Friday, December 3, 2010
We are keeping it really simple, just lights, a few ornaments for now. I might add some garland, or maybe not. I might get a topper, I might not - though it looks rather sad without a 'hat' of some kind!
I asked DH the other night if we could put up one of our trees. He looked at me wide-eyed and said sure, if you want to.
I came to realize that avoiding Christmas was hurting me more than it was helping me to a degree. Yes, it's a child-centered holiday, and for that reason, I have to protect myself from unnecessary emotional pain. But I wanted to participate this time. To tell myself, you know, it IS Christmas. For YOU. Even though we don't have our little ones with us, it's still Christmas.
We'll be doing it differently, that's for sure. I have a tree in my living room, but that's where the similarity ends. I shop for comfort when I can afford it - and it's just for me. Heck, I think that's great. It's that time of life for us, for me, apparently. One day, we will buy presents for our little ones.
I will not be attending our Sunday school Christmas party. Almost everyone has kids they bring - most of them multiple kids. So, that one gets a pass.
I'll let you know more of the strategies we will employ to survive this most sad of holidays for the family experiencing infertility. Until then, hang in there, ladies. I plan to try.
Tuesday, November 30, 2010
Of course, Jesus came to this earth for each of us, myself included. But not being able to celebrate this child-centered holiday in the traditional way for 4 years now has worn on me.
There is no tree up, though I own 2. I did hang a Christmas card wreath we bought last year from Will&ams-Son%ma. I have to say, I was able to smile a little with its hanging.
God and I have been on a healing project for my heart. The journey is long and still ongoing. I want to quit - so, so much - but I've come too far. Surely I am closer today than I have ever been to my future babies!
I have 3 babies in heaven, and I miss, miss, miss them. I attached a Faces of Loss, Faces of Hope button to this blog to reflect my appreciation for each of the ladies on their website. Their courage at sharing their stories is inspiring. I feel less alone because of them.
So, how would you fill in the blank of my blog title?
Sunday, October 31, 2010
We are watching Extreme Makeov@r Home Edition where they are redoing a school for the deaf's dorms and helping them with their annual haunted house fundraiser. I really love this show. It makes me cry, and I always think, I'd love to help out and make someone's dreams come true. Dreams are so fragile and so valuable.
I am thankful that I can hear. Just hearing some of these kids' challenges in growing up is really heart-wrenching. The experience of infertility on Halloween, a holiday exclusively for the kiddos, is heart-wrenching. We are downstairs this year, with our lights off. It is just too hard to open the door to the dressed up little ones. I asked my hubby to give it a break this year. Over time, he came to understand just how painful this holiday was to me. And it's the first of several family-oriented holidays to come.
So how do you cope? When the sadness of infertility is almost overwhelming, and the tide of kid activities threatens to sweep all the sadness of your infertility experience into your lap, what do you do instead? We ate a pizza and rejoiced in the joy of those who have suffered so much. And one day like them, I too will rejoice in the victory of joy in the midst of heartbreak.
Friday, October 15, 2010
I could have called her to let her know I was thinking of her. I have been so much. Her son is nearly 3 months old, and it is getting quite cool here with the changes of fall. The changes of the seasons elicit a marked reaction in me now - more of a mourning. Ah, yet another red maple in its glory, and no little one in my arms. My driveway is filled with yellow gingko leaves and green maple ones, and no tricycle to guide across them.
Halloween costumes are the worst. I always imagine what my children would dress as - a pumpkin for me the first year, maybe a turtle or ladybug the second. Then they would maybe help pick - Spiderm%n or what character is 'in' for young girls today? I am sad that I don't know that.
We ate at a local hamburger and taco eatery, which filled to bustling with families, which were all I seemed to notice though I know high school kids were on dates and guy friends were pigging out, too. A guy with 4 tattoos on his arms - I am not against tats, quite the opposite, though I have none (I will so regret EVER saying that!) - walked by guiding out 2 little ones, with mom carrying another.
Our conversation was going well. I tried not to feel sorry for myself though I spoke with laryngitis. I've been working extra hours, my dad lost his job (a whole 'nother post), DH is out of town, I got my flu shot this week - a shock to my otherwise barely-making-it immune system, apparently. Actually, other than the occasional bout with insomnia, all things considered, I've been making it pretty well - ok, maybe not.
Then I mentioned that today was National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day. My friend, in her love for me, tried to stay with me, but her phone rang. It was her DH - little boy is crying and won't stop, so it was time to go home. I asked her about that, as I clinched my heart shut in the hopes that her sharing her life with a bambino wouldn't leave shards of glass in mine.
