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Tag Archives: friendship

Speechless

29 Jun

Sometimes words don’t do justice to an amazing gesture of kindness and love that comes from the other side of the world. 

This is one of those times. 

Thank you, Cristy (and Grey) for doing this for Nadav, Shmerson, and me. Thank you isn’t enough to describe how grateful and loved we feel. 

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What Was and Will Be Lost

11 May

There is a dear friend of mine who reads this blog, and this post is also about him. RMW – please know that I love you. I hope that what you are about to read will not hurt you in any way, because that is not my intention. I wanted to call and give you a head’s up about this, but honestly, I couldn’t find the words on the phone. Hopefully I find them here.

On the night before we lost Nadav, I was in the hospital. It was the worst night of my life. I knew what was waiting for me on the other side of that night. I knew what was to come. I was lying in a hospital bed, feeling him kick, knowing that I wouldn’t be feeling it for long. I knew that by that time the next day, I would lose my child.

Meanwhile, about an hour and half south of that hospital bed, a dear friend of mine was having the best night of his life. He was marrying his partner in front of friends and family. I was supposed to be among those friends.

That Monday morning I had given strict orders: Don’t tell him what’s going on. He should not be thinking of me. Just tell him the doctor put me back on bed rest and that’s why I can’t be there.

And that’s what my friends did.

Just as those two gorgeous men were about to walk down the aisle, I texted RMW. I told him how sorry I was that I wasn’t there. How I wish him all of the happiness in the world.

Then I cried.

The next night, just as labor was kicking in he called. We talked and he was amazing. A few days later he came to visit during one of my darker days. I know how happy he was, and that made the gesture even more meaningful. I feel like what happened to me is a stain on his happiness.

Today he posted a slideshow of his wedding on Facebook. I had been wanting to see pictures, so I was happy.

My reaction was unexpected. It was a mingling of regret, and sadness, and grief. Not just for Nadav, but for missing that beautiful night. For being part of the bad memories of that night, and not of the beautiful ones.

Squish, RMW, Me0Me and I are in this sort of gang. Squish is my BFF, and she’s RMW’s fag hag for life. I am Me0Me’s fag hag for life, and he and RMW are pretty much BFF’s. We make up this “gang of four”. Sometimes we’re closer, sometimes we’re further away, but the core is there. It has been for about 15 years now.

On the night of RMW’s wedding, Squish and Me0Me knew what was happening with me. They respected my wishes and had the time of their lives. They got smashed. They danced. They celebrated.

Then RMW went home, and they both collapsed in a heap of grief.

Nadav was a loss for them as well.

They were going to be his aunt and uncles. They loved him.

Nadav was supposed to be the end of my two-year-long torment, one that they had held my hand through.

Instead, he was lost. And mourned. Not just by me, but by everyone who loved me. By the three other people in our little gang of four.

Today I watched RMW’s slide show and cried. I cried because this journey made me miss the happiest day of my dear friend’s life. I cried because the best night of his life was the worst night of mine.

I cried because I hate the fact that this will forever be intertwined in my head. I cried because I wanted the happiest night of RMW’s life to be one of the happiest of mine. Just like the night I saw Me0Me and his husband exchange vows. I wanted to be a part of that moment, and I was not.

I was an hour and a half north, in a hospital bed, bawling in the arms of my family. Feeling Nadav kick his last kicks.

Shmerson’s cousin is getting married in a few months (hey there O, I know you’re probably reading this too). It will be happening in the U.S.

And chances are that I won’t be there. If all goes according to plan (which it rarely does, but perhaps it will), I will not be at that wedding. I will be in bed. Missing out on another joyous occasion. Missing out on a chance to see friends, to spend time with family.

Missing out – all in the pursuit of a child.

There are days, even weeks, that I want to push forward. I want to go through all of this again as soon as possible, so we can put this behind us and move forward. So we finally know the outcome.

But there are days like today, when I feel utterly alone. I feel the weight of what has been lost, and what will be lost in pursuit of this.

There are days like today when I wish that this ache for a child didn’t exist. That the clock wasn’t ticking. That I could just leave this now.

So that I don’t miss anymore moments of joy. So that I don’t have to be the cause of so many moments of grief.

There are days like today that I wish I was there to witness my friend’s happy moment. To have completed the gang of four that night, rather than to have been the missing piece.

