Showing posts with label sad. Show all posts
Showing posts with label sad. Show all posts

Crazy Swirling Thoughts

I make these plans in my head.
I create timelines of what comes next.
I try to plan for all of the different contingencies.
The thoughts swirl round and round in my head.

If the FNA shows sperm, then we'll do IVF with mtese. How soon after the FNA can we schedule the mtese? How quickly could they get me ready for IVF ? Should I review the IVF calendar with the RE before the FNA? Which RE should we use - the big university RE where our first UR was or the private RE that is connected with our new UR? It's been a year since I had my bloodwork and ultrasound and hystrosonogram - will I need to get all of that done again?

If the FNA shows no sperm, then we'll do iui with ds. How quickly could we move forward with iui? Should we travel to the City for the university RE or the private RE? or should we interview the one local RE? Do we really want to do iui? - how many? - medicated? - before we switch to ivf with ds?

In either case we'll need donor sperm. If we wait until after the FNA will there be enough time to order ds so that it arrive in time for the ivf or iui? How long will it take us to choose? How will we choose? What if we can't choose? What if we can't choose, and ML decides that he wants a known donor and we have to wait another 6 months for quarantine?

The costs keep adding up.
The waiting keep adding up.
My tolerance for living like this is growing thin.
My happy pills don't feel like they are working.
I feel like giving up at the same time that I feel like desperately hanging on.

I watch each month pass me by. Before we know it my sister will be pregnant, my bestie will start round two. ML wants to take it one step at a time. Wait until we get the FNA before we consider the next step. He feels okay about losing a little time in between decisions. I feel like I've been waiting for so long, and lost so much time already that there isn't any time to lose.

Besides that, I need to end this journey as soon as possible. Time lost isn't really time lost, it is more time spent in this suffering. It's not neutral.

We are quickly approaching the end of the 6 months of FSH therapy. I wrote to the UR last night to schedule the final SA and FNA Map. We'll run out of the FSH on October 15th. At $1,700 per month, I'd rather not order a 7th box unless its necessary. The FNA results take about 2 weeks. So we want to schedule the FNA for the last week of September. I'd thought that we could maybe go right into the mtese/ivf with my October cycle (and be pregnant by my birthday in mid November), but in her reply email, she said that the Dr prefers to wait 3-6 months between an FNA and further surgery.

If the FNA shows sperm, I will cry with joy at the chance to spend another $4-8k on ongoing FSH, but it is an additional chuck of cash that I hadn't added up in my head yet. And that would put us into February as the earliest we could do IVF. and the waiting game continues.

I slipped it in, and I know it is yet another unrealistic idea, but I'm thinking about it. My birthday is in mid November, and if we did an October ivf/iui cycle I could potentially get my bfp as a birthday present. It is a crazy dangerous thing to think about, I know, but its what i think about.


SA Next Week

Oh my gosh, I think I might have actually blushed when I saw that someone had submitted our upcoming SA to LFCA. Thank you for such a kind and thoughtful gift. Really, I wish I could give you, whoever you are, a great big hug.

So, yeah, SA is scheduled for next Wednesday. One week from today. It's been taking up more and more space in my brain, but I can't quite figure out what I think or feel. The only thing I know is that I want to line up all of my support systems so that I can experience any disappointment, but then bounce back. I don't want to crash into the bottomless pit of sadness and despair that caught up with me last time we got bad news. I can't do that again.

In some part of my brain I don't expect that we'll ever get good news. ever.

And in another part of my brain I am so hopeful that I 'joked' about a miracle for me last month.

The doc gave us a 50/50 chance that this FSH therapy could, in theory, result in sperm production. He explained that even if it was successful, there probably wouldn't be enough sperm to spill into the ejaculate and would still require surgical extraction and ISCI.  But the thing is, this is an experimental treatment. Its not like the doc has seen/heard of more than a couple cases like this in his entire career. So really, anything is possible, but it is not a proven treatment, so it is more likely than not that this SA will be negative.

And if it is, I want to grieve, then move on.

So, to make it all a little more complicated, or possibly a blessing in disguise, we are leaving for 10 days of vacation immediately following the deposit next Wednesday. We'll be departing on a 12 hour road trip  with my lover's best friend and a hitch-hiker acquaintance. So we'll get a call with the results while sitting in a car with two, for the purposes of this kind of news, strangers. I'll probably cry, and they won't know why. But they are boys and probably won't ask.

