Tuesday, May 29, 2012

We interrupt this regularly scheduled program . . .

 . . . of dark topics and drear for a shot of hope.

About a year ago, I came upon Maria's blog. What immediately attracted me to Maria was not only her story, but her outlook on life. The fact that she choses to pursue happiness, even in the face of continual heartbreak. To work actively to feed her mind, body and soul. Last June, Maria and her husband T made the decision to stop fertility treatments and to pursue international adoption. To mark this transition, she started a new blog appropriately titled "From IF to When" for this new chapter of her journey. Maria has truly been a source of inspiration to live well, especially during this journey.

Yesterday, I came upon this post from Maria and immediately my heart soared.
At 11:48am on May 25, 2012 our lives changed forever.  8 months, 2 weeks, and 3 days since applying to adopt.
After 7 yrs on this journey, Maria and T are holding their son. Please take a moment to congratulate this amazing couple on the recent addition to their family.

Maria, I wish you many happy years filled with wonderful memories and love. And thank you for sharing your journey. It's given me so much hope.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Anatomy of a hater

Haters. Our society is filled with them. No matter where you go, you're bound to encounter a hater. They wear their hate like a badge of honor, prepared to argue with anyone who disagrees and quick to pass criticism. Haters are quick to anger, scoffing at ideas they announce are naive. But one thing is clear with all haters: they all are deeply afraid of what they hate. 

Since being diagnosed with infertility, Grey and I have encountered our fair share of ART haters. Both of us have been lectured about how immoral and selfish our actions are, how we are overpopulating the world, how our infertility is G_d's way of telling us we are unfit to parent, etc. Over time, we've both become hardened to this hate. The hate from those who are clearly ignorant about infertility and the pain of miscarriage. But we've also learned that there is more behind this hatred than presented; the need of the individual passing judgement to feel superior, the inability of the hater to empathize with our pain, the lack of love this person may be experiencing in life. 

Being at the crossroads have introduced us to a new breed of haters, the ones few expect to encounter: the adoption haters. These haters are ones that I've been well aware of for some time. Being from the midwest, I'm aware of the white-trash value that "no loving parent would ever give away their child," but for Grey this hatred is new. His family's embrace of adoption and the assumption that love can conquer all has shielded him from these people. So initially he poo-pooed me, assuming my observations were simply a by-product of an abusive past. And then he began finding websites. He began reading the lies these cowards spread; the fear that they try to instill in others. And like most, Grey responded to the haters in a way most of us do. He responded with anger and rage, condemning them for their bitterness. If he would have been allowed to persist, the haters would have won.

So how does one counter hate like this? Honestly, it's something I've been struggling with since I first began becoming the focus hate and being the subject of attack. With the ART haters, I found it easier to confront them when necessary, but mainly I've been quiet. Partly because I've been tired from battling everything else in life in the pursuit of children. Partly because it's been easier to be quiet, since ART haters are some of the most misinformed individuals out there. But with the adoption haters, it's become evident that I can no longer be silent. Because it's no longer just about me; these people will attack my children. So, even though I'm not holding them in my arms, it's now my job to counter this hate, to defend my family. 

In order to understand how to counter hate, one needs to understand the anatomy of a hater. And in order to illustrate this best, I need to share the topic of my recent therapy sessions with Dee. I need to share the truth about something that has been haunting me; something very dark. 

It's no secret that this recent miscarriage broke me, causing more damage than anyone could have predicted. The salt in the wound was the pregnancy announcements following the miscarriage. I found myself able to be at peace with the announcement from Grey's close friend. He had no idea our struggles nor of the previous loss. The announcement from BIL has been harder. BIL knew about our struggles. BIL knew about our pain. Yet when news came in April that we had lost our children, he didn't call for two weeks. And when he did, it was to share the news that they were expecting again. Meaning they decided to trying during the same time we were actively in treatment.  And though I believe that no one should put family planning on hold because of others, this was a huge blow. Because now I will have a niece/nephew who will be a reminder of what could have been.

So how does this example relate to someone filled with hate? Well, hate is breed from pain and fear. Most anti-adoption advocates have had something happen related to adoption to be so bitter with the process. Some may have been forced by family and religious officials to give up their children and during the process, they may not have been able to properly say good-bye nor process the emotions surrounding this decision. Others may see themselves as victims for losing custody of their children, refusing to analyze why the state decided to terminate their parental rights and pull the children. And then there's the adopted children who may not have been able to attach with their adoptive parents, resulting in them romanticizing their birthparents. You get the picture. The point is, there is pain and fear from loss. 

