Mother’s Day..or the day that isn’t

I miss my mom..every day. I have no idea what kind of relationship we would have today.  We had our ups and downs and she died when I was 25- before we were able to have an “adult” relationship.  I don’t know how she would feel about where I am in life today or the things I have or haven’t done.  But I sure wish I could feel her love and support, hear her voice, telling me I’m going to be alright.

Tomorrow is Mother’s Day.  I have hated it ever since she passed.  It is hard watching other people celebrating someone that you no longer have in your life.  Still I would go visit her burial site, next to my dad’s,  and bring her flowers or just sit there to be near them both.  Someday I would bring my children here, tell them about her and share the love she gave me as a child.  This hope made the day easier to get through.

Over the years,going to church on Mother’s Day and seeing all the women stand up when the pastor would ask for all the mothers to stand up was awkward but I knew someday, I too would be standing proudly- happy with my kids around me. As the years passed, I stopped going.  The older I got, the more I felt eyes on me.  What’s wrong with you? Where are yours?

In my early thirties, I dated the wrong guys. I was always upfront about wanting to be a mom someday. They said they wanted to settle down, have kids- just not right then. One even wrote me a letter about the white picket fence life he pictured in his head for us.  I moved my life for him- he turned out to be an abusive alcoholic. Got out of there thankfully.  Another one wasn’t ready- we broke up because I wasn’t going to waste more time. He came back a few months later saying he had changed his mind.  Guess what? Turns out he hadn’t.  Another year gone. Thanks for leading me on and wasting my time.

I finally met my husband- or reconnected I should say.  We’ve been friends since I was 19.  He was friends with a guy I dated briefly in college and he and I stayed friends.  We were in touch on and off for 20 years.  I heard about his horror stories of dating and his first wife (Woo!  She was a crazy train ride) and he heard about mine. I called him when my dog died because I’d had her in college and he had known her. We lost contact for a few years but he found me on Facebook. We’ve been together almost 6 years and married for almost 4.  He has always wanted kids and would be a great dad.  So I had hope again.

That didn’t last long.  Five weeks after our wedding I had a miscarriage. I was only 3 weeks at best and had only known for 5 days.  I’d never felt so alone in my life.  Everything I had ever wanted to be was gone.  My doctor’s office treated me like a number.  My husband didn’t know how to handle my grief and I laid on the couch feeling like a failure, betrayed by my body.  Every woman I saw outside I felt could see what a failure I was.  It felt like his parents would look at me and think why did you marry someone that can’t even do this one simple thing?  I wanted, needed my mom.  She had had 2 m/c’s after my older brother- even though she never talked about it much because I had been too young when I found out, I knew she would have understood. She would have held me while I cried. But she wasn’t there and that made me feel worse. Strangely, my boss at the time, was one of the best with me, I was back at work before we got the “official news” and when the call came, he made me go home.  Told me to take as much time as I needed.  He never asked  for details but for months afterward, he always checked in on me.  As we started fertility treatments, he was always there with a supportive word.

Treatments didn’t work.  At least what we could afford. IVF was too $$ for the risk of it not working at my age.  I got a 2nd opinion and was advised my eggs would probably not work.  So we went on the embryo donor waiting list.  A month before my 42nd birthday I decided to get tested one last time. If my #’s were good, we were willingly to try again.  4 days after my test, I fell and shattered my knee cap.  Then I got the call that my #’s were better than ever. FML.  Ahhh the irony.  As I healed over the months, my husband started talking about the whens and ifs of having a baby.  Crazy man- I’m barely walking on my own! A pregnant girl with a cane??? What a sight that would be. I guess he wanted me to have something to hope for. All it did was break my heart.  He wanted a child and I couldn’t give him one.  Failing, yet again.  During this time I have watched several people who swore up and down they never wanted kids- would never have kids- they couldn’t be tied down like that, have them.  Not fair.  Then my husband got sick- seriously sick. He had to have major abdominal surgery to take a mass off his pancreas.  Thankfully, it wasn’t cancer.  Fate doesn’t hate us completely. Or maybe it does because the dr’s still don’t know what is wrong. He still feels horrible and more tests are coming.  We are so in debt medically, we could pay for 4 adoptions or 6 IVF cycles at this point.  So even if my #’s were great and we had a 100% guarantee, there isn’t a chance in hell that we could  afford what would be necessary to have a child.  Again, failing.  And that’s all I feel every day.  Broken, failing, incomplete, unworthy because what my body should do, what seems to be so simple for so many (that don’t even want it) I can’t do.