I'll bring my xana.x and have it handy in case my emotions start to get the better of me. and I'll have my love, right there with me (way better than drugs!). I'll paint my nails, which for some reason makes me feel good. and I'll have my laptop, so I can write. Writing has been the most incredible therapy. It is an outlet for the pain, a place to put it where I know it will be safe and where I can deal with it in smaller chunks. I'm meeting with my most awesome therapist tomorrow and I'm sure we'll come up with a few more tools to pack in my little resiliency toolkit.

So, yeah, I've not wanted to think about this, and have put off writing about it. Apparently I needed the LFCA push :) Regardless of the results next Wednesday, I feel your support and love. and it really means a lot to me.


Baby Showers and Blog Posts

My best friend was twenty weeks pregnant when we got our azoos diagnosis. I had always pictured us being pregnant together.  I hosted her shower a few months after that. It was an intimate brunch with her closest friends and family. I sat at the table with tears running down my face. We went around the table to share words of wisdom as she became a mother and to share the meaning of our gifts to her. I had so much to say, but was unable to speak. It was all I could do not to burst out sobbing. The tears just rolled down my cheeks, my chin quivering on the verge. I love her so much and wanted so much to be a part of this special occasion, but the pain I felt was almost unbearable. Somehow I held myself together. I later apologized to her for not being able to say the things that I wanted to that day. She understood. She is a good friend.

I worried that seeing her baby would be hard for me. I wanted so much to love this little girl. We arrived at the hospital shortly after the birth, sweet baby was passed around to grandma and grandpa, aunt and uncle, and then to me. The tears came, but they were not of my pain, they were of a happiness and love for this little girl who had been born to the most wonderful family, of which I was a part. It was easy to place the little bundle back into the arms of my friend, her mother, right were she belonged. It was totally different than the baby shower. While I long to experience motherhood, this perfect little baby is somehow separate from that longing. I don't long for that baby, I long for my baby.

Another childhood friend recently had a baby shower. It was a long awaited pregnancy, following years of infertility, and I really am so happy for her. But I had the hardest time getting out of bed the morning of her shower. Instead I curled up and watched the 16 and pregnant marathon, and cried. I finally got to the shower an hour late. I smiled and managed not to cry, but actively avoided any conversations. I stayed long enough to participate in a few of the activities and watch her open my present, a little baby blanket that I made for her sweet baby girl. Then I left.  She understood, I know she hurts for me still. 
My sister in law has two adorable little ones. I love visiting them and wish they lived closer to us. Being with my nephew and niece has been okay too. These sweet little kids are hers, and while I love to visit them, I don't have any desire for her kids. I long for my family, the family that my lover and I will raise and love and nurture.
So many of our friends are starting their families. One couple, who I suspect may have struggled with infertility themselves, are celebrating the first birthday of their adorable little son later this month. This circle of friends does not know about out struggle. The thought of going to the birthday, of the people we'd see, and the conversations that are bound to take place, its more than I am up for. I don’t think that it is the baby that I am avoiding, it is the grown-up, the wives. I sent this friend an email, thanking her for the invite and saying that we love them but won’t be able to come to the party. I hope that she understands, even though she doesn’t know what’s going on with us right now. I’d hate to have her think that we are avoiding them because they are in a different place in life now. Its not that. 
I left the longest comment yesterday. I didn't realize how long it was until I submitted it. That comment became the basis of this post. There are so many incredible posts that really get me thinking. This post is really in response to two recent posts:

Mrs. Wood at Our Adventure with Infertility wrote a post about not being able to attend a friends baby shower. It is a struggle that got me thinking about the showers I’ve been to this past year and the emotions that have emerged.

Katie at 'from IF to when' wrote a post about bellies vs babies. It is an insightful post and really shines a light on what it is that I am feeling. I want so much for the experience of being pregnant, of having my belly grow big and round, of having my lover feel my stomach and the life growing inside with love and tenderness. I want that so much. I think about that so much. 

Happy Pills

Every night before I climb into bed I take a little pill. A magic little pill it is. I call these little pills my happy pills. They don’t so much make me happy, but they really do help me feel not quite so sad.

