF and not having a successful pregnancy yet I was floored.  I can't even begin to imagine having 3 children already and going through IVF just to balance the family.

I could totally understand why the feeds were exploding with negative comments.  We as infertiles want children so badly we could care less whether it's a boy, girl, black, white or Asian. (Well G may have a problem if I was to deliver a baby that was black or Asian...there would be some serious explaining to do)  We don’t have a preference at all.  OK, that is not true we do have a preference…A HEALTHY BABY!!!!  Call me selfish, but that's what I want.

I truly believe that people mean no malice with the things they say; really they don’t think about it because they have not experienced it.  Infertility is one of those things talked about so little that people don’t really understand what it is like for those suffering with infertility or miscarriage.  Your pregnancy and baby are truly a blessing and not everyone gets to have that experience!  

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Running Out Of Places to Hide

You would be amazed at just how often child rearing is the central topic of conversation among adults.  The ladies room has become a sanctuary for me over the last several years.  It is one of the easiest ways to excuse myself from the “normal” adult chit chat which typically includes talk of babies and the adorable things that toddlers do.  I can easily sneak out of church service when it’s time for the children’s sermon to “use the rest room”.  I can fake an eyelash in my eye and run to check on it when someone shows up at a social event with a new baby.  My phone will mysteriously vibrate with an urgent call when it is my turn to talk about children or my lack of.  I have even pulled the “I forgot something in my car” trick to get out of an uncomfortable situation.  I have become quite the escape artist when it comes to avoiding those triggers. 
I never thought there would be a day that I ran out of places to run and hide from my infertility until last week.  It was Halloween and I was riding the elevator up to my office with several women when I was hit head on.  “Are you taking your children trick-or-treating?”  I was trapped like a mouse on one of those sticky traps; fidgeting and trying desperately to get away.  I slowly scooted to the back of the elevator looking at the floor avoiding eye contact until it became my turn to answer.  Just when I could feel those tears welling up in my eyes…Ding, we were on my floor.  I almost knocked down three people just to get out of the elevator before I had to answer.
No matter how hard I try I cannot seem to hide from my infertility.  Just when I think I have dodged a bullet my shield is punctured and it all comes flooding back in.  I wish that infertility had an easy fix.  I wish I could take a magic pill and have the family I have been yearning for.  Sadly even those procedures with the highest odds don’t have a guarantee that we will be able to have that biological child.  I guess for now I will continue to hope, pray, persevere and keep dodging those bullets best I can.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Yeah, yeah, yeah…bite me!

I have learned over the last several months, to my surprise, that I seem to have some small gift for writing.  It’s amazing to me how many words I didn’t really know that I knew, moreso that I could use them correctly.  I have been able to find the perfect way to express my feelings or sentiments through writing.  Yet today, after thinking long and hard about things and learning that once again I am not pregnant, the finesse and perfect words seem to be eluding me.  I cannot seem to get past the phrase, “Yeah, yeah, yeah…bite me!”  Classy I know, but hey that is all I got today.
The magazines are covered with pictures of Adele and Tori Spelling's new babies.  All I can muster right now is, “Yeah, yeah, yeah…bite me!” I received an email this week from a friend who I know was trying to encourage me saying, "Your day will come!"  All I can muster to that is, “Yeah, yeah, yeah…bite me!”  I just found out my neighbor is pregnant yet again and all I can muster right now is, “Yeah, yeah, yeah…bite me!” 
As I sit here mulling over my situation and that empty room upstairs I can’t help but feel as if I am being punished once again.  I wonder if we are not meant to have that biological child and I am just ignoring all the signs.  Let’s review:  uterine cancer, four surgeries, nine biopsies, years of hormone injections, one chemical pregnancy, two miscarriages, 7 IUIs, one IVF, one FET, and thousands and thousands of dollars…no baby!  Am I seriously just that dense?
I accept that these are the cards I am being dealt…really, what other choice do I have?  I have done
everything possible to make these babies stick.  I have listened to the doctor, I have lost weight, I have taken all my medications like I was instructed, I have tried acupuncture, I have tried bed rest, I have cut out all caffeine; you name it and I have done it.  There is nothing I can do to change things.  At least that is what I keep telling myself.  The problem is that the only thing that keeps popping back into my head when I try and comfort myself is, “Yeah, yeah, yeah…bite me!” 

