This new cycle started off no differently. I was actually pretty proud of myself at how well I was handling our failed IUI immediately following the news. Maybe it's because we went out to eat at a favorite restaurant, drank 3 bottles of Moet with friends afterwards, and had full body massages pre-scheduled for the following day. By the way, I highly recommend scheduling this routine strategically, in that order, on any given pregnancy test date...just in case it's negative and you need a good escape. WARNING: When the numbing from the champagne wears off and the lady with the accent and magic hands is no longer at your beckon call 48 hours later, reality actually hits and you are forced to deal with the fact that you'll be back in the dr.'s office in another 24 hrs.
My husband also relayed some exciting news from some friends who are expecting. Now, I know most people reading this blog (not all, but most) are those who are actively TTC, and many of whom are having a fair amount of difficulty doing so. I know you don't require an explanation on how it feels to hear pregnancy announcements from every last friend and family member you have, one after the next, after the next. I don't have to tell you how it feels to log into facebook and see an endless stream of congratulations, pregnancy ultrasounds, updates of babies kicking, and to bite your tongue as people actually complain about their oh-so horribly draining children. Let me guess...you need a glass of wine to deal with the mean lady in the car line at your kid's school again. What's new? We get it!
Now let me be crystal clear... The friends I am talking about in this particular case are very VERY dear to us, and by no means do I compare them with some acquaintance from HS I haven't seen in more than a decade. These are people we genuinely love and respect and want to have in our lives forever if we can help it. AND they actually had the courtesy and forethought to call my husband first before they send out their public announcement, because they know what we've been through. I can't tell you how much that is appreciated by couples struggling to conceive. It still hurts to hear, but we really do appreciate that kind of extra effort. We are beyond excited for them, because they deserve to be happy and to have a family. We definitely don't expect everyone else in the world to put their plans on hold and tiptoe around our own baby making plans, in order to make sure it doesn't hurt our feelings. It's just that every time we get the news, it stings a little more each time, at least for me it does. It's gotten to the point now, where it's becoming really hard to recover from pregnancy announcements. This time around, my tears spanned two days. Even a public airport and flight out of town couldn't stop them from spurting forth. People in public must think I am bat shit crazy or am flying to a funeral. I should really try to get us a bereavement discount next time!
What an f'ing mess I am. My husband takes it much better than me, but I'm sorry...it's just really really hard to hear this type of news right now. It's even harder to come to terms with when you want so desperately to call the happy couple up and start discussing all the cute nursery possibilities, but just can't bring yourself to have that conversation, because you know how bad it hurts your own heart and that you'll end up crying. However, even if I can't bring myself to do that just yet, they are so amazingly special to us I had to do something. I gave myself no other choice than to put on my big girl panties, buy them the best congratulations card I could find in Target and send it off Priority Mail. I absolutely HATE feeling like there is so much turmoil in my heart pulling my emotions in intensely different directions. I AM a good person. I want to celebrate in other people's happiness genuinely and fully. I feel guilty for worrying so much about my own situation, when I should be busy celebrating everyone else's success. It's just really fucking hard sometimes!
The first month we started actively TTC and it didn't work, the pregnancy announcements felt like a mosquito bite...annoying and bothersome, but the pain went away pretty quickly. After my miscarriage, those same bites felt like they came from something bigger, like a wasp. As the year mark passed, and still no sign of a baby, the hurt I felt each time I heard the "good news" from someone else, started feeling like someone had punched me in the face and left me with a broken nose. Now that we're entering 17 months, it's just compounding even more. The milestones around the corner are not ones I want to celebrate...one year since miscarrying, another Christmas with possibly no baby in sight, turning 35 this coming year and having risks of advanced maternal age with pregnancy, etc. I don't pretend to understand what it must feel like for someone TTC 5 years or who's undergone multiple miscarriages. I also don't pretend to know what it feels like to go through chemotherapy or radiation. Because even though I know many people who have dealt with these things, and I have watched them do it first hand, it's just different when it's actually YOU going through it. So, please don't judge me for being honest about my feelings. My feelings are the product of many months of thinking, praying, wondering, researching, analyzing, sacrificing, and dealing with some stupid people to boot.
Just to give you an idea of the types of things that start to bug someone TTC'ing such as myself on a daily basis, and how it can compound over time, I'll give you a small yet ridiculous example:
This past year, I had to endure probably the most annoying pregnant facebook poster of the century, and it about killed me. I was lucky enough to have an acquaintance become pregnant on the exact same day as I did in October 2011. Ha! Shortly after I announced that I was pregnant and later announced that I miscarried, she then announced her pregnancy on facebook, and had the exact same due date I was supposed to have: 7/7/12. Fantastic, this should be a blast to hear about the next 7 months! It would not have been so bad, except that this girl posted EVERY freaking hiccup and hemorrhoid imaginable. When it got to the end and she was complaining about being overdue, I finally could not take it anymore and figured out how to block seeing her posts. Barely a day went by, and I get a private message from her all of a sudden. Really?? Apparently, she had taken an interest in the fact I had posted something about using acupuncture, and felt because I had mentioned it on facebook, that I was now some world renowned expert on the subject of ALL things fertility and acupuncture related. She then proceeds to ask me if she should use acupuncture to help induce labor, because she "just can't take this anymore." Keep in mind, that this girl knew exactly how far along I was when she congratulated me to begin with and at minimum had to know we were VERY close with our expected due dates, but that I had miscarried. Reading her email felt like someone was pouring salt into an already painful wound. I was extremely offended at her lack of sensitivity to anyone other than herself. I cried my eyes out and replied with what I'd describe as a logical and honest response to such an assinine question in light of what I considered to be obvious circumstances. This was my response...
