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I Always Wanted 3 Kids

12 Nov

That’s what I told Shmerson tonight as we were wrapping up a meltdown by me which morphed into a semi-fight, which then morphed into a productive conversation.

We’ve made a lot of big decisions around here lately, but we’ve made them with little fanfare and even fewer “official declarations”.

I felt like we had to make it official.

Me: So do you think we’re ready for another kid?

Shmerson: Yes. I think we’re not ready now but we’ll be ready by the time we have the baby. That’s what happened with Lili.

Pause

Me: True. Who knows how long this will actually take, assuming it works.

Shmerson: But I don’t think I can do a third. 

Me: I didn’t think I could do a second up until a couple of months ago. 

Pause

Me: But I always wanted three. Having another one will make it three. 

Quiet.

He’s been visiting me a lot over the last few weeks. My baby boy. Maybe because I want to have a boy now.

Maybe because there’s a small part of me that’s terrified.

What if something goes wrong again? Am I really equipped to handle this?

Me: We need to find another name for a girl. We have a name for a boy ready but not another for a girl. 

Shmerson: You’re not even pregnant yet. 

Me: When I got pregnant with him, I wanted a girl. That’s been eating at me ever since. Lili had her name before he had his. He only got his name when we found out he was a boy. 

That can’t happen. If I get pregnant with a girl, she has to have a name in advance. She has to know that she is wanted. Even if I do want to give Lili a little brother. A little sister would be just as welcome, just as loved. We have to have a name. 

Shmerson: Ok, we’ll have a name. We’ll come up with a name.

Fuck. I guess we’re in this.

Fuck.

PS: Still not peeing on sticks or monitoring, so no need to throw stuff.

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Howdy, Stranger!

3 Nov

When I typed my blog’s URL in my browser, it wasn’t the first link to auto-complete. That’s how long it’s been.

And I’m ok with that. These last few months have been pretty exhausting, and pretty awesome too. Bunny’s growing. Work is great. Shmerson and I are great.

And now I’m here.

I was going to end the post with “Anyone wanna guess why?”

But that was for the one hot minute that I forgot who my audience is.

No, I’m not pregnant.

But as of a couple of weeks ago – we’ve officially stopped preventing. I’m not saying we’re trying. I’m not going down that rabbit hole. We’re not trying.

We’re just not preventing.

I’ve somehow gained 5 pounds in the last two weeks. I haven’t gained an ounce in over a year.

So… Yeah.

Now everyone is updated. Which gives me the permission to come back here and spill my guts as-needed. If needed. Who knows.

But in the name of all that is holy/spaghetti-related, if I start peeing on sticks I officially give you all permission to troll me, or even better – fly over to Tel Aviv and throw stuff at me.

Because I refuse to do that to myself, my marriage, or my daughter. We are going to do this like any normal stupidly lucky super-fertile couple would do it. Which is irresponsibly and ignorantly. Otherwise I will most likely lose my shit. And I’ve got too much stuff to get done to lose my shit. So I refuse to lose my shit.

I hereby solemnly swear that there will be no temping. No ovulation sticks. No cycle day counting. NONE! NONE I TELL YOU!

(Now all I have to do is stick to that. Wish me luck. Here goes nothing.)

Hanging Out at the Station

6 May

Bunny turned 8 months old on Monday.

And all around me, people who have given birth around the same time as me, or perhaps a little before or after, are either discussing, working on, or already pregnant with baby number 2.

When it was starting to be clear that my pregnancy with Bunny was going to have a happy ending, Shmerson and I had a discussion. He was worried that I would want to jump directly to baby number 2 after Bunny was born. He was afraid that no time would pass and I would feel the pressure – and pressure him – to start trying again.

I was pretty sure that within months I would want to go again. As much as he didn’t trust me, I didn’t trust myself either. And logically we both knew that if nothing else, my body needed time to recover.

So we made a deal: No discussing baby number 2 until Bunny was 18 months old. That felt like a really long time for me. I thought for sure that even with that promise, I would never actually be willing to wait that long. I assumed that by the time Bunny would be about 6 months old I’d be hiding the condoms and peeing on sticks.

Now that everyone around me is back on the Baby Crazy Train, I thought for sure I would want to hop on board with both feet. I was waiting to have that itch to go again.

Monday night was Israel’s Independence Day. It’s holidays like these that make me look back and reflect, and also look ahead.  We went to my parents’ place to get a good view of the fireworks. Bunny was asleep in the guest bedroom, and Shmerson and I hugged on the balcony and watched.

This time last year, we hadn’t quite reached viability yet. I was going absolutely stir crazy and I was TERRIFIED. Looking at those fireworks, I couldn’t quite believe how far we’d come.

There are days I still feel like she’s not real. That I just look at her in awe. That I feel like my head is about to explode because holy crap – this amazing creature is mine to keep.

So on Monday night as we watched the fireworks, I looked ahead to next year and did the math: a year from now Bunny would be 20 months old. That’s two months past the 18 month “green light”. Will I be pregnant again?

Then, it hit me like a ton of bricks: Will I even WANT to be pregnant again?

The truth is that the answer is “maybe not”.

When we first got on the Baby Crazy Train I wanted three kids. There are days I still think that I want 3. But then I do the math. I’m almost 34. 35 is considered advanced maternal age and we already needed some medical intervention to conceive Bunny. So if we want 3, we can’t really take our time about it.

And getting pregnant for me is just the beginning of an ongoing nightmare. How many tries will we need to make another baby stick?

And say that baby sticks – that means another cerclage. Most likely bed rest at least for part of the pregnancy (even if it’s voluntary and just for my sanity). 9 months of anxiety again.

And this time we have Bunny to think about.

When I put that all together – I’m not quite sure I want 3 any more. I’m not quite sure how much more I can handle.

My body and my soul have been through the ringer. I NEVER want to go back there again. I will never again spend 3.5 years straight either pregnant or trying to get pregnant in pursuit of a baby.

I can’t do that ever again.

Yes – I want to bring Bunny a little brother or sister. Yes, perhaps 2 more would be nice.

But will we even be able to make it happen?

And even if we can…

I want to enjoy my baby girl. We have to move and get some more stability and cut down our commute. I want to continue to get my body back. I want to continue to get to know myself. I want to get back to enjoying my husband and my marriage. I’m working very hard on getting a life right now and I’d like to keep it for a while.

All of those things are important. All of those things would be pushed aside in pursuit of number 2.

So on Monday night, as I contemplated where we’d be a year from now, I literally felt dread at the thought of being pregnant.

Dread. This is how much I’m NOT ready to think about number 2.

And I don’t think I’ve ever surprised myself more.

Even with everyone around me working on it. Even with my dwindling fertility and the ever-ticking biological clock.

Maybe when we hit 18 months I’ll be ready. Heck – maybe I’ll even be hungry for it by then.

But for the first time in a long time  – I’ve taken myself out of the race. I don’t  feel the pressure. I don’t feel like I want to play catch-up with anybody.

I have chosen not to hop on this Baby Crazy Train.

For now, I’ll hang out at the station and play a game of peek-a-boo with Bunny.

And I’m just fine with that.

You may now pick your jaw up off the floor.

What’s Left Behind

4 Feb

So – I’ll save you the usual apologies for being gone so long. Until we move and/or get Bunny into daycare, sporadic will just have to do. 🙂

This post has been running through my head for a while, though I admit it’s still a jumble. I’m hoping that writing it out will help clarify some things.

What is left when the wreckage of the last 3.5 years is cleared?

I’ve been thinking about that question a lot lately. The last 5(!) months since Bunny was born have been a whirlwind. New job, big decisions, and of course the huge life change that is just having her here. I admit there are still days that I “remember” I’m a mom and freak the fuck out. She is still in a lot of ways an abstract to me. But she’s slowly but surely becoming a little person with her own wants needs and desires, so the abstract is gaining focus.

