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Tag Archives: community

The Double-Edged Sword

2 Feb

Before I got pregnant, I swore to myself that I wouldn’t become one of those ALI bloggers that disappears from the blogosphere once she is knocked up.

I swore I would update often, and keep the spirit of this blog alive. I swore I would continue to comment on everyone else’s blogs. That I would be present.

Little did I know.

I get it now. I understand why they disappear. For the same reason I haven’t really been present here for a while. It’s time I just come to terms with it.

The ALI community is a double-edged sword. We band together for support, and in the worst of times, we are there for each other.

But that’s the problem as well. We are here in the worst of times.

Before I came here I was alone. More alone than I had ever felt in my life.

I found friends here. Women who understood me better than I understood myself.

The problem is that in this space I became part of a screaming minority. We are the women on the bad end of the statistics. We are the worst-case scenarios. We are the 30% of miscarriages. The 5% of post-D&C infections that mess up our systems. The ectopics. The stillbirths. The preemies. The genetic anomalies. The placental abruptions. The incompetent cervixes. We are the embodiment of every horror story. Our collective pain and loss are endless.

I’ve gotten a couple of emails in the last few weeks asking me why I barely blog any more. The truth is that it’s because I just don’t know what to say. I’m between a rock and a hard place.

On one hand, I am unendingly lucky. Tomorrow, I will officially be at the halfway point of this pregnancy. Shmaby is moving around, making himself more known to me every day. I am eternally grateful for that. I even feel guilty for having it. I know there are thousands of women out there who would kill to be in my shoes.

On the other hand, I am a part of this community. I am a woman who’s body has failed her too many times to count. I don’t trust my body any more. I don’t trust it to keep my baby safe until he is ready to come into this world. That won’t change until I get proven wrong.

I haven’t been writing, but I’ve been following along with everyone. I’ve been feeling too guilty to comment on the blogs of women still going through the torture of IF and RPL. And I’ve been fueling my anxiety by reading continuously about the pain and loss that keeps on happening in our little universe.

Today I finally broke down and confessed to Shmerson that I am not doing as well as I have been pretending to do. I am, more or less, where I was before my first breakdown a year ago. I spend my days emotionally detached. Willing myself to just make it through one more day. Sleeping as much as I can so the time passes by faster. Keeping away from the people and the things I love.

Because if I stop and look around, the fear gets to be too much. I imagine the worst case scenarios, because I know them so well. I imagine them and know I wouldn’t have the strength to deal with another setback. That if something goes wrong I would march into a hospital and demand to be put in a coma. I am tired. I am worn out. I am scared. I hate myself for it.

Every day I feel Him move I love him more. I worry for him more. And living inside the worst-case scenarios that are part of this community is fueling the fire.

I go into BL blogs and read the stories. I find myself obsessively checking for symptoms of early labor, holding my breath in the hopes that nothing goes wrong. That my body decides not to fail me for a change.

I hate myself for doing it. I hate myself for not being able to just be there for those who are suffering loss, and at the same time rejoice in  the fact that my baby is here. Healthy, and growing, and kicking up a storm.

I spend my days fueling the anxiety fire more and more.

Today Shmerson kindly requested that I stop doing that.

I think I need a break.

I feel terrible. How dare I take a break from this community when you guys have been there for me at the worst of times? It’s my responsibility to stick it out for you.

But I also need to take care of myself. I need to stop living in this constant fear loop.

It’s not like I’m being particularly insightful or engaging anyway as of late, so I figure I won’t be missed much if I disappear for a few weeks.

And I think I need it for my sanity.

So – I’m sorry. I love you guys, but I’m giving myself a breather. I’ll be back here at our 24 week anatomy scan. Hopefully viability will calm my nerves enough for me to be present again.

Hopefully there is no reason for me to be back here sooner.

I love you all. I’m still here if you need me via email. I just need to reboot my sanity. I hope you forgive me and come back when I return.

And I hope to see a crapload of healthy pregnancies when I get back.

See you then.

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Bullets and Bunnies: Announcements Updates Stuff, and Things

15 Oct
  • Still feeling preggo as heck, but no betas yet. A couple of you asked in the comments, so here’s what the next week is going to look like: Because of the holidays here people are on vacation and schedules are wonky. So, right now, the plan is to get the first beta draw on Sunday morning, and then the second on tuesday. I haven’t been able to reach the Russian (he may be on vacation) yet, but I’ll try to get him to squeeze me in sometime this week (though it may still be early). If I can’t reach the Russian, I’ll bite the bullet and go in for a private consult with Twofer. It’ll cost more, but I want to get my butt next to an U/S ASAP. Speaking of – I’ve read some conflicting reports about this – any of you ladies know how soon I’ll be able to see a sac? I need to know the Shmembryo is in the right place, stat!
  • Group Therapy Thursday isn’t dead, but I’m cutting it down to once a month or so. I’ll probably stick to posting it on ICLW weeks, because the more feedback the better. That means the next one is coming up! Click over to the last post to submit your questions!
  • Now, an announcement: I know a lot of my readers are also bloggy friends and readers of Elphie’s blog, eggsandsperm.com . So Elphie’s due to go in for her C-Section in the beginning of November, and it’s only fitting that we throw her a virtual baby shower!! Yay!!! Here’s how you participate:
  1. Fill in this contact form: 

  2. If you have your own blog, then on Monday, October 24th, you will write a post about what Elphie’s journey to mommyhood has meant to you, and include a picture of your present to her little girl. I will provide you with Elphie’s contact info so you can mail her the present.
  3. If you don’t have your own blog, but still want to participate, you can email me your post and I will put it up here. I’ll contact everyone who is interested with more details.
  • That’s all for today. I’m off to collapse. Thank you everyone for your awesome support over the last couple of days. I’m feeling pretty calm right now. Let’s hope it lasts. In the meantime, here’s a bunny!  

Bullets and Bunnies: ICLW Edition!

21 Sep

Happy ICLW everyone! For ll of you that are new here, here’s the long and short of stuff and things.

  • I’m what some like to call a “fertile infertile” – three miscarriages, two of them suspected ectopics, all of them in the last 15 months. I had a lap in August to get Ole’ Lefty removed. So now we’re TTC with one tube (infertile chic!) and hoping the next one sticks.
  • I’m turning 31 this Sunday! This time last year I was pregnant for the second time, and in the deepest funk of my life, about to find out that I was having another miscarriage. A month later my brain broke. Three months (and lots of happy pills) later I started this blog and started to pick up the pieces. Hopefully 31 will be a better year. I’ve managed to find some peace and meaning through all of this, which is pretty awesome.
  • Another reason that this year is looking better is that Shmerson (that would be my husband) and I are moving into a brand spanking new (to us anyway) place at the end of next month! We’re really looking forward to it. Though now the process means that my head is exploding between applying for a mortgage and picking out kitchen tiles. But it’s a good heady-explode-y, I swear!
  • AF showed up early this week, and I was convinced it was another ectopic. Luckily, 15 or so pee-sticks (including two Rolls Royces  FRERS) have proven that my paranoia was unwarranted. Whew.
  • That’s basically all that’s new with me. Have a poke around if you feel like it.
  • Oh! And if you have anything that’s bugging you and you feel like getting it hashed out outside of your own blogs, in an anonymous or just different setting, Group Therapy Thursday is tomorrow! Click on over to the launch post to submit your questions.
  • I look forward to finding some new blogs to add to my reader and getting to know you guys! So say hi in the comments if you like!
  • And of course, as usual, here’s a bunny (I like bunnies. They’re cute):

Tomorrow – the First Ever Group Therapy Thursday!

7 Sep

So – reactions were great on my suggestion, so this Thursday will be the inaugural edition of Group Therapy Thursday! Yay!

So here’s how it’s going to work:

You guys send me your TTC, relationship, whatever questions/problems via the contact form at the bottom of this post.

I will post the questions on Thursday, give my personal take on them, and then open it up for a group discussion in the comments!

A few important notes:

Unless you specifically request for me to use your real name or link back to your blog, all questions will be completely anonymous. I will not reveal your identity unless given specific permission. Otherwise it’ll stay between you, me, and the email servers. Feel free to make up a cool pseudonym if you want. Like “Dragon” or “Pee-stick freak” or “Rapier” or “Voldemort” or “Lonely in Louisiana” or whatever.

I may have to slightly edit down your messages if they are too long. I promise that if I do, it will not in any way affect the main issue you bring up (it would be cool if  you could keep it around 300 words or less, but don’t worry about it too much).

I may contact you with a follow up question if needed (that’s why the email address is a required field).

Remember! This is your opportunity to be completely shameless. No topic is off limits here. That’s what this whole thing will be about – things you’re too embarassed/afraid to air in a public forum!

Non-blogger readers, and I know you’re out there: This is your opportunity to ask the ALI blogosphere ANYTHING! Go for it! 🙂

I’ll be posting Thursday night-ish (as in, about 24 hours from now, so get your questions in quick if you want them up this Thursday! Whatever doesn’t get posted tomorrow, I promise will be posted next week.

So – have at it!

Just fill in the handy-dandy contact form below:

Good luck!

Oh – and on a completely unrelated note, you all need to go read Elphie’s latest post. It oozes awesome sauce.

See you all back here Thursday night!

Another Thought Vomit Post

4 Sep

Maybe it’s  just the way I roll lately. Or maybe it’s because I’ve had a long day on 4 hours sleep. Either way,  here come the bullets!

