Tag Archives: gratitude

Bullets and Bunnies: I’m Demanding. I Sowwy!

22 Oct
  • First of all, thank you all for your awesome comments. I’m completely overwhelmed. It’s so amazing to have so many fantastic people rooting for us and the Shmembryo. You guys rock!
  • ICLWers – I’m so sorry! I know you guys didn’t come over here expecting a preggo blog. I’m exactly five weeks along, and after three losses, two of which were suspected ectopics, I’m thrilled and relieved that our Shmembryo is in the right place. I hope you guys stick around, and I promise that if this pregnancy thing lasts, I will be labeling my next ICLW as a preggo.
  • Today was totally a lucky day! Apart from the Shmembryo snuggling in, I won the Creme de la Creme Amazon Gift Card Giveaway, courtesy of Attain Fertility! I never win anything, so this is awesome. And the Attain Fertility people are awesome. And Mel is awesome. Speaking of awesome – have you submitted your awesome post for this year’s awesome Creme list yet? The deadline is earlier this year so make sure you get your submission in soon!
  • Group Therapy Thursday is coming up! Submit your questions!
  • Elphie’s virtual baby shower is this coming monday. If you want to participate, don’t forget to use the handy dandy form in the original post!
  • I’m seriously happy about this morning, yet I’m waiting to be absolutely terrified again. How the hell will I keep my sanity until November 14th? Tips are welcome in the comments. 🙂
  • I’m all about demands today aren’t I? Submit this, ask that, give me advice, bla bla bla. I sowwy.
  • I leave you with a bunny, because that’s why I call this thing bullets and bunnies. And bunnies are cute. Plus you guys have enough on your plates for one post, so you deserve a bit of cuteness, dontcha think?

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.

Here Goes Nothing

27 Jun

I hope Today was a day of new beginnings.

I started to say “I hope”. But the truth is it was. At 8am, Shmerson came home, and we immediately left for the bank to withdraw every last little cent we have for the deposit on our new home. Then we went to the lawyer’s office and signed the papers. We are officially homeowners. Well, apartment owners. Same-same, right?

Now we have three months ahead of us of trying to sell our current place, applying for mortgages, and generally getting ourselves together. We’ll most likely be moving in around September – October.

Oh – and hopefully we also managed to make a baby.

Superstitions got the best of me today. On the way to the lawyer’s office the pop radio station started playing my favorite band – Faith No More. Something they do maybe once a decade. I decided it was a good sign.

When the contract was signed, we went home and well – you know, we got things done.

Shmerson smiled at me and said “Today is a day of new beginnings.”

I felt it. I believed it. I still do.

A few hours after Shmerson went back to the base (he’ll be gone until next Tuesday. Boo!), I felt little leftie pop. It was one second – but I knew it had happened. I stood up straight and still – hoping not to rattle anything around in there and hoping that she’d make it into Ole’ Lefty safely.

I spent most of today convinced that this is it. Bargaining with the universe again. I mean, how perfect would it be? To conceive a healthy pregnancy on the day we buy our new home?

I secretly kept saying to myself: “If this happens, I will believe. I don’t know in what, but in something.”

Because it’s just too perfect. So perfect that I feel like this HAS to work. So perfect that I’m terrified that it won’t.

But for now I’m just going to get through this week, hoping against all hope that this works. Being grateful either way, that Shmerson and I finally have a place to call our own, with room for our future children, and this amazing balcony:

Our balcony. Ain't it pretty?

We signed the contract exactly one year and one month after our wedding day. 13 months of limbo, and of heartache. I just really do hope that this is a new beginning for us.

I mean, I know it will be. I just hope that it is in more ways than one.

Let the freaking out commence!

Answers

12 Jun

Well – I don’t know where to start, so I guess I’ll describe the HSG itself – just cause I’m sure there are a couple of people out there who are curious.

Shmerson was in the room with me. Inserting the catheter hurt. A lot. Once it was in Shmerson went with the doctors and techs behind that radiation-proof wall and saw the test. The doctor administering the test doesn’t give clear cut answers on the spot because he goes back and re-examines the film to give details.

So for now – all I know is the information that Shmerson relayed to me from being in the room. I should have official written up results later tonight or tomorrow, then an appt. with Twofer on Wed. to figure out what’s next.

