Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The Latest and Greatest

I hope everyone (those that celebrate) enjoyed their Memorial Day weekend. For the most part, mine was good. We were let out of work early Friday so I was able to head home at 2:00! Saturday morning was filled with running the LG up to get his hair cut, hitting the grocery store and running to the bank. I found such a great deal on corn on the cob...6 ears of corn for .99! We bought 12 since my SIL and her family was coming for dinner. We also bought a seedless watermelon for 2.99...way cool. After the errands were run, I started preparing the dessert (Chex muddy buddies) and then made the Italian Chicken Salad and then had about ½ an hour to chill before they arrived.

Our poor niece broke her elbow Thursday! She’s almost 4 and showed up at the door with a pink cast. It was so sad but she handled herself very well. The visiting and the eating all went very well. Everyone had a great time. We only had one scare when the 2 boys were riding their bikes and carelessly ran right into one another. Thankfully they were wearing helmets but J (the younger nephew at 7) scraped his elbow pretty badly and needed some Aunt TeeJay doctoring. The older nephew ended up spending the night, which we figured would happen. Everyone left at almost 10:00pm! A very long day indeed.

Sunday morning consisted of making chocolate chip puffins (pancake muffins) from this website. They are so good! We ate the whole batch. They make a great sweet snack or you could have them with home fries and eggs as a real breakfast. They are sweet enough to where we really don’t need syrup with them. I haven’t made them without the chocolate chips yet but I might, just to make them more “breakfasty”. We hung out at home for a while and then headed to 5 Guys for lunch and then took the nephew home.

The LG had a book report due that he had to spend the rest of the afternoon and into the evening working on (long story) so BJ and I hung out and I read and we watched some TV while the LG worked. His mom came and picked him up Monday morning to take him swimming at a campground so BJ and I had the day to ourselves. He washed his truck and I tended to our landscaping. It was so darn hot outside. We were only out there for a little over an hour but it was exhausting. We decided to go and get some steamed crabs for lunch at a waterfront restaurant about 30 minutes from our house. The crabs were so good. BJ could eat them every weekend but I have to put my foot down as they are very expensive by the dozen. I told him to invest in our own steamer and we could save hundreds of dollars each summer.

The highlight of the weekend was making our hotel reservations for Myrtle Beach over Labor Day weekend! I finally made BJ focus on it and we nailed down the dates and booked our room. We are taking the LG and we’re staying at the same place that we did when we got married. I’m very excited about this trip. And believe it or not, we got a great deal on the hotel. We are staying in a one bedroom, ocean front condo with a full kitchen for 4 nights and paying just over $600 for it (that included all our taxes and fees and the $15 cancellation insurance)! How cool is that? The LG will miss 2 days of school which was not my first choice, but he should only have 1 night of homework and 2 days of class work to make up. I’m sure it won’t be that bad since it’s a holiday weekend.

Even with all of this going on, I’m still thinking about how I would be (should be) 8 weeks pregnant right now. I’m so glad we booked this trip. I know that I’d rather countdown to a vacation than keep counting up the weeks I should be pregnant. BJ and I were talking last night about something about our house and he was talking about what we’d do if I had a baby and then he said, well unless you have twins. I told him that twins would still stay in the same bedroom together until they were older and he disagreed and said that they would need their own room. And I said that plenty of siblings share rooms growing up and ours could too...unless we had one of each sex. The conversation drifted elsewhere after that, I don’t exactly remember how we got off the topic. In my head I kept wondering why we would even be talking about it....we both know it’s not going to happen, why torture ourselves with these conversations? I guess Hope has not fully left the building. I don’t want to have hope anymore. Hope sucks the life right out of me and I’m sick of it. For some reason, though, it must still be there, even if ever so slightly. This post is long enough but it leaves a good segue for my next post so I’ll just end for now.

I really hope everyone had a chance to celebrate our military heroes this weekend in one way or another and I hope you were able to enjoy your families and your friends as we did ours.

Friday, May 27, 2011

The Annual Exam

After a few reschedules (twice by them and once by me) and a plan to call for an appointment after my positive beta to set up my 10 week appointment (that was never to be), I actually had my annual gynecological exam yesterday.

I decided to see the nurse practitioner whom I’m never met because my regular doctor didn’t have any openings for an annual exam until August. I was way overdue (supposed to go in March) so I decided to skip the regular doctor. I made the right choice. My doctor is very quick and straight to the point and doesn’t really leave a lot of time for chatting or being emotional (like I was). I knew I needed to try something different.

I parked my truck and started heading for the building entrance. I was overcome by a heavy sadness and my eyes filled with tears. I wasn’t supposed to be here for a few more weeks...and I was supposed to be pregnant at my first visit...with a list of questions and forms to fill out and maybe even a chance at hearing a heartbeat. Instead, I’m walking into another appointment with an empty uterus. I thought for sure the waiting room would be filled with pregnant bellies and babies. To my delight, there were only 2 pregnant women and only one of them had a “baby” belly. The other one looked, to put it lightly, like she could have just been plump. She was wearing a maternity top and her boyfriend/husband was with her.

I was called back pretty quickly, which I love. I changed into the sexy white paper vest and hopped up on the table with my cozy white sheet. I’m glad she came in pretty soon after that because the literature in the office was upsetting me...all about babies and pregnancies.

She sat down and started asking me questions. She had never seen me before so I think she wanted to “get to know me” better. When she opened the floor for me to disclose any problems I may be having, I started with the dreaded, “I have infertility issues”.

Doc – I see that (as she flips through papers on her clip board)
Me – we did an IVF in April and it was semi-successful...I miscarried around 5 weeks.

I tried to hold it together as best I could and I think I did a pretty good job. However, with saying that out loud to her I could not stop the tears from coming. They welled up in my eyes as she took notes.

Doc – are you going to be doing any more cycles or treatments?
Me – unable to speak for fear of losing all control and sobbing in front of her...I just shook my head “no”

As she was writing more notes I pulled myself together and said, “It costs too much money.” She agreed that indeed it does.