  • The stupid fake pregnancy “breast cancer awareness” meme caught me off guard. I only saw one post by a FB friend, and I was on the verge of tears, thinking she was preggo with her third child. I was so angry I shared every blog post I found about it. And some angry status updates. Let’s just put it this way: if anyone DIDN’T know I was a bitter infertile before, they sure as hell know now. And I don’t care at this point. How many women who are infertile due to breast cancer, would support this? And tell me, how the heck is this stupid meme helping find a cure for breast cancer? But why don’t you just go over and read Elphie’s post. She’s far more eloquent than I on the subject. I’m just pissed.
  • I got a +OPK yesterday. That’s CD 18, the earliest it’s been in a while. Methinks this is good news about my cycle. I’ve been worried about how late I’ve been popping lately. This makes me officially in the TWW. But I think I’m not going to go crazy this time. I have too much other stuff on my plate, plus – I promised Shmerson. We’ll see what the next week or so brings. I’m sure I’ll be peeing my heart out within the week, but that’s just because I’ll take any opportunity to pee on stuff.
  • Speaking of peeing on stuff – I went on an infertile shopping spree last week. I had to order something for my mom online when I saw a pop-up – Sale on his and her’s fertility tests! I couldn’t resist. I thought it was time Shmerson got his bodily fluids analyzed for a change. You know, just for the fun of it. Plus – it was half price! And then, two more pop-ups! Pre-seed and FRER HPT’s! It’s an infertile discount bonanza! I’ve never had the pleasure of peeing on a FRER , since they don’t sell them over here (did I mention they were on sale?)! I figure if I end up getting knocked up before this stuff ships, I can always do a giveaway. So don’t judge me, ok? Seriously, don’t. Ok, judge me a little. But keep in mind, if I do get knocked up and do a giveaway, judging me will seriously hurt your chances. Ok. Not really. Fine. Judge me.
  • I have gained weight in the last month. Not much, but enough so that my jeans are incredibly uncomfortable (the not-completely-healed-yet incisions from my lap have exacerbated the situation). So I’ve started to buy summer dresses. They are awesome (I like a nice breeze ’round my privates, thankyouverymuch). But I have to admit, I find myself looking at my profile in the mirror and imagining my stomach sticking out with a nice round bump under these dresses, and think to myself: “If I get knocked up it’s one less maternity item to buy! The bump would fit in here nicely!”. That’s not wrong at all. Right? Right?!?!
  • Looks like things are moving forward with the apartment. If all goes well (knock on wood) we’ll be ready to do a bit of remodeling on the new place within a month, and hopefully move in sometime in mid-late October. My mom’s an interior designer (lucky me, right?) and we’ve been starting to get price quotes and making plans. It’s really exciting. The thing is, every time I walk into this place I hear my future kids running around the empty rooms. It makes me incredibly happy, but also incredibly sad sometimes. I’m hoping the happy wins out when we move in.
  • I was totally honored that Mel put my post about sex on this week’s blog round up. The comments on the post, and the emails I’ve been getting as a result gave me an idea, and I want to know what you think about it: I’m thinking of starting something on the blog called “Group Therapy Thursdays”. It would go something like this: You guys send me questions about stuff that’s bugging you. Your sex life, relationships, IF issues, whatever. I post your questions here (anonymously of course), give my take on them, and then open them up for discussion in the comments. I think that despite the relative anonymity of the blogosphere, a lot of us still have “real-life” friends that read our blogs, or our husbands, or whatever, so we may sometimes feel restrained in what we write about and open up for discussion. This became very clear to me because of the responses to last week’s post.  This will give people a chance to discuss this stuff anonymously, and really delve into the taboos of our situations. Also – not every one of you guys is a blogger, so this would give you an opportunity to get some support and advice without having your own platform, and while remaining anonymous. Sort of like a “Dear Abby”, only with an emphasis on community feedback and discussion. So what do you guys think? Good idea? Bad idea? Let me know in the comments (yes Marie, this is totally a result of my recent addiction to the Savage Lovecast)!
So that’s it for today. My baby-crazies taking on the form of shopping sprees, facebook bitterness, and a crazy idea that I kind of like. What do you guys think? Judge me Let me know in the comments!
PS – I’m tempted to post a bunny. I won’t. But I’m tempted. Just sayin’.
PPS – Apparently, this is my 250th post! W00t w00t!

Not All There (Here, Actually)

20 Aug

You know what the problem is with this whole TTC break?

Taking a break does not make the baby-crazies go away (surprising, right? I know, totally.).

In fact, since losing Ole’ Lefty I believe my baby crazies have reached peak levels. We’re talking 9 on the richter scale. Code Red. We’re so high up we need oxygen masks.

You know how sometimes you read IF blogs, and the blogger writes about not being able to look at babies? And you feel for her, you really do, but yet you think to yourself – “eh, that’ll never be me!”

Well, here’s a warning to all you IFers in training. It could very well be you. I too was convinced there would never come a day when I would have serious problems looking at other people’s babies, talking about other people’s babies, or seeing preggo bellies.

Now I know better.

The last couple of weeks have been crazy on a lot of levels. But the baby crazy has ramped up to levels that I thought were unreachable.

I have now officially done the following (yay! It’s time for a list!)

  1. Avoided going to a birthday party because I knew there would be several preggos there (including the birthday girl), even though I truly love the birthday girl. I just couldn’t bring myself to do it.
  2. Went to a family function where there was a six-month-old in attendance that I didn’t know was coming, and held back tears while watching the rest of my family coo over said six-month-old.
  3. At that same family function, told off two family members for telling me their “oh! I know this couple who went on vacation…” stories. Trying to explain to people that a vacation does not create neon arrows leading a fertilized egg to your uterus is hard work.
  4. Hid a preggo friend on FB. (Ok, she’s an acquaintance, so that’s ok right?)
  5. Had several crying fits that were completely unexplained, except that they immediately followed thoughts about babies, or seeing a really pregnant woman out in public. Or hearing about another person who just gave birth. Ok. I guess they’re not really unexplained.
  6. Playing rounds of “find the infertile” while watching reality TV. Toddlers and Tiaras is an awesome platform for that game, by the way. I highly recommend it for masochists. (Don’t worry! I’m totally gonna post about that one of these days!)
You always think “It’ll never be me.”
Then you find yourself in the middle of AF, sitting in a bathroom stall and blowing your nose while looking down at this month’s proof that once again, nine months from now, you will not be a mommy.
Over the last few weeks, I’ve been told by a bunch of different people how great a mom I would be. I know! Right? Maybe we should do something about it?
Alas – not yet. Shmerson and I have set some strict ground rules. Sanity, stability, and a second (or is it third at this point?) opinion from an RPL specialist before jumping back in.
I think I’m on the losing side of the sanity part of that checklist. I’m currently a few fries short of a happy meal.
Off my rocker.
A beer short of a six pack.
Nuttier than squirrel poo.
I’m going slightly mad.
I’m really ok though. I swear. (Shmerson, pay no attention to the baby crazy woman behind the curtain!)

The Great Hope Debate

29 May

I’m back after an amazing weekend with Shmerson. If you want to see pics, just check my twitter feed on the right. Much fun (and beer) was had by all (well, the beer was actually had mostly by Shmerson). The three days away really gave me some space to relax. I didn’t even know how much I needed it until we got there.

Then of course, I was blown away by what I found when I got back. Mel over at Stirrup Queens (AKA the Oprah of ALI blogging), pointed out my last post as part of her friday blog roundup, and the reactions I’ve gotten have been overwhelming.

I think just writing that post helped put quite a few things in perspective for me. Your comments took it even further. From Kristin pointing out that I’m showing classic signs of depression, to AK berating me for using the term “That” to describe my last miscarriage, to Me0Me giving the astute observation that I merely have to expand my bubble, not necessarily “pop” it. And those were all just from the first few hours. Your deep and eloquent thoughts and comments really touched me and I really want to thank you all.

I think the biggest lesson I learned from that last post is if you raise a question in this little blogoverse of ours, you will receive love, understanding and support. Because most of the questions we have don’t have open and shut answers. But all of them require tools, not clear cut yes’ and no’s.

Which brings me to a skype conversation I had with Marie yesterday. It was mostly our usual fun chatter, but at one point, due to something that happened earlier in the day (I’ll spare you the TMI details), I had to bring up the upcoming HSG.

A little background: My HSG is currently scheduled for June 5th, though because my cycle is still wonky from the miscarriage I may have to push it to a bit later. I’ve been kind of obsessing about this HSG. Not so much on here. Not even in most conversations I have (both with bloggy and real life friends). But in my head – well – it takes up most of my time.

Here’s how my conversation with Marie went:

Marie: When is the HSG?

Me: No clue. That’s the problem. Scheduled for June 5th but if AF shows up after the 2nd I’m gonna have to reschedule. Currently crossing my fingers she’ll show tomorrow or the  day after. That would be perfect. Though very unlikely.

I just had something happen this morning that totally got my hopes up  that the whole problem is an infection because of the D&C. I’ll spare you the details but now I’m totally convinced it’s an infection

Marie: Yay! Wait, that’s good, right?

Me: Well here’s the deal: HSG can go 1 of three ways

1) tubes are all clear (sucky – because that means there isn’t an explanation and who knows what we’ll do next)

2) tubes are blocked with scar tissue (sucky, because even though there’s an answer I’ll either have to get surgery or get the go ahead to go straight into IVF)

3) Tubes are blocked with mucus due to an infection, and the HSG will actually clear the blockage

I’m trying to bargain with the spaghetti monster for #3.

It’ll hurt like a motherfucker, but at least I know the next time I should be all good.  So I’m trying not to get my hopes up but of course I’m gonna find every excuse to get my hopes up.

Marie: Well yeah you have to have hope

Me: No. Hope makes me pissed when I get disappointed

Marie: Would you rather just be pissed to begin with?

Me: Good question. Trying to figure that out now. Still have about a week before I have to decide. We’ll see.

Then I promptly changed the subject. This little skype chat, I think, brings up the crux of my current internal struggle. I love hope. I really do. It makes me feel giddy and awesome and helps me fall asleep at night.

But I also hate hope. Because hopes are more often than not – at least in my case – crushed. My last pregnancy came at a time when I was completely hopeful, completely optimistic, and completely at peace.

Then I spent a night in the hospital and all of it was crushed. In an instant.

It’s been about 6 weeks since my miscarriage. I’m starting to build up hope again. I hate that. I hate it because so far, each time I’ve gotten my hopes up, they’ve been smashed into little tiny pieces.

Albert Einstein once said that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

So by that logic, in my case, having hope makes me insane.

So wouldn’t I be better off nihilistic and pessimistic? Wouldn’t that – in fact – be a much saner place to be in my situation?

Yet hope creeps up, because I need it. Because otherwise I don’t know if I could handle everything the universe has thrown at me.

And I hate it. Because I feel like it’s insane to have it.

On Friday night, our anniversary, Shmerson and I went out to dinner. We both made toasts in honor of our first year together.

My toast went something like this: “They say the first year of marriage is the hardest. I really hope ‘They’ are right.”

Hope. It’s a four letter word.

What do you guys think? Is it crazy to hang on to hope when you’re in such a state of limbo? Would you rather have no hope at all, and be pleasantly surprised? Eager to read your thoughts.

Virtually Me

26 May

We interrupt our pre-planned Anniversary Week Post for a bit of self reflection. 

I had my regular weekly therapy appointment today, and the same subject came up that has come up at practically every session for the last month.

