Tag Archives: daily revelation

What a Difference A Month Makes

31 Aug

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

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

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

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

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

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

Broken Until Proven Otherwise

30 Aug

Today was a wonderful day. Nothing big happened. I went out, washed the car, bought myself a summer dress on sale. In the evening, Shmerson suggested we take Luna out for a long walk. We’ve been trying to take walks lately – it’s good for health-type-stuff, so I hear.

The walk started a two hour conversation. I love it when Shmerson and I talk openly and honestly about our relationship. We do it often, but each time we do, it’s proof once again that I have married the right man.

I haven’t been doing well lately. I’m trying, but it’s hard to push forward and put on a happy face. I want to “live my life” but I can’t. This last year has been holding me back – keeping me trapped.

I’ve spent the last couple of weeks trying to figure out why this is. Why I can’t break free from this and just LIVE until we get our baby. I’ve realized that it’s something that’s ingrained in me. You see – I have this thing about me, which in the past I’ve viewed as an asset, but is now a liability. When I get my mind and heart set on something I go for it like a guided missile and don’t give up until I reach my goal. I’ve always been this way. For example, both my graduate and undergraduate thesis films were deemed “impossible to pull off” by my professors, because they were too ambitious. And in each case I gave said professors the finger and made them happen. This is who I am. When I want something, it consumes me completely until I achieve it. Nothing else exists. It’s not something I can control. It’s just how I do things.

So the missile that was let out of the gate three miscarriages ago is still flying, seeking its target. And it won’t stop until it gets there. Everything else be damned. No matter how hard I try to fight it. I’ve come to realize that there’s no point in fighting it, because it just makes me feel like a failure. So instead, I’ve started to embrace it.

In our talk tonight, Shmerson and I were discussing this very clearly. I wanted to share a part of this conversation with you, despite its intimacy. I share this with his permission. I share this because this is the part that no one talks about, and it needs to be talked about. This is the part where things get really ugly and complicated. I talk of course of physical intimacy. Also known in some circles as “Sex” (any real life friends reading this – feel free to skip the rest of the post if it makes you uncomfortable).

Our sex life hasn’t exactly been fireworks lately. It’s not Shmerson’s fault. I mean, seriously – he’s a hottie. It’s all about me. Every time we make love I see my physical scars. Every time I feel the weight of my losses. I feel broken.

So I don’t initiate unless I get a positive OPK. I’m scared to. It just makes my insecurities bubble up to the surface.

But of course not having enough intimacy makes me feel just as bad. Because I love my husband. I want to want to be intimate with him. I don’t want him to feel like our sex life is only about making a baby. It shouldn’t be.

Tonight I put my cards out on the table. In embracing my status as a missile I very plainly told him: I know this is a problem. I hate that this is how things are right now. I also hate the fact that there is only one thing that will fix this: A baby.

To say anything else would be a lie. I could be a hypocrite and say that it’s wrong to put all of this on a baby. A baby won’t make things better. It won’t solve problems. It’s unfair to put so much strain on a child. It’s bad parenting.

But in this case – this would be a lie. The fact is, that I feel broken. I feel like my body has failed me. And until my body proves otherwise by carrying a baby to term, I’m going to continue to feel this way. That has nothing to do with a baby and everything to do with me.

I know what I’m saying here may seem controversial, or TMI, or whatever. But it’s my truth. My body is broken until proven otherwise. There is nothing I can do to control that. I know that the only solution in sight is a successful pregnancy. Maybe there are others. But the missile won’t let me look anywhere but there for the time being.

There’s no use in fighting it. I’ve tried to do that for over a year now. It is what it is. So for now – I’m giving in. I’m surrendering to it. I feel broken. I am broken until proven otherwise. So I’d like to prove otherwise as soon as possible.

Saying this so bluntly to my amazing husband scared me. I was afraid he was going to tell me that I shouldn’t feel this way and we should stop trying until I feel differently. But he got it. He understood. He knows that this is the situation until we reach a healthy pregnancy. And he’s ok with it. He’s not bitter. He’s not angry. He understands.

And boy – do I love him all the more for it.

I can be an asshole of the grandest kind 
I can withhold like it’s going out of style 
I can be the moodiest baby and you’ve never met anyone 
who is as negative as I am sometimes

I am the wisest woman you’ve ever met. 
I am the kindest soul with whom you’ve connected. 
I have the bravest heart that you’ve ever seen 
And you’ve never met anyone 
Who’s as positive as I am sometimes.

You see everything, you see every part 
You see all my light and you love my dark 
You dig everything of which I’m ashamed 
There’s not anything to which you can’t relate 
And you’re still here 

I blame everyone else, not my own partaking 
My passive-aggressiveness can be devastating 
I’m terrified and mistrusting 
And you’ve never met anyone as, 
As closed down as I am sometimes.

You see everything, you see every part 
You see all my light and you love my dark 
You dig everything of which I’m ashamed 
There’s not anything to which you can’t relate 
And you’re still here 

What I resist, persists, and speaks louder than I know 
What I resist, you love, no matter how low or high I go 

I’m the funniest woman you’ve ever known. 
I am the dullest woman you’ve ever known. 
I’m the most gorgeous woman you’ve ever known 
And you’ve never met anyone as, as everything as I am sometimes.

