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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.

A Shift

10 May

Today I’m 23 weeks, 3 days.

That’s 4 days away from viability.

There’s a little chalk board hanging outside my kitchen, and about a month ago I drew a calendar on it, which ends on May 14th, with the 14th circled in yellow chalk. I’ve been blocking out the days left. Somewhere after my last post, I stopped blocking them out.

After all “viability” is really just an arbitrary date, kind of like the due date. Viability doesn’t happen ON the day, it kind of happens around it. During my blogging black out, I was emailing back and forth with a few women who had stories similar to mine. One thing they kept on saying was that there were three major places where things distinctly started to feel better: the day after the day everything went wrong last time, viability, and 28 weeks.

For me, everything went wrong just a week and two days short of viability, so I’m starting to find that for all intents and purposes, those two dates kind of blended into each other.

I go to a high-risk OB once every two weeks. He’s really ok with seeing me once a month because that’s the frequency he usually sees women with preventive cerclages, but I asked for every two weeks to ease my mind and he obliged. He’s cool like that.

So yesterday I had another appointment with him. Usually I get nervous before these appointments. Yesterday things were different. I felt anticipation, not nerves.

I at first chalked it up to the fact that Shmerson and I had decided to take my short parole and use it as an excuse to go see “Iron Man 3” and grab some dinner after the appointment since the mall is so close to the high-risk OB. Now I’m not so sure that it was simply looking forward to a few hours of freedom.

I go into the nurse’s office to get weighed in and see that I’ve gained another whopping 4 pounds. My blood pressure is taken and I see that the nurse uses the “fat cuff”. However, I manage to forgive myself and am happy to note that this is the lowest BP reading I’ve had since I started going to the high-risk clinic (my BP is always a bit on the high side).

Then we go into the high-risk OB’s office and I have a date with la wanda to check out my cervix. He pronounces that it’s nice an long and that everything looks “perfectly gorgeous”. He takes a look at B5 too and pronounces her “568 grams and just fine”. She has her back to us in the U/S so we don’t get to see much, but that’s ok.

Then, on his way back to the desk he says the following words: “Yep, I think you are going to be just fine this time around. ”

As in – everything is looking good. I think this is your take-home baby.

At every single doctor’s appointment until now – with him, with a second opinion guy I saw about a month and a half ago, with the Russian – they’ve all kept the same line: “I think you’re fine, but I can’t see the future, and I can’t make any promises.”

And here we are – “I think you’re fine.” With no caveat. With no “but”.

I’m not taking this doc’s word as gospel, but he is a high-risk OB. He’s been around the block so-to-speak. As he said what he said I thought: “Hmm. So this is what viability feels like.”

When Shmerson and I walked out of the clinic, I couldn’t help but high-five him. Something about all of this made it feel like an accomplishment.

When we got to the mall, Shmerson started acting a bit weird. I asked him what was going on with him as I was waiting for my bubble tea to be made and he said that it was as if all of the tension of the last six months was washing over him at once. Like something had come loose.

Then we went into the theater. I kind of let my mind wander for the fist 20 minutes or so of the movie. Then something weird happened. I started having butterflies in my stomach. I felt like someone was giving me electric shock. The thought literally hit me like a ton of bricks: “We might actually have a baby at the end of this. A real, live baby.”

Of course panic set in right after. Then I let it all wash over me and sunk into the movie.

After the movie, over burgers, I described the moment to Shmerson. He was shocked. “You mean that never occurred to you before this? You never thought this would end in a baby?”

“Not really. Not in such a real sense. I guess I was just really emotionally detached from it all. ”

He was in shock. I guess he didn’t know how serious my isolation and depression have been. I don’t blame him. I truly think the depth of it is a bit hard to fathom.

Then I said: “If B5 actually comes out of this healthy, I think my head might explode.”

Pretty much sums it up.

Of course today I’m more or less back to where I was a few days ago, but yes – I think there has been a shift. Yesterday, for the first time, I let hope sneak in. Just a little bit. It’s a scary feeling. But it’s there.

Next thing you know I’ll find myself ordering an “I’m with stupid” maternity shirt.

Ok probably not. Let’s not go overboard. I’m getting a panic attack just sharing yesterday’s events, so probably not any time soon.

One step at a time, I guess.

Putting My Money Where My Mouth Is. Or Something.

6 Aug

Ok folks – I just finished writing this encouraging email to Jjiraffe after her last post. I told her to screw those people. That if she wants to do something she should just do it.

After writing that email I realized what I freaking hypocrite I am. Sometimes I’m so scared of my own shadow I can barely get out of bed let alone pursue stuff I love. And that’s just stupid. So -I have decided to take my own advice.

Let me explain:

I’m a podcast junkie. I love them. I listen to them all the time. I’ve even written here before that I wanted to create my own podcast.

So the truth is I have an idea for one. I’ve had one for a while.

When you search for “infertility” on itunes what you get is a load of Circle and Bloom rip offs and nothing of note.  This is one realm that needs to be taken over by us! Yes! We must rule the airwaves! Or something!

So I’d officially like to announce the launch of “Bitter Infertiles” a weekly podcast hosted by yours truly, and starring…. Well – I hope starring a few of you. 🙂

I want to cover all realms here. So I’d love to break down the cast like this:

  1. An RPLer (that’s me!)
  2. A woman currently beginning to pursue IVF (that’s one of you guys!)
  3. A woman currently beginning to pursue adoption (you again!)
  4. A woman who is parenting after adoption/IVF (guess who that would be – you!)
  5. Other possibilities: Women currently pursuing DE or DS, women choosing to stop treatments and live child free, women pursuing surrogacy.

Whoever wants to be a part of this needs to be willing to go on tangents with me, be a confident talker, and have about an hour a week plus a couple of hours prep time. And please don’t let your insecurities here get in the way. Don’t worry – I’ll talk you through it. You just need to be game.

So? Who’s in? Email me and let’s get this show on the road!

Ok Maybe I Shouldn’t Break Up With Her

11 Jul

So, my shrink thinks that this whole self-harm, depression thing is my way of punishing myself.

I don’t talk a lot about Nadav here. In fact, I don’t talk a lot about Nadav at all. But I think about him constantly. And there’s one feeling that keeps on popping up that I try to push away but it refuses to go away: guilt.

Whenever I replay those 48 hours in my head, I don’t think about what was done, I think about what I could have done differently.

Mind you – the logical side of my brain knows I did all that I could at the time. But that doesn’t keep me from dwelling on how things could have played out had I done x, y, or z differently. If only I had googled this, or insisted on that – maybe there would have been a different outcome.

And it’s these thoughts that lead me to punish myself for what happened.

This is what tortures me every day. Today I finally told my shrink about it.

She pointed out something that kind of blew my mind. She suggested that perhaps my constant replays are my way of trying to regain control over a situation in which I had none. And the irony is that I give myself the illusion of control, at the expense of my mental health.

She said that anything I could have done differently would have been at the expense of myself. That when it comes to Nadav (and me having a baby in general), I let one cancel out the other.

She went on to say that perhaps I need to start working on two things:

The first is coming to terms with the fact that I don’t have control over the resolution to all of this.