So I hate Mother’s Day more than any other holiday ever.  Not only do I miss my mom, I know I will never be one.  And that is the hardest, most painful truth to overcome.

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Death of a dream

How does one survive the death of a dream?  The death of something that never was…never will be. The hopes, the plans…gone.  I have lived thru the end of relation and friendships, the loss of beloved pets and the death of both my parents. I never thought anything would be harder to deal with than losing my parents but this….is almost impossible. 

When someone dies, it is sad- sometimes horribly so.  You will always miss that person. There will always be a empty space that no one can replace.  But you will move on- you have your memories, pictures and others who also knew them to reminisce with.  All this helps to get thru the grief and keep them alive in your heart.

The death of a dream is way more devastating- there are no memories, no pictures. Just hopes and plans that are no more.  What do you do with that list of names you’ve created and edited a million times over the years?  Roll it up and smoke it? Might as well..no fetus here to harm.  And there never will be. I only have myself to blame.  I waited too long…wasted too much time…not on myself but on those who couldn’t or wouldn’t commit…I waited and wasted my dream away. How do you move on, move thru, move past that necrotic stupidity?

What happens to a dream deferred?

Does it dry up
like a raisin in the sun?
Or fester like a sore–
And then run?
Does it stink like rotten meat?
Or crust and sugar over–
like a syrupy sweet?

Maybe it just sags
like a heavy load.

Or does it explode?
-Langston Hughes

Fraud

I feel like a fraud.  For over a year and a half, I have been trying, hoping, praying for a baby.  I have been pregnant once my whole life..it happened 2 weeks after my wedding.  I had a miscarriage three weeks later.  We had only known for 5 days.  Since then, I have spent thousands of dollars on dr appointments, invasive treatments, tests, medications, accupuncture, supplements, books, therapy…I changed my shampoo, conditioner, deodorant, lotions to paraben free, all natural etc. I tried to eat more organically…anything that might help our miracle happen.

Nothing worked.  We couldn’t afford IVF but I was open to getting loans if it would work.  So I got a 2nd opinion…and  my answer.  No.  My age combined with my AMH levels took me out of the running.  He told me straight up I would be wasting my money.  While I appreciated his honesty, it is hard to hear that a genetic child was not in my future.  I am still grappling with it and whether or not I can move foward in our quest or be childless.  But that is a topic for another day. 

I have joined several support pages on FB- found some wonderful blogs by amazing,brave, funny women- all of which have made me feel less alone.  Everyone’s situation is unique and heartbreaking and together we find strength,understanding and love we haven’t been able to find elsewhere.  We are each others saving grace- we become friends with others who, if we were in  different circumstances, we might not have. 

The other night, in honor of NIAW, several of us got together for dinner- most of us meeting in person for the first time.  We all talked and shared our stories.  No one’s story was the same…everyone had varying reasons/events that had brought them to this table.  (one of which was a BAD doctor, so ladies please, if you are not comfortable, some inside voice tells you he’s wrong, you are being talked AT, not to, made to feel bad- LEAVE!!  Get a 2nd opinion!!) 

At some point during dinner, something started to nag at me.  I couldn’t figure it out..was I panicking that these women wouldn’t like me? Not really.  I looked at all the pretty young faces around me…BOOM.  Young..that was it.  I got home and felt like a freight train hit me.  I was a fraud.  I’m not infertile..I’m just old.  I waited too long and my window has slammed shut.

Am I angry? Yes.  Angry at myself for waiting for the right time, the right guy, waiting to be in a “good place” with a stable job and married.  Angry at the guy I dated years ago who accused me of trying to get pregnant to trap him (I wanted a baby but not without being married so no I’m not that type of person)  angry at my husband for not proposing earlier (he was gun shy from his first wife who did quite the number on him, including pretending to be PG and faking a miscarriage-which he didn’t realize till I had mine).  Angry at my doctors who never made me aware  when I was in my 30s that egg freezing was a possibility and a good idea!!!  Expensive yes, but compared to what IVF costs further down the road, not so much.

