Thursday, December 31, 2015

caution to the wind, etc. etc.

Yeah, so on a whim, and because I am all out of fucks to give, I took a pack of clomid this cycle.  Just 50mg.  I am still waiting to ovulate, and not even sure that I will, because I could land in the 25% of women for whom it causes annovulatory cycles, but whatever. 

My beautiful daughter turns seven soon and like every mother, I think, I spent too many of her infant days in a daze of my own.  She will likely be the only child I mother, and I have long accepted that I am lucky to have her in my life.  I think that since Celine's passing, I have done a better job of being truly present in her life.

As for writing this post on NYE, well, my hopes for 2016 are probably much like some of yours.  Drop a few pounds.  Inhale less coffee.  A personal wish for a D&C-free year would be lovely, and if the past few months are any indication, maybe that wish will be granted.  So therefore, it seems odd I know, to down my stash of fertility drugs.  And down them I will, I have two more packs to go, and will likely jack up the dose to 100mg next month.  But then I think I will feel done.  Here's hoping. 

Catch you all next year.

Friday, December 18, 2015



That's the word that my therapist kept returning to throughout our hour together.

For nearly four years I have been so focused on controlling this outcome, and being angry about my lack of control.  And now that I am emerging from this battle I have waged against my own body, I am even more angry at the time I have lost.  And being a control freak on all accounts (I'll go ahead and own that description), it's no wonder.

I think back to other periods of my life that caused me to break down.... throughout my years at school (up to law school) when I had problems with standardized tests because I have a weird cognitive disability... when I was a muscular, less-than-willowy dancer and didn't get cast in the parts I wanted..... when I fought with my parents because I couldn't make them see the world through my eyes....

The common link in all of these things is the lack of control I had.  In each of these examples I contorted myself backwards and forwards to change the outcome, to try move the world around me by sheer brute force of will.

Anyone who knows me personally can tell you that when I fight, I fight hard. 

But that's why I cry so soften these days.  And that's why I have fallen into this deep depression spanning oh so many years.  And because I have spent so much actual time pregnant (past 8 months notwithstanding), it's been even more impossible to climb out of this trench.

You know, lately, I've been so angry at not falling pregnant as easily as I used to, but in fact it could be a blessing in disguise.  I mean, fuck, there is no reason for me to expect any outcome from a pregnancy than another miscarriage (or worse).  To find myself dug into an even deeper hole.

I need my life back.  I need to re-engage with my old friends (though I was instructed to be a little less harsh on myself for being so MIA - this is, according to my therapist, the response of anyone dealing with trauma).  I need to accept that I have no control over this facet of my life.

Can I still be a little angry about that?  Sure, a little anger is okay because what has happened to me has been profoundly unfair.  But lots of people are dealt all kinds of hands that are profoundly unfair. Including many of the people who read this blog.... so go ahead, be angry with me!  We have earned it.

It has been and will continue to be a complete, unsolvable mystery, why these are the experiences I have lived.  I cannot control them.  I am waving the white flag on RPL and infertility. 

Monday, December 14, 2015

an experiment

There's a woman I work with who I consider my spirit animal -  and my ersatz therapist here at my office.  I can't say exactly how old she is (maybe 68?) but she is close to retirement (though she's been saying that since I started working with her four years ago).  She has dedicated her life to improving the working conditions and lives of thousands of people in our city.  She's funny as hell and often pretty cynical.  We get along swimmingly despite the fact that I know for a fact she wanted nothing to do with me when she first met me.  In her words, I "schooled her" on forming snap judgments about people.  Anyways....

She is ridiculously jolly during the holidays, which would appear to go against the grain of her personality.  But as she recently told me "I just had a battery of tests and I am definitely healthy and will stick around for at least the next few weeks - I take nothing for granted."  She recently gave this sort of Holiday Season pep-talk at a staff meeting, instructing us to be thankful for what we have, given the struggles of so many.  She's adopting a very poor family she met recently and not just for Christmas, because she could figuratively "smell the poverty" on that beautiful child's mother.  In light of our vast riches, we are supposed to plaster a smile on our faces and suck it up (her words, by the way).

Of course, I was having NONE. OF. IT.

She knows my story.  She is one of the few people who knew about Celine.  She knows about all of them, and the meaning behind every ring on my right hand.

So I paid her a visit after that staff meeting, and because we love each other, I told her in my usual turn colorful turn of phrase exactly what I thought of her instruction for jolliness.  About how it was asking a lot of people to force cheer.  About how much of a struggle it is to sit with grief that is unacknowledged, in my case for babies who are nameless who no one mourns.

"When have I not acknowledged your grief," she said gently (after informing me that I happen to look pretty ugly when I cry).  "I mourned with you and I know the grief doesn't go away.  You're not alone."

Well, uhhhhh.....ok.

I won't go into the details of the rest of this chat, but here's where I'm at:  I'm gonna take on an experiment.

I am going to try to approach this season the way I used to, before my life took a dramatic turn into sadness city.  I know, I'm a little late on this, as Hanukkah has just ended (don't worry, I still went through the motions for Niblet), but there's still room for some wide-eyed wonder with oncoming Solstice and Christmas celebrations. 

