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The kicks and flutters are a constant now. It is so reassuring at 23 weeks that this little boy (yes, another boy!) growing inside me is active and healthy. I’ve had many tests and ultrasounds in this pregnancy, way more then in my first one with Silas. I think the combination of the IVF, my age and what happened the first time, has dramatically changed the way this pregnancy has been approached- by doctors and by us.
I also find myself comparing the 2 pregnancies often- because that’s what we do. Different but similar aches and pains, the familiar flutters, the swollen feet and ankles, the need to stay fed and hydrated, to be well rested but still active and the never-ending amazement that I can really grow a baby inside my own body. I really still can’t believe it sometimes! I truly feel lucky that I get to be here, a place I’ve been dreaming of for so long in my life.
The doctor/midwife group we chose this time around is just different. It is a more clinical setting, but the warmth is there and the care is impeccable. Some visits have been 5 min long- while others I spend at least 30 getting my questions answered. They are on top of it, making sure that every need we have is met. I even got a call today randomly from one of the midwives, just to see how I was doing. She asked how all the doctors have been, if we’ve been happy with our care. She even asked if they were pronouncing my name correctly! So great. I feel like we are in good hands and very hopeful that this little guy inside me will end up in my arms screaming and healthy.
But as all of us in this community know, nothing is definite and things can go wrong, up to the very last minute. I’m still feeling pretty hesitant that this pregnancy can really end with a live baby. I won’t keep anything for him in this apt until he is alive & kicking. What do we really need? I don’t feel the pressure to set up a baby room (we actually didn’t do this last time either), or have clothes or diapers or anything here until it happens. All the stuff given to us last time is safe and secure at my inlaws. I am confident that when we need it, it will be brought to our home, ready and waiting for us. I refuse to register and really have a hard time even going to that place of decision making. What stroller, bassinet, car seat do we want? Beats me. I checked out what some of my friends have, asked a few questions, but don’t feel like it’s necessary to go there quite yet. I know, I know, a week before I deliver, I’m sure I’ll feel frantic if I don’t have this stuff, but for now, I just want to get through each day. I have lots of people who want to know what I’m going to do about work, daycare, etc. I am not planning a thing. I have some ideas and I know I want to take off some time, but to actually plan what we’re going to do after that is just not going to happen. I planned last time, and then had to take it all back. It was brutal. It just feels better to leave it out there and we’ll figure it out when the time comes.
I’m way more tired this time around. I think being 40 and pregnant is really hard work! I wish I could exercise more, but it’s so hot on the east coast and so hard to get motivated to even take a walk! I am still teaching the kids yoga and am pretty much using it as my form of exercise right now. Every downdog feels heavenly, but my body definitely doesn’t move the way it’s used to! That I remember explicitly from last time. That crazy feeling of not being able to bend and stretch like I am normally capable of.
I know my sister does not want a big announcement made (sorry J), but her pregnancy, only 7 weeks behind me, is so very exciting in my family. My parents are beyond thrilled and daily texts from my mom are not unusual.
“How are my girls feeling today??”
It’s so amazing to see my parents so happy. They have struggled to deal with the grief and loss of their first and only grandson while staying hopeful that their 3 kids in their late 30’s will procreate sooner rather then later. They have to listen to all their friends who only want to talk about grandkids. So now that both of their daughters are preggers, it is a really happy time in the Rosen family. When I start to think about the thought of “What if that IVF cycle didn’t work?” I get a feeling over my body that is so horrific, I don’t even want to go there. It happened and it’s all good. But it is still so hard to even believe sometimes.
We just got back from a fantastic trip out west for a good friends wedding in Lake Tahoe. So beautiful and so much fun. Of course we also stayed a few days in SF- bar hopping, coffee tasting, seeing friends, eating burritos and just enjoying ourselves immensely. Meeting new babies (me with gifts in hand finally!) and seeing pregnant friends, all with a huge smile on my face and excitement for them that was real.
As always, the love and support we get from our friends & family, and those of you who read my words have kept me going. So I just want to say thanks.