So here I sit, not even worthy of being infertile. I’m just stupid..and old.

Eggcellent..not so much

All day I’ve been wondering what’s so hard about Easter?  Sure, theres an abundance of adorably dressed kids everywhere running around on a sugar high but thats not much different than a trip to Disney, the zoo or even Walmart (except maybe not the adorably dressed part)  Its not celebrating parenthood, an upcoming birth or baptism.  Its a day to celebrate the resurrection of Christ…and of course eat candy and collect decorated eggs. Whats the big deal?  Mother Nature reminded me this afternoon when I went to use the restroom.  Whats the big deal?  Eggs.  They are the big deal.  And they’re everywhere..baskets full of ’em..pictures, ads, bunnies, kids with baskets full of EGGS.  This realization smacks me in the face as I sit in the ladies room determined not to cry. Eggs are everywhere but here..inside me.  Now I understand why a holiday full of eggs sucks.  I guess dear ol Mother Nature has a twisted sense of humor.

not normal

I have been lost this month..more so than usual.  I manage to get up, go to work, come home, eat..but I feel like a zombie.  I go thru the motions but all I want is to be at home hidden in my cocoon of blankets.  Actually what I really want is to be at home cuddling a cute little baby. But that hasn’t happened..and it doesn’t look like it will..ever. 

I think that is why the lost is worse this month.  We have run out of (affordable) options.  Previously I could keep a slim ray of hope- with every needle stick, poking, pushing,prodding there was hope, Every pill I swallowed  or inserted, there was hope.  Months and months of hope.  Even when each cycle ended in BFN, there was still hope..in the form of more pills, more needles, more tests… it has been the normal routine..for almost the entire duration of our marriage. (Thats a scary realization.) This month is not normal.  There are no pills, no needles, no invasive dr appointments, no hope.  I have no direction..I want to cry and I can’t. Except when I can which seems to hit me in the most public places..church, the grocery store. My husband asks me what’s wrong- I can’t answer.  It hurts too much. How can you speak your worst fear outloud?  How can i ever be ok with it?  I want normal..but a life without…is not normal for me.  How do I fix it?  Do I take out a loan? Go into debt seeking my normal?   And if it doesn’t work..as the odds I’ve been presented seem to predict…what then? Big debt, no baby.  Is it worth it? Should I?  How in the h.e.l.l.   do I move forward without my normal?

Stabbystabby

Looks like there is no sleeping in this weekend.  Woke up early, as usual when DH feeds the furbabies but back to sleep I went, thinking I could get in a few more hours before church.  Oh think again.  The littlest furs decided to have play time- right next to the bed.   So I kick them out and shut the door.  Ahhh sleep….except the Snore Monster from Hell has once again taken hold of DH’s body.  Seriously??!!!  If I can’t have kids(literally) I should be allowed the peace of sleeping in.  Maybe its God’s way of making sure I’m up and getting ready to repent for my stabby stabby ways these past few weeks.  It’s not me, God- its the Femara, The Menopur, The Needles, The Stress, The Sadness…. ok maybe its a little me but those things bring the stabby stabby to the next level.

Yes stabby stabby is escalating.  Entering into the 14th month of living in the Land Of The Barren.  Not as long as many, I know. But any and every month suck for all. And in those 14 mos, over 10 people I know have announced babies soon to be (this does not includes the crackheads I deal with on a daily basis- they bring a whole other depth to this unfair depressing disease). At least 3 of those 10  I heard say (before babies) they never wanted kids.  Some weren’t even trying. Some aren’t even married.  2 were trying- they are unwilling passengers in the same boat I travel in.  One was hugely successful on her first round of IVF- twins!  So lucky.  Do I hate her? No!  She is fun, sharp witted and after her many hardships she has overcome in life, she deserves this happiness. Am I jealous? Hell to the Yeah! But I’m ok with that.  One was not.  Which perhaps is another reason for increased stabbystabby- I was so hopeful for her- so happy when she got her BFP!  She and her husband have been trying for so long and been thru so much heartbreak.  Her family and huge group of friends have been so supportive and pulling for her…it was time! She was PG- maybe I had hope too!!  But last week that went away- just disappeared.  We were in the Dr’s office at the same time..she left before we did.  When I got in the car, I hit my head somehow- it really didn’t hurt that much but enough that stabbystabby unleashed and I cursed and cried, under the guise of bumped head. 

