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.

Monday, November 28, 2016

#MicroblogMondays: Good News and Bad News Leads to What?

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

I hadn't had time to blog this last week because I was leaving town, but I had my mid-cycle follow up last Tuesday.  The Femara worked...a little too well.  I had FOUR follicles maturing.  The doctor asked whether we would consider selective reduction if we went forward with the cycle, and both Papa Bear and I could not do it.  She then offered to use a needle to aspirate two of the eggs that day, but Papa Bear did not feel good with it ethically (I wasn't sure how I felt about it, but if he's not comfortable with it we won't do it).  So we were told to use protection for the rest of the week.  I talked to my parents about it (who made my sister on the 7th or 8th treatment cycle), and they thought we should try anyway because two of the follicles were smaller than the other two and because the chance of higher order multiples is still pretty low.  I prayed about whether we should try or not.  Man, I wish God gave clear yes/no answers.  The next day was my birthday.  We had made it to New York for the holiday and, through a twist of fate, got a second suite comped to us at the Residence Inn for the kids so that we had a king-size bed/room to ourselves with no kids on the other side of the wall.  Seemed like a sign for sure.  So now we wait and see.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

New Protocol

I had my follow up with the RE today, on CD4.  Despite the fact that this last cycle didn't work, the appointment started with great news...my AMH was up from 0.87 to 1.6!  Papa Bear was able to come with me this time, so he got to meet the RE and form his impression (most awkward appointment ever in his book).  Since we've now had 2 Clomid cycles not work, despite 2 really good-looking follicles last month, she's switching me to Femara 5mg.  Who all out there has done Femara?

No shots of any type with this cycle (especially since we'll be out of town for Thanksgiving at BD time).  We will see how it goes, but it's nice to be making progress.  Before leaving for the holiday, I'll have an appointment for a mid-cycle ultrasound, and we'll be able to get results from more testing for me and Papa Bear both.

For the record, I absolutely adore the phlebotomist at this clinic!!!!  I have a HUGE needle phobia, but she has now stuck me twice without me wanting to cry, even with my vein not cooperating today!

Monday, October 17, 2016

#Microblog Mondays: The Quest for Invisibility

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

I first started this blog as part of my commitment to be part of the solution instead of part of the problem when it came to stigma and silence.  But lately I've been wondering whether that effort leads to anything positive or whether I should just shut up.  I've been hit again with the observation that no one IRL actually cares who I am or how I feel except a few people: my immediate household, my parents, my cousins, and two or three friends.  People act like they care when I'm right in front of them, but any other time I'm either gossip fodder or invisible.  I'm the one that reaches out because if I don't run into people in person, they forget about me.  I'm the one that tries to get to know people better and make acquaintances into friends; I'm not interesting enough for people to want to get to know me.  When it keeps happening over and over, that tells me that I'm the one that's the problem, that my needs are inconvenient to others, that it would be better if I were to just shrink myself and my needs until, to everyone outside my family and my job, I just...disappear.

Monday, October 03, 2016

#Microblog Mondays: Fear and Trembling

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

I keep swinging back and forth between being glad we have a chance to try and being certain that nothing good is going to happen because my only remaining ovary is too broken.  I think I've been reading too much on the internet/FB (I know, irony, right?) and seeing people told that Clomid won't help them and maybe they should try egg donation.  Papa Bear feels like that would defeat the purpose of having a baby that was the two of us.  I want to be pregnant and carry a baby, I think even if it weren't my eggs, but I can't justify that much of an expense for a possibility when we have three kids to provide for both now and in the future.  But I still want a second child that is MINE, that calls ME Mommy and Papa Bear Daddy.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

One Small Step

This is a really weird post to write.  I thought about writing it last night, but I didn't have the emotional energy to be able to.  I still can't believe I'm here.

I took my first pill of Clomid yesterday.  That puts me farther in some ways on the fertility journey than I've ever been before.  My ex and I had prepared to do IVF, but one thing after another kept getting in the way right before we could start the first shot.  So I have never actually taken a fertility medication before yesterday.  I've had a box of medications and syringes on my dining table for months on end before, but until yesterday I had never gotten to take a dose.

I almost didn't get this far.  I almost got stopped again right before I was going to be able to TRY something instead of sitting on the sidelines waiting for my turn.  My AMH level came back over the weekend and, because the doctor was in surgery on Monday, did not get read until late in the day Tuesday (my day 2, when I was to start Clomid on day 3).  The nurse had called me, but I wasn't able to call back before 5 because I was with a client.  She left the message that she needed to talk to me.  So of course I was panicking all night Tuesday night, and I was right to.  Yesterday morning, the nurse called to tell me that my AMH was 0.87.  According to the website I had been looking at, "low normal" is 0.7-0.9 and "normal" is 1.0 and above, although it said there was disagreement about where the borders between categories really should be.

Through the nurse, the doctor first said that he was not going to prescribe the Clomid and that I should see an RE.  I completely broke down sobbing on the phone with the nurse because I was pretty damn sure that there was no way we could see an RE this calendar year, between leave for Papa Bear (especially with his boss about to go out on paternity leave) and the question of whether appointments would even be covered, even with an endometriosis diagnosis.  And all the while that we can't get in, months and cycles are ticking away.  We had to wait months to be able to afford the HSG before having a chance to try, months of eggs dropping away unused, and now it was going to be even longer, making my ovarian reserve worse!

I was lucky that the client I was on my way to see canceled, so I went to church to talk to one of the pastors.  Just before the pastor prayed over me, my phone rang, but I let it go to voicemail.  As I left church, I checked my voicemail, and it was the nurse.  She said that she talked to the doctor again and reminded him that we really couldn't go see the RE, and he decided to write the Clomid anyway.  He said that he did not think our chances were good, so he would rather we work through the RE for their expertise.  But since we can't, he's at least going to let us try.  We also have estrogen for days  8-12 and progesterone pills for after day 18.

Papa Bear asked me how I felt after taking the first pill yesterday.  I didn't really know what to say.  I didn't feel bad, but I was afraid to feel good.  The best description we could come up with between us for how I felt was "guarded."