I'll be honest with you: Thinking about how I am not pregnant  right now - roughly eight months since my last D&C  - wasn't helping matters this morning on my drive to the office.  Even though we haven't been trying hard, the fact is that being brutally honest with myself.... I wanted to be pregnant by now.  So the second I felt the tears well up I switched the radio station to NPR and actively listened to stories about carnage in Afghanistan.  Look, I am not proud of my need to feel better about my own life by comparing it to the misery of others.... but this is the only tool I have in my kit right now.

I don't want any reader to think that I am in any way instructing them to put a smile on their face this season.  I am certainly not suggesting that anyone who is dealing with the hell of infertility or RPL or a TFMR just "be thankful for what they have."  Gah, it's nauseating when you hear it from others and I will never say it to you.  I PROMISE WITH EVERY FIBER OF MY BEING, I will never say that to you.

But in my case- and narcissist I am -I have been exactly HERE - IN THIS SPOT - for three and a half years straight.  That's a tremendous amount of time to carry anger and bitterness.  And it's just not working for me anymore.  As my dear friend at work aptly noted, I'm an ugly crier. And I've said it before on this blog, but I am so angry.  And so sad.  Like, a lot of the time, more time than I care to admit (so much so, that I am afraid to calculate the actual hours in the day that I exist in this state of being).

The anger and sadness have also had the unfortunate effect of leaving me failing to maintain important friendships.  Like, I feel like I don't even have the words to pick up the phone and talk with a few key people in my life (my two best friends who happen to live out of state pop to mind).  And THAT makes me feel so additionally shitty.  RPL and Grief have stolen my former life from under me.  I have to take it back and that starts with reaching out to a few people who have given me so much of their love in my life.  And say I am sorry for being so MIA.  And promise that I am here for them. I want to be back.

So I am going to embark on this experiment.  I don't know what to call it.  "Positive thinking" sounds trite. Blech actually.  Maybe it's just pushing my little demons away for a bit?  Seeing what it's like to actively try to live without them on a more regular basis?  I can shake them when I am exercising or in ballet class.  My goal is to shake them off when I am not immersed in music, sweating.  How to do this, I'm not sure.  I guess I have something to discuss in therapy this week.

Stay tuned.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Dreams. Ick.

I tend to have vivid, violent dreams in early early pregnancy.  Like, featuring zombies, and dead people on buses, and other things that cause me to wake up in a cold sweat in the middle of the night.

I am fairly certain I won't be pregnant this month because my dreams, well, they're just weird and whacked out. Two nights ago I was hooking up with a man who was not my husband (if you're reading this honeybear*, I promise I was grossed out). 

Last night I dreamed that I was visiting my original OB for a new pregnancy.  The one who delivered Niblet (or partially delivered Niblet, because labor was taking too long and her shift ended.  Don't ask).  The same woman who oversaw my partial molar pregnancy and performed the D&C that sealed my cervix shut and then refused to believe that I could have Asherman's.  (Thanks Dr. J!)

In the dream, I was begging to get in for monitoring because of my miscarriage history, but then the scene changed and I was at the hospital lobby where I delivered Niblet, but it was hosting some sort of flea-market/bazaar, and I lost my purse there with all of my belongings and starting crying, bawling.  And I tried to explain to a women at a cash register that I was having a miscarriage and needed my purse because it had my ID and credit card and insurance cards, and she laughed at me, and then I pointed to my hand and showed her my rings and she laughed at me some more and with a huge grin told me that I should stop getting pregnant because all of my babies die.

Aaaaaand SCENE.

 So, Dr Freud, what the hell is my subconscious telling me?

I am thinking that if I ever get knocked up again I should avoid my old OB's office like the plague.  And this was something weighing on my mind recently, because a few friends are newly pregnant and I have had a passing thought or two of "where the hell would I go if I were knocked up?"

And then of course the usual "why do I even imagine myself pregnant when the outcome is sure to be the same?" cracks into my subconscious as well.

While this dream was awful and nerve-wracking, it doesn't fall into the pattern of dreams that I usually have when I am carrying a fertilized egg.

* = not an actual term of endearment used with my husband

Friday, December 4, 2015

A Baby

Recall my amazing Pregnant Best Friend At Work (PBFAW)?  I may have noted somewhere that she had her baby, about six weeks ago, so she's just back to being my best friend at work.  Who may not return from her maternity leave, burnt out on our office's brand of mission that is relentless on your personal life, particularly when attempting to mother an infant.... Anyways, today I paid her a long-overdue visit.  With a grocery bag of food in tow I knocked on the door, and it opened to my gorgeous friend holding in her arms the most. beautiful. baby. ever.  (And I say this as a parent who fully believes we are probably losing out on some big bucks by refusing to exploit Niblet's looks for cash). 

So I spent the good portion of my afternoon holding and trying to soothe a crying, gassy, uncomfortable baby who wanted none. of. it.  All so that her mama could eat some pie (yes, I am a good friend) and deal with an insurance benefits snafu that is typical of our employer (snafu is an understatement, they accidentally dropped her from our insurance plan).

A few hours later I left her house in a strange state of mind.  Lighter, because seriously, I just want to eat all of the yummy babies, and I truly love my friend and felt good about doing her a good one.  And happy that I wasn't triggered by the afternoon, that I could in earnest change a diaper and a onesie without bursting into tears.  But with the lingering sadness that obviously comes from wanting to hold one of my own for so many years. 

Baby S and I had our picture taken and I texted it to husband.  Who marveled at those cheeks and eyes. 

If only you could turn off the longing with a switch, right?