The second is letting myself live in a world where I don’t get cancelled out to make room for a baby.

I think she’s right. Now it’s just a question of how the hell I pull off these impossible feats.

PS – thank you all for your awesome prompts! I will be taking them on, and bringing back Group Therapy Thursdays next week. Look out for the launch post in the next few days.

Here’s a LOL as a token of my appreciation:

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.

Lessons of Loss

19 Sep

I’ve found myself leaving the same comment in different variations on a bunch of different blogs lately. It always seems insufficient so I decided to write a blog post. I have a blog, so it seemed fitting. 🙂 Anyway, I apologize in advance for getting all deep and sappy on you guys.

The last couple of months have brought me clarity in a way I never thought was possible. As chaotic as life has been lately, I’ve found myself in a state of relative peace. I think that embracing my desires rather than fighting them has made a huge difference in the way I view things. I want to share some of my newfound perspective with you.

These last 15 months have been filled with heartbreak after heartbreak. I have yet to achieve my dream of becoming a mother. I have yet to carry a baby past 8 weeks.

I’ve always thought of myself as a strong woman. Yet, in this last year I have felt pain beyond pain and my weaknesses have been exposed. That strength I thought I had was not real. It came from a place of emotional detachment. It came from a place of self-delusion and denial.

If there’s one thing that my losses have done, it’s been to force me to look myself in the mirror and find my true strength. They have snapped me out of the bubble that was my reality. In hindsight, that reality was a lie. It was repressed depression and anxiety. It was a lack of confidence and a lack of focus. Having to face down tragedy on such a big scale, having to deal with so much grief in such a short time finally brought all of these repressed emotions to the surface. I have realized that I was never strong. I was a ball of anxiety. I was going through the motions of life rather than living. I was on auto pilot. I spent most of my time in an un-feeling haze, never letting my true emotions break through the surface.

Until they forced their way through because I couldn’t hold them any more. They were too much to bear. I broke into a million pieces over and over again. I had to find a way to put myself back together.

I have spent the last year in a constant existential crisis. Always trying to find meaning, constantly trying to understand the “why” of all of this.

But something has changed in me. I don’t know whether I have that “why” yet. All I know is that I’m finally building myself back up, piece by piece. I am no longer trying to put a roof on a building with no foundation. I now realize that first you need to pour the cement.

Recently, one of my closest friends went through a pretty serious medical scare. She had to have a scan done at a hospital. I immediately volunteered to go with her and hold her hand through it.

A year ago, I may have just emotionally detached. I most definitely wouldn’t have entered a hospital voluntarily. But today, I’ve faced hospitals. I’ve faced scans. They don’t scare me any more. I am stronger, and therefore I could be strong for my friend when she needed me. I realize how much of a blessing that really is.

I’ve found true compassion for others. I have found the peace and fulfillment that comes from helping people who are in pain. I have found that my passion in life is for giving to others, and not creating for myself. I have found out what true love is, through an amazing husband that has held my hand as I fell apart, and stuck around to help me pick up the pieces.

I think that all of us in the ALI community are lucky. As much as life has dealt us a crappy hand, we see the world as it truly is, and we make it through. We don’t operate on auto-pilot. We have known loss and tragedy, and we are stronger for it.

Happiness can’t be appreciated if you haven’t felt pain and despair. Those around us that go through life having not known loss, can’t appreciate what they have as much as we can. We are lucky, because our losses and our grief has come at a relatively early stage in our lives. This means that we can spend the rest of our lives appreciating what we have. This means that after getting through this difficult time we will be able to look around and be grateful. We know what it’s like to be empty, and therefore being full is a reward, not a fact of life that is ignored.

The truth is that everyone will suffer loss at some point in their life. It is inevitable, it is part of what life is. These losses help us re-evaluate who we are, re-focus our goals, and truly appreciate the good things that we have.

This is the blessing of loss and infertility. That this appreciation comes so early for us. We know heartbreak, so our own hearts fill more easily. We know loss, and therefore we know and appreciate love. We have been helped, so we know how to help others.

Even now, with my damaged and scarred body, with all of the grief and pain that this last year has brought me, I can truly say: I am lucky. I am lucky to have had these experiences. I am lucky to have been kicked out of auto-pilot at such a young age, because now I can truly work on leading a fulfilling life. I am lucky to know how fragile life is, so when I finally create a life, I will marvel at the miracle more than I ever thought possible. I am lucky to have been through pain, because now I know how to hold someone else’s hand when they are in pain.

I am lucky. I am grateful. I am humbled.

I may not be whole, but I think I am slowly finding my way toward being content. And that is a gift that most people don’t have. I hope I can continue to embrace it.

What a Difference A Month Makes

31 Aug

Well, a month and apparently a change of happy pills.

My shrink came back from a month long vacation, and today was our first session since before the lap. So much has happened in the last month. For a second there, I just sat trying to figure out where the hell to start. And I started here, with that video diary from almost a decade ago. Telling her about it and about the revelations it has lead to took up the entire hour. I started to see how that moment was a turning point. It was the place where I started to truly accept my situation. I’m not sure if I would say “embrace”. But accept. Understand that this is where I am, and start to be ok with that.

I feel like the last month has brought on revelation after revelation. Change after change.

I sit here today thinking about the place I was a little less than a month ago. Freaking out about the lap, grasping at straws of control, and I realize how far I’ve come and how much easier things have become, despite that fact that in general things are “supposed to be” more difficult now because of all of the craziness in our life right now.

It’s nothing tangible. I just feel – well – better. Not amazing. Not high. Not unbelievable. But I’m ok. And you know what? I think that’s pretty cool.

And yes, I do think the cym.balta has something to do with it too. It’s working. I know it is. And that’s pretty cool too.

The More Things Change…

13 Aug

Yesterday I had to go through all of my  old MiniDV tapes to find some raw footage for an editing exercise for my students. A lot of the tapes were almost ten years old, and it turns out that in my early twenties I was not so good with the coherent labeling of things.

For hours, I inserted tape after tape and zipped through them to see what was on each one. What started out as a mechanical job ended up slapping me upside the head.

I found a few video diaries I had made around my 22nd birthday – that’s 9 years ago. I hadn’t even remembered making them. For an hour, I sat there, dumbfounded, watching my 22-year-old self. I recognized her, but yet I didn’t.

22-year-old me was feeling stuck and depressed. She was having money problems and trying to get through her second year of college, away from her family, and supporting herself while keeping up her grades. She cried a lot. She had a bit of a pizza face. Turns out she wasn’t much skinnier than 30-almost-31-year-old me.

I looked at her talking to the camera and crying. I wanted to teleport through that LCD screen and shake her. Tell her to calm the ef down. Everything was going to be ok, and she should just go out to a frat party and have some fun and just, well, be 22.

My 20’s, in general, were spent in either a depressive stupor or an over-achieving haze. Looking back on them now, I’m tempted to say I “wasted” my twenties. On a lot of levels, I feel like the last few years I’ve been just resting to get over the non-stop, over-achieving, constant panic mode that I was in for almost a decade.