Then she asked me if I had to have a D&C. Nope
Then she asked me if I knew why it happened. I’m pretty sure I have bad eggs.

I rehashed the cancelled cycle 2 years ago and then the cycle with just 2 embryos and then this cycle with the “not very good” embryos.

She was very soft spoken and she knew I was pretty upset so she kept her questions to a minimum, which I appreciate.

Then the exam started and it was pretty routine. She was pretty gentle and nice about things, which is always good. She wasn’t in a hurry like my doctor usually is so it was nice to feel like she cared about what I was telling her. She said that everything looked and felt good and to let her know if I have any issues with anything. I checked out, made my appointment for next year (with her) and left.

I felt emotionally exhausted when I got home but didn’t really get a chance to dwell on it as we had the LG’s baseball game to go to. They lost in the last inning...the winning run was scored off a pitch by the LG. I felt so bad for him but told him that the reason the kid got the hit was because he (LG) was pitching strikes, right over the plate and that is something to be proud of.

PS - thank you everyone for helping me through my feelings yesterday.  It's hard to love a child so much and give so much of myself to him all the while knowing that his loyalty for all things "mom" are to his real mother (as it should be, of course).  Sometimes it's a lot to take in.  I'm going to savor all of my time with him and just do my best to keep our relationship good and honest and I know everything will turn out fine.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Feeling Like a Fraud

As most of you know, I’m a step parent. The LG (Little Guy) came into my life not long after he turned 4. I love him dearly. He’s almost 10 now...unbelievable. Being a step parent is not without challenges. Parenting of any form has challenges. He is with us 50% of the time and that boils down to every other day during the week and then every other weekend (F, S, S). It’s nice to have the pattern and to see him so much. I will write more about step parenting on this blog in the future but right now I want to address why being a step parent makes me feel like a fraud.

I’m very involved in the LG’s life. I don’t know how not to be. It’s very easy for me to fall into a parenting roll when he’s with us. I worry about him all the time. I worry if kids at school are picking on him because of his slight speech impairment (he has trouble with the letter R). I worry about whether or not he’s getting enough sleep and what he’s eating and drinking. I worry that something is wrong when he sleeps late on the weekend. He’s a heart patient and his doctor says that he’s the picture of health, but still....I worry.

I also do other “motherly” things. I cook for him, I pack his lunch, I do his laundry, I help with homework, I try to teach him things, I hug him when he’s sad, I laugh at his silly jokes, I attend some school functions, I go to school meetings, I go to all sporting events, I scrapbook for him, I buy him clothes and toys, I take him out to eat and to the movies and to hockey games. I also do the not so fun things like tell him to hurry up and eat his dinner because it’s getting late, tell him to scoop the litter, to clean his bathroom, to throw his trash away, to put his clothes in the laundry basket...all those things that his future wife will thank me for later. Basically, I’m trying to teach him to be responsible, courteous of others, have some initiative and how to be independent. These things are not easy to accomplish since his mother does not make him do much of anything. That is a topic for another post.

When I’m at a scrapbooking event and people ask me about my pictures I have to say that the child in them is my stepson. I sometimes wonder if they think it’s strange that I have so many photos of him and that I’m taking such pride in making the scrapbook when he’s not “my” child. I wonder if they think I’m going a little overboard since he’s not “mine”. I wonder if they think it’s odd that I’m doing this for him instead of “just having my own”. If only they knew.

When I do all of these things, I feel like a Mom. I feel the love, the pride, the angst, the worry, the disappointment (sometimes), the joy, the excitement...all of it. But he’s not mine. He never will be. I wonder if I'm too attached. Am I too involved? Am I stepping over my bounds as a step parent? I wonder how his mother feels sometimes when she knows how involved I am. I know that if I were in her shoes I’d be happy that someone loved my child but I’d also want her back off a little (a lot??) sometimes.

I have all these parenting duties and feelings and then time and time again I’m slapped in the face with the fact that he’s not mine and that I’m not his mother. It’s like I’m playing House and pretending to be the Mom. The LG loves me, I know that. He’s very sweet and very affectionate and when BJ and I are playing around (wrestling) he comes to my defense. We are allies when BJ is in one of his moods and we stick together when one of us is feeling down and out. He never intentionally makes me feel like I’m second best, but I know that I am. He has a mother. She is very involved in his life, too, of course. I’m glad that she is but at the same time it just kills me to be the 3rd wheel of the parenting vehicle.

I had a very bitter sweet moment a couple of weeks ago when his mother was out of town. There was an event at school for kids and their moms. Since she was not available, he asked me to go. I was thrilled to be there. I also felt very out of place. There were moms and kids all around us and I knew I didn’t really belong and the only reason I was there was because the real mom was away.

Sometimes when the 3 of us are out together everyone assumes that he is mine. We have almost the same color hair and we both have blue eyes so it’s a natural assumption. People will say, “and what is mom having?” or “how does his hair look, mom?” (when he’s getting a haircut). Sometimes I ‘fess up but other times it’s just easier to go with the flow. I’ve explained my reasoning to him about why I don’t always tell people and he’s ok with it, or so he says. In the back of my mind I’m wishing that I never had to confess the truth.

I feel like a fake. I feel like I have no right to be so involved and so attached and so invested in this child. However, I just can’t help myself. I love him and I care about him and for him and who he is and who he will become. He will be the only child I will ever get the chance to parent. There are times when I tell myself that I’m going to take a step (or 10) back and just let BJ do the parenting. That doesn’t usually last very long because I just can’t seem to help myself.

And the burning question is: Would I still have all of these feelings if I were able to have or already had my own child? Would I be as attached to him? Would I be as involved? Would I feel like such a fraud if I mothered him right along with mothering my own child? That is another post waiting to be written.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

More Randoms

I can't seem to get myself together for a real post, so here is another jumble of thoughts and happenings.  Thank you all for the birthday and anniversary wishes.  It wasn't an easy time but it was still nice to be off work and spend the extra time with my family, and for that I am grateful.