So – the catheter was inserted and the ink started going through. It hurt. It hurt so much I was yelling. In between my screams of “OOOOWWWWW!” I heard one of the techs say “it’s stuck”. Just when I thought it couldn’t get any worse, thank goodness it was over. The nurses claimed I was a hero – that in cases similar to mine the woman usually does much worse than yell. I smiled to myself and thought – “after three miscarriages my pain threshold is officially in another stratosphere”.

So – the Doctor didn’t give official diagnostics in the room. All he said was “there’s something there”. Here’s a recounting of what was said in front of Shmerson:

The Uterus filled up quickly. It took a while for the spill to reach the left tube, so they think there’s some kind of blockage there, but eventually, it did fill up completely. The right tube, on the other hand, is very clearly blocked. The pain I felt was them pushing the ink through. It did get through eventually – but not without a struggle, and perhaps not fully (we’ll know that with the official write up).

Shmerson said the Dr. that performed the procedure made an off-handed comment that with his patients, he’d recommend IVF in this situation immediately.

That doesn’t mean that is what’s happening. This Dr. doesn’t know our history, so I’m taking it with a grain of salt. Of course, we need to wait for official results, and then our appt with Twofer on Wednesday to know our next steps for sure.

But you know what? I’m ok with waiting for a change.

I FINALLY HAVE ANSWERS!

I know now the reason for my last two miscarriages. I’m guessing there’s scarring and damage from the D&C. That’s the most likely culprit.

But guys – there’s an answer! I can’t describe the incredible sense of relief that I have right now. ANSWERS!

I have spent the last week dreading this test. Mentally preparing myself for the inevitability of a fourth miscarriage. Now – there’s this incredible ray of light shining at the end of the tunnel.

Whatever it is, however it’s treated – we have a reason. Which means we have a solution.

I don’t know what I’m about to face. It could be surgery, it could be IVF. All I know is this:

As difficult as the road ahead may be – I am lucky.

The referral for the HSG put my diagnosis as “Infertility Female”. It was the first time I had seen it in writing. But now, it’s no longer unexplained. I know why I lost my babies. I know there are solutions.

No matter what torture my body will have to go through in the coming months I know it’s NOTHING compared to the heartbreak of loss after loss with no answers. I know that now I will finally have a path. It may not be an easy one, but it will be illuminated.

I am so grateful for my body. It recognized the ectopic pregnancies and ended them before they became dangerous to me. Things could have been so much worse.

And here I am. An infertile with a diagnosis! Not official yet – but that’s on the way. In the coming days and weeks I’ll have answers. I’ll know what lies ahead. For the first time in a year – I’ll know. I’ll know that any surgery or hormones or monitoring that I have is for a reason. I’ll know that there is hope. A diagnosis. Hope. Did I mention hope?

The road ahead of us is still long. There are still questions to be asked and answered. But all I can do now is feel that pain on the right side of my stomach, the one that’s been there for more than six months, now exacerbated by the invasion of that radioactive dye,  and know that it’s the physical manifestation of my losses.

There’s a reason. There’s an answer. There’s a path. I am flooded with relief and gratitude. I am humbled. I am hopeful.

Anniversary Week Post 5 – I Want My Husband.

24 May

“You can only bring one person in with you.”

It’s the end of July. I have just been diagnosed with a blighted ovum. I’m at the hospital to get a D&C. Both Shmerson and my mother are there. At patient intake that is what I am told.

One person.

I look at both of them. I know they both want to come. I am scared out of my mind.

“My husband. I want my husband.”

That’s the moment I realized that I was truly married.

I mean – I think a lot of people who get married never really get MARRIED. But Shmerson and I – well, we were about three months into our marriage. And we were a family already.

This was the first of many realizations about love, marriage and family that I have had in this last year. This first year of marriage. This year of depression, anxiety, loss, and growth. When you get married, even before you have children, remember – you are already a family.

This choice – my husband over my mother. This choice proved to me that I was truly a ‘wife’ now.

I didn’t have to force myself to make that decision. It was my husband. Of course it was my husband. I didn’t even blink.

“I want my husband.”

I think that’s been the crux of our first year of marriage. We are truly a family. We have truly learned what that means.

***

It’s November 19th. We have just decided to move back to our old studio apartment in my hometown, to take things easy and regroup after our second loss in three months.

I haven’t been sleeping. I haven’t been functioning. I’ve been waking up in the middle of the night screaming.