Here’s a rundown of how it’s gone each and every week:

  • I bitch for a couple of minutes about being in limbo-land since That happened.
  • I then move on to beating myself up over not doing enough about my health and the fact that I’ve gone back to smoking (yes, I have, I’m sorry, please don’t be mad at me) and I barely make it to yoga once a week.
  • Then I spend another few minutes defending that, and saying, that really, I’m doing pretty Ok, all things considered. Especially compared to the last time.
  • I then proceed to beat myself up about not doing enough to promote my new internet content business, and not being able to find the motivation to get moving on ANYTHING that involves my career.
  • Then I talk about this blog. And the women I have met through this blog. A LOT.
Today my therapist finally called shenanigans. She said it was time to discuss what it is about this space that takes up so much of my time and energy, for better and for worse.
You see – I’ve kind of been skating around the issue here, because I’ve been skating around it in general, but ever since That happened I’ve barely left the house. I barely see my friends. I barely do much of anything outside of blogging, reading other people’s blogs, emailing fellow bloggers, and skyping with my bloggy BFF’s. This has become my life. A virtual bubble that I keep myself locked in. And really, it’s not only since That happened that I’ve been doing this. I’ve been doing this more or less since I first realized that I was part of a “community”. Since I found out that there was a little place on the interwebs with hundreds, if not thousands of women just like me.
And as my readership grew, as my friendships grew, as my google reader bloated up, I found myself detaching more and more from everything else. My full time job is this blog – at least in my mind and spirit it is. My part time job is the one that actually supports my family. This is not healthy. I know it isn’t.
So at therapy, we started to examine why this is. We were out of time before we got very far (most of the time having been already spent with my usual bitching and self-flagellation) but I’ve been thinking about it ever since I left our session, and tonight really started to put things in perspective.
Allow me to try to make sense of things:
I have friends. A lot of friends. Some of them I see once every couple of months, some of them I see and talk to more often. But all of these people love me and I truly love them.
But since more or less my first miscarriage last year, I’ve found myself getting more and more distant from most of them. I don’t reach out. I don’t communicate. I spend most of my real life isolated, and busy beating myself up for messing up one thing or another. For not being good enough.
On the other hand there’s here. If I had to say which version of myself was the “real me”, more often than not these days I would say the “real” me is not that self-flagellating hermit. The real me is Mo. It’s this irreverent, snarky, funny, open person. This person who supports and gives advice when called for, and is supported when called for.
This uncensored, open book. I love Mo. I love her dearly. She is the real me. The essence of who I truly am.
And yet, I’m not her in real life. I don’t live up to her. Mo isn’t a persona. She’s not a construction. Mo is the person I aspire to be in real life, but never really get there. I’m more real here than I am with my own freaking mother. I’m more real here than I am with my friends (so it’s lucky most of them read this blog, so that technically I am real with them). This is me.
That self-flagellating hermit going through the motions of my life – she’s the persona.
Tonight was the first night I’ve really gone out since That happened. An old friend got married. I pulled out a little black dress that barely fit anymore, a pair of spanx (getting into those in my current hormone-fluctuating state was definitely a challenge), and my make up and hair dryer. I shaved the forest that’s been accumulating on my legs for the last month. I waxed and tweezed to make myself semi-presentable. I went to the wedding, and saw a bunch of friends. All of whom I love dearly, and most of whom I hadn’t seen in months.
Now, mind you, part of this is because Shmerson and I moved an hour north of Tel Aviv, back to my hometown, to regroup after our second loss, and most of my friends are in Tel Aviv.
But still – it’s only an hour drive away. And there is such a thing as a phone.
Everybody was genuinely happy to see me. I got a lot of “I’ve missed you”s and “I love you”‘s tonight.
But I also realized why it’s so easy for me to escape and run back to my bubble. Because in the inevitable beginning “how’ve you been?” and “where have you disappeared to?” conversations, I had to tell everyone about That. The first two losses were already known, but I had to tell them about the third.
And I got that look from every one of them. You guys know the look I’m talking about. That sympathetic, slightly uncomfortable “I love you and I’m sorry but I don’t know how to comfort you” look. I hate that look. I love the people who gave me that look, but I still hate that look. And here is the crux of it all: I had to tell them about that, so I had to deal with “the look”.Because I can’t lie to people I love. I had to tell them, and all the while I felt like shit for being such a fucking downer. For making them have to face the crap that Shmerson and I are facing.
This is how I feel with all of my friends. I feel guilty. I know they want to be there for me. I also know that most of them don’t know how to be there. I want to be my real self, the irreverent, snarky, honest, and confident Mo that so many of you read every day. But that’s impossible. Because my “real life friends”  don’t know what to do when the honest comes out. They don’t know how to deal. It’s not their fault. They really do try their best, and I love them for it. It’s just how it is. Or maybe they do know how to deal, and I just don’t give them a chance because I don’t want to be a burden. I don’t know.
So I escape. I escape into this little virtual bubble where I’m the real me. Where having a conversation with one of my bloggy BFFs can easily shift from discussing my cervical mucus to talking about a good book within seconds, and without a second thought. Where I don’t have to deal with the guilt of being the downer. Where I don’t have to hide my losses and my pain, and at the same time I can show my sense of humor. I can beat myself up over crap. And for some reason a bunch of people find that interesting enough to read. And all of you accept me for who I am. It’s not that my “real life” friends don’t. I just think that for them, it’s much messier. They haven’t been where I am. They try their best. I love them for it. But I sense that sometimes, they just don’t know what to say or do with me.
In “real” life – I criticize every word I say, and everything I do. Here – a badly written post is no big deal, and there are some posts that I’m so proud of, that I spend hours or even days high on the feedback of writing something good, or particularly funny. I don’t have that kind of confidence when it comes to the work I do for my clients, or even the feedback I give to my students.
Here – I don’t have to TRY. I just am. Whatever comes, it’s accepted. Without “the look”. Without that feeling of helplessness I sense from even my closest friends “in real life” when I say words like “Beta” or “HSG” or “ectopic”.
My dad gave me shit the other day about the important place that this blog has been given in my life. He told me to “get over it already” and to stop “pouring salt on the wounds.”
Maybe he’s right. Maybe being here on some level perpetuates the fear. Perpetuates my constant need to deal with my losses.
Or maybe – just maybe – this place is my saving grace. It’s my safe haven. It’s the one place where I am strong enough to love myself and forgive myself for my fuck ups. It’s the one place where I’m unapologetic. Guilt-free. I am who I am, and I feel loved for it.
Don’t get me wrong. I know that my “real life” friends love me for me. But I feel like a burden to them. It’s my own self-flagellation that limits my friendships. I love my friends dearly, and I think it’s because of that fact that I sometimes can’t bring myself to “burden” them with my situation.
Tonight, at the wedding, I really wanted to let loose and dance. I couldn’t bring myself to until the very end, just as Shmerson and I needed to leave. I spent the last 15 minutes or so dancing like a maniac. Hugging my friends. Feeling the love, so-to-speak.
I wish that was how I was all that time. That version of me is easy. That version of me doesn’t point at her two butterflies and wonder aloud whether she needs to get a third. That version of me doesn’t feel guilty and constantly isolated from the world around her.
But that version of me is a mask. Every day, in my real life, I wear it. Around my parents, around my clients, my students, and most of my friends – except the ones who read this blog and know what’s going on. And with them, I just feel guilty. I feel like a pill. Like a burden.
Here in this virtual bubble – to quote my therapist – I feel “held”. Accepted. I don’t have to deal with “the look”. I don’t have to deal with uncomfortable silences that arise when people who love me just don’t know what to say to comfort me.
I feel like I’ve rambled on here quite a bit. But here’s my point: I know I have to find a balance. I know this little virtual bubble I’ve created for myself is not a healthy one, because I’ve taken it too far. I know I need to step outside. Deal with “the look” and find a way to be Mo in real life. Because that’s who I am. That’s who I want to be every day. And frankly, I’m sick and tired of being a hermit.
I just don’t know how the hell to do it. Because I feel guilty. Because the real world doesn’t “get it” the way you guys do. Because in the real world, I am different from everyone around me. I am grieving. My body is betraying me. I’m at war with myself.
Here – I belong. I am “held”.
So I give it over to you, dear readers – have you found yourself falling in too deep in this virtual bubble of ours? Any advice on how to bring out my inner Mo in real life and strike a balance?
I await your usual depth and eloquence. Not just my bloggy friends – to my “real life” friends who are reading this – I know it can’t be easy to read. I want to hear (or read) what you have to say.
Thanks. I love you all. Truly.

Revenge of the Preggo Blogging Meme

14 May

I’ve been stopping and starting deep emotional blog posts for the last 24 hours. But I’m not there yet. Today, I’m just annoyed. This post is gonna make me look like a bitter infertile, and I don’t care, because, well, this has to be done.

There’s this blogging meme going around, a preggo questionnaire.

I have about 50 IF bloggers on my google reader, and a few of those are newly preggo IFers. They used to be eloquent, funny, emotional bloggers.

Now that they’re knocked up, they’ve decided to become smug preggos and just plain lazy.

Seriously, there are a couple of bloggers who just post this questionnaire once a week and that’s it. Blogging done! “Look at me! I’m happy and pregnant!”

No – you’re smug and obnoxious. I’m sorry. But you are. Look, I’m really happy for you. Really. But have you forgotten that your blog is read by infertiles? That that’s where you yourself started? I get it, the questionnaire is cute and all, but it just reeks of smugness. And did I mention it’s just plain lazy blogging (yeah I did. But it’s worth mentioning again)?

I’m getting to the point that from now on, if you’re a newly preggo infertile and post this thing, I will unceremoniously remove you from my reader. I don’t care if we’re blogging buddies. I don’t care if I used to comment on your every post. I will be breaking up with your blog. Go stand in the corner with the easily preggo fertiles. Cause you’re acting like one, and really, I thought you were better than that. You disappoint me.

And now, you leave me no choice but to post the meme myself. Because this is the only way I can make you feel guilty enough about it to freakin’ stop. No offense, but to paraphrase an old saying: “If you don’t have anything interesting to blog, don’t blog anything at all.”


My reader is clogged up with smug. Please make it stop. I am taking a stand! Bring on the meme!

Week 50- Weekly Update 

(why 50 you ask? That’s how long it’s been since my first BFP)

How far along: Well, it depends on which pregnancy. My first would be two months old about now. My second is due in two weeks. I’d be 8 weeks preggo with my third. So let’s just call this one a bust, shall we?
Size of baby: It’s a peanut! No! It’s a blueberry! No! It’s an orange! No! It’s a garbage can full of extra thick sanitary pads!
Maternity clothes?I wish. Then I’d have an excuse for the latest early pregnancy two pounds I gained. Now I just look a bit fatter than usual and with nothing to show for it.
Sleep?Not that much, since I’m waiting to see what instruments are going to be stuck up my uterus in the coming weeks.

Best moment of the week: The one day when I went into my google reader and didn’t see a single post with this ridiculous meme.

Movement: I’ve been told to start doing half hour walks to both relieve my anxiety and prep my body to actually hold a pregnancy to term. Does that count?

Symptoms: Well, I’ve got this recurrent stabbing pain in my right side, which is a constant reminder that there may be something wrong with my tubes. Other than that, it’s a sore throat and stuffy nose… Oh, right, sorry, those last two are symptoms of my COLD, not a pregnancy. Oh wait, I’m not pregnant! So I guess it’s all good.

Food cravings/aversions:I’ve been told to move to a low sugar diet to help ensure a baby sticks around next time. And I really want a hot chocolate cake with vanilla ice cream to comfort me while I feel endless grief and frustration. Ahh well, too bad for me!
Gender:Up until a few months ago, I would have said I wish it would be a girl. Now I don’t give a crap. Just give me a baby.
Belly button in or out:In – and will most likely remain that way for the unforeseeable future.
Stretch marks: Oh! Yeah! A bunch! But they’re mostly non-pregnancy related.
What I miss: Morning sickness. I loved living off of crackers and knowing that this meant that I had a baby growing inside of me.
How is Mommy Feeling? Bitter. Haven’t you noticed?
How is Daddy Feeling?  Depressed and nihilistic. Check out his blog post from a couple of days back.
Total weight gain? About 15 pounds during the last three pregnancies. Mostly due to numbing my feelings with carbs.

What I am looking forward to: A day when this blogging meme gets wiped off the face of the earth.

Message sent. Hopefully it will be received.

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.

Housekeeping

2 May

Hi All,

So I think this is a new record for not posting – I mean, it’s been like two days! That hardly ever happens!

I’m just a bit out of it. And with good healthy reasons! So – here’s a quick update and after that I need your feedback!