The truth is, like these haters, I now have the elements to hate my BIL and his wife. If I chose, I could easily develop arguments painting them as selfish and conniving beings. But what stops me is this hate will isn't productive and is actually very destructive. What is to be gained from villainizing this couple or those that can conceive easily? This hatred will not bring my children back. In fact, going this route turns me into a person my children would be ashamed of. 

And that's where I struggle to be different from someone who hates. A hater has been wounded, but they never find peace. They refuse to forgive, assuming that forgiveness absolves the offending party of the pain they afflicted. And, as time goes on, they expand their hate. They blame everyone who questions them for their fear and pain. Because it's easier. It's so much easier than confronting yourself and making the decision to move beyond the pain. It's easier to hide than to chose to live.

What this journey towards our children has taught me is that easier is not always better. Thank the universe for Dee. We've already spent three sessions with my anger over this news mixed in with my grief of losing both these pregnancies. And we likely will spend many more sessions. Honestly, healing will take time and the pain will probably never go away completely. But I work daily towards peace and forgiveness. 

So, knowing this, how do you counter hate? Some argue that love is the best solution. This can work, but wrapping people who are hardened with hate in love usually isn't enough. What I've been trying is love and information. To apologize to those who are so angry for being wronged and then to counter with examples of why they are incorrect. Honestly, the best responses I've gotten has been silence and/or the hater turning tail. Not once have I witnessed them resolving their pain or being willing to admit that maybe they are wrong. Still, I have to try. It's all I can do to resist the urge of slapping some sense into them.

In the end, I'm still learning. I'm learning to deal with haters, learning how to counter their poison. I'm also learning to forgive those who cause me great pain. But, for me, understanding the anatomy of a hater has made it easier to confront haters as well as to find peace. It reveals that these monsters are human. Scared, hurt humans who have allowed their hearts to be poisoned. It doesn't mean they are any less dangerous, but it does mean that if one choses they can be cured.  

Thursday, May 24, 2012


Where to even begin. How about the facts

Grey and I have started hunting for adoption agencies, looking into various meetings and filling out applications. To date, three different agencies, each with their own statistics and demographics. Each with their own set of questions.

Let's move on to feelings triggered by recent events: anger, fear, sadness, worry. Worry about getting all the information together, making it clear and non-crazy sounding. Anger about having to talk about my upbringing, having to relive some of the abuse. Sadness of knowing that the chapter on fertility treatments, the hope for pregnancy is coming to a close. And fear. Fear of living a life I never wanted to live.

Yesterday I woke up to find Grey in the middle of a panic attack. One of the agencies we were looking into is from his hometown. Initially, it seemed like a good match, as we would be able to pitch a connection. But then we began to dig more, with Grey uncovering red flags. And with those red flags came the fear that I would bring in outside elements that would tear us apart. What started as a panic about this agency lead to my sweet husband curled up into a ball, sobbing uncontrollably over this past miscarriage. Grieving openly for our lost children; grieving for the baby with mommy's eyes and daddy's nose. It was hard. Very hard. I wished for a way to take the pain away from him, to erase the memory of the past 2.5 yrs. Instead, I cried with him.

Today wasn't much better. Though Grey is healing, I spent the day getting hit with reminders on how I was failing at my career, all due to the fact that I have trouble concentrating on anything not fertility related. I feel old, worn out, lack luster. And my heart hurts from knowing that we are still no closer to bringing home baby.

The truth is, we need a vacation. Yet I worry about dropping money to get away because we will need it as we begin the adoption process. At the same time, I feel so alone. I miss being around friends and family, yet Grey's family is currently a source of pain and mine is completely out of the picture. Friends are distant too. After all, what fun is an infertile?

I'm in a funk. I feel we've painted ourselves into quite a corner. And I don't see a way out. Originally the plan was to move within a year and there was excitement to finally have change to look forward to. Now with this adoption, I fear that's on hold too. And because of that potential hold, I feel even more cursed.

