Dusting “Dreams” Off for One Last Entry

Yep, that’s right! This is the last entry I’ll be posting in this blog.

*cries*

First, a link to the post I just wrote, for those of you who’ve been following since the beginning and have the password. It’s for my IF/RPL sisters’ eyes, only. 😛

My new blog, which I’ll link to at the end of this post, will hopefully have some activity on it by next week or the week after. Once I settle into my new routine, I hope to make it a part of my weekly to-do’s, if not more often than that. 🙂

I just wore myself out writing that protected post…so I don’t think this is going to be as long as I expected it to be. Just a quick update.

All I have left standing between me and the semester-that-never-ends is a copyediting final exam and a final book publishing project. The former is Monday, the latter Tuesday. Then I will be done! HALLELUJAH! (I mean, I’ll still have two semesters to complete at some point but…I’ll get there.)

Work has been crazy insanely busy, hence why I haven’t had any posts lately. Usually I use my lunchtimes at work to write (since there’s no such thing as downtime at home with HW and house things to do all the time), but I’ve barely been taking lunches. Usually I just eat while I work. And if I do take a lunch, it’s so I can do HW. Oi!

The house is slowwwwly coming together. I mean, it’s not together or even close to being together in the least, but we’ve made progress. Everything is out of the apartment and we hand over the keys to that in three weeks…never to set foot in it again (not that I have since we started staying at the house, but whatever). Once school is over, I’ll be able to help start organizing and sorting things. We are still kind of living out of boxes. Kind of a disaster!

And that’s…kind of it! Christmas is in two weeks! OMG! I’ve been listening to Traditional Christmas on Pandora since the week after Thanksgiving. 😉

Okay so…here’s the link to my new blog. Please be aware there will be no password-protecting on there. I’ll be posting photos and writing at will about anything and everything going on in my life, including the rest of this pregnancy and motherhood. I’ll also be posting about life in general as the end of this pregnancy and the beginning of motherhood is just one of the many things in my life that have drastically changed. My life’s been in transition for a while and 2015 is going to be the moment all of these smaller parts finally come together and start working in sync. It’s going to be crazy. I would love if all of you followed me but I know that’s not realistic. Please do it in your own time, if you even want to at all. Also, something else to note: I will be unlocking most of the protected entries from the past so that others who would like to can read about the journey I went through on here in its entirety (with the occasional post still protected as a special interaction between me and my IF/RPL sisters, to remain closed off from “the real world” of friends and family).

Do know I will continue to follow all of you. I know I haven’t been as active on here as far as commenting goes. But I’ve still been reading. So many of you have experienced loss recently and it breaks my heart. I wish I could do something for all of you to make your pain go away. 😩

Well that’s that. I officially declare this blog inactive. Thank you everyone who’s followed me on this journey. Words will never express how much your compassion, empathy, strength, and love did for me in the last year. I will be forever in debt of your kindness. ❀

There Are Good People in this World

You see, early last winter, I decided I wanted to start a personal blog. Freshly started in graduate school and navigating my second year of marriage and my second pregnancy, I looked forward to the second trimester after Christmas and planned to blog about embarking on my crazy “adult” adventures. I had my second miscarriage before the end of the year, but despite that, I still went live with my blog on January 1st. I befriended random people, people with writing or publishing connections…on occasion, though, I would type “miscarriage” into the topic search bar and look for other bloggers out there who had been through what I’d been through.

And that’s how I met ACalmPersistence.

I followed her blog for a while, super paranoid that I would somehow be “found out” by any family or friends following my blog if I commented personally on her entries, so I tried to be as generic as I could while reading her struggles with medicated cycles and cysts. Finally, though, I decided I wanted to reach out. Desperate for a connection with someone, anyone, that wasn’t a friend that felt bad for me but didn’t understand a bit of the pain I was feeling. It’s funny to think that about six months ago, I was nervous about reaching out to someone about this…knowing what I know now of the RPL/IF community. About how desperate we all are to find that particular empathy that is difficult to find anywhere else. I reread the email over and over and over, wondering if she’d be mad at me for contacting her, wondering if it was inconsiderate of me to mention my own losses as if by comparison, wondering if she would even want to talk about it with me. A complete stranger. An “internet person.”