I’d like to thank my friend Angie from Still Life With Circles for putting this project out there for us to participate in. Angie is an incredible force in this community and her blog was one I read daily way back when. I don’t read many blogs these days. I write on mine every so often, but it feels different then when I first lost Silas. Back then, it was my lifeline. It was what kept me sane. I devoured blogs, commented daily and made a group of friends who also lost babies around the same time. Our lives have progressed differently since then. Some went on to have subsequent babies pretty quickly, others, like me, took a lot longer, while still others have yet to conceive again. Though our paths were different after our losses, our stories & comments kept each other sane and able to move forward through the early months of heartache, pain and devastation. I will always cherish those beginning friendships and the strong connections we made. These women just got me, they knew what I was feeling and were there for me no matter what.
I sometimes go back and read my early posts, from when I guest wrote on my husband Chris’s blog Elm City Dad. I was raw, angry, sad, depressed. You name an emotion and I felt it. I was honest though about how I felt. I knew people in my life were reading, people who knew and loved me. It didn’t change what and how I wrote, I knew that they actually used our blogs as a tool to help them deal with us. We told it like it was- putting it all out there with real, honest emotion.
I think that because of our blogs, we are still super close to all our friends. It was their way of connecting to us in helping to know what we were going through. Our friends found it easier to contact us because of it. Having email, text, fb, gchat and blog comments gives us so many outlets to communicate and I appreciated every single one of them. I didn’t need my friends calling me. I didn’t need people to worry about “how I was doing.” My blog shared that, and if you took the time to comment or email or text, I let you know that I was ok. They knew and understood I couldn’t see their new babies, couldn’t send a gift or call/write to congratulate them. The jealousy, oh the jealousy. This part of me was a huge loss- not being able to see, hear, watch, read about babies. They were everywhere and it was almost impossible to navigate.
Those early days were so incredibly hard. I couldn’t lose the weight, couldn’t get pregnant, didn’t have my son and really couldn’t make sense of this world that came crashing in on me. I am one of those people though that couldn’t hide in my bed all day, every day, even though I thought that was what I wanted. Chris and I went out, saw friends & lots of music. Leaned on our amazing families & friends a lot. I practiced yoga, went to bootcamps & therapy, and continued my work as a children’s yoga teacher. I struggled through it all, but I think that because we continued to live life, through our loss and grief, really brought us to where we are today. We are still devastated by our loss, but we don’t wear our grief on our sleeve. We worked through it, around it, inside and out. I will always miss him, til the day I die – but my heart isn’t aching like it did in that first year. Sometimes I can’t believe I’m still standing, and other times I am proud to be still standing.
I am finally pregnant again, exactly 2 years & 8 months later. It took a really long time for that to happen. I think for me, it made this journey a bit more tumultuous. My time was spent grieving the loss of my sweet little first born son Silas and then it was spent trying to get pregnant again. After awhile, it turned into just trying to get pregnant again. Silas was there in my heart, but his loss wasn’t my focus anymore. I was determined to get pregnant and after a year of trying on our own, it was time to venture into the land of infertility drugs. I couldn’t believe this was our life. First we lost our child at birth, and then we can’t get pregnant? That just seemed truly fucked up. I mean seriously? We tried every fertility treatment out there, and finally, became pregnant after our 3rd IVF attempt. I am currently 13w4d and was feeling great until last night. We had a bit of a bleeding scare, but found out I have placenta previa and it’s pretty common. Now I am just told to take it easy which I’m attempting to do.
This pregnancy is fraught with the feeling of it being our last hope to have a child. It finally happened and I wont let anything take it from me. Last night, right after the toilet was filled with blood, I sobbed with the thought of having to start this process over again. It can’t possibly be happening. But the bleeding stopped, the ultrasound showed a heartbeat and a healthy baby, and I’m now required to chill out. At this point, I will do what I’m told. Chris wants to wrap me in bubble wrap and put me in a closet and not let me out til I’m ready to birth this baby.
Now that I’m finally here though, I am finding a new relationship with Silas and his loss. I still get choked up when I see my friends kids who were born around when he was. I sometimes can’t believe I could be parenting a 2 1/2 year old. That always breaks my heart. I am constantly now required to answer the question “is this your first?” This brings up all kinds of feelings and emotions about whether to share and break someone’s heart? or pretend Silas didn’t exist? It’s a very challenging question to answer, no matter how I choose to answer it. I always hesitate and I still haven’t figured it out it in the moment.
