Sunday, July 25, 2010

Gravity = Infertility

I was never a fan of American Idol. I just couldn't listen to these people do cover songs, some badly, and watch them be humiliated by Simon. So when So You Think You Can Dance came on I was thrilled. I've always loved watching people dance - not dancing like people in a club because that is just people having sex standing up (which, on a side note, probably some of them ended up magically pregnant - maybe I should rethink going club hopping!) but real dancing. Ballroom, broadway, jazz, etc. It's amazing to see the commitment dancers have and to see how the human body moves. It's beautiful and interesting all in one. I fell in love this show. It was so enjoyable and fun to watch.

So I was a few seasons in when they did this one routine. This routine not only brought me to tears, but made me full on cry. It was so amazing, so gut wrenching and so truthful. See the routine was about addiction and at the time, my younger sister was battling an addiction to heroin. She was in and out of rehabs, stealing, getting arrested and cutting us out of her life. It was so painful knowing that we couldn't do anything to help her and to way to show her that we cared was to do nothing. There were times we didn't know if she was alive or not and had NO idea where she was. At this time, it had already been a long and painful two years for all of us. I was obviously never able to see things from her eyes. I knew this was a struggle for her, but never realized just how bad the struggle was. And I know it sounds corny, but this routine opened my eyes to her pain and it really just broke my heart. Here was this thing that had a grasp on her, wouldn't let go and she was drowning from it.

Not only was this routine danced absolutely BEAUTIFULLY, the song was so fitting at the time.

Following this, my sister hit an all time low and she almost lost her life. It would be another year before we got her back. However, I'm happy to say that today she is 9 months clean and doing SOOO well. (I'll get a little more into this one day - it's still really hard to talk about.)

I've come to love the song (Gravity by Sara Bareilles) that was in this routine. I was listening to it the other day and as much as it reminds me of the pain my sister went through, I couldn't help realizing that the words fit for any struggle. Then I realized that the pain, the addiction in the dance, for my sister, is infertility for me. We all weigh this on our hearts, our souls and honestly our backs. We are victims of the pain it brings. We want to let go. But we can't. We think we've moved on, forgetting the daily hurt only to have it drag us back down with the sight of a BFN or a pregnant woman or another event, holiday, birthday without a child. The lyrics of the song don't fit perfectly, and I'm certainly not comparing infertility to addiction, but the pain is there. The hold of being childless and trying so desperately to have a family is there. I look at it like I'm reaching for happiness in my life, trying to find it without having to think of not being pregnant every single day and yet it's something, that keeps me down, makes me drop to the floor and feel ... that thing is infertility, my gravity.

Something always brings me back to you/ It never takes too long
No matter what I say or do/ I still feel you here 'til the moment I'm gone

You hold me without touch/ You keep me without chains
I never wanted anything so much/ Than to drown in your love and not feel your rain

Set me free, leave me be/ I don't wanna fall another moment into your gravity
Here I am and I stand so tall/ I'm just the way I'm supposed to be
But you're on to me and all over me

You loved me 'cause I'm fragile/ When I thought that I was strong
But you touch me for a little while/ And all my fragile strength is gone

Set me free, leave me be/ I don't wanna fall another moment into your gravity
Here I am and I stand so tall/ I'm just the way I'm supposed to be
But you're on to me and all over me

I live here on my knees/ As I try to make you see
That you're everything I think I need/ Here on the ground

But you're neither friend nor foe/ Though I can't seem to let you go
The one thing that I still know/ Is that you're keeping me down
You're keeping me down

You're on to me, on to me and all over/ Something always brings me back to you
It never takes too long

In case you want to hear the whole song, here you go.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Taking the plunge!

So I called over to the RE office and made our initial IVF appointment. August 10th.

This isn't our "IVF consultation" - that apparently comes later. This appointment is to discuss my background again and basically refresh his memory of us. Also I think they are doing this appt because my period is due August 11th and she thinks he is going to want to start me on BCP so I would have to take it starting that cycle. There are IVF meetings on Monday nights to discuss cases and come up with protocols and he would go over my chart and THEN we would come in for our IVF consultation the following week - two hours. Two hours of paperwork, meetings, med instructions, financials, more paperwork, u/s, etc.

I'm taking the plunge on this meeting before confirming the insurance information. I figured we get the insurance info on August 1 and then I can send it over the office and get the basic info confirmed. I'm not sure how much the doctor gives the insurance company - does he give them my entire record? Do they make the determination right there or later? Ugh. I wish I knew.