I looked at 22-year-old me last night and I was jealous of her. And I felt sorry for her. And I barely recognized her as myself. And yet…

And yet if you swap around some names and places, this could have been current me talking. Feeling stuck. Feeling broke and helpless, though thankfully not so alone any more.

As I was listening to 22-year-old me bitching and moaning about her life, I looked around. My messy, cramped apartment which will soon be sold so we can move on to bigger and more family-friendly digs. My amazing little Luna, laying on her back and having one of her doggy dreams, being a huge source of joy for me, just because she is here. A picture of my husband and I hanging on the fridge, taken about a week before my third miscarriage – showing us happy, dancing at a wedding. So much heartbreak to come, so much heartbreak overcome.

All of these things made me grateful. But looking at 22-year-old me also made me feel like I have lost so much since then. People who I’ve loved have passed away. My left tube is gone. My innocence is gone. My passion for filmmaking is gone. My go-getter attitude – that pushy, “I can do anything I set my mind to” mindset – gone. My bravado. My drive.

I had to wake up early to go to a bris for PM’s little one this morning (that’s us Israelis’ version of a baby shower, only it’s after the baby is born and usually involves a live circumcision. This one, thankfully, did not). PM’s little guy is already getting bigger. He’s almost a month old, and it’s evident that she has hit her “mommy stride”. I was surrounded by babies. But my mood was ok. There was something freeing about last night’s revelations. They have made me think things over, and look at them differently.

Two big questions keep on haunting me: If I look back at myself ten years from now will I want to shake myself and will I be jealous? What happened to my drive, and what the hell can I do to get it back?

And two important revelations have fallen on me like a ton of bricks:

The first, is that upon looking at myself in hindsight, I finally understand just how deep my depression and anxiety go, and just how long I’ve been suffering from them. I think that back then, I handled it by working myself to the bone. Now, I handle it by cocooning and disconnecting from the outside world. Neither of those work. Neither of those are healthy. And my happy pills certainly aren’t doing the trick. I realize I need to find a way to take care of this disease. Because looking at this – realizing that 9 years ago I was just as depressed, just as anxious, has made me finally understand that this is a disease. And it’s not one I want to live with any more. Something has to be done. I don’t know what. But something.

The second is actually a bit more complicated. Since my lap I’ve been feeling very down. I admit, I’ve found myself wishing that they had taken the right tube along with the left. I found myself wishing that we could just go straight to IVF, just so I have “science” behind me and some sense of control.

But you know what? Last night I mourned the loss of my tube for the first time, looking at my younger, more physically whole self. I realized that I am lucky. Yes, I am still at a huge risk for another ectopic. But on the other hand, I still have the luxury of trying to let nature take its course. Of trying without any more invasive procedures. Of having a baby “the old fashioned way.”

So many women in the ALI community don’t have that luxury. I’m one tube down, but I still ovulate. Egg still has a chance to meet sperm naturally. My instinct to burn the house down to the foundation just so  I have some sense of control is wrong. I understand now, that losing both tubes would have been a huge blow. It would have been a devastating loss. It would have meant that I no longer have the privilege of trying on my own. That any  child I would have would be a child created in a lab. That in itself is a loss, and it’s a loss that so many women have to go through. Right now I still don’t, so why force myself down that path? Why not be grateful to still have that chance?

Yes – we are at risk for another loss. But I am privileged, I am lucky, that a small part of me still remains whole. That we still have a chance to do it on our own.

Last night, I finally understood that. And I’m grateful to 22-year-old me for teaching me all of this.

I don’t know where all of these revelations will take me. I’m restraining myself, trying to think things through one step at a time. But I know that ten years from now, I want to look back, read these blog posts, and not want to shake almost-31-year-old me. I want to be proud of her. I want to hold my children, and read these words, and tell her: “You did good.”

Me - age 23

Me, age 30

Hey there Mo – even now – you’re not doing so bad after all.

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.

Debbie Downer

20 Jul

A post over on Keiko’s blog prompted me to go sifting through my archives a bit. I’ve been kind of off lately in terms of my blogging mojo. I’ve been wondering about it quite a bit. I used to post about once a day. Now it’s down to about twice a week. And it’s not that things aren’t going on. I have a life outside of the blocked tube, and it used to be that every little blip in my life would get written up here in some form. So what happened?

I think I have a tendency toward extremes. A lot of talk at my therapist’s office lately has been aimed at this particular space. Not in a bad way, per se, but in terms of how it had taken over my life almost completely. For example, in regards to my career, instead of examining realistic options, I would always just go to “I wish I could just make a living off of my blog.” My social life – all bloggy friends. My communication with real life friends – through here as well. It was taking over every aspect of my life.

So naturally, because I am a woman of extremes, as soon as this was pointed out to me, I immediately stopped blogging. Which really, is just plain silly. Balance. It’s a good lesson, don’t you think? Wish I’d learn it sometime.

I used to log on every night, pop on some Florence and the Machine and just type type type away. Even when I didn’t know where I was going with a post. Even when I didn’t have any readers, this space was a place for me to work through stuff. Lately it hasn’t been.

Honestly? I think it’s because I’m not working through stuff in general. I mean, I’m trying, but there are things I just don’t want to confront right now. I’ve been genuinely concerned about my own emotional well-being, and instead of working on it, I’ve just been obsessing quietly about it in my head. Which isn’t really healthy at all, is it?

I guess because now I know people actually read my ranty little musings I’m afraid of being a downer. Which is so stupid, because that’s just how I am in real life – always afraid to burden others – and I came to this place as an outlet for my feelings, a place where I won’t feel like a burden to others.

So I’m officially giving myself permission to post even if I am a downer in the near future. I apologize in advance. I’m going through some stuff.

Though I promise to throw in an occasional animated gif or snarky rant. Because you guys deserve a little something for putting up with my current Debbie Downer status.

Coming up tomorrow: I’m going to Twofer’s office to beg for a (possibly) unnecessary surgical procedure! We’re gonna come to a decision about Ole’ righty this week. It’s time. The stabbing pains in my lower abdomen demand it. Do they make animated gifs for stabby pains? I’ll have to look into that.

In the meantime, here’s an unbalanced bunny. Cause bunnies are cute.

Until tomorrow!

Stop the Train, I Want to Get Off

16 Jul

So I’ve been away for a few days. I’ve had a lot going on, and I’ve had a lot of thinking to do. It started on Monday, when my reaction to those test results were so visceral, that Shmerson confronted me about it. He told me that we can’t go on this way, that we need a break from trying.

That got my head spinning. I immediately said “No way in Hell.”

Then on Wednesday my therapist pointed out that perhaps my career has stalled because I’ve made making a baby my career. Which is an awesome way to not deal with my real issues, because at least there, failure is not my fault. I’ve spent the last few months feeling like a failure. A failure in my career, a failure in my pursuit to be a mother, a failure as a person in general. And the only failures I’ve truly been acknowledging are in the mommyhood department.

And all of this kept on coming up with everyone I was talking to. Maybe I’m trying to do too much. To keep too many balls in the air. Why do I feel the need to run so fast anyway?

It’s like pushing down the gas peddle when the car’s in neutral. All it does is waste energy, and it gets you nowhere.