Silas taught me so many lessons. He taught me that everything in life doesn’t always work out & things don’t happen for a reason (sometimes shitty things just happen). He taught me patience. He allowed me to fall even more in love with my husband (which I didn’t think was possible). I gained a better appreciation for what I have & more empathy for those who are suffering. Over time I’ve learned that when shitty things happen to me, I don’t have to blame myself for it. Blame and guilt, 2 huge emotions that come with loss. I worked through those emotions, and while I’m not completely healed of them, I don’t beat myself up anymore. Silas Orion will always be a light in my life, will always hold a space in my heart and will always be the big brother to the next little Gallagher to come our way.
Don’t you think that would make a great reality show? I mean, there is 16 and Pregnant, Pregnant in Heels, I Didn’t Know I was Pregnant- it goes on and on. But no 40 and Pregnant? I’m sure the networks are on it. Especially the whole IVF thing- I know there are a few shows out there that have dealt with this issue a little, but it seems that people still haven’t a clue what it’s like. Between all the injections, ultrasounds & meltdowns, I think it would be a hit. And if it finally works (after 3 or more tries), then it can turn into that feel good story everyone would be rooting for. Throw a prior dead baby into the mix, and yeah, this story gets compelling. It’s all good though- I feel so blessed right now. I keep saying that, but it’s true. I guess I never thought I’d be where I am at 40. I remember my parents turning 40 when I was a teenager! So weird to be in such a different place.
This whole process to get to this point has been challenging, but here I am, 11 weeks and still going strong. I feel good- not so much nausea but enough to make me feel pregnant. I am showing already (and have been for a few weeks) which seems crazy to me but I’ve been told that happens with your second. I still feel like I just look fat, since I haven’t been eating too great (with all the bday celebrations and all) and not really working out these last 3 months. But I am accepting that this is where I am right now and soon enough that baby bump will show prominently and I won’t just have to blurt out “I’m pregnant!” when someone asks why I’m not having a glass of wine or beer like everyone else around me. Chris cracks up everytime I say it- like I am trying to find an excuse to tell people (maybe I am?) but I’m at that awkward stage where I just don’t look pregnant to the outside world, but feel just big all over. So I choose to share my excitement and happiness and it feels great to do so.
The dreaded 40th bday came and went and it actually was pretty awesome. The day itself (4/28) was perfect- with a delicious breakfast cooked by my sweet husband, an awesome lunch at my fave New Haven restaurant with my girlfriends, and then dinner with my siblings & their spouses at my brother-in-laws cousin’s restaurant in Westchester. My sister was out here visiting that week so it was perfect! I never get to spend quality time with both sibs and so it was truly special. The dinner was amazing and was a great way to celebrate this milestone in my life.
For the weekend, we went to Montreal with our friends. It was fantastic! What a beautiful and interesting city. We ate and drank (some of us) our way through the city. Just perfect!
And then it was time to celebrate Chris’ bday. It wasn’t a milestone like mine, but b-days still deserve much celebration and for days we did. It’s fun having back to back b-days, but it does get tiring and my body definitely doesn’t feel awesome from all the treats and heavy foods.
So now back to normal- or what is turning into a new normal. We finally picked our doctors/midwives and we are pretty psyched. We found the perfect group with the perfect balance of what we are looking for this time around. All the advice you all gave was super helpful and very much appreciated. Starting to figure out how to answer “is this your first?” by just seeing how I feel like answering in that moment. It comes up at least once a day and as soon as I start to show more, will probably happen constantly.
Mother’s day was yet again, really really hard. I had my breakdown while emptying the dishes- which I think happened the same time last year. I think it just really hit me at that moment how much I miss Silas and the time I lost with him as my son. Parenting a dead baby is hard, but hits hardest on a day like Mother’s day where everyone is celebrating and it is EVERYWHERE for weeks. I know so many friends who lost their mother’s at a young age, and then now all of us who lost our children- and with all the lost soldiers as well, it seems to be more of a sad reminder of who we lost then anything else. But I do try to cherish what I do have, and that is an amazing mom & mother in law and I feel blessed for the 2 of them in my life.
Waiting patiently to be out of the first tri. It’s almost here and I can taste it. In the meantime, I am FINALLY finding the warmth I so badly missed. LONGEST WINTER EVER. The sun is out, the back door is open, the kitties are playing in the yard, the garden is starting to be planted and I can finally wear my sundresses again. YAY!
