Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Episode 12: All about the man juice

Extra! Extra! Episode 12 of Bitter Infertiles is Live! Click here or here to listen. Even better, subscribe to iTUNEs and get it while it's hot.

This week, the ladies and I tackle Male Factor. Seeing as none of us have much experience with this side of infertility, we had a lot of help thanks to our special guest Tiffany. Even if you're not dealing with Male Factor, this episode is a great one about communication. Thank you again Tiffany! It was wonderful talking with you and I learned so much.

Monday, November 26, 2012


Rant time, folks. I need to get this one out before I attempt commuting home.

First, though, is confession time. I'm an advice column addict. My addiction started at a young age following church services. To pass the time while my mother made her usual social rounds, my father would supply us with the Sunday paper and it wasn't long before I was hoarding the section that contained both "Dear Abby" and "Ask Ann Landers." It wasn't until my 20s that I found my current favorites, which include Savage Love, Dear Prudence and Miss Manners. Initially my excuse for my addiction was their sound advice that was helping me make better decisions about my own life. But the truth is, I'm a junky simply because it helps me feel better about my own train-wreak of a life. Reading these weekly (or biweekly) letters helps me feel better about my own problems or at least count my blessings.

Today may have cured me of my addiction.

Quick recap, for those of you who haven't heard me bitch about my abandonment issues: I haven't had any contact with my immediate or extended family in over a year. I now realize that the ground-work for this was laid before I was even born, with me fulfilling the role of the whipping boy/black-sheep for this generation of children. Through a lot of counseling, I've begun to see the generational pattern of all of this; that my parents were simply executing programing that was instilled in them from birth. The thing is, I'm still angry. I'm angry that my parents chose to sacrifice me in their feeble attempts to "save" their siblings. I'm pissed that my mother viewed me as a threat instead of celebrating any of my life achievements or milestones (be it birthdays, graduating from high school, college, getting married and even completing my PhD). I'm disgusted with the whole lot of them that living like white-trash is celebrated and that "don't judge" is deemed as a suitable reason for not addressing the fact that all of them are fucking miserable.

Reading Dear Prudence today made me physically ill. Seriously, I recommend you find a place to sit down before you follow the link, because the main letter will piss you off. Is it possible that all of this is fiction? Yes, absolutely (part of me hopes that's the case). Still, if even a part of it is true, it's tragic. And Prudie's sage advice? Telling the letter writer to hang herself would have been kinder. Instead, the advice is to suck it up and think about the child. Never mind the fact that this poor kid has a psychopathic mother and a narcissistic father. One good note out of this train-wreck: at least the comments section hasn't been the usual bash on infertiles and anyone who pursues fertility treatments showcase.

This hit too close to home. Particularly the part where the letter writer talked about seeing all the happy family photos of FB. I could have been ill with her. Granted, I don't have to deal with the pain of infidelity. That on top of infertility and RPL would suck in whole new ways. But the betrayal this letter writer is experiencing from people who are suppose to love and support her is all to real. To be exiled by loved ones simply because the offending party became knocked-up and brought a baby into the world makes my head whirl. The reality is, not all children are brought into this world to two parents who want nothing but the best for them. More often than not, they are viewed as pawns for imaginary wars played between individuals who think only of themselves. Got any sage advice for that one, Prudie?

Someone please explain to me why any of this is okay? Seriously, I'm asking for a reason why this person should torment herself in the name of family. I'm not suggesting that we revert to a society that stitches scarlet "A"s to people's clothing or that children born from these tragedies spend the rest of their lives suffering from the sins of their parents. But come on! Sacrificing someone for one's own selfish gains isn't something that should be rewarded.

What's getting to me is the fact that I don't have family. I know I haven't had any for years, with infertility being the straw that broke the camels back. That in a lot of ways I'm better off. Still, I'm at a loss. Mainly because society expects those of us who are thrown off to simply dust ourselves off and go on to live happy lives without offending kin. It's always easier said then done, especially around the holidays and other celebratory events. Do I regret the decisions I had to make? No. Part of me just wishes I never had to.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Thankful . . .

