Life "After" infertility. Being, becoming, midlife-ing, parenting... But no whistling.
30 December 2009
29 December 2009
how to climb a mountain
by Maya Stein
Make no mistake. This will be an exercise in staying vertical.
Yes, there will be a view, later, a wide swath of open sky,
but in the meantime: tree and stone. If you’re lucky, a hawk will coast overhead, scanning the forest floor. If you’re lucky, a set of wildflowers will keep you cheerful. Mostly, though, a steady sweat, your heart fluttering indelicately, a solid ache perforating your calves. This is called work, what you will come to know, eventually and simply, as movement, as all the evidence you need to make your way. Forget where you were. That story is no longer true. Level your gaze to the trail you’re on, and even the dark won’t stop you.
28 December 2009
Gratitude and love
27 December 2009
2009? Don't let the door hit your ass on the way out.
24 December 2009
22 December 2009
21 December 2009
14 December 2009
12 December 2009
10 December 2009
sad for Phoebe's negative
sad for K's lost little one
and now also deeply sad after a conversation with my clinic.
We meet with the doc monday after next, but the conversation today was a preview-- we spoke about diminished returns and how they may not be able to suggest another cycle in good conscience since they do not believe it would work. This is an ethical issue of course, and I appreciate that. But futility was not what I expected to talk about this morning when I called. I was hoping for a simple confirmation that we could do an IUI this month (the answer was a yes if the LH surge comes when we can actually do something about it). I was not expecting the donor egg, donor embryo talk.
Even if they say yes, I know it is our last assisted try. And schedule-wise we may not be able to cycle in January anyway, or at least not until the end of the month, so even if all goes well and they say yes to one more try, we'd be off another cycle. and yes I turn 43 in february. I asked about medicated IUIs and she said the same thing, they cannot in good conscience agree if they think there is no real chance of it working. (BUT IT WORKED! I want to yell, at least it almost did! I was pregnant! Please!)
My heart feels like absolute shit. This is another horrible heart/head schism where of course I know things (know she is probably right, know the stats are single digits at best, know I am probably wasting time, money and effort just to appease my future self), but gosh I feel other things so strongly (I WANT THIS SO BADLY, this THIS which= me plus him) that it is hard to breathe.
My darlin is right, the suckiest kind of suck.
09 December 2009
You tie your shoes too tight, you know
cause it feels better that way.
And when you don't, all night you are dreaming
you walk, laces streaming down the street behind you.
A river of tangled string
you are unraveling
and no one else seems to mind.
You keep it to yourself, stay numb and act fine.
You wear the truth under your sole, like a pebble
it makes you limp and sway
but it will out someday.
Take it from me it is no use
washing your hands so often they are clean and cracked.
You never get your old skin back
once you have loved like that
you're a river of tangled string...
He is inside you, he loved your marrow.
You think you could cut him out with a knife
if you went deep enough
I don't think so.
Maybe sing him back to living
'cause he might rise like a snake in a basket
or he may close his eyes
and wait till his life is a full-fledged casket, floating on
a river of tangled string...
05 December 2009
04 December 2009
I was late to work but it was completely worth it. Before it faded, a second arch showed for a few minutes, a ghost.
So many folks are out there struggling with identity issues, wondering who are we after all of this? So many new IF moms or IF pregnant ladies feeling like their lives are lived with a foot in each boat, like each one is somehow not quite true. Oh my heart aches and I know nothing I say can make a damned bit of difference since we cannot undo our experiences. This is what we have come to know, this is the shit we have slogged through or are in the midst of.
And for all of us, I hate that we say to ourselves that we ARE infertile, instead of "having" infertility. It is as if this has become us, we have become it.
Of course "having" it means there is a chance in hell to "lose" it. (dang, where did I put that infertility? must be around here somewhere---- OH to be so friggin lucky...).
And so I ask myself:
Is that truly who I am? Infertilekate?
