That familiar loneliness

Man, it was shaping up to be a really good day too.

This whole last week, ever since our ultrasound, I’d been meaning to email some friends in Texas to let them know that we’d finally conceived.  They were one of three friends from back home that actually followed up and wanted to know how things went in Omaha.  I had been wanting to tell them we are pregnant, but after all the progesterone worries I wanted to make sure that everything was going alright.  Well, I finally emailed them back and used words like “busting at the seams to tell you” and “we can’t believe it” etc., etc.

I get a response this afternoon from them.  Basically along the lines of, Oh great, we’re very happy for you!  Now seems like a great time to tell you that we’re 20 weeks along and we’re having a boy.

(Keep in mind I just hit 10 weeks, like, yesterday.)

Heart, meet the soul of my shoe.

I was shocked and I tell you, I would have started crying right there in the office had I not been pregnant myself.  That familiar loneliness that follows you everywhere came rushing back.  Not that I feel particularly popular or anything now (I actually still feel like I’m carrying around a giant secret of my husband and I) but the people I have told have shared stories and bonded with me with a sense of camaraderie that an in-/sub-fertile woman can only get in the blogs.  This is why this place is so important.  I swear, even in real life sometimes other women who are having trouble conceiving just sugar-coat it all and don’t tell you how they’re really doing.  I’ve even had people offer to add me to prayer chains for expectant mothers and heard so many times at mass “We pray for those women expecting.”  What about the ones that can’t have children, people? Do you even think about them??? 

Back to the email, I went from shocked to really, really upset.  I just imagined a very, very likely, alternate universe more like the past 25 months in which I did not conceive and did not become pregnant.  Reading that email (which of course, I wouldn’t have gotten because I would have not sent my own announcing my pregnancy) and finding out that my dear friends, who I’ve actually written about here before and were extremely supportive and understanding and more than I could have asked for, were 20 weeks pregnant and keeping it from me.  Seriously, I’ve had nightmares about this stuff.

It probably sounds like I’m asking for too much.  Like because I’m having trouble conceiving I want the world to bend around me and cater to my every demand.  No, actually, as much as I would have loved a personal email announcing the pregnancy (considering these are close friends that have helped me through the hard times), I would totally settle  for being told just like everyone else on Facebook.  Not being treated like some emotionally unstable, must protect her from herself, crazy woman (because clearly, I am far from that! I hope you’re laughing).

I feel like I did when I told a close friend that my sister was pregnant again.  “So, do you want to kill her or what?”  I burst out crying.  To me that was worse than any other response, worse than the sadness over my own inability to conceive, that my friend would think that I would feel that way about my new niece/nephew.  That these complicated feelings were so misunderstood by people not in it, and whether it was something I said or did previously or the way that people think sub-/infertile women think we handle pregnancy announcements that caused her response.  (Sorry Em, don’t know if you read this but I don’t think I told you that story.)

Being so misunderstood creates such a loneliness that only compounds the pain.  And it hurts that even close friends (in both circumstances) couldn’t understand.  This blog world really truly is a great area where people can share those dark moments without being judged or misunderstood (at least by other women/couples in the same position – no doubt not everyone understands fully).

To quote Hebrews “The pain we feel over a pregnancy announcement, as you know all too well, doesn’t really have anything to do with the fact that the pregnant person is pregnant…it has everything to do with the fact that the infertile/subfertile is NOT. Please don’t feel guilty.”

So, to sum it all up: Please, please you pregnant people out there, please tell that friend who’s having trouble conceiving that you’re pregnant when you’re ready to tell the rest of the world  (preferably individually via email).  I know its hard to do, but really, it has to happen.

 

Especially when you’ve already asked that couple to be the godparents of your next child.  I mean, come on.

 

(In full disclosure, I have already already shared these similar sentiments with my friends and they have apologized and admitted not knowing how to tell us.  So I’m not trying to trash them on this blog, I just wish it didn’t happen this way and am maybe hoping others don’t make the same mistake unintentionally.)

The dream continues!!

So there really was a little baby in there today!!