Yes, this is my first night out, and he is trying to get comfort and get down for the night (for a few hours). And the last time I was out, for not even 2 hours, I walked into the house to him screaming for me, said Kate.
I said something harsh like, well maybe that could change one day, wink. She handled it well - it was only a defense mechanism on my part. I would never want to judge her, or be ignorant on this issue. But I don't get to decide if I ever experience this.
She said 'so what was the rest of your thought?' but my words sounded hollow to my own ears. How can they stand against the cry of your own flesh and blood? Apparently, they cannot.
We left the restaurant, giving each other a hug. She said she would pray for me, and I silently knew I'd pray for her, too. She said I know I don't really understand or know what to say, and I told her thank you for listening.
An adventure in friendship and infertility, part 2.
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
God has really helped me. I have been anti-social to say the least for this last while, and even the minor 'socializing' required to administer a flu shot was proving daunting. God said gently 'don't think about it so much'. We are 'required' to administer the shot as a regular prescription, meaning we put it in line to fill like a regular prescription. With grief rearing its ugly head, I was not happy at this prospect. But it's gone ok.
I even gave my first shot to a pregnant woman last night.
Satan, 0. God and me, 1.
I woke up at 4 am this morning. Another thing that's been happening some. It may be the pregnancy hormones going out of my system, and my lovely body returning to its apparently already off-kilter self. Yeah, the self-loathing is trying to come back. I know better, but I don't feel better, ya know?
We went to a craft fair on Sunday. Fun. I used to love those SO much, even planning for months in advance to drive to one 2 hours away. No more. Infertility drained not only my bank account, but my joy, I'm sad to say. I used to buy Christmas decor and ornaments starting in July, and I looked forward to decorating as soon as I could. It's so hard decorating for Christmas now (so I don't). Thanksgiving has a very different meaning to me now, and it all begins with Halloween/fall. I always wanted a little sweet pea, complete with the pumpkin costume with the lid of the pumpkin as a hat. So precious. It just won't be fall without my little pumpkin.
I miss having a lil' pumpkin in my life, in my arms, so so much.
So, what did I buy at the craft fair, you ask? A lovely dichroic glass pendant, with pink and green and swirls hung on a pink crystal chain. I wore it out of the booth just to make myself smile. One day I'll learn how to add photos to this blog. ;) Anyway, I also got a pearl pendant and 2 hair holder thingies made out of piano wire with beads on them. They are called Flexi8. I learned my hair is thinner than I remember, but hey, at least I have a new way to put it up.
It meant alot to me that DH came with me to the craft fair, and walked around, and wrote checks and didn't complain. I needed that. And even more, I needed someone to be with me and let me forget that I am experiencing infertility. Sometimes, God comes our way at a craft fair.
Wednesday, September 8, 2010
In literal days, I suppose I am. Am I the only one who has trouble falling asleep at night for thinking, I can't sleep, I don't have my baby yet? Amazing how this illogical thought can propel me to the heights of pain on any given night.
Our adoption agency in Texas has had a few 'issues' with our paperwork, the latest of which is they cannot log onto a website to confirm my employment, as that website requires a subscription, and the subscription costs - money. Well, I am sorry folks, but some of that 'agency fee' we gave you can be used for that. If my W-2s aren't enough - KWIM?? Sorry guys, my patience is running a little thin. I know you didn't intend to spend some of the $10,000 plus we gave you on my employment verification, but guess what? You have the money now!
Ok, I'll try to be nicer the rest of this post.
We went to the botanical garden last Saturday, and it was the most beautiful day. Blue sky - the most lovely shade of pure blue. Not a cloud. Warm, but stopping just shy of being too hot. I should've known - people bring their children to the garden when it's like this! I was literally physically aching by the time we left, there were so many strollers (that I dare not look inside), wagons, Little Tik_es cars, pregnant bellies.
I am delighted to see it - the life, the progress, the potential lived up to - for each person. I really am. I would like to see that for myself, in OUR lives.
What finally got me was when DH stopped to hold a door for all the children. A dad was walking past holding his little daughter (I can't tell how old a child is just by looking - a reality of infertility - but she looked less than 2). 'Don't look, don't look' I told myself. But so many little ones had passed me by that day, and I glanced at her. Daddy was cooing at her, saying something sweet, and she had the happiest open-mouthed grin as she was carried by.
On the way out to the parking lot, I lost it.
Sobbing. Boo-hooing. All my brave front, ruined. A messy, loud cry.
Back in our hot SUV - the irony is we have had this SUV for over 7 years now, with no children to ride in it - I sobbed and tried to talk. All DH could say was we would never come to the garden on such a beautiful day ever again.
I cried louder.