I was wrong.

What followed was a good string of at least five, if not a few more emails back and forth. I was just starting to navigate my way through the world of RE’s and infertility testing and procedures, and I was terrified and missing my babies. She was in the midst of it and was more than willing to offer advice, and to share her experiences, and just be a generally nice person to me. It was a relief. It was she and another blogger that I became friends with for different reasons (who then suffered her first miscarriage shortly after I started following her) that most likely led to the creation of this blog. I realized that there were others out there like me, suffering in silence and bearing a pain we can’t see or touch. I realized there was a place for me.

And these months, following my second miscarriage and during the seemingly never-ending four months of testing and procedures, held the darkest days I’d had in a while. I was struggling. And getting on Twitter and WordPress, even anonymously, honestly helped me heal. And it all started with her.

And Saturday afternoon, after a few hours looking at houses with my husband, we return home to find a package sitting on our doorstep. What waited for me inside brought me to very literal tears.

photo

“I believe in this for you!” ❀

A little light-up ladybug, a envelope marked “Dear Friend” with a card and heartfelt note written inside, and finally the piece that actually made me catch my breath: a little teething ring/rattle. The very first actual baby gift I’ve received in my life.

I was overwhelmed. I knew something might be coming for me eventually, as she’d obviously asked for my address several weeks earlier, but this…this…I was not expecting! I let out a yelp, as I was sitting on my bed resting when I opened the package, and my husband came in asking what was in it. When I showed him, he just smiled. I told him who it was from and he said, “She didn’t need to do this.” I couldn’t agree more.

But she did.

This, coming not even 24 hours after she announced on Twitter that she’d confirmed her fourth loss. My heart, although happy and thankful, was breaking for her. For someone to be going through her own struggles and yet still take the time to reach out to someone else and root for her the way she has for me…words can’t do my gratitude justice.

I’m sorry, this is an awfully mushy-gushy post. But I feel like I owe it to her. I owe it to her to let you all know how lucky you are to have someone like her as a friend in this community. She truly is a one of a kind person.

❀

Baby Steps

Fantastic news! I am now allowed to do partial weight-bearing!

And there was much rejoicing.

No, but there really was. It is an amazing feeling to be able to make some progress. The only thing is, it’s scary as hell. I am only allowed to bear about 25% of my body weight (I’ll spare myself the embarrassment on how many pounds that means) so I went home and pressed on a scale with my bad leg until I reached that amount, to try and get an understanding for how much weight that is.

But when I’m walking, it’s hard to tell! And on top of that, my leg is so weak. I honestly underestimated how much strength a person can lose in 6 weeks. And I’m so nervous that I’m going to put too much weight on it. And then I’m nervous I’m not putting enough. And then my leg was sore yesterday in the knee area, probably because it’s all like, “Hey, what are you doing? I’ve been chilling for almost two months. Why are you doing this to me?”

But that’s life. Hardly anything is ever really “easy.”

But anyway…so that’s happening. I see my orthopedist in two weeks and we will see how far I’ve progressed since then. I told him I want to go back to school in September, so he is going to get me into physical therapy so I can get back on my feet sooner rather than later. Progress, progress, progress, baby.

The house thing is kind of stuck right now. I need this weekend off. Since we got back from vacation, we have looked at houses for at least four hours straight at least once per weekend. I need a damn break. J can’t really take a day off because he’ll have to make it up, so technically his AT ends after 5:00 on the 14th. The plan is for him to come home that night, spend Friday and Saturday with me to look at houses, and then he will return Sunday to make up four days (I thought it was three, I was wrong, damnit). At least that’s if his commander approves the days. They have to make sure he has something to do.