So – I went to Dr. Happy Pills two days ago and switched from zoloft to lexapro. It was my decision to try it because I felt like zoloft was only doing half the job (as in dealing only with my depression and not doing as well with the anxiety), and now that we are on a forced TTC hiatus, I figured it was a good time to give lexapro a try. So I’ve spent the last couple of days kind of weird because of the med transition. I’m hoping things will even out in a week or so. This is the downside of happy pills – the adjustment period. Fortunately, since I’m already on one form of SSRI it won’t nearly be as bad as last time.

I had a weak moment yesterday and I actually smoked a cigarette. It was after spending an entire afternoon with my awesome nephew – but also surrounded with like – hundreds of other parents with their kids and I think it just became a bit much so I broke down after my brother dropped me off. But I haven’t really wanted one since so I’m just blaming the lexapro for now. I’m trying not to get too mad at myself. I mean – I’ve had a crappy couple of weeks. I deserve one moment of weakness, right? Right? (This is where you comment that you’re not mad and it’s ok that I had that one and your forgive me. K. Thanks)

There’s still one more thing I’m kind of dreading and that’s going back to yoga finally tomorrow and telling my instructor about what happened. He’s going to want to know why I’ve been gone for two weeks and of course I’m going to need to tell him. I know it’s not going to be fun. I kind of feel like I need to get past this already. And I kind of already am. I think. So I want to get all the “technicalities” over with.

Speaking of those – I’m down to very light spotting and I’m thinking of going in tomorrow for another beta. I’m not sure if I should wait until tuesday or even later just to be sure that they’ll be down to zero when I test – but again – I want to get this over with! I guess I’ll decide tomorrow when I wake up. I really want them down to zero already.

I don’t want you guys to misunderstand – I’m not completely down. I’ve been productive, I’ve been active, I’ve been leaving the house. I think that’s a huge accomplishment considering what’s been going on (the last time I couldn’t function for two months). I’m just – I guess I’m in a lexapro transition haze. Or in denial. Time will tell. (I’m also not trying to force myself to handle things in a certain way. I think that’s the best approach. I don’t know how I’m “supposed” to feel. So I’m just feeling what I’m feeling). Ahh well.

Now for a little blog housekeeping:

1) I have given Shmerson his own user on the blog. He’s now officially authorized to post without having to go through me. I just thought it was time. I know the muse is upon him sometimes so I figured why the hell not? So yes – you may see him around here a bit more often and slightly less censored (Ok – I don’t really censor him. Right? RIGHT?!?? Shmerson this is where you chime in in the comments and tell me that of course I don’t and I’ve the best wife ever).

2) I want to update my blogroll! It’s completely out of date and I know it! The thing is – I follow about 50 ALI blogs, and of course that includes every person who I know reads this blog regularly (Hi lurkers who don’t comment! know you are loved as well!). I know a few of you have put me on your blogrolls (thanks!) and I really want to reciprocate. But I also don’t want my blogroll to be completely useless because it’s so freaking long. So – first thing’s first:

If you want to be added to my blogroll please let me know in the comments or by using the handy contact page linked above.

And I want your opinion: Should I keep my blogroll in the sidebar? Or should I get all stirrup-queeny on your butts and do a whole separate page? Because seriously – I follow like 50 blogs at this point and if I put them all in – well, then we’ll be having some trouble.

Vote Below!

That’s all for today folks. Hoping to be out of the lexapro haze soon!

Bust a Myth! Miscarriage Marathon

28 Apr

Ok – I’m kind of over talking about the ectopic. I need a distraction, and I need to vent some bitter.

Plus – I wouldn’t be doing my blogging duty if I didn’t bust a myth in honor of NIAW.

I know. I’m taking a break from my miscarriage by talking about miscarriages. The irony is not lost on me. I enjoy irony.

So without further ado I give you my own myth busting – Miscarriage Marathon edition! All of the following are sentences that people have actually said to me. Followed by reactions that I was too polite to give them at the time. But screw polite. This is blogging. Bring on the bitter!

  1. Hey! At least you can GET pregnant! Um, yeah. So? My husband has super sperm. That’s awesome and all. But so far, no matter how many eggs his mega man-seed has managed to fertilize, not one of them has been willing to hang out in my uterus. In fact, two of them decided to skip my uterus altogether. This means that so far, we can’t bring a baby into this world without medical intervention. And unlike other conditions, there’s a chance this will never truly be resolved, and I won’t be able to carry a baby to term. Something that scares the bejeezus out of me. Hence – the pregnancies so far aren’t really helping us with the whole “becoming parents” thing.
  2. It was never really a baby – so why are you so sad? This one really makes me mad. And you’d be surprised how often I get this from people. The second a woman finds out she is pregnant – especially if that pregnancy is wanted and planned – the baby exists. She loves that baby. The baby has a whole lifetime of potential from the moment the woman knows the baby exists. Let me clarify. For me, this isn’t a religious issue. I’m a heathen, as most of my regular readers know. I have no real opinion as to when precisely “life” happens. But for me, the moment I knew there was a baby growing inside me, that baby was real and loved. And losing that baby was devastating. Even if it wasn’t “real.” In my heart it was real from the moment I knew it was there.
  3. Just relax! Yes – multiple miscarriers get this just as much as other infertiles do. Let me break it down for you: Once you lose a baby, whether it’s in week 3 or in week 30 (SM forbid) YOU WILL NEVER BE ABLE TO RELAX DURING A PREGNANCY. I mean, you’ll try. You’ll go to yoga, you’ll get acupuncture, you’ll meditate, you’ll go to therapy, and basically, you’ll do everything in your power to relax. Heck – sometimes you’ll succeed. But guess what? Your stress level will have no effect on whether you miscarry or not. News Flash: Telling a woman who has miscarried multiple times to “relax” is a double blow. The first slap in the face is that she really can’t relax. The definition of crazy is to do the same thing every time expecting different results. Hence, for us RPLers (that’s repeat pregnancy loss), sanity means that getting pregnant will most likely result in yet another devastating loss. Not worrying about it is not an option.  The second slap in the face comes because telling a multiple miscarrier to relax implies that she has some control over the situation, and therefore losing another baby will somehow be her fault. This last go-round I was having a grand old time – not even aware I was preggo, and relaxed as all heck. Apparently a fertilized egg does not take your mental state into consideration when deciding where it should dig in. Heck – it could be that me relaxing told my little embryo: “hey there buckaroo – just chill. No need to move any more. This tube here looks nice and comfy, so dig in.”
  4. Well, at least you’re healthy! Um – no. Repeat pregnancy loss is a disease. This is why in every blood test order I get I have the words “patient under observation” stamped unceremoniously next to my name. In fact, in my case – with multiple ectopics, my life is at risk. I have thus far been lucky and nothing has burst on me. Hopefully my next little buckaroo decides to make it to the right spot. But if he or she doesn’t – it is life threatening. A tube could burst, causing internal bleeding. That’s scary, huh? Now maybe you get why I’m having a bit of a hard time with the whole relaxing thing.
  5. Don’t tell people you’re preggo until you hit the second trimester! Ok, this one really gets me miffed. After my first miscarriage, when I felt alone and scared and needed support, I actually had to make several calls to friends telling them: “I’m pregnant and I didn’t tell you and now I’m miscarrying and I need you.” How stupid is that? It’s that kind of misguided thinking that makes couples who go through pregnancy loss feel so isolated. It’s a stupid superstition, that perpetuates guilt and isolation. I was apparently surrounded by women who had miscarried, and I didn’t know about it until after I joined their “secret miscarrier society”. Let me tell you this: had anyone bothered to tell my husband and I that miscarriages are actually rather common, then maybe we would have been more emotionally prepared the first time around. Instead, we went around with stupid “we’re preggo!” grins on our faces and collapsed completely when we weren’t anymore. We felt isolated and alone. My husband and I have a very clear cut rule now: If you’re gonna tell them about a miscarriage, you may as well tell them about the pregnancy. And since we’re very open about our miscarriages, ON PRINCIPLE we tell people about the pregnancies. This way we have a support system in place in case things go wrong. And so far – they’ve just gone wrong. So that makes me think we’re on to something. Actually, I tell complete strangers about my miscarriages. Not only on this blog. And I don’t care if it’s creepy. It’s my little way of rebelling against this ridiculous, destructive taboo.
  6. You’re not really infertile! You don’t count! See number 1. Oh, and by the way, we’ve also passed the “trying for a year mark” with no successful pregnancy. So there.  And also: There is a common thread to infertility. There are common themes, no matter what your condition is. Yeah, I can get pregnant. But, like any other infertile woman:
  • I am a walking encyclopedia of fertility facts
  • I take so many pills and supplements, that yes – I actually do have an app for that.
  • I’ve seen more doctors and had more blood drawn in the last year than my entire previous thirty years of life combined.
  • I get anxious when my close friends get pregnant
  • I have a hard time seeing pregnant women in public.
  • I am jealous of women who get pregnant and give birth easily
  • I feel like my body has betrayed me
  • I constantly deal with the unknown in a very real, in your face kind of way
  • My hope gets built up and shattered on a regular basis
  • I feel like I have no control over my future
  • I will never have an “innocent” pregnancy
  • I sometimes feel like less of a woman
  • My life has veered away from the ideal fantasy I thought it would be.
  • My body has been tested and pushed to its limit
  • I feel like my body has betrayed me. Yeah. I already wrote that one. But it’s a pretty big one. Let me write it again. I feel like my body has betrayed me.

So yeah. I count. I’m an infertile. And you know what? I’m proud of the title. I think I earned it with my sweat, cramps, tears and blood (oh so much of that) in the last year. It’s a badge of honor. I’m proud to wear it. Though – you know – for other reasons it kind of sucks. But it also means being a part of this community. And that in itself has completely changed my life for the better. So you know, it’s neither here nor there. Or it’s both. Or maybe it’s just ironic. Now I’m rambling.

Oh – one more thing – I usually don’t ask people to do this. But what I wrote here is really important to me. I think it’s important for people to know about it. Please click on one of the lovely share buttons on the bottom of this post and help me bust a myth! (Cause honestly I’m still in a bit of pain from the ectopic and busting a move is kind of hard, and I’d like to bust something. Myths are better than household objects, don’t you think?)

And also – if you want more information about infertility, please do visit resolve.org’s wonderful resource: http://www.resolve.org/infertility101

Third Time – Definitely Not a Charm (a recounting of the craziest 24 hours of my life)

20 Apr

Hi Everyone. I’m still kind of in shock, but thank you everybody for your tweets, emails, comments, everything. I am incredibly grateful for all the love and support.

I think I’m still a bit in shock – but I also know I have some ‘splainin to do, so I may as well just spill it. The last day has been very WTF, and I’ve been writing this blog post in my head as I went along. I seriously don’t know where I would be if it weren’t for this blog and the women in it.

So now, without further ado, a recounting of the strangest 24 hours of my life. Yep, strange is the best word I can come up with. Though crazy works too.

Prelude:

April 5th, CD 28 – The red lady shows up, or so I think. She’s shorter than usual, but I don’t give that much thought. She also causes a heckuva lot of pain on my right side.

After that, Shmerson and I continue our TTC routine, feeling rather optimistic.