So I took some time. I talked it out. I thought it out. I’ve made some decisions.

Shmerson is right. We can’t have another month like this.

My therapist is right – I’m ignoring everything except the baby thing.

Shmerson is right again – our problems won’t magically go away when I give birth to a baby.

On Tuesday night, PM gave birth to a beautiful, healthy baby boy. The next day, I came to the labor ward to visit her. She was exhausted. Her husband brought the little one out. He was this little miracle. This beautiful baby boy. And she had made him. I started crying. Not because I was sad for me. It was because I was truly in awe. You see, PM is the first person who I’m close to who has given birth while I was around. I was out of the country when my nephew was born, and didn’t meet him until he was 6 months old. I was too young to appreciate it with other people in my life. And PM is my first friend to become a mother. My first close friend.  I was just plain in awe of that little thing who was less than twenty four hours old. Who I had felt in her stomach less than a week earlier. I held on to his little fingers and I saw a flash of the future, 17 years from now, at some random dinner, with her kids and mine, when I see that kid and jokingly tell him “I held your hand when you were 15 hours old”. I was filled with joy at this little miracle.

PM was surrounded by family, but we had this little bubble moment. You know – the kind that happen sometimes between old friends, when you’re surrounded by people but communicating between each other in codes. And one message came from PM to me loud and clear: she is terrified. Yes, she is happy. Yes, she is in love. But she is scared out of her wits.

This moment gave me a new sense of perspective. PM pretty much has her shit together. She’s got a decent job, her career is right where she wants it to be, she and her husband have already moved into the nice apartment, they’re pretty much set for the near future.

I have spent the last year letting all of my ambitions and dreams slip through my fingers all in the pursuit of a baby.

And by doing that, I have given myself more reasons to be terrified. Having a kid is scary enough. Do I really need to be scared of all of this other stuff too?

So I sat down with Squish and talked. I sat down with Shmerson and talked. I sat down with Marie and talked. And with a bunch of other people who I love and trust.

And then I did some thinking.

During our talk last night Squish asked me why the hell I was in such a hurry. She was the fourth person to ask me that in a week. It wasn’t the “just relax” bullshit. It was genuine concern. Because my hurry and my stress is doing bad things to my well-being. Why does there have to be a time table for this baby to come? Since when is this a race?

And if PM- this very together woman who has far fewer hard decisions to make right now- is terrified, how terrified will I be when my baby comes if I haven’t dealt with the rest of my issues?

The answer is – at this rate it will be heart attack levels.

So it’s time to get off the freaking race track.

I have decided that we will be taking a break. We will use that break to either remove or permanently block Ole’ Righty, so that when we go back to trying, there will not be that extra question mark. I will use that break to start making some decisions about where I’m going, and what I’m doing. For myself, not for our future baby. Because I matter too. That decision, as hard as it was to make, as much as it has made me mourn the fact that I probably won’t be pregnant in the next few months, has also made me feel an incredible sense of relief.

And when we jump back in, hopefully we’ll have one question mark down in terms of my body, and several question marks down in terms of my future, my goals, and my ambitions.

Then when the baby comes, I’ll be terrified, but hopefully only about the baby. Because really, that’s enough to be scared about, don’t you think?

****

On a completely unrelated and far less heavy note – I was away from the blogoverse, but not away from writing in general. If you’re a Harry Potter fan, go check out my full series on the first 7 films on keypulp. They are filled with snark, bitter, lists and photoshop (in other words, all of my favorite things). Hope you enjoy!

Change of Perspective

2 Jul

I know I’ve been silent, there’s nothing really to say. I’m here, I’m waiting. I’m waiting for Shmerson to come home already (three days to go!) I’m waiting to POAS, I’m waiting to see what’s next.

I do have something nice to share with you guys today, but before I get to it, I have a TMI question for my sisters in progesterone suppository land: I’ve been having some major cramping. Is that normal? I’m starting to be paranoid that it’s another little guy digging into my tube (I mean, of course, because cramping always equals ectopics right?). So yeah – any info on this would be awesome.

Now back to our regularly scheduled blog post.

I haven’t really written about it much on here, but I’ve been feeling like I’m in a state of crisis when it comes to my career. For those of you not in the know, I work from home, partly for my dad’s business, and partly as a freelance writer and content producer. I’ve been trying to move the “dad’s business” half from “partly” to non-existent for the last few months, and though there has been some level of success, I’ve been feeling really stuck. I like to call it “throwing the clutch while going uphill” for those of you that are stick shift savvy.

I just haven’t been able to get going on anything, and I’ve found it really frustrating, not to mention a whole new reason to self flagellate. And you all know how much I like doing that. I should write it down as a hobby on my FB profile I do it so much.

Anywho, yesterday I went over to a friend’s house who I haven’t seen in a while (hi Rolig!). The nice part about this blog is that it cancels out the need to give long detailed updates about the state of my tubes to my friends, so he was pretty much up to date (though I admit, quite a bit of discussion was had around my plumbing anyway). We delved in deeper and I shared with him my frustration with my career trajectory or more like the lack thereof.

Then I told him how mad at myself I was for not appreciating and building on what I have. I mean – I’m really very lucky. I have a steady paycheck, a happy marriage, a nice new home…

He stopped me in my tracks. He told me that none of those things were due to luck. They were because of me. And in fact, I should be darn proud of myself. He said that plenty of other women in my situation wouldn’t be able to hold it together as well as I am. Their marriages wouldn’t survive, they would definitely not be able to support a household. The fact that I’m functioning at all is a victory, and I should cut myself some slack.

I don’t know what it was about how he phrased it, but something about it made me feel better. Instead of “lay off, lord knows you deserve it,” or “you’ve had a difficult year, it’s ok that you’re not doing as much.” I got: “good for you, you’re doing awesome considering the circumstances.”  It was about what I was doing, instead of what I wasn’t.

And the fact that it was the second time I’d been told that in 24 hours (the other time was at dinner the night before with Squish, yay Squish!), well, it made me feel a heck of a lot better.

In fact – so much better that I actually managed to get stuff done today. I cleaned the house. I did 4 loads of laundry. I washed the dishes and even scrubbed the stove and cleaned the bathroom. And I plan on getting stuff done tomorrow as well.

It’s amazing what a change of perspective from a good friend (or two) can do to a girl. So I’m waiting, but for a change, I’m also getting ‘er done. Now if I could just get around to building myself a website and finding some more clients, I’ll be good to go. But you know what? It’s ok if I don’t. For now.

Milestones

8 Jun

I’ve noticed something about myself and about a lot of the women I follow in this community. We have these milestones that we set for ourselves. For some it’s the first IUI, or the first drug you take when you’re gearing up for IVF. For me right now – it’s the HSG.

I’ve got a lot riding on this HSG. I’ve been thinking about it. Fantasizing about outcomes, doing math in my head about guessed due dates according to the results. I’m a woman obsessed.