We just had our appointment this afternoon and after a long chat with the doctor she finally started the ultrasound and BAM!  There popped up a little baby on the screen!  So crazy that every other time I’ve had one of those done everything looks so unidenifiable and “Oh yes, that’s the uterus, now we’re measuring the thickness.  Lets search for your ovary now…” But wow, I needed no one to show me where the baby was!  Baby was just chillin’ there, sitting pretty like he was ready for his first photo :)

And he took a good one!  He looked like a chunky little gummy bear.  I started to get worried because she was taking pictures but he wasn’t moving.  I said something and she turned on the sound and we heard the heart beat!  Super, super fast!  Like 176.  And he’s measuring at 9weeks, when really I’m something like 9weeks 3 days, so I guess that’s ok?  I’m just reading that from the picture, she didn’t actually say anything… But then he started wiggling his arms and kicked his little legs!  Crazy.

I started crying before the appointment even started.  And then when he popped up on the screen, I started crying again.  Such happy, happy tears.

And it was my swiss cheese ovary, ms. righty that made it happen.  Way to go girl.  Although I could have sworn it was the left ovary I felt the pain from last month.  Oh well, if there is one thing I realized, its that I know so little.

Oh yeah, and he’s totally a little moonhead :)

 

Oh yeah, after searching for bloggers’ progesterone levels after I wrote the last week and then proceeding to have my husband find me freaking out when my husband got home, I was officially banned from the blogs for the week so, yeah.  Now I’m back though :)

Little takes

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Thank you all for your comments yesterday.  You have no idea how they have lifted my spirits…your stories about nausea free pregnancies and your prayers, man.   They were a great remedy for my fear.  You seem to only hear about the pregnancies that are bad, but I guess that’s just because we like to complain, huh?  ;)  I still am a numbers girl though and man, when I think about that 18, I get freaked out and its hard to breathe.  My progestrone hasn’t been that low in a while.  It was ~30 the two months on HCG, so those numbers are messing with me too.  Oh Lord.  Nothing I can do now.

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I forgot to mention that earlier this week I had a dream I had a miscarriage. Super vivid.  In my dream I was ready for it though, the miscarriage.  I have been feeling like I’m looking for my period for the past 5 weeks now, so I guess in my dream I just expected it.  “Here it comes!”  Oh man.  Let that just stay a dream.

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Oh yes, and I tried to call the doctor yesterday and see if there was just any way they could pretty pretty please squeeze me in and see me any earlier than next Friday?   Of course they are absolutely booked until then.  He said if I want to say I have cramping I can just go to the ER.  I won’t be doing that.

I know its not an ultrasound I want though, I just want to know that everything is going to be OK.  I want to know that I get to stay in this amazing land and continue on my journey to Planet pregnancy (I think I won’t be there until I see the baby…or I see a bump…I don’t know at what point it becomes ‘real’) and one day I’ll get to hold this little baby that I still can’t wrap my head around but is apparently in my belly?

And I know that an ultrasound won’t give me that, not really.  Maybe it will make me feel better for the moment (or it will confirm what’s happened) but it probably won’t last much longer after that.  I’ll still always have to wonder if everything is going OK in there.

So, I guess its my lot to have this wait.  To just, walk it by faith this next week.  That’s what I need more of anyway.

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Now for a total switch….I heard on the radio today that unemployment is 12.5% in LA now and rising.  I feel even more fortunate to have landed this job (I just completed my first month), even though the timing of it all is pretty amazing.

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  It does cross my mind that I like my job so much more because I know that I’m pregnant.  Isn’t that ridiculous?

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Ok, back to the topic….As hard as this has been (and as hard as I just cried realizing my progesterone is still zone 2), this ‘suffering’ is so much different than sub-fertility.  That felt like being led blind in the dark, true physical and emotional suffering and isolation.  This feels like, “Here’s this amazing blessing you could never have deserved, but wait…Why are you freaking out now??? Just be patient there is an end in sight, weirdo!  Just have a little trust!” (Yes, God calls me a weirdo in my inner monologues)

The joy I’ve felt this past month has been amazing…joy I didn’t know I was even capable of still feeling.  Even though there has been worry and anxiety as well, its totally different than having so little to grasp at and to just know that whatever happens, this has happened, has been incredible.  I just wanted to make that clear, in case I was sounding whiny.  Its just that the worry of being a mom and totally set it.

