Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Outed. And If....

So I have a friend here on my side of the office building who is strictly gluten free as a result of suffering from Celiac's disease.  We talk a lot about food - I'm not Gluten Free, but avoiding Folic Acid as I do, I can somewhat relate to her frustrations with the industrial food chain.  Well, last week we were in a conversation with another friend here, about doctors, and how fucking useless they are.  And I outed myself.

You read that right.  Without going into many of the gory details, I explained that I had lost five babies since coming to work here, babies that were lost during our specific highlights of social justice campaigns we run.  I noted for example, that a group picture sitting on a bookshelf behind us, taken at a fancy office party celebrating a victory, actually features me 11 weeks pregnant.

I think I was mostly stunned at how stunned they were.  I am not sure why, but I always assumed more people knew.  Granted, these chicks happen to be younger, and have never been pregnant, but I guess I always imagine that everyone else's spidey-sense when it comes to pregnancy is as attuned as mine is.  I've been schooled now.  No justonemore, you really aren't a walking freak.  It really is a hidden pain, and you have hidden it well.

(Conversations are often a two-way street, by the way.  I learned that one of these women suffers from epilepsy- all to show that I'm not alone, our hidden lives are truly hidden).

But even with my comfort with these friends, I have a game plan if I find myself knocked up again.  (Notice I used IF - my period is arriving today, I haven't been knocked up in three cycles.  Maybe this is the end?)

The main feature of the plan is to hide.  And that means not confiding in anyone here.  Not PBFAW.  Not the lovely ladies who now know my sad history.  Not even L, the incredible woman who saved my life when I needed her most.  

When (ok, fine, IF) I lose another pregnancy, I know from experience I have people to turn to, and that is a huge consolation.  But having been down this road before, I think I need to live the potential stress of a potential future pregnancy in complete and total real life isolation. I think that the only way I can make another pregnancy work at all is to keep it from work.  Entirely.

On a related note, I am training a new policy analyst we hired.  She is nice, and she is also an AMA mother to a young daughter.  And we attended a conference a few weeks ago, shared a room, and I couldn't help but notice one of her pill cases.  Which greatly resembled mine. And there was a large pill in there that sure as fuck looked like a fish oil capsule.  Sigh.  When I interviewed her I got the sense that she might have been seeking a job change for the same reasons I sought my own job change nearly four year years ago.... So, yeah, I am also steeling myself for the possibility of working side by side with another woman seeking to get knocked up in a few months.

Nothing but fun times ahead.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Looking at the calendar

So I am 11DPO and going to throw out that I am likely not pregnant this month.  Like, I am about 95% sure.  This is the third cycle since my miscarriage that I have officially been NTNP - which in my world looks a lot like having a fair amount sex around ovulation and then calling it a day.

Would I love to be pregnant?  Of course.  When you spend a fair amount of your life pregnant, and you're 41 and find yourself not pregnant after a few months of unprotected sex, you start wondering, am I veering towards age-related infertility?  Is this the harbinger of the real end of the road? Which is rationally speaking insane and ridiculous, in part because I only have something like a 2% shot of even achieving a pregnancy in any given cycle, but there you have it.  Yes, this whole fucking experience and the thoughts that permeate your brain along with it are insane and just slightly ridiculous.

But all of that aside.....the calendar is working in my favor this month.  A July pregnancy would have created an estimated due date perilously close to Celine's.  A July pregnancy would likely wreak havoc on my August beach vacation.  Mind fuck city.  I would be due for viability scans at the same time I should be lounging on the sand without a care in the world.

Also, there's this:  As much as I expect every pregnancy to, well, fail..... I can't help but wonder "what if it didn't?"  What if I went walking through the woods one day and happened upon a magical unicorn, and somehow I carried this one to term?  Well, that's an interesting scenario as well.  Because my maternity leave would run out when I would be expected to return to work during a hugely busy season at my office - I'm talking 60 hour work weeks including weekends.