You see everything, you see every part 
You see all my light and you love my dark 
You dig everything of which I’m ashamed 
There’s not anything to which you can’t relate 
And you’re still here 

And you’re still here 
And you’re still here...

The More Things Change…

13 Aug

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Me - age 23

Me, age 30

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

Climbing

30 Jul

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

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

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

Freaky.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

….

Are you back? Ok then.

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

And yet

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

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

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

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

***

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Luna and one of her many stuffed bunny toys.

Debbie Downer

20 Jul

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Until tomorrow!

Stop the Train, I Want to Get Off

16 Jul

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And then I did some thinking.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

****

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

Change of Perspective

2 Jul

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

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

Now back to our regularly scheduled blog post.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Milestones

8 Jun

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

My Cup Runneth Over. Or Something.

14 Apr

I’ve had a crazy few days, so my apologies for not keeping up with you guys, and only posting silly things about birthdays, fajitas and earrings. Things are still a bit nuts around here, but yesterday, amongst the craziness, Shmerson and I had a very serious conversation, which I wanted, in part, to share with you guys.

Yesterday in therapy I realized just why I want to be a mother so badly.

I mean, think about it. All of us IFers, RPLers, etc, get so obsessed with MAKING the baby, do we even let ourselves think about PARENTING that baby? And about why we want to be parents as badly as we do?

I think for some people, making a baby becomes an obsession. Because the flying spaghetti monster makes it hard for us to make babies, we want it all the more.

But apart from the “screw you I will make this happen” aspect of it all. WHY?

I’ve been examining the whole “why I want to be a mother so badly” issue quite a bit in therapy over the last few months. Yesterday, it hit me that it’s because I love to love. There is nothing I enjoy more in this world than loving other people. Being there for them. Helping them. My cup runneth over. Or something.

So having that on my mind, while running around yesterday, the subject came up with shmerson while we were in the car driving from one crazy thing to another.

I told him: I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I want to be barefoot and pregnant. Like, for the next 5 years. I just want to make baby after baby and cook for them and make a pretty house for them and be their mommy. I want to be a stay at home mom. And only a mom.

Now, of course, that’s impossible in our current financial situation. No matter what, even if it’s from home, I’m going to have to keep on working.

But a girl can dream, right (even if it is an outdated dream circa 1950 that is the complete opposite of the dream the same girl had not even 2 years ago).

Anyway, that’s where the conversation turned. To how my dream is impossible, and also about our financial situation as a whole in the past, present and future.

Sometime during the drive Shmerson said something very wise: Up until 10 months ago we handled our finances like a couple. Now we’re handling them as parents.

He’s right. With every single month that has gone by since my first BFP, Shmerson and I have become more mature, more focused, and more honest about our financial situation and our goals for the future in general. All in preparation for becoming parents. We are, in fact, becoming parents more and more with each and every day that passes.

Sometime during this conversation I actually had the thought that on some level, it’s a good thing that those two pregnancies didn’t stick. Because those babies would have been born into financial and emotional chaos. Now, when we finally manage to bring a baby into this world, that baby will be born to PARENTS. People that have already prepared financially and emotionally – as much as we can, for that baby.

Now, you know it’s not REALLY a good thing to have lost those babies, or to be infertile. Miscarriage and infertility suck, to say the least.

But think about it – we have the luxury of time. Of planning. Of learning how to be parents before actually becoming parents. (Not to mention appreciating the journey so much more once we get there).

Anyway, I think it’s pretty cool.

And I also think that I have an awesome husband for stating it that way. “We’ve been living as parents for the last 10 months.”

I love it. My cup runneth over. Or something.

Not Knocked Up – And Happy About It

5 Apr

Ok – so the red lady has yet to sing, but she’s due tomorrow and I got yet another BFN today. I know I’m out this cycle.

And guess what? I’m happy about it!

“Happy?” you ask. “How can you be happy about a BFN?”

Here’s the thing. I’m a bit mad that I’m not as clairvoyant as I thought. But on the other hand, I’ve been walking around during this TWW with a huge sense of unease. I was having a hard time pinpointing why, but I had this general feeling that Dr. Blunt wasn’t taking me seriously. Now, don’t get me wrong, I like the guy, but I think he, like most doctors over here, is set up so that he only gets serious after 3 miscarriages.

Both me – and Shmerson it turns out – have been walking around these last two weeks waiting for a BFP, and also for the inevitable Miscarriage that we were both sure would follow.

Then last night, I ran across this post via LFCA. This woman has been through multiple miscarriages, and she basically wrote up a survivor’s guide. Most of what she said was not news to me, but one message came across loud and clear: why go through more heartache waiting for another loss? Insist on all the tests NOW!

It struck a chord with me. So I let that message stew in my head for a bit. Then this morning I remembered something, and smacked myself upside the head. How did I not think of this sooner?

Three years ago, just as Shmerson and I were starting our relationship, someone recommended that I go see a doctor who is not only an OB/GYN, but also an Endocrinologist (he’s the only one in the country who is both, which means he’s an expert in women just like me). I went to him back then, and without even reading my medical history he knew immediately that I had PCOS and could predict half my history just by looking at me.

At the time, there was not much he could do. But he said: When you want to have babies, come back and we’ll see what we can do.

I left there feeling like this guy knew his shit.

