Friday, May 8, 2015

In which the blog name is maybe no longer accurate.

Spoilers up front, because if you've found this blog, you either a. Know me, or b. Are in the same spot I was in.

I say was because... (this is the spoiler part) On February 5th, 2015, what we have been working and wishing and hoping for finally came into being- officially. The Man and I welcomed our sweet baby boy into the world.

I debated updating this blog, and actually considered obliterating it. It represents so much pain, struggle, and just general hopelessness. And then I thought of how I felt when I started this journey- my gosh, over 10 years ago! And I figure I can maybe help someone else in a similar situation.

I owe those of you in the same boat an explanation.

Because in spite of the best laid plans, our little guy was a total, unplanned, surprise.  I still have trouble believing it. And if you've been disappointed in a similar way over and over for, well, over a decade...I am sure you'd understand.

Part one of the official story coming soon.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013


Oh man.

The Man has been gone for three months so far- away at school in Mississippi. I visited him at the end of October, and am still trying to get my mojo back. And somehow it's like I got back here and got slapped in the face with the holidays.

It's been a year since what I'd characterize of the darkest time in my life. We are back in the house, moving forward, and I was just sort of floating along, and then I realized today that I turn 39 in two days. And I am still here. And I have to face another childless holiday season. And everything else that goes with it. And OMG, how? HOW?!! Am I going to get through it again? I tell myself every year that next year will be different. Yet here we are, again.

Then I popped onto Facebook for some distraction, which was a mistake. A longtime childhood friend of mine just had her 2nd baby, and I congratulated her- and meant it!  But then I started looking through her pictures. One of which featured most of the members of my girl scout troop at a reunion as adults. There they were, smiling, lined up with their mothers, and their babies and toddlers- one, or two, or three each. All I could feel was a sense of gratitude that I had been traveling and couldn't make it to that occasion because just the thought of the questions and the pity and the knowledge that I probably would have had a meltdown in the middle of it, were enough to trigger a monumental crying jag. Pretty much all I did, all morning, was bawl my eyes out.

I called my mom. The Man has enough on his plate with school, my friends are dealing with their own crap, and I just needed to get the poison out. I hate feeling this way, but the truth of the matter is, I am still grieving for an imaginary child. An idea. And it's horrible, but if I were an actual grieving mother, I'd get closure. A funeral. I can't even talk about it without sounding crazy. But that was what I needed to do. To sound crazy, to let it go to the best of my ability, and start working on this horrible 10 year project- one last time.

I set up an appointment with a local RE. I checked reviews. I called The Man. We've agreed that we will put our hat in the ring for adoption, and start the IVF process simultaneously, as soon as he gets back. Either way, this is the end of it.

Then I went out to dinner with my family to celebrate my birthday, a day or so early. It took every ounce of self control I have to get through it, but I did it.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Every Day.

I was sitting in the patio area at Starbucks with my recently married friend, A.

We were sipping iced teas and catching up when the young man came up to us and asked for change.

Of course, he had a story, and whether his version was true or not- He said he needed $1.25 to catch the bus, and I will spare you the (long convoluted) back story, but he claimed that a friend had stolen $80 from his wallet, and he'd arrived at Starbucks to get a coffee and opened his wallet to find zero dinero. Since he had a bag containing a cable box from the Xfinity store, he could have been telling the truth.

I have implemented a policy where I will give out spare change. No folding money. If I have it, I have it, if I don't, sorry. Yeah, I have a policy, because it seems like I get asked for change everywhere I go, lately. 

As it turns out, I had $1.50 in quarters and dimes. I gave him the requested bus fare. He said, "Thank you so much! And I know it's early, but Happy Mother's Day!"

It was like a knife to the heart. I somehow forgot it was coming. All the dreams I had last fall, thinking this would be the year I finally get to celebrate, just rushed over me.  

Yesterday, I went to a function where a casual acquaintance was there with her two daughters. One has a child, but is divorced- the other is single. She was joking around, saying that she would take them out for lunch for Mother's Day, in the spirit of untapped potential, so maybe they would give her some more grandchildren. "Just think of how many eggs are in those ovaries! You need to use them before they all dry up!" The daughter with the child smiled and made a joke of it;  the unmarried daughter looked like she wanted to sink through the floor. And I just couldn't control the expression on my face. I don't even know what it was, just that it was like I was wearing a mask, and the acquaintance asked, "Jen? Are you OK?" And I don't even remember what I said to her. Probably something reassuring.