(Fake) CD 13 – I take an OPK. It comes out positive. I am feeling great. What a lie. Finally, ovulation smack dab in the middle of a cycle. Shmerson and I BD like there’s no tomorrow. I actually call people excited about the news.

(Fake) CD 14 – Another OPK. Another positive. Strange. Never happened to me before.

(Fake) CD 15 – Another OPK. Another positive. WTF?

Which brings us to yesterday at around 3pm.

3pm: excessive googling – “3 positive OPKs in a row”

3:15pm: decide my body is just taking it’s sweet time, and that’s why I haven’t seen any EWCM. Go to the bathroom to check out where that’s at. Find blood.

4:30 pm: I don’t know if I can recount the logic behind it now – but on a whim, I take an HPT. It’s a BFP. I immediately start crying. I know it’s over before it’s even started.

4:35pm: Shmerson has seen the BFP. I’m crying. We’re both at a loss about what to do. I call squish. She says get your ass to the emergency room or an emergency clinic (It’s passover – so all actual doctors offices are closed). I email Elphie. I try calling Court. too early in the states and canada.

4:45pm: As shmerson is googling emergency clinics, I try calling Dr. Twofer’s Cellphone. No answer. I leave a teary “I have no idea WTF is going on” voicemail.

5:20pm: Shmerson and I arrive at an emergency clinic.

6pm: Doctor sees me. Sends me to the emergency room.

6:30pm: I try calling Court again. This time she answers and manages to keep me calm as we wait. In the car on the way to the ER I mention to Shmerson that hey – I guess I was right after all. Court and Marie both mention that to me as well in later conversations. Great minds think alike.

7:00pm: Go in to see the on-call OB/GYN. She gives me a beta kit and tells me to pee in a cup. Faint BFP. US is given. She tells me she sees nothing. In the discharge papers I see something about a problem with the corpus luteum in my right ovary. I still have no idea what that means, but I’m sure I’ll be googling it like a maniac soon enough.

7:45pm: Dr. decides that because of my history, this is suspected ectopic. She decides to admit me.

8:00pm I get my blood drawn. Shmerson and I try to figure out what to do with the dogs, since we’re also watching my parents’ dog since they’re in china for a month. Great timing, mom.

8:15 pm We call everyone that needs to be called, and off he goes to take care of stuff. I stare blankly at nothing for a while.

9:00pm: Shmerson returns from dropping the dogs at a friend’s house, and comes bearing clothes, my laptop, and a cell charger. I get admitted to a room. I find out that the lab is closed and I will not be getting any beta results until the morning. This is going to be a long effing night. Nurse tells me I need to not eat or drink any more just in case I need a D&C in the morning. I haven’t eaten since 4pm. And I’m freaking thirsty.

9:15pm: Visiting hours are over, but the room, with two other beds is empty. I beg shmerson not to leave me alone. I hate hospitals. Did I mention this was gonna be a long effing night? No wireless internet on the ward. Thank god I got an iPhone (finally) a few days ago. I email Dr. Twofer. He actually works at this hospital. Maybe by some miracle he’ll be there in the morning.

10:00pm: I go back to the google machine. Shmerson and I start analyzing dates. Either I’m 6 weeks along, or by some miracle I ovulated on CD4 and this is a perfectly healthy, very early pregnancy. We hope for the latter, of course.

1:00am: I get a new roommate, which makes the nurse kick shmerson out. He finds a cot in the waiting room area and tries to crash there for a bit. I talk to the roommate. She’s nice. Three kids, all through C-section. Wants a fourth. Diagnosed with Secondary IF and in with a major pelvic infection. I put on my “I’m an expert” face and actually manage to cheer HER up for a while. She doesn’t know any IFers. I feel useful.

2:00am: still can’t sleep. Hop on skype with marie. She keeps me company for the next two hours.

4:00am: finally collapse.

7:00am: Shmerson is back in my room.

8:00am: Blood Drawn for second Beta. Both Betas get sent to the lab.

9:30am: Get sent for second U/S. Nothing found. Doctor says there may be something there that looks like early implantation in the uterus, but he’s doubtful (in hindsight, I think it may have just been scarring from my first D&C last year). Wait for the betas and see what’s next.

10:30am: Dr. Twofer walks into my room. Yep – he is on call. He tells me he’ll be checking up on me. Thank god for Dr. Twofer. I finally feel relaxed enough to sleep a while. Hopefully by the time I wake up the betas will be back. Half asleep, I tell Shmerson that I’ve decided that I ovulated on CD 4 and this is an early pregnancy. I know I’m kidding myself. I don’t care.

12:00pm: No Betas yet. I’m getting pissed off and antsy. I’m thirsty and hungry too.

12:20pm: I go up to the nurse to see WTF is going on. She tells me there was no change in my betas and the Doc will be in soon. I ask her to update Dr. Twofer and go back to my room to tell Shmerson it’s over.

12:30pm: Doc finally shows up. Beta last night was 438. This morning it’s 436. They want to give me Methotrexate. I resist at first. Doc says he spoke with Dr. Twofer about it and they both agree it’s the best course of action to hopefully avoid rupture and surgery. I give in. Doc tells me they’ll be giving me the shot in a bit.

12:35pm: I collapse. I start crying and screaming. This lasts for about 10 minutes. The nurse walks in to ask what’s wrong. Shmerson tells her “this is the third time this has happened to us”. I continue to scream and cry. Shmerson cries a little too. He digs up a xanax from my bag and I take it.

12:45pm Dr. Twofer comes in again. Other Doc probably told him I was not happy about the Methotrexate. He tells me it’s the best option. That once my betas go back to zero I should call him and we’ll get a full scan of my tubes to see what’s up. He goes to shake my hand. I can’t because it’s covered in snot and tears. Why don’t they keep tissues in this freaking room?

12:50pm: I yell at the nurse to give me the freaking shot and get it over with so I can go home. She looks at me sympathetically. I tell her I feel like my body’s betrayed me. She gives me the usual “everything happens for a reason” mumbo-jumbo. She gives me the shot so we can – and I quote her – “kill it”. I cry a little more. Shmerson makes the calls to update everyone that needs to be updated.

1:30pm: I freaking want to go home. I feel ok so the nurse allows it. Tells me to keep an eye out for this and that side effect. Outpouring of support from you guys becomes a flood. I’m freaking tired.

3:30pm: I change the title of this blog again. My friend AK was right the other day. Project Baby is too cold. This sucks too much. Who knows what the right name is. For now, it’s bitter and I don’t care.

4:00pm: The dogs are back, we have some lunch, I collapse on the couch and fall asleep, though my phone continues to ring and my computer pings every 30 seconds with another thoughtful email or comment. I can’t thank you guys enough.

Epilogue:

Either I’m in denial or this is easier than it has been before. I don’t know. I think it is a bit easier. Mostly because of you guys. Also because it all happened so fast, I never actually got attached to the notion that I was pregnant. I think that’s a blessing.

Conclusions:

1) I should ALWAYS listen to my body. I’ve been having pain on and off in my right side for months. I should have insisted on some sort of scan. I’m sure that’s the obstruction that caused the ectopic.

2) I’m grateful to have the third time over and done with. This is hopefully a clean slate. Though I’m sure I’ll have moments of being completely pissed off and despondent over the next few days or weeks. Or whatever. I’m glad the third happened this way, and wasn’t dragged out.

3) I have the most amazing husband in the world.

4) My support system is huge. My friends “in real life” and my friends here. Total strangers who left a comment to show support. I am so lucky to have found this place.

5) I can’t believe I’m here. Lori over at RRSAHM, who recently went through unspeakable tragedy, wrote a few days ago how anxiety – the fear of an event – is oftentimes worse than the event itself. I think she’s right. I’m a three timer now. I need to update my story. My TTC timeline. Next ICLW, I will be writing “ectopic pregnancy” as one of the words describing this blog. It will become one of my “frequently used tags”. I use it for the first time in this post. This is my new reality. It sucks. But it’s not as bad as the anxiety I had predicted.

That’s about it guys. I’m gonna go order some dinner and cuddle with my husband and the dogs. I’m sorry if I don’t respond to the comments. I may be MIA for a few days, I may not. Who knows.

But I do know that you are all awesome. That every word you write here makes me feel just a little bit better.

Thank you all. i don’t know where I’d be without you.

Dinner for Two – Fajitas!

12 Apr

So it’s been a dramatic few days. Time for a break!! JJiraffe started a great recipe swapping project – cooking with capote. I’m a little late to the party due to all the drama, and you’ll forgive me for not posting pics, right? Good. Here we go!

I love to cook. Love love love it. My cooking is usually divided into two categories: Dinner for two and dinner for four.

Dinner for two is cooked when I know that we won’t be eating at home the next night, and that leftovers would go to waste. Usually it something special, like Gnocchi with shrimp, or salmon over pasta. It’s also usually a bit indulgent.

Dinner for four, I also call my practice dinners. The kind of stuff I know I’ll be making for the future mini-shmersons: Chicken fingers, Lasagna, meatballs, that kind of stuff. Things that we usually eat for two nights in a row.

Tonight was a dinner for two night since we have a wedding tomorrow. And tonight – it was tex-mex!

Let me elaborate: There are very few things I miss about living in the states. Mostly my friends, The Arclight and the Grove in LA, South Street in Philadelphia, Disneyland, Vegas, and – the food. Well, at least the food that you can’t really get in Israel.

My old roommate AK’s grilled cheese sandwiches – nobody makes them like she does (when she came for my wedding she was forced into grilled cheese servitude).

Proper chinese food. Don’t know why – but there’s not one single decent chinese place in the entire country. Thai? Sure. Japanese? Definitely. But you want some kung pao chicken? You’re out of luck.

Ranch Dressing. Yes. There is no ranch dressing here. Or – at least it’s really hard to find. Same with Bleu Cheese dressing. Us Israelis like our salads with olive oil and lemon. But I don’t. I loves me some hidden valley.

Up until recently it was also very hard to find a good cheddar cheese around here, which is strange, since our milk products are generally awesome. But the cheddar here was always a bit too mild for my taste. They finally started making a brand here that is sharp enough a few months back.

And finally? Tex-mex. It’s funny, I hate uncooked tomatoes, so I’m not one for guac or salsa. But man -I love fajitas. I love tacos. I love refried beans, nachos. Oh – and shrimp tacos specifically. Love those!

I didn’t think I would get to enjoy good tex-mex until the next time I went to the states, but at this year’s oscar party I decided to try to make it on my own, and since then – I’m hooked! It’s not perfect – but it’s darn well close enough!

Since the oscars, about once every two weeks, I make us fajitas – complete with all the “fixins” including refried beans and tomato-free guacamole – something that squish and I invented while prepping for the oscar party which, as it turns out, I love! I never touched guac before because of the tomatoes. Now I’m addicted and I make it all the time.

So, without further ado, I give you my recipes for refried beans, tomato-free guac, and chicken and zucchini Fajitas! (look for shrimp and beef variations at the bottom).

Warning – I don’t do measurements. I usually “eye” it. So I’m kind of guessing on some of these amounts – but that’s part of the fun – play around with it and see what works for you.

Let’s start with the guac!