So that was a long winded post to say, I am not knocked up.  And while that forces me to stare my own mortality in the face, it's probably for the best.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Board hiatus

The newest member of my family entered the world safely this weekend.  So huzzah for that.  If I could only find the fortitude to go through the baby section to buy a gift.  I know I will do it eventually, but man, does the tactile sensation of holding infant clothing STILL fucking set me off like a waterworks.

On other fronts, I think I need to stop visiting the baby center boards.  I have mostly gone to participate on a few TFMR forums, which have been incredibly helpful.  But watching the women I shared this awful experience - one by one - find their way out of the hellhole they were in with healthy pregnancies is starting to depress me.  And the fact that I am getting depressed is making me feel terribly guilty, because I should be thrilled for them, so what am I, some sort of sociopath?

I feel sort of wandering and homeless.  Aside from a few voices in the wilderness who have also been dealt this insanely whammo hand of Asherman's Syndrome, RPL and a side of TFMR, all while AMA, it's hard for me to participate in many of the threads.  I feel like recounting my sad tale to a bunch of women ttc isn't instructive for anyone, expect to say, wow, some people can really be on the fucked up end of statistics!  But you probably won't be!  I hope not!

I was also here - at this exact place a year ago.

Take a look at that linked post.  I'm living a time warp!

So at the end of the day it's the same Rx that I have to move forward with with a few new add-ons.  Joy in Niblet.  Better eating.  Better health.  Feeling good.  Dance.  Sun.  Swimming.  Therapy.  A fuck ton of vitamins.


Thursday, July 16, 2015

Planning your day

My cousin is pregnant with her second baby, a boy.  She is being induced tomorrow.  I know this because of the evil that is called facebook.

I love my cousin.  She is my only cousin actually (as opposed to Husband, who has six first cousins). We are both only children.  We always lived on opposite sides of the country, but from childhood on, when we do see each other, time is pretty meaningless. Make no mistake, we couldn't be more different and our lives look completely alien to the other, but we have a really special bond.

She has my wit.  A very dry sense of humor, self-deprecating, cynical.  We come from a long line of Jewish dinner-table comedians, and we both married men of WASPier persuasions who probably found us exotic.

I last visited her with Niblet after my third miscarriage, the natural one.  It was the one that I prayed and prayed would happen before I got on a plane.

She knows about the first three losses.  "I can't believe this, can't doctors do anything to help you?" she naively asked. I told her what happened, we were sitting by a pool in the sunshine.

I never shared my further traumas with her.  We like each other on facebook and occassionally email, but face to face has always been our best bet for communicating (ahhh, we used to write quaint lengthy letters to each other, those were the days).

Her 18 month old daughter's middle name is also Celine, named after our Parisian grandmother.  I always wonder if she would take offense that I also used the name in more tragic circumstances.  But then I think of her....She's pretty chill, and would likely understand.  Translated from the french, Celine does invoke the heavens after all.

She looks wonderful too, radiant.  She has presented a facebook profile of calm about the pregnancy.  A joking picture of his nursery, noting that she only completed three weeks ago.  Lots of funny posts about stuffing herself with  ice cream and pancakes.  She is one 37 year old mama who clearly hasn't had to worry about things like gestational diabetes.

The boy she plans to deliver tomorrow was an oops.  I learned this too, on facebook. She had no intention of mothering two children under two.  A part of me is thrilled that she got the healthy baby out before any potential AMA related issues could ensue.  Because if I had her in front of me, and she was not pregnant, I would have warned her not to wait.  Not to press her luck.  I waited until I turned 38, and look where it got me.

A part of me is insanely jealous. 

Tomorrow, I will go on facebook to make sure that she has safely brought her boy into the world, and then I will comment on her facebook page welcoming him to he family. 