"If the only prayer you said in your whole life was, "thank you," that would suffice." -Meister Eckhart

A few weeks ago, Grey and I were at a Rely for Life kick-off event. Playing the role of the dutiful wife, I watched my husband speak to the crowd about why their fundraising efforts were important for furthering cancer research and the development of new treatments/early diagnosis methods. Needless to say, he was popular. Anyway, before Grey's presentation one of the organizers took everyone through an exercise. On each table, was a set of white paper bags with glow-sticks. Dimming the lights, the presenter asked all the cancer survivors to crack a glow stick, place it in a bag and then to put it over their head. Then she did the same with their caregivers, family members, friends, nurses, doctors and anyone who was raising for the American Cancer Society. It wasn't long before the room was filled with the glow from the luminaries. And under that glow, she played the following song.


Hold on, to me as we go
As we roll down this unfamiliar road
And although this wave is stringing us along
Just know you're not alone
Cause I'm going to make this place your home.

Settle down, it'll all be clear
Don't pay no mind to the demons
They fill you with fear
The trouble it might drag you down
If you get lost, you can always be found

Just know you're not alone
Cause I'm going to make this place your home.

Settle down, it'll all be clear
Don't pay no mind to the demons 
They fill you with fear
The trouble it might drag you down
If you get lost, you can always be found

Just know you're not alone
Cause I'm going to make this place your home

I'm not normally a fan of popular music, but this one has stuck with me, haunting my thoughts during the quiet moments. The memory of hope that floated through that room, calling each person to do what they could; to never give up. 

I'm currently in my second week of suppression medication. In the past, I would count the days and focus on how awful I felt. This time, though, things have been different. With the memory of the Rely kick-off event and all that happened that night, I've been choosing to looks for signs of hope. It's amazing how many there are on a daily basis, be it the bursts of sunlight on otherwise cloudy day, the hummingbirds that chase one another while visiting our feeders, the moments I get to spend with a co-workers puppy (I need to write a blog-post about Ralphie, but needless to say watching a puppy grow and bounce is a wonderful cure to the blues), watching up to find Jaxson and Daisy snuggled next to us and even being wrapped in Grey's arms. 

Even the women and men of this community.

The truth is, I have a lot to be thankful for. Keiko recently wrote a post about being thankful for infertility. Honestly, I don't know if I'll ever be there, but I am thankful for the support and love I've received during the past year. For the friendships I've made that have changed me for the better and given me the courage to try again. For the stories of hope that remind me that miracles can happen.

I'm thankful for my family, despite being small. I'm thankful for friendships that bolster Grey and I when we need it most. I'm thankful for the doctors who have provided me with care, even during the moments that were so dark. And I'm thankful for this chance to try again, for the new protocol that goes with a new diagnosis. Hell, I'm thankful for a diagnosis!

Maybe one day, I'll be thankful for infertility too.

For each and everyone of you who stops by this blog today, I wish you all a safe and wonderful Thanksgiving. May there be moments where your heart is full of love and peace. May there be moments of hope.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

BCP blues

Scene: Pharmacy waiting room on a Friday evening in November. Two women are simultaneously called to the pharmacist's window to receive their prescription of birth control pills. One looks tired, having to wrangle two young boys while her husband offers feedback on how she should be parenting. The other looks equally tired, approaching the window with a look that suggests she's carrying the weight of the world and most certainly doesn't want to be screwed with. As the pharmacist hands them the exact same prescription, he proceeds to go over all the details, starting with use to ending with a myriad of side-effects. The lone woman nobs impatiently, clearly wishing the pharmacist would simply hand her the package so she can be on her way. The other woman is wide-eyed, staring at the pharmacist in disbelief as her husband translates all the instructs. Finally, the pharmacist ends his diatribe and asks if there are any questions. The mother responds with a "yes" and then looking directly at her husband, she asks a question in broken English that takes everyone within earshot by surprise: "Why you no get vasectomy?"

Let's start with the obvious: the BCPs are kicking my butt. Today alone, I've found my mind wandering to less than cheery places and the tears have come way too easily. Part of this has to do with the news that I'm once again an aunt, part of it is the usual life BS, but it's hard to mistake the feeling associated with these drugs. How upside down I feel while on them.

