AngelMom, TTC

Angel Moms on Mother’s Day

Boy it’s tough… tough to be a Mom in general, I can see that. It’s tough though, to be a Mom on Mother’s Day when your child is in heaven.

It’s a confusing day, for sure. Stuck somewhere between wanting to just carry on normally and wanting to lock yourself in a room and pretend like the outside world doesn’t exist. Stuck between wanting to be acknowledged and appreciated like the other moms, and wanting to be totally invisible and unnoticed.

Take my trip to Starbucks this morning for example. The nice barista wished me Happy Mother’s Day and asked how many kids I had… I hesitated and for the micro-second between all the rushing thoughts had to decide if telling this gal, this stranger that I had a kid in heaven was really what I wanted or not. I chose not… and just smiled and said I had a “fur kid” at home. She went on to tell me how much better off I was (for what seemed like way too long). I smiled politely and into the distance so she wouldn’t be able to see the tears welling up and being sucked back into my eye holes. There’s no win there.

I want so desperately to be fine. Or just even OK… or better yet PART OF THE TEAM!! Lately I’ve made a career out of being distracted. Distracted by my diet, and exercise– which is going great, by work, hobbies and a week long vacation…. but sooner or later all that stuff you’ve been hiding from finds you.

I watch everyone around me live out my dreams and I can only seem to ignore it all for so long before I become bitter and scared that my turn may never come. As I’m lapped time and time again by my friends who get to have as many babies as they want ….

It’s no one’s fault but it’s just the worst, having all these feelings bubbling in there with nowhere to go but out- at never a convenient moment. A moment like a dear friend calling to tell you she pregnant… again… and you adore her AND her children to the moon and back but you just sit there and cry. Sobbing in traffic waiting for some sign that your turn is coming too….

I wish I didn’t feel sad, and guilty for feeling sad, angry, cheated… and just plain bitter. I want to feel happy for every miracle no matter who it’s promised to! But on a day like today… even with the fakest of smiles plastered on my face…. I feel the way I feel. And some days it cant be gift wrapped…

TTC

Recalculating….

Today feels very much like the GPS of my life is buffering a new route and I’m stuck in panic on this road that now feels like a wrong turn.

Obviously, Cycle #7 was not successful. And due to-you guessed it-timing I wasn’t able to hop right into a new treatment cycle. Even if timing and other factors didn’t exist, I don’t know how many more IUI’s I’m prepared to complete. More and more I’ve been feeling like IVF may be a better route for us – but the cost– oooh the cost!?! There’s no “set” cost for IVF- each experience is different much like IUI, but now we’re talking tens of thousands not just thousands….

I recently saw an add for a doctor who was offering IVF for $5500- which is a bargain compared to what I’ve seen. Being that it’s been a while since I got any sort of secondary opinion I decided to make us an appointment to investigate.

Today, was that appointment.

In addition to the not so shocking reality that the cost as advertised does not include other required items equalling likely another 5 thousand-ish dollars… there was more disappointment.

Now, given my history I had somewhat prepared myself for what was to come next. This new doctor, was very nice, professional, kind, and informative. But had the unlucky task of telling me some rather unpleasant information.

Due to my weight, IVF at this time isn’t really an option. The mechanics of harvesting eggs from an obese person is very risky and very often yields very few or NO eggs — which would mean wasted effort, and wasted resources only to be let down and disappointed – and far more broke!

Certainly not what I wanted to hear… but important just the same.

This is devastating for me for many reasons. The weight… the weight and I have been at war for… ever. It all feels very hopeless to me in this moment. I’m preparing to rally and become a great hero in all this, so please just hold the “you can do it’s”— today I feel very broken and defeated. If it was possible for me to shed this weight I feel like I would have done it by now- not like I haven’t spent my life TRYING! But… I will find a way to persist. Do something I have not tried before and succeed. I have to. This is all too important.

It means that I’m going to have to get way more help. More than I’ve ever had before. It means I’m going to have to seriously investigate and commit to medical and perhaps surgical weight loss. It means I’m going to have to reroute and refocus my attention to this instead of fertility- which is hard for me to grasp! I’m doing all the math in my head and reconciling all the voices inside so that we can all shuffle toward this goal now that will ultimately align with the other…

Things I know….

  • My problems aren’t unique.
  • My disappointment is not uncommon.
  • My setback is not the first of its kind, and lord… I’m afraid it won’t be the last.
  • My heartbreak is not unlike any other heart breaking anywhere around the world at this very moment…but it is mine, and it hurts.
  • I know I must do this… whatever that means. I must.

For now, I must breathe… I must recalculate my plans and my future.

It’s important to keep things in perspective. Such as, even if I could snap my fingers and have exactly what I am wanting right now- I bet I would still have a feeling of discomfort and dissatisfaction in some way or another. So I must find a way to be satisfied with what’s going on right now and press forward!

I promise to try, to fight, and do to what I do best- never give up! Somehow I’m making a better future even though my present is painful.