I find it hard not to be stabbystabby when I have always said I wanted kids, I waited to be married to start a family, I have been trying (just look at my quickly depleting bank account)- charting, timed BD(ohsohot), specialists, acupuncture,therapy, organic foods, supplements, …analyzing every detail, going over all the possibilities – its exhausting.  All the while others are popping ’em out like it’s no big deal whether they wanted them or not- and sometimes its their 2nd, 3rd, 4th rodeo ride.  Time to get off the horse, missy!!

Before I go try my last option- alcohol and some form of illegal substance- (just kidding…maybe) I’m off to church.  Hopefully that will calm the stabbystabby, at least for the afternoon.

My friend

I have a wonderful friend- who until today I’d never met in person.  I know her thru her blog and then FB.  Over the past few months we have texted and im’d several times a week- just to check in, see how the other is doing.  Yes, she is a fellow IF.  She has been struggling with it longer than I and has done several rounds of IVF/FET, which I haven’t.  She has been a great comfort to me.. she understands my angry humor or at least hasn’t shunned me because of it.  It is hard to find someone who understands and always listens, even a quick ohmygodineedtovent text while at work.  She is that person.  There are times when I think I must drive her crazy…I know she has given me more support than I have been able to give her. Support and understanding I will be forever grateful for.

Early on, we found out that we live within 30 mins of each other.  We even go to the same RE.  We have mourned the loss of our beloved Nurse Rainbows (she left the practice to be a stay at home mom) and complain about one certain person who works there (not the Dr)  But we have never met. Until today. 

We both had appointments scheduled this morning- 45 mins apart. They were there for an ultrasound- she had had a transfer a few weeks before and a BFP was the outcome!  Bloodwork showed rising levels so this was their next step.  Very exciting…and scary. We were there for another IUI.  Chances were slim she would still be there when we  arrived.  But as luck would have it, the office was slammed and she and her husband were still there.  The greeting was quick, we had to check in- there were others in front of us and once we could sit down, there weren’t even two chairs together.  Shortly after, they were called back.  She stood up, I smiled, and she pulled something out of her purse-” I have something for you” she said “in case you’re not still here when we get out” and handed me a magenta friendship bracelet.  (Magneta is the color for IF)  It was one the daughter of a friend of hers had made for her.  Awwww…I love it. After they went to the back, I moved to her chair. My husband looked at me quizzically.  I said “Shes pregnant- I’m taking in her baby dust”  The woman sitting next to my husband smiled. Our wait began. I tried to read my nook but concentration was not with me.  I tried to watch the tv but could not hear it very well- too much going on around me.  I looked up from my phone (yes addicted, thank you) at one point- maybe noise alerted me- to see my friend and her husband making a quick exit.  I looked at my husband and whispered ‘Was she crying?’ He nodded. My heart sank. I wanted to jump up and chase after her.  Give her a hug. Say I’m sorry- although I don’t think words can do much at that moment. Something, anything to help. But I did not want to invade their space- I don’t know her well enough to know if that would have been welcomed.  Instead I sat there and cried a little.  While waiting in the room,my husband and I talked more openly about her. He noted how tall she was- yes..and I am so short…we’ve joked that if we ever hung, we’d be very “Mutt and Jeff”  She is also very pretty. Her FB pictures don’t do her justice. 

This is a tribute to my friend.  A thank you for always listening.  A pledge that I will always be here to hear and listen to you. Many (cyber) hugs are being sent to you and your husband on this most difficult of days.  I pray that our futures are full of baby bottles,diapers, spitups and late nights that will consume our conversations and make us forget this pain!