Last month, Shmerson and I re-watched the first two seasons of “Sherlock” (don’t be so impressed, it’s only six episodes), in preparation for the new season. While watching it, I realized that I remembered NOTHING. Not one single thing about this show, which I knew that I loved and I always categorized as brilliant. When I mentioned this to Shmerson, I noted: “We must have watched it while I was drugged up.”

I don’t think I hid this here, but I don’t think I discussed it much either: After losing Nadav I spent the better part of six months HEAVILY medicated. My pregnancy with Bunny I spent on very strong anti-depressants and anti-anxiety meds, which meant I was mostly emotionally detached from everything that entire time (and it wasn’t just the meds, it was also a defense mechanism). I credit that medication with saving my sanity and my life. But it does mean that there’s a good year or so of my life that passed in a complete haze.  I started taking anti-depressants for the first time in December of 2010 – over 3 years ago – which generally numbed my feelings. I am now only taking Xan.ax to deal with my anxiety disorder, and I’m on a very small dose. For the first time in 3 years – I’m no longer in a haze or emotionally detached due to medication.

It gets more complicated: My first miscarriage happened just two months after our wedding. From that point on, I was a woman on a mission. I abandoned literally EVERYTHING in pursuit of a baby. In June of 2010, had you asked – I would have said that my greatest ambition was to direct feature films. I had already gotten a development grant and I was getting closer and closer to that goal. If you would have told me then that I’d abandon it all to accommodate a string of high-risk pregnancies, and then become a content manager at a start-up and actually ENJOY it I would have thought that the notion was absurd.

My first loss turned everything upside down for me, and the world has only really begun to straighten up now. There were moments during the last 3.5 years that I *thought* I had things figured out. I “made decisions” regarding my future. I “pushed on”. In hindsight – those moments were a total crock.

I spent 6 months thinking I wanted to be a teacher. I spent a year and a half teaching.

I do NOT want to be a teacher.

I went back to school to get BA level psych credits so that I could do a Master’s in Art Therapy.

I do NOT want to be an art therapist.

I also don’t think I want to be a filmmaker, though that option hasn’t completely been taken off the table. 10 years of pursuing it and 2 degrees keep it perpetually on the table.

I love my job – but I’m also not sure I want to be doing that for the rest of my life.

But this is not just about career choices.

Out of the last 3.5 years, I spent 84 weeks of them pregnant. That’s almost 20 months. Practically two years.

I spent the remainder either attempting to get pregnant or grieving a lost pregnancy, or both at the same time.

(For the sake of this argument, I’m not counting of course the 5 months I have now spent raising Bunny).

That time basically demolished me completely. Giving birth to Bunny only cleared the wreckage, and of course, I can’t rely on her to rebuild. This is about me.

I need to figure out who I am now. That’s kind of a huge deal.

The last 3.5 years have called almost all of my assumptions about myself into question. Parts of my personality that I was CONVINCED were inherent to it are now absolutely gone.

A small example: I was absolutely 100% convinced that I will always be a person who struggles to diet. Gestational diabetes changed that. I have been consistently shedding pounds since giving birth and I’m now 5 pounds less than I was before getting pregnant with Bunny. I have a good 20 to go before I reach my ideal weight, but I’m getting there, and it’s not even CLOSE to being a struggle. Patience and willpower? Ha! Small potatoes compared to the hell of a high-risk pregnancy.

Any free headspace I have these days is dedicated to two things:

1) Figuring out who I am

2) Making an effort to fix the things I don’t like about myself.

There are very few things I know about myself now. This is what I’ve managed to figure out so far:

I know I both love and am terrified by being a mother.

I know I love my husband.*

I know that I have a strong survival instinct, and I am incredibly stubborn.

I know I’m good at my job.

I know I’m a good writer (prose mostly, ok at scripts, suck at  poetry).

I know I don’t trust doctors.

I know that generally, people tend to like me when they  meet me.

I know that I have absolutely NO fashion sense, nor do I have an interest in developing one.

I know I have some serious self-esteem issues

I know that purple is my favorite color, Faith No More is my favorite band, my favorite books are the Harry Potter series, the Hunger Games trilogy, and the odd one out – “The Music of Chance” by Paul Auster. I’m a 90’s pop culture junkie and I love (modern) Dr. Who and (not-so-modern) Monty Python movies.

I know I’m a good cook, though I’m no longer sure what my favorite food is. It used to be lobster. I think it may now be french fries. Or maybe fresh-baked white bread with butter.

I know I’m a good mother, a good wife, a good friend, a good daughter, and a good sister. Though in my weakest moments I question all of that.

If you’re counting, that’s basically 12 things. Everything else is up in the air.

Wait – I know one more thing: That whatever I figure out about who I am, I want Bunny to be proud of that person. I know I need to lead by example.

The wreckage has cleared – it’s time to rebuild.

* Last night Shmerson and I had a bit of a mini-fight. It ended with me explaining all of this to him. He told me: “I don’t know what you’re going to be either, but I can’t wait to find out, because I know it’ll be amazing.” I love him so fucking much.

The Liberation of My Lady Parts

18 Oct

Warning: If you couldn’t tell from the title, this post deals with my female bits. Please don’t read on if this in any way disturbs you. This warning is specifically aimed at my brother who vocally complains when I TMI on here. Sissy – stop reading now! Kthnksbye.

Yesterday was my six week postpartum check up. I packed Bunny up in the car to show her off a bit and we headed over to see the Russian.

I haven’t talked much about my postpartum body here, so here’s a quick rundown:

I only had one first degree tear that required stitches. Ute cramping was a bitch and a half for the first week or so, but then that pretty much went away. My blood sugar leveled out almost immediately after the placenta was evicted. My feet were hella swollen for about a week. I get the occasional stabby pain in my nether regions but that should stop soon. I’ve lost about 20 pounds (bunny’s almost 7 and the placenta included) since Bunny was born. No diet, I assume all of it (or at least most of it) was water weight. Heavy bleeding lasted only about a week, and then I had light bleeding for another 3 weeks. There’s still quite a bit of fat on my bones and I am much heavier than I would like. I’m carrying the weight of five pregnancies, 6 months of modified bed rest, and 3.5 years of comfort eating to treat my depression.  A Weight Watchers membership is in my very near future.

So considering all of that, my folded over stomach (which is in desperate need of some yoga – also in my near future), and my epic stretch mark collection, my body has bounced back remarkably well. I really do count myself quite lucky. I know that recovery is a biyotch for a lot of women. My biggest issue was the horrible chemical anxiety loop I had. My body, on the other hand, made it out in very good condition.

So I wasn’t expecting any surprises when I went to see the Russian.

And guess what? For a change – there weren’t any.

I walked in, he took a look at Bunny and deemed her “Very nice, she has your nose.”

Then I had a magical date with Ole’ Wandy (oh how I didn’t miss him) and was pronounced “just fine.”

Once back at the Russian’s desk, he half laughed as he asked me if I wanted birth control, since he knew my answer would be “hell to the no.” He gave me a referral to get my blood sugar assessed just to make sure that the gestational diabetes is all gone, and that was it.

Me: “So I forget – how often do I have to come in to see you now?”

The Russian: “Once every six months for a check up. So six months from now. My secretary will call you with a reminder.”

Me: “So that’s it?”

The Russian: “Yep.”

I got up, grabbed Bunny’s carrier, and with that – my lady parts were officially liberated.

Seriously you guys – there should have been a ceremony or something. Imaginary trumpets went off in my head, but I really do think plaques should have been awarded. There also should have been some sort of interpretive dance or something to celebrate the occasion. They could have gotten Jimmy Kimmel to host.