Each milestone seems to spark a new hope. A new plan. Before the HSG, before my third loss, my plan was “take care of yourself and get healthy and then you’ll have a healthy pregnancy.” Before the second loss, it was “just get pregnant again as fast as you can.” After my third loss it was “get those betas down to zero”.  Now it’s become, somehow “the HSG will lead to a healthy pregnancy”. Each time a new milestone passes, and each time that milestone doesn’t bring relief, I shatter just a little bit more.

I’d like to share a story with you guys. I’m going to keep it a bit vague because I don’t want to break a confidence, even though I know the woman who told me this story doesn’t read this blog – what she told me was for her –  a darkly hidden secret. One that she hasn’t shared with anyone in her life, but felt compelled to share with me, because, I think, she saw in me a sort of kindred spirit. Despite the fact that she is more than 30 years older than me, I think she saw a bit of herself in me and felt compelled to keep me from going down her path.

This woman gave birth to a special needs child in the 70’s, at a time when it was unheard of to keep a child with this type of disability in the home. She insisted that the child stay home with her, and spent the next several decades caring for the child in a completely dedicated way. She is a pioneer when it comes to that, and for as long as I’ve been old enough to appreciate it – I’ve viewed this woman as a hero.

For as long as I’ve known her she’s had a bit of a tough shell. For as long as I’ve known her she’s battled with her health and with her weight. I always kind of guessed this was her defense against the world because of the hardships she’d gone through with her child. Yesterday, a conversation with her threw this guess into sharp relief.

She knows about my losses, and everything that I’ve been going through. So, in a catch up conversation I told her about the HSG and my hopes for it. Then I brought up this blog, and why it was so important to me. I told her “I feel like I am surrounded by women who speak my language, who understand what I’m going through in a way that other people can’t.”

Something about this sentence made her break down her usual tough-as-nails facade. She confided in me about her feelings toward her son, and how it was to raise him.

Again – I am going to refrain from going into detail because her story was so intimate, so raw, that I would feel like I was committing a violation if I were to betray it. But her conclusion felt so relevant to me – so completely true, that I can’t keep it to myself.

This woman has spent the better part of 40 years thinking about milestones. Fighting for them for her child. And she confided in me that she used to set deadlines. That every time she and her child didn’t make the deadline to reach this or that milestone – well – she would break. She described it as “losing another piece of myself.”

This happened for decades. Until she finally decided to reframe her thinking. Until there was no other milestone except “My child will be happy.”

When this milestone was reframed and reached, she became a different woman. She softened. She was happier. Her life became more fulfilling. She took better care of herself. But like she told me – the physical damage was already done. The decades of shattered hopes had taken their toll on her body – and there was no turning back.

She looked at me, with my fluctuating weight, my smoking, my overeating – all things she knows all too well – and said “please don’t be like me.”

This hit home. I was crying by that point. I asked her – “How do I hope without it being shattered?”

She told me – stop measuring it by dates. Stop speculating. Stop setting deadlines. No matter how you get there – eventually, you will hold a child in your arms. That is what you hang on to. Don’t put your hope in a procedure or a date. Just know that you will be a mother. Don’t set a deadline. Just believe it will eventually come, no matter how it reaches you.”

Marriage 2.0 recently posted about how the knowledge that she will most likely never be able to get pregnant, and is now pursuing adoption, have been freeing for her on a lot of levels. I immediately thought about her post when my hero said what she said.

Why is it that there is relief in adoption? Because the milestones are done. Your path is clear. There are no more spikes of hope followed by heartbreak. You have a long road to go – but it’s laid out for you more clearly than it ever was before.

But – why does it have to be that way only when we reach a conclusion?

My hero also told me  that I won’t want to reach motherhood as a broken woman. That if I continue to set store by these milestones that is what may eventually happen. I already know too many stories of women who suffered for years battling infertility, and became depressed once they were finally mothers. Because they were tired. Because they were broken. Because there were no more milestones or imaginary deadlines to be had and they didn’t know how to live on the “other side.”

My hero didn’t tell me to stop fighting. She didn’t tell me to “just relax”. I think she knows better than most people how much that sort of advice can sting.

But – she told me to reframe my goals – to let go of the milestones – to keep my eye on the final outcome: “I will be a mother.”

And really – the outcome needs to be beyond that – “I will be a happy, healthy, whole mother to my child.”

My hero told me she didn’t expect me to make a change overnight. That’s impossible. But just to think about it. To let her hard-fought life lessons sink in for a bit, and see where they take me.

Which brings me back to the HSG. A clear milestone. One that will determine our path from here. There’s no getting around that.

But perhaps – perhaps I can try not to put all of my hopes in that one milestone. Perhaps I can just look at it as another step toward one outcome:

I don’t know how it will happen, and I don’t know when. But eventually, I will be a mother.

Now let’s see if I can work on the “happy, healthy, and whole” part of the equation.

Life Lessons from How I Met Your Mother

17 May

****Spoiler Alert! if you haven’t seen the season finale of How I Met Your Mother and you don’t want to be spoiled, don’t read this. 

This little space of the blogoverse has been devoid of my true feelings for a while now. I’ve been stopping, starting, and stopping posts over and over again for the last couple of  weeks, and each time I get stuck. I can’t seem to put anything into words.

So – spurred on by – of course – my unending addiction to pop culture, I think I’m ready to break my silence on what’s been going on in my head.

But first – a quick word from our sponsors medical update. Twofer consulted with the specialists, and they decided to start with the least invasive procedure first. So, I looked at the calendar, guessed (educated guess of course) when AF will be making her appearance, and scheduled the HSG for June 5th.

Now – back to our regularly scheduled program blog post.

I’ve been going around feeling defeated. For some reason, I thought, perhaps, getting the procedure scheduled would make me feel better. But it didn’t. It made me feel worse. Because what if the HSG shows a blockage? Then I have to wait FSM knows how long to get whatever procedures scheduled and done. And what if it’s clear? Then we’re right back where we started, freaking out and hoping for the best once we start trying again.

It’s a lose-lose. And it all sucks.

Which brings me back – somehow – to last night’s How I Met Your Mother. For those of you who don’t follow the show, here’s the important stuff you need to know for the sake of this post:

The longest lasting couple in the show, Lilly and Marshall, spent the beginning of the season trying to get pregnant. They were kind of having problems, and went to a fertility specialist. Then it all got put on hold when Marshall’s father passed away. Oh, and after that Marshall became unemployed. So yeah. Lilly and Marshall had a crap-tastic year.

At the end of this episode, Marshall has seemingly blown a job interview, because he’s on the verge of getting sick from food poisoning. He gets home,  completely broken, and rants about how the last year has sucked for him.

Watching this, all I could do was smile and nod. Hell yeah. This last year has been the suckfest to end all suckfests.

In ten days, Shmerson and I will be celebrating our one year anniversary. And gearing up for what may or may not be a battery of tests and procedures, and for what may or may not be another round of trying without actually knowing what the hell is up with my body.

I can pretty much say that Shmerson and I have had possibly the suckiest first year of marriage possible.

Don’t get me wrong – I love him more today than I did on the day I married him. But we spent our two month anniversary recovering from our first loss, our 5 month anniversary recovering from our second, and we’ll be spending our one year anniversary still recovering from our third, knowing that now – whether or not we get any clear answers, we’re facing even greater challenges ahead.