Been very excited to finally write that here. Except that instead of feeling that pregnancy joy, I’m feeling that anxiety that comes with some HCG levels that aren’t going my way.
So we found out last Monday that we were pregnant, and not only that, my HCG levels were really high. We were truly elated for those first 2 days. That little secret smile that I just couldn’t contain. We shared our news with all our friends and family who have been on this journey with us. We made so many people happy and heard so many tears of joy being shed at our expense. It was quite overwhelming and felt so deservedly good. It has been quite the journey to get here.
The 2ww was hard, but I took care of myself. I did my restorative yoga every night & kept my 2nd chakra candle lit whenever I was in the apt. I ate well, I rested and I imagined those 3 perfect embryos (yes, we had 3 perfect ones!) sticking (or at least 1-2 sticking!) We allowed all of our friends to share in the process and to send us sticky implantation vibes as much as possible. And it worked! It really worked.
So I went back on Wed for my 2nd beta and unfortunately, my levels didn’t go up as much as they wanted them too. They thought there was a possibility that there were multiples and we lost one. Made complete sense to us, so we felt ok about this. They wanted me back again on Fri. Problem was, we had a 7am flight out to Florida to visit my parents and to do a blood test, I’d have to change the flight to that evening. It didn’t make sense to us to lose a whole day of 85 degree sunny Florida weather to find out that maybe it was bad news, or possibly it went up. Either answer wouldn’t change a thing, so we decided not to take the test and to just go and relax and not think about it (yeah right).
Florida was awesome. We had a fabulous 4 days with my parents, eating, beaching, relaxing, reading- everything you do on vacation. It was perfect. The weather was perfect which never happens to us. Every friend of theirs congratulated us, but I thanked them with the statement “I’m cautiously happy.” It was hard to be truly happy, with the not knowing, and expecting a toilet full of blood at any given moment.
So early Tues morning (after getting in at 4am) I ran back up to Hartford to do another blood test- the 45 min drive each way has been one of the hardest parts of this cycle like I knew it would be. They called me in the early afternoon to tell me the levels still didn’t go up as much as they’d like and they need to see me for an ultrasound. Yikes. All I wanted to do was take a nap after not having really slept the night before. But get back in my car is what I did, and I drove back up to Hartford, shaking and attempting deep breaths the whole way there.
The good news was that there was nothing they could see in my tubes- if there was, it could have been an ectopic pregnancy which is really bad. They think they may have seen the sac in my uterus, but still too early to tell. I was at 5w2d which is super early.
So now, I just have to wait and see how it goes. I go in again on Tues for another beta and ultrasound. I guess that all our disappointments these last few years have added up and I really can’t be optimistic about this. I am protecting myself from the pain I will inevitably feel when this pregnancy turns to loss. It’s so hard for me to stay hopeful and positive. How can I? I usually am. Chris is the hopeful & positive one right now. He has been amazing for me. I really don’t have any left in me and I am using everyone’s positive energy to get through this.
Everyone knows someone who knows someone who had a slow rise in their HCG levels who then went on to have a baby. But in my heart of hearts, I don’t think that’s going to be me. I want it to be me, but that hasn’t been me in years. I am getting myself so prepared for what I think is the inevitable loss, that I almost forget that I am pregnant right now.
I have yet to turn that switch on in my brain that accepts that I’m actually pregnant. The side affects that started during the 2ww b/c of the progesterone injections are still around, which doesn’t help b/c I don’t feel like they are real. Even if they are. I pray every morning to wake up nauseous. Then I would know that my levels are rising.
It feels good to write this out, to share this tumultuous beginning to what could be the child we have been dreaming of all these years, or just another loss on this endless path.
The last few days have been filled with crazy, crazy news. They found some regrowth in the same tumor spot on little Carly. That enough would make you just want to throw things. Then I got some news about a fellow babylost mom who was pregnant and lost her baby midway through the pregnancy. Really? like, seriously? And then I got some more pregnancy news and then some babies being born news and all these people in my life having their second already since we lost Silas. It’s all just very hard to take, all piled on top of a few days. Somehow I’m still standing.