I'm sorry to be a downer. I really wish I wasn't. But the path forward is no longer clear. Grey and I are meeting with Dee tomorrow to help figure out if there's a way to reset. And Grey has become more hopeful since finding this last agency. We even reserved our spot in the pre-adoption meeting today.

But there's a sinking feeling I can't shake. A feeling of being cursed with the role of the outsider looking in. That the wounds are too deep to ever heal from them, turning me into some deformed creature. Currently, I'm too flooded with emotion to think clearly about this. To know what I really want.

Tonight, I'm praying for a sign. A marker in the wilderness to direct me to a path. I'm tried of hacking my way through uncharted territory, walking along trails that few are even aware of. I want to find that lone shack in the wilderness, the one occupied by someone who will offer me a place to rest, allowing me to tend my wounds close to the fire. Instead, I feel like I'm left in the cold.

Monday, May 21, 2012

More heartbreak

Dear wonderful readers: today is a day of great heartbreak

Please take a moment today to send Belle @ Scrambled Eggs love today. She recently learned that she lost her beautiful Pip. Words can not begin to express the sadness that exists in my heart because of this news.

UPDATE: Please also take a moment to send love to EndoJourney @ Journey with Endometriosis. After an ectopic pregnancy, her first rollercoaster cycle of IVF gave her a BFP. She's been in the hospital with a severe case of OHSS. Today her beta dropped.

Dear Universe: You're an asshole. I am cursing you with an eternity of pain and heartbreak. Translation: I officially plan on living forever.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Behold the dragon

Dragons. Webster's dictionary defines them as "mythical animal usually represented as a monstrous winged and scaly serpent or saurian with a crested head and enormous claws." The Chinese view dragons as symbols of strength, power and good luck. Referring to someone as a "dragon" is the ultimate in compliments, indicating that this person is outstanding and excels. But Dragons are also viewed in a negative light. European cultures view dragons as villainous reptiles who reek havoc and destruction. To encounter a dragon is the ultimate test in strength and survival, as these creatures are also cunning. It is fitting that these creatures are seen as a symbol of change.

This past Friday, I met with Dee to begin a series of painful therapy sessions. I'll write more in the near future about what we've been doing and provide an update. Prior to the session, though, we talked more about adoption and I began hitting her with a number of naive questions regarding starting the process, finding agencies, etc. Smiling, she proceeded to hand me two books to provide some basic information. The first one is called "Adoption After Infertility," by Patricia Irwin Johnston. Though an older book, Dee thought it would be a good place to start.

Following my meltdown after the adoption information meeting on Saturday, I picked up the book and began to read. The first section called the "Challenge of Infertility" opened with the metaphor of the dragon. As I read, I found myself nodding along with many of the observations from the author. Starting with the idea that people who are quick to throw adoption out as a viable alternative are usually the same who would not even consider taking a similar route. The fact that most people view the road to parenthood as a pretty pleasant and defined path: have sex, get a positive pregnancy test and 9 months later you're congratulating one another on the ability to pass on your genes. That infertility is really an uncharted territory for most, an unspeakable fear that many would prefer to ignore.

What struck me most in the first chapter was the statement by the author that infertility is not simply one loss. It involves multiple losses: 
1) Loss of control over many aspects of life 
2) Loss of one's genetic continuity linking past and future
3) Loss of joint conception of a child with one's life partner
4) Loss of the physical sensation of pregnancy and birth
5) Loss of the emotional gratifications of pregnancy and birth
and finally
6) Loss of the opportunity to parent

Infertility robs us of all of this. With the help of modern medicine, those who undergo treatment have the opportunity to regain all of these. But what if treatment fails? What about those of us who come to the end of the road for this part of the journey, finding that our arms are still empty? Adoption is most certainly a road to recover the last opportunity, but it's far from an easy journey.

I've been struggling a lot with all these losses recently. Struggling with the fact that the future is still very unclear. This Mother's Day was particularly hard, as I spent it as a bereaved mother, painfully aware of what milestones I would be checking off for both of my pregnancies if they had stuck. So like any animal in pain, I've been lashing out. In my head, I reasoned that Grey would be better off without me, giving him the ability to find a life partner who could give him children and ultimately happiness. I was pushing him away. 