TTC

Jenga!!!

You’re going along, everything is fine. You’re even amazed by yourself. Look at how cool (figuratively of course I’m a veritable hot flash swamp monster right now IRL) and collected you’ve held yourself during this two week wait. It’s almost over, you’re confident and so so sure it finally worked this time!!

Then something happens, or maybe it doesn’t. Maybe it’s just as simple as you breathed wrong and all of a sudden….. JENGA!!!!!! Alllllllll those emotions you’d secretly stashed so you could live your most positive and hopeful life are CRASHING DOWN —EVERYWHERE. Coming out of every hole in your face! Flying at your poor husband… who kindly reminds you to breath because you’ve neglected to do so. [true story]

The verdict is still out for me on this cycle, I’m running out the clock over here hoping that allll this emotional chaos MEANS something good but the terror and panic that it won’t has somehow found me through all the lovely walls and barricades that I’ve made to keep them out.

The good news, if there is some – is that if my emotions are anything like actual Jenga it all cleans up and restores pretty seamlessly. This moment of turmoil is temporary. I can reassemble it all and the world will all be ok. I’m trying to imagine my world in three by three sections perfectly laid out so that things feel less muddled.

Doing my best to self care by staying in my cocoon today, mediating, sleeping, breathing- of course breathing, and just hoping and praying that I’m still in this and my rainbow is just a heartbeat away!

TTC

Only hope….

Sometimes I like to sit alone in my house just listening to the clocks tick away the time. The heartbeat of his home we’ve built. I imagine how much it will change when we finally get our wish and it’s taken over by the rumble of clomping tiny feet, screaming, crying, pooping and all the other ear splitting sounds that come along with parenthood….

I hope when that happens I’ll be able to think back and appreciate these silent moments, but not yearn for them. I hope that I never lose sight of how badly we want all of this. I think of that often. As I watch others with their children… they’re tired and they’re weary of wiping butts and boogers, of settling sibling disputes, of everything being sticky and smelly… of never getting enough sleep and catching every illness their kid brings home from school… and honestly I sit on my hands and can’t WAIT to sign up!! I’m sure it’ll all catch up to me some day, but for now I couldn’t be more ready to pledge the sacred Fraternity of Parenthood!

As I listen patiently to the tic tock… thump thump thump of my clock collection I imagine that it’s the sound of my baby’s heartbeat. I know it’s way too early to actually be the case….but something inside feels different this time. It may be in my head, or a side effect of the hormones, but I swear I can feel … something.

Apart from twinges, I’ve been feeling mostly positive; however occasionally I can feel the conflict inside… reminding me of the awful things that have happened in the past and how real the possibly is that they could happen again. When I feel those thoughts bubble to the surface it’s difficult to remember I’m in control of them, and I have the power to banish them. I catch myself just holding my breath and staying completely still so that I don’t mess anything up — but it’s time to breathe! Breathe and believe, that it feels different this time because IT IS…

There’s no room for doubt and fear right now… only hope

TTC

Shoulda Coulda Woulda’s and other things that still hurt despite a Wonderful Life.

I’ve been having a super hard time sharing lately. Some of you may have noticed I’ve been abnormally quiet lately. Trying to figure out my “spin” on some frustrating feelings and it’s a tough thing to pin down.

We’ve made some choices lately, awesome, exciting, selfish and fun choices that are not in any way fertility serving or related. I’ve been having trouble allowing myself to be happy and confident about them. We deserve to have fun and do things that make us feel happy, remind us why we love being together and make our bond stronger…. but in making those choices we removed other opportunities and choices regarding future fertility treatments.

We’ve spent the last 8 years trying to get pregnant- and for the last year of that it has been the primary focus of our lives…. and it’s HARD!!! It’s mentally and physically taxing. We’ve suffered loss, and somehow at the end of that difficult year we are and aren’t closer to reaching the finish line. We know now IT CAN HAPPEN now….. but the questions and challenges still remain and I find myself wondering WILL IT happen more often than I care to admit.

This journey is one of pain, longing, stress, and a lot of telling myself to be stronger and more positive than I may actually be. I want to bring light and positivity to others…. but at the same time there are so many days where I just can’t get it up for the world and I just want to feel frustrated and angry that for some reason the universe continues to withhold the last missing piece and I can’t for the life of me figure out WHY!!!!! Despite so many other amazing things that may be going right— this one missing piece haunts me.

Meanwhile, when I look up from my own journey I feel my heart break wide open for others that are fighting their own battles that are totally different than mine. I tell myself to “suck it up” and shame myself for indulging my feelings because others “have it so much worse”…. and while all of that may be true…. one journey cannot possibly be measured against another.

Every journey is unique and no one else is strong enough to move the mountain that has been assigned to you. It’s grueling…. and all the more laborious if you don’t allow yourself to experience what you’re feeling and constantly suppress and stifle yourself for the sake of putting up a brave face.