We are starting IVF again. It’s our 2nd fresh cycle but 3rd altogether since we did that frozen one way back when. We’ve determined this isn’t the be all end all of me getting pregnant. We could not possibly add any more pressure then we already feel going in to this round. If it doesn’t work, we’ll cross that bridge. I’m happy to be in this mind space for this cycle. I know what to expect, I’m not scared, I’m ready.
2 1/2 years out and still trying. How do we stay hopeful? Any suggestions? It’s so hard. I expect not to be pregnant now. It makes the letdown month after month so much easier. I don’t cry much anymore when I get my period. I just expect it. A few weeks back I decided to stop trying so hard. No more acupuncture, herbs, teas, vitamins. I just don’t want to keep putting in effort, time, money, etc when it hasn’t worked. So this month we just said fuck it and whatever happens happens. I’m starting IVF anyway if and when I get my period. We decided to try a new clinic- and this one isn’t having me do a rest down before the cycle. So I just start right with my period. Time to shake things up a little, when things aren’t working, change it up.
I am still having bad days mixed with good days. There are moments where I stop dead in my tracks and think- wait, did my baby really die? I still can’t fathom it sometimes. I also cannot believe I can’t seem to get pregnant. I know everyone in this IF world thinks that- but after our loss, it just seems so unfair. I got pregnant easily the first time, no issues. I wasn’t so young either. How many times can I say this? but its 3 years since Silas was conceived. We’re in that phase of his pregnancy where it was so new and so exciting, but 3 friggin years ago! So long ago. I want to feel that again so badly it hurts.
I am going to do restorative yoga, just like the NY times article said to do. (yeah yeah I’m a yogi, I should know this but I generally don’t do restorative). I’m going to stay calm and not stress. Even when I’m poking myself with needles day in and day out & driving almost an hour to the clinic at 6:30am on these really cold winter mornings. I’m going to breathe, and relax and take care of myself. (At least this is my plan).
We now have a few trips planned- Florida to see my parents, and this is immediately after we find out if this cycle worked. Then we are going to Costa Rica for my 40th and for Chris’ bday and so I can do a teacher training. We also have a trip to Lake Tahoe planned for the summer for a wedding. So all of these trips are something to look forward to, regardless of whether I’m pregnant or not. I have chosen not to add that to the equation anymore. It did me no good when planning for my sister’s wedding. It made it complicated and depressing.
I choose to let these little things make me happy these days. It’s all I can do to stay sane.
I have come to the conclusion that I’m just not a great blogger. I have had many, many posts written in my head, but just have not been able to make the time to sit and write them. My focus these days has been on my business. So with that, I am working so hard to keep up with my Full of Joy Yoga blog- that takes a lot of effort on my part so go check it out and see what I’ve been up to lately.
I really can’t believe another year will come and go and we are still in this same damn place. When we took a break from fertility meds this summer, it was to get me strong, healthy and regular. Now almost 6 months later, that has been accomplished. I have a great acupuncturist who I see weekly. What I’ve found fascinating is that I’m back on a full moon cycle (is that tmi?). It’s definitely a step in the right direction though it doesn’t keep me from feeling frustrated and devastated every month I’m not pregnant.
The most upsetting part in this for me right now, is that my insurance will only cover 1 more fresh IVF cycle before I’m 40 and that date is slowly creeping up on us. I need to have that cycle completed by April 28. Which means I need to meet with our dr. and then basically start the whole awful process again next month.
I have finally gotten to a really healthy place, I am feeling hopeful it can happen naturally, yet my insurance has to dictate what we do. I cannot turn down a free IVF cycle. I have to do it and do it feeling calm and ok. It’s hard though, it’s stressing me out and pisses me off and I hate that I have to have my life revolve around insurance rules.
So that’s where we’re at. I wish my disappearance was because I was pregnant. It seems like every other day I am finding out about another pregnant friend. It is hard to be happy for them but even harder to not. So I just am (but after a good cry for myself). Facebook continues to be a minefield that can either entertain me or make me want to throw shit. But for some reason I continue to torture myself day after day.
Luckily Phish has decided to play a lot on the east coast, we have been trying to see as many shows as we can afford. As much as I love the music, it also allows my mind to wander and sometimes in ways that tear me to pieces. I had a blast these last 2 nights, but at the same time, almost brokedown and lost my shit multiple times. I don’t know how to be anymore. I feel as torn up sometimes as I was the day we lost Silas. I think these last 2 years I just have figured out how to fake it. Don’t get me wrong, I do laugh and have fun, but that layer of loss and sadness is always there. Sometimes I just hide it really, really well.