Something happened, though. Something that was completely unexpected. After a particularly painful lash, I picked up Ms. Johnston's book and read a story about a woman who survived infertility, who resolved through adoption. Yet despite her happiness, she spent years mourning her body, which had failed her. Like me, she felt guilty that her husband suck beside her, reasoning that she was holding him back from a more fulfilling life. One day, this woman attended a RESOLVE conference and hear a male therapist talk about how men grieve differently from women. Following the talk, she went home to talk to her husband, asking him to share his thoughts. The conversation startled her, leading to a message that could not have been more self esteem enhancing or important to their marriage. The husband told his wife how carefully he had thought through all those offers and threats of divorce from the years before and how frightening they had been for him. That what he wanted (telling her from the ten-thousandth time, but which she had failed to hear) was not fertility, but her. That the thought of losing his wife, their relationship, their life together was more terrifying than the thought of losing his ability to have biological children.

A moment later, Grey came and sat be me, repeating pretty much the same thing. For the first time, I actually heard what he was saying. And in my heart, I knew I felt the same. That if the chose was a life with Grey and infertility or a life without Grey and fertility, I would chose Grey. 

Mother's Day was spent in the mountains, reflecting on this conversation as well as what I had been reading. As Grey and I hiked into the wilderness, I thought about how the Chinese written expression of "crisis," which contains the characters of two different words: danger and opportunity. 
Image from http://www.chinese-symbols.com/
Infertility is most certainly a crisis, filled with the danger of loss on so many levels. But what I realized while passing the families with small children on the trail was that infertility is also an opportunity. Grey and I have developed communication skills for that enable us to move swiftly through dangerous situations. Time and again, I witness couples on the trail where those communication skill did not exist, leading to potentially dangerous situations. There are many other things that came to mind during the hike, hard-won gifts that we never would have discovered if not for this experience; gifts that we are still learning about. 

Tonight, I am preparing for our next confrontation with our dragons. The dragrons that are dangerous: those of fear, loss, grief and pain. But also the dragons of opportunity. From the time they were conceived, we've referred to our embryos as dragons, as they were meant to be our baby born during the Year of the Dragon. With only four (4) left, that wish may no longer be a reality, but they may instead be the key to the door leading to our children, children who we will be united in the future. A bittersweet thought, but one that I hold on tightly to. 

Saturday, May 12, 2012


Today Grey and I went to an informational meeting about adoption. The purpose behind this meeting was fairly simple: gather information regarding Plan B. I'd been looking forward to this meeting for weeks, hoping it would give me something to hold onto as we proceeded with this final round of treatment. Instead, I walked out of the agency on the verge of tears.

A little bit of background: the agency that we chose to start researching this process is call Amara. Grey and I learned about this agency about a year ago while we were active with our support group, with many members talking about it's success rates. Amara is unique, as it services residents of Washington State and make their services affordable to all families. But there's a catch: they require participates to enroll in their foster-to-adopt program. Private adoptions are done, but participants are warned this will happen only if they are also enrolled in their foster-to-adopt program and that more of the costs will be out of pocket.

First, I did appreciate how honest this organization was regarding their process and how active they are with finding permanent and stable homes for children. The staff at this agency is very committed to this goal, working extensively to ensure that the entire process is to the benefit of the child.

Second, I'm okay with foster to adopt. I feel there are many children in the foster system who just need a loving home. But it's also a harder road. Most of these kids have been pulled from their birth parents and come from chaotic environments. Though the rewards are great, there is a lot of work that needs to be done with these children. And rarely do people actually talk about how stressful this is for the adoptive parents. That as much as they love their children, this road takes a very special type of parent.

Cue feeling anxious.

Still, I figured this could be done. Naively I thought "I've survived fertility treatments and loss, showing that I'm more than willing to do what it takes to expand my family." Yes I know that adoption is not an easy process, one involving opening yourself to more invasion in privacy, anxious waiting and tests of sanity than most people can begin to imagine.

But I want to be a mother.

I can do this!

Then we were presented with the timeline for this entire process.
-Assembling the material/completing training: 4-6 months
-Matching children with potential parents: 10-18 months
-Finalization of the process: 4-24 months

Total time for the average adoption: 2 years.

Cue shaking.