Mo and Squish’s 5 minute tomato-free guac

What you’ll need:

2 large ripe avocados

1 small red onion

Juice of half a lemon or one small lime

tobasco sauce

Salt and Pepper

Optional: 1 small Jalapeno, fresh cilantro (I hate cilantro so I always skip that)

Tools:

1 medium sized bowl

A fork and a knife

A cutting board.

Instructions:

Dice the red onion as fine as you can get it. Same with the Jalapeno, seeds removed. Set them both aside.

Halve the avocados and scoop their contents into a bowl. Squeeze the juice of half a lemon or one small lime. Add a dash of salt.

Mash the avocado with a fork while stirring in the lemon. Once it’s the consistency you like (I like mine just a tiny bit on the chunky side) stir in the onion and the jalapeno. Add a dash of tobasco and stir again.

At this point give it a taste. Add more salt and some pepper if needed, and if it’s not spicy enough for your taste, feel free to add a couple more splashes of tobasco. I suggest you let it sit in the fridge for a few hours before partaking to really let the flavors meld. Just remember – it gets spicier once it sits for a while!

Of course, if you insist on tomatoes, you can always add one, finely chopped, into the mix. Your call.

Mo’s Mega-Easy Refried Beans

What you’ll need:

1 package of dried black or red beans OR 2 cans of either – make sure if you’re using the canned stuff, that it’s just straight up beans, no added sauces.

If you’re using the dried stuff, rinse out the beans, pre-soak if you want, but I usually don’t feel the need. Just chuck them in a pot and cover completely with water. Bring to a boil, and then down to a simmer. Check in every ten minutes or so and add water as needed. DO NOT ADD SALT – THE BEANS WILL NOT SOFTEN. The beans should be ready in about 2 hours.

Or save yourself the headache and use the canned beans, they’re just as good.

You’ll also need:

One red onion, chopped

Canola Oil (or if you’re feeling sinful, bacon fat or lard. I use canola).

Salt and Pepper to taste.

Tools:

1 large Skillet

1 potato masher

1 spoon

Cover the bottom of the pan with the oil (I’ve actually never tried this recipe with bacon fat, though I’ve heard it’s awesome. It’s just not so much with the heart healthy).

Saute the onions until they’re clear. Add the beans, and mash them as they’re frying in the oil. If they start getting a bit dry in texture, add a little bit of hot water to moisten them up.

Salt and pepper to taste.

Easy-peasy!!

I know – almost too easy right? I was really surprised when I first saw this recipe. Turns out it’s really all you need and it comes out really yummy!

Mo’s not-so-famous yet yummy chicken fajitas for two (feel free to multiply if there are more people)

What you’ll need:

1 large whole chicken breast

4 small (or 2 large) zucchini

1 medium white onion

For the Marinade:

1 small Jalapeno, finely chopped

3 cloves of garlic – crushed

Juice of half a lemon or one small lime

about 2 tsp ground cumin

Salt and Pepper to taste.

A dash or two of tobasco sauce – depending on how spicy you like it.

Olive oil – I think about a quarter of a cup should be enough to cover it.

Tools:

One Steak Pan or Plancha (or anything that resembles a grill but can be used on a stove top)

Tongs

Large Ziplock Bag

Knife

Cutting board

(duh on the last two – I know!)

Peel and slice the onion into half rings. Separate them.

Clean and thinly slice the zucchini

Place onion, zucchini, and chicken into the ziploc bag.

Mix the marinade, and pour it into the bag. Zip up so there is no air left in the bag. Shake well to make sure marinade spreads evenly. Let sit for at least half an hour – or up to two hours in the fridge (that gives the best results!).

heat up the steak pan/grill thingy, whatever. Really heat it up. when the stuff hits it, it should sizzle.

pour contents of ziplock bag onto the pan, spread out evenly.

Now – here’s the trick: Don’t be afraid to get this stuff scorched! The reason I keep the chicken breast whole is so that it will get burned on both sides. Not charcoal guys – but nice and Grill-like.

I can’t really give you a cooking time on this, you’re just gonna have to eye it. keep an eye on the veggies and make sure to flip them often. The chicken should be flipped only once, especially if you want those nice grill marks on it.

Once all is cooked, cut the chicken into strips. You can do that ahead of time, but cutting it after the fact makes the meat much juicier.

Serve with flour tortillas. refried beans, guac, shredded lettuce, grated sharp cheddar, salsa or chopped tomatoes, and sour cream.

Yum!

Shrimp variation:

Add a shot of tequila to the marinade. You can replace the zucchini with or add some corn (fresh, canned or frozen). Shrimp cook quickly, so add them a few minutes after the veggies.

Beef Variation:

Marinade the same as the chicken. Add half a can of beer if you’re feeling courageous.

Replace Zucchini with red and green peppers. Do not marinade the veggies at all, and marinade the beef for at least two hours.

Cook the beef first, until it’s done to your liking. While the meat is resting, scorch the onions and the peppers in the juices left in the pan by the meat and the marinade.

I’m sure there are several people of hispanic descent who may find these recipes sacrilegious.

I find them sacrilicious!

My Response Letter to PETA

7 Apr

I’m in a crappy mood today. So I’m sure you can all guess how happy I was to receive what was obviously a form letter from PETA regarding the protest email I sent them yesterday. (For those of you who don’t know what I’m talking about – click here)

So, I won’t copy and past their stupid form letter here, but it was basically them telling me that it’s legitimate that men get vasectomies, that I should just adopt, oh – and they asked me to donate money to them! Lovely.

They signed it “the PETA staff”

Thanks guys. Real personable of you.

So – since I’m in complete and total hostile bitch mode today, I figured, what the hell – I may as well take out my hostilities on these assholes.

So before I reveal my – ehem – polite letter to them, let me suggest some choice viewing in the form of a rather scathing expose on PETA done by the show Penn & Teller: Bullshit a couple of years back. Check out part one here and the rest can be found on that sidebar.

Anyway – without further ado, my hormonal bitchy response:

Dear PETA Staff,

Thank you for the form letter, which I assume you have sent out to the hundreds if not thousands of angry women who have contacted you in the last 24 hours. I’m sure the copying and pasting is getting very tiring for your mouse hand.

Unfortunately, you are ignorant of the point we as a community are trying to make.

Give away as many vasectomies as you’d like.

Just don’t do it to “honor” Infertility awareness week.

I suggest that if you are so passionate about the issue of animal adoption, next time you want to create a buzz,  offer to help a childless couple adopt.

I would love to take in an abandoned and neglected child, and give them the love and the home they need.

That process however, costs about as much as it would to feed and clothe that child for about a decade, and alas, I don’t have access to those kinds of funds, and therefore hold on to hope that my currently unfriendly and barren uterus will eventually be able to hold on to a baby that I have created, so that I have an outlet for that love sometime before I rob a bank.

Countless  Infertile women spend their days in shame and darkness, and you making light of their medical condition doesn’t make things any better for them, and makes you look like ignorant bastards.

If you’re so concerned about the overpopulation of the planet, why don’t you mandate all of your pregnant employees to have abortions?

Because that’s about as sensitive and intelligent as your vasectomy campaign. And I’m sure all of your female employees will go right along with it because of their lofty ideals.

You people are a bunch of freaks. I don’t know why anybody supports you at this point. I hope you enjoy alienating some of the biggest animal lovers on the planet because of your sensationalism and ignorance.

Oh – and fuck you.

Sincerely,

Me

Ahh – I love the smell of flame emails in the morning (especially when I’m in raging hormonal bitch mode).

The Power of a Word

23 Mar

Ok Let me start with a bit of an apology. I started this little corner of the weboverse as a place for me to vent and share my experiences with others. It was never meant as a virtual soap box. In fact, I tend to shy away from bringing politics into this space for the simple reason that I live in Israel, and I’ve had my fair share of experiences in which I was hated, and even verbally abused, strictly because of where I’m from. So in short – I tend to keep politics out of here because this is not what our community is all about (BTW – welcome ICLWers! For more about me – feel free to click here,  here, or on the “about” page above).

But today I’m going to step a bit outside of my usual ranting to voice an opinion. First, for those of you who don’t know me, a little background:

Though I was born and currently live in Israel, I spent about half my life in the United States. 8 years as a child, and another 7 as an adult. The result of this is that a) I think and write primarily in English (exhibit a: this blog) b) Nobody guesses that I’m not American upon talking to me or reading this blog, until I point it out to them, or in real life, they hear my name. c) As a lover of politics in general, I am especially a lover and follower of American politics. In those terms, I consider myself a staunch Democrat. Even a stereotypical one. I get my news from the Daily Show and Rachel Maddow.

Now that I’m done with all this prefacing it’s time I get down to it.

During one of my undergraduate women’s studies classes, which talked about women and Judaism, my professor (who I to this day consider a role model and a mentor), brought in an expert on the Hebrew language, to speak to us about its built-in gender bias.

I won’t go into the talk in detail, but during it – apart from pointing out certain linguistic inequalities, this expert also pointed out how in Hebrew, some words are casual, whereas their English counterparts are incredibly “charged”.  As an example, this expert used the word “fetus”.

In Hebrew, “fetus” (or Ubar)  is a word used rather casually. This is how pregnant women refer to their babies before they know whether it’s a girl or a boy. This is a word doctors use often. In English, at least in the United States, “fetus” is a charged, almost taboo word.

I think this is because abortion in Israel is not a controversial topic (let’s face it, we’ve got enough controversy without it). It’s legal, it’s done. It’s not debated. Israel is a country with universal healthcare, and legal abortion. Here, if you want to get an abortion, and have it funded through government healthcare, you have to sit in front of a committee comprised of three people, 2 of them doctors, and one of them has to be a woman. Statistically, these committees authorize over 98% of the requests.

If you don’t want to go through a committee, you can opt to fund the abortion in a private clinic. No muss, no fuss.

The result of all of this is that apart from the religious right, there isn’t much of an anti-abortion movement in Israel. This is, I believe, because Israel was founded based at least partially on socialist values that go hand-in-hand with individual rights. Each time someone has tried to pass anti-abortion legislation in Israel, this legislation has not even gone up for a vote, because it is looked at as infringing upon a woman’s individual rights.

There was a TINY bit of controversy (again – from the religious right) when the morning-after pill was introduced here. But it passed quickly, and now it’s openly sold in pharmacies, and several cute commercials with smiling girls wearing pink tank tops were aired on prime time TV.

So yes  – here, fetus is not a dirty word.

In terms of American politics, I’ve always considered myself Pro-choice (being a staunch Democrat, it kind of comes with the territory). However, I also knew that when it came to my own body, I probably would not have an abortion.

Of course, now that I’ve had two miscarriages my opinion about my own body has become even more solidified, and yes, I admit, I would look sideways today at a woman – say in her mid 20’s and with relative financial stability – having an abortion. But this is just because of my own experience and issues. At the end of the day, it’s her body, her life, and her choice.

The results of the 2010 elections in the US shocked me. Mind you, I have some issues with what Obama has done as president, but I still could not fathom, after so many years living in the damage that a Republican administration had done to the country, why anybody in their right minds would vote Republican.

It’s not that I don’t understand (and sometimes even agree with) Republican policies. But what Republicans promise on the campaign trail (more jobs, less taxes, fiscal responsibility and the like), is worlds apart from what they do once they are in office. I could write for hours about the ludicrous union-stripping that’s been going on in Wisconsin for example. But in all truth, considering my own experiences over the past year, I am far more upset with the sheer weight of anti-abortion legislation that is happening all over the United States.

