AngelMom, TTC

The will to believe

  • Cycle Day: 13
  • Days to fertile window: Brace Yourself…..
  • Mental State: Clear, hopeful

I did some decluttering at work today. Just trying to make my outward self match up with my inward one. Cleaning out junk that doesn’t belong. Trying my best to think thoughts independent of infertility and just enjoy whatever is going on RIGHT NOW.

I was relishing this rare moment of clarity, and just as quickly as it began I was jolted back to reality when I stumbled on something that whipped me around and stopped me in my Fung Shui tracks, cold.

It’s been nearly a year since I started treatments with my current specialist. Through each cycle, I buried myself in positive thoughts. Not that I was actually feeling positive or enlightened during this time, but I felt like I could trick myself into feeling that way and it would be better for me and ultimately help me conceive. Not sure exactly where the notion came from, but I was committed to it. Sure, there were times where I couldn’t be fooled and things were just shitty…. but my whole plan was to psyche myself out and end up really believing by accident.

A big part of this plan was written affirmations I left for myself at work. My way to sort of a Jedi Mind Trick myself…. (yes I’m a huge Star Wars geek— and this is only 1 of of the things that makes me awesome). I changed them periodically, always written on a big sticky note and placed on my computer screen. I never cared who saw it or what it would mean if they did. It was my way to own my feelings, the choice to “try” and to remain positive! Also, as a bonus side effect it made me feel like I had a smidge of control- which I desperately needed.

When I lost my baby in December, I was out for about 3 weeks to recover. I came back to work still broken, still teary eyed, still sad… and the first thing I saw was my yellow sticky note….. I shattered.

I was not the same girl that wrote this note.

I felt so betrayed, those words mocked my very existence. Before the tears could spring out, I grabbed the note and shoved it in my drawer under a bunch of nonsense with a dozen others just like it never to be seen or thought of again… until today.


I found my personal affirmation hope chest. Every time I turned something over in that drawer I would find another one!! Sheesh Past Me– how much positivity does one really even need?!??

Reading though them, was reminded of a girl that truly wanted to believe that it was all just a case of mind over matter. Believe these wonderful things, and they will be real. In my heart, I do still believe… I felt my body relax and I felt happy. Perhaps my mind trick worked? Clearly I knew then that I was capable of believing again. After all I only stashed the notes. I could have easily thrown them in the trash, but I tucked them away beneath everything else somehow knowing I would need and want those positive words again eventually. Feeling a well of hope bubble up inside, I picked one out of the crowd and proudly displayed it on my screen… it feels good to believe. It feels familiar, and warm.

In the end… we are all just looking for something to believe in. It worked for me once, and it will work again!

Also… it’s clear I owe my work a pack of sticky notes…. 😳

AngelMom, TTC

Somewhere I belong…

  • Cycle Day: 12
  • Days to fertile window: 5- tick toc man!!!! 
  • Mental state: Amazed 

So, as we’ve previously covered my husband and I have been trying to (or in some cases trying not not avoid) start our family for about 8 years. We began as most couples do, just expecting that it would happen.

I was brought up believing that pregnancy would surely happen if I didn’t keep my lady bits under lock and key! After all, with no skill or plan involved I was conceived by an impressionable teen who had no thoughts of children or family in the immediate plan, so naturally I was terrified of perpetuating this pattern before I was ready to do so.

Here we are, years later still unable to just let this happen to us! It’s heartbreaking to want something so badly, and feel like you’re broken, damaged, unlucky or inept at just making this seemingly simple thing happen for yourself.

It feels so lonely!! No one talks about it!!! Ever!!! The fear, doubts, anger, and isolation I was feeling couldn’t possibly be unique to only me?!! And if not, where the heck were all these women and why weren’t they speaking up, DAMNIT!???

Now, since starting my blog it’s purpose and direction have changed several times – already!!! I’ve only been writing consistently on the topic for about three months! It took a month of writing for me to gain the courage to publish some of it to the internet and even today my focus and direction seem to be an ever evolving animal that I’m getting to know as we all go along together! Now that I’m writing about it, and speaking out I’ve been looking for others that have been doing the same… and what I found is staggering. There are extremely limited choices in the category of relatable books on infertility that focus on humor, intelligence, sharing experiences and helping others to cope, thrive and survive it!

In my research, on this and other topics, and ways to share my own writing I stumbled upon a Facebook group for Infertility and Loss. With one simple (and albeit reluctant click) I fell down into a deep rabbit hole where I would find over 16,000 women, just like me that were looking for answers, friendship, camaraderie, help, and a way to share and discuss their experiences! What!?! How could I have been missing out on this amazing untapped resource!?! I felt like I had stumbled into the bar in Cheers and instantly been accepted as a regular. Everyone there was completely different than me… but yet somehow exactly the same!