• I had virtually eliminated caffeine from my diet during my 2ww. I’m not a coffee drinker but I like an ice cold diet cola at least once a day and when we go to dinner I usually get tea. I didn’t have access to a caffeine free soda one day while at work so I bought a regular bottled one and had a very small amount out of it, just to quench my craving. I put the lid on really tight and planned to take it home to BJ. I left it in my locker all this time. I opened it today and wouldn’t you know it still had its fizz after all this time? I wish I still had my fizz.

• The LG’s mother and her live in boyfriend of almost 3 years are splitting up. He’ll be moving out this weekend....into the basement of his ex (they were together for 14 years) and her girlfriend. Yes, you read that right...she left him for a woman and now he’s going to be living with them. He’ll get to see his kids every day and that is a great thing. Unfortunately, this almost eliminates his oldest son from hanging out with the LG. The LG idolizes/worships this boy. He’s 2 years older than the LG and the LG really “fell” for him. Even going as far as listing him as his step-brother on FB. It’s going to be a rough transition for him (LG). They will still see each other here and there, I guess, but it will definitely not be the same by any stretch of the imagination. Poor LG. The good thing is that he is with us this weekend and so he won’t be around to see the boyfriend moving out and his mother upset. The boyfriend is definitely nowhere near as close to the LG as I am so that is a good thing, too, I guess.

• We are having my SIL and her family over Saturday afternoon. I’m making an Italian Chicken Pasta Salad (thanks for the recipe, Nanci!! I finally made it a couple of weeks ago and we all loved it) We will be grilling hot dogs and hamburgers and I’m sure the boys will want to spend the night so we’ll see where it takes us. I’m looking forward to it as the more chaos there is the more my mind is taken away from my pain. At least that’s what I keep telling myself.

• I was going to post on FB how shocked and pleased I was when my mother called me for my birthday but I didn’t. I knew it would spark major drama with my sister and brother and that is a shitstorm I didn’t want to start. Just to let it be known here, I am so grateful that my mom called me. I miss her so much and even though I know she wouldn’t be particularly at all comforting during this time, it would still have been nice to have her here to hug me and let me cry to her.

• I’m thinking of changing the name and the focus of my blog. I’m not sure what type of blog I will have now, but it won’t be a TTC blog as we are not trying anymore. (It kills me to type those words) I’m thinking of making this a focus on my family history...sort of an autobiography. I don’t know. There’s lots to tell and lots of pain to work through so I know I can fill the pages. Plus, we all know how wordy I can be.  :-)

• I have been unable to throw away the last few Endometrin tablets on my bathroom counter. I have also not thrown away the empty boxes of Gonal-F and Menopur. It doesn’t really hurt to look at them for some reason. It actually brings a sort of comforting feeling. I know that probably sounds strange but it’s true. I also have a wonderful necklace (I’ll try to remember to post a picture of it) that was sent to me by one of my bloggy buddies (Thank you Esperanza!!) that I keep propped up on my bathroom counter. I look at it every morning and evening and think about what I had and it also brings me a sort of comfort. I look at the center part of the necklace and think about the soul that it represents and it makes me feel more connected in some way. BJ doesn’t quite understand this concept and that’s ok...he’s not the one that had the embryo inside of him. He’s not the one that was completely exhausted. He’s not the one that was sickened by tomatoes. He’s not the one that has been dreaming of a pregnancy for over 10 years. I forgive him this as he does not fully understand my pain. He lost something, but it didn’t change anything physically for him and he told me more than once that he would not believe it or get excited about it until it was confirmed viable by the doctor. I know he hurts for me more than he hurts for himself right now. I get that and I accept that.

• I have been enjoying reading the updates of the many new mommies out there. Sometimes I find myself in disbelief (as I know they do) that they have babies now...and some have more than one baby! I love seeing the pictures and knowing the joy that these women/families are now experiencing after such long roads of heartache and disappointment. Even though some of the posts are hard for me to get through, I use their joy as sort of a catalyst for myself. How can I feel sad after reading such great updates and looking at such wonderful pictures of perfect little miracles? That’s not to say that I’m not jealous or envious, but it doesn’t make me cry, it makes me smile a little and that is a good thing these days.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

I'm Still Here

Hi everyone.  Sorry I have been out of touch lately.  I was off work last week and sitting with the laptop on my lap just didn't seem appealing.  I have quite a few posts from you all that I need to catch up on as well as my commenting.  I definitely slacked on that last week, too.  I like to take all or at least part of that week off in May each year.  My birthday was Wednesday and our anniversary was Friday.  Plus, the weather is usually really nice during that time.  I'm working on about 8 posts in my head but for now I'm going to try and give you a brief (ha ha) rundown of how things have been going lately.

The Little Guy's mother went camping for almost a week in Dover.  She and her boyfriend love the races and they usually go to 4 or 5 races a year.  During this time she missed 2 of his baseball games.  He was in the lineup to pitch again.  He did a great job.  He even struck someone out!  We were so excited.  I sent a couple of texts to his mother to give her updates.  He didn't hit great that game but was very proud of himself for his pitching, as he should be.

I went to a scrapbooking crop (an event to work on scrapbooks) and finished 32 pages.  I didn't do much talking to the other participants because they were talking about their dogs and their kids and their extracurricular activities and I just didn't feel like I had a lot to contribute.  I chimed in here and there with stories about the LG but I feel like such a fraud when I do that.  One of my upcoming posts will be more on that feeling.  I ordered a special edition album for myself just in case our IVF worked and I ended up having a little girl.  The order was placed while I was stimming, I think.  When I saw it on the table I got a little choked up.  It will now be a gift for my SIL for her birthday next month.

We found out that the LG's teacher has leukemia.  She's being treated at one of the best hospitals around.  We noticed that he was having a substitute quite often so we were wondering what was up.  At a meeting at the school (second beta day) the Vice Principal told us she was having health issues and we didn't push the matter.  The LG's mom called me the next day with the diagnosis.  She knows someone that volunteers at the school a lot that spilled the beans.  It's very sad and it really lets us know that no one is immune from illness.  I'm hoping that she gets the treatment that will save her.  I don't want to tell the LG any bad news about his teacher.