3:30am. I’ve had another panic attack. My third or maybe fourth that day. I go to another room to watch something stupid on my computer to try to distract myself and tire myself out so I will be able to sleep. We have a lot of packing to do. The movers are coming the next day.

4am. I feel a bit calmer. I go into the shower. I don’t even know what sets off another attack. But all I see is a dark gaping hole and horror. Complete terrifying horror. I collapse in the shower, screaming. The water still running.

Shmerson, who was fast asleep in the other room, runs into the bathroom. My screams have woken him up. This isn’t the first time, either.

He turns off the water, grabs a towel, and wraps me in it. He hugs me and tells me that he loves me. That’s all he can do, really.

A month later I’ve finally come to my senses enough to understand that I can’t go on living this way. I break down and find a psychiatrist. The panic attacks finally stop, and I start this blog.

And through all of that, through all of this – there is my husband. Cheering me on. Telling me he loves me. Telling me I’m beautiful despite the extra 20 pounds that three failed pregnancies and months of anxiety and depression have added to my already plump figure. Despite the fact that I spend half of my time a total and complete mess. And I sometimes take it out on him. He tells me he loves me and that I’m beautiful.

Through all of this – he is there.

April 2oth (wow, i can’t believe it’s only been just over a month. it feels like eons) was the first time I’d ever had to spend the night in the hospital. I was scared out of my mind. I didn’t know what was going on. Shmerson didn’t leave my side for a second. And when they kicked him out of my room at 2am that night, he slept on a cot in the hallway. Just so I would know he was there.

This is the man that I have married.  A man who has been with me through the hardest year of my life. Probably of his as well. A man that still makes me laugh, that reads this blog every day and has become a huge supporter and a part of this community that I have found for myself. For both of us. A man who takes it in stride when I unceremoniously announce to him that in a year we’ll be flying to the States to attend a wedding of a woman who I’ve never met in real life, but who I love like a sister. Who celebrates with me when another announces her pregnancy after more than a year of trying. Who emails back and forth with another, talking about Whiskey and inviting her to crash on our futon. Who gets it. Who gets why I need this space and cherishes it as much as I do.

A man that bravely stood up a couple of months ago and wrote openly about our losses on facebook, because he wanted to be there to support others.

My husband.

****

When you get married, there are always little nuggets of doubt. My brother is divorced, and just leading up to our wedding, I was kind of freaking out. I talked to my brother about my fear. About loving Shmerson, but worrying that maybe that wasn’t enough.

My brother told me that we were perfect for each other, and I should calm the fuck down.

He was right.

My body and my soul have been through the ringer during this last year. I have been at the lowest points possible. The literal depths of pain, despair, and grief.

I have also grown, and learned, and tried to find meaning through all of this.

I often talk about that. About finding meaning in this insane roller coaster of a year. Trying to find a “why”.

I don’t know why. There are very few things I know. In fact, I feel like each time I’ve got things figured out, I get bitch slapped and realize that I probably know nothing.

But there’s one thing I do know: We have gotten through this. We continue to. We continue to love and support each other through this. Our first year of marriage will always be this sad pit of grief and despair.

But it will also be the year that we learned how to be a family.

The year that we learned how to compromise our plans to help each other, and still be happy within that compromise.

The year we realized that we will be amazing parents, because now we will love and appreciate a healthy baby more than we ever thought possible.

The year that we pulled each other out of the muck and mire of loss and depression.

The year that we learned just how strong we really are.

The year that we started the new tradition of high-fives and saying how much we rock when we get stuff done, or find a healthy compromise and make tough decisions.

As I wrote these last few sentences, I started crying. Shmerson had just gotten out of the shower. He sat next to me on the couch, buck naked. He put his arm around my shoulders and said:

Next year we’ll have much happier stories to tell.

I hope so. I really do. But even if we don’t, I know we’ll get through it. As a family. Because that’s what we do. Because we rock. *High Five*

Tomorrow – Shmerson insists on telling his side of the story. 

Anniversary Week Post 3: The Whiskey Fake-Out

22 May

Welcome ICLWers! If you’re just tuning in, my husband, (aka Shmerson) and I will be celebrating our one year anniversary this Friday. In honor of that, and to get away from the nightmarish couple of months we’ve had (feel free to check out our TTC timeline to see what that’s all about), I’m dedicating this week to our amazing marriage. Just scroll down for parts 1 and 2 of the story. 

