Starting Over

I made the decision with my previous site not to keep it anonymous.  I wanted to share my story with others and I wanted to be a resource for people who wanted to connect and to put a face to infertility.

Recently, we had a falling out with my parents and all of a sudden my mom started bringing up stuff on my blog.  I guess I should have considered that could eventually happen.  She was taking the blog personally and I didn’t know.  If I posted about hurtful comments someone had made, she assumed it was a message to her.  If I posted about being happy to spend Christmas with my DH because that’s what I needed, that was a slight on them. Of course it wasn’t and I tried to explain that wasn’t case. 

But even the people you love can be really self-centered sometimes.

I discussed the pros and cons of deleting my previous blog with my psychologist and in the end, I realized it had to be done.  I need my blog to be a place where I can be open.  Where I can journal my thoughts and experiences. I can’t be worrying about how someone I know will react to something I write. 

Blogging is a part of my healing and my process to move through the depression I am in.

Thankfully I was able to export the blog and now it lives here, anonymously and under a new name.  I won’t be sharing it with family and I don’t know about friends either.

I cried when I deleted the other site.  It was a different type of loss, but it still felt like I was losing a part of myself.

Consider it a warning would-be IF bloggers.  Anonymity is golden.

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…

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Do I Make You Uncomfortable?

It seems that some people are uncomfortable with our openness about our fertility challenges. Both my husband and I are open about it when the time/place are right. Our family knows, our close friends know and some acquaintances/co-workers do as well. Do I throw it in people’s faces when they ask me if we have children? No. Not the first time, second time or third time people ask me that. Not even when followed with “well, when are you having kids?!”. But if a personal relationship develops then sometimes I will tell people outside our inner circle and so has my husband.

Reactions have been mixed. For the most part, people are supportive and oftentimes they are familiar with the struggle. Other times people have been less supportive. One buddy even kicked my husband in the leg under the table to get him to stop talking.

But what we have learned is that it makes everyone uncomfortable. Which means we make people uncomfortable. Which wasn’t our desired outcome.

People don’t want to ask, they are afraid to ask or they just don’t. They just pretend like nothing is happening. I get that. It is easier for them. The news is never good, it is always sad and it is a little bit hopeless too. I am sorry that’s my reality, I really am. In fact, no one is sorrier than I that I don’t have good news to share.

Or they throw it back to us – “We don’t want to pry” or “We aren’t going to ask, we will wait until you are ready to tell us”. Of course. That’s easier for you. It puts the responsibility on us and you can pat yourself on the back and feel like you have done something.

If I could say anything to those people – I would say this. I am sorry I make you uncomfortable. But by not asking, you make me uncomfortable too. It makes me feel like you don’t care. You don’t have to ask about our fertility treatments or how we are coping or anything like that. You could just start with a “how are you?” That would be a good place to start.

Thankfully it isn’t everyone. Although over the years the “who” has surprised us, we are more often surprised by the amazing people who do ask. The ones who do reach out and seek not only to understand but to support us. If I could be half the friend to those people as they have been to me, I think I would consider life a success.

So would I recommend telling family and friends? If I was honest, no.

I am sometimes jealous of the bloggers and folks I meet in Internet land who haven’t told anyone. It might be lonely but I don’t think it hurts as much either.

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If Only

If Baby 2 (whom we named Daisy) had survived, she would have been born sometime around this week or next.

She was our IVF baby and we were elated that the IVF had been successful. The IVF process itself had not been pleasant for me. But that’s another post.

The fertility clinic books the 7 week ultrasound for you. You get to go to a special part of the radiology clinic (all in the same building). I was terrified. Once you have been there before, you know The Fear. Most people think they are scared, but it doesn’t happen to them so they don’t really ever know  The Fear.  Or their miscarriage happens with bleeding. Not a lot of people get to experience an ultrasound where you are told there is no heartbeat without any warning. Trust me when I say this. And once it happens to you, there is no turning back. No period in time where you will ever not have The Fear.

The Tech was kind and she did the ultrasound and quietly told us she could not see a heartbeat. We asked for the measurements and it was measuring exactly the right size. There is no grey area with measurements when it is IVF, you know the gestational age to just about the hour. The radiologist came in and told us that he believed it was a missed miscarriage. But because the baby was the right size we asked to see our fertility clinic doctor.

Our doctor said the same thing.

We asked to wait another week and they reluctantly agreed and scheduled another ultrasound for a week later.

I worked that week. I honestly can’t tell you what I even did. I think I was busy. I think I was even efficient – in between intermittent crying periods – because I was dying inside. I was empty.

A week later the tech barely bothered to do a proper ultrasound. The fetal pole was gone. The dead tissue absorbed into the sac. A confirmed fetal demise.

The options were presented, a D&C or try to pass it myself with misoprostol. They push the misoprostol (after all it is non-surgical) and it had worked with the first miscarriage so I decided to try it again.

We had guests come that weekend, it was just before Easter. I don’t recommend houseguests when having a miscarriage. I did the first round and passed a bit of blood, clots and tissue. I went for an ultrasound the next morning at the clinic. The sac was still there. I was given a second round. It is supposed to work with two doses for 80% of people. I didn’t pass anything. We have the most amazing luck with statistics, only it never seems work for lottery tickets.

Next ultrasound and it was clear that the sac was still there.   Misoprostol round 3.

I tried everything with round 3. A hot bath, Advil, cinnamon, you name it.   And still nothing passed.

It was this moment where I stopped believing in God. I am sorry if that offends you.

Three rounds of sitting on the toilet with cramping and pain and waiting for my large blood clot to pass so I can flush my baby down the toilet. And still nothing.

Sunday I was put on alert for an emergency D&C. Monday morning I was instructed to go and sit in emergency. 9 hours later I was discharged from the hospital. D&C completed. Baby gone and over $10,000 poorer with nothing to show for it.

We left two days later for Hong Kong. I continued to pass blood and have excruciating cramps during our four days of sight-seeing. The heat and humidity made everything worse. Sometimes I had to go back to the hotel and just sleep. We then travelled to Bali where we had booked an incredible private villa with our pool. A pool I wasn’t allowed to go in, near an ocean I couldn’t swim in for fear of infection.   What a tragic f**king joke.

I wonder what she would have looked like, our Daisy.

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Microblog: Pity vs Empathy

Pity:  the feeling of sorrow and compassion caused by the suffering and misfortunes of others

Empathy: the ability to understand and share the feelings of another

It’s a subtle difference but it is there.  I don’t need you to feel sorry for me but I do need you to try and understand and to try and support us in our journey.

Pity: “I can’t imagine how hard this is for you – you must find it so painful to even carry on trying”.

Empathy: “I am sorry you have to go through this and I am sure it isn’t easy to keep trying”.

See the difference?

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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.

Left Out and Left Behind

4 babies in the last week and one due any day now.  Add 2 pregnancy announcements and well, I feel like a bag of sh*t.   Not only do we not get to participate in pregnancy announcements and birth announcements, every time it happens the voice my head goes “what if it is never you…”.

On bad days, days like today, I give in to that voice.  It’s right. What if it isn’t me? What if we never get to have and hold a baby of our own? What if we are left in the cold and on the sidelines forever? Our friends move on with their lives and their babies and we are stuck forever in limbo, the couple that doesn’t belong.

This post sums up the feelings well: Babies Everywhere by Maybe Baby.  She gets it.

https://maybebabyivfjourney.wordpress.com/2015/09/04/fet1-day-3-babies-everywhere/