Because I’ve always been pro-life when it comes to my own body, I never openly advocated for a woman’s right to choose. I would give pro-choice picketers the thumbs up sign happily, but you would never find me holding up a sign, because I always found myself a bit detached from the topic.

Now that I myself have become a “repeat aborter”, I find myself wanting to get on a plane and march on washington.

Some people may think it’s ironic that a person like myself – who has a newly-found appreciation for the preciousness of pregnancy – would all of the sudden feel this way.

But to me, it makes total sense. As a part of this community, I’ve read the stories here of women who have had to go through heartbreaking late-term abortions because they had no choice. I’ve followed bloggers who rely on planned parenthood for their birth control because they can’t afford to have it any other way. I’ve seen the true implications of the silent victims of anti-abortion legislation. It’s the women of this community – who sometimes feel like they have no control over their own bodies – who need laws in place to at least retain their right to choose what to do when it comes to their bodies.

There are Republicans in Washington currently trying to de-fund planned parenthood.

There is one nutcase Republican lawmaker in Georgia who is trying to make MISCARRIAGE a crime.

There is a bill in Indiana that is trying to force doctors to warn women that abortion could possibly cause breast cancer.

Keiko Zoll, an IF blogger who I read regularly, speaks and advocates about this far more eloquently than I do. So I strongly recommend you hop on over to her blog every once in  a while to see what she has to say.

But I feel the need to speak out about this because seriously – and there’s no other way to put this: This is getting frakking ridiculous.

We in the ALI community should be doing everything we can to stop this kind of legislation from happening. If I had the money, I’d hop on a plane and march on washington tomorrow. But I don’t, and I seriously fear for my friends living in the United States. I sincerely am afraid of the consequences of these laws on their lives.

And I find it maddening that in a world with such harsh words as “death”, “terrorism”, “tsunami”, “infertility”, “poverty”, and “hunger”, the word “fetus” is getting all of the attention, and for all the wrong reasons.

Those are just my two cents. Thanks for reading.

The Blogosphere Pregnancy Announcement

21 Mar

I will start today with a video, dedicated to the lovely and amazing Elphie:

Her Eggo is Preggo! If you haven’t already, pop in and wish her a congrats on her BFP!

Which brings us to the topic at hand.

And just so there aren’t any questions here – I am going to be open and brutally honest, and I have already told Elphie about this post so you guys don’t have to worry about being open and honest here too. She’s cool with it. And she will be open and honest here too, if need be. This is what we’re here for, right?

Let’s start with my favorite topic: Me (see what I did there? I made a funny).

I kind of surprised myself today. I was truly fully and genuinely happy for Elphie (and also terrified – but we’ll get there in a bit) when I read about her BFP. There was not one hint of bitterness or jealousy. The only thing close to it was the thought that Shmerson and I had better get our asses in gear so I can do my best to catch up and she and I can freak out together. Because wouldn’t that be fun for us? Or terrible for us?

Or – well – terrible for everyone else?

Yeah. That’s the deal. This is what I want to really talk about. Some of us ladies communicate outside of the blogosphere (emails chats and the like), and there was this kind of “assumption” amongst us that I would most likely be the first BFP in the group, since my problems come after conception.

With that assumption, came a lot of feelings of fear and guilt on my end. Not just about the pregnancy itself, but about everyone’s reactions. I kind of talked about some of those here.

So , on some level, not only am I happy for Elphie, I’m kind of relieved that she’s the guinea pig here.

Now, I know that a lot of you that read my blog also read Elphie’s. And I’m sure that a lot of you have already left comments congratulating her and saying how happy you are for her and such.

My question to you is – how much of that is marred with sadness and jealousy? Did any of you grit your teeth while writing that happy comment?

I’m not asking this out of some sense of enlightenment, or to rain on Elphie’s parade, or to make you guys feel guilty,

or anything like that.

Just an honest inquiry. It’s inevitable, right? We get bitter about FB pregnancy announcements – I’m sure that at least some of you guys had the little green eyed monster rear its ugly head today when you read about Elphie’s news.

Like I said before – I came close, but more from a competitive standpoint.

Let me make my self perfectly clear here: I AM NOT JUDGING THOSE OF YOU THAT FELT JEALOUS OR SAD

It’s a completely legit feeling. I’m also assuming that some of you that felt sad/hurt/jealous also felt a bit guilty about that. Am I right?

S0 –  for those who did – maybe you could try another perspective? After all, you’re not going to stop reading her blog, and it would suck to read it with all of those mixed feelings. Here’s what I propose: Let Elphie’s BFP be a Havaya Metakenet for us. Let this be a preggo announcement to be truly happy about.

Let me start by putting a few of Elphie’s stats out there. She’s been TTC for the better part of two years. She’s had one miscarriage, which was a result of an ectopic pregnancy, which has caused a whole mess of problems for her. Her ectopic happened a year ago (right Elphs?) and she and Mr. M. have been TTC ever since.

That’s one year of heartbreak, charting, frustration and of course – the extra complications that come with possible endo and an ectopic.

And she’s not out of the woods yet. This BFP is AMAZING news but I know that she’s gonna start freaking out pretty soon, and won’t calm down until she sees a healthy heartbeat that’s nestled itself in the right place in her plumbing. Actually, she probably won’t calm down until the baby comes out alive and well  (Sorry for being so blunt  Elphie – but I know this isn’t news to you).

So yes. I was genuinely happy for her. Not one iota of bitterness. Because let’s face it – this amazing woman has gone through hell in the last year. She deserved some good news. And she’s got a bumpy road ahead.  And you know what ladies?

I don’t want to be in her shoes. I have no reason to be jealous.

Let me explain:

When I moved back to Israel from the States, a lot of people asked me why I was doing it. I answered “Because it’s better to live in your own shit than in other people’s.”

This is kind of a strange perspective on things, but this is truly how I see it.

We each have our own shit. Do we really want to be in other people’s shit? The answer: No. We are dealt what we can handle. And we handle it.

And that’s why I’m not jealous. I’m genuinely happy. Because I have my own shit to contend with when the time comes. Because Elphie has finally made it past her first hurdle. She has loads more to come, and they will be hard, and sometimes scary. And I plan to be there for her through all of it. Just like I know she will be there for me when my BFP comes along and I have passed that first hurdle, and it’s time for my fit to hit the shan.

I know I’m rambling a bit here. But I do have a point. I think that Elphie’s BFP needs and DESERVES to be put in a bubble, separate from those smug biyatches we see on facebook, separate from our friends and that girl we knew in high school.

We are a part of a community who knows that until that baby comes out kicking, screaming, and breathing, there is still a long road ahead.

There is joy on the way for her – yes. But there is also worry, heartache, anxiety, and generally a whole lot of reasons to be stressed and freaked out.

So I will be jealous of Elphie and a little sad for myself. But only once that beautiful healthy baby gets safely delivered nine months from now.

Until then I will share in her joy, her pain, her fear, and her every little celebration.

Because she deserves it. And because I know everything she writes about it will be, as usual, insightful, funny, intelligent, and heartbreaking all at the same time.

Her BFP is my Havaya Metakenet.

Congrats Elphie, on passing that first big hurdle. I will be holding your hand for all of the hurdles to come, and celebrating each victory right along with you.

How I Spent My Due Date Vacation

2 Mar

Last night sucked. I posted from a really dark place. Once I hit publish, I was bawling. It was around 2am.

Courtney – with her usual perfect timing, popped into skype to check on how I was, and stayed online with me until I was calm again.

In the middle of it, my crying woke shmerson up.

He came upstairs and held me for a while, and then said some beautiful things about Our experience being a part of our lives as a whole. And we can’t let go of the good side. That “What if’s” are always figments of our imagination – and we can never truly know what would have happened, and we should be grateful for the good place that we were in.

Of course, he’s right – as everyone who commented on last night’s post was right on the money as well.

Of course I’m grateful for the results of the last 9 months. And this blog – the amazing women I’ve met here – well, just that, on so many levels makes things worth it. I truly consider each and every one of you my friends, and I am grateful for all of you. You strengthen and inspire me. You make me laugh, you lend me support. I don’t know how I would have gotten through the last few months without you.

I had a hard night. I had my first night-panic-attack in months. It was pretty terrible – but I’m sure it was only partially due to my emotional state and more connected to the fact that my zoloft dosage was effed-up because of the all-night-oscar-fest.

yeah. not doing that again (as in – not delaying the zoloft again, the oscar parties will continue even considering the telecast’s downward spiral as of late).

So I slept badly –  woke up much later than I had planned, and headed over to the tattoo parlor.

I’ve never had work done by this guy – but he’s been in the biz for over twenty years and has a really great rep. I’d met him before while accompanying a friend who was getting inked, so I knew I was in good hands.

I listened to everyone’s advice. I felt my feelings. At the tattoo parlor, I cried a bit. Then my turn came up, and the tattoo artist asked what I wanted. I told him I wanted to tell him my story first.

So – crying all the while – I explained to him why I was getting this tattoo. Why today.

He looked at me with understanding in his eyes. He told me that he and his wife had lost three babies before finally having 2 healthy children. Good. This man got it.

I pointed out some things in his book that I liked – and before I even had a chance to ask – he offered to draw something especially for me. I had planned on going for black and white, but then my instinct told me no – go for purple. I’m happy I did it. It gives the whole thing a much more optimistic feel.

And the drawing he made was perfect. And it hurt like a mo-fo (my previous tattoo was on my back. Apparently, a cakewalk compared to the leg).

And I left with the usual weakness combined with adrenaline rush that goes with getting a tattoo. But not feeling anything dramatic. Not good, not bad. Just feeling right about what I did.

When I got home, I was met with a surprise. My husband had been in school all day. And somehow during the day he posted a really touching note on facebook for the whole world to see. (I would share a link or copy-paste it here, but it’s in hebrew)

Apparently, his guest blogging stint did good stuff for him so he took it a step further.

He wrote a note telling the world – “My wife and I have been through two miscarriages. We want the whole world to know this, because we want people to stop the consensus of silence around this. We want other couples to come out of the pregnancy loss closet, and also to know, that if god forbid they go through this in the future, they are not alone. That they have me and my wife.”

(of course it was longer and far more eloquent than what I paraphrased here)

Then he called out for couples everywhere to share their story. He said “don’t copy and paste what I wrote. Share your story. It helped me, it helped my wife, and it may help countless others in the future.”

I love my husband.

The rest of the evening was uneventful. Yoga class, followed by some yummy take out and a short cuddle on the couch, and a few good phone conversations with friends.

There were no big revelations today. No big breakdowns. I am surprised at myself. But I don’t think it came from a place of repression. I think it’s just the way it was for me.

And that was it. And I love my tattoo. And I think I’m good with today being relatively calm and drama-free.

On another note, I wanted to point out Marie’s post today. She’s right. There seems to be a general mood of gloom around here lately.

I have a suggestion to make about this. The live blog the other night turned into a live chat. And I have to say – it was much more fun than the oscars themselves. Everyone said how fun it was and how we should do it again.