What about kate who laughs and runs through sprinkers? what about kate who feels her heart swell when the cat deigns to sit upon her lap? what about hot shower bliss kate? flannel sheet kate? slow kiss kate? crying at npr kate? what about kate who writes? or paints? or catches snowflakes on her tongue?
WHY CAN'T THESE COUNT MORE RIGHT NOW?
In some ways the honest answer is that I feel so darned broken, it is impossible to forget the fucking struggle, and it is a struggle almost each and every moment. And this process, fueled by running out of time, just is consuming.
But me and the rainbow? for those moments, I was not even kate, I was not infertile, I was not broken. I was just wonder and awe.
02 December 2009
10 seconds of soft
It is as if I am really good at moving from acute hell to a skinned over place that feels more superficially whole, and I think SEE? THERE! I'M OK! When really? I am still a bag-o-shards. It does not take much to puncture the veneer. And the worst part? I'm so good at faking myself out that I'm surprised when it happens, when the punctures occur, which is crazylunacy.
I realized yesterday that a good word for my current state is brittle, which sounds bitter and isn't, or angry and isn't, but it does speak to a certain lack of resilience and elasticity. Right now, it takes nothing to set me off, make me teary, make my heart feel like it is sinking. I've talked a lot here about coping, and being FINE, and yeah, I am coping, I am fine. But I am also not fine and it is really hard to admit that, even to me.
Last night my darlin' surprised me with a disco ball, music, and slow dancing in the living room. It was lovely even though my mood made me feel more tender than anything and I felt more like crying than laughing (WHICH SUCKS).
(I should title this post: In Which Kate Uses Random Capitalization to Make a Point or Two)
The truth is, I am bad at feeling bad. I have no patience for it. Reject it as OTHER. It is not me, I am buoyant, so what the fuck? I wonder if for a moment, I could do what my sweet sister suggested and say, I have a right to feel bad. This sucks ass.
and so I say to myself. see? you? feeling bad? (baby typing with question marks)
THAT MAKES SENSE. But I hate it.
But, what if I simply allowed it.
BUT! (I say) I HATE IT!
Yeah yeah, katekate I know you do, I hear you. you hate it. I get that. but allow does not mean embrace or embody. and it may mean not fighting myself in every moment.
So in this land that is full of what ifs,
what if, for the next 10 seconds, I just allowed myself to feel what I feel, even if I wish it were different.
I feel softer. like for those 10 seconds i was not battling myself.
hmm. isn't that something.
01 December 2009
I am finding it hard not to be aware that the 9th, looming, my would have been due date. It feels impossible. I read about Onwardsandsideways fabulous 38th week. We got pregnant at the same time, and where she is feels like a foreign land. I ache for that possibility that truly wasn't, and for my easy projection then into this upcoming holiday time with big belly and then baby and a new year beginning with our bigger family. And it feels like a dream I had once. Not like a real thing that truly could have been. And yet, dream or not, it cuts pretty deeply, you know?
Speaking of dreams, I dreamed of babies last night, one could type and had written this whole short story in tiny question mark delimited fragments like this: One could type? and? the whole story? was in fragments?
And it was weird to read it, since I kept thinking: MY BABY WROTE THIS. I also dreamed of my last high school, of visiting for some sort of movie watching reunion thingy, having one very foamy beer (I do not drink at all in real life), getting woozy drunk, and kissing some random guy named Eric who does not actually exist, and needing to leave before in-dorms but realizing I was too drunk to drive and not entirely sure where I parked anyway. The stars were amazing as I wandered about looking for my car, that I do remember. So my point? My dreams are not all portentous. Most are just brain barf.
And now, speaking of brain barf, I feel like babbling here for a while- I guess this means I am surfacing. So this? This portends well.
30 November 2009
Not being able to do anything but an unmedicated IUI this cycle is also hard-- it is always easier to have the distraction of a complex protocol. So I am temping again (Maddy, I don't bother temping when I am on progesterone support since it makes my temps nice and high and holds off my period, so I find it very misleading). I will take mucinex. We will test for the LH surge. I have asked for an IUI.
