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Tag Archives: postaday2011

Virtually Me

26 May

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

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

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

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

25 May

So today I’ll give you my view of what Shmersonette described in the previous 5 posts. But a little about me first.

I’ve always believed in honesty. It’s not always a good thing. In some relationships, I scared the girl away because I was too honest. See, another thing was that I would fall in love really fast. And because I was honest, I would say it. I didn’t like playing games, teasing, playing hard to get. I couldn’t play it cool around a girl I was in love with.

9 months before I met Shmersonette, I went to South America for six months. It was a trip to see the world, but as always it was also to change myself. I did a lot of thinking and gained self-confidence. I can really say that had we met without me going there, it wouldn’t have worked between us.

So I decided to be less honest. Wait with my feelings. play games. I also had doubts about love. I thought maybe I was expecting too much. I wondered – am I like a person who never had ice cream, and when they describe ice cream to him as “heavenly, orgasmic” he takes it too literally and is later disappointed? Maybe all those poets and novelists who wrote about love were exaggerating. Maybe love is just friends having sex. Maybe if I stopped expecting so much I wouldn’t be disappointed and hurt anymore.

Of course, none of it is true. Writing those things now makes me sad for myself  back then. But at the time, I thought I was growing up.

I also thought I should change in other ways. I never had sex outside of a serious relationship with strong emotions. I started to think maybe I should loosen up, and have meaningless sex. I decided to date girls just for that and ‘for the sport of it’.

Still, I learned some things. For example, I noticed how we prefer the thing we know, even if it was bad for us in the past. I always knew what I wanted in a girl. She had to be intelligent, with a sense of humour and independent. But usually I found myself in a relationship with someone not-so-smart, not-so-funny and dependant. ( I like to put it in PowerPuff Girls terms: I always wanted Blossom with just a little bit Buttercup, and found myself with Bubbles). So I realised it was a cycle; you go there because you know it, and you prefer it over the unknown. And every time you go there you just make it more likely that next time you choose, you’ll choose the known over the unknown. Until the point when it’s not even a choice anymore. And I realised that the first step to get out of it was to acknowledge it.

I didn’t like Bubbles-girls because they tended to look up to me, and I don’t like that. I also didn’t like looking up to girls. I believed in equality, I believed both people in a relationship should feel just as lucky to have each other. I think that on How I Met Your Mother they said that every relationship has the person who settled for less and the person who got more than deserved. I don’t think it’s healthy in the long-term.

A short while before I met Shmersonette I dated a girl for a short period of time. I tried implementing my new ideas, expecting less, playing it cool, etc. and they collided with my other new idea – she was totally a Bubbles-girl. I ended it. We didn’t have meaningless sex, and I’m happy for that.

Two weeks later, it was my zero date with Shmersonette. As she already told you, it was very special. As I was driving home after I dropped her at her place, I thought “what if she didn’t enjoy this as much as I did? What if she tells me it was nice but it’s not going anywhere?” and I thought that if that happens, I’ll probably know how that Bubbles-girl feels about me right now.

I used to have this dream: I meet a girl and we’re together. We barely need to speak. There is no suitor and “suitee”. We just like each other very much, and are happy. People around us think we’re strange, or that we’re going too fast. We don’t care. I used to hate waking up from that dream.

By the end of our Zero-Date I knew I finally found her. I was perfectly honest, and so was she. We didn’t play games. After our third date, I was walking back to my car, very happy. I thought of how perfect it all is, and then I thought this is much like that dream. Then I got to my car and saw a parking ticket, and smiled. This would never happen in a dream.

On our real first date, she said: “There is something you need to know about me. I’m a little messed up”. I told her it’s okay, great even. I like messed up. I’m a little messed up myself. (She didn’t believe me back then).

She was right- she IS messed up. And today, she knows I am too. And every now and then, during hard times, she says something like: “Is it okay that I’m so messed up?” and I always remind her of that conversation.

On one of our first nights together, we were talking. Then I thought of something stupid. See, I have a weird sense of humor not everyone gets. And I knew that if I said what I thought out loud she won’t get the joke and would think I was weird. This voice in my head was like “don’t say it you’ll ruin everything” but I said it anyway. And she cracked up laughing. And yes, that’s the origin of our private sense of humor and our private language.