I remember the first time I ever took BCPs. I was 21 yrs old and had finally convinced my mother I needed to be on them as my periods were very uncomfortable. The sense of freedom that came from finally being in charge of my fertility was probably enough to overcome any discomfort I may have felt. That and I was 21 yrs old. Little did I know I would spend the next 8 yrs of my life on various forms of birth control: pills to start, then onto the "Patch"(which I really did love) and even the Nuva Ring for a few short months. Religiously adhering to them out of fear of an unplanned pregnancy and "ruining" my life.

What I wouldn't give for an unplanned pregnancy now.

Fast forward to winter 2011. Grey and I are gearing up for our first IVF. Reading over the protocol, I notice that BCPs are my first medication. "Piece of cake" I think. I've been on BCPs before and never with any issue. Despite warnings of others suffering, I convince myself that this will be the easy part of the protocol. It will only be a couple of weeks before I'm eating my words, wondering aloud why I'm struggling on a daily basis. It won't be until after round 2 of these meds that I'm able to recognize this change is it's own special type of blues: the BCP blues.

Before I continue, I need to clarify that I'm actually a champion of BCPs. I firmly believe that without this technology, women would still be in the dark-ages, restricted to the home and slaves to their fertility. Birth control liberated women, giving them control over their bodies and allowing couples to chose if/when to build their families. Frankly, I believe educating both men and women about fertility and family planning is critical to ensure human health and happiness, allowing people to explore who they are and where they fit into the world without being saddled with life-altering responsibilities because of a one-night encounter. I believe family planning makes for better parents. Hence I'm a huge supporter of making birth control free and widely available. Of educating teens about its uses and encouraging them to become proactive about acquiring it.

Still, the irony has not been lost on me that all my IVF cycles have started with BCPs. That the infertile, who can't become pregnant on her own, requires a medication that is meant to prevent pregnancy in order to proceed with fertility treatments. Part of me wonders why these pharmaceutical companies aren't paying me to be their poster child for their product.

Then I get a week in and remember why.

I know I should bitch, that instead I should be thankful we have another opportunity to do another round of treatment. I also know that going through all of this could very well be the road to us finally bringing home a child. For all this madness to end and for both Grey and I to finally be at peace. Still, the future is uncertain. And as much as I'm trying to remember that a lot of this depression is drug-induced, it's hard not to slip and feel totally worthless.

Two more weeks of pills to go. Then we're on to more adventurous medications and fun side-effects.

Come on universe. You owe Grey and me a happy ending.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Grey skies, clear goals

Hi All,

This is Grey again, glad to be back with you. Thank you all for your very warm reception following my last post. It was very validating and you are helping me understand community on a deeper level. I hope I can give you what you gave me.

Our transfer is coming up and Cristy and I are filled with anxiety. For a fleeting moment awhile back, I felt like I could forget, escape. I even thought, hey, this isn't so bad. Who needs kids? But I know at my very core it isn't true. I need kids. No material, no personal freedom can fill a kid-shaped hole in my heart. We have to resolve. We have to do this. No waiting, no running. I can sprint, but have always been a terrible distance runner. She has started meds. I've been working on the logistics of getting our embies transferred to the new facility. More meds on the way. This is going to happen.

Not again I hope. This year started with our slightly late 2011 Christmas miracle destroyed on New Year's like a Christmas tree burned down by its own lights with the presents and innocence underneath. A nasty picture, but a profound minimization of our miscarriage. I wish our tree had burned down and not our pregnancy. I think you all know what I would have given to stop it because you probably would too. I don't want this again. But I can't fix it, I can't control it. I can only proceed into the dark. I grind my teeth and swallow. I take comfort knowing this is what the best of men do for their families, suffer fear and doubt.

I want a child. I want to grow my family with Cristy. This want is a need actually, natural and just. But there is the memory of hurt. Of loss. Doing this again is an exercise in will, not of any curiosity anymore. Last year, there was hope and curiosity. Before that, naivety. What a child I was, so haughty and confident. Now, there is willpower forced into a hope-shaped vessel. I fear that there is also a growing callousness spawned by the abuse of infertility. I want her to be happy. I want to be happy. Therefore, the callousness must not be. I cannot raise a child of any kind in bitterness. It negates the purpose. My soul must remain fertile if my body is not.