You’re bang-on Marshall. This last year has sucked!

As the episode draws to a close, Marshall finishes his rant and goes to lie down, convinced that he will be spending the night puking his guts out.

He falls asleep, and wakes up the next morning, realizing that he’s made it through the night,  a huge smile on his face.

At that moment Lilly comes to him and announces that she’s pregnant.

We leave the couple at the end of the season, with Marshall’s father still gone, him still unemployed, but there’s sunlight streaming through the window and a ray of hope.

As viewers, we know these guys are going to be fine. That’s kind of a thing with HIMYM. We’re hearing this story from “Future Ted” – a man who’s all grown up, and we see flashes of “old” Lilly and Marshall, as happily married as ever, and presumably with a few kids to boot.

I think that’s both the problem and the wonderful thing about TV. There’s a structure. There’s a comfort. On one hand, it gives us hope, but on the other, it sets up unreasonable expectations.

Although I have to say – that in the case of HIMYM, the producers aren’t afraid to get dark and deep at times. It’s a sitcom, yet they take creative risks. If you’re not a viewer of the show on a regular basis, I would still recommend you watch the episode where Marshall’s father passes away. It’s beautifully handled. Masterfully. The people who make this show are truly artists. And what I love about it is that they even manage to make the cliche’ not completely cliche’.

But once again, I digress. Back to Marshall and Lilly, their crappy year, and why it made me want to blog.

This episode of HIMYM kind of hit a fast forward button. They covered a few months in the course of one episode. Kind of skated over them, explained what happened, and then moved on to the important part of the story.

That’s TV. And especially this show. They love the fast-forward button, The story is told in retrospect, so the viewers already know the outcome.

And sometimes, that’s what I wish my life was. I just want to fast forward through the part where Shmerson and I wait nervously for a diagnosis. I want to fast forward through a first trimester. I want to fast forward and get to the good parts.

I sometimes wish my life was like HIMYM. I still want to live it, but I want a narrator in my head – a “Future Me” – telling me that everything will be ok.

I guess it’s a little like what Shmerson wrote about the other day. I want to know that there’s a grand plan, and I’m not sure if there is one. I know I’m still – on a lot of levels – a victim of fate, or randomness, or whatever. I don’t have a female Ted narrating my life story, telling me that everything is ok.

And that’s what frustrates me most of all. I want one. I really do.

I keep on trying to make sense of things. See a path ahead of me. If X happens then by September we will be here. If Y happens then by this time next year….

And on and on it goes.

As I sat there watching Marshall and Lilly embrace over her pregnancy, I thought to myself that I’ll be seeing this scene again come September, when HIMYM kicks off its next season. Where will I be then? Will I watch it with a newly swelling pregnant belly? Will we be in the same place we are now? Or worse – with more losses and frustration under our belt?

In my head, I was saying “By the time I see this scene again I will be pregnant. And it will be a healthy pregnancy.”

And I guess it gave me some hope. But as I write this I know that thinking this won’t make it true. A few months ago I was convinced Shmerson and I would be celebrating our one year anniversary happily knocked up. That didn’t happen.

So I can’t say where I’ll be when I see that scene recapped in next season’s premier. I can HOPE I’ll be stroking my pregnant belly, maybe crying a tear of joy remembering this blog post. If I had a female Ted narrating my story that’s what I’d want her to say.

But I don’t have a narrator. I don’t know where we’ll be. I don’t know what the grand plan is. That’s what is so terrible about this process. I hope that one day I’ll be able to embrace not knowing and enjoy the moment. But for now – I hate it. I hate not knowing what lies ahead.

Ahh well, at least all it takes for me to put my feelings into words is one episode of a well written television show.

It’s not much, but it’s something.

Why I Don’t Hate Tina Fey

8 May

I have a confession to make. Seeing pregnancies on TV, talking about pregnancies, FB announcements  and all of that used to just mildly annoy me. Yeah I may have gotten a bit miffed, but not much more than that. Up until That happened, I didn’t quite get all of these women crying all the time, not being able to handle pregnancy. Yeah, it was a bit hard to see a happily ignorant knocked up woman. But I could handle it I was fine.

Well folks – it’s official. Those days are gone.

You know what led me to have my first cigarette since quitting? Going to see Rio on a Saturday afternoon with my brother and my nephew. *Spoiler Alert* (kind of) – at the end of the film the two blue birds start a family and have little baby blue birds. And the humans make themselves a bit of a family too. Watching this in the theater I wanted to break down right then and there. I held it in until we reached a restaurant and I could excuse myself and go to the bathroom. Then I sat there, in the middle of a burger joint surround by kids. Sitting on a toilet and sobbing like there’s no tomorrow.

A line was officially crossed that day. When my brother dropped me off after the quality family time I immediately lit up. And I sat on a bench and cried some more. Just for good measure.

Once you get to that spot there’s really no turning back. A birth announcement on FB yesterday sent me reeling. A preggo woman working at a convenience store makes me sob. I spent half an hour playing with a friend’s 2-year-old on Thursday and left her apartment only to collapse in the car.

I am officially there. I’m avoiding shows about pregnancy. I’m avoiding happy healthy mothers. I haven’t been on FB, twitter, or the blogs for the last 24 hours just because I can’t even fathom dealing with all of the mother’s day talk. Even if it comes from Infertiles.  And each time I have no choice but to deal – I go to a corner and cry.

Then there’s Tina Fey.

Let me back up for a second.

I love audio books. The last couple of years – I’ve spent more time with audiobooks than with paper books. It’s great for driving, for running errands. I just feel like it’s a good use of my “running around” time.

I have a subscription to audible which allows me one credit a month to download any audiobook I choose. This month I decided (despite it’s rather short 5 hour running time), to download Tina Fey’s “Bossypants”.

I love Tina Fey. Seriously. How could you not love her? The woman is brilliant, yet humble and self deprecating. She’s one of those people who you can just tell is down to earth, and who you’d love to watch “Ferris Bueller” with while eating some pizza. Plus – she’s one of the funniest fucking people on this planet.

But she’s also pregnant. At 40. And it looks like it happened naturally for her. That makes me kind of want to hate her.

But I don’t. I can’t.

Which brings me back to Bossypants. Today was an errand running day. Apart from a teacher’s meeting my day was made up mostly of getting the car washed and other mundane tasks. So when I left the house this morning, I started listening to Bossypants. I have now finished it.

That’s right. I couldn’t put it down. Or in other words – I couldn’t take those earbuds off. All day. Managing databases, cooking dinner – all done with Tina Fey’s jauntily narrated autobiography playing.

Today was the first day I have laughed out loud since That happened. And not once, not twice. Multiple, loud guffaws. Moments of pure and utter joy as Ms Fey described her non-existent beauty routine, and celebrated how adoptive mothers can so easily shut down smug breast feeding mothers (whom she likes to call teat nazis).

My day was made brighter by the musings of this amazing woman. I laughed, I laughed, then I cried.