The first time I told her I loved her was also very strange. I blurted it out less than a week after our Zero-date. And for a second I thought “There you go again, you’re too honest, too quick, you just scared her away like you always do”. Then I thought “well, screw that” because I knew I meant it. And I knew that all that crap about playing games, not being honest and so forth was BS.

I’m so happy it happened that way. I think the strongest thing about us is that we’re perfectly honest with each other. We can’t go to sleep after a fight without making up. We can’t keep a secret for more than a minute. It’s great.

During our first week together, I met up with my brother and sister. I told them about her. I told them that when I’m driving with her in the mountainous  roads of
Haifa, and every time the road goes down I go “wheeeee!” and then she replies “must. kill. moe.” they both said: you should hold on to her and never let go.

Between our Zero date and Valentine’s day, we saw each other almost daily. Met each other’s friends. When I had to stay at my place and study, she showed up with pizza. Some other night I woke up to watch a lunar eclipse. She came with me. After Valentine’s day, I practically moved in. My roommates started calling me “Garry the imaginary” behind my back, because I was never at my apartment.

About the period of time when Shmersonette was waiting for me to propose. (About 6 months from when the subject was brought up to when I proposed): I have only this to say: I always knew we would get married. There is a difference between knowing you’ll get married and being ready for it.

I’m proud to say I chose the wedding ring myself. A week before I proposed, we went to Paris. I decided not to propose in Paris. I wanted it to be were we live. I wanted to be able to take the kids there. I felt like when you propose you should be close to home, in a place that means something to you. And I told her it would not happen in Paris, and why. See, at the time she already knew I was going to propose. And during the time in Paris she found out it was going to happen in less than a week. See? We can’t keep secrets.

Mo’s note. I thought it was probably going to happen, but I’m a hopeless pessimist. Or at least I used to be. Now? Who knows.

About a month before I proposed Shmersonette said that if she wanted to propose (She didn’t really, and I didn’t want it that way either), she would buy tickets to our favorite singer  – Shalom Hanoch’s concert in Ceasaria, and pull some strings so that she gets on  stage and proposes to me in the middle of the show. I know. Totally not us (and totally Mr and Mrs No balls). Then I thought of doing the same thing – only without the rock concert. So I took her to that stage (it’s a 1500 year old Roman stadium) and proposed there.

It has been a strange year. I think you, as readers of this blog, are mostly aware of the bad things. But a lot of good things happened also. In a way, I’m glad we had to go through all of that this year, it was a test for our relationship and guess what? we passed. “A plus plus” passed.

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 4: The Proposal (?)

23 May

It’s the middle of July, 2008. Shmerson and I have been together for 7 months, and I am still freshly shocked from the Philly Freak Out of June ’08.

Shmerson is with my parents and I at a wedding of a family friend. The cocktails have been served and my mother has already downed two glasses of white wine. We get called to gather for the ceremony. We stand around the Chuppa. Shmerson and I are kind of leaning on each other, and my mother, without even noticing, stares longingly at the ceremony while affectionately petting Shmerson’s shoulder. Willing him to get off his ass and propose already. Shmerson takes it in stride and we casually mock my mother on the drive home. In fact, to this day we tease her about the “drunken two-ton unsubtle hint of July ’08”.

It was always pretty obvious to both me and Shmerson that we would get married. It wasn’t a question of yes or no, it was a question of when.

That July, I was 27, and Shmerson was 25. My uterus had started slightly screaming. But I was ok with waiting a while longer. Letting Shmerson take his time.

You see – in that way, we are very different. Shmerson is a very contemplative, slow-moving kind of guy. He doesn’t make decisions lightly. I on the other hand, have been known to decide to move to a different country in the course of 24 hours.

(I am happy to report that in the last few years, we have managed to balance each other out on the big decision thing)

S0 – back to July of 08. I’d be lying if I said that I didn’t want him to propose. But we were only together for 7 months. There was time.

Fast forward to July of ’09. We are at my second cousin’s wedding. Shmerson and I comment on the decor, and sometime between the ceremony and the food we come up with the perfect idea for a wedding invitation (that idea came true – you can see it in my header).

No – he hadn’t proposed yet. But this is what we had been doing for a while now. Examining other people’s weddings and discussing what ours would look like.

