Friday, April 28, 2017

NIAW 2017: Listen Up - I Will Not Be Silent

I wasn’t sure what to write for National Infertility Awareness Week this year.  I haven’t been having much time to blog, and I haven’t been very connected to the ALI community online, which doesn’t seem to have the vibrancy that it did several years ago.  But I still need to do something for NIAW, and at this point that means writing.

The theme for this year’s NIAW is Listen Up.  That theme says a lot to me because of where I’ve been and where I’ve come on this journey.  I originally started my blog to encourage people to listen and to not be part of the problem of silence and shame that surrounds infertility.  Along the way, I encountered a wide range of willingness to listen and understand.  There have been people who told me they were glad I was speaking up because they did not feel like they could do the same.  There have been people who were supportive and glad to learn more.  There have been people who have shared information for me to listen to, and who listened in return.

There have also been a large number of people who don’t want to listen, who just want me to shut up and be a good little girl and not talk about things that people don’t want to hear about.  The people who told me that no one really wants to know how I feel.  The people who told me that infertility isn’t something to be open about.  The people who acted like they wanted to listen, told me they wanted me to talk to them about how they felt, and then hid from me, talked about me behind my back for being open, used my feelings and my needs against me.

To them I say, Listen Up.  I am here, I am open, and I am not going anywhere.  I will not sit down and shut up and let you pretend that infertility is a dirty little secret that people deserve or that nice people don’t talk about.  I refuse to be silent, because in silence hides shame.  I refuse to be ashamed for having a medical condition, and I refuse to be ashamed for wanting a child or for wanting another child.  I refuse to be ashamed of my feelings and my experience.  So Listen Up.

Friday, February 03, 2017


Quote of the day: "If you want to have kids, you should try using Depo.  I got pregnant with 2 of my 4 kids while I was on it, and a third one while I was on the Pill."

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

#MicroblogMondays: In the Minor Leagues

Not sure what #MicroblogMondays is? Read the inaugural post which explains the idea and how you can participate too

We are taking this month off from going to the RE, but not taking this month off from trying.  I hadn't mentioned it before, because I've been too busy dealing with the aftereffects of it, but I was in an accident on December 14 that totaled my car.  (I was lucky enough to not be majorly injured, but still have some bruising a month later and need PT for my back now.)  We are still finishing up buying a car, and the logistics of trying to get to the RE while sharing one car are prohibitive. (Mel, since the Beltway and the Perimeter are the same size, it's as if I lived in Gaithersburg and worked in Poolesville while the clinic is where 95 and 495 meet by College Park.)  We both have mixed emotions about skipping the medicated cycle.  Since we're back to a deductible, it lets more of the HSA build up before we try (although an ER visit for one of the kids may have killed both the deductible and the HSA balance).  And Papa Bear wants me to have more time to recover and start the PT sessions before adding more medications to my body again.

But it feels weird to have a new plan and be waiting to implement it.  Remember how we had 4 eggs in November and was told not to try and tried anyway?  Well, in December, we did 2.5 mg of Femara instead and got FIVE eggs.  Because my body is that damned crazy.  So now my RE wants to cut the smallest Clomid pills in half and do 25 mg of Clomid.  But we're not doing it this month.  At least no one can tell us this month that we have too many eggs and can't try!  I may be benched in the major leagues, but at least I can play in the minors?

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

#MicroblogMondays: Perspective

Not sure what #MicroblogMondays is? Read the inaugural post which explains the idea and how you can participate too.

In the midst of feeling like crap about this cycle failing, I got a jolt of perspective.  There's a woman who had been a part of my church before I joined, while she was a professor at the nearby college.  She had become Christian in America, and when she returned to her home in China, she shared her faith with the people that she encountered.  Because of this, she has been jailed and beaten multiple times.  I first learned about her on Friday night, when the choir and orchestra were told that she had been jailed and beaten again and that she was pregnant.  On Sunday morning, we learned that she had lost the baby due to the beating.  As horrible as my experience has been, especially with losing Otter and how the surgery had gone, it's nothing compared to hers.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

What am I worth?

For a long time, I've judged my own worth based on what I do for others.  Which sounds like what a good person should do until you add in my depression and anxiety pointing out that there's always more to do, which means that what I can do and therefore what I'm worth is never enough.