We're trying to get information on what is and is not covered (after our massive deductible, of course) if we can see an RE.  The first answers we have on that raise some questions for us, and especially Papa Bear to address.  It turns out that IVF is covered at 80% (which a lifetime max benefit of $2000, so it's like they pretend to cover IVF and really don't give a fuck), but IUI is not covered at all.  Papa Bear is Catholic.  IVF isn't allowed by the Catholic church.  Amusingly, IUI is, but only if the sperm is gathered from a condom after sex.  That could make getting samples in the little room at the clinic interesting, since even if we can't do IUI, there's still the testing for him that the clinic will want.

So yeah, it's been a weird couple of days.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Sped-Up Alphabet Soup

Turns out that with my CD1 being on a Thursday and the clinic only doing HSGs on Wednesdays, they want to do it tomorrow instead of next Wednesday.  So it has been a mad rush trying to get the right form sent in by my doctor and get the antibiotic called in and picked up and the insurance information in.  And now I find out that I have to pay for it tomorrow rather than being able to have a little spare time while they ran it through insurance, since there's still thousands of dollars left on our deductible.  I was hoping to be paying it AFTER rent was paid; I just felt more comfortable that way.  So much for that.

And now I'm scared.  Scared that the pain will be worse than I remember.  Scared that it will be bad enough that I won't feel up to orchestra rehearsal that night.  Scared of even getting there on time because I had to put in a client appointment at noon when I have to be there at 1:45 and the clinic is an hour away from my office.  And scared of what they will find.  Scared that my other tube is broken too.  Scared that I'm going to need more surgery to "fix" the endometriosis.  Scared that even with more surgery my tube won't be salvageable.  Just, scared.  I found myself crying as I was driving today.  I don't remember being scared before my last one, but before that one I was so desperate for answers.  Now I have enough answers to know that having more answers may hurt more than it helps.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Alphabet Soup

Today is essentially day 1, since it started late in the evening yesterday.  Last night was pretty miserable.  I kinda just sat there like a lump after the kids were in bed with random tears rolling down my face at random times.  And today I had a random weird cramp that I've never had before, where the pain radiated down to my big toe.

But the one good thing about day 1 is that it meant I could call GRS (the big local fertility clinic) to schedule my HSG.  I got voice mail on the scheduling line and they never called back, so I need to call again tomorrow, but at least we're in the cycle where I can get it done.  It looks like it will be on September 7, since that clinic only does them on Wednesdays.

One thing that I'm scared of now, though, is the possibility of the dye flinging endometrial cells around my abdomen in the process of finding out whether my remaining tube is plugged.  I have no idea whether that's a reasonable fear or not.

Monday, August 08, 2016

#MicroblogMondays: Christmas

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

Don't worry, I haven't seen decorations in the stores yet!!!  My husband and I are watching an episode of Cake Wars so old that it's Christmas-themed, and all the commercials are Christmassy as well.  Last year, Papa Bear and I basically went through the minimal motions on Christmas for the kids and punted the rest of the effort to my parents, since we went there for the day.  The baby we lost had been due right at the beginning of January, and so we had been expecting to spend Christmas getting ready for a birth.  We also had the tree fall twice and break a lot of my deceased mom's ornaments on the first year we had them to put on the tree.  So we were just DONE with Christmas.  I was afraid that Christmas would be forever ruined, which would really suck because of how much I loved Christmas before.  But seeing the commercials tonight, I'm actually kinda excited about Christmas for this year.  I don't know how I'll feel when we get closer to it, but for now, it's a good sign.

Monday, August 01, 2016

#MicroblogMondays: Wading Into New Waters

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

I've been seeing an ad on my Facebook for MyEndometriosisTeam, a social network for women with endo.  I've been thinking about joining and just not having the time, but from when I first saw it until my computer had to restart, the tab was open in Chrome waiting for me.  Tonight, I clicked to join, and now my anxiety is in full swing.  I'm sitting here typing and playing a silly Facebook game and not saying anything out loud to my family while my skin feels too tight for my body and my muscles are rigid.  I don't know why I'm reacting this strongly.  Maybe it's my social anxiety and the fear of putting myself out there to meet new people and people not being interested in connecting with me.  Here, most of my connections are people I've known for years on here, even if I was gone for a long time.  And here feels safe.  It could also be fear of what I'll find out, or of not learning and gaining anything useful.  I don't know.  But here goes, I guess.

Monday, July 18, 2016

#MicroblogMondays: Vacation Hangover

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We made it back.  Left Delaware at 9:45 Saturday morning and went to Baltimore for the Scout shop and a crab house before heading to North Carolina.  Got to hotel in High Point at 2 AM, thanks to the hell that is I-95 between DC and Richmond.  I should've gone with my instincts and taken 301.  Made it home at 10:45 last night after dropping the oldest at Scout camp in NC and getting semi-lost in the Pisgah National Forest.  Happy to have gotten crabs and happy to have found a random swimming hole in the middle of the forest.

Monday, July 11, 2016

#Microblog Mondays: At The Beach

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

At the beach with my stepfamily, the best week of every year!  The water was warm today (considering that it's Delaware) and Papa Bear got one of the kids over a massive fear of the ocean. I'm also loving seeing my son getting to meet and play with two other cousins his age.  He sure looks like them, for someone who shares no genes!  The only hard part has been the knowledge that my second baby should have been here being passed around and trying to catch up with the youngest cousin, who is crawling.

The other baby in the top picture has the same first name as my son and is one month older.  The one in the bottom pic is 5 months younger.  My aunt got my son and the other one in the bottom pic mixed up last night!

Thursday, July 07, 2016

Answers and Questions

Well, I don't have fibroids, at least.  I hadn't been sure how to feel at first, because at least it would have been an answer, but Papa Bear had pointed out the possible complications from fibroids and I felt better about not having them.  That still leaves no real answers about the extent of my current...experience, though, because it's symptoms beyond what is expected with endo.  Best guess is hormone changes, but apparently there's not really much of any research on hormones in people who lose an ovary.

The answer about the fibroids was mostly washed away by the whole nightmare experience of the ultrasound, though.  The last time I was lying on that table, I was being told that my baby no longer had a heartbeat.  To make it worse, it was the same tech, and she didn't remember that fact until Papa Bear reminded her.  She didn't even see in my chart about what happened last year, so she was asking me about why I didn't have a right ovary.  At least the doctor said they have 2 ultrasound techs at this point, so if I get that far, I can ask for the other one.

