The unexpected trigger

For several years I knew that when someone said “I’m pregnant” I would smile but cringe and once I was alone I’d start to hate myself for not having given birth. I would somehow internalize my loved ones pregnancies as the universe telling me what a failure I was because “everyone else is doing it.” It has only been the last two years that I have been able to take this news and genuinely be happy for people without thinking about myself first.

It is hard initially to not think about the baby I would have had if I hadn’t miscarried, or all the failed IUIs and the huge chunk of change spent on medication and appointments in attempts to bring home a live baby. I feel that losing a pregnancy is not something that you move through in the blink of an eye. It’s been 6 years and I still cry about it, I still feel traumatized by having to wait it out rather than a D & C.

This week one of my good friends found out that they lost their pregnancy, during a routine scan there was no heartbeat. This is her first pregnancy after several IUIs and it’s devastating. We do not live local to one another so I think she felt safe talking to me about being pregnant and now about their loss. I hate that I can’t be there for her as I know what it is like to not have anyone local to you who understands what you’re going through.

I hadn’t expected that finding out someone I know lost a pregnancy would trigger me into feelings of sadness and loss. It’s almost Mother’s Day here in the USA and that’s an awful time to have to deal with a loss like this. I would definitely be feeling some feelings about not being a biological parent regardless but now I feel sucked into the thoughts of the kid that would have been. That loss changed my life. It made it very difficult for me to imagine being pregnant, I was paranoid and terrified. I’d get an anxiety attack whenever we inseminated and I was not prepared to deal with another long wait for a fetus to “expel.” That was when we knew it was over. I couldn’t handle the emotional toll that it took on me and I  was scared to death that I would become despondent if I had to go through another miscarriage.

We moved on. We let ourselves grieve and work through what it meant for us to not to have bio kids. Now we are fully engrossed in becoming foster parents. We are happy with our decision and look forward to welcoming young people into our home. When reading books about foster or adoptive parenting, I learned about addressing your biological kids grief so that you aren’t putting that on the children who you’ll be caring for. The children are not responsible for living up to the ideal child dream we have and cannot be expected to be the kid you thought you’d have. No one can predict what will trigger their feelings of loss but I try to put mine in perspective and not carry that over into parenting future children.

*keep my friend in your thoughts and prayers as she and her wife go through this awful time*

Dog days and weird dreams

Does anyone else dress their dogs up in holiday costumes? These pups were so cute but not particularly amused at our style choices.

I love them so much though!

Chewy is our underbite wonder dog!

Emmy is Santa’s unwilling elf.

I’ve been sick and medications lead to the weirdest dreams about old jobs, strange adventures, and life goals.

One thing we put back on the table after 2 years is the possibility of parenthood. We’ll discuss more in the summer after my unit hires an additional employee so that I don’t feel so guilty about my personal life choices. More details eventually! 

baby fever has broken

In packing for the move in ten days I cleared out all of the maybe-baby items. I’m not storing it, I donated it all to the community donation pile in the apartment. I don’t need books by Mayo about healthy pregnancy or Bringing Up Baby. I don’t need the kind little “good luck” gifts that people gave us over the years. I shredded or threw out all of the IVF material from our fertility clinic.

The other day C and I read a friend’s blog where she wrote about when people ask her about living “child-free.” One thing that stands out is her feeling that if they had kids it would have been ok but they never got pregnant and that’s ok too. Side note: These people are heterosexual and have never actively tried to get pregnant or used birth control. It just hasn’t happened. They are happy! We are happy!

I think it’s okay, finally. I wanted it and we were going to try ivf but I don’t want any more medical crap. I say that all the time because something is always wrong with me! I’ve subtly come to stop daydreaming and hoping for a miracle baby. We are happy and lucky to have such a good life. I’m paying more attention to the blessings in my life and less to the “What could have been.”

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This week

4 years ago I was pregnant. Do you know how weird that is? I could have a toddler right now. 4th of July isn’t the happy holiday for me that it was before. I remember us going for the first time to see the big fireworks show at Penn’s Landing and going to a big festival in Chinatown during the few weeks of pregnancy. It was so exciting and nerve-wracking and then devastating.

When people ask what we are doing for the holiday – it is NEVER going to be go to fireworks. I just don’t think I’ll be able to have that experience without being so utterly sad in my memories.

Earlier this week I literally talked a client off a bridge. I have no crisis intervention skills and I was in a position where I was all he had. It was hours of emotional turmoil and feelings I can’t describe. In the end, he walked off the bridge instead of jumping to his death and that is a “success.” Then he was taken into custody for his own protection. That part is always so hard to wrap my head around – the jail as treatment model.

On the upside, we did finally find out that we are got into the mortgage program we applied for. Sometime next week we should get the official mortgage monies figured out. I feel like it’s okay to celebrate our little victory because there is no going back now. YAY home ownership.

