Tag Archives: being open

Hopeful Avoidance

You may have noticed that it has been pretty quiet on my blog since surgery. I hoped and almost certainly believed I would definitely get pregnant right away. Therefore, there was no need to blog about infertility, but now I feel my hope wavering a bit. I also still feel new to the infertility communtiy and wonder what right I have to complain when I haven’t had to fight the emotional and physical battles of miscarriages, IUIs and IVFs? What if I did become pregnant “naturally” (with a just a little help from Clomid) and there are all these other deserving women who have been through so much more and may have to continue waiting for their nugget? I always imagine that more veteran IFers are sometimes thinking, ‘oh honey – you haven’t seen bad yet!’

Recently though, I have been making peace with the reality that everyones TTC story is different. My situation may turn out to be easier than lots but it is also more difficult than the typical TTC experience for those lucky 5 out of 6 couples who don’t have to struggle.

So I have decided it is time to reclaim my blog to share my journey and work through the sometimes complicated and messy emotions that infertility stirs up! I hope that you’ll comment and share your experiences too in the comments. I am looking forward to reconnecting with everyone!!!

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The Perfect Reaction

Last week, before going to the lake there was another good friend who I made lunch plans with the intention of telling her about the surgery.   Her and my college girlfriends were the last of my closest friends who did not know.  I knew I wanted to tell her for a while, but I hadn’t known.

We met at her apartment to eat our brown bag lunches and had covered some of the sucky things going on in her life first – details about the passing of her husband’s old and dear friend who went to high school (beyond sad!) and major landlord problems that were causing her and her husband to move in the next 45 days unexpectedly.   Then she asked the very open ended, “so how are things with you” question.  That was my opening so I told her about us trying and the doctor visits and the surgery.  Afterwards she looked at me with tears welling up and said, “well that just sucks!”  She came over and gave me a big hug and we cried together.  I know that she wasn’t just crying for me, but for all the pain in her life too right then.  Even so, it felt so amazing to have a friend cry with me over how unfair this feels and how truly devastating it can be.  Up to this point most people’s reactions to our situation haven’t been very comforting.  You know that they care, but they always seem a little uncomfortable because they don’t know what to say, so they say that everything is going to work out and that it is going to happen soon.  Sometime optimism isn’t exactly what the doctor ordered, sometimes you just want to know that your friend has your back and is in the trenches with you!

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A Weekend with the Fertiles

This weekend, I went to the lake with three of my sorority sisters and their husbands.  I was looking forward to a relaxing weekend and was hopeful that maybe it would be just like it was in the sorority house and that the baby talk could be at a minimum.  I knew going into the weekend that there might be “announcements” and tried to prepare mentally, but was hoping for the old normal.

My mom said it right, at least everything shitty happened on one day so I could just get through it and on to the next day.  I started the day off with a big fat negative pregnancy test, then I heard from  my mother later in the morning that they were going to put down their 15 year old golden retriever that day.  We had gotten Bailey when I was a sophomore in high school and she was the best dog ever!  So I went over to their house over lunch to say good-bye.  On the way over there, it started to pour down rain.  It felt like the world was crying!  I had also been trying to come to grips with the news that week that a woman who was in the class ahead of me in high school was diagnosed with cancer on her 30th birthday this winter and less than four months lost her battle on Monday.  I had seen her in January at a mutual friend’s birthday party.  She was always my favorite out of that group of girls – she was so nice, down to earth and hilarious!  I feel so sorry for her family and for such a promising life cut short.  As I sat at a stop light with the rain pouring, that country song, “When I Die Young” came on and I completely lost it!

After a nice lunch with my mom and a tear soaked good-bye with Bailey, I headed back to work.  Work is still overwhelming right now.  I have another deadline on Tuesday and with going out of town, I know that I will not be able to meet it.  I’m starting to get so demoralized – I am working so hard, but refuse to work crazy amounts of overtime and forgo sanity in my personal life.  I’m probably being immature, but I hate knowing that is what would have been needed to have succeeded.