The loneliness of infertility is exhausting. All of your energy is often spent insulating yourself from the pain. It finds you anyway. When you dare to be human. Which is a very brave thing for the grieving.
Wednesday, September 1, 2010
And we had another miscarriage since I last wrote.
Not to get all into it - because I am so sad that talking about it just breaks my heart.
I don't mean to exclude you from all this, but it is our 3rd miscarriage in a row.
We were not even 'trying'. Now of course, like any infertile, I am perpetually trying. I just mean we weren't cycling, and we sure as hell weren't prepared for this.
So, I've been SO tired. I am having trouble concentrating at work. My therapist plans to keep an eye on me. I already take an antidepressant, but I was taking two medicines until I became pregnant the last time. I tapered off one of the meds and I hope I can keep it that way.
My relationship with God is tanked. I know He will be there, and I know He is a good God. I do not feel it at all right now.
So, I'm just not f'ing believing it.
That this happened again.
Tuesday, August 10, 2010
I know why - I ovulated late. My period is usually like clockwork, explaining the utter shock of my infertility diagnosis. There was NO HINT of any problems in my body whatsoever.
I ovulated late due to stress, I'm sure. We had our 2 home study interviews in one week's time, and the flood of emotions as I cleaned my house - you'd have thought they were bringing a baby to our house to stay that week - and I really wanted them to - were surprisingly volatile and sustained for that whole week.
Not to mention during the interviews themselves. Discussing the most intimate details of your life with strangers, no matter how nice they are, is daunting for me. All the most painful moments of my life are out in the open for everyone to read in the home study document. It's alot.
Then we went home for my birthday on July 18. Going home elicits tremendous pain for me, not the least of which is due to having no child to take home to his/her grandparents. As per usual, I cried myself to sleep the first night.
Then there's the Pain From the Past. My father was a very angry man, and while he is different now, he really hasn't changed inside, if you know what I mean. He's white-knuckled it and held it in and beat himself up for still being angry inside, but he has been unable to lay it down at the feet of Jesus. Jesus is the only way this weak woman can make it one step, and my father needs more Jesus. Crap it, I know I surely do.
My PMS has been sustained for almost 2 weeks now. All I've wanted to eat is Z@xby's and cheesecake and chips. Usually I can handle it for a few days, which is normally all it is. But this 2 week thing is killing my motivation to exercise and eat well. And just so you know, my motivation to eat well is very easily killed. Very.
I'm the chocolate girl at work. I always have candy around, in my drawer, waiting to be purchased. I work at a pharmacy in a grocery store, so the options are many. I have very little time to eat, but great need to do so. The public knows I am dangerous without chocolate. So do my co-workers.
To make up for it, I exercise regularly. I have a gym membership - notice I did not say I go to the gym. I used to be very good about it, going 3 to 4 times a week for months. But the heat from this summer, and the varicose vein treatments I've been enduring that have left my legs sore and bruised, have busted my motivation.
Excuses, excuses. I know! I have done some WiiF@t Act@ive workouts. They are challenging and work my muscles pretty well, allowing me to burn more calories at rest! Yea!
Enough already. I need to just get back on it. Me and my swollen, period-late, depressed self. Crap it!!
And I will, right after I have maybe some Za@by's later today. (yes, it really is 3:40 am right now - long story)
So. Period - get here! I know you're out there! And if you're not coming, please let my boobies go! Rarrrr!!
Thursday, July 29, 2010
I don't have to be ok with it.
I'm not ok with what God is doing. But I don't have to be. I know God is a good God, and really, that is enough. It doesn't feel like it is enough as we drive through the night, headed to DH's office for some late-night work. If we had a baby like Kate does, we couldn't do that. We'd be headed home, with me very sore, and one very perfect gentle angel in my arms.
I didn't hold him at all. No one offered, and I didn't ask. Hmm, I thought, so this is how it is. Not bad, but not especially good. But then again, this infertility thing is a shark with piercing white teeth, capable of separating bone and marrow, shredding hearts and dreams.
Hope you enjoyed your time in the maternity ward, I told DH. You'll be spending the LEAST time of all your friends here, I said after he mentioned the 4 friends' babies he had visited down this same hallway.
Don't talk like that, he said.
We mailed our photo books to the adoption agency today. For those of you who don't know, these are 5 copies of the same book that different birth mothers look through to choose the adoptive parents. We made ours a literal book, as I learned photo publishing websites can do. It has pictures of our lives, our cats, our hobbies and our heartaches. A Dear Birth Parent(s) letter, the most difficult letter I've ever written, is at the front. Over 6 months of work and lots of tears, several re-writes and drafts later, and it was ready. I found myself choking back tears as I walked out of the post office.
Take care of the most personal, vulnerable package I may ever mail, I implored.