My birthday was Wednesday and it passed without too much fan fare, which I'm fine with.  Besides the fact that I lost our baby 2 weeks before, it was my 35th birthday.  My cutoff date for any more trying.  Needless to say I wish the day never happened this year.  BJ forgot what day it was until after 2:00 (and after 3 phone conversations) when he called me and was very apologetic.  He knew it was my birthday but with me being off and not talking about it, it slipped his mind.  My mother even called me.  I about fell out of my chair.  My dad called, of course.  More on that later, too.  My SIL stopped by with a card, a balloon and a rose bush for me to plant.  I was thrilled that she remembered.  I am very lucky to have her.  I baked cupcakes for the first time ever.  I just made the cake mix out of the box and the icing out of the container but they were so yummy.  I even bought a piping bag and tips and frosted them!  Go me!  We went to dinner and then it was just an evening on the couch.

The LG went 4 for 4 at his game Thursday with a double.  It was very exciting.  It definitely boosted his confidence even more.

Our 4th wedding anniversary was Friday.  BJ was going to take off but he had a meeting in Annapolis at 1:00 that he could not miss.  :-(  As he was driving up there he called me and I said that he should have come back home to pick me up so we could hang together after his meeting.  He promptly turned around and drove 30 minutes backwards to come and get me.  He came in the door and said, "we should pack a bag in case we want to stay somewhere up there."  BRILLIANT idea.  I've never thrown an overnight bag together so quickly in my life.  We headed up there and he had his meeting and we hit the mall.  We browsed for a while and I saw a Pottery Barn Kids and decided to head in there to see if there was anything cool for the LG's room.  As I was looking around at the kid stuff I turned and saw that BJ had found a nice rocker/glider to sit in.  I walked over to him and he said, "you ought to try this".  My eyes started darting around to the back of the store and I noticed that BJ was sitting in front of a crib and all of a sudden my chest got tight and I didn't know where to look to avoid all the baby stuff that we had stumbled upon.  I said, "no...I need to leave this store now."  He looked around and noticed the crib and agreed with me.  When will this stop hurting so much?  We decided not to stay up there because even the Holiday Inn Express wanted almost $200 for the night.  We came home and showered and headed to Outback to use a gift card I had.  Our neighbors were there...the ones that supposedly don't like or want kids.  She pulls out a photo album and it's full of pictures of her newborn nephew.  I smile and get tears in my eyes as I'm flipping the pages.  One of BJ's coworkers is there, also.  His wife comes over with pictures of their new granddaughter.  REALLY???  Have I not suffered enough?  As I'm staring at each picture I just can't believe that I will never have one of these beautiful beings.  She looked at me and asked me if I was ok.  I said, "yes, I'm just enjoying the pictures."  Liar.

The weekend was filled with removing all of our front landscaping, tilling it, tilling around the mailbox, shopping for plants, digging holes, mixing dirt, planting and spreading mulch.  We live in an area that is mostly filled with clay.  Clay that you could make sculptures out of.  Needless to say, BJ had a really hard time digging all those holes.  Poor thing.  We are not finished yet but enough is done to where we don't have to do anything this weekend unless we want to.

There's more to update but this post has gotten long enough so I'll close with that.  Thank you everyone for being there and thinking of me.  I will be catching up with all of you over the next couple of days.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Happiness Is...

- The Little Guy pitching in his first game last week. He threw 4 or 5 strikes and walked a few batters so he wasn’t happy with himself so we did our best to tell him how proud we all are of him. He said he was afraid of hitting someone (like he did in practice) but he didn’t and we told him that he should be proud of accomplishing that goal. Even though his debut was on Thursday (the day of the official phone call about the end of my pregnancy) it was so much fun to watch him and cheer for him and try to calm him down when we could tell that he was getting frustrated. I can’t wait for him to pitch again.

- The weather lately. In our area of the country we have a habit of getting about 2 weeks of Spring and then it jumps straight to hot and humid Summer temperatures. This year we are definitely having a Spring. It’s been in the low 70’s for about a week now and even though we’ve had some pretty chilly days, it’s nice to make a slow transition to Summer.

- Strawberries and fruit dip for an after dinner snack. The fruit dip is really easy to make and it’s not that bad for you even though it tastes like it is. Just mix one tub of cool whip lite with most of the contents of a container of blueberry yogurt. It’s best to let the cool whip soften in the fridge for a while before mixing. And I guess you could add the whole container of yogurt but I don’t. Then just dip the berries (any berries, really) in the mixture and enjoy. Everyone loves it when I make it for get togethers.

- Rubbing the tummy of my Gizmo. He’s the sweetest little cat. When I come out of our bedroom in the morning he’s waiting for me and he throws himself down on the floor to expose that soft fluffy belly and just lets me rub and rub and rub. He rolls back and forth and meows and squeaks....it’s great. He does this when I come home from work on most days, too. He purrs so loudly and just looks at me with big loving eyes....melts my heart.

- Writing this post. It’s not easy right now to come up with happy things but there are things that make me smile and I do have things to get out of bed for every day. I have a job, a car, a house, a husband, a step son, my parents, other extended family, kitties and my overall health. All things to be happy about.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

The Physical Side

There are some definite emotional aspects of losing a pregnancy; I think we can all agree on that. Some of them I was prepared for, others not so much. Today, however, I want to talk a little bit about the physical aspects of what I am going through. Some of this is because I have stopped all the meds but the changes are still changes no matter the reason. I need to give a voice to some of these things and my blog is the perfect place to unload. I promise that not all of my posts will be downer posts but right now I’m a bit overwhelmed with my feelings and I don’t have the ability to let it out in my everyday life.

One of the first physical changes I have noticed is that I’m not nearly as tired as I was before. I miss the tiredness.

I’m not sickened by tomatoes anymore. This symptom was rather exciting to experience. I’ve read about and heard 100 stories about people that can’t eat one thing or another that used to be their favorite and it was really cool to have that happen to me. I wish tomatoes still made me feel sick.