And yet, no ring. I was 28 and Shmerson was 26, we had been together for almost 2 years and I was – well, I was starting to go a little nuts.

He knew it too. We even had several fights about it. He wanted to wait until he thought we were good and ready. I was a panicky crazy person and actually said stuff like – “What if we die tomorrow? Don’t you want to check “get married” off of your list?”

Yes – I used to think like that. Thank goodness for xanax and understanding husbands.

At this point, my conversations with my mother, on a daily basis, went something like this:

Mom: So – when is he going to propose?

Me:  I don’t know mom. And please stop asking because I want him to and I don’t want to give him any ultimatums.

Mom: Well – I have a diamond I want to give him for your engagement ring. Tell him that.

Sometime during our next “when the hell are you thinking of proposing?” fight, I mention the diamond.

Then, I literally start getting paranoid. Does he not really want to marry me? Is it because I gained weight? Maybe I’m completely wrong about this?

Nearly daily talks with Squish and Me0Me around this subject help keep my sanity. Barely. I somehow get it into my head that he’s waiting for a special occasion. Like my birthday.

So – around comes September 25th of 2009. My 29th birthday. The night before, Shmerson had taken me out to a fancy dinner. There was no ring in sight, and on top of that – I was a bit disappointed when the chocolate cake came out and there was no sparkler for me in honor of the big 2-9. I voiced my disappointment to Shmerson. About the sparkler, not the lack of a ring.

We throw a birthday BBQ the next day. I see Shmerson plotting something with Squish while checking the Chorizo sausages. I think to myself – oh – maybe now. Maybe he’ll propose here – in front of all of my friends.

Then Shmerson turns around with a big sparkler on a chorizo. Especially for me.

There was no ring on that sparkler.

I smiled, then I hit him. A bit too hard. I’ll cop to that.

A month earlier we had started planning a week long trip to paris. This was taking place at the beginning of October.

Paris. It had to be Paris. I mean – who wouldn’t propose in Paris?

I started getting sneaky. I searched his backpack one day. I found a ring box and a ring. A really ugly, really thick gold ring.

Oh dear flying spaghetti monster – please don’t let this be my engagement ring.

And we go to Paris.

We had a lovely time in Paris. Truly.

And we came back still NOT ENGAGED.

I was seriously about to lose it. Was he really that cruel? Was he going to wait until our 2 year anniversary in January? How the hell will I have time to plan a nice summer wedding in January?

This was getting to be too much.

Then – the last weekend of october, I knew something was up. I mean, it was kind of obvious. He had told me to pack. He didn’t tell me where we were going. But I knew I was going away for the weekend.

Shmerson and I suck at keeping secrets from  each other. It was obvious what was going on. I was just hoping that hideous ring was not part of the plan.

So, in the car we go. It’s a rainy day. Shmerson takes me to Ceasaria National Park – one of the most beautiful places in the country. He walks me to the bottom of the ampitheater – a place where I’ve seen some of my favorite musicians give epic performances. Now bare for the winter – just made up of ancient ruins overlooking the sea.

I don’t remember exactly what he said. But it was pretty fucking awesome. We both cried.

Oh – and the ring – well – see for yourself:

I’m not sure how much you can make out from the picture. But it was perfect. And he used my mom’s diamond after all.

It turns out that gold ring was an attempt to take something of his mother’s and blend it with my mother’s diamond. A lovely thought. But he had the sense to know my tastes and know that I would dislike whatever version of that ring he would have come up with.

Still – you have to love him for the thought.

We spent the next three days at a bed and breakfast (our favorite past time). Shmerson had called my boss and told him that I was taking a day off.

And yes, he was right, it was worth the wait.

I sometimes wonder if we had gotten married sooner, if perhaps, this whole baby-making thing would have gone a bit smoother.

I will never know. But one thing I do know – that had we gotten married sooner – we wouldn’t have been able to deal with this last year nearly as well as we have. We needed that time to grow as a couple. And we did.

So – we got married on May 27th, 2010. I was 29, Shmerson was 27. And it was beautiful.

Tomorrow – how our first year of marriage became arguably the worst year of our lives, and yet, on a lot of levels, arguably the best. 

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.”