In a hospital bed, feeling my son’s final kicks.

There are days like today when I just want to live again. When I don’t want to lose any more.

The Three F’s

15 Mar

First of all – how awesome is my new header? It’s all Court’s doing.

All I told her was – “I want something that’s whimsical but not TTC related. Oh, and a bunny! And butterflies! I love butterflies! And purple!”

Boom! A few days later, I get the best. Header. Ever. In my email.

Court, you rock harder than pre-reality-show Ozzy Osbourne.

Also, I’ve bitten the bullet and registered mommyodyssey.com. My old blog URL still works, but feel free to update your links if you feel like it.

I’m still tinkering with the new design a bit, so don’t be afraid to tear me a new one in the comments, and things may be a bit wonky for a few days. Sorry.

In other news, you may have noticed that Eggs in a Row is down. Mel mentioned it on LFCA but just in case you didn’t get the news there, know that Rachel is fine. There was just some dramz, which she will probably tell you all about when her new blog launches. I’ll give you details of that when the time comes.

Now, back to our regularly scheduled blog post.

First, I wanted to thank you all once again for your emails, your comments, your tweets, and your *insert modern communication method here*s.

The love I’ve felt from all of you has literally helped me stay sane through all of this, and I am forever grateful I know I keep saying “thank you.” But thank you isn’t enough. So I’ll just keep saying it:

Thank you.

****

Over the last few weeks a theme has been emerging with my friends and family, and with you, my bloggy buddies.

Everybody keeps on telling me how strong I am. Which for me is kind of mind-blowing. I mean sure, I’ve managed some pretty amazing posts to honor my son on here, but that’s all him. And yes, I’ve gone back to work. But strong? I do not call 5 hour crying fits that happen once every 2 or 3 days on average strong.

Then I look around and realize that I guess the fact that I started working again 8 days after it happened is kind of impressive. And the fact that I actually manage to put together coherent sentences on a regular basis isn’t half bad either.

Considering the fact that a month ago – when Nadav was still doing the tango in my uterus, I was sure that if something happened to him I’d ask to be put into a medically induced coma forever, and yet here I am – well, I guess you can call that strong (was that not the longest run-on sentence ever? AK – you must now take stroke-prevention measures).

But the fact is I’m not strong, I’m strengthened. It wasn’t only Nadav’s Lessons that gave me strength, it was what I call the three F’s:

Family, Friends, and Farmaceuticals.

(Shut up spellcheck! I’m trying to make a funny through alliteration! I’m such a dork.)

One of the first things I did after getting out of the hospital was to head to Dr. Happy Pills. Apart from upping my anti-depressants, and renewing my script for Xan.ax, he also gave me a prescription for what he described as a “10-pound hammer”, for days when things were particularly hard. That hammer helped a lot when things became unbearable. I’m happy to say that I have barely used it since that first week, and that’s due to:

Friends and family.

My mom came over every day, and each day we took on a new “project.” Finding vases so I’d have a place to put all of the flowers I was getting. Choosing wallpaper to put the finishing touches on our home. Making the empty room into a functioning guest room, because no room should really be empty. Getting me paint supplies.

Each day I was dragged out of the house for some retail therapy with some sort of mission in mind. Sure, it wasn’t cheap, but it saved me.

Then there were (and are) my friends. Who came to visit, who kept me busy. Who called to check in, who let me talk when I needed to, and distracted me when I didn’t want to talk. They (you) continue to remind me that my life is full of love, despite my loss.

And of course, there’s Shmerson (who doesn’t start with an F so I put him in the “Family” category to keep my alliteration intact). He keeps telling me each day that I’m beautiful. When I curse at my body he reminds me of how amazing it is. He keeps it together when I break down. That continues to amaze me.

And the best part? The man has a serious knack for morbid humor. It’s tactless, it’s horrific, it’s offensive, and it makes me laugh my ass off. My favorite one was from a few days after we got home from the hospital. Squish came over and we ordered sushi.

Shmerson: Good thing you didn’t eat any sushi while you were pregnant, things really could have gone wrong.

I know. Gasp! That’s an awful thing to say!

Don’t care. It’s funny as hell.