And then I will need to cry.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Working on the anger

The sadness can be heavy.  It sneaks up on me at unexpected times.  It reminds me of my cat Princess, who somehow ends up under my feet when I am standing in the kitchen doing dishes, or walking up the stairs, and I'm all "Fuck, Princess, how did you get there?"  And I am sometimes startled by the sadness, but I can regain my footing, and relatively quickly at that.  Are there days when I need to bask in it a little longer?  When my brain isn't as quick on the draw to pull out of it with a joke, or a smile, or a recognition of something deeply good?  Sure.  That's why I am hooked on the exercise - the natural high I get moving through space to music acts as a pretty good counter to the sad.

But the anger, well, the anger is a whole lot different.  Because the anger feels like a beast that is living inside of you and it is always hungry.  And it will eat anything.

See that lady standing by the bus stop yelling at her two-year old.  Hear about a doctor, maybe an OB, who may be spreading misinformation about RPL?   Have a person make an innocuous comment about your daughter being an only child, and have to clench your fists behind your back to hide the rage?

It doesn't help that I am sort of professionally angry.  I mean, my career is intrinsically linked to being angry about economic injustice.  More than a few people have commented that my "passion"  - which I think is rooted in anger  - makes me very good at my job.

But the other thing that makes me good at my job is my undying hope.  I talk a lot about hope on this blog.  Having it.  Losing it.  Defining it.

We all know what this little guy has said (and fine, I will out myself as a total geek):

At the risk of angering the Star Wars fans out there, I have mixed feelings about this quote.  I mean, sure it's classic Tao.  And  fear can be a terrible force.

But I also think to deny the fear is to deny humanity.  If I break it down, YES, ABSOLUTELY I am afraid of what the future holds. Is it another miscarriage?  Am I going to have another experience that chips away at my sanity?  When someone makes a comment with a negative connotation about my daughter having no siblings, and I clench my fists, is it because at my core, I am deeply afraid that by not giving her the life I thought I would give her, her future has been compromised?  Or that her childhood memories will hold so many unanswered questions about why Mommy got so weird every few months?

And when I take even another step back, I am fairly certain that the anger I feel for the medical establishment is detached from fear.  I mean, doctor after doctor has offered me a plate of disappointment.  And being on the wrong side of statistics with "struck by lightening" scenarios over and over and over and over again, well, as they say, "it is what it is."    Personally, I am pissed off about it.

Yeah, I'm furious.

And if I am honest, I am not at a place right now where I can overcome it.

We're all works in progress, right?

Friday, July 3, 2015


So yeah, I took another ballet class and came home and was all "why the hell did I stop doing this?"

Friends, my therapy is ballet.  I know, weird, but having practiced it for my entire life, it is actually a meditative activity for me.  The muscle memory, the music, the strength, the stretching, the balance, the disciplined moving through space .... dancers out there will get what I'm saying.  And I am back with a teacher who worked with me for many of my adult years, who gets my body and makes corrections just right (she happened to be the sad sack who had to schlep me to an ER a few years ago when my calf muscle snapped while doing jumps, but that's another story....)

OK, this isn't the blog about creaky-kneed middle-aged ballerinas, so I will make my point.

Everyone and their brother out there instructs you to find your joy.  But those are just words, and I know that they are meaningless when you are not getting pregnant after god knows how long, or coming off a failed ART cycle, or mourning another lost baby.

So here's your homework assignment: You have to identify what. those. words. mean.

Clearly my escape  - my crack really - is ballet.  The zumba classes are a hell of a lot of fun, keep my heart healthy, and allow me to fit into my clothes (sort of).  They also get me to smile and shake my ass with the women in my office whose company I actually enjoy.  Communal ass shaking after a long day at the office is a good thing.  But it's nothing compared to the brand of release I get doing something that I have loved to do since the age of 6.

Your crack will be something else.  It may be yoga (which I will admit is SO NOT my crack).  It may be gardening.  Knitting.  Hiking.  Running.  Drawing.  Organizing your closet.  I have no idea what your crack is, but I assure you, there is something out there that puts you in a frame of mine that leaves you peaceful and fulfilled and yes, joyous when you're done.