Forgetten Fertility topic

2 weeks ago the RE’s office called me to schedule a time for me to come in for extra bloodwork. All of that “special” bloodwork done on the day of my HSG came back with a very low TSH (thyroid). The nurse was very concerned sounding and literally said “this could be what’s affecting your fertility.” I could maybe want to punch her for saying that just a week after our final negative test. So, they wanted me to come in 2 weeks later to see if it is consistently low and then we’ll deal with it from there.

Tomorrow I go in for the bloodwork to see if it is consistently low. In the mean time I had basically forgotten about the appointment. Today the nurse called to remind me of my appointment and that my referral had expired… but they called my office and I wasn’t there (WHY DO THEY CALL THERE)! So, I couldn’t call them back to remind them we got a new referral in April before this one ran out and all should be well. I imagine having to go over all of this in the morning when I’m not feeling like dealing with all of their mumbo jumbo.

I’ve had several people ask “so you’ll take some medication and start trying again?” No. That is not my plan. My plan is to not try anything until we get our future sorted out, settled in a house and see where our savings are at.  We might move forward with IVF or move to alternatives. I don’t want to waste more money on IUIs that don’t work for me. So, we’ll see what’s going on and start medication if needed.

Life.. it is not so hard right?

14 days later

And I’m no more pregnant than I was last week.

I kindly told the nurse that this was it for us and she was sad. We’ve had her for so long. I think she wanted to cry with me. If I wasn’t at work I would be crying. Instead I’m being tough and everything is fine.

This morning they wanted to do some special blood tests for disorders and I agreed. Those results take a while do I’ll be hearing from the nurse in a week or so. Perhaps we’ll find out I carry some weird gene that won’t let me get pregnant. Who knows? It doesn’t really matter right now.

We still have a baby fund but the more I think about it, I feel like putting $10k into IVF could be throwing the money in the trash and we should move to adopt instead. I’m scared and hurt and faulty and kind of hopeless today.

But tomorrow is a new day (and I’m done with Crinone)!

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Tuesday check in

This morning I went for my progesterone blood work. Results are progesterone is low. I have to start the awful vaginal supplements tonight. I could cry just thinking about it. To be honest, I have a very sensitive area and these supplements really mess with my body. I am particularly frustrated by this because I am flying to Alabama on Thursday and won’t be home until Monday. This means being out of my comfort zone with goo and discomfort and no one to say “it’ll be okay.” 😦

Good news is, I can tell myself that the progesterone is low because I’m pregnant and don’t know it yet. haha. The pregnancy cycle in 2011 my progesterone was very low and we started supplements. So, perhaps this is some sort of early sign that my body is doing something.. or I can tell myself that to keep my spirits up. On Tuesday, May 5th I go in for pregnancy test blood work. Hopefully it’ll be a positive and I’ll be suffering these supplements for many more weeks to come. It’s worth it though, I complain but damn if it keeps something happening in there, I’ll do it

I am going to AL to spend some time with my parents and siblings. My dad is coming up from FL so I’ll get to see him, my stepmom, and my little brother as well as all of my siblings! Can’t beat that with a stick. We’ll have a nice weekend with our southern accents and fried food and pretend we all love each other. Isn’t that what all families do? It’s really not that bad, we are a loud, fun bunch and when we are together we forget about all the things we may not like about one another (cough.racist homophobes.cough). I’m going solo which makes me a little sad but it’ll be okay. C will remain behind with his mom and the pups and keep things going here. I hope we get to take some kind of trip together this summer. We haven’t been on vacation in over a year.

Natural surge

The nurse just called and it’s go time. I’m surging on my own, woohoo!

Tomorrow morning I go in for insemination.

My left follicle from Saturday shrunk to 13 and my right only grew a small amount to 23. The RE said I had a beautiful layer of mucus, he even took a photo of it. My endometrial lining was 11. All signs are good for achieving pregnancy.

Am I going to get pregnant during natural infertility week?!

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Hope

Today I received the sweetest text message from my dear blog friend (who is a real life friend though we have never met). She sent me a photo of herself at the Texas Walk of Hope sponsored by Resolve. Her message “today I’m walking for you.”

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I showed it to C and he teared up with me. I think one of the sweetest things anyone could do is support someone in the way she always supports me. She suffered infertility also and did achieve pregnancy and has the cutest one year old son. I’m so proud to know her. She cheers on, she understands the struggle, and she doesn’t say the stupid shit that people say that they think is comforting but really isn’t.

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Why aren’t there more Walks like this? I’ve never heard of it outside of Texas.. But I haven’t spent time googling it either. I hope we all survive Infertility Awareness week with happy hearts and hope for the future.

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