But, yeah. I got to dance with my old friend acute grief for a while and while it is nice to be led around so masterfully since I know so well how that goes, really? I am ready for something else.
I am trying very hard to not drown in this. I am succeeding except sometimes when a wave washes up and pulls me under. I almost feel like I am watching it happen.
But I'll be ok. Last night around 2 I woke up crampy (gosh this period has some major butt-kicking cramping), and the moon was far in the western sky, up behind some popcorn clouds, and it was so lovely. And in moments like those, I just feel the joy of it. And this part of me, this part of the katemosaic, this part is so good.
Thank you all for your wonderful and kind support and frustration on our behalf. It means so much to hear you roar and shake your heads and fists and feel this is unfair: Thank you.
Sending love to all of you out there in limbo right now (Jules, and Sassy, and Scifibaby) I am so sorry about the in-betweenness. I think that sucks extra.
27 November 2009
26 November 2009
25 November 2009
the middle way
the right thing is just to be pregnant.
this slow exposure of what is, the reveal, yeah... there is no right way to do this part... so
yes, I peed on a stick this morning (unambiguously negative) and called the clinic on the way to the lab to ask that they do not call me with results today. I will wait for friday's test. I am already feeling mighty sad and trying hard not to be consumed by it, so I will buy myself some time, some days to fill the way I want: with hope if I want, with possibility, with art, with reading, with good things and dear friends and loved ones.
I do not want to KNOW it is over. I need to keep some hope. So I will. Even if it is just for two more days.
So, why did I pee on a stick? Yeah, um, I guess this is why I call it the middle way. I told myself I did not want to accidentally defer joy-- if it were positive I would have said hell yeah! call me with the beautiful number! I just wanted it to be positive, that's all. And while that is all true, I also know it does not really answer in a way I wholly believe, so I guess I do not have a full open honest answer. Maybe it is just: Because I had to. I was there, it was there, our eyes met across the bathroom... yeah, I don't have a good answer.
So in spite of my compliKatedness and my heavy feeling of sad, today, I will try to remain open-hearted and hopeful. I will let myself feel the twinging and believe that it could mean something good. I will look forward to writing tonight, and wonderful companionship, and reading good books, and artmaking, and walking, and... I will let myself float for a few days.
For those of you who know my analytical side, this may seem unthinkable-- but I am beginning to believe what I already recognized, that some of this needs to be about feeling not thinking, and I want to feel ok.
If I get the now mostly expected negative on friday, at least the news will come a few days closer to beginning again. At most I imagine I'll have one more kate-egg IVF cycle before I turn 43 and the clinic stops IVF with me-- It may be december or january. but that's it. we only have the credit for one more IVF anyway.
They would then let us do some medicated IUI's but not many-- they'll do 6 total and we're halfway through those already.
I am needing to know what is next, while hoping that it is not necessary. But in the meantime, I will try like hell to let myself be ok, enjoy the soft fog, and the silly woolly ponies, and the donkey in the cattle pasture, and the bright berry colored leaf that I picked up on the way in, and the collection of pine cones I keep adding to, here on my crazy piled up desk...
24 November 2009
intriguing Tarot (Click the images to view my most recent reading. Well now....)
experiencing the futility of peeing on a stick at 11dpo just because it is the last moment my darlin is in town for a few days (big ole stark white negative).
I am curious about the magnitude and obsessively circling self talk, I sound like a lunatic even to myself.
I don't know I don't know I don't know
it is too early i could still be pregnant
it was silly to pee on the stick however well intended
the cramping? probably just the colitis sneaking up on me
it is too early I could still be pregnant
it is too early.
I could still be pregnant.
I could be pregnant right this very moment.
fucking pee stick (notice my lack of culpability as if it is the pee stick's fault I have no rationality, no self control).
Ok then. So now what?