"Yes, both acupuncture and acupressure can be used to induce labor, although I can't comment much on that aspect seeing as how I've obviously never used it for that. I'm sure if you do a google search for an acupuncturist in your area, you'd find many who can answer your questions...no shortage of them in CA.
P.S. I know you don't mean any harm, and I hope I don't sound too harsh, but a question on how to induce labor for your unborn baby is probably not the very best thing to ask someone who became pregnant the same time as you, but who will unfortunately not be delivering a healthy happy baby in the coming days. I am truly happy for you, and I wish you nothing but the best. That one just stung a little. Ouch."
This is only 1 out of probably 50 instances of idiocracy I've endured in the past year and a half, but I'm sure you can understand how little stuff like this compounds over time and leaves a woman who is struggling with infertility feeling a little defeated. I don't think it's too much to ask for a teensy bit more sensitivity from people when it comes to this stuff. The aforementioned couple got it right...this girl clearly did not.
It's not that we're not happy for everyone else. Having a baby is an absolute miracle, and I understand that more now than ever. It's just that some of us go to bed every night, praying to God, wondering when or IF it will ever be our turn? I'm really working on letting go of the control regarding this baby making stuff, and to stop worrying about other people and know that it will happen for us, but it's one of the hardest lessons I have ever struggled with.
One of the best things I can do is to stay positive and do things that make me happy, so that's what I've been doing. We finished our morning daily devotionals from Joel Osteen this week. Hubby and I have been listening to his "I Declare" series each morning on the way home from the gym together. I can't hear Joel Osteen and not feel obligated to smile, because I know he is as he's preaching. His messages remind me to put God in control, which is good, because I forget pretty much every single day.
|Joel Osteen's "I Declare" 31 Daily Devotionals. I love Joel!|
Hubby also surprised me a while ago with VIP tickets to go to a group reading with Theresa Caputo a.k.a. the Long Island Medium. If you aren't a believer in psychic mediums or understand what it's all about, I'm not about to explain it all here. You can watch her show on TLC every Sunday night yourself. I also don't have any interest in defending that fact that I'm a Christian, but also believe there are ways to communicate with spirits of people that have passed on. That's just what I believe, so take it or leave it. The group reading was absolutely amazing, and I am SO glad we went. It was a really good reminder to me of how precious life is. I was hoping that my parents would come through with a message for me, but even though they didn't, I felt happier just wearing my mom's jewelry to the event, which I never do for fear I will lose it! The reading actually prompted me to rekindle a relationship with my sister the next day. We hadn't spoken in 6 weeks, but it seemed like 6 years. Life is too short to be mad at your loved ones, and I was reminded of that in a big way at this event.
|Theresa Caputo, Hubby and Me|
When we got back, I immediately got to baking. I love baking and then giving it all away to other people. I was dying to try my hand at cake balls for Halloween. I'd never made them before, and it was pretty daunting at first. I almost gave up, but kept at it, and they came out pretty well once I got the hang of them.
|Red Velvet Eyeballs|
|Dark Chocolate Sprinkle Cakeballs|
This morning, I hit the gym and just took it all out on the weights while blasting some new Nelly Furtado. I am under orders not to exercise too intensely, so nothing even close to my old workouts, but it just felt good to throw some 45 lb. plates on the end of a squat bar and drop it like it's hot. I've always said my attitude is directly tied to my booty...both of which needed some lifting. I then dropped some baked goods off at hubby's office and brought another huge batch to LIVESTRONG HQ, where I have volunteered every week for the last three years. Helping people affected by cancer always makes me feel better! Mission accomplished, for today at least. Now it's your turn. Press play and turn it up!!!
This is totally going to be my theme song this month. I will be the first to admit, this has been a rough week, and I know there are more rough days ahead. It may not be pretty at times. I may do things I never thought I would and break down in ways that are embarrassing. I WILL try my best to keep the poor reactions to a minimum and keep pressing forward. I am going to handle what lies ahead with the most dignity and grace I can possibly muster. I know that having each other and being healthy is a HUGE blessing in and of itself. There are many harder mountains to climb out there; This is just our thing we've been given to deal with. We still have a lot to be thankful for, and I haven't forgotten that. I know in my heart that this journey will take a turn in the right direction soon and land us on the road to happily ever after.