Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Angry Day

Snippet of conversation prior to the start of a meeting with the heads of my organization, in a seemingly innocuous conversation about cats:

VP:  You only have one cat?
Me:  Yes.
VP:  You only have one child too, right?
Me:  I have exactly one child and one cat.
VP: You need to have another child.
Me:  Silence.   Maybe Princess would like a friend.

Yeah, I had no idea that I needed another child. If that's the case, we're in a lot of trouble, and thanks VP for the helpful life tip. This must be why you make the big bucks.

People, y'all better hide from me.  I am internalizing a lot of angst and anger today, and there's a good chance I will spontaneously combust on your ass.  

Monday, June 29, 2015

Not with a bang, but a whimper, continued

Last week I had to attend a work-related social event.  There were quite a few young babies there, in a addition to PBFAW and another pregnant co-worker, one I don't know well who is due a month ahead of PBFAW.

"I bet you want another, any plans to have another Niblet?" said a colleague with a sly sort of smile, as I held a particularly juicy 10 month old.

I just shook my head negative, and tried to disappear.... And was frankly a little surprised, because I suspect this childless colleague is in the midst of her own war with infertility and probably hears some god-awful version of "where are your babies?" on a daily basis.  But she is a prickly sort of chick, so I don't see any great heart-to-heart in our future.

You know, a year ago when people asked "will you have another?"  I would say, "I don't know/we'll see/time will tell"....or something along those lines.  A response that purposefully left the door open.

Lately, I find it too painful to leave the answer so vague and up to the fates, and frankly, dishonest (because people around here tend to assume I am much younger than I am).  I need to cut people off at the pass, just like I need to wind down my own expectations, and cut myself off at the pass.

Because I can't go on like this for another three years. 

The hope isn't dead - hell, I've just popped my usual cocktail of vitamins and supplements - but it's fading quickly.  I think that three years and five losses, on top of my age, has just made this mountain seem so.... insurmountable.  Niblet was a tiny nibble when we started down this path.  Barely three.  Now she is a walking, talking, reading, dancing six-year old who will enter the first grade.  There are moments where I see her future face (she looks so much like me and my Mom), and I stop and realize that my days of mothering a baby are over. 

No, I'm not completely giving up. I've said it before and I'll say it again: I have seen many amazing stories of women bearing healthy children in their forties after years of struggle.

But I can't live each day with the expectation that I will be one of them.  No matter how hard I try (and believe me, I try), I can't visualize myself happily and healthily pregnant with any good outcome.  Hell, I can't even visualize myself pregnant right now without going into a cold sweat. I am guessing that repeated trauma will do that to a gal.

When I was pregnant with Celine, in the wake of a great Panorama screen and in the throes of morning sickness that were deja vu to my pregnancy with Niblet, I heard an inner voice telling me "she might be the one, she might be the baby I hold." I told a few people I was pregnant.  I bought a maternity dress on sale at Target.  I began to imagine my home office as a nursery.  This was all just a week before our lives would crash before us.

You can see why I have some trust issues with my inner voice.  She's clearly fucking useless. Or at the very least, untrustworthy.

Yay for therapy.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Get the show on the road

I'm 11-ish DPO and most definitely not pregnant.  I will not lie to my readers.  All of my talk of NTNP aside,when I visited my acupuncturist yesterday it occurred to me that I was falling into a very old habit of expecting myself to be pregnant.  I looked at the calendar and realized that I had my last D&C in April.  My first period afterwards arrived in early May, so my first cycle where I even began to think about pregnancy was in May.  So, I've gone two cycles since a verrrrrrry looooooong miscarriage without a pregnancy. Seeing as according to the statistics recited to me by some former docs I have a roughly 2% chance of falling pregnant in any given cycle, this shouldn't be much of a surprise, right?  Maybe because I have spent roughly a third of the last three years with HCG coursing through my veins, I feel a little weird when I am not just a little bit pregnant.

Lemons to lemonade, friends.  If I want to really focus on getting fit(ter), there's no time like the present. 

Back to ballet tonight!

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Hot Summer Blahs

I wish I had something profound or insightful to share these days.  I certainly have nothing newsworthy.  It's 600 degrees outside. I am back on the wagon trying to get my diet back in order (because bathing suits).  I am peeing on sticks because that's what I do, and they're negative (I'm somewhere around 9dpo for anyone wondering).  I don't feel like I am pregnant, which usually means I'm not.  This would be the last month I could conceive if I wanted to give birth before I turned 42.  Think of that for a moment.  The years are creeping up on me fast.

