Sunday, May 29, 2011

Letting It Go

Well, friends, I have a song on my mind today - Amy Grant's Somewhere Down the Road.

I hope this song echoes something in each of you, too.  For me, it's my life right now.  I don't understand so much I've experienced, leaving a lot of room for God to heal me.  That healing hasn't been finished yet.

We celebrated our 14th anniversary this week.  It was good, and it got me thinking (dangerous, I know, especially with infertility in the mix).

Love you all.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Living for Tomorrow

Well friends, I am 'trying' to no longer live for tomorrow, but only for today.  Today is all we have, and in it is something precious.  I have often lost sight of this in my struggle with infertility.  God is trying to show me how important living in the present really is.

I have been so tired lately.  The adoption stuff is going so slowly - we have heard nothing since I last updated you.  It is time to begin to renew our home study already - sigh.  I don't wanna redo this since - whine, whine, you know the drill.  I am casting it all on God and He is holding it for now.  I am too tired to begin working on it.

My house is a mess.  I say that, and well, if you came over, it's really not that bad.  I would have to do a few things to tidy up if I knew you were on your way over.  Sometimes, on a day when I'm off work, I'll just be so tired all I can do is sit on the couch and watch Nex*t T*p Mode*l reruns.  Then I make a deal with myself.  Just clean such-and-such or pick up this area, and you can sit back down again.  It works! Just the smallest goal can keep me moving.  Right after I rest again.

I haven't been going to the gym lately.  Well, as some of you may know, Alabama received some very severe weather a few weeks ago, with some of the most deadly tornadoes in the history of this country. A dear friend's town was decimated, but she is ok and so is her house.  However, life for her has been very difficult since she is a pharmacist and has been serving those who have lost everything. We are very blessed to be ok, but we were without power for almost 5 days.  Our home is fine as well, which is no small blessing since we have a yard full of mature trees.  Thank you, Lord.  I did some praying that day for sure; not as though that saved me, but you know what I mean.

So, my schedule is all off after our power outage. DH's grandmother passed away in Iowa the day after the storms here in Alabama, and we traveled to Iowa to go to her funeral the Monday after the storms, leaving the house still without power.  While we were gone the power returned!  The funeral was surreal, with so many family members we were meeting for the first time.  DH was close to his grandmother as a little boy, but not as an adult.  We were blessed to have been able to go to honor her.

DH has found us an elliptical machine.  It's used but he wants me to see it today.  Hence the gym membership may be going by the wayside.  The elliptical is expensive, but it may be worth it.  I plan to try it out later today.

In honor of living for the moment, I am headed back to bed for a wink or two.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

To All of Us Moms

To all of us moms, whether in heart or heaven, whose arms are empty, whether of all our children or of any:

Love like a river
Courses through my veins
And it won't ever extinguish.
It's all for you.

My Lord holds me up
He holds you in his arms
Until He brings me home
To Him, and to you.

This lonely journey
On earth, feels eternal
Until I can look back one day
And see You were always there.

Anguish thick like honey
Nothing can wash it away
Why is it all I have?
Why don't I have your smile?

Who will call me 'mommy'?
The best mommy I can be,
I will.
Even though it feels like
Maybe I shouldn't be.

Hiding in my bed
I long to stay hidden forever.
One day I will emerge
A lush rose with dew drops.

Know this, my love is here
For always.
Love is eternal
My love is eternal.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Infertility Myth: IVF Works for Everyone

Hello, all.  Today I am commemorating National Infertility Awareness Week, and I would like to bust an infertility myth - IVF (In-Vitro Fertilization) works for everyone.

This is a sad truth, but I am one of the women for whom it did not work.  I have diminished ovarian reserve (DOR), which means that my ovaries aged - unexplainably - faster than the rest of my body (yep, the rest of me is just so young, baby!).  I was diagnosed at 33, and more than likely had this condition from birth.  My RE (reproductive endocrinologist) told me that the medical community doesn't know what causes DOR.  It can be caused by things like taking cancer chemotherapy or smoking, neither of which I participated in.

Medical research is needed to determine possible genetic factors and increase access to egg freezing, but until then, women like me must walk this road nearly alone.  Resolve, the National Infertility Association, gives a voice to women like me, and I have found their information helpful and informative.

