Sunday, August 30, 2015

A Storm of Showers

I'm looking at two baby shower invitations.  One for Hermione.  The one that should have been our joint shower.  The other for a fancy cousin of my sperm donor's who I didn't even know was pregnant.  Always a fun surprise flipping through bills to find another joyous pregnancy for someone else.

Fancypants is registered at Pottery Barn kids for things like a plush elephant rug.  Hermione is registered for diapers and breast pads.

Both showers are being hosted by my least favorite, most pushy family member.  I don't even care anymore.  If she's up in my face, I'll tell her the babies are dead.  It's true.

Mercifully, I am out of town for Fancypants's shower.  I thought about making up a trip for Hermione's, or even calling her and explaining.  Surely she would understand?  But my mom said I have to go.  She said she will come in so we can go together and leave early.  Mom said she will even make up the excuse.  Definitely going to be leaving early.  I hate it when mom is right.

I was digging through my desk to find a card to send to Fancypants and I found the ultrasound photos.  And I just lost it.  I started weeping like an insane person.  My whole diaphagm was shaking and I was overwhelmed with loss, sadness, hopelessness.  I  could feel the sadness squeezing on my chest.  I wouldn't wish this feeling on anyone.

I thought I was doing OK.  I had at least stopped thinking about it.  But the truth is, this might never happen for me.  I still have to meet with two specialist doctors before the FET because of my blood issues, and I haven't even made the calls to do it.  I've just been carrying Lovenox on planes so I don't get a bloodclot and die.  Eight of them now, TSA didn't even blink, but they did take my water bottle.  Fun fact, there's almost always a sharps disposal at airport bathrooms!

I'm scared to even have a FET because I already know the baby will die.  And it will try to take me with it in whatever crazy ass new way I haven't encountered yet.   I'll never be a happy pregnant lady at a baby shower with a bunch of annoying relatives.  I'll always live in fear of death.  If I can ever even make it that far.

Sperm donor has thrown out the idea of a FET in January, but he seems indifferent really.  And me, I'm pure fear.  Oh, and all this jealousy and sadness.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Proud Mama

It's been a good day.

Insurance.  I popped on over to, and they CHANGED THE WORDING ON THE PLAN!!!!   Hahahaha!  They changed to wording to say exactly what infertility is covered!  And, just like I thought, what I want is covered.  That is a big old clue, I think.  I think it means maybe I won?  G is more cautiously optimistic.  She said maybe I just scared someone...

The CCS genetic testing came back.  I have 6/7 normal embryos.  For some reason, I feel like a proud mama bear for a minute.  Someone called my babies normal!  Smile for the camera kids.  LOL.  I also felt relief wash over me.  Six confirmed normal embryos from when I am 32 means I can wait until I'm 38, 40 whatever, right?  6 normal embryos, plus five untested in the freezer, feels like a good place to be right now.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015


I hadn't seen my in laws, including my sister in law Hermione, since Easter dinner.   Handled that one like a champ when I elegantly sobbed in a back room, because my baby is dead and she has my due date for the first grandbaby.

I had given her some thoughtful gifts at Easter, including some earrings with her baby's birthstone, but I never heard from her.  I texted her about some other baby stuff people had given me that I obviously didn't need right now, and she didn't even respond.  I guess it's for the best because my bad baby juju might catch via text or my bad juju things.  You know, I live in a world where babies die.  A lot.

We went to my in-laws for a few hours, actually on the way to somewhere else, and Hermione was there.  I didn't know she was going to be there, but there was no way to prepare anyway.

She was beached flat on the sofa watching Family Fued.  And there it was, the big old reminder that I SHOULD BE SEVEN MONTHS PREGNANT.  I didn't feel anything on the surface.  That self-hate and grief is much deeper now, and I carry it around for later, taste some leftovers later when life starts to taste too sweet.  I appeared cool, so I hope that helped everyone else's comfort level.  Nobody said a word about any babies or heartbearts.   Just like Easter.  I don't even know if it's a boy or a girl.

First I beat myself up with all my failures.  That's always fun.  Why did I bring my mother in law when there would be no heartbeart?  Hermione and I had talked about a joint baby shower.  Oh god, do I still have to go to that shower?  What kind of god would want that?  She is really having the first grandbaby.  I bet they were talking about the nursery or something until I walked in.  At least I didn't end up thinking about all my sins that made me deserve this.

And then I found my thoughts in a new space.  Cattiness.  I'm not saying I'm proud, but this is where my thoughts went.  Middle school girl cattiness.  We are on fire at work, and they are struggling.  They can't even afford for her to take her FMLA leave.  Her baby daddy is in a nasty custody battle, and has been since she met him.  I don't even know how they have room for a baby in their place.  And their baby gets to live.
Hermione was always a big girl, and pregnancy really did a number on her.  I've been working out two hours a day.  I almost have visible arm muscles, though obviously my yoga zen is not working.  Her legs were swollen like someone from My 600 lb Life.  Her jaw was swollen into her neck, she was so sweaty.  And she's got two more months to go!  She didn't even get off the couch when guests came in.  She looked like warmed over hell.  Somehow that made me feel better.  But not good enough to talk to her.

And then I felt worse.  This is obviously going to get worse before it gets better.  I can redirect my thoughts away to neutral topics, but I don't know how I can get myself to a positive place when my thoughts return to it.  And now I really wish I had never seen that heartbeat and that baby was just some wondfos and some blooddraws and a better luck next time.  Every time I see that video on my phone it knocks the wind out of me.  Clearly, I need to work on my thoughts with this one, and I need to do it now.  I just don't see how her pregnancy can mean anything but "I'm sorry, but there's no heartbeat."