After work and frantically packing, we drove 4 hours to the lake.  In the car, my husband started a “practice” conversation about how it is so exciting that ALL my friends are pregnant.  I worked on my most sugary, sweet excited voice.  I did not want another pregnancy announcement to result in public crying and in reality any or all of them could be pregnant.  I had seen a picture of one of my friends on facebook and noted that her face looked noticeably more full than it did from pictures even a month and a half ago.  I also swore I could see the beginning of a little bump under her shirt.  I knew that she had promised her husband that they could start trying after a trip to Mexico in Feb, so I knew it was highly likely my suspicions were right, but was hopeful when I walked in and she was holding onto a beer.  But it was just a facade and they were indeed pregnant.  Within the first hour, her husband made the announcement that they would be expecting in January.  And then they had to go on and on about how they got pregnant the first month trying and about how frickin’ fertile they are.  That was the moment I almost lost it, but I got in a few platitudes and kept a frozen smile plastered on my face.  Luckily, the mother in the group jumped all over the announcement with all sorts of questions and it wasn’t very obvious that I was essentially a deaf mute.

That night I was the first to retire to bed and I got as far as getting my jewelry off before the sobbing began.  The husband and I just laid in bed with me just sobbing about the entire day and him telling me that he was so proud of how strong I had been up there and how well I handled it.  (PS – can I also note that we got stuck on the futon – we even were getting the short end of the sleeping arrangement stick for the 2nd time in 3 years).

I woke up the next day feeling a little better, but my eyes felt practically glued together with the tears.  There was much more mommy talk the next day, as one of the girls had a baby in November (and off the cuff said that she hopes to get pregnant again soon – oh great, she can be the first to double lap me!),  the newly announcement mommy-to-be, and the last girl gleefully telling us that this was their first month trying (so I need to brace myself for that announcement any month now!).  I felt so disconnected all day.  I felt like I was just listening and listening and listening and no one cared to ask me anything at all about my life.  Seriously not one leading question had been asked to even bring up my dog, or how work has been stressing me out, or even possibility letting them in on what I’ve been going through.  It had been my plan to tell them, but now I wasn’t sure.  That night my husband told me that he even noticed that I seemed to be placed on the outside.  I went to bed sad with myself that I had allowed myself to be so closed off from them these last months and that I must be putting up a giant shield around myself that even they could sense without really knowing it.

The next day, I decided that no matter what – I would  find a time to tell them.  A few moments came and went, because the boys were too close in earshot, I did not want one of them coming over and interrupting.  Finally there was a moment on the dock, when the boys had gone upstairs.  The conversation even turned in a way, that it wasn’t totally out of the blue what I was about to say.  I was so nervous… my heart was racing.  I finally got up the courage and broached the topic.  I could see at first that they had no idea what to say.  They asked some questions about what the doctor said and if the surgery should fix it, but then there were some huge “pregnant” pauses.  It felt good to tell them, but I still felt on the outskirts.

I hate that going through this is making me retreat from people, I hate feeling so lonely, I hate feeling so hopeless sometimes, I hate feeling so despondent.

Hopefully tomorrow will be better!  Or at least my crazy work will distract me.

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NY Trip

Some good friends got married in the Catskills of NY two weekends ago, so 8 couples hopped on an airplane.  First we had a few days in the big city and then we drove up state for some good old-fashioned wedding fun!  All in all, I had a great time, but there were definitely moments I had to give myself some pep talks to keep up the good attitude.  I did not enjoy NYC as much this time around as I have in the past – period disappointment put a damper on my spirits a bit.  Also, I am not 22 like the last time I visited, now I am older and need more sleep =)   Everyone was trying to act like we were 22 again and when you’re trying to take better care of your body, drinking and hardly sleeping did not interest me much.  The baby talk though was fairly minimized though by this endeavor by everyone to act like college kids again. So that was refreshing!

It was a little exhausting to be with friends for 5 days straight and be “happy” all the time.  I am definitely an introvert so this would have been trying without burying my disappointment that my period started.  Plus on the first day, I felt awful!  And as the weekend went on my bloating was out of control!

This was sort of our infertile “coming out” trip.  A few couples knew before the trip, but spending 5 days with your friends definitely gives you a lot of time to talk.  So a few people asked in conversation about when we might start trying to have kids and that is a pretty good opening to let them know.  Two couples brought it up because they had been told by others and wanted to let us know that they were there for us.  Feeling all the support of our friends and finally not having to tell little white lies all the time helped to put me in a much better mood.  It was curious though, the only person whom I did not talk to about it at all was the wife of my husband’s  good friend (whom he had told a few weeks before the trip) who is dealing with PCOS, who had previously found out she’d had a spontaneous conception only when it was miscarrying, and is on doing her third IUI cycle this month.  Everyone has their own ways of dealing and self-preservation, so I know someday we will talk about it, but if now she doesn’t want to, I completely understand.