Ok, so there was no fanfare, but my lady parts are officially on parole! After 3.5 years of getting poked and prodded down there by what seems like All the People, my ute, cootch, and all peripherals have now gained their independence.

Shmerson and I made a deal while planning for Bunny’s arrival. If all went well, talk of going for a second will resume NO SOONER than when Bunny is 18 months old.

It wasn’t an easy thing to agree to. After all, my biological clock is a moody diva. I didn’t write about it here but it took us 6 months to conceive Bunny, and I was monitored and took clo.mid. 18 months means we won’t even start trying until I’m going on 35. That does make me a little nervous, especially considering that my current pregnancy to live baby ratio is 5:1. Those odds aren’t exactly stellar to say the least. But Shmerson insisted, and I really was compelled to agree: My body needs a freaking break. It’s been through the ringer and needs some TLC.

So no hormones of any kind (condoms will do just fine in the meantime, thankyouverymuch). No pee sticks.No speculums or surgeries. No ultrasounds. No blood tests.

A cease and desist letter has been sent. The papers have been signed. The judge’s ruling is final. And so forth.

For the next 18 months at least, my lady parts are officially free. And I think I feel pretty good about that.

Fly lady parts, fly!

Eff This

28 Apr

I spent two years building and nurturing this space. I’ve changed my mind. I don’t think I want to abandon it after all.

But heed this oh ALIers, I will not take any shit from anyone. If one person dares to make a bitter comment I will unceremoniously serve you with a can of whoop-ass. I don’t quite know how to whoop ass virtually but that doesn’t mean I won’t try.

Yes, I am pregnant. I am also terrified. I’ve spent the last two months on modified bed rest. I’m now two and a half weeks away from viability. I am now a week away from the date I lost Nadav. I am having daily panic attacks.

I cry when people ask “how are you”. This is how bad things are. So if anybody dare question my pain and difficulty, step away now. I don’t want you to read this. I don’t want you to read anything I write because you are an insensitive selfish asshole.

Seriously, go away.

Everyone else, feel free to hang around. Or come back. or whatever. I don’t know how often I’ll post here now, but I do know that things are getting really hard around here, and some bloggy venting certainly won’t hurt. And this is where I would like to do it.

So if there’s anybody still out there, welcome back. I hope you stick around for a while.

Unless you’re a bitter asshole who can’t handle the fact that I’m pregnant and freaking out about it. In that case I really want you to go away. Comments are fully moderated for the time being, so it won’t even get you the attention you may be seeking.

Ok good. Point made. Hi there everyone!

**Edit for a technical note**

My domain name needs renewing, so for the time being find me at the wordpress.com URL. Hopefully I’ll get that sorted soon. In the meantime, hope it’s not messing too much up. 🙂

And Then I Had a Talk With Silent Bob

19 Sep

So I barely blog for a month and then I hit you with a doozy. Sorry about that! Anywhozers, fasten your seatbelts and pour yourself a glass of something – this is going to be a long-ass bit of film geekery.

There’s this thing I do when I’m feeling particularly down. I latch on to a specific, book, tv series, whatever, and just stick with it – sometimes for weeks at a time.

I’ve done it with the Harry Potter series a  dozen or so times. the Hunger Games Trilogy, the Twilight books (I know! Don’t judge me!), Dr. Who…

I just power through them and ONLY them and just escape into that world. They help me get past the hump of whatever hard time I’m going through. For example – during the first month after losing Nadav I re-watched all six season of Dr. Who. Once I was done gobbling that up, I dove right back into The Hunger Games. These have always been the easiest way for me to escape reality for a little bit. To get out of my own head.

After revisiting The Hunger Games for the third time a few months ago, I was kind of at a loss as to what to escape into next. That’s when I found Hollywood Babble-On.

It’s a podcast that features Kevin Smith and Ralph Garman, basically just shooting the shit about entertainment news. And it caused me to laugh out loud for the first time in who knows how long.

I love Kevin Smith. I have for years and years. I just never imagined that he – of all people – would be the one to help me get through Nadav’s due date, and inspire me to get off my ass and take my not-a-bucket list seriously.

I’ve always seen Kevin Smith as a somewhat kindred spirit. First off, when I was still in undergrad film school, a couple of my friends dubbed me “The Female Kevin Smith”. Second, we’re both self-admittedly fat and lazy, and we both cried at the end of “Toy Story 3”.

I loved his movies when I was in film school. True story: I was living in Philly during the filming of “Jersey Girl” and wasn’t hired after an interview to intern in the art department (I think the woman who interviewed me sensed I was a rabid fan girl). I somehow managed to forgive Mr. Smith and his compatriots for that one slip-up, though.

But I digress, as usual. Let me fill you guys in on some background information that I don’t often share on this blog.

I went to film school for 7 fucking years. Yep, SEVEN YEARS.

In undergrad, I was a superstar. I got all the scholarships, won all of the awards, everybody freaking loved me. I used that as leverage and got accepted to “Grad School X” – AKA “one of the best film schools in the world” (I will not mention the name here because I have very few nice things to say about it).

Then, I crashed and burned.

Here I was, coming from a place where I was “the best”, entering a place where everyone was on my level or better. I felt under pressure to be “the best” again. I was too fucking busy trying to prove to everyone how good I was and I completely forgot to not give a shit about what they thought. As a result, I lost everything that made me a good director. I lost everything that made my films MINE.

Case in point: For my graduate thesis, I made a Holocaust film. It was a year and a half in the making, and I gave everything to that freaking movie.

But the thing is, I didn’t shoot the draft of the script that I really loved.

The draft I really loved had the word “fuck” in it. Like, a lot.

But of course you can’t get name actors or funding for a Holocaust film with the word “fuck” in it. I was competing against a bunch of rich kids with endless resources, and I needed to fundraise everything through strangers’ donations. So I cleaned it up. I watered it down.

Though I’m proud of it sometimes, other times I hate that film. It represents me giving up a huge chunk of my identity. Sure, it won a couple of prizes,  but it sure as hell didn’t restore the confidence that was shat on during my two and a half years in grad school.

After that ego-crushing trauma, I packed my bags and moved back to Israel. I had the pedigree of “one of the best film schools in the world” going for me, but my confidence was shot to hell, as was my passion. I was tired. I didn’t know who I was any more. I just wanted to fucking sleep.

I started on a few projects that fizzled. I even got development money for a couple of them.

Then I had my first miscarriage.

Before I married Shmerson I was working as the content director in this very high-stress job. Then the company fizzled, I became unemployed, we got married, and soon after that I was knocked up. I had always had this little fantasy about being pregnant: I could eat anything I wanted without feeling guilty, and I would lay in bed, nurturing my growing belly, while writing the film that would be my first feature.

As most of you know, that growing belly never emerged. That fantasy never came to life. Instead – I went through two years of hell chasing the take-home-baby dragon. I decided that screw it all – I want to be a mother, and mothers can’t be filmmakers.

So somewhere in these last two years I let that dream go for good. Looking back on it now, I think it was that first miscarriage that officially put me off making movies, because apparently, I can’t deal with things not going exactly as I thought they would. I’m working on that.

Which brings me back to Kevin Smith.

After listening to a couple of dozen podcasts, I downloaded his audiobook – “Tough Sh-t”, which is pretty funny and even dispenses some handy advice.

Then, with all of the stories about his films still running through my mind, I decided to re-watch all of them. In chronological order.

In Smith’s first “Jersey Trilogy” (Clerks, Mallrats, Chasing Amy), the character he plays – Silent Bob – doesn’t say a word until somewhere in the third act. Then he finally opens his mouth and spouts a monologue of Jedi-Master proportions, leading the main character to some sort of revelation.

As each of Smith’s films unfolded before me, I found myself looking at his journey as a filmmaker, and building a Silent Bob monologue of my very own. One that woke me up for the first time in a long time.