Since I don't have fibroids, getting that far now looks to rest on Clomid.  The doctor still wants me to get an HSG to make sure my remaining tube is clear, and it looks like we'll be doing that in September.  Provided it's clear (or gets clear from the dye going through), we'll start Clomid after that.  One thing we're not sure of is how much of a real LH surge I'm having to even trigger ovulation, since last month I had the line on the OPK get darker than it had been but not darker than the control line.  But the doctor said if that's what's wrong, Clomid will help.

He did also say that Clomid tends to make people feel cranky and have less energy.  For those who have tried it, what has your experience been?

Wednesday, July 06, 2016

Now What?

I was stupid.  I thought maybe I was having symptoms of implantation.  I should have known better.  Instead, today I got CD1, a good 5 days early.  I guess the one thing I can do right is not have it interfere with being at the beach next week?

The complicating factor aside from hating myself for letting myself hope is that tomorrow is my ultrasound to see if there are any fibroids causing problems.  Supposedly the ultrasound can be done at any time during the cycle, but when I called the office today, they said that it would be better if it wasn't a heavy flow.  She also said that if I had to reschedule, it would be several weeks before there would be another opening (because of the need for the doctor and the ultrasound tech to be there on the same day).  Hopefully it will be light enough by then?  I want to get some damned answers finally!!!

Monday, June 27, 2016

#MicroblogMondays: HSG Expenses

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

Today, I called around to find out how much we need to budget for an HSG.  The good news is that because we have a diagnosis that can be tested and treated by an HSG, it is covered by insurance; the bad news is that we have a high enough deductible that we still have to pay for it out of pocket.  I first called the hospital system that was close to me and got a quote of $900 (though they later called back and said it was actually $1200).  I was starting to panic, thinking we would have to wait till next year, when I got a call back from the main fertility clinic on this side of town, which does them in house.  Self-pay cost of $621 and cost for my insurance plan of about $350.  MUCH BETTER!!!!!  I told Papa Bear, and he told me that he had been looking at forums about costs but hadn't told me because he was seeing multiple posts about costs over $3000.  I'm glad he didn't tell me that until I had an actual answer, but I'm also very glad to be married to someone who wants this enough for himself as well as for me that he goes on infertility forums to do his own research.  (Heck, it still amazes me that he figured out I probably had endometriosis multiple years before doctors took the concern seriously or diagnosed me)

Saturday, June 18, 2016

I hate feeling so worthless as I stand still, accomplishing nothing, while everyone I know who had a loss at the same time as me or after gets pregnant except for the one person who is now single.  I want them to have their miracles, but it highlights how I'm just going nowhere.

Friday, June 17, 2016


This post basically is one big trigger warning, so do with that as you will.

Wednesday was a weird day because it was the anniversary of the surgery and it was the last day of me seeing clients at one agency, so I was saying goodbye to them.  I mostly spent the day running around like a headless chicken trying to get everything done.  On the way home after my last client, though, I started falling apart in the car.

I texted one of my cousins who has also experienced loss, and that helped.  I was physically feeling like crap, but I also had a meeting that evening that I needed to drag myself to, and that was another distraction.  When I got home from the meeting, though, I was still feeling awful and I lay down with a book.  I love fantasy, and I love being able to escape into another world.  My husband suggested going to bed after all the kids did, but I wanted to read for a few more minutes.

Then I picked up my phone and flipped through Facebook.  Big mistake.  Wednesday was the day that alligator took that little boy in Orlando.  That little boy that's the same age as my son.  There's a post going around by Melissa Fenton or something like that that one of my friends had posted.  DON'T READ IT!!!  Not unless you can handle your heart breaking into a million pieces.

When it was talking about cases from the past, it was okay.  When it started talking about the boy in Orlando, in graphic detail of that family's experience of the loss, that's when it got to be too much to take.  I started shaking and crying.  I wanted to blog about it, but I couldn't.  I was up for another hour because I couldn't face the thought of going to bed and I needed to escape into another world again.  I'm tearing up again now just writing this.

I'm sure part of it was the timing and the day I read it, but it would have still ripped me apart at any time because the baby was the age my son is and that'll be the case any day of the year.  Any time I look at Facebook on my phone or the computer, I'm actually scared and tentative now, looking to make sure that I'm not seeing the beginning of that article again, clicking away fast if I do.

I don't feel like everyone needs to be protected from everything that could possibly be thought provoking or challenge their beliefs or anything like that.  And I'm not saying that it was the author's responsibility or the reposters' responsibility to put a trigger warning in place.  But for me, I needed one, so this is that warning for others.

Monday, June 13, 2016

#MicroblogMondays: Surviving

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

I don't really know what to say.  This is a bad week.  I hadn't been blogging for a while both because of being crazy busy and because I didn't really know what to say because of how much I was dreading this week.  This past Friday was the anniversary of when I found out that Otter was gone.  This Wednesday is the anniversary of the surgery when so much changed.  Friday sucked hard.  I was really glad to have an excuse not to be seeing clients that day, and during the day was okay, but the evening brought up all my feelings of hopelessness and rejection.

Talking about it later with a friend of mine helped, as she pointed out that with having my son's birthday party on Friday, it became a dual celebration between celebrating his life and the fact that I lived through the surgery.

I'm still scared about Wednesday.  It's a major transition point for me career-wise as well, as I stop seeing one set of clients and say goodbye to the last of them.  Then I have a meeting along with the older kids that night and we go shopping for Father's Day presents.  I hope that will be enough to shut my heart down until after the kids are in bed that night, but I'm so scared that it won't be.

Thursday, May 19, 2016


I'm finally reaching the point where it doesn't hurt to see babies or pregnant women.  And I'm still not upset about not being pregnant this month.  I don't know how I'm going to manage next month with the anniversaries, but right now, I think I'm finally healing, and it feels good.

Friday, May 13, 2016


I am proud of myself.  I got my BFN for the month on Wednesday, and instead of feeling hopeless and despondent, my only reaction was irritation that it hadn't waited until after the Girl Scout sleepover this weekend because of the inconvenience.

Monday, May 09, 2016

#MicroblogMondays: Mother's Day in Multiple Ways

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

On Thursday night, I celebrated Mother's Day for the first time as a stepmother, though it's the third May since I became a stepmother.  Papa Bear gave the kids the option of whether they wanted to buy me something while they were buying their mom gifts, and they each chose to get a gift for me, along with a card that made me tear up.