I felt very self-conscious though about a small crying breakdown I had that she witnessed.  The night of the rehearsal dinner, despite my intentions to take better care of myself, I had a few drinks and was feeling very giddy and clumsy.  Up in the hotel room, I couldn’t find my contact case and was going to use two of the glasses to store my contacts overnight.  I knocked one off the counter and it shattered all over the ceramic tile.  The broken pieces bounced up and cut my legs in several places.  At first, I was laughing because it was so typical of me to be clumsy.  As I was picking up the pieces, I realized that I was bleeding.  I sat down on the toilet to put compression on the nicks to stop the bleeding.  These were not gashes at all – they were like small shaving nicks.  But they would not stop bleeding!  She helped me go and get some band-aids.  I had already felt sort of gloomy under the surface all day and knew that I just wanted a good cry.  Well now I had a reason, I started crying because I was mad at the stupid blood thinners I have to take, I was mad at infertility, and I was a little drunk.  So there I was crying about some stupid little cuts when she got back.  I was so embarrassed that I was making such a fuss in front of her, who has been through sooo much more!  She was the best though and helped to make it not such a big deal!

The wedding the next day was beautiful!  The scenery was beautiful, the food was amazing and the dancing was so very much fun!  It was a very emotional ceremony as the bride had lost her mother the year before to Ovarian cancer.  There a moment during the ceremony to pause and remember those who could not be there and this huge breeze came through.  It honestly felt like it was her saying – hey honey, I’m here!  There wasn’t a dry eye in the crowd.  I heard a few of the boys say, I’m glad I had sunglasses on!

One of my new mommy friends, who complained all the time about not being able to drink while pregnant, said to me twice that night “I feel so bad for M, not being able to drink this weekend.”  Really, you’re going to say that to the girl who wants to be pregnant but can’t, about the actual pregnant girl!?!  No I really don’t feel bad for her at all.  I was glad that I finally got the chance to tell E that yes, I too had been sober at both weddings last fall when she was making such a huge fuss over her pregnancy and the small sacrifices that required and really it is not that big of a deal!  It did spark a small conversation about how yes, she was so very lucky to get pregnant so easily and I think the light went on in her head a bit that she should think before speaking.

All in all it was a great trip, but I definitely pushed it too hard and came down with wicked head cold that is just today (almost two weeks later), finally clearing up completely.   I’m glad to be rid of my souvenir from New York!

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Circle of Life

In my new spirit of openness, I shared with a coworker about my impending surgery and discovered that she too had the endometriosis surgery. She gave me a heads up that the recovery can be a little rougher than you might anticipate. I stopped by her desk today to say thank you for the insight and that googling the surgery and knowing better what to expect had put me at ease.

She shared with me the abridged version of all she went through before her three kiddos. She mentioned that the third doctor she saw was amazing and that he was the first to diagnose her auto-immune disorder and treat it effectively. I was making a mental note to store his name in my back pocket for future reference, when she said his name… It hung there for a minute… Why did it sound so familiar???? Oh wait – that is because he was the doctor who delivered ME! If I went to him, wouldn’t that be very full circle?!?

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When the doctor first described the endometriosis surgery, I was thinking this would be on par with getting some cavities filled. That would be slightly underestimating the procedure – it turns out surgery is never really not that big of a deal. After reading online, I discovered that I might be ready to go back to work on Monday following the Wed surgery, but for many people it is almost a week long recovery. My husband laughed at my google keywords of “scared of endometriosis surgery” but that was exactly what I was feeling and wanted to hear what other women had to say about it. We read about the recovery, about the operating room, read about the technical aspects and looked at pictures of the surgery. I cried a bit and got to verbalize my fears, but in the end it was very reassuring though to hear story after story of pregnancy occurring just months afterwards!!! That result would definitely make the pain worth it.

I am still not 100% convinced that this is the next “logical” step for me. I haven’t had extensive imaging or bloodwork done. I wonder am I jumping into a very serious procedure without ruling out the easier steps first? It is just too tempting to have this seemingly magic bullet surgery available. It might be the power of suggestion, but since endometriosis was suggested, I have been paying much closer attention to my body. I am realizing that I deal with abdominal discomfort and mild pain on a daily basis. I always assumed it was a highly sensitive digestive system, but maybe it is endometriosis instead?