Then DH called in the credit card for our agency fee. A chunk of change like none other, the agency fee is compliments of my parents. We did some saving, the best we could on our budget after infertility treatments, to contribute. I'm conflicted, but very grateful to accept their help.
We have quite a lot of expenses to go, including travel to the distant state and the rest of the fees involved. Not sure how we're going to pay for that, but God is able.
On a humid night with no hint of the forecasted rain, I look as far out into the night as I can see. Maybe if I can see someone else's life, I can forget the emptiness, the sorrow, the ache in mine. It is raining in the world I see tonight, like it has been for some time now.
And no, I'm not ok with it. It bites. Over and over. With no knowledge of when it all will end.
I'm glad I saw my friend, though.
*not their real names
Wednesday, July 28, 2010
As a result, accepting my DH's personality can be a challenge. Who can't relate? That's why I married him! I've gotten better at letting things slide: the way towels are folded and organized in my linen closet, his messy side of the bed, the side table by his chair with papers over 9 months old. Ditto the books from schooling from long ago in our basement.
I am wondering, however, how I'll do with waiting to be a mom.
I've been waiting to be a mom for quite some time already: our first miscarriage was over 3 and 1/2 years ago. I have been feeling the 'mothering instinct' for quite a bit longer - since I was 26. That's 10 years. But it was a 'bad' time in our lives back then, with DH's schooling and my full-time pharmacist job. Even my mother-in-law said, 'I just don't know what you'd do if you got pregnant like so-and-so.' As my RE once said, she got her wish.
Anyway, today has been a day marked with lessons of patience. My good friend Kate*, who I wrote about in a previous post in January, went to the hospital today to deliver Anthony*. I had planned to go visit them today, which is a really big deal for me. My losses have been difficult to endure, and I wanted to be there for my friend, in spite of the sadness. Of course I have no idea how these things really go, but I was imagining it would be today that he would arrive. But, here it is 6:20 pm, and still no Anthony.
DH and I sometimes eat lunch together on Wednesdays. We went to the local chicken super-crowded place and barely got in and out before we needed to be at the bank to have some of our adoption paperwork notarized. Well, apparently, the bank is no longer notarizing. Of course I took it personally and had to look away as the very kind bank official lady apologized about why she could not notarize our adoption papers. We thanked her - me, through gritted teeth - and I went outside and cursed the fluffy white clouds against chipper blue sky. WTH... I think I needed to feel a little more cut off from society today, I really did.
It's been close to 100 degrees here off and on for a few weeks - we've had one of the hottest summers on record. The heat saps my energy and my want-to almost as bad as infertility. I forgot an appointment I had was at 2:00, even though it was written down, and showed up at 1:00. Then I dashed to T*rget to grab only a fraction of what we really needed to make use of the time somehow. I threw the bags in the house, and barely made it back to the appointment.
Aaarrgh. My mind has been full all day, wondering how I'd deal with Anthony and my friend. I cried myself to sleep last night thinking of it, but found myself waking this morning feeling much better. But my mind was still full. I'm a 'slow processor' of emotions; they take me awhile to digest. Unfortunately I feel them with the intensity of a high power wind tunnel.
So, now that DH is home, I guess it's time to make use of the evening. My friend texted me just now, poor thing. 'He isn't here yet, but I will push again soon'. Poor angel. I wish I could do it for her.
*not their real names
Tuesday, July 6, 2010
Sunday, May 9, 2010
Thursday, April 29, 2010
Today we got some really difficult news about our finances. Our 2009 tax return will not yield us as much of a return as we’d hoped - as we’d set our hope of affording adoption on. We might get back $3,500 - a far cry from the $25,000 we need. My DH left the message on my voicemail - even he hated to leave it. But he was driving back from the accountant’s office, and so he couldn’t talk about it once he got back to work.
The wind just flew out of our sails. We feel melancholy beyond words. I told DH ‘no matter what, God is still good’. And He is.
But this news - it’s so, so bad. SO bad.
What in the world will happen now? It was like the tax return was our ‘permission’ to pursue adoption. What were we to believe about our family now?
Does our family matter to God?
Of course it does, because he is strong, he is loving (from the Psalms). But it does not FEEL like we matter. I wish I had been spared this disappointment.
We just didn’t need another disappointment.
I’m heading to Memphis next week for Mom’s thyroid surgery. It will be a tough time to be with her, but I’m casting it all on the Lord. She was diagnosed with thyroid cancer last week and is having her thyroid removed next Wednesday. Wow. I have no energy to deal with this, you know? So, in that case, the Lord's loving arms are open for me....
At any rate, it's been a rough little while.
Off I go to take a walk.