“Clerks” is not a great piece of filmmaking. The acting is pretty terrible, the cinematography is shaky, and the dialogue is sometimes trite. But you know what? That film has some motherfucking balls. And it made me laugh. A lot. The man decided to make a movie, he got a bunch of his friends to help him, maxed out some credit cards, and he freaking made a movie. That takes cagones.

“Mallrats” was deemed a failure when it was released. I honestly love that movie, despite its flaws. It’s the type of film I used to want to make. It takes everything I loved from the “Clerks” universe, and puts it in an Amy Heckerling package (oh! Check out my name-dropping! Amy Heckerling is the amazingly talented woman who wrote and directed one of my favorite movies of all time – “Clueless“).

“Chasing Amy” was always billed as Smith’s “Comeback Film” after “Mallrats” tanked. As I watched it all I could think about was what Smith said in the audiobook. How he gave up a paycheck to cast who he wanted in this film. How he proved everyone wrong and made a fucking great movie on his terms.

Dogma” is a freaking masterpiece. I could go on for hours about it. I’ve loved it since I first saw it in a theater back in 1999, if for no other reason than the fact that Alanis Morissette was cast as God. Here was another example of the man not caring about what other people thought, and look at the cinematic and satiric gold that emerged.

Then things get murky. Smith himself says that as his film career progressed, he found himself making movies for others more than for himself.

Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back“, as Smith says, is  a love letter to his fans. But you can tell that Smith was losing some of his nerve.

Jersey Girl” has been pretty much panned as a disaster. I honestly love it. If “Strike Back” was a love letter to the fans, this was a love letter to John Hughes. As a huge Hughes fan myself, I couldn’t help but smile, and yes – cry a little bit – as the final scene unfolded to the tune of “Let My Love Open the Door“.

As Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, Jersey Girl, Clerks 2, Zack and Miri Make a Por.no and Cop Out unfolded, I thought about how I had fallen into that trap. How every screenplay I had written, every movie idea I came up with, everything I had done with regards to filmmaking – and in my life in general –  in the last seven years had been dictated by what I thought OTHERS expected of me. Every path I had set out for myself was not one I had wanted to travel on. Even the path that was deemed “successful” by “them” (whoever “they” are), was not one I particularly wanted for myself.

Is it any wonder that I lost all passion and motivation for something that I had worked so hard for?

Then came “Red State“. A film that Smith made for himself. Completely free of any studio intervention. A complete 180 from anything he had made before.

“Red State” is mother effing amazing. And you know what else? Smith says that after “Red State”, he’s got one more movie in him and he’s done. He’s moving on to other things. He didn’t take the path of being a film studio slave and forever making movies he didn’t want to make. He’s blazing (literally sometimes) his own trail, finding ways of doing what he loves and getting paid for it.

As the credits rolled, it all came together. Silent Bob had made his point.

“Fuck it all,’ he told me. “If you want to make a movie, make one. You know what? How about starting with just writing one? Just because things didn’t work out the way you fantasized about doesn’t mean that they can’t be good. You dreamt about lying in bed, pregnant, writing a screenplay. The next time you’re pregnant, you have no choice but to lie in bed, so fucking write a screenplay. You’re going to have all the time in the world and no excuses, so just fucking do it. Don’t worry about how much it will cost to produce. Don’t worry about whether it will get made, or win awards, or be a complete failure.

You went to film school because you loved movies. You still do. You still have that feature film in you. Just make it happen, on your terms. Fuck it all and do something that will make you happy. And while you’re at it – how about growing a pair right now and doing something you love?”

Or to quote directly from Mr. Smith’s book:

“Embrace a reasonable amount of un-reasonability.”

For the first time in a long time, I truly want to make a movie. I know I have a story to tell. I don’t quite know how I’m going to tell it. But I know it’s time I start figuring it out.

And before I do that, I have a freaking podcast to produce. Because I wanted to do it. And so I grew a set and did it. Thanks to Silent Bob.

Thank you, Mr. Smith, for reminding me that I have passion.

Thank you, sir.

*Credits*

Did I Actually Agree to Do This?

13 Sep

10 DPO and I’m out this month. Not a surprise, because I popped on the tubeless side, but annoying nonetheless.

Now on to our too-scarce-as-of-late regularly scheduled blog post.

You all know how much I love my pee sticks. I sing songs to them, I nickname them affectionately, I hoard them, and shake them like etch-a-sketches when they don’t give me the result I want.  Lately my obsession has expanded into the realm of Fertility Friend, where I temp religiously and check my chart 4-5 times daily, obsessing over each spike and dip.

Yesterday, as I was eating some fattening food to try to temper my BFN disappointment I finally realized that I have a problem. I’m becoming this grotesque peeing charting and eating monster. I don’t like the look of who I am lately. Not one bit.

Today in my EMDR session, I brought it up to my therapist.

I don’t know how she did it folks, but somehow she convinced me to hand over all of my pee sticks the next time I see her, and in her presence I deleted the Fertility Friend app on my phone. She made me promise to pee on a stick if and only if my period is late, and to stop charting for the next three months.

In the throes of a lovely therapy session, I agreed.

I already have the shakes from this process dear readers. Withdrawal is settling in. Twice today already I’ve gone to my phone to look at my chart only to realize that there is no chart to look at. At least once I caught myself thinking about when my next date of expected ovulation is only to realize that I have no way of speculating.

My therapist wants me to try a few months of trying for a baby the way normal people do it. Baby makin’ sweet sweet lovin’ every other day with no aids. Oh the horror!

In short – she wants me to give up control.

Next week is Rosh Hashana – the Jewish New Year. In honor of the occasion we made a list of all of the things I need to let go of. Guilt, the need to constantly control, self loathing, and pee sticks.

Oh, pee sticks!

She asked me what charting and all this freaking peeing was truly giving me. I admitted that it was the illusion of control.

Of course – she pointed out that this is precisely the reason I need to give them up.

So I agreed. I’m doing it. No charting or peeing for the next three months.

Holy crapnuggets – what the hell am I supposed to do with all of this free time?

Now pardon me while I crawl into a corner and shake while in the fetal position.

Strands

26 Jun

Ok I’ll admit it: I haven’t been around because I’ve been wallowing. It’s been a hard week, between the due date and this freaking diet.

But let’s be honest, it’s mostly the due date. I’ve been doing my best not to think about it, but even when not thinking about it I’m pretty mopey. I’m really hoping this will pass soon. I’m sick and tired of feeling this way.

In AF news – there is no news. I’m finishing up the pills today and hopefully that will jump start things. The baby psychic  said July will be our month  (though granted I thought she meant last july). So here’s hoping my skepticism will be challenged this month, and that freaking psychic was right after all.

Seriously guys – I’m so over this.

Now to the point of this post. I apologize in advance if this gets rambly. I’m trying to figure it out myself.

So yesterday I was at the shrink’s.

It’s funny – since I decided to break up with her our sessions have been amazing. Just bringing up what my problems with her have been opened me up to actually talking openly again. I’m not saying I’m no longer considering leaving her. But for now – we’re making some amazing strides.

Anyway – a big revelation I’ve had about the way I operate is this:

I spend all of my time dealing with the day-to-day issues in my life almost to the point of obsession. Whether it’s pee sticks, or obsessing about a project – I think about the details of the present but never the big picture. At least not the present big picture.

I compare it to a ramble of thoughts swirling around a black hole. That black hole being who “I really am”, which is something I haven’t explored in a very long time, if ever.

The problem is that black hole. It’s not filled with things I love, because I’m not sure what I love any more. It’s not full of my dreams and aspirations, because I’m not sure what those are any more outside of a baby. It’s full of grief, loss, anxiety, depression, fatigue, and self-loathing, and that’s why I stay away from it.

When I try to put the pieces of my identity together I feel like I don’t have a strand to grasp. I feel empty.