In case you can't tell, I have one of the more devastating infertility diagnoses.  My RE was so kind to me, and never once told me I might as well give up, or doing a 2nd IVF wouldn't lead to success. Each time we did an ET (embryo transfer), I was given chances of success in the 30 to 40% range.  I appreciate his positive thoughts, but 4 ETs later, I have no take home baby.  I have had 3 miscarriages and carried 11 embryos in my womb.

My DH and I are nearly broke for the money we have spent to participate in non-covered procedures.  We have had multiple IUIs (intrauterine inseminations), 2 IVFs and multiple FETs (frozen embryo transfers), where embryos from a previous IVF cycle are thawed and used.   And now, we are pursuing domestic adoption, yet another VERY expensive venture. Government subsidies are needed to help those of us pursuing domestic adoption, whether in the foster care system or through an adoption agency.  We don't need government regulation of adoption, but we DO need more help than just the adoption tax credit (which will be very helpful AFTER our adoption is complete).  But we have to pay the money upfront, and I wonder, where will it come from?

I am sad to say, that no, IVF doesn't work for everyone.  And no one wants to hear that.  I know I wouldn't have wanted to hear it, but now, it is my experience.

For more information on infertility, click here.  For more information on National Infertility Awareness Week (NIAW), click here.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Our Family

We have 2 cats, Patch and Jersey.  Patch is my calico 'baby girl' - as I call her - and Jersey is DH's little best buddy.

This is a picture of each of them, Patch on top and Jersey, in our nursery, on the bottom.  It's hard to tell, but the nursery is a very pale green.  That chair isn't in there now, but the angel still hangs on the closet door.  I have 3 stuffed angels in the nursery, one for each miscarriage I have had.

It's amazing how smart animals are.  We have had Patch for 11 years, and Jersey for 13, going on 14 years now.  They can tell when I'm down, when I'm stressed and they know when I'm relaxed.  Their unconditional love has meant the world to me.  And when I have very little in my mind, in their mind, I am everything.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Why The Blog Title

Hey, all.  Well, I've never said, and you've never asked, but this blog title is all about contrast.  It's about conflict, as well.  Infertility creates some powerful storms in our marriages, in our hearts, souls and minds.  Let's face it, it's just 'not the way it's supposed to be', this inability to create physical life in and through our wombs.

I originally named this blog Something I'm Not.  I am not...
- a mother to a living child
- defined by my infertility.

Then I changed the blog name, some months ago, to Someone I'm Not.  It seems to reflect how I feel more accurately.  I am not...
- bitter (angry, sure)
- controlled by my life circumstances.

It can go either way, the blog name.  But the controversy exists within me, so I decided to go with someONE I'm not.  Someone I'm Not also refers, perhaps more importantly, to how set apart I feel.  I feel lonely alot of the time and I don't think it's by accident.  But I'm no pretender.  If I don't have something in common with you, and we just don't 'click' as friends, you'll know, but I'll love you just the same.

I feel terrifically conflicted in my heart, yet I will keep loving.  I feel very lonely at times, but I will reach out.
Contrast.  It's my life.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Hello, all.  It's almost Easter.  Sigh.  The good news: snacking on pastel wrapped mini Kit-K$t's, making Easter baskets, donning new shoes, sitting outside comfortably for hours on Sunday afternoons.

The bad news: I am really grieving our last miscarriage.  We would be due now, in late April. Spring, with its new beginnings and beauty, never fails to sadden those of us experiencing infertility. With fertility literally dripping from the trees, how can we feel any other way? I went to Sunday school and maybe shouldn't have on Sunday.  There was a baby there, as usual, but it got to me more this time.  We sit in a big circle in our class, and I have no idea why.  I hate that.  If I have something to say, I'll say it, but sitting in a circle isn't going to get me to open up.

Maybe I should petition for a change.  Hmmm.

I always end up sitting exactly across from this couple with the baby, so if I want to look straight ahead, I'm faced with them.  I believe that what you look at is your focus.  I do my best to look away but it gets hard.  Finally, mom needs to feed the baby since he's getting so fussy, so she takes him to another part of the room.  Whew.  It's all so weird.

I've asked DH before about finding a new church. Sometimes I get really tired of the we-live-for-our-kids banner of our church.  That is our society, however.  It would be so great to have couples as friends who are also waiting for an adoption match.  It's a uniquely painful process.  While everyone else is moving on in life, so to speak - what is junior wearing for Easter Sunday and where is Sally going to preschool - we are stuck in waiting land like we have been for 14 years of marriage.