Now, mind you, Dr. Twofer (yes, that is what I’ve decided to call him), does not work with the universal health care system here and is a bit pricey.

But this morning I remembered him, and I said to myself – what’s more important? The money, or the knowledge that you’ve truly done everything you can?

So I talked to Shmerson, and my mom, and with the promise that my parents will help us cover some of the cost, I have set up an appointment for me and Shmerson this coming Sunday evening.

I can’t believe I’m about to say this:

I am so incredibly happy to have a BFN. I get to insist on getting some answers. i don’t need to have another two week wait feeling helpless. If there’s something that can be done, this man will help us do it. If there has been a stone left unturned, we will now insist on looking under it.

I feel like a huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders. I think the universe likes me. Thanks Universe!

***UPDATE: 2 hours after posting this I started spotting. It’s over, the red lady has sung, and I am relieved. How weird is that?

Beyond Pregnancy

30 Mar

Today in my therapy session, well, things went in a rather interesting direction.

I have been retreating into myself during the TWW and I was getting really mad at myself for not getting anything done.

My therapist, being her usual logical self, bitch-slapped me as she should and said a lot of things that make sense about how me being distracted will not make this next week go faster, etc. etc.

But then she asked – why is it that the possibility of being pregnant is keeping me from being productive?

At first I went to the usual places – fear of loss, etc.

But then I went to a completely new place. One that we don’t talk about here (as in the blogosphere) a lot.

I’m not 100% ready to be a mother. And that’s ALSO scaring me.

I mean, of course, you’re never 100% ready, are you? But I spent 15 minutes rattling off reasons why I could be better prepared and why we should have waited at least another three months before we tried again, but because of my biological clock, etc, we started now. But really, things would have been MUCH more stable had we waited longer.

On and on the ranty monologue continued. Half of me saying we’re pretty much ready and there are practical solutions to every problem I brought up, but the other half absolutely terrified.

Then I got to the heart of the matter. It’s not just that I’m terrified of another loss. I’m pretty much scared out of my wits to be a mom.

I mean, think about it. When we grow up, our little world is comprised of mother, father, and siblings. Everybody else is a supporting player. Our entire world, our comfort, our support, our belief system, our eating habits, everything (!) is shaped by our immediate family.

I am, hopefully soon but definitely eventually, going to become a foundation for a brand new immediate family. I, along with Shmerson will be the center of this child’s world. We will be responsible for feeding, clothing, love, support, upbringing – everything is in our hands.

Our parents, our brothers and sisters – once we have a child, they will become supporting players in our story.

The enormity of that responsibility hit me.

It’s not that I’m not ready for it. I am. I want it. But still:

HOLY CRAP!

Whew.

On another note, after therapy, I went on to my usual appt. with the Harley Hottie, which was enlightening in itself, but I won’t go into it today. Then I head home to see a notification of a package. Curious, I head over to the post office.

And then I find out how much Marie rocks.  Not only did she send me chocolate just for the heck of it, she also remembered me randomly mentioning that I hate the smell garlic leaves on my hands and sent me this special metal-type thing that you use like soap to get rid of the garlic smell. And to make things even cooler – guess what kind of chocolate she sent me?

Well – I’ll let the crappy and blurry cell phone pic speak for itself (I really need a freakin’ iphone):

Yep - that reads "Mo's Bacon Bar"

Yes – bacon and chocolate. And my interwebs initials! My two favorite things together in a strange, yet surprisingly yummy combination, and named after me!!

Yay Marie!! You rock!

 

 

Ray of Light

6 Mar

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I was excited. FOR ME.

I stopped the show and immediately bombarded Shmerson.

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

Shmerson made a face.

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

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

I’m ready.

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

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

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

I Think I’ve Decided Not to Decide

24 Feb

I visited the obgyn today. For those who forgot and those who don’t know, this is only the second time I’ve seen him. We moved shortly after my second M/C, so I had to find someone new.

He came highly recommended by my cousin, and I really liked him the first time I met him. So I’m gonna stick with him, and therefore, he needs a name. I’ve decided to call him Dr. Blunt.  It was between that and Dr. Marshmallow (because he’s round and white haired and very sweet), but today set it in stone: He’s Dr Blunt.

Allow me to rewind. I’ve been in several conundrums over the last couple of weeks, or to put it in Englishing, I’ve been dilemma-ing about.

After your amazing comments and support on my last major conundrum post, I definitely let got of my guilt, and I want to share the TTC process with you guys.

But a few things have happened in the last few days that have kind of made things change around a bit.

First, was my appt. with the Harley Hottie on Monday. During our needle sticking session, I asked him when he thought would be a good time to start TTC again. He said a month, maybe two. But then he said: “or just don’t try and see what happens.”

Now – I know we all hate the “just relax and it’ll happen” line. It’s sucky. He was basically telling me that. So I wrote it off.

Last week, at Dr. Blood’s, he looked at my MTFHR results and said I don’t need to worry, that being a heterozygote is normal, and that docs that give meds for it are just over prescribing. It does no good, and has nothing to do with miscarrying early. If I was the other type (I think it’s called homozygote) then it would be a problem. Again, my answer was – screw that! I know better! I’m gonna insist on prescriptions! Yay control!