So in the end…. this life is pretty great. There’s so much here to be grateful for… and sometimes despite all of that I still hurt, and I must keep pressing on! However I can…. 

AngelMom, TTC

A girl with a secret

  • Cycle Day: 15
  • Treatments: 3 follicle scans to check egg growth process, IUI scheduled for this week!!
  • Meds: 225 IU HMG (7 total), HCG injection to trigger ovulation
  • Mental State: Calm, Ready.


This photo was take last November, right after I found out I was pregnant. Weeks before it was all ruined by an ectopic pregnancy resulting in emergency surgery, losing my baby as well as a Fallopian tube.

At that moment though, I felt so mischievous knowing such an important amazing thing… that I could share with no one…..

Oh who am I kidding. We were bursting at the seems!!!! We didn’t tell everyone– but we did blab our big news to a handful of people. Mostly people we’d been sharing or struggles with. Infertility and treatments are so isolating– all you want is for people to understand what you’re going through and to feel valid and supported in your choices it was so nice to finally have something GOOD to share with those people!!!

We decided not to tell our parents, not yet anyway. We had already sort of planned to get both my husband’s parents here for Christmas and I knew it wouldn’t be TOOOO hard to get my mom here so we’d wait until Christmas to put together some magical way of telling all of our parents at the same time.

Along the way, there were a few people who were surprised at our decision to share so early on “oh it’s too early!! You should wait til after the first trimester” WHY I thought!!??? It did not even occur to me that early loss could be our reality all I knew was that THIS WAS IT…..

And then it wasn’t.

If someone shares with you that they’re pregnant please don’t question why they’ve told you– at whatever point. They’ll probably spend the rest of their lives thinking they jinxed it…. because that’s what you’re saying.

Plus, if the unspeakable should happen— it’s your job to be there for that. In whatever capacity they need you to be.

I wonder daily if I jinxed my baby… and I wonder when I get pregnant (because I will!!) — if I will jinx it again!? I doubt I’ll keep my pregnancy super secret in the future because throughout this journey I have found such comfort in sharing the experiences and growing a cheering squad that would make any sports team green with envious rage— and why wouldn’t I share the good stuff too!!! That, and also because I need support. I need people in my corner. Celebrating, and praying and sending all those good vibes into the world! Live in this world with me, please.

Please recognize that If someone shares their life with you, they’ve picked this time and this place to be truthful, even if it hurts. Even if it doesn’t turn out like it should. Please don’t judge people for craving that connection and letting you in.

For now, we are going into the following week with our insemination scheduled, hoping, praying, and willing for this time to be IT!! I don’t know when I will feel open to sharing more news, but when that time comes I trust you will be there….

AngelMom, TTC

Anxiety Power Struggle

  • Cycle Day: 42 (17 days past possible late ovulation)
  • Pregnancy Tests: Infinity ⛔️
  • Mental State: Impatient 

This week’s excerpt has been one of the hardest for me to complete. Which, is astounding when you consider the very personal and detailed information I’ve shared over the last few months.

This week not unlike others, I struggled. I was emotional, confused, scared, angry and fearful about nearly everything but mostly the uncertainty of what lies ahead in the future. Being stuck in an extended holding period like I am, causes a lot of anxiety– apparently.

This cycle is lasting a very long time which is both good and bad. It’s good, because there is still a glimmer of hope that I could turn out to be pregnant, but bad in that despite my period being late I have not yielded a positive pregnancy test. This uncertainty tends to unhinge me a bit, and it causes the less rational and destructive parts of my brain to take over the controls.

I have never even realized that this alternative psyche existed until recently. I’m very rough on myself. Far more critical to myself than I would be to anyone in the outside world. I tend to have the highest of expectations, and very little patience for failure or for waiting in general. Not a good thing when your primary goal involves mostly waiting!

I found myself mid meltdown this week trying to figure out what tipped me over the edge…. and I couldn’t! I sat crying in a bathroom stall at work, feeling afraid, sad, and guilty for feeling all of the above! Nothing specifically happened to me, other than this sudden tsunami of emotion, that may have been purely hormonal.

Luckily, since my loss in December I have started seeing a therapist. I have regular appointments set every few weeks and while some times I see her with nothing serious or upsetting to report, others like this week I was able to work through all of these feelings to a constructive end. There is no measure for the benefit I have realized with therapy.

In times like these, the only thing to do is: LABEL the feeing….. “I am anxious because I do not have control of these circumstances”. Then, TAKE AWAY THE POWER, by doing anything that you CAN control. Any distraction is typically GOOD distraction. The last thing to do, is to reaffirm positive statements to yourself. For me, the internal voice comes at a whisper and usually I don’t even realize it’s happening until the damage has been done. It whispers of failure, paralysis, weakness and all at once I am consumed by a deep fog of doubt, fear and sadness. The only way to prevent or reverse the hostile take over is to remind myself that this place is not permanent. My journey is far from over. I am doing everything I can to make my dreams come true– and I am.