Day 1

For once, “Day 1” is not referring to any kind of cycle timing and that feels completely bizarre.

In this case, Day 1 is referring to the first day of my medical leave from work following my spectacular crash.

It is also Day 1 of National Infertility Awareness Week in the US.  This year the theme is “Start Asking” (#startasking).

I realized on Friday that I need to start asking for help and that’s what I have done.

How fitting, then.  Here we are on Day 1 and I am starting by asking for help and I want to encourage others to start asking for help.

A brilliant post by Sarah over at Infertilty Honesty got me thinking about the trauma that comes with infertilty and she referenced this article about how fertility treatments put women at risk for PTSD – half of the women in the study met the official criteria for PTSD. That’s a huge statement.  That’s time to #startasking for help.

img_4559-4

 

Advertisements

She Strikes Again

My MIL has struck again.  You might remember the incident after the funeral (WordPress is being difficult – see the post “Ties that Bind”), but I think she has actually topped herself this time.

We had a phone call a couple of weeks ago where they mentioned coming to visit and bringing some of DH’s “personal things” that they had been storing.  We inquired about the “personal things” as they had recently moved and delivered us 6 huge rubbermaid tubs of stuff.  I thought we had it all and I only recently just finished going through it!  She said she would “get back to us”.

A week or so later we received an email saying they were coming to visit, arriving on a Thursday night and leaving Saturday morning.  Thinking perhaps they had looked at the wrong days, I mentioned we would be at work on both Thursday and Friday.  To which she responded, they were aware of that but they could entertain themselves.  You see, they are on their way down south and they have a bunch of places they would like to stop at and spend some time at on their way down.  Ouch.  Clearly they would prefer that to spending time with their oldest son who they see twice a year.  Did I mention they are retired?! They can come any. time. they. want.

Also in this email was again the mention of the “personal things”.  I asked (yet again), what are these personal things?

She responded with an itemized list…of baby clothes.

That’s right.  Baby clothes and quilts that she made for my DH when he was a baby.

Baby clothes considering they don’t know about the recent failed IVF and IUI.

Baby clothes that have never been offered the THREE PREVIOUS TIMES WE HAVE BEEN PREGNANT.

Baby clothes that suddenly need to come to our house as we brace ourselves for the sad reality that in a few days his brother and wife will give birth.  The same brother and wife that got pregnant one month after we did and yet are still having their baby while we are not.

Baby clothes from my DH’s childhood to juxtapose that he might never actually have a child of his own to wear them.

Baby clothes that we can one day throw away with our dreams.

And calling them “personal things” – was she just going to stand there in our house while we opened the tub only to realize that it was baby clothes? And then take a twisted pleasure in our pain and discomfort?

Does she want to hurt us? I can’t fathom that ANYONE is that insensitive. It can’t be possible that she doesn’t get it.  Not after what just happened.

Right? Right??

What the hell am I going to do about this one?

Little Boxes

When my husband and I moved to the Middle East we learned about how convenient stereotypes can be.  While not a correct way of thinking, in that situation facing so much change and uncertainty, being able to put the world into little boxes was a coping mechanism.  It helped bring sense and order to your world when it didn’t have any.

Lately I am finding that’s similar to how our friends and family are handling our fertility issues.  With the cancelled cycle, I have received so many comments like “Is this why you are having troubles?” or “Is this why you are miscarrying?” and so on.

Everyone wants a reason.  They want to be able to put us into a box.  “[That] happened to them because of [this]”.  Because it is easier for them, not us, if they have reason.  It brings a sense of order and rationale to their view of the world.  It is far easier than acknowledging that things don’t happen for a reason and even more so the uncomfortable truth that we are not in control of our destinies.

And yes, bad things happen to good people…for no reason at all.

 

Would you tell?

It’s that time when the latest crop of Infertility bloggers I follow are now pregnant. This is the second time in my four years. Seems to be that it happens in two year cycles. Another blogger recently wrote about feeling isolated and I can relate to that.  It’s a definite feeling of being left behind.

What I have noticed of late is that these bloggers are posting their news (in this instance, none are anonymous) at 5 and 6 weeks. They are even arranging events to surprise and tell their families.

It’s reminded me that there is a difference between the infertile community and the infertility+repeat pregnancy loss community.

After 3 miscarriages, a BFP would be exciting but is no longer an event worth telling the world about. It’s the start of an even harder and longer wait. One that has yet to end in heartbreak.

I admire their optimism and in some ways, naivety, at their the belief that the hard part is over. When I see those early announcements every part of my body hopes that’s the only one they have to make.

I know there is a belief that you should celebrate and enjoy being pregnant even if that’s only for 6, 7, 8 or 9 weeks but I don’t think I could do that anymore.

What about you? Would you tell? When?

img_4559-1

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.

 

 

 

 

Decisions.

January has been a big month for fertility decisions.

At the beginning of the month we attended a seminar on domestic adoption.  It was a full two day event and a very emotionally intense couple of days.  The seminar itself warrants its own post (or several) but in conclusion, we have given ourselves two months to reflect and talk about whether or not we want to proceed with domestic adoption. In the meantime, we plan to attend an information session on international adoption.

We attended the seminars at the advice of my psychologist who told us we need to evaluate adoption while we still feel like we have options.  As she put it, we don’t want to look at each other in 10 years and say “Why didn’t we look into adoption again?” because that could very quickly lead to blame and resentment.

We were also offered another fresh IVF cycle.  Which means the decision we were putting off now had to be made.

In the end, we have decided to proceed with another cycle and the Suprefact starts next week.

We did an old-fashioned pros and cons list but what it boiled to was that we might as well do this while we have the money and jobs as the economy is not getting any better and I am not getting any younger. It makes me angry, the money component.  After this cycle we will have spent the equivalent of what we intend to spend on my DH’s MBA on trying to get pregnant.

It’s a pretty tough pill to swallow.

 

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.