This is not a new thing. It started before the miscarriages. But the miscarriages threw it into sharp relief, because before – at least I had strands.

Now I have nothing, and I don’t know where to start.

Last night, my shrink asked a question that would finally give me a strand to grasp on to.

The question was:

“What if you don’t have a baby?”

I answered: “That isn’t an option.”

“I know that isn’t a real option. But I want you to think about it as an imaginary option. What would happen if you decide tomorrow that you will never have a child – not through adoption, or surrogacy, or pregnancy?”

“Well that’s a damn good question.”

So I’ve been mulling that over since then. I even talked it out with Shmerson a little bit.

Living child-free has never been a realistic option for us. But talking it over made me realize how different our decisions would be.

For example – I’m not sure if I’d be considering going back to school right now. Maybe eventually – but not necessarily now.

What would I do?

I don’t know. Make a lot of money so we could take that trip to Japan, or maybe make a movie.  Take better care of my body, I think. Make sure to go to a lot more rock concerts.

I’m still mulling all of this over. I never thought it would be so hard to pinpoint my true core desires and ambitions. But the grief and the longing for a child have taken over so much of my life that there has been no room left for anything else. I’ve been going through the motions for so long that I have no idea what drives me any more.

Hopefully though, this question is the start of something.

It’s a strand I can begin to unravel, and I guess that’s as good a place as any.

Give Me Drugs, Woman!

18 Jun

So I went to the RE today. And honestly, I’m not surprised at the outcome.

First – let me confess something: A small part of me was hoping that the date with ole’ wandy today would reveal a 6-week embryo.

Alas, my ute is as empty as the day is long. Or something.

But let’s begin at the beginning.

Allow me to introduce you to Dr. Dexter.

Not this Dexter:

This Dexter:

I’ve never had a lady bits doc that was a woman. I guess I was expecting sunshine and unicorn farts. Dr. Dexter was not that.

She had crazy glasses (hence the nickname), and was very straight faced and analytical. It was only at the end that she actually seemed empathetic. But I’m getting ahead of myself again.

After going through my history for an hour (!) mostly while typing it all on her computer, she pulled out wandy and took a look around. From what she saw, I didn’t ovulate this month at all.

So an hour and 15 minutes into the appointment, after poking around in there, we sat down and got to the heart of it.

I came in there expecting to either beg for clom.id (or something similar) or just have it prescribed.

Alas, Dr. Dexter had other plans.

She looked me in the eye and said: “You’re not going to like what I have to say.”

Ruh-Roh.

I told her to just go ahead and say it. And she did:

“You don’t have a fertility problem. You have a weight problem.”

Yep, you read right folks. I’ve been prescribed a diet.

Honestly? I’m not surprised. I’ve said it here before: I’m the heaviest I’ve ever been. And most of my past irregular cycle issues have been during periods that I was overweight.

Dr. Dexter said this is common with PCOS. Weight loss = regular cycles, weight gain = irregular cycles.

She said that even losing 5% of my current weight will probably jump start my cycle.

She sent me in for some blood tests that I will be getting tomorrow (E2, LH, Progesterone, and a beta just to make completely sure that my 100 pee sticks didn’t lie), and gave me a prescription to jump start AF, after I get the results and talk to her on the phone on Wednesday.

She pointed out that I am dangerously close to being a diabetic according to my latest blood tests, and the more weight I lose before the pregnancy, the better my chances are of avoiding pre-eclampsia and gestational diabetes.

Dr. Dexter did offer to do ovulation monitoring for the next few months with mid-cycle ultrasounds and all of those bells and whistles. She said it was unnecessary, but I think this woman has seen enough infertiles to understand my plight and therefore offered it for peace of mind. I’m not sure if I’m going to opt to do that. I’ll have to wait and see how I feel about it. It’s a lot of hassle. I may just opt to chart this cycle and see how that goes. She sympathized with my lack of patience, and my desire to get knocked up ASAP, which was nice.

I look at her hopelessly. “No drugs?”

Nope. No drugs for me. Just a good ole’ fashioned diet.

I’ve been hating on my body so much over the last few months that I haven’t been able to bring myself to diet. I’m sure most of you are aware of this vicious cycle. Hate my body, eat some chocolate to make me feel better, end up feeling worse because I ate that freaking chocolate.

I think that my lack of patience, and unending need to get this show on the road may end up being the swift kick in the butt that I need.

My cousin is a naturopathic dietician. She got a call from me today, and we’ll be meeting once a week starting this Thursday. She’ll be my own private (and free! Yay!) Weight Watchers meeting.

I’m ready to get this show on the road. I’m overdue for another pregnancy. I mean, it’s already been almost 4 months since my last one. This just won’t do.

Oy vey.

How to (Not Really) Break Up With Your Therapist

13 Jun

I emailed my shrink over the weekend telling her that I wanted to stop seeing her. Me0Me told me to do it so that I don’t drop a bomb on her in the session. I thought it was a good idea so I went for it.

I walked into the session already in tears. The truth is, I love this woman and I’m unendingly grateful for everything that she’s done for me over the last 4 years. She called me from New York the night before my first D&C to calm me down because I was afraid of general anesthesia. She kept tabs on me through every crisis. She is the one who helped me come to the realization that in the process of losing Nadav, I became a mother.

I feel an unbelievable sense of loyalty to her, so I broke down just at the thought of having this conversation with her.

Then it took an unexpected turn.

You see – here’s the thing about me when I’m in crisis: I go nuclear. I take drastic action. I can’t just “be” in a crisis. I have to act. No matter what.

That was the first thing she pointed out.

Don’t get me wrong, she said that I am free to leave her if I think that’s the best thing for me. But she also said something that made me sort of wake up: “I’m not leaving you. You can always come back here.”

We started talking, and I told her a few of the reasons I wanted to leave. For one – my need to explain everything IF related to her. Another – the fact that I’m treading water, and I feel like it’s taking all my energy just to do that. She helps me tread water but no more than that.

Then she said “Ok, you have every right to be angry with me.”

I immediately got defensive: “I’m not angry with you. I could never be angry with you!”

She asked me why. I told her because I love her too much and I’m grateful for what she’s done for me.

She countered that those things are not mutually exclusive. That love and anger inevitably go together, and it’s a good thing that they do.

Then she said: “Maybe you should look into that. You have anger at a lot of things, but you don’t let that anger out. Instead, you turn it inward on to yourself. No wonder you’re so tired.”

Heady-explode-y.

The fact is I felt guilty about wanting to leave her. Just like I feel guilty about all of my losses. Just like I feel guilty about everything.

And maybe that guilt is really just anger turned inward.

It makes sense. Because really, I’m pretty frakking pissed at the way my life’s been going. And yet all I do is wallow in self-loathing and guilt. Maybe feeling some anger will do good things.

In the end, she suggested that we keep on meeting while I look into alternative options. She doesn’t want me to be without support, and I think she’s right about that.

She assured me that whatever I finally decide, she will be with me 100%. She just wants me to “live” in that decision for a while.

And I think that’s a good thing. We’ll see.

***Stay tuned for tomorrow’s episode wherein I go to the Russian to ask for fertility drugs!***

(Thanks SRB for the inspiration!)

Aftermath

7 Jun

First of all, thank you everyone for your amazing comments on yesterday’s post. Sharing your vices, giving support, and reminding me that I’m worthy of having some hope. I can’t tell you how much that means to me.

So here’s what happened after I hit “publish”:

I had a complete meltdown.

As in – I hadn’t had one this bad since about a week after we lost Nadav.

As in – panic attack, destructive thoughts, hysterical crying – the whole pile of crapnuggets.

I tried calling Shmerson and he wasn’t answering his phone. I knew I shouldn’t be alone. So I called my mom and she came over and we had a talk.