Confession time: I had it in my mind that this whole process would not take more than a year. That with all the hoops, there was still a chance that this would be my last Mother's Day in limbo. Because at least we would know where our child was coming from. That at least there would be a chance to end this madness. Instead, I was hit with the reality that we very well could be spending even more time waiting. A LOT more time, if we narrowed our options. Add in the possibility of relocating out of state for work, and the process is extended. In fact, the agency encourages couples to wait if they know this will be happening until they are more settled.

Fuck. Double fuck.

I've spent most of the afternoon curled up in bed, taking my frustration out on Grey. The poor guy is trying, but we had a moment last night where he mistakenly brought up BIL's wife and how difficult her last pregnancy was. Yes, fertile women who have no trouble conceiving get the world feeling sympathetic for their aches and pains; infertile women are shunned and are classified as potential child-stealers.

I am officially a crazy lady, even more pissed than I could ever imagine. All right before Mother's Day, when I get to be reminded for yet another year that I still do not have a child in my arms. And at this rate, it feels like it will never happen.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Promise to try

Time. It's always amazing to me how fast it can pass and yet how slowly too. How so much can change and yet not. Time can wear on a person, turning wounds into scars. The realization that days can easily turn into months; months into years. Time can be both a blessing and a curse.

This morning I woke up with the realization that Grey and I have been pursuing fertility treatments for almost a year. One whole solid year, and yet we are still childless. I remember how confident Grey was that all of this would work right away and how quickly all of that was dashed. I remember thinking it was simply a matter of relaxing and letting modern medicine work its magic. I remember my jeans fitting.

I'm not doing well. Today is day 12 of BCPs, which I'm now calling "Bitch Creating Pills," and the familiar symptoms of depression caused by the medication have hit me full force. I'm angry with our situation and hurting from all the loss and failure. I know that the BCPs are playing a big role in all of this, turning me into a raging bitch, but I also know that it's not the sole cause.

Earlier this week, Grey and I had a heated conversation where I revealed to him that the only reason I was doing this FET was for him. When he asked me point blank if I would do this cycle if his opinion didn't matter, I told him I wouldn't. I wouldn't because I really do believe that I will miscarry once again. That the only reason I was willing to subject myself to all of this was so he could final have some closure.

You see, I really do believe that this is not our route. I think I've been feeling this way for awhile, but the pregnancy announcements last month following this most recent miscarriage has really driven this point home. Because it shouldn't be this hard. Building a family shouldn't be such a source of pain. Add in the fact that I've lost family this past year, not gained, and it's become a very bitter pill to swallow.

I'm tried of mourning, tried of hurting. Tired of holding onto hope for something that no longer seems obtainable. Tired of feeling cursed.

And yet, I also know that I need to try. I need to try one more time, despite the reality that nothing may happen. I need to try for the 4 frozen embryos Grey and I have, to give them a chance at life. Because this last few steps on this path are no longer about me or him. They are about these embryos: the ones that remain in cryopreservation as well as the ones that we lost.

I need to be the mother these potential children deserve. I need to be the mother that I never had.

10 more days of the Bitch Creating Pills. Seeing Dee today as well as a new acupuncturist in hopes of finding some emotional relief and balance.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Long overdue: One Lovely Blog Award

Okay, first off I need to apologize. There's another wonderful blog award circulating at the moment and I have been honored to be awarded by not one, but four amazing bloggers. I dropped the ball on this one and the only real excuse I can give is me being in a funk. Ladies I apologize for being a ham.

Thank you to Stork Chaser at Dog Mom Chasing the Stork, Dandelion Breeze at Adrift on a dandelion breeze, Sass at (In)Fertility Unexplained and Tami-Scramble at Submerged for the One Lovely Blog award. It's really an honor, especially coming from each of you. On that note, congratulations to Sass for her BFP (her recent post brought tears of joy), fingers crossed for Tami for this IUI that's happening today, go send Dandelion Breeze some love as she prepares for this long-awaited round of IVF + PGD and stop by Stork Chaser's blog to send her love and hope for this current cycle.

Here are the guidelines:
  • Share who gave you the award with a link back to their blog
  • Write down 7 random facts about yourself
  • Give the award to 15 other bloggers. 
  • Let them know they've won & pop the award up on your blog.
Now for the facts:

1) Grey and I are obsessed with "Malcom in the Middle." Thank the universe for streaming, otherwise the other seasons would never have seen the light of day. Because of this show, They Might Be Giants will forever have a place in my heart for their song "Nice is good, mean is bad." 