On Sunday, I spent most of the day helping other people's kids along with my toddler, working at a quizbowl tournament.  Papa Bear got my friends in on helping distract me while he had the baby "sign" the card in crayon, and he picked out a present that I needed but wouldn't have thought of buying for myself.  I don't care much about brands of purses or anything like that, but I love POCKETS in my purses because I have trouble staying organized, and he got me one with lots of pockets.

What did the most to make me cry, though, was the text my Dad sent, "Happy Mother's Day x4."  My son, both stepkids, and my lost Otter.

Thursday, May 05, 2016

Deep Breath

I just cut the last safety line career-wise.  I gave notice at the agency that I had been contracting with one day a week.  It's just me and the private practice now, or will be within the next couple of months (I gave long notice to be fair to them and my clients).

I know it's the right thing to do, because I make half as much per hour to drive twice as far, and there's a lot I need to do with building the practice that I don't have time to do while I'm working there.  So working there had been holding me back.  But it was also a feeling of security, a constant flow (even if not steady in attendance) of clients, and so I have anxiety about taking this step.

Sunday, May 01, 2016

National Infertility Awareness Week: #StartAsking about Endometriosis

This year, for National Infertility Awareness Week, I would like for people to #StartAsking about endometriosis.  I don't mean asking in a casual way, mentioning to your doctor, "Gee, I wonder if I could have this."  I did that, and it almost killed me because I did not push the issue and get an answer until I was bleeding out on an operating table.

Looking back, it appears that I had symptoms of endometriosis from the beginning of my reproductive life.  In high school, I took Advil by the handful for 10+ days a month because it was the only way I could get through the school day and function.  I saw a doctor my senior year and she gave me a low dose Pill, but the word endometriosis was never mentioned.  My freshman year of college the symptoms got far worse, and I was put on the highest dose Pill that's still made, along with iron pills for the amount of blood I had lost, but still the word endometriosis was never mentioned.  At that point I hadn't heard of endometriosis, but I expected that my doctors would tell me if they suspected something was wrong.  My mom had been on the same strong Pill for most of her life, and so I just figured I was like her.

When I was married the first time and we weren't successful with trying to conceive, we went through test after test, but nothing was ever found, so we had the fun diagnosis of "unexplained infertility."  We looked at hormone levels and whether I could have a blocked tube, but never at endometriosis.  At that point, I obviously wasn't using the Pill to control the pain anymore, but I had a doctor who prescribed a strong NSAID to help.  He never mentioned endometriosis as a possibility even with that, simply helped me manage the pain.

When I started dating my current husband, he wondered whether the infertility could be the result of endometriosis, given my history, but then we conceived my son and the question was put aside until I had a cycle again.  I finally asked the doctor that I saw for follow ups after my son was born, and she just said that the answer to that question probably didn't matter and wasn't worth pursing because pregnancy tends to improve endometriosis and because it couldn't be answered without laproscopic surgery.  I just kept getting and taking the same strong NSAID that the doctor back in Maryland had given me, now prescribed by my Georgia doctors.

And that's where we left it until I learned that I had miscarried my second pregnancy and needed a D&C.  The ultrasound had looked abnormal, but they thought it was a different kind of abnormal, a molar pregnancy with a bicornate uterus.  What I actually had was an ectopic pregnancy, implanted on my ovary because my tube was too blocked by endometriosis for the egg to get through, even with how small an egg is.  The doctors did not learn this until I was bleeding out because they had perforated my uterus in getting to where the baby actually was.

Obviously, I survived, and I still may be able to conceive in the future.  Maybe.  But the question that haunts me is, what if the endometriosis had been diagnosed earlier?  What if I had pushed the question? What if my doctors had raised it, any of the doctors that I had seen over the years?

So please, #StartAsking about endometriosis.  Women, #StartAsking your doctors, and start pushing the question if you are blown off.  Doctors, #StartAsking if a patient exhibits symptoms.  Your patients may or may not choose to have the surgery to find out, but they may not know they have a decision to make unless you raise the question.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

So Now What?

I had my doctor's appointment today.  It was SO hard being there while not being pregnant, especially since it was the first time since the follow up appointments after the surgery.  I was crying in the waiting room, although I was able to distract myself with my book and my silly Game of Thrones FB game.

It was better once my doctor came in.  He greeted me with a hug and immediately understood how hard it was for me to be there.  He said he had been rereading his notes from my case last year and that the hair on the back of his neck had risen again at how close a call it had been.  One thing that I have appreciated with him has been that he has been very human through this.  It would have been harder if he had been more of the "I'm always right, even when I'm not" type of doctor.

I told my doctor what has been going on, what symptoms I have been having that make me think the endo is back.  He confirmed that there was endo tissue that he hadn't gotten on the left because there hadn't been time while keeping me alive.  However, he also said that the symptoms I've been having may be more consistent with polyps than with endo.  He did say the pattern I have been having with my cycle falls into the realm of "normal" but could also make sense with the endo still being a problem.  I did forget to ask what stage the endo had been, so I'm going to call the nurse tomorrow and ask.

The key thing that he said, though, is that now that I have been diagnosed with endo, I can get things covered by insurance because it's testing and treating the adhesions from the endo, a diagnosed medical condition, rather than treating "unexplained infertility."  The first things he wants to check are the possibilities of polyps, a luteal phase defect, or another blocked tube.   He wants to do a kind of ultrasound to look for polyps, and he wants to do an HSG to see if adhesions are blocking my remaining tube.  I'll be calling around for prices on the HSG since that isn't in his office and even though insurance would cover it, I still have to be price-conscious because of having a deductible.  To check out the possibility of luteal phase defect, he wants me to start doing OPKs again so that he can then test my progesterone level a week after ovulation.  I wonder if I should start doing BBT again to go with it.

Depending on what we find out, we may be looking at anything from oral progesterone to Clomid to IUI.  Whether it falls into what insurance will cover or not, I can do anything short of IVF with him instead of with a fertility clinic.  I feel good about that, at least.  I know that, after what happened last year, he will pull and work anything he can to help us.  He thanked me for coming back to him after what happened, but it's what felt the most right, both because of how committed he is to us and because of the midwives there, who kept my son from being a c-section.