I’ve had some really painful cramps with this period. There were a few times that I had to catch my breath because it felt like someone was stabbing my ovary or my uterus with a machete. This pain was tough to deal with as I knew it didn’t mean good things were happening in that part of my body.

As of this morning, my boobs have quit hurting. Mind you, they have been pretty damn sore since about the 3rd day of my birth control pills. The pain eased up a little after retrieval but then promptly started aching like crazy again shortly thereafter. I don’t think they actually had time to grow but they sure felt a bit more “solid” through this whole thing. I miss the boob pain. The pain was the last trace of physical evidence that I had that my body tried to create a life.

I am pad/panty liner free as of a few hours ago. I had been wearing a panty liner since the day after retrieval because of the progesterone suppositories. I was irritated by them and I was sick of oozing but I was hoping to have to wear them for several more weeks. I still needed them after I stopped the meds as there was some residual “exiting” going on. Then the period came.

My period was nowhere near as heavy as I thought it would be. I guess it’s true when they say a lot of early pregnancies terminate themselves ever before the woman knows she’s pregnant. I sure couldn’t tell that I had been on extra E2 or that my ute was trying to fill up for a baby. The period started Sunday morning and was pretty much gone by Tuesday morning, aside from some spotting. So this morning I took my liner off.

I had a rough evening last night. It was baseball practice night so BJ and the Little Guy were not home when I got there and it was my job to cook dinner. I reached to get the pot for the spaghetti noodles and saw the mail on the counter. It was only 2 things and as I picked up the first item I was sucker punched when I saw what the second thing was. It was a brochure from our local hospital. The front cover had a mom and her newborn and the words, “Thinking of having a baby?” I stared at it for a second and then promptly picked it up, tore it in half and threw it in the trash. I was so angry at BJ for leaving it there. My anger and hurt eventually built to a boiling point. When the Little Guy went up to take a shower I started crying. I couldn’t stop, I could barely catch my breath. BJ came up to me and asked me why I was crying. I told him that it just really hurts and it gets to be too much sometimes. And he had the nerve to ask me “what does?”. I couldn’t speak. And then he said, “the baby thing?”. All I could do was nod. How could this man be so blind? He gave me a hug and I cried for a few minutes. I am shocked at how quickly he has recovered and apparently forgotten what just happened to us, to me. I told him it was really hard to come home and see that flyer from the hospital and he said he meant to throw it away. Really? The trashcan is about 5 feet from where he laid it down on the counter. I obviously can’t share my grief with him. He’s shown that he’s not emotionally available to me. I’ve known for a long time that he’s not good at dealing with people that grieve but I thought it would be different this time considering he lost something too. I was afraid of what a BFN would do to our relationship and now I’m even more afraid of what this loss will do. I’m too emotional and too raw right now to have to worry about my marriage so I’m just going to do my best to suck it up when I’m around him and do my grieving in private and on my blog. I love him too much to even think about losing him too.

A better post is coming tomorrow, I promise. There are other things going on in my life besides these recent events and they deserve some recognition, too.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Spilling the Beans

There are now 2 people at work that know about the recent events in my life. For someone that really likes to keep things private I have managed to have 2 breakdowns at work in 2 days. Go figure.

The first person is a RPL girl. She married later than most of us and apparently started trying for kids right away. I don’t know her whole story but I know she had 4 miscarriages. She ended up having to have a hysterectomy last month and I feel so badly for her. She comes from a very large, very loving and all involved family and I know she wanted a child of her own in the worst way. She stopped by my desk yesterday afternoon to ask me if I had seen a coworker’s new baby yet. I said that I hadn’t and she said, “Oh, you have to come see her!” And I choked out the words, “I can’t” and she said, “but why??” And that’s when I lost it and confessed. She was very sympathetic and said the right thing, “I know there’s nothing I can say except that I’m so sorry.” She had a few questions and I answered them. She said how much she hates Mother’s day and I agreed. I felt a little better after letting that out.

Today is when the other person found out. It’s the same co-worker friend that I wrote about earlier when she called me out for not “being nice anymore”. I went into her office for something and she said, “I heard you laughing earlier, but it sounded really fake....are you ok?” And again the tears came and I blurted it out. She hugged me and at first was a bit excited for me as she said, “well at least you now know that you can get pregnant!” I had to explain everything to her. She knew there was nothing comforting to say to me so she just hugged me and said that I would be ok. Then she went on to suggest adoption. Not what I needed to hear. I had to tell her how expensive it is and she was very surprised. The more we talked the more we went down a road I didn’t want to go down. She said that she knows I’m hurting and she can’t even imagine my pain (all good) and then she said that for whatever reason, and she believes there is a reason, it’s just not in the cards for me. Ouch. As if I weren’t already starting to really believe that myself. She said that I have many wonderful things in my life (a fact not lost on me) and maybe I just need to focus on those things. Double ouch. She said that in her own life she has often wondered why some things happen to her and later on down the road she usually gets her answer and she understands why. She said that later on in my life I will understand why this happened and why I haven’t been able to achieve this goal. All true, but I don’t want to hear it. She was helpful and sympathetic, just a little too realistic for me right now.

It’s very strange, but I haven’t heard back from my dad or my stepmom after yesterday’s e-mail. I really expected a phone call last night or a response e-mail today. I haven’t gotten anything. I wonder what that means. I hope they aren’t mad at me for trying this again. And even though I was hoping they would offer to help finance another endeavor I don’t really expect my dad to offer up $30,000 for donor egg or adoption. In my e-mail I just stated how much those options were and complained about how the infertile community is completely taken advantage of. I clearly explained that I believed this to be the end of the road for us. I just hope I didn’t anger them in any way. That is the last thing I wanted to do.

Thanks again to all of my readers and commenters and e-mailers....you really do help and you make me smile real smiles. I know I will get through this and having you by my side will make the healing process more bearable.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Trying to Move On

Hello everyone. I must say that I’m super impressed with how this community can pull together. Especially in times of crisis. Reading all of your comments last week really let me know how awesome y’all are. I’ve never felt more supported and understood. Thank you so very much.