Anniversary Week Post 2: Valentine’s Day Becomes Moving Day

20 May

So Shmerson and I were moving at a pretty rapid clip. Our “Zero Date” happened on January 16th, and by January 22nd, there were already declarations of love on both sides. He had this ratty apartment with two roommates that was walking distance from his University, but we spent about three (maybe four) nights a weeks together at my place. By Valentines day, it was even more than that.

Then came Valentine’s Day itself. Shmerson planned a really nice evening out, and had brought a small rolling suitcase with him because he was planning on spending the weekend.

Oh! But before I continue this story – I must tell you of a shopping trip which happened a few days earlier. A legen- wait for it and I hope you’re not lactose intolerant – dary shopping trip. Just because it gave birth to a line that I will forever be trying to find a way to work into a script, but for now, I guess the blog will do.

I knew Shmerson was planning something big, so I decided to surprise him by wearing some sexy number under my dress. So Squish and I went lingerie shopping.

We were at a bit department store looking at lingerie, when we stumbled upon some ridiculously cute boxer and tank top sets with mickey mouse on them. And they were on sale.

We both looked at the sets longingly and debated. I mean, we love Disney, but at the time, Disney was being disappointing in terms of their films, plus – there was high school musical, and Miley Cyrus. So we were definitely in a moral dilemma about whether we wanted to pay into the big Disney corporate machine.  A heated discussion ensued. Finally, we decided that it was ok if we each bought a set, as long as we “wore it ironically.”

And that’s when the phrase “ironic underwear” was ingrained forever into my consciousness. Hopefully now it’s ingrained in yours as well. Use it well, dear readers, use it well.

Ok – back to our story. I bought a sexy red number along with the ironic underwear, and I was ready to go.

Shmerson came to pick me up with the rolling suitcase, and a stuffed bunny holding a heart in tow. Wearing black velvet pants. Yes. Black velvet pants. For him, at the time, that was considered “fancy.” I’m happy to announce that I threw away the black velvet pants during our first closet purge a few months later. But I forgave him the pants at the time, knowing that soon enough I would be doing most of the clothes shopping for him anyway. Men who buy black velvet pants are officially banned from shopping for their own clothes. (This is actually a very nice arrangement. I buy him semi-preppy rocker clothes, he looks hot, and he hates shopping anyway).

So, a nice evening was had. We went to this great little wine bar and got particularly smashed. The red lingerie was an unmitigated success. Shmerson slept over, and he never really left.

About a month later we realized that he had only gone to his apartment a couple of times to pick up stuff after valentines day.

So there never really was a “moving in” conversation. It was pretty much – “Oh, so I guess we live together now.”

“Yep, I guess so.”

“You Ok with that?”

“Yep. You?”

“Yep. Though – Maybe you should officially move out of that other place – you know, to save on the rent.”

“Yeah, I probably should. But let’s wait another month or so before I do. I think my parents would freak out.”

“Ok.”

(He called them two days later anyway, told them we were living together, and they did indeed freak out. They asked him to keep the other apartment for a couple more months. And he did. But by that time we had already adopted Luna, so it really was just to appease them. They’re kind of conservative, in the – we’re not sure our son should move in with his girlfriend after they’ve only been together for a month – kind of way).

The first several months of our living together were pretty happy and uneventful. I do remember at one point realizing that I was playing the happy housewife and freaking out a little. I even wrote him a love letter which ended with the sentence: “You made me bake cookies!”

That is indeed a dramatic statement coming from a reformed feminist. And that was only the beginning of my descent into wanting to be a 50’s housewife. But I think that part of the story (which involved my screaming uterus, and we’re not talking about that) may be for another time.

Tomorrow – how a trip to Philly made me finally understand what “home” really meant. 

Anniversary Week Post 1: How We Met

20 May

So I’ve been bad about blogging in general. I guess existential crises easily explained by sitcom metaphors will do that to a person. Plus Shmerson and I apparently have the plague, because we’ve both been pretty non-functioning sick for the last week.

Still, I kind of don’t feel like talking about That right now. I know it and its repercussions will be taking up plenty of blog space here in the near future.

Instead, I want to focus on the fact that exactly 7 days from today, Shmerson and I will be celebrating our one year anniversary. This wasn’t the first year of marriage either of us imagined – running to emergency rooms, spending most of our time grieving.