Adoption is still possible, still real, ever so personal, but seems far away. I want to do this if we can birth children or not, but it would take months after our theoretical move just to get started. More desert. Just one more dune to go. You said that 6 dunes ago.

There are times I feel better. Usually, these correspond to some time I'm feeling valuable at work or exercising or Cristy is happy. I try to soak these up. Try to keep them going.

Cristy and I are trying, trying to do this, trying to support each other. We fail sometimes. Then, we get back up and try again. Nothing particularly elegant, just grit derived from love and the clarity of what we want.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

And so it begins

As always, this community continues to amaze me. This past weekend was a rough one, but thanks to all of you I am dusting myself off and preparing for whatever is to come.

Yesterday was CD2, meaning it was time to begin the usual suppression medications. Lupron has been ordered and I'm currently on BCPs. Though no symptoms have been evident, I fully expect to start feeling all those lovely side-effects by the weekend (just in time to record another podcast). If listening to a medicinally-induced menopausal woman talk about infertility and pregnancy loss doesn't grab your attention, this may be one to miss.

Anyway, in preparation for the havoc these drugs will be doing to my body, my acupuncturist and I had a discussion about things I can do to help turn-over the drugs. I haven't written about this since July, but the herbs that I've been on have been amazing regarding regulating my cycles and making PMS virtually nonexistent. With being on the drugs, though, herbs are out (they could potential interfere with the drugs, counteracting their intended purpose), so we had a discussion about the next best thing: food.

I have a love/hate relationship with food. From a young age, my weight was scrutinized, resulting in calorie counting and obsession about what went into my body. It isn't much of a surprise that my eating habits were so awful for years based on this, with me focusing too much on what the back of the package said vs. what I was actually eating.

All of that changed for a time when I moved to Seattle. Living in the Mint House meant communal living and sharing food. I learned from the Mint Ladies to stop focusing on the package and to instead focus on the product, the presentation and the portion size. Slowly, I began to love food for what it was. Meeting Grey only enhanced this, as he and his roommate would spend hours perfecting various recipes. It was through them I learned it was important to toss the margarine and embrace butter as well as how to incorporate spice, various types of vegetable cuts and most importantly patience. And it wasn't a terribly surprising consequence that my waistline began to shrink as I learned to eat better.

Then infertility hit. Though I was still mindful of food, being balanced went out the window. Instead of feeding my body, I was focusing on what to eat/not to eat while TTC. The balance I had found with various types of foods was gone and it wasn't long before bad habits started creepy back in. Over the past 3 years, I've managed to add 20 lbs to my frame. While other's talk about how they lose weight while undergoing IVF, I added (and was envious of those who were able to lose) and worried that the weight was adding to the increased symptoms and negatively impacting our changes. The inability to wear certain pieces of clothing or things becoming tight have been physical reminders of all the failure.

My acupuncturist equals all of this to an increase in dampness to my body. The idea being that as moisture has accumulated and become stagnant, so has the weight. Part of the problem with the increase in dampness has been my daily commute (2 hours round trip 5 days a week is certainly taking a toll), but also to me not clearing things. So, we talked about what I could do in order to stave off some of the negative side-effects of the drugs.

She started by recommending a couple of books. The first is called "Healing with Whole Foods," by Paul Pitchford. What she liked about this book is that it incorporates Chinese medicine with Western nutrition. Though there are things she doesn't agree with, in general it was a good place to start. The other book is called "The Self Healing Cookbook," by Kristina Turner.

As I'm waiting for these books from the library, she gave me a list of additions to/subtracts from my diet. Some will be harder than others.
-Beets (roasted ones, if possible)
-Beans (Lentil soup anyone?)
-Leafy greens
-Green tea

-Coffee (this one may kill me)
-Excessive sugar
-Soy (minimize this one)

The adds are clearly easier than the subtracts.