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Avoidance, Another Year and a Noose

I have always been a fairly social person and really enjoy being around other people.  This year I have done a complete 180 and have become pretty anti-social.  I have managed to keep a fairly small group of people in my inner circle and shared with them the majority of our situation but to be honest there are many more that I have avoided.  Some I avoid because I don’t want to answer “Where are you with your infertility treatments?”  Some I avoid because they are going to announce that they are pregnant…again.  Some I avoid because they are going to tell me all the adorable things that their children have done and some I avoid because I just really don’t want to answer when asked, “How are you?”
“How are you?”  Seems like a simple question, but honestly if I unleashed all the thoughts and feelings that come to my mind when asked this question I would probably be admitted to a psych ward for observation.  If I am being honest, the best answer I can give right now is “I’m hanging in.”  Really if you think about it that is the best response for anyone on this infertility rollercoaster.  We hang in there and do the best we can to maintain a shred of sanity.  Some days we win and can find the joy in the little things.  Then there are those days when comfort food, crying hysterically and girly movies are the best form of therapy.  Hey, a girl’s got to do whatever she can to make it through the day otherwise the world implodes around you! 
I have a birthday coming up next week and I will be 37.  I know…GASP!!!  Age has never really bothered me until I started trying to have a baby.  Early 30s no big deal I still had plenty of time, but as the years tick down the noose around my infertile neck is getting tighter and tighter.  I’m going to be another year older with significantly less money and no baby to speak of.   I guess in my fairytale world I would have been done with baby making and raising a couple of adorable and if anything like their father rambunctious children by now!  Everyone keeps telling me don’t listen to the statistics, but it’s hard when they all show 36 and older having decrepit eggs and higher difficulty getting pregnant.  Holy Shit!  More difficulty getting pregnant because I’m 37…noose getting tighter!!!
My hope is not dead, but I am starting to feel like maybe it is bound, gagged and hidden in someone’s basement right about now.  I bet it’s with that damned stork that’s missing!!!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Necessary Distractions

G and I did this study a long time ago called “Men are Like Waffles and Women are Like Spaghetti”.  I’m sure several of you are having that aha moment as you read this visualizing your mate and how they relate to their environment.  The premise of the book is that women are like spaghetti in that everything they see, think about or do is all intertwined.  We can see a dog walking down the street and be reminded that we need to pick up hotdogs from the store.  Men are like waffles in that they compartmentalize everything and can only be in one box at a time.  We watch football and that is all he is thinking about while I'm reminded that I need new tennis shoes.  Men also have this uncanny ability to think about nothing.  I know, hard to believe, NOTHING.  I would love to have the ability to think about nothing, but unfortunately I can not shut anything down.  My mind races all the time (it’s amazing I ever get any sleep).

I have never been a person that does well with being still.  I can’t sit for long periods of time without having something to do (which absolutely drives G crazy).  I need to be doing something all the time to keep my mind engaged or it begins to wander to things that I would rather not think about. When you're at a crossroads and your every thought is about infertility, waiting or the miscarriage, you have to find ways to cope or the insanity over takes you.

You can’t tell your mind to stop thinking about something because that is all you will ever think about.  However, you can redirect your mind to something else for a while.  It has been so important for me to find ways to distract myself from my struggles and have a little joy in my life.  Don’t get me wrong I can’t always achieve that distraction and will still have those meltdowns but at least I am finding some peace during this wild ride! 

Limit those occasions where you are left to ponder your situation and find distractions you enjoy to take your mind off of things.  Most times I double my efforts to keep those negative thoughts from creeping back in.  If we’re watching movies I have to be playing on my IPad.  If I’m reading I have to be listening to music.  I spend a lot of time baking because it keeps my hands and mind busy.  Remember those things you love that may have been put to the side because of your circumstances and find some joy while your waiting.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

How Many Times?

Eighteen years ago I would have never imagined in my wildest dreams that I would be in my mid 30s, a cancer survivor, have multiple miscarriages and be struggling with infertility.  I wanted the fairytale life with G…Happy marriage, 3 kids and a beautiful home to raise them in.  Today I find myself standing on this road that I never planned, never asked for and quite honestly I am wondering how in the hell I got here. 

There are so many times during this journey that I have felt like giving up.  There have been those moments where I was just too tired of holding on.  I could feel the grip on my life slipping away.  I could feel the vices getting tighter and tighter around my chest and the breath to keep going fading.  Yet there was something inside of me that just couldn’t let go.  I just couldn’t move on; not yet.

How many times was I going to try and climb this mountain?   How many times was I going to get back up when I came tumbling down?  How many times could I survive another failed cycle?  How many times could I suffer another loss?  How many times could I just stop breathing?  What is it that’s keeping me on this path?  

Every time I felt like I couldn't possibly take one more breath, every time I felt as if I couldn’t take one more step and every time I could feel my fingers lose their grip my strength has been renewed.  I have continued to have hope and faith on this journey.  Don’t get me wrong they have both waned at times during my struggles, but something always brings me back.  We have continued to ask God for guidance when it comes to us growing our family and everything leads us down this road. 

This is not a straight paved road, it’s a road filled with hairpin turns, gravel and downed trees, but it is the road we have chosen.  Though it has it’s own obstacles what’s at the end of it far outweighs anything that I am going through now.  I want to believe that there is meaning for our struggles.  I am not sure what that meaning is, but I do know that because of this journey, G and I will be the most amazingly thankful parents when we have our little one!

Romans 5:2-5 (ESV)  - Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God.  Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance,  and endurance produces character, and character produces hope,  and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.