2) I aspire to be a hippy, but I'm too much of a control freak. Honestly, I've tired. The whole earth-mother, drum-circle, granola life-style. Tired it; failed miserably. Still, I love being in the woods, sleeping under the stars. 

3) Sometimes I sleep with my baby blanket

4) Mrs. Grass Noodle Soup is a comfort food. And I still get excited about adding in the "golden egg." (Hence the whole hippy lifestyle not working out).

5) Grey and I cut the cable cord 3 years ago. Hence when one of my students was talking excitedly about Snooki being pregnant, I mistakenly asked her what breed of dog she had and when the puppies were due.  

6) I miss thunderstorms. The ones that would roll across the lakes, bringing buckets of warm rain. Lighting dancing in the sky. As a child, I use to dance in the rain, jumping from puddle to puddle. One of the downfalls of the Pacific Northwest is that the rain is usually in the form of mist, cold and thunderstorms are rare. 

7) Have I mentioned I'm a chronic knitter? People always ask me how I have the patience. I ask how anyone can sit for long stretches of time without fidgeting. I knit while watching TV/movies, knit while in the passager seat, knit in waiting rooms, knit when nervous. Knitting means I don't bite my nails, pick at my toes, tear paper into small squares. Supposedly it helps me manage anxiety. And boredom. All I know is that it's also saved Grey from dealing with a lunatic.

Now the blogs: Since I'm late to the game, I'm trying to spread the love. 

Lora @ Hope Delayed 
ADSchill @ MissConceptions
Jenny @ Sprout  
Wannabemom @ A Glimpse Inside

Monday, May 7, 2012

Mother's Day Survival Guide

The past few days, my commute has been a silent one. Every time I turn on the radio, I'm bombarded with advertisements for Mother's Day. Ads for jewelry, ads for brunches, ads to "remember the special woman in your life." I'm beginning to feel like Scrooge.

So like any slightly deranged woman, I decided to do a Google search using some combination of the words "infertility," "Mother's Day" and "survival." The resulting links talked a lot about how painful this upcoming holiday can be for those living with infertility, but the advice for managing was pretty lack luster.

After a couple of days of this, followed by a moment where I almost rear-ended the vehicle in front of me due to a radio ad induced eye-roll, I decided I would create my own survival guide, posting the first draft here. Here's what I've got so far.

Mother's Day Survival Guide:
Let it out. I'm going to start here, since most survival guides list this one dead last. Look, infertility is hard. Very hard. So instead of suppressing the anger, sadness, frustration, worry, etc., do the one thing that so many well-meaning people will tell you not to do: just let it out. Give yourself a good 30-40 minutes to get the pain caused by this disease out of your system. Shed those tears, voice your worries, curse the universe. Write, exercise, scream. You get the idea. Because once you get it out, you'll feel better. You'll no longer have to worry about being sad the rest of the day because you've given yourself some time.

Acknowledge what you have accomplished. Living with infertility and loss is not for the weak. Anyone who's been on this path for any length of time has changed and will continue to be changed. Most of the time, this has only been for the better. You may have learned how to stand up for yourself, advocating your needs. Your marriage/relationship with your spouse, significant other, family and friends may have strengthened and deepened in ways you didn't know possible. You may have overcome your fear of needles. Whatever it may be, celebrate it. Take a moment or two to give yourself the acknowledgement you and your loved ones deserved for battling this disease. You've earned it.

Get out of the house. This one I can't stress enough. As tempting as it will be to spend the day in your pajamas watching bad TV, plan instead to spend the day doing some sort of activity. If seeing families is a trigger, plan a non-family friendly event. If being with family is a comfort, plan on spending some time. What ever it may be, get out of the house!

Celebrate the "mother" in your life. For those of you who have been reading this blog long enough, you'll know that my biological mother and I are not on friendly terms. That said, I do believe that Mother's Day is a time to celebrate those who have been "mothers" to you in some way. I also believe that one does not earn the title of "mother" simply by being able to birth a human being. There have been many amazing women in my life who have helped me become the person I am today. And I'm sure I'm not alone on this. So spend the day thanking your "mothers", be it spending time with them, shooting off a short email, or simply doing something that they taught you.