Amazingly enough – she really helped me get my head straight again. She’s not usually this good with crises but somehow she pulled it off. Yay mom!

After reading all of your comments, a lot of talking, and yes, a bit of smoking, here is all of the good that came out of yesterday (in list form, of course):

1. Douchenozzle is now officially my favorite word ever. Seriously. I just thought I’d put that out there.

2. I’m changing therapists. I love my shrink, and I’ve been with her for four years. But the fact that I still go to these destructive places, and the fact that I constantly have to “explain” pregnancy loss and infertility to her means she’s just not what I need right now.

I’ve seen what wonders a therapist specializing in IF has done for Cristy, and I really think I need someone now who understands what this feels like. So this Monday will probably be my last session. After four years, it’s time to move on.

3. I’m signing up for the accelerated Art Therapy program. One thing I didn’t share with you guys be cause I was very much in ZOMG THE DRAMA – land yesterday, is that when I met with the head of the program, she also said: Apply first, make decisions later.

So I bit the bullet and did my online application last night. Then I emailed her to tell her about it and she was THRILLED. She knows that things are still up in the air, and that’s ok with her and with me. What’s the worst that can happen? I get accepted to the program and can’t do it, and I start the next year with the regular program. That’s really not the end of the world.

This also means I’m going back to school in July! There are a bunch of pre-requisites that I have to take before the program can officially accept me, and I’m going to do them all in the summer (or as many as I can fit in anyway).

Here’s the crazy thing: Just this little act of filling out an online application has done WONDERS! Usually, when I try falling asleep, or just shutting my eyes for a few minutes of rest, my mind wanders to fantasies that usually include a baby in my arms. Today, my mind went to ideas for a thesis. If that’s not progress, I don’t know what is.

3. I am officially stopping the delusion that I can pull off quitting smoking cold turkey. Instead, I’m going to start by gradually cutting down. A bunch of you said in the comments – and you’re right – that one step at a time is the right thing. So yeah – I’m taking the long road for once on this.

4. I bought a new dress today. And I dyed my hair purple. And I ate some sushi.

5. The major takeaway from all of this is that in my hurry I kind of let go of some of the things that I learned from losing Nadav. I put on horse blinders and that was wrong.

I forgot that putting my life on hold – for any reason – does only harm.

I forgot that when it comes to infertility, no amount of speculation and planning will help the outcome, and sometimes, that planning can come back and bite you in the ass in the form of disappointment.

So when it comes to my life – I’m better off moving forward without letting the “what if”s get in the way of my “right now”s.

6. Hee hee. Douchenozzle. I seriously don’t know where I got it, but I love it. Oh! Turns out it actually has a definition! And now of course I must create a douchenozzle cat. I mean, really, how can I not? I owe it to the world.

Here you go, world:

You’re welcome.

Wherein I Feel Like a Broken Record

21 Apr

So have you guys ever had this happen to you?

I want to stop thinking about being pregnant. I want to stop wanting to be pregnant. But I just can’t turn it off.

I’ve been keeping busy, working hard, doing things that are supposed to be fun. But it keeps creeping in. I can’t control it.

Today marks two months since we lost Nadav. Time has both flown by and dragged on. It’s the strangest feeling. I miss him, I mourn him. But a part of me feels like there are things about losing him that I have yet to process. Just the decision to try again has brought up a bunch of new feelings. I’m pretty sure that getting pregnant again will bring more to the surface.

This week I made an appointment for a second opinion. Ever since then I’ve been terrified of finding out that the Russian made a mistake. I know that’s probably not going to happen, but it’s been haunting me.

I HAVE to trust him. If I don’t, I’ll spend the next pregnancy even more terrified. I can’t do that. I have to feel like I’m in good hands. He brought us further than any other doctor has. I don’t want to switch doctors. He has a stake in this. He knows me. I have to continue to trust him.

Even though the Russian didn’t give me a magic solution, I’m kind of hoping that Dr. Second Opinion will give me the same information. It would just make things so much easier.

In the meantime, I’m in a constant battle to keep myself distracted, but the insatiable need to get all of this behind me keeps me from moving forward completely. I know I have (hopefully, please) 6 months of being in bed ahead of me. 9 months (please please please) of worry and anxiety.

Like I wrote to Court in an email a few minutes ago, I know I have this incredibly long and hard road ahead of me, and I just want to get on with it already.

Don’t know if that’s healthy, but that’s just where I am.

In other news, I dyed my hair pink.

And yes, I love it.

Open Wounds

14 Apr

A decision has been made.

As soon as we’re cleared medically (which means most likely next month), we have decided to jump into TTC right away.

I can’t say I’m happy with the decision, but I don’t think I’d be happy with any decision. This is the best decision we could have made for our sanity.

I can’t say it’s a good decision, but it’s the right decision.

This isn’t just about what the Russian said. This isn’t about getting the “project baby” show back on the road.

This is about us being tired. We are tired, and we want to know where this is leading us sooner rather than later.

The fact is that we have an open, festering wound that’s done nothing but grow in the last two years. No amount of time will heal this wound. Nothing will heal it. But there is one thing that will at least make it turn into a scar – and that’s a baby.

We can’t ignore this wound, so we’ve chosen to accept it. We will jump in, hold our breath, and hope against all hope that it will become a scar sooner rather than later.

I keep myself busy. I try to do things that are good for me. But the fact is that most days I feel like a walking freak show. I’m that babyloss mom. I’m that woman that miscarried all those times and had a stillbirth. I’m that broken body. I am not me.

That is the open wound. It’s one that will never go away.

I just hope that we can make it scab over soon. And that somehow through all of it I manage to maintain a bit of myself.

I Don’t Like My Brain

10 Apr

Confession time: I want to be pregnant again. Now.

Which is really weird, considering that in general, the prospect of round 5 is terrifying to me.

Apparently, I’m a big ball of contradictions.

I’ve been trying to figure out why I want to go into this again so badly, and so soon, and I think it basically boils down to three major things:

The first, is that my body is aching for a child. I’ve already mentioned this, but it’s worth mentioning again. After giving birth to Nadav, it seems insane to me that I don’t have him in my arms. It’s biology. The need is greater than me. My body is literally screaming for a baby.

The second, and I think it plays just as big a role as the first, is that I want to get round 5 over and done with. Shmerson and I have basically decided that if we have another second trimester loss we’re done, and we’ll be moving on to surrogacy.

I’m not crazy about the surrogacy option but I know there’s only so much my body (and my soul) can take. The count now is over a year of being pregnant with no baby to show for it. I’ve gained a lot of weight, my body is already out of shape because of the 2 months of bed rest, and I’ve been in too many surgeries already. A line has to be drawn somewhere.

So, knowing that round 5 will most likely be our last shot before throwing in the towel, I’m anxious to know the outcome. If there is going to be another loss, I want to get it over and done with as soon as humanly possible so I can get on with my life. I know it’s a pessimistic view of things, but it’s kind of hard to be optimistic after everything we’ve been through.

The third is the same thing that’s been pushing me forward for the last 2 years, and that’s the fact that when I get a goal to strive for, I don’t stop until I reach it. It’s a sickness. I’ve always been that way in everything I do.

“Project Baby” started two years ago, and as far as I’m concerned I will do anything I possibly can to see it through to the only possible conclusion: a healthy take-home baby.

I think those last two reasons are destructive. They are unhealthy and terrible and go against everything we have learned from losing Nadav.

I wish there was a switch to turn off my brain for a while. It would make things so much simpler.

I’ve spent my entire life chasing after goals, only to feel empty once I achieve them. Winning a prize is awesome, but the morning after you win it, the glow wears off and you’re left all alone holding a useless token, and having to clean up the mess from the party.

I don’t want to live that way any more, in anything that I do. Even more so when it comes to bringing children into this world.