Yes. Bossypants made me cry. I’m going to quote verbatim the last few paragraphs of the book (sorry but I promise it doesn’t give much away), where Ms. Fey talks about the anxious dilemma she has regarding having a second child (of course this was written before she got knocked up):

I have a great gynecologist who is as gifted at listening as she is at rectal exams. I went for my annual checkup and, tired of carrying this anxiety around, burst into tears the moment she said hello. I laid it all out for her, and the main thing I took away from our conversation was the kind of simple observation that only an impartial third party can provide. “Either way, everything will be fine,” she smiled, and for a little while I was pulled out of my anxious, stunted brain cloud. 

One time my mom babysat a set of the Italian Rum Cake Kids while their parents went to a wedding reception. This was the first time this nice couple had gone out alone since their children were born. Their parents dropped them off after the ceremony. Little Christo and Maria were still all dressed up. Christo wore a tiny black suit and a white shirt. Maria wore a red velvet dress and cried in the playpen from the moment her parents left until the moment they returned. My mom tried everything to console her, food… The end. 

After a couple hours of this, seven-year-old Christo was beside himself. He had never been babysat before. How long was this fuckery going to go on? His sister was hysterical. He paced around our living room, now in his shirtsleeves and black pants. Pulling his golden curls nervously, he looked like the night manager of a miniature diner who had just had a party of six dine and dash. He ranted to his baby sister in Greek, “ 

, vreh βρε Mapia!” This sent my mother running into the dining room laughing hysterically. I chased her. What? What did he say? Roughly translated it was “Oh! My Maria! What is to become of us?” 

His overdramatic ridiculousness tickled my mom in such a specific way that she was doubled over in the dining room, hoping the kids wouldn’t see that she was laughing so hard at them she peed a little. A phenomenon I now understand on all levels. 

They were going to be fine, but they couldn’t possibly believe it. 

That must have been what I looked like to my doctor friend. That must be what I look like to anyone with a real problem—active-duty soldier, homeless person, Chilean miner, etc. A little tiny person with nothing to worry about running in circles, worried out of her mind. 

Either way, everything will be fine. But if you have an opinion, please feel free to offer it to me through the gap in the door of a public restroom. Everyone else does.

And that’s when I started crying.

I don’t begrudge Tina the fact that for her, having a second child is merely a “decision”. If you read the book, I don’t think you will either. I think she’s way too aware and grateful for her particular lot in life. And for me, that’s enough.

Rather, in her words I see myself. She is an anxious and control freaky person. And she is telling me that everything will be fine.

And I feel like crap. I really do. And hearing Tina Fey saying that everything is going to be fine isn’t going to make that feeling go away. But still. I know she’s right (and so’s her gyno). Everything will be fine. Today I laughed. Maybe tomorrow I’ll have some hope again.

Thanks Tina. Happy Mother’s Day.

There Are No Words

4 May

Today was a hard day. I spent most of it crying. On my way back from my weekly therapy/acupuncture double whammy, I went to the post office to pick up a package. It was from Marie.

What I got in that package was so moving, I actually pulled out my iPhone and videotaped my reaction.

To understand – first, click here and read Marie’s story.

Now for my reaction  it’s a private video (that’s why I can’t embed it) – only people who click on the link can see it because with all due respect – I still don’t want the whole world to have access to my ugly cry. (Oh – and I got today’s date wrong on it. Oh well.)

And now – one long ass shower and carrot cake cookie later, the final (blurry) product:

I spent today thinking that I don’t know where I’d find the strength to take care of myself again. To love my body again.

Then this came in the mail and reminded me just how much I am loved.

There are no words.

And I already know when I will be taking it off and passing it on. But I’m gonna keep that part a surprise.

I love all of you. I don’t know where I’d be if it wasn’t for this amazing community.

Thank you.

And thank you Marie. Thank you thank you thank you. Thank you isn’t even close to enough.

25 Dollars (Canadian)

29 Apr

First – an update for those interested: my Betas are down to 82. That’s a nice steady decline and I’m pretty relieved things are going in a downward trajectory. I’ll get bloodwork again probably this tuesday and hopefully they’ll be down to zero by then. Then Shmerson and I can head on over to Dr. Twofer’s office and start tackling this biyatch. Yes. I’m in a very “I’m over it” mood about the whole thing. And I’m cool with that.

So now – on to our regularly scheduled blog post:

Ok. I’m about to confess something. The story I am about to tell will not put me in a very good light. In fact – you will most likely feel the need to mock me continuously, and question my intelligence and decision making from now on.

It begins way back toward the end of March, when I was in my first official post-second-miscarriage two week wait. For those of you who remember, I was driving myself up the wall, making up fake games, and pretty much going crazy just waiting for the day when I could finally pee on a freakin’ stick.

Oh – I was so innocent then. Little did I know that there was a fertilized egg finding a nesting place very far away from where it needed to be. The word “ectopic” was not really in my vocabulary. At least not up front.

Ahh – the good old days.

Ehem. Ok. So – I was going crazy, and during this crazy, one of the bloggers I read regularly shared the story of her experience with a certain online baby psychic.

Yes. You read right. Baby Psychic.

I will not link back to the post, nor will I mention this particular baby psychic’s name, because I admit I’m not going to be very nice to her in this post. But I’m sure some of you at least know who I’m talking about.

Ok – so this blogger was the third in a list of bloggers that had paid money via paypal for this baby psychic to tell them when their babies would be born, their sex, and what kind of people they would grow up to be.

I admit – I was looking for a string of hope. I was looking for a fast forward button. I was looking for something to hang my hat on (or my uterus. whatever.).

Plus – I had about 30 bucks lying around in a paypal account that I never use.

So – on a dark and stormy night, as Shmerson was downstairs snoring away, I headed over to the baby psychic’s website.

First  – this psychic brags about her track record being 80%. I know for a fact she was only off by two months for one blogger I follow. So – I somehow on a lark convince myself that if nothing else – the woman has statistics on her side.

There were several packages to choose from. The “standard” package cost 10 dollars (canadian) and would give you one baby prediction. As in – the next baby to come, no more, no less.

The next level cost – well, I forget how much – but would give you two babies.

There were a few more options – and then I hit paydirt. “The deluxe family package”.

Ms. Baby Psychic will give me information on up to four (!) future children PLUS as an added bonus answer any other questions I have.

I was sorely tempted:

Me: Come on! We have 30 bucks lying around in a paypal account! Let’s do this!

Me: Um, no.

Me: But answers! We want answers! We need to know stuff!

Me: This is a baby psychic.

Me: yes but –

Me: A. BABY. PSYCHIC.

Me: yes but –

Me: An ONLINE BABY PSYCHIC

Me: Oh  come on – just give us this! Admit it! I know you’re curious.

Me: Yes. I admit I’m curious.

Me: So- let’s just do this! it’s only 25 dollars (canadian)!

Me: Oh – you want the DELUXE PACKAGE?

Me: Well, duh. We want four kids don’t we? Plus – we’ve got 30 dollars (american) in this account! It was meant to be!

Me: But –

Me: Come on just do it!

Me: Fine.

And that’s how at 3 o’clock in the morning, on a stormy March night, I paid 25 dollars (canadian) to an online baby psychic.

The baby psychic got back to me and announced that she would have my prediction done by april 26th. And so she did.