Thursday, August 6, 2015

How Infertility Has Made My Life Smaller

My life has become smaller because I carry a secret no one understands.  I watched Cait Jenner's reality show, and I felt dumber having watched it, and I've watched some trash TV.  But something stuck with me, this idea that Bruce lived a LIE.  Even the people who knew him best, didn't know him.  He was never his full self because he carried this secret for years.

I've lived a pretty open life, but infertility has silenced me.  I carry a secret that in many ways defines me.  It has defined my job, my workout routine, my diet, my vacations, my responses to normal banter, my interaction with others.  It kept me from kids' birthday parties, brought pain and suffering on my body, and rocked my identity to the core.  And yet, no one really knows all of it, certainly not how I feel about it.

Going way back to my emergency ectopic, I felt like no one had the "right" response.  I'm still pissed my husband never cried.   I felt like my friends didn't get it.  I wanted them to call more.  I wanted them to leave me alone.  I wanted to cry or scream or talk about it, and it was too painful to mention.  I wanted my mom to leave me alone.  She called too much, she cared too much.  My poor husband still hasn't wrapped his head around the baby dying and me almost going with it, I think.  Some people just didn't care.  I don't know what the right response was, even now.

Telling people about medical intervention, like Cait Jenner, reduces me to stats and shots and scans.  It has a certain logical appeal to explain all this to my mom, because there is no emotion in it, it is just science and the next step.  But this is drastic medical treatment that reduces my genitals and my body to a patient.  I don't even notice transvaginal ultrasounds, aka the dildo cam, anymore, but they are terrifying and invasive, or they should be to normal women.  And so, my identity as a person is reduced to my meds, my weight, my medical choices.

Most people I don't tell about this stuff anymore.  I am so disappointed in so many responses.  And I don't want to hear second-hand miracle stories or second-hand miscarriages or IVF/adoption anecdotes.  They just don't matter anymore to me.  I've heard it all.  I've lost friends.  Real, flesh and blood friends who couldn't handle it.  And everyone in my life experiences me with a lie that removes a giant part of my life from what they see.

Plenty of people in my life know about what happened over three years ago, and I'm still a drunk, so they should be able to conclude things haven't gone well.   But I stopped investing emotional energy into people who just don't give a shit and won't be able to understand how this feels.  I'd rather have no response than one that I feel is dismissive, even if well meaning.  And people used this against me without even meaning to.  My sister couldn't even respond to a text after the most recent miscarriage, which cut me to the bone.

Thinking about the reverse scenario, if someone told me their struggle, I'm not sure I could be much help either.  Calm Persistence came out with her real identity and her hellish journey through this.  She claims it let people love her?  Depending on how you count it, I guess I've had four miscarriages too, and I'm not sure even I would know how to respond to her.  It would be even more awkward if this were my sister-in-law or my dear friend.  What am I supposed to even do?  What does she expect me to do?  Am I supposed to talk about it?  Send a card?  Say some crap like I'm sorry or I know someone who had a miracle baby?  What can I possibly say to help that?  So, how can I put that responsibility on others to handle a situation that even I can't deal with?

Over three years in the infertility trenches has left me completely alone.  Honestly, I don't even think my husband understands the level of pain and of struggle I am having with my body, and with my identity.  The stakes are so high for me that I am not sure my life is even meaningful if I can't figure this out.  And yet, at some point, I must face reality that this may never happen.  So I write it here.  This is the only way I know to process it, and I don't expect anything really.  Maybe somebody gets it?  If so, I'm sorry, I wouldn't wish this on you.  I know I can't keep living with all this suffering inside.  The only way to openly live my life is with some kind of resolution.  Maybe I'll finally get pregnant, like Mark Zuckerburg's wife.  Maybe I'll just give up.  Maybe if I can't figure out that life isn't fair, life will keep teaching me that lesson over and over again.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

A Generic Response to Your Pregnancy

I got another thoughtful heads up about a friend's pregnancy, as I have every five minutes in the last three years.  The internet is full of helpful memes about what not to say to infertiles, so when someone gets it right, I can at least respond like a civilized human with a polite response.

The response I want to send:
Wow, great news, Bellatrix!  Since we last talked, I'm now zero for four.  Maybe fifth time is a charm!  Hope you have better luck than I did.  Good Luck, P

The response I did send:
Hi Bellatrix!  Thanks for the thoughtful heads up.  As you know, this has been tough on Sperm Donor and I, and it just takes time to process.  I appreciate you thinking of me and being so compassionate.

I'm sure that you will be shortly surrounded by joy and will be a great mother.  Maybe someday I will join you.  Love, P

Monday, August 3, 2015

This Is How You Do It

A friend emailed me that she won't be at our mutual friend's wedding at the end of September because she will be six months pregnant.  I wouldn't know anything about being six months pregnant, but I guess you can't fly?  She wanted me to find out from her.  I appreciated that.  Getting blindsided by a Facebook post or at the wedding is way worse.  I am so grateful for the heads up.

I got the email walking into a boot camp.  Thank god it was bootcamp and not yoga.  I was actually crying, but nobody could tell because it was so sweaty and punchy and hard.  I didn't do my best at bootcamp, but I'm not in top form anyway, and I was crying.  In yoga, I would have thought about it the whole time, way worse.  In bootcamp, you just cry and punch.

And then on the way home, I was just crying in the car.  It's not that I'm angry for her.  These thoughts actually have nothing to do with her.  They're about me.  And everyone else passing me by.  These feelings are all about me.  The email that popped into my head as a response was:  "Well, we're zero for four now, so that's a fun development since we last talked.  The last one had a heartbeat.  Maybe yours will have better luck!"

I'll have to wait a day to respond.  Blah blah good luck.  Blah blah great mother.  Blah blah so happy for you.  I need to just write this email once so I can send an autoreply.