I think we should. I think that it may be a really great way for us to just do an online bitch&stitch every once and a while. Heated debates about edward cullen and who deserves to marry colin firth included as needed. As well as support as needed.

I thought it would be fun. Setting something like this up, say once every week or two. I think we can find a way to make all of our schedules fit together so we can spend an hour of girly QT together every once in a while. It was way too much fun to wait until the next oscars – don’t you think? Plus – it’s a good solution to get out of our own wallowing – or at least, wallow together.

Comment away about your thoughts on this! And thanks again – everyone. You are amazing. Each and every one of you.

PS – Elphie is now an official contributor to Fertility Authority! Go check out her first post and give her some love! Yay Elphie! Congrats!

I’m a copycat

23 Feb

Inspired by ICLW, there’s been a list of questions about yourself to answer floating around the blogoverse. Yay memes! Since I always feel an unexplained urge to do everything that Courtney does, here’s my list:

  1. Age: 30.
  2. Blog Title Inspiration: I don’t know. I started this blog on a whim, I guess it’s just the first thing that popped into my head. It’s a bit dramatic, but I’m happy that Elphie came up with Mo as a nickname for me. It lightens things up a bit.
  3. Chore You Hate: Um… Everything. Though I guess doing dishes and taking out the trash are at the top of that list.
  4. Day at the Beach or Cozy Rainy Day? Cozy Rainy Day, hands down. Especially if Shmerson is home and the puppy is feeling particularly cuddly.
  5. Essential Start Your Day Item: Currently: my bbt thermometer. Oh, and xanax (Dr’s orders!). Ahh well.
  6. Favorite Color: Purple. In fact I’m rather obsessed with the color. I even used to have a huge purple couch. Now that i live in wedded bliss, I’ve tried to dial it down a bit (the drawbacks of living with a guy, but I still have a purple purse, purple wallet, purple coat, and yes, purple hair – not electric purple because I’m not 15. Eggplant purple)
  7. Gold or Silver? Silver. Definitely. Even my engagement ring and wedding ring are in white gold. Don’t know why, but I associate gold with guidos. Just don’t like it.
  8. Height: 5’2″
  9. Instruments You Play: I kind of play the guitar – but know mostly basic chords and the intro to “Wish you were here” by pink floyd. I rock on hard level guitar hero, tho. (Shmerson on the other hand, can pull off “hotel california” in expert mode. I am still in awe.)
  10. Job Title: That’s a tough one. I work from home, managing the family business, and I also do freelance work, and I’m a filmmaker. So let’s just say Content Editor/General Manager/Writer/Director/Film Instructor/Generally Confused.
  11. Kids: 2 miscarriages, will start trying again for a first soon.
  12. Live: Haifa, Israel
  13. Mom’s Name: I don’t mention mine here to fool the google machine, but I guess her’s won’t hurt. Miri. Short for Miriam. But nobody’s called her Miriam since she was about 10. So Miri.
  14. Book Currently on Your Nightstand: I’ve mostly been doing the audiobook thing. But “Man in the Dark” by Paul Auster is eagerly waiting to be cracked open. He’s my favorite author and I can’t bring myself to audiobook him. On the other hand I never read before bed because it actually makes me stay up engrossed. (Fun fact: I read “The Lovely Bones” before it was fashionable. I cracked it open at 8pm, and didn’t put it down until I was done, at 6am. Since then I don’t read before bed, for fear of it happening again. When a new Harry Potter book used to come out, I would sleep through the day on purpose to prepare myself for an all-nighter, and read until I collapsed). Ok. Enough on that topic.
  15. Nickname: On here it’s “Mo” (thanks again Elphie! And congrats on the new URL!). I actually have several nicknames from several people. Shmerson calls me “Shmerson” (surprise surprise!), Squish calles me “Squishy” (again, shocker), my parents call me either “pashosh” (hebrew for little songbird, methinks), or “tushka” (which means nothing). PM calls me “mansies” which evolved from “man”, another friend calls me Dudess… My brother calls me “sissy” (I call him that too. We like to make funny). The list goes on an on. I am a woman of many layers.
  16. Overnight Hospital Stays? Luckily, no.
  17. Pet Peeve: Tough one. Oh! When people make plans with me, get me all excited about them, and then cancel on me at the last minute. Oh, and people who talk with their mouth full.
  18. Quote from a Movie: Court stole mine, so I’m gonna go with “A woman’s heart is an Ocean of secrets” from Titanic. No, actually I only use that cynically. Ok – make it “Hang around with Yus” Squish and I actually use it when we meet famous people as in: “I got to hang around with Yus!” Squish recently had the honor of hanging around with yus – courtesy of Machine Head. Yay Squish!
  19. Right or Left Handed? Right.
  20. Siblings: One older brother. (Hi sissy!)
  21. Time You Wake Up? Since the happy pills, my sleep schedule is all over the place. Average is about 11am. I’m working on improving that.
  22. Underwear: Spanx, or granny panties, depending on what I’m wearing (hey, a girl needs to breathe sometimes!)
  23. Vegetable You Dislike: I hate pickles, peppers, and tomatoes (but only raw tomatoes, I cook them all the time. Which is weird.) I also kind of dislike beets, but I’m all for the greens.
  24. What Makes You Run Late: Usually my tendency to procrastinate which leads to me scrambling around the house to get stuff done before I leave, thereby making me late.
  25. Yummy Food You Make: That actually requires a list: Chicken Parm, Tomato Sauce, Stuffed Mushrooms, Salmon Teriyaki, Pasta with shrimp spinach and bacon, Oatmeal chocolate chip cookies, Lemon bars, French Onion Soup, homemade chicken fingers, and scorched green beans with garlic. Oh! And Lobster in a whiskey flambe with a white wine butter shallot sauce. I think that covers it. Yeah, I like to cook.
  26. Zoo, Favorite Animal: Bunnies! I like bunnies! (petting zoos count, right?)

Now it’s your turn. JOIN US! JOIN US!

To Share or Not to Share? That is the Question

22 Feb

Well, I’ve been rolling this conundrum around in my head for a few weeks, and I figured it was time to put it out there in the blogoverse.

We’re getting ever-closer to finishing off the checklist of things that need to get done before we TTC again.

Blood tests? Check. All that’s left is a follow-up at the gyno to see if we need to check any more hormonal stuff out. That’s two days from now.

Mood stability? Check

Quitting Smoking? Hella close. Got the go-ahead from the shrink  to go for it using the patch. Set a quit date of March 7th – yes, not sooner Marie, because I want to give myself space to deal with my upcoming due date before taking on a new challenge. I hope you approve. 🙂

Financial stability? It’s a question of a couple of months before we’ll be back on our feet again. I think. Though you can never really be sure about these things.

Extras: yoga at least twice a week, started acupuncture last week, eating waaay healthier, cut down significantly on caffeine, started temp monitoring.

So yeah – my feeling is that Shmerson and I should be hopping back in the saddle within the next couple of cycles. I’m waiting for my instinct to kick in and tell me it’s time. I trust it enough now to wait for that moment, and I know it’s coming up soon.

Now some may know, and some may not, but here’s my deal: getting a BFP has been a breeze for us (and for that I am really thankful). So far, both times that we actively TTC we were successful within the month. I always joke with shmerson that he’s got super-sperm. See, the problem isn’t making the sperm meet the egg, it’s keeping those darn things in my uterus that’s been the problem.

After my first Miscarriage, before I found this amazing community, there were only two people around me who understood what I was going through.

One of them was my brother’s girlfriend, who had struggled with IF for 5 years. Her battle was different, but she understood my longing. About two days after my first D&C, she called to check in, and she said something that at the time, sounded pretty weird to me. She said “when I was struggling to get pregnant, I almost wished for a miscarriage. I thought it was better than nothing at all. It would have been progress. Consider yourself lucky.”

Yeah – this is an intense statement by any stretch of the imagination. But I admit I get her point. I sometimes feel like a fraud. Seeing other people’s journeys here makes me appreciate how truly lucky I am. Sperm meets egg happens. And that is, for others, a huge hurdle to overcome. In hindsight I see where she was coming from. She was right. I am lucky.

I know I will see that BFP relatively quickly. For me, the struggle will begin after the BFP.

Sure, the freaking out will begin with the first TWW, but once I see that second line – well, that’s what I’m really afraid of. I no longer have the option of joy for that BFP. I know it will bring with it a whole mess of new fears.

I am incredibly scared of having a third miscarriage. And those first few months are going to be hell for me, waiting for every scan, waiting for that elusive heartbeat, willing myself to not get too attached.

I’m sure with every milestone one sort of fear will subside, but another will take its place. I am trying to prepare myself for that as much as I can.

Now of course, I feel like this time, if, spaghetti monster forbid, I miscarry again, I have the tools and the support to deal with it that I didn’t have before.

But either way, I’m already prepared for those first three months to be tense as all heck. And if all goes well and I make it to a second trimester, I know I will by that point inevitably be in love with the baby growing inside me – and be even more scared of possible loss.

So I’ve really been in a huge dilemma. I mean, of course, I think the support I get here would be huge if I get that BFP, but on the other hand, I’m not quite sure if the BFP will be a celebration for me. First heartbeat? Yes. passing the 8 week mark? Yes. Entering the second trimester? Hell-to-the-yeah. But still, I know in my heart that even then, it won’t be a true celebration until I hold a healthy, alive baby in my arms. And I’m a bit afraid of getting too excited about getting a BFP and getting my heart broken again.

During my first pregnancy I pretty much yelled it from the rooftops. In my second, I was in denial, but still shared. But now sharing is huge. Sharing means sharing it with this whole community.

And I have mixed feelings about that as well. On one hand – of course I will need your support through the dreaded TWW and DEFINITELY after the BFP.

But I don’t know – I guess I kind of feel guilty. There are all these amazing women here struggling with just getting that elusive BFP. I feel like when I get that, and don’t jump up and down with joy, then it may seem ungrateful. Even possibly offend some of the people who follow this blog.

I know how painful it is for me to see women aglow with their big bellies eagerly awaiting their due dates. Will I be inflicting that same pain if everything goes smoothly? I don’t want to make anyone of my newfound soul mates sad. I know that every bit of fear or happiness I express here, will come with a fresh new dose of guilt. Because I know, that in the end, I am for now, one of the lucky ones.

And then there’s the fact that each time I’ve shouted about my BFP from the rooftops, it’s ended in loss. Maybe I’m jinxing it?

I don’t know, it’s all a jumble.

I mean, on one hand, it’s really a “duh” kind of situation. Of course I have to share TTC, the TWW and my fears of another MC here. This is why this blog was started in the first place.

But on the other – I am scared to. I’m scared both of the failure of yet another miscarriage and the heartbreak that would bring, and of success, and the possible pain it would inflict on a whole community that I’ve come to love and cherish.

I even feel guilty writing this post (we Jews are good at that, huh?). But I needed to share. The decision to TTC is close, and I want to feel ok with sharing it here.

I’ll end with a song, courtesy of SLC via facebook. I don’t want to become this! Please help me alleviate my premature guilt and affirm me as a good person, ok? Yeah, it’s sad that I need that, but work with me here, people!

*** Editor’s note (or something) Bad bad me! The video was discovered by Marie and I missed her blog post due to me being lame.

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