I managed to make reservations for lunch for my Mom today. We've become a lot closer since we moved back. I have honestly been a lot happier, which helps. My brother will hopefully show up to celebrate with my parents, and The Man and I, since he is in town for the weekend. I don't want to ruin this, Mom deserves her day unsullied by meltdowns, so hopefully I have gotten all my typical emo crap out of my system.

Last night, in the car on the way to dinner with friends, I was telling The Man about the episode with the mother and her two children. And he said, "I have been thinking. We need to move forward. I don't want to stop trying to have biological children, but I think it's time to start looking into adoption. I am still not thrilled with the idea, but we have been waiting long enough for this phase of our lives to start, and my main concern is that I might not bond with an adopted child- but maybe some research will make me feel better about it."

I am still shocked. And so, amazingly grateful. When he uttered those words, it was like a huge weight was lifted off of me.  I feel the same way- I don't want to stop trying, but I don't want to wake up at 42 and still be childless. That part of me that has been so angry and resentful with him for so long over the inequity of the situation was so deeply ingrained, and I just tried to bury it deeply enough so I could forget about it, but- looking over the last few years, and reading entries in this blog, I realized how it's just been poisoning me.

Whatever happens, I think I just received my first Mother's Day gift- a day early.  My road to motherhood may not be conventional, but I finally feel like I am on my way. I have definitely earned my stripes. 




Monday, November 19, 2012

Move along...

Nothing to see here.

It's been a crazy journey. I still have choices, and well- they all suck. I resent having to make these choices. Mom says I am so lucky to have these options, and I really wish I could see it that way. I don't feel lucky. I feel cheated. I feel fucked over. I feel bludgeoned.

I don't want to be defined by the chances I didn't take, but things are looking pretty bleak to me right now. And I am heartily sick of sending negative crap out into the internet.

So- yeah. I don't know if I will keep updating this. I have good days, and I have bad days, and that's just the way it is. I am sick of people asking if I am OK. I'm not OK, but I can hold it together only as long as nobody shows me sympathy.

I don't want to be stuck with this. I don't want to feel trapped. But I just am. And maybe there's just some kind of spin I can put on it that makes me feel better about my situation, but I don't think this is something that can be lessened by talking to someone. Therapy isn't the answer, and neither are pills. The only thing that seems to blunt the edge is anything that can distract me to the point I can't think about anything else. Maybe time will do the trick, but I have been at this for ten years. TEN YEARS. and it just hurts more, the longer it goes on.

I hate crying in front of people. I hate crying by myself, and actually, I hate crying, period. It's supposed to be some kind of release, and an expression of grief, but it just keeps coming like some kind of bottomless well. And the deeper I get into the well, the darker and murkier everything becomes. I am so overcome with anger and frustration and grief. Right now, I feel like throwing up, and I am convinced that my insides would be black, like tar.
I hate the person I am becoming. I am flaky. I am weepy. I Cannot Deal. I have always been someone who tried to be strong and supportive of everyone else, and I can't seem to be that for myself. I have spent the last couple of months being forced to face every single one of my demons, repeatedly. And I am battered, scarred, and heartsick, but I am still here. I can't exactly call it a victory, but I get out of bed every morning and try to address what needs to be addressed. I would say that is successful maybe 60% of the time.

I am second-guessing myself.  A big part of my anger is directed at that. Which crappy decision can I make? What will make me happy?

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Discussions and repercussions

The Man and I were talking last night.

I somehow married someone who has very different political beliefs than I do: which means that, every election year, things get a little heated. Luckily, over time, we both have learned there are just some things neither of us will change our minds about, and there are some things that we are able to compromise about.Going through election season on top of an impending move, business craziness, and all this infertility stuff has been...stressful. And now the holidays are coming! I think our theme song should be "I Will Survive."

Prop 37 was an unexpected shared crusade in our home this year. I was surprised at The Man's vehemence about it, but he explained that he thinks messing with the food supply may be the root of some of our current struggles. Watching my ongoing battles with food sensitivities has convinced him that the Standard American Diet is hurting the U.S. as a country. It's true that undiagnosed gluten intolerance affects fertility. Who knows? Maybe if I had known sooner, we would have changed things up in enough time for me to prevent damage?

And if things as innocuous as wheat and sugar could have that effect, what could GMO's be capable of?

That is the reasoning. And really- why would you take that risk, to feed your family something that isn't absolutely known to be safe? Unless you didn't know it was there.Which most Americans don't.