Some of you may be wondering how I could get my hopes up so high so quickly. Let me explain. I’ve been waiting for a positive pregnancy test for 10 years. Yes, I was apprehensive to believe it at first. Once I saw that beautiful pink line (on my 3rd test) and when that was followed by my wanting to spit out any trace of tomato that entered my mouth I was ecstatic on the inside. Sure, I was a bit panicked when my 4th test line was lighter. The way I rationalized this whole process was like this: If God was going to let me get this far, with a positive test and food aversions, then He’d let me go all the way. I knew it wouldn’t be smooth sailing but I had no idea how quickly it’d be over either. I know I was foolish to get so attached so quickly. I was incredibly bold to think that it all would work out when I was weeks away from a heartbeat. I should have known better. Something magical happened to me when I saw those lines. I believed for the first time ever that this was my ticket to motherhood. I’ve always hoped and prayed and begged, but I’ve never believed it like I did for those few days. Looking back I can see how na├»ve I was but I just couldn’t help it. It was the happiest I have been in a long time.

We were supposed to go to BJ’s sister’s house Friday night for his nephew’s “family” birthday party. She’s having the “friend” party this weekend but I am unable to attend as I have a scrapbooking event. I told BJ how much I didn’t want to go. There will be lots of people, at least 3 toddlers and one baby. No thank you. We didn’t want to go in the first place because BJ will be taking the Little Guy to the “friend” party this weekend so why go twice? I told him to tell her the truth. So he did. He called me back and said how upset she was for us. She had an ectopic about 11 years ago so she knows a little about the pain of loss. The difference is that she went on to have 3 healthy babies pretty much at will. She called me after the party and we talked for a little while. She confided in me about something BJ said to her. He said, “(insert SIL’s name), I’ve never seen TeeJay like that...she was just glowing with happiness.” It broke my heart to hear that. Mainly because I was trying hard to stay focused and not get too carried away with my emotions. Major fail there. I obviously wear my emotions where everyone can see them. She said that she wished she had money to give us to try again. She’s very sweet and I’m lucky to have her as my SIL.

The rest of the weekend was pretty lame and laid back, exactly what I needed. We didn’t talk about it much. I had a few weak moments where I cried. We went out Saturday and I ordered an iced tea. And then after dinner I ordered a drink. I hadn’t had caffeine in over 2 weeks and I hadn’t had a drink in about 4 weeks. As I sipped them both I was saddened. I didn’t want them. I wanted to be pregnant and be avoiding drinks like that. Indulging in both of them did nothing but bring me down. I know this will get easier but right now it just plain sucks. I was raking the front yard again and thought, “Well, I don’t have to take it easy this time.” Tears again. I told BJ that even though it was nice to spend yesterday with him it was the worst Mother’s day I’ve ever had. My period showed up yesterday morning as the exclamation point that I am no longer pregnant. Nice, huh?

I sent my parents an e-mail today explaining what happened. I wanted them to know and I’m selfishly hoping they will offer to help pay for another method of expanding our family. I don’t hold out much hope on that front but maybe I’ll be surprised. I will probably hear from them later on this evening. I just really wanted them to know that we tried again and almost made it to the other side. There have been events in the past involving their children which they have wished they knew about so I felt that I needed to tell them this.

I’m still making my way through all the Mother’s day posts from over the weekend. I pretty much avoided most blogs this weekend but I’m slowly catching up and have even been able to comment on a few. Unfortunately, I didn’t think I’d ever be one of those girls that stopped following someone because they got pregnant but it happened. It wasn’t so much that this person got pregnant, it was more the fact that she was due 4 days after what would have been my due date. I just couldn’t follow along. Maybe that makes me selfish and silly but I don’t know of any other way to protect myself. Following blogs with babies and women that are well into their pregnancies is not having the same effect on me. Maybe I’ll get over that hurdle and it won’t be so hard, I just don’t know right now.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

14dp5dt - Beta #2

This will probably be a very long and rambly type post and I apologize in advance.  I've never been in this situation before and there is a lot going on inside my head and heart.  I've only been able to release a few snippets at home so unfortunately I'm going to unload here.  For those that want just the basics my number came back at 30.5. I have to go back in a week to make sure I'm at 0 and that I don't have an infection.

I had such hopes for this cycle.  Everything was different this time and I just knew it work.  I was mainly calm and relaxed and going with the flow.  I even took time off work to help me maintain my new relaxed state.  My monitoring appointments went well.  I was still responding low, but consistent.  My E2 was rising quite nicely and I had 5 mature eggs at retrieval.  I had 3 embryos growing.  I actually had a blast and an early blast on transfer day.  They weren't great quality but I had them.  I know you all know these stats already but somehow seeing it in writing makes it more real for me.

I had a really bad headache that usually means my natural hormones are dropping and that a cycle has failed.  I was beginning to convince myself that my poor little, poor quality embryos didn't make it.  I bought a 2 pack hpt on a whim.  I saw the faintest of a 2nd line.  I was blown away.  I didn't know how to react.  I didn't even tell my husband about that test.  I still haven't.  So I took another one and saw the line again.  It was time to get a good quality test.  The morning of May 1, 2011 changed my life.  I saw a very distinct 2nd line.  This was the first time I knew that we had made a baby.  I was scared, excited, anxious, confused and many more emotions.  This doesn't happen to me.  I don't get the happy ending.  I continue to suffer, to agonize, to watch everyone else get babies while my womb remains empty.

Then it got more real.  I couldn't stop smiling.  I touched my belly a few times and was overcome with such love and hope that I didn't know what to do with it all.  I looked up my due date, January 7.  I told Gizmo (my kitten) that he would soon have to share his mommy with another baby.  As I was climbing up into BJ's truck I told him that he really needs to think about investing in the side steps because I'm going to be needing them if I'm to ever be able to ride in his truck.  We went to 5 Guys for lunch on Sunday.  I gagged when we walked in.  I had to take my tomato off my burger in order to finish it.  The fries were not appetizing, either.  The texture of the tomato was not agreeing with me.  I didn't even want to see it.  I knew then that I was pregnant.  (That's the first time I've said (or typed) those words).  We had the Little Guy's baseball game that afternoon.  He was playing his cousin's team so BJ's BIL was there along with the BIL's parents.  It was so hard not to blurt it out to them.  At the same time it was nice having that little secret.