After having to put down Beans (unbelievable right?), we got new kittens Puck & Purrsephone from a friend. They are super cute and lovable and definitely have given us something fun to focus on. New life in our home is good.
Somehow there are still people out there reading- which is amazing to me. Thank you for sticking by me, even when I feel like I have given up on myself. As down as I can get, the hope is still there. Chris and I are a team, and even when times get tough, we are in this together. We will make sure that we will have our family, and I am going to make it happen in 2011, no matter how or where or what, it will happen.
The song Sorrow by Pink Floyd came on my ipod today while I was driving and I thought about how that word just nails how I’ve felt this summer.
Yesterdays -all of a sudden- fall weather threw me for a loop. After all the heat and humidity, to get this burst of fall sent a pit to my stomach that is unmistakable. It is that feeling of dread, that feeling I’ve felt only once before and that was last year this time.
The change of seasons now, of summer to fall, will always signify the impending birth and death of Silas. I remember that feeling all too well of hanging in our yard with our various friends and family members, weeks after Silas died, watching the leaves and acorns cover our yard. This time of year will never be the same again. It just feels too soon for it to happen. It’s still August – I just wasn’t prepared for it.
Both Chris and I felt it yesterday. We didn’t even have to talk about it, but we acknowledged the change in the weather and that deep, dark pit it left in our stomachs. It’s been a tough summer for me. I haven’t worked all that much, and when I have, I’ve felt like I’ve lost my passion a bit. I’m a lost puppy right now. In between 2 lives. One that I’ve lived and one that I want.
It makes it really hard to be satisfied and fulfilled when you are treading in that in between place. I can’t ever have my old life back. The easy-going fun with friends & music & innocence. I don’t have that life I’ve been wanting now for what seems like years. We’ve been living here in New Haven for almost 3 years. This longing for a child has been with me for longer then that. We started trying way back when we returned from our 3 month honeymoon in SE Asia. That seems like a lifetime ago and a really long time to be wanting something.
I am taking a trip out west in a few weeks and I’ll be gone for almost a month. I’ve had that need to get away for a bit, to maybe find those parts of myself that I lost. I have my sister’s bach party in Vegas, a quick stint in LA, our friends wedding in Napa, some SF time and then my sisters wedding in Colorado. Instead of the back and forth, I decided to make it a west coast journey, with time off to recharge, renew and let go. Chris will be coming out for both weddings so as soon as I start missing him, luckily I’ll get to see him. Being without him will be hard, but I know we’ll manage. It’s really the kitties I’m worried about. I miss them when we’re gone overnight!
The strange part of all of it is that we’ll be apart on Sept 25. I am doing a Kids Yoga teacher training that weekend in Berkeley and Chris will be home in New Haven. I know it will be hard for us to be apart on that day. But every single day of my life is hard now, so really, how much harder will that be for us? It’s just how it worked out.
Last week we rented a beach house with friends for a few days. The Phish shows we saw were really fun, but the real highlight was getting to swim in the ocean. Oh, how amazing it feels to dive in and under huge waves, and ride them to shore. I felt like I was able to leave behind some of the sorrow and grumpiness I’ve been holding inside me these last few months. Then yesterday’s winds and cold came and brought it right back.
I tried really hard to not pay attention to my cycle this time around. But since it lasted for 40 excruciating days, it made it almost impossible to ignore. Days 32 & 33 I thought, “hmmm, where are you period?” I know you are coming. Days 34-36 I thought, ok, this has happened before, I don’t feel pregnant, you must be coming any minute. Days 37 – 39, ok, well, now it’s really really late. I must be pregnant. Right? BFN. Ok, so I’m not. Where the hell are you then? And onto day 40, I finally drank some ginger tea and bam, there she was. And so it goes. Story of my life. If I’m not going to be pregnant, then why can’t my periods just come on time? Why do I have to be fucked with? So unfair. Of course I googled “late period after failed IVF” and a shitload of posts from every baby/fertility site came up. I guess I should have done that a week before and spared myself the torture of thinking, am I? Is this normal?