But then, today, I walked into Dr. Blunt’s office, having gone through all of the tests he ordered, armed with temps, too many visits to Dr. Go Ogle, and a bunch of demands. Yes, it was as if I was holding him hostage. “Check my luteal phase! Prescribe a mega-dose of folic acid and other anti-clotting meds! Give me an Ultra-sound! Wave a magic wand and miraculously make me have a healthy baby!” Not that demands really help in this case, because it’s not that I was holding his kids at gunpoint or anything. And even then, how would that help? Plus I would never do that even if it’s just metaphorically speaking (get back on topic, Mo, you’re rambling again!).

Aaaanyway….

After my list of demands, Dr. Blunt shut me down. He looked at me and said: “Do me a favor – I’m the doctor here, so why don’t you let me make the suggestions?”

I blushed. I felt so guilty. I apologized.

He said not to worry – that every woman in my situation comes in with the same list of demands.

I smiled, apologized again, and shut the hell up and let him talk.

And I asked: “so, what do we do?”

He said  “Nothing”.

Control-Freaky alarm alert! What the hell is this guy talking about?

He holds up my medical file. And shows me what he wrote during my first visit, and what he wrote down today.

First visit (loosely translated): will most likely need progesterone supplements. Send for clotting tests to rule out other problems.

Second visit: No clotting issues found. Patient will need progesterone supplements.

I look at him skeptically: “What? No blood tests?”

He says – “There’s nothing here that would indicate anything but a lack of progesterone. Trust me. I mean, if you want – I can send you for a bunch of blood tests. I promise you they will show nothing else”.

*Danger! Danger!*

“But what about the whole heterozygote thing? Shouldn’t I be taking something for that?”

“A lot of doctors prescribe something for it. It’s a waste of medication. It’s just to calm the woman down. 40% of women are heterozygotes. It has nothing to do with miscarrying in the first trimester. But if you want, I can prescribe it, just to make you feel better. It probably won’t though.”

I KNOW this guy’s a great obgyn. My cousin had three high risk pregnancies that produced 3 healthy kids because of this guy.

I try to quiet the control freaky alarm bells.

“So what does this mean?”

“This means that you and your husband start trying whenever you want, and once you get that second line you call me immediately and we get you on progesterone, which will hopefully be all that’s needed to help you carry a baby to term”

“That’s all?”

“Yep”.

“Really?”

“Yep.”

Dumbfounded, I thank Dr. Blunt and walk out of his office.

I was expecting a barrage of tests. I was expecting several more weeks of uncertainty. I was expecting a long line of prescriptions. In short, I was doing what I always do – looking for drama where there isn’t any.

So I went back to what Dr. Blood and the Harley Hottie were saying.

They were saying what we all hate to hear. “Just calm down, it’ll happen.”

Now I know for most of you guys it’s not that easy. But like I’ve said here before, it’s obviously not the getting preggo that’s my problem. It’s the staying preggo.

So maybe, in my case, I should actually embrace that dreaded saying?

I kind of feel like I’m circling around my point here. Let me get down to the nitty gritty:

I’ve been making kind of a big deal about when we start to TTC. As in, I know that we’ll most likely get preggo quickly so I have to be ABSOLUTELY SURE before we try.

And that decision has been stressing me out. I’ve talked about it with shmerson. I’ve talked about it with my therapist. I’ve been going through every possible scenario in my head. If we start in march, then this and this will happen. If we start in april, then bla bla bla. Etc, etc.

The thing is that this “conception date” thing is only set in stone if I make sure it’s set in stone. If I continue monitoring my temps, if I continue to POAS, if I continue to count my cycle days.

So all of the sudden it hit me: “What if I decide not to decide?”

Which basically means – I quit two things: Smoking and tracking my cycle.

What if, once I quit smoking (March 7th people! Mark your calendars!), we lose the condoms, and just – have sex?

I don’t remember the last time Shmerson and I have just had sex, without thinking about timing, whether we need a condom, bla bla bla.

How great would it be for our relationship to just let that go? To just have sex for the sake of having sex, like most married couples do, and if that second line shows up, it shows up?

On one hand, it’s me avoiding making the decision.

On the other, well, it’s me avoiding the decision. Letting go of control. That’s major. It’s something i need to do.

It will be more challenging to me than, well, anything really. This means no pretending. No secret OPK’s, no TWW. Just – going with the flow and seeing what happens.

Of course, I’m assuming there will be some speculating on my part around when AF is supposed to come around. There will be phantom symptoms, there will be HPT’s taken.

But no official “TTC”. No sexy-time marathons during ovulation. No looking at the iphone app that tracks my cycle. Stopping my FF membership. Putting away the thermometer.

Since this seems like a scarier prospect than making a concrete decision, I sort of feel like it’s the way to go. Does that make sense?

As in – quit smoking, and then just lose the condom and make sweet lovin to your hubby whenever the heck you feel like it, and if the sperm happens to meet the egg, then good for us. I’m assuming that after a few months of this, if I don’t get a BFP, I’ll probably start tracking again. But for now, maybe it’s the right move?

I’m a heathen, and yet for some reason my instinct is telling me to let fate decide. I feel like it’s the right move for my marriage, and also in terms of my life choices.

It’s weird because this has all come to me in the last few hours. I’ve already talked it over with Shmerson, of course, and he’s on board. But this is me making a quick decision. Which is also sometimes bad, and I’ve been trying to avoid doing that. On the other hand, it feels like a difficult one to make, and yet the right one to make.