So, I'm slowly weaning myself off of coffee (I hate decaf, so it's better to reduce as much as possible) and minimizing sugar. In addition to this, I've come to the realization that beer needs to go too. In the meantime, I've been experimenting with ways to prep greens (roasted beets with balsamic vingar, kale with garlic and pepper flasks) as well as stocking up on old staples. All in the hopes of getting a leg up on Lulu.

Two BCPs down. 2.7 weeks to go.

Friday, November 9, 2012


This post has been a long-time coming, slowing being drafted in my head over the last few months. So much to say, but the information was unclear and confusing, hence I wasn't ready to share what was happening out of fear of giving inaccurate information. But also out of fear that I would appear two-faced and flippant in my decisions. It's time, though. Things are moving and because so much will be happening soon, it's important to be open and honest. Part of me hopes that by sharing this too that somehow this information may potentially be useful to others.

Let's start with June 22, 2012. The day Grey and I learned our Hail-Mary FET had failed. The day, that despite mentally preparing ourselves for, still broke our hearts. The day our biological children died. I remember being curled up in a ball on the floor, sobbing uncontrollably with Grey. How could this have happened? How could everything have gone so wrong? It was  clear that our REs were in the dark as to why treatments weren't working. "Bad luck" they had told us. "Just a matter of trying again." But neither of us had the strength to continue. The pain from loss was too great and both Grey and I felt unheard by others as well as by each other.

We made one of the best decisions in that moment and started marriage counseling. We both knew that things were bad, but the extent to which wouldn't become clear until months later thanks to David's and Dee's help. Death does this to people, robbing them of the world they knew; the life they had hoped for. Without help, death can do destroy everything.

As we healed, Grey and I made the decision to stop treatments and to start the adoption process. We were excited about this new road, as it gave both of us a sense of equality in the expansion of our family. So we did what any couple does when they start down this road: we researched options, talked with other couples who had adopted, made plans for interviewing agencies and talked about what we envisioned for our family. After lots of talking, we found an agency that we both really liked. One that emphasized open adoption and provided lots of support for birth-parents, birth-grandparents, adoptees and adoptive parents. Everything was in place and we managed to secure one of the last spots for an August seminar to start the process and hoped to do a homestudy by November.

Then a gigantic monkey-wrench was thrown into the mix. The agency learned we were planning on relocating in a year. Faster than you can blink, the door to adoption closed. "Relocate, get settled and then we can talk" they all told us. Our independent adoption option dried up too, with the social workers failing to call us back. We were back at square one.

In hindsight, the decisions from the agencies makes complete sense. Their goal is to be able to place children in a home that is stable and one that a child can thrive in. Hence any potential adoptive couple needs to be in a state where they are not relocating. Add in the fact that open adoption requires birth parents having the opportunity to see their child, and moving makes things especially difficult.

Still, I had a hard time accepting this. While in Boston in July, I was still scheming. "What if we find an agency in Massachusetts?" I reasoned. No go, as they also wanted us to be settled first. I finally had my breakdown on the Freedom trail, where it finally became clear that it was time to admit we needed to wait.

All hope seemed lost as we climbed the steps to Bunker Hill. As Grey read the placards, I stared off into the skyline, hoping for a sign. It was then I saw the double-rainbow that brought me to my knees. The one that brought peace to my heart. The one that gave me the strength to do my interview the next day, to survive a wedding with Grey's family and even to go to New York to see friends who were expecting a baby in October (and an unbelievably adorable pregnant woman to boot).

That double-rainbow was on my mind when Grey and I went to visit Jay. Opening my mind to the conversation ahead.

For those of you who don't know Jay, I highly recommend clicking over to her blog and reading a few posts from 2010. A veteran IFer, she's been through her fair share of hell navigating the world of fertility treatments and stroller nazis. Jay was one of the first blogger ALI bloggers I found and her humor was instantly contagious.

What makes Jay extra special is that she decided after MJ was born to do something to help those who were still in the trenches. In July, 2012 she wrote a post about quitting her job so that she could work with Fertility Authority (http://www.fertilityauthority.com/)A darning move for anyone, let alone a new mother, but Jay is committed to helping those who are trying to resolve, wishing every single one of us a happy ending to our journeys.

So it wasn't a surprise that during our meeting in New York, she did this with me too.