My husband has just come around to telling our parents what has been going on. I told him that I would have to tell my mom – she would be so angry if she found out that I had done the surgery and had not let her know! So we are going to tell everyone this week. Not quite the fun announcement we hoped to be able to make, but I am excited to be able to talk about it.

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Emotional Roller Coaster Weekend

This weekend was an emotional roller coaster!  It started with a phone call into the doctor to schedule the laparoscopic endometriosis surgery, then a pregnancy announcement by close friends that caused me to dissolve into public tears, followed by a day of complete depression and not getting off the couch, finally tearing myself off the couch and putting on a brave smile for a 30th birthday party Saturday night, and waking up feeling optimistic on a very sunny, Mother’s Day Sunday that ended with two open conversations where we acknowledged our reproductive challenges.

At my lastOBvisit, I left with two options on how to proceed.  The first was to start Clomid after my next period and see if that was what I needed to get my ovaries jump started or to go forward with the laparoscopic endometriosis surgery.  I had told my husband before the appointment that I was ready for the surgery if the doctor suggested it, but somehow having him put that option out on the table freaked me out.  It took me a few days to come to terms with the reality that endometriosis might be a health issue actually affecting me.  I knew logically that this had been suggested at earlier appointments, I had reported this fact to several people, but I didn’t realize until this week that I didn’t really believe it.  I was still holding out hope that all these unsuccessful attempts at getting pregnant were isolated events that could each be explained away.  My initial reservations to not doing the surgery came from worrying that I’d be embarrassed after the surgery when the doctor did not find anything and being exactly where we started only with a new sizable medical bill (although still a fraction of what IVF would be).  A couple of days later, a close friend sent updates to her blog with pictures of her darling baby girl.  After the cute baby pictures and some surfing online to convince myself that yes, I do exhibit some classic endometriosis symptoms, I decided my husband was right, why was I hesitating, just go for it!  So I called up on Friday and scheduled the surgery for the beginning of June. 

That evening, we had low-key BBQ plans with three couples who are our close friends.  My husband had taken the day off to finish constructing our ambitious veggie garden and was very cranky from the day of manual labor.  I have a major deadline approaching at work with not enough support and hours to successfully finish.  I had spent most of the day, locked in a conference room red-lining drawings with my mind occasionally wandering into my pity party causing me to tear up a bit.  Up until this weekend, I had only really lost it and cried once.  My typical M.O. is to have my eyes swell a bit but push back all the feelings before the waterworks really get turned on.  Needless to say, I was not in the best place walking into that BBQ.

We had just arrived at the party and I was unpacking my grocery bag to begin chopping up some veggies to barbeque when the new mom-to-be walked into the kitchen and someone offered her a beer and she responded, “No, not tonight.  Well… actually I won’t be able to have one until next January!”  I had been looking down at the cutting board and the real meaning of her words began to sink in.  My mind began racing, hadn’t she just told me that she started her period last month?  Was that last month?  

I looked up and saw that she was looking directly at me, waiting for my reaction.  Well she got one, I almost immediately started welling up and getting that little lip quiver thing.  I pulled it together for a minute and walked over and gave her a hug.  She whispered in my ear – I’m so sorry!  I was really starting to cry and my husband noticed that I was not taking the news well and leaned over and whispered in my ear, “step out – go to the bathroom.”  Luckily, because everyone else was so – I was able to sneak away without anyone noticing.  Although at that moment, it felt like everyone knew. 

The new mom-to-be and her husband were some of the few people whom we had told about our situation.  They had also confided in us that they had just started trying to conceive.  She had always declared before starting to try that she just knew she would have difficulties because she had ovarian cysts.  For this reason, I too was expecting it to take her a little while.  I had also always figured that when they did conceive that I’d be able to figure it out because she would not have mentioned anything about her period that month.  I was completely unprepared emotionally for this announcement.  Their wedding had been during our second month of trying and now here they were pregnant on their second month trying and we were still waiting!

The rest of the night was not very enjoyable as there was almost non-stop baby talk as the BBQ hosts have a 2 month old too.  Luckily, the night ended earlier than I expected and I was able to go home and completely crumple. 