But it has made us stronger, and I want to celebrate that with you this week. Starting with telling you all the story of how Shmerson and I became what our friends fondly call us: “The Shmersons.” Today, I’d like to tell you how we met.

Facebook. Yes. You read it right. Shmerson and I met through an app called “Are You Interested.”

If you would have told me a few years ago that I would meet my husband on a silly FB app used mostly for booty calls I would have laughed in your face. But so it goes.

Basically, the app works like this – you set parameters: Age range, location, and such. Then the app shows you pictures. You click on people who you think are cute. If you click on someone, and they click on you as well, you get a notification and you guys can start communicating.

Now – mind you, I was pretty jaded with dating in general, and online dating specifically at this point. It had become an endless parade of guidos and assholes. But I’m not one for singles bars, and I work from home, so I kept at it.

After two particularly disastrous weeks with a 40 year old divorced film director (and a pretty crappy director to boot) that I had met on Jdate, I log on to the app, and see this picture:

“Not too bad” I think to myself. Plus – I have a long hair fetish. I have since I was 10 years old and saw Mike Patton for the first time in the music video for Faith No More’s “Epic”.

My picture on the app at the time was this one:

Needless to say – this was during one of my relatively skinny phases. Not half bad.

So I clicked away, and immediately got a pop-up saying that we have a match!

Mind you, I was still jaded from the 40 year old filmmaking hack. But I checked out pony-tail guy’s facebook profile and was pretty ok with it. Coen Brothers fan, “Lost” obsessed, listens to Pink Floyd, REM and Radiohead, and studies at the Israeli equivalent of MIT – so definitely smart. Hopefully not a sex-crazed asshole, doesn’t look like a guido, and not a filmmaking hack. So that’s definitely progress.

So starts a month long facebook message exchange. Yes, a month. Like I said before, I was jaded.

And our relationship almost didn’t happen. And it’s all Karl Marx’s fault.

We were talking about music and books. I had mentioned having a secret love of 80’s hair metal, and that I loved the Harry Potter series, had just finished a book by Coelho, and I adore Paul Auster.

Shmerson wrote back something like (and I’m paraphrasing here): “I don’t really know 80’s hair metal, and I think the Harry Potter books are ok**. I don’t get why people like Coelho so much. As far as authors go, I really like reading Marx.”

Now – this is a moment in which I need to explain a bit about Hebrew. “Marx” is spelled exactly the same way as “Marquez” – as in Gabriel Garcia Marquez – author of one of the most beautiful books ever written – “100 Years of Solitude”.

But I read it as Marx (which when I finally told him about, made him burst out in a fit of laughter). Plus – he had just downplayed the harry potter series, and said he didn’t know hair metal.

I read that message and decided this long haired “Lost” obsessive was a pretentious a-hole. I mean, who brags about reading communist manifestos? That’s just weird. I had just had a short-lived relationship implode with another pretentious a-hole.

So I didn’t write him back.

And it would have ended there.

Except, Shmerson, who was usually incredibly insecure, decided on whim to persist. When I didn’t answer, he waited about a week and then wrote me a short message giving me an out: “Still busy with work?”

I gave in, I wrote back, and our FB courtship continued. To this day Shmerson jokes that if it wasn’t for his deciding to write that second message, well – who knows where we’d be. But such is fate. Or randomness. Or whatever I believe in (darn it Mo leave your existential crisis at the door today, will you?).

Aaaaaanyway, I remember that sometime during this month Me0Me came for a sleepover and I told him about this guy I was talking to on facebook. We hadn’t met yet. I said to him “I’ve been saying my first name with his last name to myself in the last couple of weeks. And I haven’t even met the guy. Isn’t that weird?”

I guess now that I actually do have his last name – it’s not that weird. At the time, Me0Me took it in stride. I found out later that, at the time, Shmerson was just about as jaded as I was, and had decided that most likely nothing significant would come out of our exchange, but hell – at least maybe he can get laid from this thing (mind you, in his defense, this was generally a very un-shmerson-like thought)***.