Monday was a little scary for me when my test line wasn't as dark but after constantly googling and the help of my blog buddies, I calmed down and just accepted the fact that everything would be ok.  Different tests, dehydration, some women have more HCG at night it seems, and so on.  I was putting my positive hat back on.  I even went as far as looking at the calendar for next year and figuring out that with my maternity leave and my saved up vacation that if I had the baby in early January, I wouldn't be going back to work until early May.  What a lovely thought.

Tuesday morning when I woke up at 4:30 (for the 4th morning in a row) and couldn't go back to sleep my mind began to wander.  I started thinking of what kind of furniture I would want in the nursery.  I decided on white wood to keep it light and bright and "baby-like".  And then I started thinking about things we would need and how I'd need to do all kinds of research on products and how I'd finally get to write a post asking the new moms what their favorite items were.  I was thinking of how our 2 neighbors just had little girls and that our baby would get to grow up with them...instant friends.  This was the first time I was looking forward to a beta with no anxiety (well, a little) and with hope.  I couldn't wait to get that call.  BJ met me for lunch and we ate and talked, it was nice.  He actually told me that he had some butterflies, too.  I again had to remove the tomato from my sandwich.  This baby obviously does not like them as much as I do.  I went home and BJ went back to work.  He called me within 20 minutes saying that he was coming home.  He didn't say it, but I know that he wanted to be with me for the call.  As we waited we just sat on the couch quietly chatting.  I told him it was only going to be good news...I just knew it.  I was wrong.

Through tears I explained to him what the nurse said and what it most likely meant.  He said he was sorry and he held me while I cried.  He made a comment that hurt me more than it helped me when I told him I just didn't get how we could get this close and have it taken away from us.  He said, "because those doctors are trying to play God."  I didn't have the emotional will power to argue with him at that time.  That discussion came last night but I won't get into that right now.  We had a meeting at the LG's school shortly after the call so we hauled ourselves out of the house.  Once we got back I googled the Hell out of low betas just trying to give myself some hope.  It didn't really work.  Most of what I read was bad.  Most low betas were earlier than mine so it didn't really apply to me.  Some people were panicking over a beta in the 100's and 200's.  Really?  Again, not helpful to me.  The LG had practice and I was going to go since it was such a beautiful day outside but decided I didn't want to socialize with any of the other mothers.  When BJ got home he said he was glad I didn't go because there was a pregnant woman there.  I'm glad I stayed home too.  It gave me a chance to beg God out loud not to take my baby.  I don't have many "out loud" conversations with God, mainly they take place in my head.  This night, however, required a certain octave.

I've never felt more desperate to hold onto something.  I've been in love with this baby since I saw that first faint line.  I know many people will say that it never was a baby...it was too early to be anything.  I disagree.  I saw the embryos.  They didn't look good but they were alive and growing.  I got a positive test, I got 4 positive tests and a positive beta.  I will always think of this as my baby.  I don't know why God chose this path for me.  It's not something I will ever understand.  I just have to learn to accept the fact that I am not meant to carry a child.  The money is gone.  There are no more options.  Adoption is too expensive to consider and I'm not emotionally ready for that, nor do I know if I ever will be.  I might consider donor eggs but that is another emotional roller coaster that I'm not sure I can deal with.  I will admit that I'm thinking about it.  Of course I'd have to take a loan from my parents for such a thing.  I'm not ready to think of next steps yet.  I'm not done getting over this loss and what this loss means for us.  I know what a hard time I had last time when our IVF failed and I didn't get a positive test.  BJ said he sort of wished I had never peed on any of those sticks.  I'm glad I did it.  I have this saying going through my head - it's better to have loved and lost than to never have loved at all.  I accomplished my goal of getting pregnant before my 35th birthday.  I guess I should have been more specific with that goal.  I now know what it feels like to really know that there is a life trying to grow inside me.  I loved that feeling.  I loved those 4 1/2 days.  BJ and I had talked about waiting a while before telling anyone.  I changed that plan to telling certain people as soon as we saw a heartbeat.  I told him that we would probably get an u/s in 2 or 3 weeks to confirm a heartbeat.  I was so excited thinking about ways to tell the LG and my parents.  I'm debating on telling my parents this story anyway.  I'd like them to know my pain so that they can offer support because I really need it.  On the other hand I don't want to hurt them.  I don't know what to do.  There's so much more to write but I'm draining myself right now so I will end this here.

Thank you all so much for your support and your hope and your words of wisdom.  I would be lost without all of you.  If you've made it this far you deserve an award but all I have to offer is my sincerest of thank you's.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

12dp5dt - Beta Results


Now I know why yesterday's test was lighter than Sunday's.

Have to go back in Thursday morning to see if by some miracle this baby sticks around.

Not holding out any hope.

Thank you all for your support and I'm sorry that I don't have better news to report.

This fucking sucks.  I'm such a sucker for hope.  Fuck hope.

Monday, May 2, 2011

11dp5dt - Really Scared Right Now - Updated**

**Going for my beta at 8:30 tomorrow morning.  My nurse said that if I had talked with her yesterday she still would not have let me come in today.  She also said that the results would be in around 1:00 and she tries to call all the beta patients first.  So by this time tomorrow I'll have my first number.  I'm sure they will want to do another one on Thursday or Friday.  I called my OB/GYN's office to reschedule my annual exam.  The receptionist said that if I get a good number tomorrow to call them and schedule my first real appointment.  She wished me luck.  It was so surreal to have that conversation and to talk about how "far along I am".  Me.  I had a phone conversation with BJ earlier and we were talking about gas prices and I how I'm pissed at our government for letting oil companies do this to us.  He said, "don't get yourself so worked up...you're pregnant."  Wow...strong words to hear out loud.  I couldn't help but smile big and feel all warm and fuzzy inside.  I'm still feeling all the twinges and "full" in my ute area and I'm hoping that is a very good thing.  I am going to enjoy this feeling right now and just hope and pray for a good beta tomorrow.  I know it will be positive and I'm hoping for it to be above 100 at this point.  I'm not coming to work after the test as we have a meeting at the Little Guy's school in the afternoon.  I will update you guys as soon as I can.  Thank you all so much for your encouraging words.  I hate that IF has ruined us to always think the worst.  I'm going to try really hard to not let that be the case anymore.  I've gotten this far with staying pretty calm and letting my faith carry me through.  I need to try harder to let go of these fears.  You guys help a  a lot.  Thank you!