That is one thing I will give infertility credit for… diversity. There are women every size, shape, color, ranging in background, lifestyle and location! Yet, every single one of us could relate to the feeling of loneliness, and rejection that is ubiquitous of whatever type of infertility we are facing individually.

We make connections, answer questions for each other- for all I’ve been through, here are women standing on square one of a road that I’ve traveled!?! I actually have legitimate insight and answers for these girls!?! I find myself constantly wishing I could go back and warn myself about things— and I can do that for these people!?? What!?!? We support one another on good days, on bad days, on days where we’re just waiting for future days to happen. We make jokes — yes jokes???!!! Ones only we can relate to! I chuckled with one gal, “Wondering when my Bachelors Degree of Reproductive Sciences would be coming in the mail-we’re all getting those, RIGHT?!?” Because seriously for all the research and development I’ve done on the subject I truly think i should have at least earned a degree of some sort for my troubles!! It felt good to joke… it felt good (and foreign) to know these people would get it without explanation or judgment!

For the first time, in a long time… I belonged somewhere. Among a sea of strangers, I felt like I was accepted and understood.

AngelMom

Shockingly obvious observations and other things I know

  • Cycle Day: 7
  • Fertility Treatments: none
  • Mind blowing epiphanies: Infinity
  • Emotional State: Calm

One really gross thing you may not know, when beginning an IUI Cycle, the first order of business, alongside blood work is a very graphic and intrusive transvaginal ultrasound on the 2nd or 3rd day of your cycle. I mean, of course it is! I can’t think of anything else I’d rather do on the 2nd day of my period that have a dude jam a 12 inch rod up there and poke around a bit!! — Said no one ever! It really is terrible – and I’m sorry if that was more than you bargained for, but its reality man, deal with it! So it’s really no wonder why I wasn’t rushing to start a new cycle after the completely brutal failure from IUI #5. 

Leading up to the start of this cycle, I was running away from some very strange feelings. I tried to brush them off has hormonal nothings, and ignored some pretty clear messages I was trying to send myself. At that point the only message or feeling I was into was submission. I felt like I was being shoved into a locker by a bully and just decided it was easier to stay in there hidden in the locker instead of facing my bully. Just do whatever Infertility says, go along and somehow this will all be ok. The bully will go away and I’ll get through this! 

Finally the voice inside had enough, got irritated, spoke louder, and all of a sudden it was clear to me. “Stop. You just needed to stop. You need rest. You need to recover. You are not ready for more hormones, and everything that comes with treatments. And, all of that is totally ok.” Whoaaa!?! Voice in my head, that’s a lot to take in! The concept here is really scary and foreign to me! Anyone who knows me, knows if I’m in-I’m all in!!!! It’s been the same with fertility treatments, we’ve gone head first into this world and I just expected that if I just keep plunging forward everything will be ok. It’s not. Apparently, there is a breaking point and I had finally reached it. Fighting against it only made everything worse. 

Now, it was all starting to come together. I heard the voice, clearly and leaned into those feelings instead of pulling away. I was amazed, how easily I was able to own these words once I said them out loud. I expected them to be rough and poisonous as they left my tongue- I expected to feel ashamed, but instead l, felt a freedom and peace I have not felt in months- maybe years!?? 

That internal conversation has caused me to question everything I’ve felt for the last several months and years of my life. I’ve been consumed with making a baby that I have completely neglected to listen to even the most basic messages coming from inside for fear I would be judged, fear I would fail, and fear that I would miss my chance. 

Trying to make a baby has made me so frantic!!! It’s more than the cliche internal ticking clock. I had bullied myself into thinking that time is my enemy and it was quickly running out! “Can’t waste a single cycle!” “Try harder, you’re not trying hard enough!” “This is all your fault, you could have done this better” — jeez I’m such a jerk to myself!!! I would never talk to any of my friends like that?! Why was I being such a jerkface to myself!!?? 

When I really stop to think of all the times when I am depressed, saddened, lost, or confused it’s horrifying to realize that the reason is because the bully inside me has been saying these awful judgey things and I’m just going along believing them all!!!! 

Sure, going through this struggle with infertility makes me hyper aware and sensitive to shit most people don’t even think of, and that’s tough. But this whole time I’ve been made to feel like there is a whole suite of exterior pressure coming from others when in reality the only one applying any pressure is me

AngelMom

These eyes….

Current Status

  • Cycle Day: 1
  • Fertility Treatments: None… and likely will go natural this cycle
  • Emotional state: Contemplative

Shout out to these eyes… they’ve been working over time for the last year. They’ve cried an awful lot of tears in this very hard time in my life. They also have to work extremely hard to not look as tired as I truly am. They have to put in over time to hide all the feelings that are not suitable for any given situation I find myself in. It’s not always a good time to let someone know you’re struggling– it’s the eyes’ job to convince them “there’s nothing to see here folks!”.

They hide my pain, my struggle, my jealousy, my rage and my fear. These eyes have a tough gig, for sure. 