We will see what happens, but it's nice to be able to do something other than wonder and then despair every month.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Doctor, Doctor, Gimme the News

Tomorrow morning I go back to the doctor who had done my D&C and, in the process, found my endo.  It's time for my yearly fun appointment, with all the fun since my mom died of a gynecologic cancer.  I need to talk to him about it seeming like the endo is back and discuss what we should do about it.  And then I most likely get to consider the finances and whether to pay for more surgery if it's recommended or whether to keep masking it with NSAIDs.  Fun timing, especially since this Sunday will be a year since we found out I was pregnant with Otter.

#MicroblogMondays: What's in a Name?

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

My son's first word, at almost 6 months old, was "Mama."  He didn't say it again for a while, and then it was all "Dada, dada, dada" for another while before "Mama" came back into play, but anytime he did refer to me as anything, it was "Mama" and then "Mommy."  Over the past month or two, though, he's started calling me "Jessie."  I try to teach him to say and sign "Mommy," and sometimes it works, but other times I spend what feels like forever repeating "Mommy" while he responds with "Jessie." As a stepparent, I would never ask the older kids to refer to me by a name they don't feel comfortable with, and I would never try to supplant their mother.  At the same time, this side effect of that really hurts.  I worked so hard and went through so much to be able to actually be Mommy to someone, and even while I know how and why it's happening, it still feels like that is being diluted.

(I am really glad that my husband understands how I feel and why and does what he can to reinforce "Mommy" with my son)

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Don't Step on a Crack...

The 23-month-old is in the phase where he wants to be held ALL. THE. TIME. (except when he wants to run in the street, of course)  Which sounds cute and adorable (while still mildly frustrating) right up until this weekend, when Papa Bear and I have both thrown out our backs in the past week lifting and carrying him.  Papa Bear threw his out on Tuesday when carrying the toddler reactivated an injury from a month ago, and I threw mine out for the first time ever yesterday when I took the toddler with me to WalMart to get an oil change so Papa Bear could take some medicine and rest his back.

It seemed like a great idea at the time, getting something I needed to done and helping Papa Bear get better.  And then an hour into the 3 1/2 hour wait (the last two hours of which went across all of his normal naptime), I threw my back out from the combination of the toddler wanting to be carried and wanting to throw everything out of the cart.  And then the last 45 minutes or so he was squirming on my lap screaming in the waiting area.  I had figured it would be ok because he can start his nap an hour late without problems, and I thought I'd be out of there in the two hours before it got to that point.  But then not only was he past that window, I couldn't hold him to shush him down to sleep in my arms because I was on the verge of crying (and sometimes past that verge) from the pain in my back.  And I couldn't call Papa Bear because he had taken his medicine like he was supposed to, and so he was very deeply asleep.

And of course this has to happen when I've got a lot of clients scheduled every day.  I'm thrilled to have so many clients, but it doesn't give me any opportunity to rest my back in between people or take medicine that will make me sleepy.

The best laid plans, I swear.

Monday, April 18, 2016

#MicroblogMondays: Hope Doesn't Float

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Hope is a cinder block.  If there is mortar and the plans are good and the ground is even and the foundation is strong, you can really build something.  If you don't have those things, hope becomes nothing more than the weight tied around your ankles, pulling you down as you try to swim and then as you try to just tread water.

Monday, April 04, 2016

#MicroblogMondays: Pools and Pools

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I started the day in a swimming pool in Ft. Myers, FL, enjoying swimming with Patrick and soaking in the hot tub.  I'm finishing the day in my uncle and aunt's home in Sarasota, waiting to see what will happen to my husband's basketball pools.  Villanova and UNC are tied, and the result determines whether he takes first or second in each of two pools worth several hundred dollars.  And Nova's buzzer-beater costs us around $400.  One the one hand, bite me Nova.  On the other hand, second is still worth some much-appreciated money.  And that was one hell of a game.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

#MicroblogMondays: April Fools

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Ah, April Fools Day. the day when I feel like the biggest killjoy in the world.  And yet, I refuse to stop.  Every year, I will post something highlighting that the "I'm pregnant" prank is NOT FUNNY.  Even when I was pregnant, it wasn't funny.  Even when I had a baby and had not yet had my miscarriage, it wasn't funny.  Now that I've lost a baby and a tube and an ovary and haven't been able to conceive again, it sure as hell isn't funny.  Now that two of my closest friends lost their daughter at a day old and haven't conceived again, it sure as hell isn't funny.  I'm not saying people can't have fun on April Fools Day, but show some damned creativity!!!  And anyone who says I'm too sensitive is hereby invited to walk in my shoes or my husband's shoes or those of my friends T and D and then see how they feel.

Sunday, March 27, 2016


I'm pretty sure the endo is back full force.  I've got an appointment at the end of April with the doctor who did my surgery last summer, and I have quite a few questions for him.  I'm not going to give all the gross details here, but I wish I had other people who had it that I knew well enough to ask the gross questions.

Basically, at this point I hate being a woman.  Not because of sexism or anything like that, but because there's nothing good for me physically about being a woman.  I have boobs big enough that I can't wear button-down shirts or bras with underwires, they hurt when I run, and I have sweat issues in the summer.  And I have other parts that spend a quarter of my life making a huge mess and leaving me in pain and reuse to do what they were designed to do.

Is anyone out there who has endo willing to talk frankly about their symptoms?

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

#MicroblogMondays: The Finances of Miscarriage

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I'm on several Facebook groups related to miscarriage, and this article just showed up in my feed from one of them.  I hadn't thought about how much miscarriage would cost for other people.  When I thought mine was a "normal" miscarriage, I was thinking about how this baby that we had wanted was gone, dead inside me.  I wasn't thinking about the cost to us for appointments or the surgery.  I get reminders of the economic impact of my surgery frequently, as we are still working on paying the bills ($4000 or so?), but blood transfusions and an ICU stay will do that.  I didn't think about what other people would pay or what I would have been paying if mine had been a "normal" D&C.

Food for thought, especially in this age where "everyone has insurance" means "we act like we'll take away your tax money, but we know you don't pay taxes because you have no income and we won't actually give you Medicaid until you're already dying of cancer and unable to be saved instead of 2 years earlier when it could have helped."  No, I'm not bitter.