My life is about more than this. I am looking forward to a few reading days, writing days, art days... days with no TV while my darlin' is away. With luck I will write with beloved Tammy on wednesday. I am off work on thursday and friday so I have some time alone. There's a tofu pumpkin pie to make that is actually awesome and delicious (boy was I surprised!). And I have a nice weekend ahead filled with feasting down at my sister's. My mom, my grandma, my sister, her kids... 4 generations, how lucky am I??
but then I ask myself in a small voice, what if my period comes on saturday?
and I confessed to Doug that with 13% of my brain, I am starting to think about what's next. Ultrasound on monday for baseline cyst check?
can i say how much this sucks?
and my small but getting bigger evolving voice says
Ferchrissakes kate, feed the right wolf!
yeah, I say, yeah, says I, I'm trying. I just do not want to be eaten, that's all.
23 November 2009
22 November 2009
20 November 2009
story of the day from Story People
|Here's the Story of the Day:|
|I only do this until I get dizzy & then I lay down on my back & watch the clouds, she said. It sounds simple but you won't believe how many people forget the second part.|
Copyright 2006, StoryPeople. Click here to send your own e-greeting from www.storypeople.com
18 November 2009
feeding the wolf
And I promised myself I would focus on all that is good, and that includes allowing myself to feel hopeful that one or both of these little ones will be chromosomally normal and, if so, decide to stick around for the duration.
Such a heavy frost fell over night it looked like snow, but each blade of dried grass was frosted and sparkly. This is not a colorful season, but there is such beauty-- a big apple tree that sits in the middle of a tangled hillside is bare except for fist-sized yellow apples that hang like ornaments.
And the sun, when it hits the street signs, pulls steam upwards as water goes from ice to air.
I catch myself being worried or negative (over and over and over again), and then I gather myself together, move myself one inch toward the positive, open my eyes and really look around. I hope I can keep this up- it's an effort to be sure, but it is brings me back again and again to such a more peaceful place.
16 November 2009
15 November 2009
14 November 2009
13 November 2009
12 November 2009
This year has been full of celebrations and frustrations and sadness and a year of new connections and friendships, of love and support. I do not know where I would be without all of you.
My sister Sarah is the true cause of the ruckus since she is the one who suggested I start this blog when my "last" (HA, if only) IUI failed and I was on the road to IVF that December and January.
I felt so strange starting a blog, there are so many great blogs already out there, heck, I'd read a little pregnant and here be hippogriffs for years... what would I possibly have to say that is new? And then I realized that the very fact of writing provided some relief from the loneliness of this whole shitty thing since I could write whatever I wanted or needed to. If felt better to just to put it out there, send it out into the ether. And then, I joined cyclesista and found my posse! Folks who understood what I was going through since they were going through it too. Mo and Sprogblogger and Maredsous and Magsy and Elle and April and Sarah and t, and the next month Joannah and Megan and What If...the EB and Barefoot.... and musicmakermomma... I found others of you from blog lists, and others of you found me too.
And oh! The first time I had a commenter! Someone I did not know! (B was my first not-previously-known-to-me commenter and such a sweet comment too! ) And I had no idea how wonderful that would feel, it was so incredibly affirming.
I cannot express how important it has been for me to find all of you. Thank you!
This has been one hell of a year. It has been a year where I have poured hope into cycle after cycle, and tasted brief, magical, magnificent success with our pregnancy, and then lost something so precious when it ended, and was (and will always be) heartbroken. I am trying, we are trying, we are hopeful, but we are bruised by the trying and failing over and over. So I am trying to begin to transition to accepting the idea that this road may end soon, and trying to have faith that another will begin.
Thank you so much for coming along with me on this crazy journey. I am so damn sorry for our common struggle, but am so grateful to have you all here.
And I wish beyond wishing that all our wishes come true.
11 November 2009
it's a go
Retrieval friday morning (FRIDAY THE 13th BABY! BRING IT ON!), 7:30 check in (FINGERS CROSSED there are actually eggs in there like last time)
Transfer (if all goes well, please please please) on monday.