I can't believe I actually made the appointment. It almost feels like I'm not really going to go through with it - I don't know why. My excitement is now nervousness - nervous that this next step is happening. It was so easy to talk about it as a far away event, but now that it is less than three weeks away ... it scares me.

Could this really be the start of it all? Could I actually be pregnant in a few months time???

Tuesday, July 20, 2010


So Sunday was my birthday. Yippey - another year older, another year gone, another year without a baby. Now don't get me wrong, I'm not one of those people who get all depressed about getting another year older. I actually enjoy my birthdays. But it was my birthday two years ago that we decided to SERIOUSLY start trying. I had been off BCP since March and we left those months up to fate, but it was July 18th while on vacation in Sonoma, we decided to really give it a try. And by the magic of wine and perfect timing, I did end up pregnant that month, so for a few weeks I thought it was the greatest birthday gift ever! Well the universe apparently believed in "takies-backies" and now all I'm left with is the date - my birthday - as a reminder of when we started this crazy, exhausting, heart-wrenching journey. (that's me hiking in Sonoma, unbeknownst to me that a little bean was forming.)

So I know you all are wondering how I spent this lovely event ... well I did with some family and good friends. I had a BBQ at my house on Saturday - drank a lot of sangria because besides my younger brother and sister, I was the only one there without children. Yes, I invited all my friends who had kids (because I don't have any without them!) I made sure I bought kid friendly things - chalk, neon bracelets, balls, etc. We have a playground right behind our house, so the kids played there. All in all, it was a fun night and I don't think there were many times that I had a chance to think about my "baby situation" - that's probably due to the numbing effect of the numerous drinks I had.

On Sunday - my actual birthday - I needed to be sans kids (well at least sans babies) so C, my brother and my sister went tubing down the Delaware River. Our parents used to take us all the time. Aside from the fact that you're floating for three hours in river water, it really is a good time. Most of the river is calm and you just go along with the current, but there are parts where there are "rapids" and it's so much fun. Plus it was hot and it was great to spend some time in the sun, but be cool because your backside is always in the water. There is a floating barge in the middle that sells hot dogs and burgers and such. It's a good time. As much as I'm a total beach kid, this was a nice alternative to that. It took up most of the day and I had a really great time. But by the time we got home, grab dinner, and I showered it was after 8PM and the night I had wanted to spend with C alone was gone. I passed out while he was packing and he was gone before I woke up yesterday morning. (He is traveling for work all week.) So as much as I had a great time all weekend, I really didn't get to spend as much alone time with C as I wanted to. Well I guess there's always next year ... though God I hope not!!! I'm not sure I can take another birthday without ANY change in my motherhood quest. Isn't it bad enough that I'll be well into my thirties then???

Saturday, July 17, 2010

I'm mobile!

Maybe this will help me update my blog more often ... I downloaded an app for my blog. Now whenever the thought pops in my head I can share it!

I actually do have a post to write but it's a little too lengthy to write out on my iPhone.

Hope you all are having a wonderful Saturday.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Don't believe everything you read?

Do I dare believe this?

It may be difficult to read, but it says "The plan pays for the treatment of infertility, not including infertility drugs unless otherwise outlined in the Prescription section (looked that up and they pay 50% of the meds) .... procedures including .... IVF .... will be limited to a max lifetime benefits of $10,000 ...

I'll take it as good news - however I also take it as this will be my one "free" shot!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Is he right?

C and I went up to meet some friends in the NYC on Wednesday evening. We live a little over an hour outside the city, but unfortunately don't go as much as we want. But a college friend of C's was in from Cali and we made the trip to see her and a bunch of his other friends who live there. Let me clarify, these are C's college friends and their spouses/SOs. I was lucky enough to have them adopt me and have made some good friends out of the deal.

Now I don't go around on mountain tops screaming about IF, but if the question comes up about babies and trying for babies, I am not shy about telling my story. I had always wished that more people had talked about their losses so when I had my mine, I didn't feel so alone. Anyhow, last year I received a phone call from one of the girls, "M". I have known that they were trying and she was well aware of what I had been through - at the time I was less than 6 months shy of my ectopic/surgery. So I had a feeling that something was wrong. She was pregnant, but in the midst of having a ectopic pregnancy. She called because she was scared and knew that I had gone through the same thing. I was happy that there was at least one good thing to come of my shitty experience - to help someone else through their shitty experience. She ended up rupturing her tube and lost it as well. (Her doctors were crap)

So over the last year whenever we would get together, we would chat about what how we were feeling, how our husbands WEREN'T feeling, and treatments I was doing - they were roughly half a year behind us in treatments so I was like her own personal guinea pig. She called me when they finally went to the RE, had all the tests, etc.