So, this weekend, I am relaxing. I am hoping my good friend comes to visit. Although since she’s been home, she’s been spotty with texting me back and won’t decide on a day, so I have this overly paranoid fear that she’s avoiding me (because of the fact that I hardly talk to anyone from “the group” we both used to be a part of? I don’t know). But whatever. My best friend is coming over tomorrow and we are going to the movies or something. We will probably get Panera, again, because their macaroni and cheese is AMAZEBALLS. I’ll catch up on some TV, and sleep, and…relax.

And partially bear weight on my bad leg. It actually hurts less today than yesterday (which is when I started writing this post). Score.

Wow. This post is all over the damn place. I’m going to go now. Because I’m at work. And should probably be working.

So…yeah. Bye!

Second Beta, #pgpost, Password Protected Posts, and Holy Shit This Is Real

Where I am: 19dpo
Medications: Crinone
Symptoms: same as before
also either reflux or heartburn, occasional nausea, and a confused stomach


 

Screen Shot 2014-07-09 at 2.59.35 PM

That’s right…my second beta came back at an astounding 881.

Now before you go crying multiples, remember that there was a five day difference there. So it was bound to be a large number. However, I do try to do the math in my head (read: on my phone), and if they double every 48 hours and it was 54 at 12dpo, then it should have been 108 at 14dpo…and then 216 at 16dpo? Is that right?

So yeah, 881 is still a high number. But tomorrow’s third and probably final (they test up until 1,000) beta will tell more. We are obviously looking for at least a 1,600. Continue reading

Recognizing NIAW

National Infertility Awareness Week is going on right now, as I type this. Millions, I’m sure, of women around the globe are posting to Twitter, Facebook, and other social media sites, facts and personal stories about infertility. Many have “come out” as infertile to their friends and families as a sign of unity, of recognition, of raising awareness.

While I would love more than anything to be one of those women, I’m not ready. It’s as simple as that. The last year has been harder than any other struggle I’ve had in my life, and I’m not ready to expose that pain yet. I’m not ready for the questions. I’m not ready for the sympathetic looks. I’m just not ready.

One day, though—hopefully one day soon—I will join these brave women. I will be open about my infertility, my pain, and hopefully my success. I will help the rest of us, the 1 in 8’s, raise awareness about infertility. I will join in and make sure that everyone I know learns what it means to have that diagnosis. But until then, I will just have to recognize NIAW in my own way, and show support for those like me the best way I can.


Sometimes I wonder if I’ve always known that I would have problems with fertility.

Ever since I was a kid, I’ve always said the same thing: “I want more than anything to be a mom. I don’t know what I would do if I couldn’t have children.” Maybe it was my mother’s endometriosis and subsequent hysterectomy, maybe it was the supposed burst ovarian cyst I was diagnosed with at the tender age of 13. Or maybe it was something inside that just knew.

In retrospect, it doesn’t matter, I guess. I went through life, expecting to have children. As I got older, I would say how nervous I was about finding out I couldn’t have kids, acknowledging my endo mother and—though I had not been diagnosed—fearing the worst. But I never really thought I would have trouble. I thought I would be one of those obnoxious people who’d say that they were worried and then magically had no problems conceiving, no problems carrying.

I verbalized my fear all the time, but I don’t think I ever really felt it.

Not until last May, when I had some spotting less than 2 weeks after getting my positive pregnancy test. Not until the nurse on the 24/7 hotline said she was recommending I go to the hospital because it was my first pregnancy and I had yet to have an ultrasound. Not until I called my parents to come pick me up, as my husband was out of the state for military duties.

Not until I was ransacking the mess in my bedroom as I looked for my medical insurance information, getting changed out of my work clothes into something more comfortable. I was sobbing hysterically and repeating, “No, no, no, this can’t be happening, no, no” to no one in particular. That fear of not being able to have a baby was realized in that moment. It became more than words, it became a reality. My reality.