Living in this skin, managing the pain from loss, and lack of offspring is tough. Sprinkle in fertility hormones, which not only magnify my own feelings, but additionally cause outbreaks of synthetic emotional turbulence. These eyes really never had a chance! 

Some days I cry over real things that are bothering me. Sometimes I cry over nothing, and everything. Sometimes it’s caused by restraining many things over time to a point where it all bubbles up, over and out. These eyes, have it rough believe me. 

Like every other part of me that has to work hard to keep pushing on, I make promises to my eyes. Just a little farther. Just once more. It will be worth the price of those tears! We are almost there… I promise these eyes, I lie to them to keep them from giving out on me. Hopefully they don’t get wise…. I promise them that if we can just get through this, the beautiful things we will see will outweigh all this pain we have to endure now. 

Perhaps, someday these eyes will gaze upon a chubby screaming baby with eyes like mine…. and I will wipe those tears and have to strain to remember how much it hurt to wait for that moment. Perhaps. 

AngelMom, TTC

IUI cycle #5

So, I know you guys might be wondering… cycle #5 IUI was a big fat negative.

I actually started my period on the plane ride up to Washington for my little sisters wedding. “Luckily” I had been so emotional the two days prior that I think I cried all possible tears available and by the time I got to Washington I was completely void of any emotion.

I still kind of am… I pretty much feel nothing. I can’t believe that after everything we did last month, and how great the cycle was on paper that it just didn’t take. More money down the drain, more torture on myself that basically does me no good in present day. And, due to the timing and being out of town we are on the bench as far as treatments are concerned this current cycle. We can still try naturally- and we will- it just makes me really bitter and angry that the last cycle didn’t work because I really did lay it all out, placed every last hope I had in it only to realize I have to scoop up all my broken hopes, dreams, fears and insecurities and do it all again.

I spent a good deal of time with my niece and nephew and squeezed and hugged on them when I was in Washington which was a blessing… but also just makes it hurt so much seeing how natural it is to me to be around children… but all the while I am struggling to keep fighting the good fight to have my own. MY OWN… not adopt, surrogate, foster or any other solution someone might suggest to me in passing thinking that will fix my desire to become pregnant and carry a child of my own. These are all fine ideas and I know they come from only the best place of wanting to lessen the pain I feel…. but some wounds cannot be bandaged.

For now, I’m trying to find a way to push forward in spite of feeling like I’ve failed… again. Trying to figure out how to just be happy with all the many blessings we already have, and make sure my marriage stays strong despite constantly running it through the gauntlet every time we sign up to go through this again!

#nevergiveup

AngelMom

Feel the way you feel.

April 14, 2017


So, one of the worst things I’ve experienced in losing a child has been the feeling of shame and suppression.

I lost my baby. In the most brutal and heartbreaking fashion. A baby that I’ve dreamed of, and worked so hard for! It’s not fair!!! Those words ring in my ears, daily. It is not fair.
I can recall the day of our ultrasound and not unlike anyone who’s experienced it I recall the news hitting me in the chest like a gunshot. Following the news, the doctor kept talking. I can’t tell you exactly what he said because I was frozen.  All I could hear and feel was a very sharp, loud feedback -like a guitar amp screaming through the air and muffling everything else that was happening around me.

Following that horrid day were several other equally awful days of which I can’t really recall but can never forget.

Fast Forward….
I’ve lost my child.
And the world in their infinite wisdom takes pleasure in telling me “at least”. At least is awful.
Would it be so bad to just let me feel broken? To let me feel sad? To let me be devastated???? These feelings are all difficult, but not as difficult as trying to suppress every feeling I have in order to convince everyone and myself that I’m OK. Maybe lm not. That doesn’t mean I won’t be ok some day. In the meantime, please just allow me to grieve and breathe without having to prove I’m something I’m not. Ok.

AngelMom, TTC

The girl I want to be.

April 13, 2017

Reflecting on past tense. I want to be this girl. I want to be fierce, powerful and hopeful that this time things will be different. I want to feel pretty, comfortable, voluminous and confident. This time things will work out. This girl had faith, courage, fear and hope but balanced them all like spinning plates. This is the face of a girl that went on her lunch break to her fertility doctor to get knocked up. Oh the things we do. The things that can become “normal”. It was Halloween, I was dressed in my most fabulous 80s Material Girl garb, on my lunch break and I was on top of the world. I want to be her.

Present day me can only spin one plate at a time before everything crashes and breaks. I break. Present day me wants to shout when I struggle, struggle to share, struggle to smile – even just a simple smile to a stranger that says “hey I’m ok”, I struggle to quiet the angry, frustrated thoughts that have moved in like a stormfront.

I want desperately for you all to know. To understand that the pain of knowing I may never be this girl again is devastating.

It’s so unfair that this journey has not only taken away my child, but has also taken away basic parts of who I am…. and all of these losses are non-refundable.