The Ties that Bind

We just returned from my DH’s grandma’s funeral.  She lived where his parents live, which is no where near our hometown.  It is either a 12 hour drive or you can fly halfway (that’s as close as you can get, no direct flights there) and then drive for 6 hours.  Given the limited bereavement time off work, we chose to fly and drive.  Between the flights, rental car and gas…it was not cheap.  It’s money we don’t really have, considering we just paid our IVF fees, but what can we do.  Family is family. Or so they say.

The trip was layered with emotions to begin with – after all it was for a funeral.  The last time we were up there visiting it was right after the 3rd miscarriage.  We left a day after the D&C.  We weren’t in the best of spirits and DH’s brother and wife had announced just before we left that they were expecting.  We spent a week together making fake conversation while everyone avoided the elephant in the room.  She was pregnant and I was not.

So here we are, traveling up there again with the memory of the miscarriage and the regret that the last time we saw his grandma we were “out of sorts”.  The SIL didn’t come, apparently at 32 weeks she didn’t want to brave the drive….

….

…so we had to take his brother with us.  We don’t get along with the brother most of the time. He’s an a**hole to my DH and an emotionally immature and self-centered person in general.  So, like I said, the trip was layered with emotions.

We almost made it without incident.  I don’t count the times I want to slap his brother as incident because it is too frequent.

The evening before we left, his aunt hosted a supper after the funeral.  My MIL and BIL left the room while we were looking at some of Grandma’s figurines.  They wanted each grandchild/family to take one.   My MIL and BIL come back into the room and my BIL is teary, which wasn’t abnormal as the funeral hit him hard.  Not to sound callous, but he hasn’t seen as much tragedy as we have.  Of course we were sad and hurting for the loss, but we didn’t hysterically weep.  We have had a bit more practice with pain like that.

Anyway, my MIL proceeds to turn to DH and I and proclaim that their Grandma’s mother’s (so their great grandma) ring was given to my BIL and SIL because they are having the first grandchild.  All the siblings agreed, the special ring should be given to the first grandchild, the first grandchild, the first grandchild.

That’s all we could f*cking hear her say.

This is where I tell you that we would have given birth before them, with the “first grandchild” only 6 days from the funeral itself.  Would have.  Should have.  We were the ones who shouldn’t have been able to attend the funeral because we should have been about to welcome our rainbow baby into the world.  But we weren’t.  Three times over we should have had the first damn grandchild.

After a valiant show of effort, I finally started to cry.  To which my MIL, annoyed her story about how great and generous they are was interrupted, said “are you ok?”

“No. I am not okay. It should have been our baby”. I had to excuse myself.

To which my MIL said “She is going to have to get over it. I just don’t know what I can and can’t say anymore, so I am just not going to say anything”.

That’s when my husband told her she should “fucking know better”. She left after I returned from pulling myself together.  She “had a headache”.

It was an awkward goodbye in the morning.

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

Microblog: Themes for 2016

Well  January here we are.  Another year arrives, another year on our TTC journey.  It has been four years now, that’s the problem with starting TTC in January.  It is really easy to remember how long it has been.

This morning was supposed to be my blood test to find out if the frozen embryo transfer worked. They would have called by this afternoon.  Sigh.  Mondays suck to begin with, but this one sucks a little more.

I have spent the weekend reflecting on what 2016 will bring. I like to pick “theme” words for the coming year. Last year I picked “Connect” and used that to try and ensure that I was “connecting” in my relationships and eliminating or distancing myself from ones where there was no “connection”.  I haven’t been able to land on a theme word for 2016 yet – any suggestions? I would love some inspiration.  So far I am tossing around: resilience, wellness, forward…

IMG_4559-3

Giving Up the Sauce

If you know me at all, you know I like my wine.  I enjoy drinking wine and have come to love trying new bottles, experimenting with pairing it with food and expanding my knowledge and my palate.

Which is why this decision did not come easily….I have decided to stop drinking.

As a celiac I don’t drink much beer (gluten free beer is truly horrible) and I am not really a fan of hard liquor so giving up wine means giving up drinking.

Up until now I have continued to drink (at various levels) through my fertility journey (minus the times I have been pregnant), but I have decided that in preparation for what may come in the New Year, I would like to stop drinking.

My acupuncturist tells me it consumes vital Qi.  My tummy and thighs tell me it is keeping me chubby.  My brain says, “it is time”.

Why now? Why not after New Year’s or as a January resolution? Well, I think if I can get through the holidays without drinking I will have a better chance of being able to sustain the habit into the New Year.   Also, I shared two fabulous bottles yesterday – a gorgeous Chateauneuf-de-Pape and then later beautiful Pinot Noir – and I think you should always leave the party when you are having the most fun.

Let’s go out on a high note 🙂

IMG_4559-1

Escape

We have spent the last four days in Mexico. Blissfully escaping. Doing nothing. We needed this trip, we needed it like oxygen.

We have taken “breaks” before but after the third miscarriage the break took on a different form. We stopped talking about having a child of our own. We tried to focus inward on healthy living and eating and work but really it was all a distraction. A way to redirect our focus away from the pain. In hopes that it might just heal on its own.