On the morning of April 27th, I wake up to find my prediction in my inbox.

I won’t share it with you here.

Because guess what? It’s complete and total BS!

Not what she said.Well, most likely also what she said. But mostly the fact that I was in such a control freaky place that a small part of me actually thought that getting a prediction from an online baby psychic would give me a sense of control.

Plus – she only predicted I’d have two kids. And Shmerson and I want three or four. And the 25 dollar (canadian) package was for up to four kids! I totally could have gone for the cheaper package and gotten the same BS! What a racket!

I’m having three or four kids. And screw you baby psychic for saying otherwise!

Ok – I’ll give you one of her predictions: She predicted a baby girl, which will either be born or found out about in July. I’ll keep you posted if that happens. I actually really hope it does. But I was hoping that before I spent 25 dollars (canadian).

But I will count that purely as coincidence if she’s right. Either that or she found this blog and is basing everything on that. In that case – hi baby psychic!

All in all though – I have to say it was money well spent. It only took 25 dollars (canadian) – and an ectopic pregnancy –  to teach me that I may as well enjoy the ride, because not even a baby psychic will be able to make me feel like I have control over this situation.

So yes. Perhaps the best 25 dollars (canadian. ok I took this joke too far) I’ve ever spent. But for completely unexpected reasons.

Project Baby

17 Apr

So – I’ve been MIA the last few days due to Me0Me being in the country for exactly a week, and giving me a precious 24 hours of quality time, that were immediately followed by a day in which we had to take my parents to the airport, and then head to Squish’s birthday dinner. So yeah – hectic few days! Whew! (And it only gets more hectic for the next little while thanks to a nice little holiday called passover).

ANYWAY I completely digress because the point of my post is not to explain why my life is hectic, because let’s face it, it’s really not that interesting. But look at the header! Notice anything different?

Here’s the thing. Me0Me has known me for 15 years. He’s been my best friend for 15 years. He understands me. He knows me better than I know myself.

A few years ago he moved to NY, and so I only actually see him once or twice a year. For you regular commenters, you know he keeps up with this blog, and I admit, a lot of our update conversations have been helped quite a bit due to his ability to read it.

Up until yesterday, the last time I saw him was when I was going through my first Miscarriage. As in, when I was still in denial, when I was still putting on a brave face.

And most of the time we spent together was when I was still blissfully preggo and ignorant.

That was July. Needless to say that things have changed pretty darn dramatically since then. I admit, I was even nervous to see him. I mean, I felt so DIFFERENT. Would things with us be different?

So when I picked him up yesterday, it was awesome. It took us very little time to get back into our usual groove.

And then, after the mandatory dinner at my parents’ and socializing, Me0Me and I took Luna out for a long walk and sat in a park for a heart-to-heart that lasted in the neighborhood of 4 hours.

The main crux of the conversation was my issues with my career. I was upset with myself. how could I, a person who is usually  so gung-ho and motivated, have become so dispassionate about everything I do?

Then together we came to it: I’m still gung-ho and motivated, only now it’s about having a baby.

This is what I do. I take on a project, and I go for it full steam until it gets done. Everything else is ignored. When I set my mind to something, it gets done goshdarnit! That’s how I managed to fund and shoot a freakin’ holocaust film in the middle of LA (yes, I actually did that).

So- I’m currently on “project baby” and everything else pales in comparison.

So yeah – look back up on the header. This is me embracing my control freak. I’m going full steam ahead whether I like it or not, so I may as well go with the flow.

(Plus, let’s face it, my old blog title was pretty heavy. BTW – who’s up for me changing my username to just plain “Mo”? or will that be too much?)

Right, right, back to the story.

So – Me0Me helped me figure out that i can’t fool myself, I’m in the middle of project baby whether I like it or not. And he helped me find a way to make my career fit into the project, by tricking myself into making it a part of it. Now let’s hope it works so I can get my butt in gear (career-wise that is. My butt is already in gear on the baby-making front).

Oh – and the best part of the reunion?

Sometime during the evening he said: You know, you’re not as different as I thought you would be.

I asked: Am I different at all?

He answered: Not really. Just a bit more – and he made a hand gesture signaling “together”.

I sighed in relief. I didn’t realize how scared I was that these last 10 months had changed me beyond recognition. I’m glad to see that a person that knows me better than I know myself, still thinks I’m pretty much the same old me. Only a bit more – *hand gesture*.

So – welcome to project baby, where I go full steam ahead until a mini-shmerson pops out of my uterus.

Because this is what I do. I may as well stop fighting it.

PS – I’ve also changed the header. I think it was time to let go of “rebuilding life after miscarriage”. Our life is re-building all of the time, we are in process, and will most likely always be. That is a good thing. I think it’s time to truly move forward. Well –  at least as much as I can. (Marie, I think the end of your project may be rubbing off on me some).

Ray of Light

6 Mar

Something really weird happened today. But like – weird in a really good way.

Ok – so here’s how it started. As I’ve said many times before – we have a pre-TTC checklist – which will officially be done on Monday.

Also – Shmerson and I have decided to not actively TTC, but rather lose the condom as soon as I quit smoking, provided that I stop taking temps and avoid POAS. So yes – free of pressure.

Now that I’ve got that covered I’ll go into today’s events. Shmerson’s best friend and his new wife came to visit today, and it was the first time we’d really had a chance to talk as “married couples”. The new wife didn’t really know about our history, so we spent the better part of half an hour going through our whole spiel.

It was weird – because both of us were talking about it really positively. It was nice. And the newlyweds were appreciating that we were sharing our story without scaring them. (always good).

Then a friend called who I hadn’t talked to in a couple of weeks. I updated him about everything that’s been going on. The teaching, the movie proposal I turned in. How work’s been great. It was amazing. No drama. Everything’s good. a bit nervous about quitting smoking on monday – that’s it.

Then I cooked some shrimp fajitas (using leftover fixins from the oscar party – it was yummy!), and decided to zone out for a bit.

I don’t know why – but for the first time in about a month I went back to 16 and pregnant. Now I know what you regular readers are saying to yourselves right now: Mo! Why do you keep doing that to yourself!?! You’re driving yourself nuts! What’s the point?

Well, dear grasshoppers (or whatever), two minutes into the episode I had a lightbulb moment.

I was watching this girl – and I wasn’t mad at her. I wasn’t jealous of her.

I was excited. FOR ME.

I stopped the show and immediately bombarded Shmerson.

I’m quitting smoking on monday! You know what this means? This means we’re going to try for a baby again!

Shmerson made a face.

I promise! I won’t pee on sticks or anything! But isn’t this exciting? We get to try again! We got our entire checklist done! Can you believe it? It only took us 5 months to do the checklist!

I felt a huge sense of joy, accomplishment and hope – all combined into that one little sentence. We got our entire checklist done. We’re ready.

I’m ready.

I’m ready to face trying again. With all of the fear and heartache it may entail (and now – control-freakery free!).

I can’t say I’ve completely healed. All I can say is that I feel like I came full circle this week. It’s time to move forward. To look forward.

And it’s the first true, clear ray of light I’ve seen in a very long time.

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