I don’t know ladies – what do you think? Is this a cop-out or a healthy decision?

Mom

2 Feb

So I kind of don’t know where to begin on this one.

I was at my psychologist’s today and told her about my breakthrough this week with my dad. And how, funny enough it was actually making things a bit more difficult for me. It’s as if I can see the light at the end of the tunnel toward contentment, and I can’t let myself get there, because I’m scared to.

Then I felt like a complete “on the couch” stereotype. Having dealt with at least some of my daddy issues – it’s time to deal with mom. I think it’s on some level that I can’t be truly happy because I feel like I don’t deserve it. Because of her.

I barely write about her here – which is amazing on some level, since she and I are so close. But I think it’s mostly because I am mega-protective of her.

My mom was the child of two holocaust survivors. My grandmother, Judit, passed when I was about 5 years old. Judit was part of the Warsaw ghetto uprising, an actress and an opera singer. Then she jumped off a train on the way to Treblinka – saving her own life, but losing an arm.

She married my mom’s father (I don’t call him grandpa). I like calling him “the abusive asshole”.  He passed when I was 12. Nobody cared. I know it sounds harsh but the man was a monster.

He beat my grandmother. He brought her down. He made her a fragment of what she was. When my mom was three they abandoned her at an orphanage. Her aunt and uncle (who I always saw as grandma and grandpa), took her away from there, and she eventually went back to live with her parents, but she never really got over that abandonment, and she spent her childhood witnessing the continued abuse of her mother, and being neglected. I never blamed my grandmother for it, and neither did my mom. She was weakened. I just mourn her for what she was and what she could have been. All my life I’ve been told how like her I am. (before she became a battered woman).

My mom decided at one point that she will be the complete opposite of everything her parents stood for. She would be the perfect mom.

Our fridge was always (too) full. Our door was always open. We were always the house where all of the friends came to. My mom was a second mother to about half of my friends. Some of them are still in touch with her – independently of me. When they had nowhere to go, they went to my house. It’s just the way it was.

At the same time – I grew up around emotional abuse. My father never clears his dishes from the dinner table, calls my mother “stupid”, under estimates her, and never ever allowed her to grow as a person.

I don’t know why she accepted it. I remember as a kid hearing her say that by being with him she was being punished for something she did in a past life.  (I’ve only lately come to realize that she was re-living a cycle of abuse without being aware of how wrong it was).

I remember by the age of 14 wishing that she would divorce him. It’s not that I don’t love my father, but I hate the way he treats her. I’m sure he’s cheated on her more than once – and I’m sure she knows at least about some of it. And she gave up her life basically to take care of him and us.

I feel like I owe her everything.

My dad never changed one diaper. He never picked us up from school. He never cooked a meal. It was all my mom.

The thing is – the woman is an amazingly talented interior designer, and her career never happened, because he didn’t let it – and because she let him keep her away from her dreams.

In the last couple of years my mom has been seeing a therapist. I’m the one who pushed her to it.

Slowly she’s started to realize how much she’s given up and she is angry. She’s angry all the time, sometimes at my dad, but mostly at herself for letting this happen.

I am so sad for her – though I do feel that at the end of the day, she did fulfill her true dream – to be a mother. She is a mother to everyone and every thing. Even strangers – it’s rather mind-blowing.

The problem is I feel guilty. I know how much she’s given up to raise my brother and I. I know how much she lives vicariously through me.

I want to be a mother as much for her as I do for me, because I know how happy more grandchildren would make her.  I want to be successful as much for her as I do for me – because I know how proud she would be.

and I feel responsible. I want to make her happy. I want her to let go of her anger and confront my dad. I wish I could do it for her – but it’s her battle and I know she has to fight it.

But I’m left with guilt and a sense of responsibility.

It’s easy to solve daddy issues for me because they’re so straightforward – it’s just about allowing myself to be heard.

But with my mom…. Well, my therapist says I need to let go of my sense of responsibility for her. Keep on loving her but no longer feel responsible for her happiness/unhappiness, and as a result – guilty about my own.

That’s a far more complicated knot to untangle.

Conversations with my therapist

26 Jan

I walk in today, still feeling down, still unsure of everything.

Me: I’m so confused. I met with a head hunter and she told me what my potential income would be for a full time job, and for freelance and part time, and basically said that in terms of where we live, I have to take into consideration at least a 40 minute commute because there’s nothing in the area.

Her: Ok

Me: And I had a meeting at that community center, and they love me and want me to teach there, but they’re not sure whether they have space for me this year. I’ll know next week. Either way the salary is crap.

Her: Ok.

Me: And I figured out that the best way to move forward in terms of getting a film off the ground is to go for this grant along with the guy who wrote “make-up” with me – because I think it would be good to have the safety net of a writing partner and it just makes sense.

Her: Ok. So what’s wrong?

Me: I’m freaking out! I’m depressed! I don’t know what I want! I don’t know anything!

Her: *laughs*

Me: What’s so funny?

Her: You actually know quite a bit.

Me: Huh?

Her: You’ve just spent 10 minutes giving me your current options, with real, concrete explanations. This is the first time you’ve ever done that. There was no fantasy – just real steps to getting somewhere.

Me: Really?

Her: Really.