This Land of Waiting is vast.  It stretches as far as the eye can see and as far as the heart can feel.  Imagine that.  There is no end to it.

Which is why I just didn't feel like socializing at Sunday school.  All the ladies were surrounding the mom with her baby, and I had less than nothing to say.  I just headed out the door.  I told DH I'll see you in 'big church' and left.  He wanted to talk with people and eat.  It just emphasizes the lonely feeling I have, but if I'm sadder than sad, and have nothing to say, what to do?

I feel like a square peg in a round hole life.  I don't fit into this life - the one apparently God is giving me - yet.  And it hurts.

That's a good potential post - The Life God is Giving Me.  All I can say is why?  It looks so bad right now.  Not having a child from my body feels like the biggest curse of my life.  Accepting myself feels impossible right now.  I just don't want to be me.

One day, I will perceive it differently.  One day, I will understand some of this.  One day, some of the pain will be lessened.  One day.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Rested Up

Hello, all.  I am one tired girl today.  One of my coworkers had to have emergency GI surgery and is out for the next 2 weeks.  And I'm training a new pharmacist, who just happens to be the husband of another coworker.  And he's difficult to work with.  Oh well, it's a job.  Sigh.

In other news, the birth mother did not pick us.

That sucks.

So, that's about it.  I'm just tired and disappointed. Big time.  Huge time.

Here we wait, with open arms.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Sprung Out

I'm not sprung out, but maybe I am strung out.

Spring is dicey for those of us experiencing infertility.  On the one hand, it's lovely outside.  You can sit outside and not even notice it, only the fresh smell on your clothes when you come back inside.  You can eat outside, and your food tastes even better.  Cherry blossoms, tulips and spring grass add much needed color to the out of doors.

And then there's the downside.  I don't have to tell you about that.

So, I won't.

But it's getting me down.  Really down.

Each year, spring does this, the dichotomy.  This year, it's different because we've used the last of our embryos, and we're not planning to try to have a biological child anymore.  The money tree is gone (like we had one).  I am so down about not being able to have a biological child, I can hardly stand to be in my own skin.  The discontentment is palpable.  It keeps me awake at night.  It holds me down in bed in the morning, and it rakes away my joy beyond that of just a few minutes.

I know, I shouldn't let it do that.

And I'm trying not to allow it to do so, but my grief is just massive.  At this time of year, with new life surrounding us outside, not to mention in many uteri, I am down, people.  So down.

I love y'all and I want to say thank you for reading this.  I need to know you're out there, and it really helps that you are.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Out in the Cold

Today is a moderately cool, but almost cold in the shade, kind of sunny day.  It is spring break here for the kiddos, and while my work week changeth not, since DH is an orthodontist, he is closed today.  I say closed but he is still seeing patients.  We did have lunch together today.  We went to our favorite Mexican place.  This is no small deal.

I love to eat at this restaurant.  It has a rustic San Antonio type of feel.  We lived in San Antonio for almost 3 years for DH to do his residency.  Although it wasn't my favorite place - it's all in what you're used to, I think - I have a special fondness for it.  And as you may not know, our adoption agency is there.  We have some residency friends who adopted with this agency, and after we visited with the social worker who would work our case, we decided to sign up with them.

Anytime we eat at this restaurant, I think about San Antonio, how DH was born there (another piece of new news), how our agency is there, and most importantly, that our child will live there for the first 9 months of his or her life. Ok, womb life, but still - life.

And now I come to a piece of news.  Minor, tiny, really not news.  We have been shown to our first birth mother.  We got an email about a week ago, asking would be interested in this case?  We looked it over and said sure.  It's not that I don't trust you, but I am not giving details at this time due to fear. At least I'm honest.

She isn't due until September (ok, one detail), so matching this early would actually increase the likelihood of this falling through.  We know that our photo book and Dear Birth Mother letter were shown to her, BUT WE HAVE HEARD NOTHING.  In a way, I'm glad we have heard nothing.  That could mean the birth mother (I don't even know her name) is thinking things over very carefully, taking her time, beginning to grieve, praying. And then is picking us. Or it could mean, she didn't pick us. Or it could mean......... thousands of things literally.

I am praying so much, dear friends.  One day, we will have our child in our arms.  If not this one, another child.  Please dear Lord, let it be as soon as You can.  (clearing throat) well, as soon as You desire.