Monday, March 14, 2016

#MicroblogMondays: Don't Should on Me

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"Don't should on me."  That's something a boss I used to have liked to say, addressing the "shoulds" that we put on ourselves and that others put on us?  But what about the "shoulds" that "should" be there?  That's the question that was raised by one of my clients today, who had had a miscarriage at the same time I did.  She and I both SHOULD be able to be holding our babies now.  Our babies SHOULD be able to live.  We SHOULD be able to see what our babies will do with life.  I didn't have an answer for her, because I'm still trying to answer that for myself.  She's single now, but I SHOULD be able to conceive again.  I SHOULD be able to have a rainbow baby, but I don't think I ever will.

How do you cope with what "should" be and isn't?

Thursday, March 10, 2016

The Death of Hope

I haven't been blogging lately because I've been having a lot of feelings, but they haven't really been coalescing into words and sentences very well.  It's just been pain, unarticulated.  Tears without words.

I really just need to give up hope of becoming pregnant again and being able to keep a pregnancy.  Maybe then it will hurt less.  Every month I'm trying to not expect anything, but then my body screws around with me, is off one day or another, and I start to wonder.  And that's what kills me, because it makes the "no" more crushing.  If I don't wonder, it won't hurt as much.

It's simple math.  Endometriosis reduces the chances each month from 20-25% to 2-4%.  I was 33 when I was last pregnant.  At 2% per month, that's as long as 50 months before I would get pregnant again.  By then, I'll be 38, almost 39, and having age affecting my ability to get pregnant.  So by the time the endometriosis would let me get pregnant, age won't.

I have a toddler, and I love him, and I'm lucky and privileged to have him.  I have a husband who adores me, and who I love deeply.  I have stepchildren who I love.  That's going to have to be enough.

Monday, February 22, 2016

#MicroblogMondays: Tear Soup

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One of my clients handed this book to me to borrow a couple of weeks ago.  A family friend had suggested it to her after she recently lost her husband.  She said I would cry when reading it, and she was right, but it was the good kind of cry, the "yes, that's what it's like" kind of cry.  It's written to fit for children and adults both, and it does a really good job of breaking down how grief changes and how it gets shared with others.

The main author has written several other short books and pamphlets, mainly about losing a child.  She has a book for the older sibling of a lost baby and one for the rainbow baby.  She has a pamphlet for parents after a miscarriage.  I don't know if that would help or not at the stage that I'm at right now, but I've been thinking about getting it.

Right now, I feel so alone, like we're the only ones who can't have a rainbow baby.  I know that's not true, I know there are so many people out there who haven't been able to have theirs.  But it feels like it's just us.  I still get a lot of comfort from having my son, and I know that's comfort and joy that I wouldn't have if Otter had come before him.  But it's still lonely, and I'm still making my tear soup.

Monday, February 15, 2016

#MicroblogMondays: 20/20 Hindsight

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I was going through more of my mom's belongings yesterday as I try to clear things out and see what can be used and what should be thrown out.  Because this is my mom, I found a file of clippings/shopping bags/fliers from every year she went to Groundhog Day in Punxsutawney.  Including 2005, the year she married my now-former stepdad.  Among the things I found was the article in the Punxsutawney Spirit about them and the letter that she had written about how she would never leave or forsake him.  Um, yeah, that was 5 years before she had to flee with her mom and 5 cats in the night and put him in prison.  What fun memories to find on Valentine's Day!

Tuesday, February 09, 2016

#MicroblogMondays: Recurring Dreams

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A lot of my recurring dreams relate to anxiety.  I used to have the naked-in-public dream a lot, though that one hasn't come in a long time.  What I get more frequently is either that it's the end of the semester and I haven't been to class or studied or (FAR more often before pregnancy) that I'm supposed to be taking care of a baby human or animal and I end up forgetting about it and leaving it for days or weeks until it is either almost or completely dead.  I've eventually figured out that these dreams relate to my anxiety about dropping the ball on one thing or another.  I try to do so much, and I have so little confidence in myself that I'm always sure I'm going to be screwing something up.  I was running a tournament this past weekend, and I am waiting for the results of whether I passed my second attempt to become a full presenter for a workshop (after technology issues have forced late starts).  My mind conflated those two, and I had a dream towards the end of last week where the tournament (which was supposed to start at 9 and go all day) wasn't ready to begin round 1 until about 2 in the afternoon.  OK, brain, enough!

So what kind of recurring dreams do you have?

Saturday, February 06, 2016

A Different Kind of Self-Hate

I hate my body.

I don't mean that I hate my appearance.  I mean, I do hate it plenty of times, I hate the shape of my body, I hate how fat I've always been.  But what I mean is that I hate my body on the inside.

I hate the way my body fails me.  I hate what my body does to me.  When I work with clients on not hating their bodies, one thing I work on is changing the focus from how their body looks to the ways their body is powerful and what their body can do for them.

But what my body can do for me is pain.  What my body can do for me is fail.  Fail to be a real woman.  Fail to carry my baby.  Fail to even put my baby in the right place in my body.

I found myself this week focusing on trying to "get ahead of the pain" with how I timed taking my medicine, and it felt mentally like trying to get ahead of the pain as I recovered from the surgery.  There's something wrong with that.  I find myself rationing my medicine because of how expensive it is.  And that's a generic, it's just a rare one.  There's something wrong with that.  It's my body, failing me like it does every month.

What's there to love about that?

Thursday, February 04, 2016

I was working on several things, and I saw a link pop up in my Facebook feed from the fertility clinic that I had used back in Maryland.  The link was about things no one tells you about having a miscarriage.  I went to click on it...and then I couldn't.  And that was a day when I was "doing well."

Tuesday, February 02, 2016

#MicroblogMondays: Weather

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

Last weekend, I took the toddler sledding on the inch of snow we had.  Last night, I turned the air conditioning on because even with opening the windows it hit 76 in my apartment.  That's just nuts.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Grief is Why We Tell the Story

I've been listening to the soundtrack for Once on this Island over and over as I introduce the older kids to it (and then keep playing it when they're not in the car, which is most of my driving time).  If you go by the measurement of how long it takes me to wear out the CD, Wicked is definitely my favorite musical, with Once on this Island and Ragtime close behind.  This song made me tear up as I was driving to work this morning.

For those who aren't familiar with it, the end of the show is very bittersweet, as the main character dies for her love.  This song celebrates the sharing of stories within societies and families and across generations.