It was finally time to meet but neither of us wanted to put too much pressure on the whole situation. A band that I had recently directed a music video for was performing in town, so I suggested he come to the show, and “bring a few friends” if he wanted. Basically a non-date (today we refer to it as our “Zero Date” since we hadn’t wanted it to count as a date when we first planned it).

16 people showed up at that club. Luckily, Shmerson was among them (sans friends). After a rather lame set by the band, we hung out with them a bit, I took a couple of hits off their pot, playing it cool. Turns out Shmerson wasn’t a pot smoker. I really wasn’t either. Ahh well. After a while the band piled into their van and I suggested Shmerson and I hit a coffee shop. At that point we hadn’t really talked much.

We got to the coffee shop – and I basically knew it was meant to be the moment the waiter walked up to us and we both ordered cokes. Neither of us likes coffee.

We talked for several hours. One of those really awesome conversations. Sometime during it I decided that I am a 28 year old woman, and I’m done playing games. It was the most open and honest first date conversation I had ever had. We clicked immediately. After about 3 hours Shmerson dropped me off at home. And we had our first kiss.

At 3am I call Squish.

“He dropped me off 20 minutes ago and I can’t stop smiling.”

And just like that – I knew I had met the man I was going to marry.

Yes – through a freakin’ Facebook App.

It’s not knight in shining armor romantic, I know. But heck – at least it involves communist manifestos and a pot-smoking band, right?

Tomorrow – how Shmerson came over for Valentine’s Day weekend and never left. 

** I am happy to report that since that exchange, Shmerson has changed his mind and is now a big Harry Potter fan. I think it’s kind of hard not to be when your wife has read the books so many times she may have set a world record.

***Shmerson later told me that the “just getting laid” thing went straight out the window the moment we started to really talk. I mean – I’m sure he still was hoping to get laid, he was at the time a 26 year old man and that is very much a justifiable motivation. But to his credit, he didn’t even try to cop a feel by the end of the night. So I tend to believe him.

Life Lessons from How I Met Your Mother

17 May

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

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

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

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

Now – back to our regularly scheduled program blog post.

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

It’s a lose-lose. And it all sucks.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And on and on it goes.

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

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

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

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

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

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

It’s not much, but it’s something.

Revenge of the Preggo Blogging Meme

14 May

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

Week 50- Weekly Update 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Message sent. Hopefully it will be received.

An Apology

13 May

Ok – so I’ve not been completely present in the blogoverse as of late. I’ve been going through a lot. I have a lot to say, but I haven’t been able to find the energy to say it, and on the same token, I haven’t been as active as usual with the rest of the blogoverse. I’ve been bad about reading, commenting, and even answering comments on my own freaking blog (though some of it is blogger’s fault. anybody else having issues commenting on blogger blogs?). Anyway, Shmerson is making me look bad on that one. Wasn’t his post yesterday awesome BTW? I love my hubby.

I think I’ve just been in processing mode. Trying to get used to this “new normal”. This world of HSG’s and SHG’s, looking for blockages and karyotyping and IVF being brought up by a doctor for the first time (yeah. It was brought up for the first time, and it’s kind of sinking in just now). I am officially “in the club.” It’s a lot to take in.

But before I start writing about everything we’re facing and are about to face, I need to explain something to all of you. Something that’s kind of hard for me to mention, because, well, I feel both grateful and guilty.

When it comes to my own country, I kind of live in a bubble. I don’t know many Israeli infertiles. Just by the mere fact that I blog in english – it means that most of my readers are American/Canadian/Australian/British etc.

Most of the IF bloggers I follow regularly are American. This means that their decision making process regarding their fertility is almost always in some way related to finances.

Now that I’m on my own journey of testing and looking at possible “artificial” ways of achieving pregnancy, I realize, that I am, in fact unique.

Here’s the thing: In Israel, Fertility treatments are (practically) free.

Yes. You read that right. Free. The government subsidizes everything. Including IVF. Up to two children it’s free and with the third, it costs a little bit -but also free if you have a bit of supplemental insurance.

Yes – you read right. Up to two CHILDREN. Not cycles. CHILDREN. As in – if it takes 20 IVF cycles to reach 2 kids, you will still only pay the equivalent of about 200 US dollars (mostly for meds) per IVF cycle.

At our appointment with Twofer the other day, the term IVF entered our lexicon for the first time.