Me: huh. But I don’t know! I can’t make a decision! I’m so scared!

Her: What scares you?

Me: *15 minute rant in which I list everything I’ve ever been afraid of* Oh, and I’m going to die.

Her: None of this stuff has happened to you.

Me: I know. I tell that to myself. And then I get around it by telling myself that whatever happens I’m going to die eventually. ***

Her: Well, making decisions isn’t going to kill you.

Me: I know it’s not rational, but this is what I tell myself and then I start having an anxiety attack.

Her: (keep in mind that this woman rarely says more than three sentences per session – so this was mind blowing) You know what I think? I think that this thought is actually your insecurity  – your fear of living. Every time you stick your head out the door – that thought sneaks up and goes “Boo! get back into that dark room!” Every single time. Because you don’t have faith in yourself. You know how last week we spent the entire session talking about make-up? Well, guess what? I didn’t need to talk about make up. You did. I saw make up. I know what you’re worth and it’s a heck of a lot. And it’s not just in movies. You’re smart, you’re talented in so many ways, and yet you cling to other people telling you this rather than believing it yourself. So every time you peak your head out the door that little thought sneaks up on you and says “Boo! You’re not good enough! Get back in the corner!” And you listen. You just need to realize how wonderful you are, and maybe that thought won’t sneak up on you as often.

Me: *head explodes*

Me: *miraculously does not have a panic attack during this entire conversation*

Me: But I’m scared. I’m scared that if I’m happy I’ll die.

Her: I promise you you are no more likely to die than the rest of us.

Me: *bawling. still no panic attack*

Holy jeez guys – I think the zoloft is starting to work. (not to mention that my therapist is a brilliant and amazing lady)

 

***this is the first time I’ve voiced this in writing, and maybe only the third time I’ve expressed it out loud in any way.Simply writing it out is making me anxious. But no panic attack, so progress!

Pathetic, Really

17 Jan

So my last post was all about me being “bla”. I’ve been trying to figure out what made me feel like this after such a wonderful weekend. Part of it, I’m sure, is adjusting to the new Zoloft dose, but part of it has been that my absolute longing for a baby has been re-ignited in what I think is a rather unhealthy way.

See – I’ve really been trying this whole patience thing. It’s been working on and off mostly for the last month.

I know there are steps that need to be taken before Shmerson and I TTC again. Here! Let me outline them for you!

1) I need to quit smoking (again).

2) I need to be in a place where I no longer need to rely on xanax for anxiety.

3) I need to get through all of my blood tests and make sure everything is ok with me health-wise.

4) Shmerson and I need to be in a place where we’re financially stable long term.

We’ve been taking steps for all of these things, and they really do seem like they are around the corner. 1, 2, and 3 are most likely happening within the next month, and 4 – though far more complicated – is well on it’s way.

But still – I need patience. And one of the best things in my life is testing that patience.

This is Luna:

Top photo courtesy of Squish, of course.

Ok – I am definitely the farthest from objective here, but she is the best doggy ever.

Shmerson and I adopted her in May of ’08, when she was about 5 months old.

This was fairly early in our relationship but we didn’t really care because it was obvious that we were both in it for the long haul.

When I first saw her picture on a dog adoption board I just knew in my heart she would be ours. We drove two hours to meet her and took her home immediately, and two days later, she was already whining when one of us left the house.

Luna is sensitive, she likes to cuddle, and I will be the first to admit that she is incredibly needy and could probably use a bit of training (once we can afford it).

But this dog is so incredibly smart an loving even without that. I love her to bits, unconditionally.

My family always teases us that we treat her like an ad-hoc baby. And we do. We have conversations about how to raise her, we babble to her in baby talk, we are over-protective of her and we cuddle with her. A lot.

Yesterday, I picked her up and cradled her in my arms. She, as usual gave herself over to my cradling immediately. I looked at her for a moment and realized that I was holding her as if I was holding a baby.

The longing in my stomach became almost unbearable. I started to realize that I was trying to make her fill a void that she never could.

I spent the rest of the evening melancholy, and when shmerson and I went to sleep last night, two seconds before he was away in dream land, I said to him “Shmerson, I want a baby.”

He answered “Soon. Very soon.”

Then I couldn’t sleep and I thought I would blog about it. But then I thought – what’s the point? I mean, this longing has never really gone away. It was just that moment of realization that made it more poignant at the time.

It took me all day today to process the fact that this amazing little puppy is a trigger. I just hope I don’t hold it against her (and against myself).

Urgh.

What a Difference a Dress Makes

15 Jan

Aaaand…. We’re back!

Just got back from a lovely and much needed 72 hours with the hubby (that were also internet-free). What I’m posting now is something I wrote thursday night. Happy reading!

****

I’m writing this on Thursday night, 1am. I have resorted to a word document because there is no internet here, but I am so full I just have to empty some of it out in words.

First of all – Thank you, Marie!

A couple of weeks back, I talked about not feeling like a woman. Marie suggested then in the comments that I put on a pretty dress and have my husband buy me dinner.

Shmerson and I took it a step further. Tonight, one of shmerson’s best friends got married. The wedding was in Jerusalem – a two hour drive from our home, so we decided to get a room at a nice bed and breakfast nearby and make a weekend of it.