The trip was a relatively last minute decision, we knew we were going we just didn’t know when. And then one day it became perfectly clear. Let’s go before the next doctor’s appointment (an important one) and during Canadian Thanksgiving. A chance to miss a family-centered holiday is always welcome. I spent last Thanksgiving outside alone, under the stars on a chilly night, crying for the family I might never have. The Thanksgiving that might never look like generations and extended family around a table but instead a lonely old couple with memories of a dog long since deceased.

This Thanksgiving Sunday will be business class home from a resort in paradise. A definite improvement.

So now, as the sun sets and I am outside sipping sparkling wine, I can tell you this is exactly what we needed. We didn’t do anything. We didn’t even have the long meaningful discussions about life and our future that I envisioned we would have. We slept in, we ate when we wanted to, drank when we wanted (and even over indulged one night – what a feeling, to just let go), swam in the pool, lounged on chairs, played in the ocean and read books. Nothing.   Away from the constant humming fear of losing our jobs in our boom & bust town. It is a like the buzz of a hummingbird, who’s safe, who isn’t and who’s next.

But mostly importantly away from the grim reality of five years trying to conceive, three miscarriages and countless everything that has come along with it. Because after we get back we will have an appointment that tells us if there is a path forward or not.

And if there is, that means back to acupuncture and herbs and foods that will tonify my blood. To a caffeine-free, limited alcohol life because underneath it all there is a growing sense of desperation. Of starting to run out of options, time and resources.

So for now, for a few more hours at least, I am escaping.

Belated Thank You

Before my Microblog Monday post – I need to give a belated thank you to Stirrup Queen for including me on the “Stirrup Queen’s Completely Anal List of Blogs That Proves She Really Missed Her Calling as a Personal Organizer” (aka Stirrup Queen’s List of Blogs).  Once I can figure out how to add a widget to the side bar, I will put a permalink there.  (I have enabled comments in case anyone knows how! Please help!) I also want to thank her for taking the time to read my last Microblog Monday post.  I am honored…and that is a good introduction to my post for today…

Community.

We, the IF bloggers, are creating a community.  A support network, a place to read, reflect and relate.  This is important because going through fertility issues and loss can make you feel like you are alone on an island.  But you aren’t alone and if you can’t find solace in your physical community, I hope you find it here in your e-community.   As a community, let’s break down the taboos about infertility, let’s start a dialogue and let’s be there for each other.

Through good times and bad, let’s be supportive sisters, ok?

Microblog_Mondays

Her Story

People love to share stories. Stories like:

-“IVF didn’t work for my girlfriend but right after she conceived naturally and now has 3 kids”

-“A co-worker did 5 rounds of IVF and none of them worked”

-“My 41 year old friend just had her first kid…naturally”

-“The clinic misdiagnosed my sister and they lost a lot of time and money”

-“My friends didn’t start going to the fertility clinic until they were 38 and they have two IVF babies now, it wasn’t too late”

-“My girlfriend when to the clinic for 5 years and they couldn’t help her. She gave up at 40”

Those stories might help or hurt. They might give you hope or they might leave you defeated, but they are someone else’s story.

Her story won’t be your story.

Microblog_Mondays

Find out more about Microblog Mondays here: http://www.stirrup-queens.com/2014/09/what-is-microblog-mondays/

 

 

Adults who Failed Sex Ed

“It was an oops”, “Announcing a whoops”, “ We weren’t really trying” or my personal favorite “We weren’t trying but we weren’t not trying” (Is that even a proper sentence?! Because it doesn’t even make sense!).  These statements are coming from adults who clearly failed sexual education in elementary school. Did you have unprotected sex? If so, you should understand that could result in a baby.

These are also really hard statements for couples with infertility to hear. We have been trying (and for goodness sake I do mean trying) and planning and preparing. Money has been saved, books read – heck, even a shortlist of names made. In our case it also includes tests, drugs, needles and a whole heck of a lot of emotion. And nothing. It’s hard to understand how people approach such a journey with such a laissez-faire attitude. And it is even harder to understand how these are the people for whom it always works out. Why you and why not me? Why not both of us?

If you are thinking about trying or if you are just begining your journey,  start with your cycle.  A regular cycle (25-30 days, 28 is apparently “ideal”) is important.  If you don’t have a regular cycle, you won’t know when you are ovulating. If you don’t know when you are ovulating, well then the rest of it is really hard.  I don’t think a regular cycle is stressed enough in our health classes.  I know a lot of women who don’t/didn’t have regular cycles and had no idea it would have such an impact on their fertility.  It can be an indicator of so many fertility issues – and most women have no idea.

I talked about ovulation sticks on my last post, but those work best if you know how long your cycle is.  If you don’t have a regular cycle and you have some money to burn, you can try the Clearblue Fertility monitor (there might be others but this is the one I am familiar with).  You pee daily (every morning) and it monitors how close you are getting to ovulating by measuring your lutenizing hormone (LH).  If you aren’t familiar with “LH”, don’t worry you will be soon.

Good luck.