As in – “if we find there’s a problem with your tubes, worst-case scenario we’ll have them blocked and start you on IVF”.

It was that casual. Because here – it is casual. We don’t need to choose between buying a car or trying for a baby. IVF is not a last resort. It’s a viable option, sometimes even preferable to many other supposedly cheaper ones. So I’m in a complete bubble. My support system (i.e. you guys) is mostly made up of people who go to IVF as an almost last resort. For me, it’s always going to be an option (unless of course we find out something is wrong with my uterus, then it’s not. But let’s hope that’s not the case and just ignore that possibility for the time being. Ok? Ok).

Let me say this: knowing what a lot of IFers go through, and the financial sacrifices they have to make, I am eternally grateful to be living here. And yes, I highly recommend all of you convert to Judaism and move in with me and Shmerson. Just in case you’re wondering.

But before I go forward, before I start getting poked and prodded and diagnosed, I have to apologize. I’m sorry that all of you can’t have the same amazing options I have. I’m sorry if when writing about our options I may, in the future, casually refer to IVF as just a next step (though let’s still hope it won’t have to come to that). I know this is something that should not be taken for granted, and I hope you don’t hate me for it.

I’ve got a lot to process and a lot to write about. We’ll hear from twofer most likely on Sunday regarding our next steps. I’m back to being a googling freak because I remembered he also mentioned a possible histeroscopy, so now I’m playing a nice game of “guess the object/liquid combination to be shoved up my uterus” until we get the verdict.  Of course, I’ll keep you all updated.

And – consider the offer we made as a standing one. Shmerson and I have a very nice futon. You’re welcome to crash on it at any time. Luna would appreciate the company.

Why I Don’t Hate Tina Fey

8 May

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

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

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

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

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

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

Then there’s Tina Fey.

Let me back up for a second.

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

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

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

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

But I don’t. I can’t.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And that’s when I started crying.

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

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

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

Thanks Tina. Happy Mother’s Day.

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.

There Are No Words

4 May

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

There are no words.

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

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

Thank you.

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

Officially No Longer Knocked Up

3 May

Hey All,

Thanks so much for your comments, emails, skypes, and general love and support after yesterday’s post.

I’m still in kind of an icky place – especially since my vajayjay is doing its best impression of Niagra Falls right now. (TMI. I know. Don’t care. ).

ANYWHO – I went in for more blood tests this morning. Was about to give up on them posting my results online when finally – just a few minutes ago – there they were.

Beta is 4. I am officially no longer knocked up. I’ll be making an appointment with doctor twofer tomorrow – hopefully still for this week.

Time to tackle this biyatch.

Dear Body, You Suck.

3 May

You know how sometimes you think you’re fine and then you’re really not?

Yeah – I thought I was ok. Kind of. Today that theory was proven as wrong. Kind of. I don’t know. I just know that I hate my body.

I was feeling kind of out of it today – but all around ok. At least I was being productive. Getting the site for my business up, editing my showreel.

Then I started bleeding again. And well – it all went downhill from there.

I thought I was done. I have had only light brown spotting on and off for like, three days. I even told squish on the phone today that I think the bleeding is done with.

Two hours later I’m in the bathroom and we’re back to bright red.

I was planning on going back to yoga today and since I was still feeling ok I figured I’d go. If you remember – my yoga instructor has been made very aware of my situation in general with the miscarriages.

So I admit – I was dreading going in there today. Telling him that we had another one. Before leaving the house I put on my yoga clothes and looked at myself in the mirror. I think I’ve gained at least 5 pounds in the last two weeks. I feel bloated and fat. I think I may be back to 160 pounds. I’m afraid to weigh myself to fine out.

Just the act of getting in the car made me cry. Then I ran through the conversation in my head. I cried some more.

I paced back and forth in front of the studio. I cried.

I went in and of course he was awesome as usual. I told him what happened and he set up a mat for me in the farthest corner of the room, so that I could cry if I needed – or whatever I needed. He said to do what I could.

During the class he was extra sensitive. Turns out there were some early preggos in the class today. But he didn’t say “for the pregnant women” when giving his instructors. He said “for those worrying about an extra person.” I know that was meant for me. He came by a few times during the class just to check on me. Make sure I was holding it together.