Just one day

For just day I would like to not hear any pregnancy announcements, updates and shower news. I would like to not be inserted with anything- needles, speculum, catheter, ultrasound wand, suppositories and yes, my husband (sorry honey) I would like to not see any strollers, car seats, momies to be walking groups, baby food commercials- heck anything baby related commercial- (The only baby commercial that doesn’t make me want to cry, scream, tear my hair out is the E-trade baby) ultrasounds pictures, shower invitations, pink or blue bows on mailboxes of people I don’t even know. (and yes there are irrational moments where I wish I had a baseball bat for those mailboxes)

Is this a bit much? Perhaps. Do I need therapy? In it. But its how I feel right now. Back to back celeb baby news this morning has set me off (Seriously Maya Rudolph? Baby #4???) I know its not an intentional NA NA look what I can do, while you sit there all barren like. But damn if it doesn’t feel that way. But I guess someone has to make up for what we infertiles can’t contribute.

Have babies and pregnant women always been everywhere? I don’t remember seeing them every 5 seconds before. There are days, today being one them, where I wish I lived in a barren town- no kids, just adults, having adult conversations that don’t involve anything child related. Nothing to remind me of what my body can’t do.

I mean seriously, who wants to live their whole life for their kids? Bragging about their first steps, first words, first pair of REAL shoes, first day of school, the lead role they got in the school play or that last minute goal that won the game? Who wants to sit up at night worried when they are out in the car, alone, for the first time? Or at the first co-ed party? Or on a date? Who wants to worry about how the hell to pay for college? Or worry once they are at college? Or once they are out of college? And how to pay for a wedding? Didn’t you just finish paying off your own?! Who wants that first moment when they hand you their first child- your grandchild? A whole new mess of things to worry about. Thats a whole lot of stuff to be caught up in..who wants that??

I do.

Hiccups

Several of the IF blogs I follow have posts about how plans have gone awry.  I guess its my turn for the hiccup.  You would think with all the medical advancements, all the drugs we infertiles take, the weekly appointments, the temping, the charting,the testing- our bodies should be under control..medically speaking.  But no- hiccups happen.  Best laid plans…HA! 

I’m on CD11- scheduled for U/S tomorrow am to see how the follies are doing and to schedule our IUI (again)   This afternoon I tested for LH surge- just to check- really expected nothing- its only CD11.  I don’t usually have surge till CD12.  But not this cycle- big fat smiley face staring up at me.  Whats the big deal?  Well, its Sunday!!  In the afternoon!!  No one is in the office at this hour and no # to call on the voicemail.
I leave messages on both#s and email my RE…but will he check it?  PANIC!!  We don’t have any of necessary items needed at home for collection. (DH does not do well at the office)  Should my husband give me the trigger shot?  Do I take the last dose of menopur?  PANIC!!  I text a friend who sees the same RE and she advised to call the hospital and ask for whoever is on call for his department. Smart woman!  Panic would not have let me figure that out.  I do..they take message..his partner calls me within 30mins.  I’m a little annoyed that I have to go thru details- shouldn’t she know who I am? Didn’t she look up my info before calling? Yes, I’m a wee self involved at the moment.  All I can see is all the money we spent, yet again, being flushed away because my body isn’t working on the right calendar.  She tells me not to do trigger shot, yes to the menopur.  Call in the morning to set up appointment in the main office- they will do an U/S first to measure the follies, then IUI will be after.  My poor DH is going to have to do “the deed” at the office (main office is a good 40min drive and we don’t have the overnight solution that has been so helpful in the past) PANIC!!  She says I can go in the room with him- whatever he needs to be comfortable..um…joy? 

I won’t know till tomorrow- after I’m at work- as to what time this will occur.  Some articles I’ve read say IUI should be at least 22 hours after the surge(so that would be 1pm for me)..so what if they schedule it for the morning? Will that be too soon? PANIC!!  Now I wonder if my previous ones have been poorly timed.  One U/S a few months ago, he scheduled the IUI for a few days after- would have been CD16. I mentioned that may be too late- I always, always have lh surge cd12/13.. he advised me to monitor and call if something changed before procedure. Sure enough…hello LH.  I called, he set up IUI for the next day.  But that time he said TO take the trigger shot. ????? 

I hate hiccups..as a baby I got them very easily and it took hours for them to go away.  My mom would ask people to please not make the baby laugh.  I guess I shouldn’t have laughed today!!

ps- Thank you Unconcievably Blessed for helping me!!