Anyway. He's convinced, somehow, that all of this will work out. He was talking about how he wants me to teach any kids that we have how to knit, and cook, and sew- regardless of gender. That he wants to raise kids who are able to think for themselves, and are self-sufficient. How he's glad we have figured out how to live healthfully and sustainably- that it is important to him, and any kids we would have would benefit from that too. And this, folks, is why I married him. <3

The fact that he's still worrying about the self-sufficiency of kids we may never be able to have is so inspiring- and frustrating too. I wish I had his faith. All I can think about is my mother, filling our Christmas stockings for one more year: all three of my siblings, still childless in their thirties. I need to get past this, because as I have found in the past, having a meltdown on Christmas morning really freaks everyone out.  

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Stayin' Alive

Evidently, I made it through Halloween, Election day, and a bunch of other stuff. It's been a strange, long, teary blur. I haven't had a lot to say about it. What on earth can I say, that hasn't been said already?

I called my sister, and said she should do this for herself, but I didn't feel comfortable putting her in the middle of this mess I am in.  All I want is to get off this roller coaster, and if my sister is involved, who knows if it will ever end? Maybe I will change my mind eventually. But right now, it's just how I feel.

I called the other clinic for a second opinion, and was told that Dr. Charming's diagnosis is correct- I would probably need donor eggs to get pregnant. Oh, and if I want a better chance, I might try losing some weight. Would weight loss lower my AMH or change any of my lab values? I asked. Well- no. But statistically, heavier ladies have a harder time getting pregnant. Maybe I should try eating less fast food.

Thanks, asshole. The last time I ate fast food was...over a year ago? Maybe? I have gotten to the point where I don't even bother trying to explain- it all sounds like lies and excuses to them.  Luckily it was a phone interview, or I would have had to set something on fire.

So now, I am basically stuck. My last hopes of doing this on my own are gone. I am out of options, at least any that I want to consider.  I suppose all I have in the world is time. Even women who are post-menopausal can get pregnant with donor eggs.

I am 37 right now, I'll be 38 in a little over a week, and I just feel like an empty husk.

Thursday, October 25, 2012


I just...don't even know what to say.

I've had two weeks to come to terms with things. If a loved one dies, you have what: three days off work? A week? I suppose, depending on your work situation, you could take compassionate leave for longer than that.

I basically spent the first week of post retrieval taking compassionate leave from my life, and spent the second half in denial, and here we are again, at Day One. I am so NOT ready for Day One.

I still don't have an answer back from my sister. At this point, my gut reaction is that she has had three weeks, and if she is still not sure, then it's not a decision she should make: and she therefore has no business getting caught up in this nightmare.I called today, and left a message: basically saying that we were holding up the process for an answer, but if she still wasn't sure, we would need to know ASAP, as a lot of huge decisions hinge on this.

This presents a problem. Do I move forward? With what? I have two months left in the Bay Area. I have called another clinic for a second opinion: while I love my current clinic, I feel like it's a disservice to not at least consider input from someone else. I spent most of the day making phone calls- to see if someone can move up my consult at the new place (no: or not much) , to alert them that it's Day One at my current clinic, to my acupuncturist asking what I should do herb-wise, the aforementioned call to my sister, a few calls to my husband, and another question to my new clinic when they didn't initially call me back within a few hours.

I am now exhausted, and a giant ball of emotion, because of the answers I needed, I got few. I did talk to my doc at the current clinic. I explained that on the basis of one retrieval with no egg, I felt like I wasn't quite ready to accept that the rest of the batch was crappy. I explained that The Man doesn't want to adopt, and refuses any other donor than my sister. We only have two months left in the Bay Area. W have to do this now.

He doesn't want me to cycle this month. He wants me to talk to someone else. He doesn't think I am ready to handle another round- that decisions made under the stress I am under aren't ideal. His contention is that both doctors I mentioned are good, guys he knows, and he wants me to be sure before I move forward. He also made the point that if we go with donor eggs, this buys us time.

I tried explaining that donor eggs from anyone other than my sister are not an option for us, and that going through this process again, with a new clinic, in a new town, was something I really didn't want to do. And if she says no, if it's between my potentially crappy eggs or nothing, I choose my crappy eggs. That we had come here, to this HORRIBLE place, for the express purpose of doing this, and that I didn't think waiting was going to change anything in any positive way.

He doesn't see it the same way. So I guess my decision has been made for me. It doesn't make me feel better. In fact, it makes me feel worse. I won't be able to start up at the new clinic in time to "use" this cycle- and that's if they think I can even manage on my own. It also means that I'll potentially be going through either my last round of IVF or a donor transfer at Christmas time, which is pretty much guaranteed to be extra stressful, if not a total trainwreck, no matter how you slice it.

At this point, my only option is to wait, and/or call the acupuncturist and see what he says: he alluded to some ideas of his, but was unwilling to share his ideas. I guess it's time to get aggressive.