The reality is, Grey and I still have two high-quality embryos left from our fresh-cycle last December. I've been terrified to talk about them, convinced that any attempts at FET would result in losing them. So I did the thing that scared and wounded animals do: I avoided the topic. When asked about children, I happily talked about our plans to adopt and how we were excited by the prospect of moving to a new city. But never the embryos. It hurt too much to think about them; the idea of destroying/donating them made me physically ill. Hence, I was stuck. Stuck with how to proceed, scared of losing those last bits of hope.

Jay did something different. While Grey went off to find some water, she turned to me and asked me point-blank about our embryos. She told me she knew how scared I was, but that she still had hope. And then she reminded me that Fertility Authority was set up to help someone like me. That if I gave the word, she would have the team there discuss my case and find an RE for a second opinion. No calling on my end, no having to answer lots of questions, no having to work our way through a maze of paperwork.

Though I initially waffled on the idea, the conversation stuck with me. And as I reflected back on our time on the East Coast, the image of the double-rainbow haunted me more and more.

Finally, I wrote Jay and told her to make the second opinion appointment happen. Within a few days it was set up: new clinic with an RE who specializes in repeat pregnancy loss. Outside of providing insurance information, all Grey and I had to do was show up.

I panicked. Panicked hard core. How could I do this again? Walk into a waiting room filled with other women who so desperately wanted babies knowing what I knew? How could I trust that any of this would be different? After all, we are unexplained. There's no reason I can't become pregnant, so what will be different this time?

It took Jay several emails to talk me down. In that moment where all I wanted to do was hide, she wrapped me in love from afar and gave me a bazillion reasons for why I should meet with the doctor. Finally, with David's and Grey's help, I agree to put my trust in things that were moving forward. Finally, I set up a formal appointment to see the new RE, Dr. Smile.

At the beginning of September, we had our first appointment with Dr. Smile. As promised, Grey and I didn't need to fill out miles of paperwork ahead of time (just a few bits of information when we arrived) and we were back to see the RE within 15 minutes of arrival. Sitting across from her, she reviewed our history with us, providing ample amount of tissues to get me through the first 6 months of 2012.

What we determined during the meeting is that I should have been on PIO for my FETs. Crinone isn't enough and it's likely that's the reason I miscarried in April. Something I had suspected, but was told couldn't be the case. We also talked about my response to meds, fertilization rate and even survival rates during the thaw. She was very impressed our embryos were so strong, leading her to a similar conclusion that both Grey and I had come to: problems with implantation.

Then Dr. Smile did something I wasn't expecting: she suggested RPL testing, providing all the insurance codes so we would not be billed. Walking through each of the tests, she talked about her reasoning behind which ones to perform vs. ones that weren't useful. In the end, both Grey and I were karyotyped and I had an APA panel and anti-thyroid hormone levels checked. We were sent out front to schedule a follow up appointment with a very optimistic Dr. Smile telling us she had hope for us regarding all of this working out. Cue the knot in my throat.

4 weeks later, Grey and I returned for our appointment with Dr. Smile. Joking the whole way up, we both fully expected the results to come back perfect and there to be no change in treatment. The conversation about the karyotypes was relieving and amusing; apparently no patient has requested images of their chromosomes and I was super excited when they promised to mail us the results.

And then Dr. Smile got a serious look on her face. Opening the folder of results, she looked me dead in the eye and said the words I never thought I would hear: "we found something."

Antiphospholipid Antibodies (APA) are a group of antibodies that bind to phospholipids (the molecules that make up cell membranes). Their presence has been associated with recurrent pregnancy loss during the first trimester as well as stillbirth, preterm labor and preeclampsia. You can find more information here. Most recently,  there has been some suggestion that elevated APA could be a cause of unexplained infertility. The issue, though, is that there isn't any good data about this (supposedly there's a paper that refutes this, but I've yet to find a reliable reference, so please let me know if you do!). Still, Dr. Smile believes there's a connection. And with the result that I am weakly positive for one of the antibodies, she believes it warrants a course of action.