Distractions, distractions, distractions. I once read that an emotion lasts for about 10 minutes. The reason why people experience any emotion for longer periods is because they are "refiring" that emotion, be it with mental images or play inner dialogue. So like getting out of the house, find some way to distract yourself. Again, it's okay to be sad, frustrated, etc. But give yourself a break from all the madness too.

Treat yourself.  When all is said and done, Mother's Day is like any other holiday: sometimes just getting through is an accomplishment. So, at the end of the day, do something special. Take a bath, schedule a little "me" time, hog the covers. You get the picture. Reward yourself for making it through this day.

Finally, to all of you wonderful women: those dreaming of their children, those celebrating the news of a BFP, those awaiting results from treatment/a recent cycle, those mourning a loss/losses and those holding their children, either in their arms or in their hearts. May there be a moment in your reflections/celebrations this weekend of peace and hope. And may you all be wrapped in love.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Wednesday, May 2, 2012


I remember the first time I really injured myself. I was 10 yrs old and riding my bike down a steep hill. Somehow, I managed to gain too much speed and was not skilled at being able to handle the incline. I ended up crashing, sliding along the asphalt. The pain was blinding. I managed to make it to my location, and as I began to clean myself up realized how much pain I was actually in. Panicked, I called my dad who came to calm me down and help clean my wounds.

In the years since, I've managed to injure myself in more interesting and memorable ways. There was the climbing accident that almost took my life, the large metal door that slammed down on my arm, the car accident that even the paramedics marveled about me walking away from and, finally, the skiing accident that left me with a black eye on Valentine's Day. You get the idea. One thing I've learned over time with injury is that there's a pattern: the initial shock from being wounded, followed by the pain setting in and me realizing how severe the situation is. Then comes the healing; the aches and pains of my body trying to regain normalcy. Sometime with healing it's just a matter of ice, a bath and some TLC. Other times more aggressive measures need to be taken.

Following the happy news last week that left me convinced the universe was out to get me, I realized that I needed aggressive measures to begin recovery from this recent miscarriage. What I had done up to this point as simply to bandage the wound and hope that healing wound come quickly. What I failed to do was remove the cause of this injury, causing the wound to deepen and begin to fester. So, with Grey's initiation, I agreed to meet up with one of his coworker Tina, her husband and 11 month old daughter E for brunch.

Grey has known Tina for many years and has always been on friendly terms with her. A few months ago, though, he learned that she too was infertile and had recently resolved. They began talking, Tina sharing her story and Grey filling her in on our treatments. The more I learned about E, the more I hoped that we could have a similar outcome of having such a happy ending. Then January happened. And then March. With this past news, Tina offered to meet up for coffee to talk. And until Sunday, I was reluctant.

You see, E is adopted. And though I've been open to adoption, it wasn't until Sunday that I was ready to hear her story.

Meeting E gave me hope. To see this little girl who came from a less-than-ideal situation be so happy, energetic and vibrant. And to see her parents completely in love and filled with joy. Tina looked at me at one point and with tears in her eyes said something that left me choking back tears. "There was a period where I had this hole in me. This child-shaped blackhole. Now I feel filled."

Following brunch, Grey and I began to talk about how we would do this. Meeting E made me realize that I want to go the open adoption route. I want to meet the birth mother of my child, forming some sort of relationship so that one day I can tell him/her about how they came into the world. But most importantly, I felt like we may have found our calling, our path.

Today I had my meeting with Dee. Like all of you, she sympathized about the news from last week, telling me "it must feel like the universe has shit on you." How true. Yet telling her about E and my feelings had her smiling softly. I think she sees how this fits too.

Our session was spend attacking the image of my broken body, helping me remove the IF/loss shaped knife from my heart and cleaning the wound. She helped stitch my broken heart back together, wrapping it lovingly with fresh bandages and helping me find my new mantra.

It will be okay. Some way, some how.

Tonight I feel the dull ache from this most recent wound, but for the first time in a long time I no longer feel despair. Mind you, I'm not brimming with optimism and hope that this next FET will work and we'll bring home a biological child. But I do have hope that there will be a child. My faith is restored in wrapping my arms around them and I find myself day-dreaming of that moment, that day.

CD4. Five more days till the SIS. Tami-scrambled at Submerged sent me the BEST socks to wear that that appointment. May they work their magic.
Thank you Tami!!!

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