Seriously though, I’ve spent a lot of time reading the stories of so many other women who are living this life crisis and am a little shocked that no one else talks about this. Is it that no one else has a bottle of happy pills, or is it that no one else talks about it – even here where the most intimate details of our lives are shared.

The diagnosis of infertility is the worst news I have ever been given. It shook me to my core. It changed me forever. It was a trauma unlike any other that I have ever experienced. Everything about my life as I understood it, my purpose for being, my dreams my future, everything changed in that instant.

And yet I carried on, as best as I could, with my work, and my volunteer commitments, and my friends. Except, it was exhausting. I was exhausted trying to hold it together everyday. I walked around, going through the motions, yet the only thing I could think about was the overwhelming grief and the unspoken fears. Every time I got in the car, alone with the radio, I fell apart. I cried more tears in those first months than I have my entire life. But I managed somehow.


It turns out I am stronger than I ever gave myself credit for being. I really am.

But it was so hard. And I was so tired. And the journey ahead felt like it was so far.

You know, we were seeing doctors, lots of them. But they were focused on the medical part of our infertility. The weren’t concerned with us, with how well we were handling the choices they kept giving us. And even if they had been, we were managing, we put on a good show, we were holding it together.

I suppose I could have gone on like that. Managing. Getting by. Going through the Motions. It sucked, but I was surviving.  We were surviving.

But then we got back the results of our second biopsy, the FNA map. I was hoping for good news that there was sperm and we could proceed with IVF. But I was also prepared for bad news that there was no sperm and we could proceed with DS IUI. We received the bad news, there was no sperm. But we also got a third option -6 months of hormone therapy to try and create sperm. I wasn’t prepared for the third option and it knocked me down hard. Six more months of waiting!?! Still no definitive plan!?! Thousands of additional dollars!?! I wasn’t prepared for this.

The idea of using donor sperm is so hard to accept. I started out thinking that it wasn’t even an option that I would ever consider. I even told my mom at one point early on that if we couldn’t use My Lovers’ sperm we were finished trying. Smart me, I reserved the right to change my mind about any decision at any time. At this point in our journey, I knew that we had to exhaust our options for full biological children before we could accept donor sperm.  I knew that I, we, still had some emotional work to do before actually moving forward with DS IUI, but it felt like an acceptable option for building our family, if we knew that My Lover’s sperm really wasn’t an option.

I wasn’t prepared for this third option and I just fell apart. I wasn’t strong enough to keep going through the motions. I just completely lost it. And I couldn’t pull myself back together. It was a combination of the sadness over the FNA results, the uncertainty of our next steps, and partly that I had just run out of energy.

My Lover and I had been seeing a couple’s counselor since we got the initial diagnosis, and she finally suggested that I ask my Dr. for a prescription for an SSRI anti depressant. Finally. Finally someone saw that I was suffering. Someone saw that the pain was overwhelming. Someone noticed that I could only tread water on my own for so long. Someone threw me a floatie.

The happy pills are my floatie. I’ve still got to tread water out here in this vast ocean. But I’ve got a little help. I’ve got a little more energy. I’ve got a little more perspective and the ability to feel beyond the pain.

It’s been at least a couple weeks since I cried. (I take that back, actually, because Dory’s comment about the Father’s Day cards had me going yesterday, but before that it had been at least two weeks.) Let me tell you I am so grateful for this break from the tears. I’ve spent time with friends, smiling and laughing, and ohhh is that nice.  I feel like me again, a changed me for sure, but me.

So, I suppose that this really long post is really to ask if I really am the only one with a bottle of happy pills, and if so why?

If the reason is that no one has noticed and offered a floatie, I hope that you’ll consider taking the one I am offering right now and make an appointment to talk to your Dr. I personally wish that I hadn’t waited so long.