Oh – BTW, Shmerson has been reading all of your comments and emails as well. He even opened a twitter account in English just for you guys. You should totally follow him. He’s hilarious.

So yeah. I guess I’m strong. But it’s the people who surround me (with a little help from my happy-pill friends), who make me that way.

The Grief Still Remains

2 Jan

I have a friend who I’ve known for almost 17 years. We have been close from the time I was a stupid 16 year old, and for some reason he’s stuck around, for which I am eternally grateful. Our friendship isn’t a day-to-day affair, but when we talk, our conversations are always meaningful. He knows me as well as anyone could. As I know him.

I’ve mentioned him here before – Ababaderech. He and his partner of 14 years have started to pursue parenthood using a surrogate and donor eggs. When they were revving up for their first foray into IVF, I felt useful, spending hours waxing philosophical about fert reports, egg retrievals, and transfers. When he needed help navigating the waters of parenthood through ART, I am proud to say that I helped him as much as I possibly could.

When they started the journey, Ababaderech decided to blog about it (the blog is in Hebrew – sorry English speakers that you won’t be able to read his amazing writing). He told me at the time that the blog was inspired by me. I was honored to know this. He writes so beautifully, and I am moved by the fact that I somehow helped bring this man’s amazing words to light.

Two weeks ago, he and his partner were PUPO for the firsttime. Yesterday, we spoke and he told me that their first transfer ended in a chemical pregnancy.

I spent most of our conversation being technical. Talking about beta numbers, chances of success with the type of transfer they opted for, bla bla bla.

But I wasn’t really present in that conversation.

A few minutes before beginning this post, I caught up on Ababaderech’s blog. His latest post talks about the chemical pregnancy, and quotes me as saying that a baby is a baby once the hope of it begins in your heart. And quotes me again as saying that our children are out there, waiting for the right time to come into this world and meet us.

Then Ababaderech writes beautifully, in words far more eloquent than I have ever been able to find for my own losses (I’m paraphrasing while translating): “I drive while my partner nods off to sleep next to me. He opens his eyes every once in a while asking me if we are close to home. I don’t tell him ‘No, it didn’t work and we have to try going home again’. I tell him ‘yes my love, we will be home soon’….”

Reading these words I doubled over in tears and a grief that hasn’t gripped me in months. Grief for their two little embabies that didn’t make it. Grief for my friend, whom I didn’t support enough yesterday when I heard his bad news. Grief for my own babies, which I have been suppressing for months in an effort to make it through this pregnancy.

If it wasn’t so late over here, I would have called Ababaderech immediately and apologized, telling him how I love him, how I’m sorry I wasn’t more connected to him when he told me the news yesterday. But it’s past midnight, and I’m sure he’s asleep. And so instead I’m writing here – knowing that he’ll find this post in his inbox tomorrow morning and he’ll know how much he is loved, always, and how he inspires me to be better.

I have floated through the last three months in mostly a detached haze. I try to be happy. But little things remind me of the fear of loss and the grief that still lay beneath the surface. The panic attack I had last night while worrying about the upcoming scan. The moments in the day sometimes when I run to the doppler just to hear my baby’s heart one more time, just to be sure. Is it any wonder that I barely speak to any of my friends? Post here less and less often? Comment so infrequently on all of your posts? Have mostly meaningless conversations with the people who mean the most to me?

Ababaderech just pulled me back down to earth with an enormous crash. It took his repeating my own words to make me feel this fear and this grief fully once again.

So here I am, doubled over in grief for my three babies, for Ababaderech’s two. For JM’s failed transfer. For Kelly’s. For Marie’s loss. For Courtney’s unimaginable 4. For PM. For SLC. For Starfishkitty. For Esperanza. For MySkyTimes. For Mrs. Brightside. For EmbracingtheRain. For Slowmomma. For Elphaba. For BIBC. For Misfit Mrs. For the Advocat. For St. Elsewhere. For Kristen. For MJ. For ADSchill. For A. For AlexMMR. For Chon. For Missohkay. For thePortofIndecision. For Stinky. For Kristin. For so many more of you that I follow every day. For every one of you who has lost a baby, whether real or fantasized about. Whether embryo, or a follicle, or born too soon or with too many complications.