So, when we last left off, Shmerson had moved in, and the fur baby had been adopted. Just around the five month mark.

I had been invited to a wedding in Philly during the second week of June, and since I had introduced the couple and had the designation of “best dude”, of course, I planned to fly out. Plus – I hadn’t been to the States in  couple of years and was looking forward to seeing my friends.

Before I go on with this story – a little background. At the age of 19, I decided to leave Israel and study in the states. I did my BA at University Y in Philly, and my MFA at Grad School X in LA (the names have been changed to allow me to bitch openly – mostly about Grad School X. University Y is actually rather awesome).

So – that means I spent the majority of my twenties (7 years to be exact) a minimum 12 hour flight away from my family and my friends in Israel.

Now – during that entire time I didn’t feel homesick once. Don’t get me wrong – I talked to my mom every day, I missed my friends in Israel. But at that point, Israel didn’t feel like “home” to me (the States didn’t either, but that’s a different post for a different time).

If I look at it on a philosophical level, there was no real place that I felt at home.

Now – back to our story.

The plane ticket was bought. I was leaving for Philly the second week of June (forget the exact date), and flying back June 22nd – exactly our six month anniversary.

Shmerson is a Whiskey lover (to say the least) and I already had a dastardly plan to pick him up a bottle of Johnny Walker Gold as a present.

I was really looking forward to the Philly trip. I LOVE Philly. Seriously. It is one of the most underrated cities out there. If I was ever forced to live in the States again, I would totally live in Philly.

So off I went, packed and ready and arrived in Philadelphia. Shmerson had driven me to the airport, and we had brought Luna along for the ride. I had a really hard time saying goodbye at the security gate. Little did I know that I was headed into utter torture. Not only for myself, but for my poor Philly peeps who had to put up with my whiny ass.

I got on the plane, I cried.

I landed, happy to see the groom, we hugged it out, I got to the happy couple’s apartment, I got on skype with shmerson, and I cried. I told one of my BFFs about my incredible love affair over pizza, she was skeptical (AK I love you to bits and always appreciate your skepticism!), and I went back to the happy couple’s place. And I cried.

I didn’t just miss Shmerson, and our little apartment, and our new puppy. I ACHED for them. I LONGED for them.

From the second I landed in Philly, all I wanted to do was go back home.

This had never happened to me before. Ever. 7 years away from my family and friends in Israel, and I had never ACHED. I didn’t know what homesick was until that time I spent in Philly.

The wedding was lovely, of course. The plan was that after the wedding I would go to a family friend’s place for a couple of days before the happy newlyweds headed off to their honeymoon, and then I would spend about 4 more days crashing at their place, hanging out with old friends, maybe taking a train up to NY for the day, etc.

So I was up at the friend’s house when I got the call: The bride had come down with the plague. Better not to come back to the apartment for fear of me catching it as well. The honeymoon was off.

Now – most people would be pissed at this. I had made plans, I didn’t have money for a hotel or another place to crash, and I didn’t want to stay up at the PA burbs with a 70 year old woman. I mean, I loved the woman, but after a day – it’s a bit much.

But I wasn’t pissed. Not in the slightest. I WAS RELIEVED.

I picked up the phone, called my travel agent in Israel, and changed my flight. Screw my friends, screw NY, screw everything. I wanted my Shmerson and my fur baby and my apartment and I wanted them NOW.

On the way to the airport the next day I realized that I had a problem. Our 6 month anniversary was four days away. Should I give Shmerson his present early? But wouldn’t that make him feel bad? (Yes – this was the only thing that was occupying me. I didn’t even care about the extra 200 bucks I had to shell out to change the flight.)

So I put together a dastardly plan. At the duty free, I bought TWO bottles of whiskey. The JW Gold as planned, and a cheaper bottle of something I knew he liked well enough. I would present him with the cheap bottle just as I landed, and then on the anniversary day itself, he would get the good stuff – Surprise!

This plan of course went off without a hitch, and Shmerson loved all of his presents (yeah – I also did some serious clothes shopping for him at Target and Ross, because I can never say no to keeping him out of black velvet pants and in discount Rocker T-Shirts).

But you guys know that’s really not the crux of the story.