So, as of today, Grey and I have a calendar for one final FET during the first week of January 2013. I start BCPs this weekend and am scheduled to begin Lupron at the beginning of December. In addition to PIO and Estrogen, this cycle will be supplemented with baby aspirin and Lovenox. Embryos are scheduled to be transferred from our old clinic to the new one within 3 weeks.

I am completely and utterly terrified. I haven't stopped crying since I received the calendar and am so frightened of all of this failing once again. In addition, I feel like a liar. The guilt of backing off from adoption when we said we were done with this path makes me question myself as a person. I feel like I've been deceiving everyone around me for selfish gains.

Grey is scared too. Holding me the other night, he told me that he wishes he knew the answer to our misery. And then he told me about the dreams he's been having of our daughter. How much he loves holding her, singing to her and watching her play. About how she has whispered her name in his ear. It's that hope of making that dream a reality is giving him the courage to try again. To finally break out of the limbo we've been living in face the pain and possibility of grief all over again.

This is our Jabberwocky. All this fear and doubt.

So tonight, I am confessing the sin of silence in hopes of finding support. This is my call for help. Even now, I'm shaking at the thought of starting meds once again, suffering the side-effects from the treatment and even all that can go wrong. I'm terrified of losing these last two snowbabies, of them dying and leaving our hearts permanently broken.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012


The past few nights I've been dreaming of babies. The particulars of these dreams escape me, hence the reason I need to start keeping a dream journal, but what has been clear is that I awake from each of these dreams deeply saddened and feeling lost.

All of this start Sunday. The weekend had been going very well as I got to meet a friend from a forum Shelley and I are a part of. Grey and I ended up taking her to one of our favorite pubs and the three of us had a wonderful time. Saturday afforded me time to catch up on housework/work in general and both Grey and I were feeling pretty good. All that ended Sunday, when we attended a Sip & See for a friend's new baby.

There's no one particular moment at the Sip & See that was awful and in all rational, this shower should have been one we'd be happy to attend, as the new mother had undergone IVF to bring her son into the world. Nonetheless, it took a lot for Grey and I to attend the event. And while we were there, it became clear that neither of us were doing well.

Later at a coffee shop, both Grey and I tried to process what was bothering us. PMS on my end? The new father's ongoing complaints about life with baby? A longing for what should have been? On and on went this broken conversation as we worked. Initially, I hoped it was just a matter of the weather changing that had us both in a funk, but as the days have gone by and the dreams have become more intense, it's clear something else is up.

Everything came to a head last night. Grey was talking with his mother about plans for Thanksgiving and it became clear we were going to be spending this one alone again. Lucas's wife started having contractions over the weekend and MIL is excited about seeing her new granddaughter. As Grey talked with his mother, I was hit with a tidal wave of sadness. I knew that this niece was due soon, but the reality of the situation that we should be preparing for the delivery of our babies we lost in April made everything all the more clear. Our arms are empty and we are no closer to resolution.

Grey and I talked about this. He too is suffering, revisiting the websites for adoption agencies that looked so promising but who will not work with us until we have relocated. Being in this limbo has been incredibly frustrated as we both want to be building our family, not waiting. And with this knowledge comes so much grief for both of us (Grey confessed to shedding some tears in a bathroom stall because of this). Despite what everyone tells us (it's good to wait, you need to pursue your future for your family, blah, blah, blah), it's clear that none of them truly understand the difference between preparing and being benched.

And then there's the secret I've been keeping. Developments that have been happening that I'm still too scared to talk about. I know that very soon, I will need to talk about this; to confess what's been happening. For now, though, Grey and I are trying to proces all the grief and fear that has surfaced from recent news. We both need to be stronger before I can go there.

In short, both of us are being haunted. If all had worked out last December or March, we would be holding our children now or preparing for their arrival instead of living in the reality we do now. With being haunted comes sadness and blame; me blaming myself over and over again for losing our children. My heart screaming constantly "why" knowing full well that an answer will never come. Instead, my dreams are filled with images of children and babies. Touches of soft skin, kisses and smells that feel like they will never be a reality.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Episode 10: Go vote!

Episode 10 is live! A lighter one this week were we discuss all things Ricki (and the media in general).

Lots has happened and I'm long overdue for a post. Will fill all of you in soon, promise.

In the meantime, GO VOTE!
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