So-- we're on!
for those of you following along at home, my E2 today was 2252 and I have about 4-5 follicles that look likely/possible, actual numbers and sizes are in the car scribbled on a scrap of paper (I will update these posts someday with real numbers for posterity).
Extra scared since I am hopeful.
Holy shit, we're actually doing this thing.
10 November 2009
Letting the big one go
I am over the moon for Traci of If Optimist for her fabulous ultrasound confirmation of her 2 7w monsters, and for Sprogblogger for finally getting her dang period so she can get on with this DE cycle and motherhood thankyouverymuch.
And Happy Birthdays to my sweet Alyssa and to Sprogblogger, and to Sesame Street... 2 of the 3 are 40 today I think.
thanks to all of you for pulling for me this cycle. I turned the corner from sad and blue to actually laughing today over the absurdity of it all-- this is such silliness really, how much I want to control this! and oh, how little I can actually do anything about.. a good reminder I suppose. I am along for this ride, I'm not really driving.
Maybe we'll know more tomorrow, maybe not.
Trying to stay flexible. But oh, how I am wishing for sleep.
09 November 2009
possibly but probably not-update
I am right on the cusp of the IUI vs IVF cutoff, so we'll rescan tomorrow- I have tons (for me) of follicles on the right side but but but they are small, so probably only the top 4 (2 from the left, and 2 from the right) will be even potentially mature. They are confident about 2. We are thinking I will trigger tomorrow night for whatever fun we'll have on thursday, but really? It is looking like IUI since my lead follicle is already at 17 (17,15,13, 13 and maybe 6 more under 10)--- E2 1498.... this decision may be out of my hands.
So, if IUI, I will try to be positive, since it is, after all, how I got pregnant. So it is possible, it can work...
but shit. I hate being on the fence, not being sure what we'll be able to do. And I just want to optimize our chances of success. But hey now, at least I have follicles! And my E2 from saturday indicates they are not decoys... so I will try to focus on being happy about that.
It is the most beautiful crazy warm breezy day here and I want to be home in the hammock after taking a long (orange vested) hike. Alas, work.
**update** we'll see how things are tomorrow but Dr. M is encouraged by my E2 and we may try to push things off one more day to see if we can get more on board. I am happy with this.
I may know more tomorrow.
08 November 2009
I am a happykate in my natural state, this? this part of my cycle is all sad and questioning and raw.
BUT I know what it is this time, so this time I am not thinking it is me. And this is such a relief.
Woke up raw and horrid, so I hiked a beautiful hike under an unbelievable blue sky, and felt pretty good until I met up with a guy with a shot gun, oh yeah, hunting season, how shitty... then worked in the yard with my darlin' in a bright orange vest, then met up with my dear friend David for tea and conversation and a walk with sunshine on my face. It was fun to see the trees stripped down to fruit and seed-- so many beautiful textures, crabapples, ornamental oak leaves, seed pods....
Tomorrow I head up north for an 8:30 appointment, so I have to be up at 6 or before. Somewhere in there I will do the injections-- at this point I am hoping I will be there early enough to do it there instead of en route. Morning is two vials of menopur and one follistim, so there is mixing. And now there is my Ganirelix syringe swap too. I will take their advice most likely, but if there are more than 4 I will try for IVF I think-- here is why: I have not been able to stim two months in a row since I have had leftover cysts each time... so it is one month on, one month off... and this month is November, so December would be off, and then there could be a cycle in January and that would be my last IVF at Dartmouth-- February I turn 43. So this month? I should do everything I can.. simply because I will only have this cycle and maybe just one more before my birthday.
BUT this will turn out however it does.
And in the meantime, just like in those old innocent days when I thought I was insane but it was the clomid, this time I know I feel like shit because of the hormones. So I know this is not a good time to make big changes or begin to question my choices. Now is a good time to coast and stay peaceful and as separate as possible from the crazies.
Those? over there? wreaking havoc with the clothes rack? yeah, those are mine, they're my crazies....yeah, you know what can I do? they're at THAT age...