My dad

Sitting in a coffee shop right now. It is a beautiful day. Unusually beautiful and warm. The music is so upbeat and the cafe is bustling. My mocha is delicious with whip cream and chocolate on top. I like days like today. 
I saw my therapist this morning. I really like her and am really glad I found her. I feel like she is so kind and gentle and understanding. and she doesn’t waste my time either. I have so much to get out, and she has been great at helping me frame my thoughts and fears in such a way that I can get my head around them. As opposed to the free-floating wordless emotions that are so overwhelming. I wish that I’d found her a year ago, and am glad that I kept looking and didn’t settle for someone who wasn’t a good match for what I need right now.
We talked about my dad today. A great man. Who i love dearly. But who has chosen his addiction over me and our family. I never would have brought him up, but she did, and I am glad. My issues with him have come up in strange ways as we consider donor sperm, and the role of a father. 
I’d never really thought that the things I project onto “My Lover” (yep, I’ve been thinking about what name I can use for my husband on this blog, and My Lover is perfect) might have their roots in my relationship with my dad, but it sure explains a lot to think about it like that. 
My dad is a great man, really. He was a great dad. Loved me and my sisters and my mom with his whole heart. I’ve never doubted that, not for one second. 
But he is an alcoholic. He has always been. I didn’t see it growing up, but I suppose that I knew there was something. 
I suppose that my mom did a lot to hold out family together and keep my dad held together over the years. Interesting family dynamics when I stop to think about it. My mom was our primary caregiver, the one who was in charge of everything. My dad however was the provider and definitely the man of the house. His was the final word, respected by my mom, and us girls. 
Things changed when he had his heart attack, and heart surgery. My mom decided that he could no longer smoke inside the house. And we were all more vocal about his continued drinking, since the doctor had been very clear that this incident was a warning and the repairs would only last a decade or so if he didn’t change his ways. For us it was black and white - he had to stop drinking and smoking. For him it was black and white - he wasn’t making any changes. A few years later he and my mom separated, then divorced, and he cashed out his retirement and moved across the county. Without my mom to hold him together he has made a lot of bad choices. Maybe I’ll write about that more one of these days. 
I gave up trying to call him about a year ago. He rarely answered his phone and never checked his messages. My attempts to contact him became an exercise in futility. So I quit trying. Months passed. He called me on christmas eve. It was great to hear from him, but hard to talk. He promised to call again more often
He didn’t come to my sister’s wedding in February. I don’t know if I can ever forgive him for that. Really. It is so hard to reconcile that this great man who was a great father can just walk away from us like this. Sometimes I think that it would have been easier had he just died. 
And them he called me a few weeks ago. We talked for a little bit. I told him that things have been really hard for us, with My Lover still being out of work, and that we are having a hard time starting our family. It sounded like he knew, so my mom or sisters must have filled him in. 
I still don’t feel like I want to try to call him. My Lover thinks that I should keep trying, that since he called me last it is my turn to call him. 
I love my dad, and I know that he loves me. I really do. But I can’t compete with his addiction. I can’t. and I don’t want to try. maybe because I know what he will choose. maybe because i don’t think I should have to. 
But as I contemplate what makes a dad a dad. andd my fears (which will remain a word-less blob of emotion). and my feelings of wanting to protect My Lover from the pain of this journey. I wonder how my feelings about my dad overlay on top of all this. 

Today is my grandpa's birthday. He passed few years ago. I miss him all the time,and can't help but think that things would be different if he were still with us. 
Wow - that got a little heavy. But Ohhh does it feel good to write! and this day is so gorgeous, so I’m heading home to get my puppy and head down to the beach. 

Nelson Mandela

A friend gave me a copy today of this 1994 Inaugural Speech from Nelson Mandela. It lifted my spirits and validated my need to make my voice strong on this IF journey. 

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn’t serve the world. There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We are born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us, it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” 

Yesterday afternoon I was hit with a wave of sadness that I haven't felt for a while. I was in the car driving home, maybe it was a song on the radio, maybe it was that I missed him, maybe it was just that I've done so much emotional work these past few weeks that I was tired, and I got sad.  It was that heavy exhaustion, that settle in your stomach on the verge of tears sad. It reminded me of the hopeless sad that I felt for so long after our initial diagnosis, but it was much lighter than that. 

The emotion persisted through the evening and woke up with me this morning. I hate being such a grump at work. Then this afternoon a friend gave me this poem, and the wave almost immediately started to settle. I thought about the people that I work with and how amazing they are. I thought about the people I volunteer with and the way their passion inspires everyone around them. I thought about my bff and the way she embraces motherhood and trusts her instincts to meet the needs of her little one so lovingly. And I thought about you, the way you all share your stories, your truths, so openly. Your presence has done so much to expose my fears, the fears I don't have words for yet and the fears I have words for but am still afraid to talk about. Your honesty has liberated me in so many ways, and I am so grateful to share my honesty with with you now. 


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