The problem is, I’m not sure I can pull off anything else. Breaking a three-decade-long pattern is kind of hard to do, and I’m afraid that by the time I do break this pattern, I’ll be beyond “Advanced Maternal Age”. It will take time. A whole lot of it.

The fact is that the clock is ticking. I can’t ignore that.

But I can’t move forward for all of the wrong reasons.  And I know that if I let the last two reasons dictate my actions I will make mistakes that I may later regret.

Shmerson said it best: if round 5 really is our last shot, we need to do it right. We need to know that we’ve done everything we can do, and that we’ve done it for the right reasons.

How the heck do I figure out how to move forward for the right reasons, and still appease the ticking clock?

I think I want to break up with my brain. Or maybe just give it away to someone else for a while. Anyone want to trade?

Wherein I Use Lots of Track and Field Metaphors

17 Mar

I’ve talked a lot about giving up the race. About living my life for me and enjoying it for a change.

But what happens when you’ve got a ticking clock to get to the finish line?

A tug-of-war.

(See? Lots and lots of track & field metaphors.)

Lessons are wonderful. Revelations are great. But what happens when you have to stand against reality and actually put them into practice?

Two weeks ago I went in to see my OB/GYN – The Russian – for a follow up after losing Nadav. For those of you that have been following along for a while, you already know that The Russian is our 5th doctor, and the only one who took active steps to fix our problems. I give him full credit for the fact that Nadav even made it to my uterus.

He’s also bluntly honest. When the IC diagnosis happened, he very clearly stated that it could be that we caught it too late, and I have a 15-20% of losing the baby. He always gives it to me straight, and I appreciate that.

So I knew that when I walked into his office I’d get the truth about our chances for another go-round, when and if we were ready for it. Well, more like when, because we can’t afford surrogacy or adoption, and I can get pregnant relatively easily (at least so far).

Shmerson and I were thinking 6 months at least before we start trying again. At least. But I did want to know what The Russian thought.

So I sit down with the Russian and he says that he is “very optimistic” about me carrying to full term (or at least very close) next time. No bad numbers. Just “very optimistic” as long as we take the right steps (full bed rest, preventative cerclage, progesterone supps).

That made me feel good.

I knew even then that I had one more try in me. But after a decent break.

Then The Russian said we have to wait three cycles.

I laughed. Three cycles? We’re going to wait way longer than that. I told him as much.

Then he made a face.

The kind of face he makes when he delivers bad news. I know that face.

Ruh Roh.

Yeah – so he doesn’t think we should wait more than 3 cycles to start trying again. In fact, he thinks the sooner we start trying again, the better.

His reasoning (yay! A list!):

  • I still have PCOS, and have a history of going as long as 10 months without a cycle. My first pregnancy is what “jump started” my ovulation. Right now, he’s not sure how my cycle will react after this pregnancy, since this one was so much longer than the others.
  • With all of the planned intervention, he still can’t guarantee I won’t have any more early losses because of chromosomal issues, so it may take a while before we get to a viable pregnancy again.
  • I’m three years away from “Advanced Maternal Age”.

In short: tick-tock, tick tock.

Or:

So yeah – that certainly threw a wrench in our “enjoying our marriage and letting this go for a while” plans.

You know what the worst part of it all was? I was actually kind of relieved to get an excuse to try again asap.

I may want out of the race, but my biology is aching for a child more than ever before. I’m a mother with empty arms.

How can I ignore that?

Granted, I no longer want to “make up” for any losses, but that doesn’t lessen my longing for a child. In fact I long for one even more after losing Nadav.

That is a longing I can’t ignore.

But another side of me wants to ignore it. The last two years have taken a huge toll on my life.

Plus, I’m terrified of getting pregnant again.

And I don’t want to deal with SIX MONTHS of bed rest.

And I want to live my life and take care of myself for a while.

And I miss my Nadav.

But the tick-tock is there. Not just according to the Russian, but also ingrained into my biology.

Today I got a massage (another perk of this whole “taking care of myself” kick).

As I lay there, I was mulling over the tug-of-war – something I’ve been doing on and off since my appointment.

The unending longing to hold a baby in my arms, the ticking of my biological clock.

The need to take care of my body and soul. To give my mind and my body a break from all of this.

Finally, somewhere between my feet and my temples, I came to a realization. I think I know what will win in the end. But for now, I can take comfort in the fact that I don’t have to make a decision today.

Three cycles. Three cycles to mourn, to heal, to think, and to enjoy my life for a change.

Three cycles until I find out which side will win the tug of war.

Third (or is it Fifth) Opinion?

23 Aug

So some of you may know by now that I set an appt. with the “#1 RPL specialist in the country” for Sept. 12th.

This would be the 5th OB/GYN I’d be seeing in the last year, and a visit with him isn’t covered by the public healthcare system, and it will cost us $300 bucks.

I’m seriously wondering if it’s worth it.

Today I went in for my post-lap appt. with The Russian. He and I had a long talk about my current situation. This talk has pretty much lead me to believe there’s really no point in going to yet ANOTHER doctor.

The conversation went something like this:

Me: So – do you think I may have another miscarriage?

The Russian: I don’t know. There’s really no way of knowing. You’ve been checked for clotting disorders?

Me: Yep.

The Russian: Chromosomal issues?

Me: Yep. Should be getting the results this month.

The Russian: Well, then there’s nothing much more you can do.

Basically he laid it out this way: IVF is too invasive a procedure for our situation, and will not reduce the risk of an ectopic. By all appearances Ole’ Righty seems to be working fine. The only solution at this point is to just keep trying. He also pointed out that if I have a 4th loss then he would recommend losing Ole’ Righty and going straight to IVF.

But for now he says the same as Twofer. Try, try again.

After coming back from the appt. Shmerson and I had a talk. Shmerson said something that seemed very on-point. He said that he thinks I’m trying to find a reason for our losses, and if there was a clear-cut reason, we would know by now.

I really do think he’s right. The fact is that I’ve had suspected ectopics and a blighted ovum, and no actual proof of where the ectopics were. Every doctor has said that we could very well have fallen on the bad side of statistics and there’s nothing we can do. There are no magic solutions for us. And I don’t think the RPL specialist will deliver any type of different news.

So I’m thinking to myself – what’s the point? Another 300 bucks spent to most likely get the same answer we’ve been getting from everyone. Progesterone supps, extra folic acid and B12, and try try again.

Twofer has said before that chances are we’ll never know what actually happened. Maybe this specialist guy is just a way for me to try to weasel some answers? I mean – I’ve done the testing. What else can he really contribute except an extra-large hole in our bank account?

If we have a 4th loss, and it’s another suspected ectopic, then it’s off to IVF we go. If we have a 4th loss and it’s not ectopic, then we go to the experimental stuff. Immunology, etc.

So maybe we should just save those 300 bucks and try try again? If there will be a 4th loss, just get it over with and move on? And if not – then we get a take home baby. With only one tube going for us it may take a while, whichever way it goes.

I’m going to take advantage of ICLW to put this question out there – what do you ladies think? Should we just jump back on the wagon and try try again or spend the money?

Would love to hear your take on it. Because you know there can’t truly be a decision without hearing from you guys. This is how I roll.

Tomorrow…. We Wear Pants! (and other musings about what’s next)

8 Aug

Well, I’m going a bit stir crazy. On one hand, I really feel like getting up and doing things. On the other, I just want to sleep. I’m not in much pain anymore. Mostly the tic-tac-toe game on my abdomen itches like crazy, and I get a periodic stabby-type pain every once in a while. But since I’m used to stabby pains, it’s not really a big deal.

I haven’t worn pants since leaving the hospital on Friday morning. That’s right people! No pants! I’ve also seen every single stupid reality TV show on the planet, played way too much Angry Birds, and watched some pretty good movies (Source Code – thumbs up!), along with a couple of absolutely horrible ones (note to everyone: the Red Riding Hood revamp is a piece of crap).