Our room had a huge Jacuzzi and I came in a woman with a plan. We got to the place at 4pm. I took over the Jacuzzi with my last bath bomb from lush, which I’ve been hoarding jealously for way too long. I brought along the glitter soap that squish bought me ages ago and I hardly use. I brought along every bit of make up I had, a bunch of jewelry, a dress I love, and high heels.

I took an hour long bath. I did my hair – sparkly hair band and all. I spent half an hour on my make up. I put on my huge earring, my favorite perfume, and when I was done – I felt beautiful.

The evening started out a little iffy. Daddy’s company strikes again and I was a bit distracted by work.

I barely knew anyone there except the happy couple and a few of shmerson’s friends, but we had both decided that we would do our best to make the bride and groom feel loved, because we saw how much it meant to us at our own wedding.

While still distracted by work, the evening started out with cocktails, where shmerson and I sat with an acquaintance of his. Immediately the subject of children came up, as he is also recently married, and he was pretty open about them having trouble conceiving.

I immediately told him about our miscarriages. Openly. It was a pretty great conversation.

Then something magic slowly started happening. As the evening went on, I found myself surrounded by a bunch of women, some I knew, some not, and we all started talking. I opened up about my journey and they shared theirs. I felt like my old self again. I intuitively picked up their signs of unhappiness and after they listened, I listened as well.

One women commented on how I may as well be a mind reader.

Another just called me beautiful.

Then I made good on shmerson’s and my promise. I danced until my feet practically fell off, and when they did, I became the bride and groom’s water boy. If I couldn’t dance – at least I could keep them hydrated. I felt connected. I felt happy.

I noticed that the groom was unhappy with the DJ. I stepped in and fixed it. It was like I was completely intuitive about everything. It was the same old me – only magnified by everything that makes me good and happy. Everything that makes me feel special.  Everything about myself that I thought I had lost or had been gone so long that I forgot about it completely.

My intuitiveness, my motherly instinct. My uncanny talent of reading and understanding people. My charm. My beauty. My ability to be open for and to open up to others.

On the dance floor the groom came up to me and thanked me for being so sensitive to the couple’s needs and taking such good care of him. I smiled and said that I loved them and I just wanted to make them happy. He said he loved me too.

Shmerson told me later that one of his friends, that had never met me before, came up to him and told him that he thought I was really nice, and really beautiful. Wow.

At the end of the night, with the place nearly empty, I took a seat and looked at the bride and groom, and my husband bouncing up and down beside them.

Then I thought to myself “I made friends today.”

Tears welled up in my eyes, because I knew it was the truth, and it had been so long since I opened myself up to the world in such a way.

With the evening over, Shemrson and I sat in the car. I was overflowing with joy, as was he.

I told him that I feel that we’re slowly tiptoeing away from tragedy and toward happiness.

I told him “it’s two steps forward, and one step back, but I think we’ll make it.”

And he answered: “Well, that makes it a dance.”

Tears welled up in my eyes, and I started bawling.

Shmerson looked at me and said that he was happy to see me crying tears of joy for a change.

So was I.

Yay me!

13 Jan

So yeah – it turns out the zoloft kind of stopped working somewhere around last thursday.
I was feeling detached, I was relying heavily on xanax, and I was basically anxiety ridden and with absolutely zero motivation.
I’d been taking half a pill (0.25 mg) a day, and I knew that I would eventually have to up the dosage to a full pill, but the shrink was trying to be careful about it because of the pretty awful reaction I had to them at first.

So just like that, when things were starting to look up, I was once again back to my old, no motivation, do nothing, then freak out about it pattern.  Oh – and the food cravings came back too and I spent all week eating junk food.

And of course – the whole “not talking about it” thing came back as well. It’s amazing how easy it is to fall into old patterns.

Lucky enough – this time, I was aware enough to notice it today. I knew in my heart of hearts that it was time to go up to the normal dosage.

So I called my shrink, told him how I was feeling, and lo and behold, he said the same exact thing.

So starting today I’m on .50 mg of zoloft. I just hope I don’t have the same side effects as I did when I started. A friend with some experience with this stuff assures me that it won’t happen since the medication is already in my system. We shall see. Cross your fingers for me that this time it sticks!

But yeah, I’m pretty proud of myself for recognizing it and catching it in time. Yay me!

On another note – shmerson and I are going to the wedding tomorrow followed by a romantic weekend, so I tried on dresses and shoes today.

Three out of 7 fit me, which isn’t bad, though it could be better. I finally settled on a white number with black flowers and some simple black heels so I can go all out in the jewelry department. Yay ginormous earring!

My plan is to get to the hotel, take a long hot bubble bath, and then spend an hour on my hair and make up. Besides my wedding, I haven’t done that in over a year. Should be fun!

Confronting it head on

8 Jan

Ok – let’s start with a quick note. As you know, I keep this blog anonymous. This is not because I’m ashamed of what I’m going through – it’s just because I know the power of google, and because of my profession I don’t want to take any chances, and if I’m afraid of being judged or stigmatized, I would not be as open as I am here. Though I promise you – if you email me and ask I will happily give you my real name! 🙂

So readers have already met Shmerson, and Squish, and some other amazing people in my life.

Today, I want to tell you about pup-maker. Let’s call her PM for short. I’ve mentioned her in passing in earlier posts. I told her I was going to blog about her today, and she picked her own nickname, which was fun!