Now emotionally I have been doing a lot better - I know this is contrary to my previous posts - but I have been more relaxed and trying to enjoy the alone time I have with C. This is probably largely in part to our plan to go straight to IVF at the end of the summer. So back to Wednesday night - C and I get to the city and almost everyone is there already. M is sitting drinkless at the bar, immediately (as we all gauge our friends this way) I'm thinking she is pregnant. I ask her pointblank, are you drinking tonight? She knows what that means and says YES! We exchange frowns and I pulled up a chair. Then she started to tell me that she can't take it anymore. I told her that I knew exactly how she was feeling and that I used to feel just like that.

C and I get in the car and I told him how funny it was to hear M tell me all the things she's doing as I use to be that way. And then C says, "Used to be?" I was taken back. I really thought I have been doing a lot better. Hell I don't even know what cycle day I'm on now. I'm certainly not using OPK, Preseed or any other fertility helping product. So why would he think that I'm still just as crazed as I was months ago? C started to explain that I never got any help for my "obsession" He says "What has changed? You are calm now because we have a plan in place. What's going to happen once we start doing the shots and you are in that waiting period again? You're going to be all crazy again. You never did anything to help you out of that." Uh, yes I did. Time helps, acceptance helps, I did go to therapy for like a second, but I do think that helped, exhaustion helps. Do I admit that if the IVF cycle doesn't work I know I'm going to go insane? Yes. I know that it will be a HUGE letdown. And I hate that I'm counting this as the end all, be all to the baby hopes. But my everyday life is dramatically better than it was a year ago. I think I have moved on.

So here's the question - is he right? Should I have gotten help? Should I still get help? What have been your thoughts on moving forward? I think I'm OK, but am I just tricking myself into this until August comes and I lose myself again? Lots and lots of questions - never any answers. Thanks a lot C!!!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Confronting Feelings

A few days ago, Katie, one of the ladies whose blog I follow, posted a great, extremely well written (really she is wonderful!) post. She talked about whether it was better to have loved and loss, then to never have loved at all in respects to miscarriages. (read here for the full post)

It wasn't until I read her post that I ever really thought about that. I commented on her post - and to be honest - my answer surprised me. I said that I wish I never had gotten pregnant in the first place. Actually if you read my comment, I come off angry. Angry? I thought I had moved on, I was "healed" and ready to go forward. Yet my comment proves otherwise. But here I was saying that I "cursed this last pregnancy when it went away" and "that my second m/c robbed me, ruined me." It brought up so many feelings that I wasn't aware I felt. I've done such a good job of pushing them down, closing my eyes to them and pretending that I was perfectly fine. And here a blog post made them jump to the surface!

Over the last couple of days, I thought more about this. Whereas I don't regret my comment, I wanted to dig a little deeper into this - for myself. I can obviously say that I wish I never had any of my miscarriages. I really wish I never had the ectopic. But is it true that I wish I were never pregnant at all? All of my losses were before 8 weeks, so I never saw a heartbeat or even saw the "bean" on screen. Does that make it "easier" to say I wish they never happened at all? I don't know. I guess I can't say that I would have never wanted the joy of seeing two lines or telling C that I'm pregnant - those times were so amazing. But in hindsight, since I lost them all, does the happiness of a few weeks out weigh the pain each miscarriage caused? I don't think so. I am a different person because of them ... and not in a good way. I gained traits that I became ashamed of. I turned into someone I didn't recognize. Only now, am I seeing that I am letting go of those traits and starting to become someone I vaguely recognize. But those experiences did take something from me. They took my hope away. They took the calmness and excitement I once felt about becoming a mother and turned it into desperation and jealously.

Although I do think my initial comment was true, I have to say that I can't even imagine going through two years of TTC without getting pregnant. I'm not sure what that does to someone. I guess I will never know. And I don't know if that is a good or bad thing.

Even though this situation shocked me, I think it helped me. I think hiding my feelings hasn't really been working for me and comforting them, even as painful and raw as they can be, is healthy. I like to think of myself as resilient and that I can bounce back from "anything" but that's just foolish. A wise woman once said to me "Allow yourself to feel your experiences. Don't just put them on a shelf and move on."

So thank you, Katie, for making me take these feelings off the shelf. I can say that I really think they won't go back on.