And I was. But the thing is that toward the end of class I started cramping again. I felt a gush (sorry for the TMI). I went to the bathroom and it was like the red lady had shown up. Only I  know that’s impossible. My betas were at 83 five days ago. So this basically means that I’m in the midst of the miscarriage that refuses to end.

I left the studio crying. I went out and of course smoked a cigarette.

I came home crying. I bawled and bawled to shmerson. I told him how much I hate my body. How all this hard work that I’ve been doing for the last 6 months has officially gone down the crapper. And what’s the use of it anyway? Because we keep miscarrying.

And I don’t get how he can deal with being with me since I’m damaged goods basically on every single level.

I love my husband. He managed to talk me down. I’ll be going for a beta tomorrow morning. I hope to spaghetti monster that I’ll be down to zero, and that today is just my uterus catching up with my hormones.

Look – I know the logical side of things. Shmerson gave me a huge lecture on this: You shouldn’t be taking care of your body just to have a baby. You should be taking care of your body for you. And if you take care of your body “to have a baby” then each time you fail- heck – each time you succeed you will fall back on old destructive habits.

He’s right. I know. I get it.

But logic is hard to see when you look at yourself in the mirror and feel helpless in front of the broken body that you see in front of you.

How can you treat something with respect when it has betrayed you?

If anybody has an easy answer – now’s the time to give it.

Housekeeping

2 May

Hi All,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Now for a little blog housekeeping:

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

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

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

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

Vote Below!

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

25 Dollars (Canadian)

29 Apr

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

So now – on to our regularly scheduled blog post:

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

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

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

Ahh – the good old days.

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

Yes. You read right. Baby Psychic.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I was sorely tempted:

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

Me: Um, no.

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

Me: This is a baby psychic.

Me: yes but –

Me: A. BABY. PSYCHIC.

Me: yes but –

Me: An ONLINE BABY PSYCHIC

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

Me: Yes. I admit I’m curious.

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

Me: Oh – you want the DELUXE PACKAGE?

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

Me: But –

Me: Come on just do it!

Me: Fine.

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

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

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

I won’t share it with you here.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bust a Myth! Miscarriage Marathon

28 Apr

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Quick Update

26 Apr

Hey All

I’ve been terrible about updating, keeping up with ICLW, and answering all of your amazing comments.

Thank you all so much. I said it before and I’ll say it again – I don’t know where I’d be without this community.

I have a long-ass blog post in me, but I’ve been in pain for a few hours now and I don’t think I’ll be up to it tonight.

But you all do deserve an update and it’s good news. 6 days after the MTX shot, my betas are down from 438 to 118. Shmerson and I are both incredibly relieved. I’ll go in for another test on Thursday. With the pain right now, I have a feeling it may be down to single digits by then. Either way, I know the worst of it will be over soon.

The upside to it all? My amazing husband spent the day booking our 1 year anniversary weekend, cleaning the house, and now he’s cooking dinner.

Each time we get slapped in the face, I fall in love with him just a little bit more. I am so lucky.

Hopefully tomorrow I’ll be coherent again.

Thank you all again for being awesome!!!

Tug of War

25 Apr

On one hand – I feel like I’m over it. I just want my Betas to go down to zero and move on and try again.

On the other hand – I’m afraid that I’m in denial. That maybe I should be grieving more.

On one hand – I’m relieved, because this last week finally brought some answers. I know that now we’re not just guessing. I know what’s going on, I know my options.

On the other hand – I know that I’m in even more danger of this happening again. And that scares me. To top it all off – that overnight hospital stay was the first time I’ve ever been hospitalized overnight. It scared me. It brought up a lot of fears I don’t like to deal with.

On one hand – I’m not really grieving this loss. I’m happy we didn’t know I was pregnant. It makes this loss easier than the others.

On the other hand – I feel guilty about that. And I feel stupid for not listening to my body more.

On one hand – I dread the next few days – where I have to re-enter the world. Tell my therapist, tell my acupuncturist, tell my yoga instructor. Put up with their looks of pity. I hate it when people feel sorry for me.

On the other hand – I want to shout and scream about it. I’m seriously afraid that I’ll randomly break down crying in public.

Anyone have a fast forward button? Say – a month or two. I’m not picky.

Fuck.

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