PM and I have been friends for years. During high school, we were inseparable. We grew apart for a while, but in the last couple of years we have gotten very close again.

About a year ago, PM had a miscarriage. It was a very devastating experience for her – and came with a bunch of rather traumatic medical complications.

At the time Shmerson and I weren’t even married yet – so I admit that on some level I didn’t know how to be a friend to her when she went through this, though I did my best.

When I got my first BFP, PM was one of the first people I called. And I called her freaking out. I was very much afraid of miscarrying at the time (self-fulfilling prophecy or female instinct?) and she was a huge source of support.

She has been amazing during this six-month ordeal.

Before we got back in touch, PM went through a breakdown very similar to mine. She had a traumatic experience and suffered from anxiety and depression (this was before she was married and TTC). She worked hard to get through it, and did it amazingly – yet she never really shared much of her experience with me.

About a month ago, PM called and told me she was nearing the end of her first trimester.

She had waited almost a year before TTC again, and at the time I didn’t understand why – now I do – she needed time to heal and mourn.

When PM called me to tell me the news, I was – surprisingly – genuinely happy for her. I wasn’t bitter at all. There was only just a tinge of jealousy – but not nearly as much as I though there would be.

Yesterday she called me to tell me that it’s going to be a boy. I smiled and said “Great! that means we have to have a girl so we can set them up!”

I meant it. I truly did.

PM and I met up tonight for some girl talk – something we haven’t really had a chance to do since I started this whole healing process. She’s been reading this blog – but this was our first one-on-one convo in a really long time.

It was also the first time I openly talked to her about my battle with anxiety. Imagine that. I’ve known this woman for 15 years now – and most of that time, we were going through a similar struggle, and neither of us shared that struggle with the other – even though we have always been close. Almost like sisters.

I honestly believe that if we had – both of us may have gotten better much sooner.

But that’s for another time.

PM is my first close friend to be preggo. And boy – I am so incredibly grateful it’s her. Because I’ve known her for so long, and I love her so much, a lot of the negative feelings I may have had with someone more distant are just not there.

Because I know what a hard time she had I am genuinely happy for her. and I also feel like I can learn a lot from her experience when Shmerson and I jump on the TTC wagon once more.

I really do feel lucky that this is the way I’m seeing pregnancy up close for the first time since the miscarriage. I can see the ultra sound pictures and look at them with longing, but also true and genuine happiness for her.

One thing that came up toward the end of our conversation today was  something that really did resonate with me. It’s a bit spiritual, coming from a heathen like me, so I hope my fellow heathens forgive me:

We talked about what happens when you ask the universe for something. And it’s not about what you ask for – but rather HOW you ask for it.

I jumped into my first two pregnancies wanting to be a mother, but very much from a place of “it’s the next logical step” and not from a place of “I’m truly ready.”

I think (hope) that an eventual healthy prenancy will come when I not only ask the big spaghetti monster in the sky to bring me a child. It will be how I phrase it.

Spaghetti monster – I am ready. I have healed my body to the best of my ability, and I am working on healing my soul. Please help me bring a child into this world.

I think that then it would be viewed as a far more reasonable – and fulfill-able request.

PM – you are strong and amazing and thank you for being my role model through this roller coaster.

Patience. Again. Always

7 Jan

I admit – I ‘ve had a bit of a relapse in terms of depression and anxiety the last few days. I think the blood pressure thing kind of freaked me out.

Mind you – thanks to the wonders of zoloft and xanax it’s not nearly as bad as it could have been.

But the last few days I admit to backsliding quite a bit.

There is one main difference in the way I handled it this time around though – Today I caught myself. I realized that I was backsliding. And I made the decision to stop it. I met up with friends, and I made plans for the weekend, and I just called people – just to see how they were doing.

And guess what? I already feel a bit better.

It’s amazing what a bit of perspective will do to a person. Really.

Today I met up with an old friend for dinner and I had to catch her up on everything that’s gone down over the last few months. The miscarriages, the depression, the anxiety…

And for the first time I told her about it with a smile. Despite the heavy feeling I’ve been carrying around all day – I managed to get through the story and take it to the positive place.

I also mentioned this blog – and how I feel sometimes that weeks have gone by when it’s only been days, because of the sheer amount of revelations that I continuously have through this newfound clarity.

She said it was lucky I was writing it all down because it’s one thing to have a revelation – and the real challenge is to remember it and act upon it in the long term.

I told her that at the end of the day, all of these little discoveries I make about myself come back to the same theme: patience.

As a person who is used to running, hitting a wall has taught me how important it is to slow the heck down sometimes and just let things progress little by little.

This works against everything I’ve taught myself so far in my life.

But I think that at the end of the day – this will be the lesson I take from this experience. The last few months have been some of the hardest in my life, and I know that the pain and difficulty is far from over.

But I am learning patience. Mostly with myself.

It’s going to be a while before it sinks in fully. But I’ll be patient with myself until it does. 🙂

Everybody hits a figurative wall in their lives sometimes. And those walls are an opportunity to look around, examine, and make a change.

I just didn’t realize it until I finally managed to control my anxiety. Up until now, when I hit a wall – I would just break it down and keep on running.

For now – I will (and should) be content with sitting down, and leaning up against it for a while.

(wow – I am just a well of metaphors tonight, aren’t I?)

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