Please join me in praying.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Smiling on the Inside

Hello, ladies. Well, today brings with it, along with cold temperatures and bright sunshine, a BFN.

So sad.  So, so sad.

I am sitting in my jammies right now, watching The Proposal for the um-teenth time.  I just ate all I could hold of chicken tenders and fries and Russ*ll Stovers individually packed chocolate hearts.

And I feel rotten, just rotten.

My coworkers switched shifts with me today, to allow me to work less and get to come home once I found out the (hopefully good) news.  I'm a pharmacist, and I'm really blessed to have their understanding.

I'd love to be smiling on the inside right now - and I'd really love to just be happy.  To have my dreams come true, just this once, just this time.

We've had 4 embryo transfers over the years, and if you count the 2 times I conceived naturally, I've carried 11 embryos in my womb over the years.

And not one take-home baby.  Jesus, thank you for being by my side when I don't understand.  I just can't understand the pain, the sadness.......... the incredible delay of my hopes.

Love you all.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011


Today was FET #2.  They thawed our last 4 embryos, with 3 making it to transfer.  Two are grade 2's and one is a blast. All I know is - I have prayed and prayed about all of this.

In all likelihood, barring of course God intervening, this is our last chance to have a biological child.  I don't know.  I just gave it all I had by giving it all to God.

Beta is February 11.

Friday, January 21, 2011


Anger, for those of us who have been in therapy(wink), is an emotion which hides another: we have hurts, unmet needs.  Yeah, infertility definitely fits that.  I got to be angry a lot this week.

I say 'got to be' due to the 4 Vivelle Dot estrogen patches I am wearing in preparation for our last FET (frozen embryo transfer).  Yep, we have been to the transfer suite at my RE's office for what will be 4 times now, with no babies (yet).  Fourth time may be the charm.  The big day is February 1, my dad's birthday interestingly.

My emotions have been swinging from tears to rage.  Last night DH told me that he had received an email from the DH of a couple who has been through a miscarriage, though no infertility, per se.  They adopted their son, who is now 2 and 1/2, and they just had a baby girl.  The email was to let us know that they planned to bring the newborn to Sunday school, and wanted to let us know so we wouldn't be blindsided. Harumph.

Me, blindsided?  Hell.  Why would I care?  I mean, she could be one of those people who 'gets it' since she has been to The Other Side (miscarriage).  Though she has avoided The Land of Broken Dreams (infertility), I had some hope she might stave off her desire to show off her progeny just a little longer than 4 weeks.  Since this is my blog, if you think I'm overreacting, I surely am, but it's my blog.

I wanted to slam doors, I did yell, and well - use some grown up words.  And I should not do that.  But the estrogen coursing through my veins combined with the selfishness and downright hubris some people have 1. to assume I would be blindsided and 2. to proceed to do that very thing anyway made me feel like a caged lion.

Now for an anger break.  This is me on New Year's Eve, right before I went to work. Yes, I worked NYE, since I'm a pharmacist.  After that, we had reservations at R%th's Chris.  Not a bad tradeoff.  Yep, DH and I decided - we are gonna L-O-V-E 2011 and ring in it in style.

I even wore my skirt and dressy shirt to work.  I said I'm celebrating, and it starts now.

Farewell, ye 2010.  You have been a sad, sad year, complete with our 3rd miscarriage and no adoption news, yet high adoption costs (financially and emotionally with the prep and all).


When a coworker, who knows all that I've been through in the infertility / miscarriage arena (see sidebar), says 'wow, it seems like everyone's having babies' as she hands me a prescription to fill at work, I wanted to slap her.  Yet I said nothing.  Nothing.

I was in shock.  Is the follow up statement to that '....except you'?  What bit your hide today to make you kick a woman who is innocently working - while under the influence of loads of estrogen - while she's down?  She is a single mother of 2 kiddos, who she talks about nonstop.  I try to be interested, and really I am.  But she comes out with zingers at me about not being able to have children every now and then.  And she's a really loud, obnoxious person.  I should just let her have it, but that's not my style.  To silently hate her is, however.

And now is the time when I say as a Christian that I do not hate.  Anyone.  By the power of Jesus.  But I'm still human.  So I am working on laying down my anger at her at the feet of Jesus.  Jesus, please get her for me.