It took 10 days (well, actually one) of me being away, and driving my poor Philly friends crazy (sorry guys! I know I was obnoxious! Love you!) for me to realize something: I finally had a home. And it wasn’t the apartment. I had lived there for almost a year before Shmerson came along. It was the man that was waiting for me at that apartment, along with our amazing little puppy.

He picked me up at the airport, we drove back to our little place with me cradling our little puppy the whole way home.

That night, I slept like a baby, with the huge smile plastered on my jet-lagged face.

Tomorrow – “Why hasn’t he proposed yet? Oh, yeah. Ok.”

Anger

7 May

I’ve been smoking at least a cigarette a day every day since Saturday.

I haven’t been blogging.

I haven’t been talking to my friends.

I haven’t been eating healthy.

I haven’t been going to yoga.

I haven’t been sleeping well.

I’ve been angry. Angry at myself for falling so easily back into my old patterns. Angry at myself for not being strong enough to even use this space and the wonderful women I have here as a place to gain strength. Even though I have been shown a dozen times over this week how much strength this little corner of the blogosphere can give me.

Three weeks ago I think I reached a sort of peak. An optimum space of optimism. A place where I dressed up nicely before leaving the house. A place where I made love to my husband just for the sake of making love to him. A place where I felt happy and whole.

Then “That” happened. Again. And I spent a week or so pretending to be strong. To be over it. Because all in all I wasn’t feeling sad.

No. I wasn’t feeling sad.

I was – I am – angry. I’m angry that I have spent the last six months feeling like I was working toward something. Working and feeling hopeful. And all of that got wiped away sometime between peeing on a stick and seeing two lines and getting that hospital bracelet put on me. Somewhere in those three hours between the positive pregnancy test and the bleeding, and hearing the word “ectopic.”

All that work. All that waiting. For what? For a methotrexate shot in the backside, blood monitoring, and no answers. For the real lesson: that I can’t control a thing. Not even my own freaking body.  That no matter what plan I think I have, no matter how much I take care of myself, that still doesn’t mean I’m gonna get a baby at the end of it all.

That pisses me off.

On the drive home from friday night dinner tonight Shmerson and I got to talking. It wasn’t really a fight. But I did do a lot of yelling. I hate this. I hate this. I hate this.

I know the lesson here. I know it. I just need to digest it. I need to make peace with it.

I need to take care of my body and my soul regardless – not just so I can carry a baby to term, but because in general – I need to take care of my body and my soul.

And no matter what we try, and no matter how much control we try to have – in this journey there are no guarantees. That’s why I can go to acupuncture, quit smoking, eat healthy, take yoga, find some inner peace, and still miscarry. And another woman can chain smoke, drink, snort coke, and still carry a baby to term.

This is just how life is. I can either embrace it or just continue to be pissed and self destruct.

I know that’s the lesson. But please be patient with me while I digest it. Because for now, yes, I’m smoking a cigarette a day. And I’m fucking angry and frustrated and impatient. And I’m pissed that I have to wait until Wed. for my appointment with Dr. Twofer. And I’m pissed that it may be at least another month before I have any answers. But at least I’m going back to yoga (I have a one-on-one session scheduled for next week) and I haven’t stopped acupuncture. And at least I bought celery at the supermarket a couple of days ago instead of cookies. And here I am, blogging through it. And talking to you amazing women. And my marriage is still solid and honest, and that one cigarette a day isn’t being hidden from my husband. And for that I’m grateful.

One step at a time.

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

20 Apr

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

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

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

Prelude:

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

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

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

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

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

Which brings us to yesterday at around 3pm.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

4:00am: finally collapse.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Epilogue:

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

Conclusions:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

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.

To Share or Not to Share? That is the Question

22 Feb

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

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

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

Mood stability? Check

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I don’t know, it’s all a jumble.

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

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

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

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

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

Gratitude

22 Jan

I’m gonna keep this one short. I just had to spill it.

I haven’t been around the blogosphere long, but I am completely overwhelmed by the amazing women I have met since I’ve been here.

I felt so alone for so long and this virtual space has made me feel understood and comforted. I just hope that some of my words comfort you all even a fraction of what yours do to me.

Thank you to the ever-growing pack of amazing women I have met here. Thank you for your love, support, and understanding. Thank you for letting me be a part of both your real and virtual lives.

You are all amazing.

Yes – I gushed. Deal with it! 🙂

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