In the car, I pretty much dissolved into a teary-eyed mess.  I was sad about our situation and upset at the way she told us.  I never imagined that she would tell me in a group setting if she got pregnant before I did.  I totally understand that she wanted the fun of getting to make the big announcement, but it felt insensitive to not give us a heads up beforehand.  I was mad that I wasn’t able to be happy for them, because I am, but naturally a pregnancy announcement just highlights your sadness.  I had read a few blogs previously that suggested emailing is the best way to announce a pregnancy to friends who are having difficulties.  I have to admit, I now totally agree.  Being able to process the information in your own way before having to speak to the couple, allows you to be in a place where you can genuinely express your happiness.  It just takes a little time to wade past your own feelings.

I cried myself to sleep that night, woke up with my eyes crusted shut as I had also forgotten to take out my contacts.  I pulled myself out of bed and ran a few errands with my husband – while periodically crying again.  Luckily, he had plans to go watch local horse races with his family in honor of the Derbyat noon and I was able to sit by myself and cope.  I sat on the couch doing nothing but feeling sorry for myself for a bit and then started to blog.  Amazingly, diving into the memories of this process and my feelings help me snap out of it and did not push me further into the sadness abyss. 

Earlier in the day, I was prepared to pull a total prima donna move and not show up to the 30th birthday party that evening.  But I managed to get up off the couch, get the shower, put on makeup and go and have a fairly enjoyable time.  It helped to think about the friend I was showing up for – it was a birthday party for her new boyfriend.  She is a great girl, who always shows up for all the showers, bachelorette parties, weddings, couple centric dinners even though she was single, wanted not to be and the constant couple-dome of her social life could be upsetting.  I figured that if she was always there for her friends that I could put on my brave face and show up too now that it was her turn. 

On Sunday I woke up feeling great, almost as if nothing had happened at all.  I had a productive day working outside in the sun in the yard and garden.  I was genuinely enjoying life and not worried about baby things.  It was great!  My giant dose of crying and moping had worked. 

The events of the weekend had also slightly shifted my husband’s view on being honest with those around us about our pregnancy struggles.  We agreed that we should tell the BBQ hosts from Friday.  My tears probably did not go without notice and I hate the thought of friends knowing that something is wrong, but not being able to acknowledge it because we haven’t acknowledged it.

Then on Mother’s Day, I found my husband having a side bar conversation with his cousin.  She and her husband are very open about what they went through to conceive their first child – 7 miscarriages, multiple IUI and IVF procedures.  It turns out that she also has the MTHFR mutation.  I was so happy to see that my husband was opening up to someone about this.  I would prefer to be completely open with everyone, but have been staying private because he felt strongly about it.  I’m glad to see that his view is slowing shifting.  Our conversation was cut short, but hopefully I can talk to her again soon about all this!  They are a great story to focus on – tons of roadblocks and heartbreak, but now they have three amazing kids.  She reassured me that all this will be worth it in the end!

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Why Blog?

I initially started this blog as an outlet to talk about my pregnancy struggles and hopefully to connect with other women who are or went through the same thing themselves.  (Hopefully soon – some comments will start rolling in =)

My husband has very strong feelings about wanting to keep what is going on mainly to ourselves because he doesn’t want to our friends to feel sorry for us or worry when sharing their happy news.  He can easily shove down the sad feelings and act like everything is okay.

I on the other hand have been feeling the word vomit starting to build for the last few months.  The few friends who do know are a little tired of hearing my updates.  I can tell when they quickly change the topic.  In my defense, I do not think  I have been excessively over sharing.  I believe that people want to be there for you, but when it really comes down to it though the topic makes people uneasy.  I always get the impression that people don’t really know what to offer as a response.  I also get the impression that since it isn’t a happy topic – such as a new baby – that they don’t like to dwell on the topic.  It sometimes feels unfair when it feels like whole nights of conversation are centered around the topic of being pregnant, giving birth, nursing, and other new mom topics.  Sometimes I want to have a two-year old temper tantrum and just stomp my foot and declare that I want to talk about what is going on for me too!

In an effort to not become the “sad” reproductively challenged girl, I will bare my soul here.  I hope that blogging will be cathartic and I can find the support I crave, without allowing myself to be a real downer socially.

I had a slow start  to the blog, but today I began drafts for the train of conscious streaming at a rapid rate in my head.  I think I already have the next month’s worth of posts already outlined.   I wish that I could stay and write more now, but off to celebrate a 30th birthday!  Here is to getting out my own problems and living!


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