I’ve been doing the acupuncture, chinese herbs, red clover, red raspberry leaf & nettles tea, royal jelly, false unicorn root path and so I just assumed all that would have helped my cycle get regular. Even though I am taking all these herbs and eating the right foods (though I have not given up beer- I have to have a little fun right?) and all that, I also did not pay attention to my cycle at all. I didn’t even know I was late until I went to my acupuncturist who said, oh, today is day 32 of your cycle. What? Oh, how ’bout that. I was proud of myself for not counting all month and not paying attention to any of it.
And look where that got me.
So, as my sorrowful summer comes to a close, I am going to continue to stay thankful for all the little things I do have in my life right now: Chris, the kitties, being back to my pre-baby weight (yay!) and a super fantastic Vegas weekend to kick off a few weeks of much needed travel.
Yes, it is true. IVF #2 did not work. Like a fool, I decided to test myself earlier in the week and it was a BFN. I know that didn’t really mean it was a BFN definitely, but I had a meltdown anyway. I think I knew in my heart of hearts that it was better to get the meltdowns done early, that way I wouldn’t have to ruin the weekend ahead.
We have a wedding to go to at Hunter Mountain, lots of good friends will be there. Friends we haven’t seen from SF in a long, long time. I was hoping it would be as much celebratory for our friends getting married as it would be for us – but it’s not. So this morning’s hpt didn’t shock me. I still went in for a blood test to be sure, and the phone call came and again, it was what I expected.
I have been mentally preparing for the inevitability of this news. I did not put all our eggs in this basket. I did not assume the 2nd time would work b/c everyone kept telling me that it does. I have been living with disappointment for almost 2 years. From the day Silas died, things just haven’t let up.
We work hard day after day to smile, laugh, have fun, live life. We have to. But it gets to be too much sometimes. During my meltdowns, I didn’t want to make myself feel better. I didn’t want to do anything except cry and be sad. Talking about it with my therapist, she said that was a really healthy way to go through my pain. To not hide it away, or go around it, but to just be in it. It seemed to work, because the next few days leading up to today ended up being ok- I must have gotten it all out. I cried a lot in the car on my way home from the clinic today, but then got home, crawled back in bed with Chumby and just moped.
Now here I am, doing some craft project I have to get done, attempting to stay sane in this intense heat. The heat- man that on top of everything else has just killed us. I think b/c of how hot it is here in the Northeast this week, nothing seems ok. When its this hot & humid and things already seem bad, it just makes it worse. I love the heat, but this has been really, really hard.
This FET cycle was pretty easy. We went to see 4 Phish shows in 6 nights, while still working and sometimes even staying over at friends or camping. I was able to do my injections when needed, and managed to be ok emotionally. It was really fun and totally worth it, even though the running around and lack of sleep was hard on us. But I think because of that, all of a sudden it was transfer day. It kind of snuck up on us this time around.
These last 2 weeks though have been much harder on me emotionally then I thought it would be. The lack of exercise has really taken a toll. Each cycle, the 2 week breaks have been getting harder- I am not very good at taking it easy. Somehow I feel like it’s my own fault it didn’t work again. Like maybe I shouldn’t have lifted that, or walked there, or eaten that.
We have decided to take a break with all this fertility bs. Just give ourselves some time to just be with each other and not have the pressure of injections & appts.
I won’t disappear. I need this blog and my writing to keep me sane. Thanks again for all the support.
That stands for Big Fat Negative for those of you not familiar. I’ve become a regular lurker and sometimes poster on the Resolve fertility message boards. It took me a while to figure that one out, even though I have become quite familiar with the BFN month after month. I was hoping for the good ‘ol BFP but alas, bad news again.
It’s been a tough journey to say the least. An IVF cycle is challenging on the body, mind and spirit. It takes a toll – especially because it’s a super long process and then getting a BFN out of it, well yeah, that’s just a devastating blow. The days following those results aren’t so pretty either.
I’ve been in quite a funk since then. We are trying again, but this time we’re doing a FET (frozen embryo transfer). I’m getting good with all the acronyms and there is quite a lot in this IF world I’m in. This cycle is way easier on my whole being- it’s shorter and way less meds. I’m not poking myself with needles every day or ingesting tons of hormones that fuck with my moods.