The last year…I don’t know how I made it to 2014. May’s bleeding led to a diagnosis of a blighted ovum, missed miscarriage. I spent the summer trying to drag myself out of a dark, miserable hole of depression and anger. I withdrew from my friends and family. I cried…often. I got pregnant again in the fall, and with each passing week I felt more and more like that first miscarriage was a mistake. It was just a glitch in the system. Something had been wrong with the embryo, not me, and this time would be okay. The ultrasound at the halfway point between eight and nine weeks reassured me of this and I felt like I was in the clear. Everything was fine. I was fine.

Then Christmas Eve’s NT scan revealed that everything was not fine. This sweet little thing that my husband and I had created…this little being that had a heartbeat, and a head, and almost arms and legs, was gone. That little heart stopped beating. And I felt like mine would, too.

I spent the winter worse off than the summer. I didn’t leave the house save for once or twice for an entire two months. I spent my days on the couch, zoning out in front of the TV and eating whatever the hell I felt like eating—when I wasn’t incapacitated by such an intense grief that my sobbing made my throat raw. I went through the motions with my brand new Reproductive Endocrinologist, getting testing done and finding this, that, and the other thing wrong with me. With every test came bad news in one form or another: uterine polyps, a finicky thyroid, a blood clotting issue, an overactive pituitary gland. With each one I felt beat down even more, like life was taking a metal bat to my body, hitting me until I was on the ground and then hitting me some more once I was down. It was relentless.

The worst part was realizing it wasn’t a mistake. There were things wrong. I was wrong. My body was failing me at the one thing I probably would kill for, if it meant my body would do it right. The one thing I wanted more than anything else in my whole life—more than a job, more than some dream house, more than anything.

This one thing I wanted. And my body was betraying me.

But I made it through the winter. I made it out of the darkness, both literally and figuratively, and I’m on the other side of that loss. There isn’t a day that goes by that my stomach and arms don’t feel empty and aching, but I have my eyes trained on the future. And I don’t think I’d be able to do that without the amazing support system I have.

My husband and my parents are amazing. They are nothing but understanding. My husband is always telling me how strong I am, especially when I am feeling my weakest, and how much I’ve amazed him over the last year with my resilience. My parents are there for me for whatever I need. A ride to a procedure, a hand to hold at a doctor’s appointment, you name it. My mother tries not to cry when she tells me she wishes she knew how I felt so she could tell me it gets better, that she knew how to fix it.

And then, there’s you. There’s the women I’ve found on WordPress and Twitter, who’ve had miscarriages or been diagnosed with infertility, who find it in them somehow to keep moving forward, to keep trying, to keep hoping. These amazing, strong ladies who comfort me when I’m feeling lost, who encourage me when I approach a new treatment for the first time (or have to stick myself with a needle for the first time, in a bathroom stall at school), who empathize with my pain and my fear and my anger and my resentment. Women who don’t judge me when I can’t face a friend who’s accidentally pregnant and due within weeks of when my little one would’ve arrived; women who understand that sometimes, the grief and the emptiness overcome you and you just can’t be positive and upbeat that day; women who can tell you “Try to think good thoughts” and other similar phrases without sounding condescending.

It sounds mean when we say to people who aren’t infertile, “You just don’t get it.” But there’s no escaping that truth. In the same way a soldier returning from war tells his friends and family who eagerly want to know what went on over there: “You just don’t get it.” We can’t know what it is like to be overseas, on the front lines, guns blazing and bombs detonating. Just the same way people not diagnosed with infertility can’t understand what it’s like to see a negative pregnancy test over and over and over, or to feel your body changing as a life grows inside of you only to have it taken from you for unknown reasons, or to have to endure countless blood draws and needle sticks and pill schedules and painful procedures, and the waiting…and waiting…and waiting.

It’s why I’m here with my chin up today. It’s why I think I can face another year of more tests, more procedures, more methods—if I have to. I’ve found this group of women who, when my husband or my parents can’t, will understand what I’m going through. The appreciation, the gratitude, the overwhelming emotions associated with knowing I have these women to turn to—there are not enough words in the world to thank them.

I find strength in your strength. I find hope in your hope.

Thank you. ❀