But with all the stir-craziness, I can’t seem to bring myself to function. There’s a lot of real world stuff that needs to be done, but I’m not ready for it yet. I think I’ll give myself one more day. I think that’s ok.

Here’s the thing: The last couple of days a certain unease has set in. I get that Lefty was non-functional, and I’m glad he’s gone. But I have spent the last 6 months CONVINCED that something is up with my right side. The doc who performed the lap observed that one part of the tube is “slightly thickened” and removed a couple of adhesions around it, but that’s basically it.

And I’m not appeased. I’m not calm. I still have a sinking feeling that something is wrong and I’ll have another ectopic.

This is the sucky thing about all of this: I know exactly what happens next. We go back to Twofer, and he tells us to try again. That’s it. Try again and cross our fingers.

And when we are ready to try again – I’m afraid this whole cycle of fear will start all over again. I honestly kind of wish they had taken Righty too and we could have gone straight to IVF. I know that’s kind of a crazy thought, but considering that IVF is virtually free here, I would much rather just bypass the tubes altogether. Just get a good looking embryo in my uterus, even if it comes with the price of injections, more general anesthesia, and hormonal hell. I’ll take that over another loss any day of the week and twice on Sundays.

But I know we would never get approved for such a thing. For now, I’m 100% sure we’ll just be told to “try again.”

And I’m not happy about that. I’m not ready to deal with that.

But tomorrow, I’ll start by putting on a pair of pants.

Climbing

30 Jul

Have you guys ever been to a point where you are so overwhelmed that your head no longer holds thoughts- just a continuous buzzing?  Yeah, that’s where I’m at. Heady-explode-y.

So much stuff has been happening, I don’t even know where to start. On the same day we went in for the lap consult, we got an offer on our current apartment, which means we’re one step closer to moving into our shiny new place and I can start getting my nesting on. My lap is scheduled for this Thursday, and I’m spending the next few days running around doing all sorts of paperwork and pre-op blood work and doctor’s appointments. Things are insane.

On our way to the lap consult, Shmerson told me something that’s kind of been echoing in his mind. He says he feels like a 15 year old impersonating an adult. We’re buying and selling real-estate, we’re applying for mortgages, we’re going into doctors’ offices with binders full of my medical history. He’s writing emails to his professors asking for extensions because “his wife is going in for surgery”.

Freaky.

I feel the same way. I feel like a total impostor sometimes. I really do. How the heck can I act like an adult when I basically barely have any clue who I am? There are days that I just want to say “fuck it all” and just party. Or something. Ok. I’m not much of a party animal. But sometimes it’s just too much. I just want to hang out and have someone else worry about my tubes for a change.

But things only get stranger from here. With all of this going on,  I’m actually relatively CALM. I’m not in a hurry so much any more with the getting knocked up. Not because I want it any less. But just because I’m starting to realize that before I get knocked up things need to calm the frak down. We need to move. I need to get through this lap. I need to find a new job. Shmerson needs to get through his exams and find a new job. There’s so much to do. We need to get our stability on.

Today, Shmerson and I were talking. He told me that he wishes all of this sucky stuff hadn’t happened during our first year of marriage. He said: “Why couldn’t we have had like, 5 years of ignorant wedded bliss before all this crap happened?”

I answered in a particularly zen way: “If we had 5 years of ignorance, then we probably wouldn’t have appreciated them.”

The thing is – we keep on talking about wanting things to get “better” already. What is “better” anyway?

I don’t think there’s ever a place of perfection. And you know what? I’m not so much of a fan of the “Happy Ending.” Because then things end. I like this whole living thing, thank you very much.

So no happy endings for me. Happy being. Happy living. Not even that. Contentment. I think that’s what I’m striving for now. Calm.

Heck  – I’ll take a week without depression. A baby would be nice too. But there’s stuff to be done first.

Ok I’m rambling. This is going to be one of those long rambling posts so you guys may as well grab a cup of tea and settle in.

….

Are you back? Ok then.

I went to visit PM last week.  I held her little one in my arms for close to half an hour. Half an hour of complete calm and peace that proved to me that this is completely what I want.

And yet

PM is overwhelmed. She’s going through some serious crap. She looked at me with this terribly sad face and said “I’m not the same person any more”.

I’ve known her for 15 years. I knew she was serious. This isn’t the postpartum depression talking. Being a mom changes you. It’s a huge transition.

I’ve always known that but this is the first time I saw the “downside” of it. The intimate and dark part. The part no one really likes to talk about. Looking at her, and her amazing baby, I realized that it’s ok if we take some time to get our life in order.

I don’t want you to misunderstand me. PM is so happy to have the little one here. She loves him. But she’s mourning a part of her that is gone. The 15 year old that’s playing the adult. Now there’s no play. There’s just adult. That’s  a scary proposition.

***

Shmerson and I have both been guilty of trying to get too much done at once. There’s always a list. One hundred things that would make us better, happier, whatever.

But we both make the same fatal mistake over and over: We try to do it all at once, fail miserably, and then feel bad about ourselves.

What is “better” and how do we get there?

Well – you certainly can’t get there when you’re running around like a crazy person trying to do it all. No one is super human. There’s only so much you can do.

When Shmerson and I started talking about taking a break from TTC a couple of weeks back, I once again started a list. Lose weight, quit smoking (again), find a new job, exercise more, try to get a film off the ground (again), bla bla bla bla bla.

Up until now, I would have tried to tackle all of this. All at once. Now.

But here’s what PM taught me: Slow. The Fuck. Down.

At my shrink’s on Wednesday she told me something very simple: “Let’s just start with a job.”

Yeah, let’s. Let’s get through this lap and start with a job. One thing at a time.

You fall fast when you hit rock bottom. I hit rock bottom somewhere over the last couple of months. But the climb is slow. And it’s not always easy. But it has to be done to pull yourself out of the muck.

As much as Shmerson and I are overwhelmed right now, I recognize that we’re in the midst of a slow climb. A climb towards “better”, whatever that is. But we’re climbing. We’re not perfect. But we’re climbing. Hopefully, this time, one step at a time. And that’s as good a place to start as any.

To make up for this rather heady and rambly post- proof that I’m not the only one in the family with a bunny fetish:

Luna and one of her many stuffed bunny toys.

*Insert Witty Title with the Word “Lap” in it Here*

21 Jul

I was going to title this post “Lap it Up.” But really, that is hella lame. Jump in my lap? Nope. Ahh well, I guess there just isn’t enough in the world of laproscopic surgery humor and/or puns. I should work on that.

So as you may have already guessed, Twofer was very clear cut today. There was no need to beg. Two minutes into the appointment he said very clearly: “Well, I guess the next step would be a lap surgery to figure out the source of the pain and remove the tube while they’re at it.”

He referred me to a really good gyno surgeon, and we have an appointment with him next Wed. Bing bang boom. Done.

Well, not really. There is the whole issue of my PARALYZING FEAR OF GENERAL ANESTHESIA. So when we’re there on Wed, I’m definitely going to explore all of the options before signing on the lap dotted line. But even with the anesthesia fear I felt a certain lightness after leaving twofer today. I think that we made the right decision by addressing this issue with some more serious medical intervention. I’ll keep you all posted.

On an unrelated note – it’s Marie’s Birthday today! If you feel like it, and you should – go over to her blog and wish her a happy birthday!

Marie – over the past 6 months you have become one of my closest friends. It’s almost surreal to think that we’ve never actually met face to face, because I feel like we’ve known each other forever. I love you to bits, and if I could I would fly over to you to give you a huge birthday hug. But I can’t, so I’ll make due with another cute bunny gif:

Have an amazing birthday hon. Wish I could be there to celebrate with you in person!

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