Everyone wants to help me this time around so I am getting some Reiki, some other healing energy work, some bodywork, acupuncture and lots and lots of love. I am working incredibly hard to just stay somewhat relaxed through this cycle. Luckily we have a few Phish shows in our near future, hopefully the healing power of music will help.
We keep going forward because we have to. I mean we don’t have to, we can choose to stop this whole thing right now and just see if my body decides to cooperate at some point in our future. But I don’t want to wait anymore. I want it yesterday and because I can’t have it yesterday, we have to do everything in our power to make it happen. And even that is a crap shoot as we have now learned.
I have placed my entire future on a perpetual hold. My therapist reminded me today that I need to live each day. You would think that is a pretty easy thing for someone to remember to do, especially for a yogi who’s entire mission is to be present. But I am constantly in the future-
“when I’m finally pregnant, then….” and
“when I finally have my babies, then…”
and it’s all I do these days. This funk I am in has washed over me. I am struggling to work, to be social with friends, to even care about anything else going on. When I think about the oil spill, or Haiti or the inhumane treatment of animals, it tears me apart in ways that may even be unhealthy. I can’t go there because it’s too sad and right now my life is sad enough that I cannot even handle it.
But then somehow I manage to get shit done each day. I dread going to work, but then I see the kids and most of the time they make me laugh or give me hugs or tell me they love me and yeah, that’s why I do what I do. Those moments I sort of forget my funk and my determination to be sad. Or I’ll get an email about a new school, or a new business idea pops into my head and then I dive in and let it take over for a bit.
But even when I can fake it, like I feel like I’m doing most of the time now, I just don’t feel the same anymore. I feel pretty ravaged.
I haven’t written in a while because I really really wanted to write about good news and not the same old shit that keeps happening month after month. I appreciate those of you who continue to read and comment and stick with me. I don’t think I would have stuck with me after all this time, so kudos to those of you who have.
And dammit, I will have good news soon (there is a smidgen of hope still left in there!)
Making plans is the worst these days. As I look at dates to schedule things, my mind constantly goes to “well, I could be 3 months or 5 months or 6 months pregnant then so…..”
It makes living in the present almost impossible. But I have to make future plans- trips we are taking, weddings, teacher trainings I will be giving, work plans for the summer. There are all kinds of things happening that I need to make plans for, but when the possibility of pregnancy enters the equation, things can get pretty complicated. It takes me to places I know are not healthy and really just fucks me up completely. I have been patient. So so patient. I am losing patience. I am nearing the end of this extremely long IVF cycle and yet I am about to lose my mind.
The thing is, I have been doing this to myself for the last year and a half. Making these future plans, with always the thought in my mind of being pregnant. But now since we are doing IVF, it makes it that much more plausible. The success rate is way higher and all I hear these days is about so and so who got pregnant through IVF. Which then gets my hopes up, which I don’t want to do. But it’s so damn hard.
I know the meds are the culprit right now. I have become super emotional and weepy and can’t seem to hold it together. Working is a challenge, though it is keeping me busy and distracted. Relaxing when I’m told to relax is nearly impossible. I spent the weekend trying to take it easy, but I found myself too antsy to do it. I read a lot, but I also felt the uncontrollable urge to keep straightening up the apt, or working in the garden, or just doing things other then relaxing.
It’s all so confusing. I have to stay hopeful, but if this first go at IVF doesn’t work, I’m not sure I will handle it very well. It’s a very long and tedious process. It’s expensive (even with all the awesome coverage), the meds are extremely hard on my body and mental state, and it’s just plain hard.
We’ve gotten through the bulk of it. The waiting game? I’m over it. I’ve been through this waiting period time and time again and I keep thinking that every move I make could be the thing that causes it not to work. The other day I pretty much convinced myself I injected the wrong medication. It’s like if it doesn’t work again, I have to have something to blame.
“Maybe I shouldn’t have dug those holes to plant my Brussels sprouts” or
“I shouldn’t be teaching all these kids yoga classes right now” or
“Am I eating the right foods? Not enough water? Too much salt? or
“Why can’t I let the apt get a little messy?”
But if I don’t plant my seedlings, or teach my yoga classes or let the apt get messy, I give up that control and I need to have control of something. Because right now, I don’t seem to have control over whether this will work or not.
It’s all about the control isn’t it?