Even though I have been trying to be level headed and calm about this...I am in love with the thought that there is a baby growing in me right now.  I can't stop smiling, inside or out.  I keep saying it in my head but have yet to be able to say the words out loud.  And this morning after I peed on my last FRER I was actually excited to turn it over.  I've never really been excited about a hpt before....more like scared and anxious and hopeful.  However that excited feeling quickly escaped my body as my heart sank and I saw that the line was lighter than yesterdays line.  It's definitely there and I don't need a magnifying glass to see it, but shouldn't it at least be the same as yesterday?

I've already been busy googling what this could mean.  Most of it is not good.  There have been a few people where it didn't make much difference but mostly, it's bad news.  One of my bloggy buddies actually commented that one of her tests were lighter several days after the initial positive.  That is encouraging but there's still all the other people that had a bad outcome.  I'm scared shitless right now while trying to stay positive.  That's an odd mix.  All I keep saying to myself and to God is please let this baby stay with me.  I've never been this close, I've never had these emotions before.  I've never felt like a mother until I saw those 2 lines for the first time on Friday.  I don't want this to end.

I debated buying more pee sticks and decided against it for now.  I might change my mind later but for now I can't bring myself to do it.  I called my clinic yesterday but the weekend staff would not let me move my beta up.  They said I had to ask my nurse today.  So I have a message in to her and I'm waiting to hear back on whether or not I can come in tomorrow.  I know it's only 1 day earlier but it's 1 day earlier.

BJ asked me this morning if the test was the same as yesterday's and I told him yes.  I didn't lie, it's still a positive test.  I didn't want him to start his negative thinking.  He does enough of that for 4 people.  I need him to believe that this is real as much as I do.  I told him that I was already attached and he asked me, "to the thought or to the baby?"  I said "the baby".  As the words were leaving my mouth my heart just grew with so much love.  He's still very reserved.  Last night before bed he told me that he wasn't going to believe it until the doctor told him it was real.

I woke up at 4:45 this morning unable to go back to sleep.  My mind was racing with thoughts of me having a baby in my uterus right now.  I was thinking about how I haven't had any caffeine since transfer (1 diet soda) and how I really need to drink more milk and we need to keep more fresh fruits and vegetables in the house and things like that.  And then I thought about how I'm a different person now.  BJ and I had a brief conversation last night after the LG went to bed.  I told him that it's not a false positive but that I wasn't sure how to deal with that.  I'm very good at being a sad, bitter, depressed infertile but I don't know how to be excited over a positive test yet.  He hasn't seen much of it except once last night he noticed I had my hand on my belly.  He commented about it and I just said that I've never had a reason to rub my belly and now I do.

I hope I do, anyway.  I felt so blessed when I first saw those 2 lines.  I have prayed for those 2 lines for 10 years.  To finally get them but to have them taken away from me will be too much pain to carry.  Please stick, baby....please.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

10dp5dt - OK, Now What?

From this morning, with the brand name test that states it can give you a positive up to 6 days before your missed period.

A little about yesterday:  We were doing some yard work, raking to be exact, and BJ asked me if I should be doing that and I said I wasn't working really hard, mainly just using my arms.  And then I said to him that I was a little surprised that he didn't ask me about it.  He said he didn't know that I tested because I didn't say anything.  Keep in mind that we are trying to talk in code because the little guy is with us this weekend.  I told him it was inconclusive and then he was really confused.  After we were done, the LG went to play with the neighbor and we came inside and I went and got the test with the blue line.  Here's our conversation:

Me - what do you see?
Him - a blue line
Me - what do you see in the other window?
Him - a light blue line...what does that mean?
Me - I don't know
So I had to explain that 2 lines is positive and only 1 line is negative.  I also told him that it was a cheap test and he said that he would be like me and not believe it until I took a good test.  He asked me how dark the line should be and I said that it doesn't really matter, as long as it's there.  He wasn't convinced and neither was I.

I had 2 dreams last night about getting 2 lines.  Each time I woke up I was more and more convinced that as soon as I peed, the window would be blank and it would all be over.  I woke up at 5:30 unable to sleep any longer.  I got out of bed at 6:15 because I had to pee and I knew that I had to get this over with.  So I peed and was scared to turn the test over.  Then I saw the line and I started to lightly cry.  I want this to be real but I don't know how to accept it.  I see how light the line is and I panic that it's not real.  I know too much.  I know words like "chemical pregnancy", "blighted ovum", "miscarriage".  I'm scared but happy...confused and afraid to take this for what it might actually be.  I can't even type or say the P word when referring to myself.

BJ woke up after I got back in bed and asked me if I peed.
Me - yes
Him - and?
I reached over to the nightstand and showed him the test.  Keep in mind, he's blind without his contacts.  He squinted to see it.
Him - that 2nd line wasn't there before you peed?
Me - no, it was blank...and this is the good test.  but I still don't believe it.
Him - what is it supposed to look like?
I put the test really close to his face so he could see the gray writing that explains what the results should look like.
Him - well, that's good.
Me - yeah, I'm not scheduled for blood work until Wednesday...I'm going to go insane before then.

So that's pretty much it.  I now have a 2nd pink line.  I'm still not sure what to make of it.  I'm too scared to admit that it's real for fear it won't be there tomorrow morning.