"Life is why we tell the story
Pain is why we tell the story
Love is why we tell the story
Grief is why we tell the story
Hope is why we tell the story
Faith is why we tell the story
You are why we tell the story."

This fits with why I talk about my loss of Otter.  The whole story of Once on this Island is being passed down from older generation to younger in a peasant village, and it made me think of telling my son some day about his sibling, or of telling any other children we may be able to have about their other sibling that they never knew.

All of these are why we tell the story.  Otter had life, even if it was not life outside of my body.  We loved Otter, and losing her (see past post for why Otter has a gender in my writing) led to pain and grief.  The circumstances surrounding the loss ruined the hope that we had, but they also led to the possibility of new hope (if I could only feel it myself) of conception not being affected by endometriosis.  I try to have faith that we will be able to have another child.

And my son (as well as any others we may have) is why we tell the story.  At some point in the future, he will know what a miracle it was that I was able to conceive and carry him.  Because even though Otter came and went after him, it is somewhat his story as well.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

#MicroblogMondays: The Sands of Time

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

It's amazing how time dribbles away in little things.  I think I have a long gap in my day, and I plan things I'm going to get done in that gap, and then it's gone and I've done very little on my list.  Some of that is Facebook+gaming+ADHD.  Some of it is things taking longer than I think they will.  Some of it is needing at least some mental break.  Some of it is getting new referrals to call, which is a very good thing but still takes time I haven't planned for.  It seems to hit every time, though.  I need to work on that...when I get a chance.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

A Thin Line Between Depression and Anxiety

I've always been anxious, but for most of my life I didn't know it.  I used to always think that feeling in the pit of my stomach was guilt.  Guilt for everything I had messed up.  Guilt for everything I had left undone.  Guilt for everything I had done that I shouldn't have.  Guilt for everything I hadn't done quickly enough or perfectly enough.  Guilt, guilt, guilt, always guilt.  It wasn't until a few years after becoming a mental health therapist that it finally hit me upside the head one day...BOOM!  That's not guilt!  That's ANXIETY!!


You'd think that knowing that and being a therapist, I'd know what to do about it, what techniques to use to help myself relax.  But I can't.  Because along comes the depression to tell me I don't deserve to relax, right along the anxiety telling me I can't afford to relax.

I have ADHD, so I always have something, somewhere that I'm screwing up or haven't done or haven't done well enough.  Usually lots of somethings.  And that's even with constantly worrying and trying to focus on everything I have to do in a vain effort to keep up with things.

So when someone (most often my husband) tells me to relax and calm down, it feels like doing so would be the equivalent of fiddling while Rome burns.  Because I already screw everything up as it is, so how much more would I screw up and drop the ball on if I did give in and relax???

I can't afford to relax.  I can't afford to go to bed when I'm merely tired and not collapsed.  I can't afford the time, because every time I relax, there's yet another thing that I fail at.

I'm trying to give myself permission to relax.  Right now, I've got a glass of wine (brought by my husband) and Cake Wars on (put on by my husband) while I blog.  But I'm also feeling guilty for taking the time to blog when there's other things I didn't get done today.  Even though I didn't get them done because I was doing other things that badly needed doing.

I'm trying.

Monday, January 18, 2016

#MicroblogMondays: Brrrrrrr

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

This weather needs to shit or get off the pot.  My biggest pet peeve is waiting for the next book in a series to come out, but my second-biggest pet peeve is when it's cold and it's not snowing.  I did appreciate when Indian summer lasted well into December, but now it's COLD and dry.  Yes, that's better than sleet, but I want snow.  There's a big storm predicted for my home state this coming weekend, and I'm jealous. I at least have warm, fuzzy pajama pants with penguins on them, but I can't wear them to work.  :-(

Friday, January 15, 2016

Proud of Myself

The closer I got to my due date, the harder it has been to be around tiny babies or people who were pregnant, especially people who were as pregnant as I would have been.  But I had an intake today with someone who was visibly pregnant, and I braced myself when I noticed, but it didn't hurt.  I didn't have to hold back the feelings until after the session because I wasn't actually having the feelings.  This feels like a big breakthrough, and I'm proud of myself.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Meta #MicroblogMondays: The Nature of Blogging

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

I was writing in my other blog, SnarkFood, tonight, and my husband (who wrote last week's post) was asking me how it felt to be writing it again after a hiatus.  I couldn't really answer that because I've been so much more focused on how it felt to be blogging on this site again.  I've needed the outlet and the connection.  I was really disappointed to see that ICLW and LFCA stopped while I was gone, so I'm hoping that #MicroblogMondays helps me to make connections again, because I was lost, now I'm found (cue background music of "Amazing Grace"), and I want connections to abound.  Right now I'm full of blogging energy, and when I stopped blogging before it was because it was awkward to continue, not because I didn't want to, but this will probably also be good for me when the energy does run low as it often does.  So yeah, we're going meta for my first Microblog Monday.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

The Pull Between Isolating and Reaching Out

Agitated and upset.  Wanting to talk about it.  But also wanting to hide in a hole and not talk to anyone.  Scrolling through the chat section of my Facebook feed to see who's online.  Not clicking on anyone.

I don't know this person well enough to talk about it.  That person can't relate.  This person won't want to hear about it.  This other person would relate but isn't online.  I could talk to that one, but...and I still don't click.  Because it might just be easier to keep playing Facebook games and refreshing my news feed while I try to get paperwork done.  Then I know I'm not bothering anyone.  And I can continue to hide in my hole.  It's comfortable in there, wallowing.  Kinda.  At least I kinda know what to expect there.  And I don't have to risk bothering anyone, nor do I have to find other things to talk about to avoid bothering them with what's really upsetting me.

But then I click on the chat list again, just to see if anyone different is online.  Maybe that person I was thinking of who would relate has jumped on.  Or that other person who I can chat with about little things and cheer myself up a little.  Nope, no one else has jumped on Facebook in the 30 seconds since I clicked the last time.  So I should go write a client note.  And then I click again on the chat list, and still do nothing.

That's part of why I started blogging again.  Part of it was to reconnect, but part of it was because there's less pressure (that I know I put on myself) here and less concern about bothering people.  Even though I got some criticism from friends and others when I was writing on this blog before, it's other people's choice of whether to read or not.  So if they don't like what I write, they don't have to read it.  And if I would be bothering them, they don't have to read it.  But I still get to write it.