I'm a therapist, so it's my job to help people see their own worth.  But I'm not very good at it when it comes to myself.  A pastor I had said to me that "Love your neighbor as yourself" also means "love yourself as well as you do your neighbor," and it really hit home with me.  I use that line in therapy a LOT, as a matter of fact.  But I still am not very good at it when it comes to myself.

I give others the benefit of the doubt about getting things done while I rip myself to shreds for what I leave undone.  Housecleaning is a big one for me when it comes to that.  I constantly hate myself for not doing more.  I hate myself for not being at home at night helping Papa Bear take care of the kids and the house, even while I know that most of the reasons are because I'm working and bringing in the money that we need.  And at the same time I hate myself for not bringing in enough money for us to be more comfortable financially and to be able to live somewhere where we're not cramped.

I wonder sometimes if the reason why God won't give us another baby is because I'm not worth enough because I don't do enough, don't do well enough, at taking care of the family that I do have and the child that He did give me already.

I think that's part of why I find it so hard to forgive myself, forgive my body, for this cycle.  I'm not just failing myself, I'm failing my whole family.  Papa Bear makes it clear that he loves me and loves my body regardless of whether I can conceive (more on that in another post), so that doesn't come from his attitudes about me/infertility at ALL.  But I'm not the only one that wants this.  Patrick doesn't know one way or the other, but the older kids have both made it clear in various ways that they would like for us to be able to have more kids.  And if I'm failing to do this for them, where is my worth?

Friday, December 09, 2016

I'm a Failure Again

We tested today.  Papa Bear was getting even more antsy than I was about testing.  He first wanted to test on Friday morning after the kids were gone, but then he wanted to test this afternoon when we could both be home for lunch.  I didn't mind testing, since I wanted to know.  But I knew right away that it was a no, as the control line got dark right away with nothing else showing.

Papa Bear is more sanguine about this BFN than I am.  He sees it as more information to work with, that maybe we really need the progesterone that I had been prescribed with the Clomid before in order for a baby to stick.  He still has hope for next month and, if necessary, the ones after that.

I don't.  I had hope this month.  I really thought that with FOUR eggs, we had a chance.  I thought that we would be likely to become pregnant and that the biggest question would be how many babies there would be.  I was still scared of a no, more scared of it than Papa Bear, who was much more scared of higher order multiples.  But I thought there could be a yes.  I had hope.

Not anymore.  It feels like hope is a finite resource and I blew it all this month.  I used too much, and now I have nothing left.

Wednesday, December 07, 2016

The Waiting Game

I've been resisting the urge to test.  I'm at 12 DPO.  Last month, I started spotting on the Friday night and had a full CD1 on the Saturday.  So if this cycle didn't work, I expect to find out this weekend.  Which will be a pain, since I have orchestra concerts on Friday and Sunday.  At the same time, if this cycle did work, since the concerts are with my church, I would have people to pray with me for a healthy pregnancy, even before I would know how many babies are in there.  I haven't had any implantation bleeding, but that doesn't necessarily mean anything since I did with the first pregnancy but did not with the second.

Last weekend, we had the birthday party for the now-10-year-old, and today we had an appointment for one of the kids that I had been thinking about a lot.  Now that those are past, I do have the concerts this weekend with rehearsal tomorrow and Thursday nights.  However, that's the only thing major enough to distract me from thinking about whether I have a baby inside me or not.  I have a huge convention coming up at the end of the month that I'm looking forward to, but I can't see anything past this weekend and the concerts and finding out whether this cycle worked.  I have plenty of things I SHOULD be working on, but I can't see anything past this weekend and the concerts and finding out whether this cycle worked.

I think about whether this cycle worked when I'm going to sleep and Papa Bear has his arm around me resting on my belly.  I think about whether this cycle worked when I'm driving to work.  I think about whether this cycle worked when I'm tending my toddler, wondering whether I will be able to give him a sibling (or more than one).  I think about whether this cycle worked when I'm piddling around on Facebook and playing my silly Game of Thromes game.  I even think about whether this cycle worked during client sessions (along with thinking about what my client is saying...ahh, the magic of ADHD).

But I'm resisting the urge to test.