Pregnancy doesn’t “fix” grief. I am not “better.” I am coasting, trying my best not to let the fear of loss swallow me each and every day. As each and every day I love this baby more and more. I get more attached to the idea of him or her entering our life in June. And with that the fear continues. Statistics may be in our favor, but we here all know how much statistics are worth when we’re on the bad side of them. That is the curse of the ALI community. There isn’t a bad statistic we can’t get behind.

So now I cry and grieve and let myself feel the weight of my losses. For Ababaderech and his beautiful outlook, his amazing peace and acceptance – something which I have always loved and envied him for. For all of the women who I follow, and speak to, and read. For all of the women who come to this blog every day.

I hope our children are all helping each other find their way to us. I hope we get to watch them play together one day.

Group Therapy Thursday: Friends, Gametes, UTI’s (and sex!)

16 Sep

Another week, another bunch of questions!

Let’s just jump right in, shall we? Oh- and PS- if you didn’t make up a cool nickname in your submission, I made one up for you. And it is most likely lame. Next time I’ll just call you all “Rapier”.

Dear Mo and The Group,

Okay – so a close friend of mine is going to be an Aunt, and her sister is pregnant… I live FAR away from her – and only talk to her once a week for about an hour — and now, at least 15 minutes of that time is spent talking about her sister’s pregnancy… That may not seem like a long time, but seriously, I expect my close friends to know that I really don’t want to hear about all the ins and outs of one of their relatives’ pregnancies. She knows of my struggles, but obviously doesn’t quite get it. Is there a polite way to communicate that I really don’t care and don’t want to hear about it or talk about every week!?

Thanks, 

Far Far Away

Hi There FFA!

Here’s my take on this: I’ve spoken a lot on this blog about the importance (to me at least) of being upfront and honest about infertility and miscarriage. I know a lot of us in the ALI community keep things to ourselves, but I personally think that does more damage than good. The more we can communicate openly and honestly about our struggles, the more awareness we raise. I think this is especially true of our close friends and family. I know that every single one of my close friends (regardless of their fertility status) knows what I’m going through, and is sensitive to it, because I clearly communicate my needs and feelings to them. I think this should be the case with your friend. She is obviously close enough to you that you talk with her weekly, and she knows of your struggles. You can’t really expect a person who hasn’t “been there” to get it right all of the time. The only thing you can do is explain, and then hope they get it right the next time. Honesty is definitely the best policy here. I think that if you broach the subject tactfully, using “I feel” rather than “you did”, making sure to make it about your feelings and not her actions, then there is no reason that she would not take that with love, and be sensitive to it. Keep in mind that she doesn’t know any better, because she hasn’t “been there”, and I’m sure that you explaining it further will make her not only more sensitive to you, but also more sensitive to other IFers she may encounter in the future. If you approach it from a non-accusatory angle, I’m sure it will only contribute to your closeness and create a greater sense of open communication and understanding. Good luck!

Dear Mo and The Group

My husband and I have been trying to conceive for many years now. We have a whole host of problems between us and are using donor gametes in order to build our family at this time. We are comfortable going this route, but our concern is what to say to others. We aren’t ashamed of the route we are taking to build our family, but we don’t want our future child(ren) to have to deal with negativity due to how they were conceived. We could use some advice in handling this topic!

Thanks!

Marvelous Momma To Be

Hi There MMTB!

I personally don’t have experience with this, but I do think that this is less an issue of what others will think, and more an issue of how your future children will perceive themselves. If they feel confident, secure, and loved, then that is what they will portray to the world. These days, there are lots of “unusual” family situations, from same sex parents, to single parents, to adopted children, adopted embryos, and donor-conceived kids. Maybe I’m naive, but acceptance of these things is slowly on the rise. I think that as long as your children feel loved and protected, and are encouraged to share their struggles and feelings with you, they should be fine. I think everyone in the world has a certain sense of “otherness” as a child. Whether you stick out because of your race, your weight, the unusual makeup of your family, or even wearing glasses. The best solution, in my mind, is knowing that you will come home to a safe and loving environment.

Keiko Zoll, one of my favorite bloggers, is considering going the DE route and has some fabulous resources on her site. I especially love this post about how a mother told her daughter that she was conceived via DE. It brought me to tears. If you haven’t checked out her blog, I encourage you to do so.

Those are my two cents. I’d love to hear what everyone else has to say about this!