Saturday, January 09, 2016

Finishing Out The Week

Today was more of the same pull between holding it together and...not holding it together.  I still managed to keep the not holding it together contained, letting the ugly crying happen while I was driving.

There was something that my work BFF said that made me feel a little better, though, even while it made me tear up.  She said that she believes our babies are together in heaven and that Got has told them plenty of time that their mommies are friends and love them beyond words.  I like that idea.  One of the things that helped me a little when we first lost Otter (what we called the baby, like my son was Penguin in utero) was the thought that my mom was holding her.  (We didn't get any testing done, so we don't know the gender, but we thought of Otter as a girl all along, and I'd rather use a more specific pronoun than "it" because "it" doesn't sound like a baby, a person to me, "it" sounds like a thing.)  So now I have the mental image of my mom playing with both of our babies, spoiling them like she always wanted to do with her grandchildren and like she didn't get the chance to do with my son.

Friday, January 08, 2016

It's Over, I Guess?

I was numb until about lunch today (which, based on my client schedule, came at 2).  I don't know whether it was wine from last night or fatigue or being emotionally drained, but I felt like I was moving through a numb haze as I took the baby to daycare, walked the dog, snuggled with the dog for a nap before my first session, went through my first 4 sessions.

The numbness wore off as I was heading to lunch.  Interestingly, it was triggered as much by my mom as by the due date.  (For those that I don't know IRL, I lost my mom to cancer in September 2014.)  Because of the due date, it really hurt that I couldn't call her and talk to her.  From that point on, the day was back and forth between struggling to hold back tears and failing to hold them back.  I'm just glad I managed to be distracted enough from my feelings to keep control during sessions.

It was nice being off work early enough to pick the baby up from daycare before it closed, especially since he was in a good mood.  As I was getting home, though, I found out that my husband needed to run out for spaghetti sauce.  I was already feeling like I wanted to stay at work until the kids were all in bed because I was afraid of breaking down in front of them and scaring them, and then I had to manage 2 of them alone (my husband took my car, with the baby in it).  I had to wipe away tears before I walked in, both from all the emotion and from fear of not holding it together well enough.  The fact that one was doing homework and the other had other things she could focus on gave me the ability to just cook and load the dishwasher.  My husband got home quickly, at least, which took focus off of me.  I was able to do a decent amount of isolating without it affecting the kids by being the one to put the baby to bed, and I got the side benefit of baby snuggles.

After we got the older kids to bed, I semi-unintentionally made a cushion fort in the corner of the sectional while my husband brought me mint moose tracks ice cream with whipped cream and crumbled Thin Mints on top.  That got me able to do the notes I had to do tonight for work.  OK, that and more wine.  What the hell.  I'm not pregnant, and for all I know I never will be again.  And that hurts.

But I do have a toddler that I love very much and who is finally getting better with sleep.  This would hurt a lot more if I also had added to the pain the question of whether I would ever become a real parent.  And I have a husband who loves me dearly and brings me ice cream.  And I have a dog that loves to snuggle.  And I know that on other nights, I will not feel this bad.  But right now, I do.  And I know that's ok now that the kids are in bed.  I didn't want to burden the kids with seeing how awful I felt.  But now I can show it and be honest about who I am and how I feel because anyone who would be bothered by it can choose not to read.

Thursday, January 07, 2016

I Didn't Want to Need This

I hadn't done anything to deactivate this blog or anything, but I thought I had outgrown it in my process.  I had been able to conceive quickly in my second marriage, and I have a healthy now-toddler.

But then after getting pregnant unexpectedly in May, we lost the baby at 10 1/2 weeks.  And I almost died.  (Literally, not hyperbole here.)  Apparently, I was a once-in-a-career case.  I could have lived better without that recognition.  Long story (which will probably come out in another post) short, the type of miscarriage was misdiagnosed, and the true cause wasn't figured out until I was bleeding out on the table during my D&C.  In the end, I lost my right tube and ovary and went to ICU overnight, and we learned that I had endometriosis.  Which, for the record, spellcheck doesn't even recognize as a work.  That says something to my cynical little heart.

Today would have been my due date.  January 6 or 7, depending on whether you focus on counting weeks since LMP, like my husband was, or the date guess from the first sonogram, like I was.  That's why I'm posting at night like this, to be right on the border between the two.

I've got so many feelings that I can't even identify all of them.  And I'm a therapist, so that takes a lot!  I had been managing ok (as compared to what I expect from tomorrow, at least, since I was focused more on tomorrow as the due date) and bracing myself for tomorrow.  And then I ran into my best friend from work, who had a miscarriage at the same time I did.  And I lost it.  Sobbing into her shoulder.  Which makes sense, I know.  But it broke the seal on all the feels.  The rest of the day, I've been pinging back and forth between falling apart and holding myself back from falling apart.

One of the main feelings that is predominating (aside from pain so deep that I can't really describe it from there right now) is a deep and burning anger at the medical professionals that I've dealt with over the years.  I've been a patient for excessive PMS pain since my freshman year of college.  I spent all of my time from when lesser meds didn't work (spectacularly) until I was ready to start TTC with my ex on the strongest Pill that is even still made.  I loved the doctor that prescribed a strong NSAID so that I had something to take when I wasn't taking the Pill anymore.  But why just give me more and stronger meds without ever bringing up the possibility of endo?  I had about a year, all told, of various infertility testing and monitoring.  But why didn't anyone bring up the possibility of endo?  When doctors didn't bring it up, or dismissed it if I did, that sent the message that I should just suck it up and manage with the meds because periods hurt and that's just what happens.  And that almost killed me later.

I don't know how often I will be posting.  I tried to do another blog before and when I was pregnant with my son, and one of the main things I learned was that I had neither the time nor the energy for blogging.  But I think I need this.  I need to reconnect with the ALI community.  I need to find other people like me.  I was scanning FB tonight looking for people on chat to be able to talk to and relate to, and most of the people who were on at the time didn't have the experience to relate.  And I'm glad they don't.  I hate that my work best friend can relate.  I hate it for other people who have told me they can.  I don't want anyone else to be able to relate.  But since there are people who have already had their losses and are still in their struggles, I need to find them and connect with them again.