Sunday I swam laps at the pool.  Tonight I am teaching a zumba class at the office.  Tomorrow I see my acupuncturist.  Thursday I do something that I haven't done in a little over a year:  I am taking a ballet class.  Wish me luck, I am so out of shape for ballet purposes it isn't even funny....

Maybe this is my version of a midlife crisis.  But all of this is better than picking up cigarettes and a gin and tonic habit, right?

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Not with a bang but a whimper

It's really fucking hot out there.

Summer is here.  Niblet graduated from kindergarten.  I have lost a few pounds and gained a few pounds, all in the last month.  Niblet had an ear infection, I am fighting a sinus infection.  Work stress is at an all time high right now, and I am pulling all-nighters to get my act together.  I took some Robitussin DM last night and all I can say is whoa, I feel high and loopy even a full day later.

And I am about to ovulate.  Husband and I have done our parts to ensure that we didn't miss my fertile period... but... my heart isn't in it.  I just don't expect anything positive to come of it.

Maybe it's healthier this way.  Maybe this is how you let go of a dream, not with a grand proclamation and sweeping theatrical arm gestures, but slowly, quietly, you begin to just accept. Deep in your bones. The yearning is there - the yearning never leaves - but you find grace in the gifts you have been given, and inch by inch let go of a drive that has consumed you.

Three years.  I have been on this god-awful roller-coaster for three years.

Five rings on my hand.

I am tired.  Maybe I am speaking out of exhaustion right now (I'm talking to you Robitussin DM).... 

It's not that I don't believe it's possible.  Strangely, after everything I have been through, I actually do.  A 43 year old friend just gave birth to a beautiful baby girl after three losses.  Other stories of hope loom out there, it's like they poke their heads in on me from time to time to remind me that anything is possible.

But this goal I have been working towards, to slowly but surely accept that my fertility story won't end on a joyous note of miracles, well... this goal post is more visible each day.  I think that in the wake of saying goodbye to Celine, I was so driven by this need to rewrite the ending.  The universe hit me with a series of astoundingly awful blows, and I was all, fuck off universe I am going to keep rising up again like a Phoenix and show the world what can be achieved with nothing but grit and perseverance.

But perseverance has a limit.  And all the perseverance can't stop my body from aging.  I'm fit, I'm healthy, man, I am downright youthful.  The narcissist in me posts the occasional selfie on facebook and revels in the comments about how I never seem to age.  But I am aging.  For whatever reason, (and frankly, I think there is no reason), I was dealt a hand of recurrent loss in my thirties that I couldn't shake, and I have carried this hand into my forties.

If I didn't have Niblet I think I might fight harder... NO,  I know I would fight harder.  I would pursue IVF and stim my ovaries to kingdom come in order to have a shot at motherhood.   I would sink every penny I have into donor eggs if necessary.  But this is money we really don't have.  And the battle scars of IVF are not the tale my body is supposed to tell.  And being completely, brutally honest: I just don't have that kind of fight in me.  

Saturday, June 6, 2015

head space

I have been crazy busy this week - attending an industry conference, presenting and then participating at a second conference, working long hours to reform a ridiculously fucked up healthcare program in a state that shall remain unnamed.... all of this, one would think, would serve to get my mind off of da babies.

Yeah, not so much.

People asked to see pictures of Niblet, which I am always too happy to show.  She is ridonkulously cute.  And yes, cliches be damned, really growing up way too fast.  My heart hurts at the thought of her being the only child I ever mother.

Then on facebook land, not one but two women in my demographic are pregnant.  One, a graduate from my high school class, the other, a slightly older woman I have known for years.  I am thrilled for them both.  Both are experiencing the joys of a first pregnancy.  Both are naively posting ultrasound pictures on their pages.  Thankfully, neither can comprehend the terror of wondering if your pregnancy will last another day even when you've entered the second trimester.  Neither knows the lingo of every fucked up thing that can go wrong when you are carrying a baby - from PPROM to Pre-E, Incompetent Cervix to cord mishaps to TFMR.  When you've lost a baby (or more than one) pregnancy itself becomes a minefield that requires many many therapy sessions.

This week I am trying to let go.  I got a basically normal period.  While I am for all intents and purposes, "still fertile" I am working double-time to imagine my life as is.  Our little family of Husband, Niblet and Princess.  It will never feel complete, Celine certainly looms large in my mind quite frequently.... but I have lately wondered how I would (will?) handle the stress of another pregnancy if I made it to a heartbeat.  What would every day be like when you expect it to be your baby's last?  How does one function in a state of limbo?  The week between when I received Celine's diagnosis and we finally decided to spare her suffering was the worst week of my life.  No, for reals.  Walking around as mother and mourner, is a state of being that I wouldn't wish upon my worst enemy.

Do I really want to go there again?