Okay ladies, I am susceptible to UTIs…

Am I the only one? It’s definitely gotten worse since TTC began. 

I read somewhere that the “pee after sex” thing was a myth – but there are mixed “reviews” about that. Most times I go to sleep right after sex. 

How do you balance UT health (peeing after sex maybe) with TTC (laying down for 30+ mins after sex)?

Thanks,

Urinary Tract Infertile

Hi there UTI!

I’m lucky that I haven’t been plagued much with this. However, I do have a very simple solution for you: Baby Wipes. After all, the stuff that ends up outside of your pipes at the end of the deed won’t magically get in your pipes, so there’s no harm in wiping it away. If you keep a package handy by the bed, it should at least help with the issue.

Anyone else have experience with this?

Dear Mo and The Group,

I really enjoy masturbation.  I also really enjoy sex with my husband, but there’s a part of me that believes the two are not related/not comparable: sex takes more time and more effort; there’s prep-work, there’s clean-up work, there are expectations and many variables.  A moment alone with my vibrator, however, takes five minutes or less, and always accomplishes its clear and simple goal.

When I was young and single and masturbating out of necessity, I always kind of assumed that once I got married, I wouldn’t need to masturbate anymore.  I would have another person to have sex with, as often as I wanted.  And that part of it is true – I do have another person to have sex with as often as I want; my husband NEVER turns me down.  But sometimes, I don’t want sex with another person; I just want sex with myself.  And for this, I wait for a moment when my husband isn’t around, when he’s at work, or even in the shower, so that I can, you know, take care of myself.

My question is, am I crazy?  Am I somehow cheating on my husband with my vibrator, or hurting our sex life by occasionally leaving him out of mine?  Does anyone else see intercourse and a quick self-induced orgasm as two totally different things, or was I right in my younger assumption that once you have a partner, you should be using him for 100% of your fulfillment?

Guilty (Self) Pleasure(er)

You’re crazy. For thinking that there’s even a bit of “cheating” going on here. I strongly believe that you are OBLIGATED to pleasure yourself on occasion. Here’s why: our bodies change. We respond differently to different stimuli at different times. If you don’t know what you like, how can you communicate your needs to your husband? I think it’s important that we know our own body.

Beyond that, sometimes a girl just needs a little release. Sorry to be blunt – but I’m going to venture a guess here: Chances are that when your hubby is in the shower, and you’re getting off with your little friend, he’s rubbing one out. Does that mean he’s cheating? Of course not! So why is what you’re doing any different?

I do think that perhaps the simple act of “hiding” your little vibrating friend may be what’s causing you to feel like you’re deceiving your partner. I don’t know how he’d react to your self-pleasuring, but I would suggest perhaps incorporating the vibrator into your foreplay on occasion. That way, your hubby knows the thing exists, and you may feel a bit less shamed by it all. Some men may feel like you’re hurting their ego by using a sex toy, so tread lightly and carefully, so as not to cause unnecessary conflict. But if he’s open and giving enough in bed, it may be the perfect solution so that you can assuage your guilt about your “little friend.”

If you feel like he may feel threatened by it, then go ahead and leave well enough alone. But don’t feel guilty. Masturbation is a great way to get to know your own needs, not to mention, sometimes a girl just needs a little help to fall asleep!

That’s all for today ladies. Thanks for your questions! I look forward to hearing everyone’s take on things in the comments.

And don’t forget! GTT can’t happen without your questions, so head on over to the launch post to submit yours for next week’s edition!

Happy Birthday Squish!!!!!!

12 Apr

To an amazing woman.

An amazing friend.

One of the strongest people I know.

I know I give you hell sometimes.

I know I’m no picnic.

And I don’t tell you often enough just how amazing you are and how important you are to me.

You have literally saved my life more times than you know.

I know you feel bad sometimes that you don’t “understand”.

But your listening makes everything easier.

I hope I am as good a friend to you as you are to me. And if I’m not, please tell me so I can try to do better.

You’re beautiful, talented, strong, and funny as all hell. I hope this year brings you everything that you wish for, and everything that you deserve – which, in case you were wondering, is far and above what you wish for.

I wish you all the happiness in the world.

I love you Squish!

Happy Birthday!

If there was a maid of honor, it would have been you. Happy Birthday my Squisher!

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