And that’s a new, terrifying game in its own right.

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Never have I appreciated the weekends more than now that I’m working.  Hallelujah its Friday.  (Plus that means, only 1 more week!)

Please go for more quick takes at Jen’s.  And have a great weekend :)

Disappearing symptoms

I’ve tried to keep quiet about my fears over here.  It was hard for me to read about people worrying about their pregnancies when for so long it seemed like they were worrying about not getting pregnant.  But, I guess I am the same.  Pregnancy brought up a huge range of emotions and concerns that have no outlet either.  Well, at least not when you just moved to a new area and your new doctor doesn’t realize you went through 2 years to get here and refuses to see you before 9 weeks.

I did just want to say that I was feeling nauseous last week and I was grateful, but also expected it to get worse.  This past Monday everything disappeared.  No more sore breasts, no more nausea, I’m just really hungry.  But I really feel great.  I don’t think that change was good.  And then today I hear from PPVI that my progesterone dropped to 18 (it was 24.6 or 26.4 before…I forgot where I wrote it down).  Apparently it can zigzag and according to the chart I’m still in Zone 2 at 8 weeks, but this test was taken on Saturday and I’ve since lost my symptoms.  I know its possible to not be sick during the first trimester, I just didn’t believe it.

I know there is nothing else I can do.  We are doing 200mL’s of progesterone 2x a week and I’m thanking God for every day with this little one who still seems like a dream.  We are giving it all we got and the rest is out of our hands.  Could you spare a few more prayers for us though?

And if you have any stories about nausea-free pregnancies that ended up OK, please share!

 

And if you want to comment on how lucky I am…please spare those until after the birth….thanks!

10 years ago

We were living overseas.  It was a normal fall day of my senior year of high school.  We were having volleyball practice and I remember I was having such a good day.  Blocking and hitting really well.  And then, all our coaches phones starting ringing at once.  I didn’t even notice at first, I was so excited about having some free time to scrimmage and more time to practice.

But something was off.  Our coaches didn’t come back.  We were playing for a while now and no one even cared.  They started talking to each other in the gym corner.  Calling more people.  I remember thinking how odd it was that they all were so concerned with their phones rather than practice.   And it was odd that all of them had more important personal business to attend to.  I had heard something about an “accident” in the states.  A plane crash.  What was the big deal?  Plane crashes are sad, but they happen all the time.  Something about a security alert.  Very hush hush, they wanted to get everyone away from the American school, a target, without worrying us.  We were bussed home soon after, past the guards with machine guns.

By the time we got home we turned on AFN and watched the footage.   A plane had crashed into the skyscraper, that didn’t seem like an accident.  Two planes.  Planes crashing elsewhere and the Pentagon.  So close to home.  My uncle worked there.  My dad had worked there before we moved.  We watched all into the night.  I remember knowing the world changed.

We were on heightened security afterwards and had school canceled for the following days.  We had a curfew.  If we tried to lay low before, we for sure didn’t tell people we were Americans now.  I do remember wondering what it was like to live in America during this time.  They told us we were targets, living abroad.  But that attack was on our ground.  I almost felt safer being away.

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During mass today, after an amazing homily about forgiveness from our Father – which he tied into personal forgiveness as well as forgiveness for our national enemies, we were saying the Our Father when we started to hear a plane.  The engine grew louder and louder as the plane flew closer as we prayed.  It felt like it was right over our heads, aimed right for our church with all the windows and doors open.  I saw panic in the eyes of the altar servers and one even tried to run.  Other people in the pews started crossing themselves and you could almost feel the panic of those around us.  The sound drowned out our praying but we kept on with the words.  The thoughts actually crossed my mind  “What if this is it?”  Immediately followed by the thought “there is not better place to be” and I braced myself and kept praying.

The plane passed, we finished the prayer and you could hear mumbles as people breathed sighs of relief all around us during the sign of peace.  At the end of mass Father mentioned the event and reminded us that during events of war it seems like our prayers are drowned out by the noises of violence and war but we must keep praying.  Love and forgiveness is the only thing that can conquer hate.  It was surreal.

We later found out it was a flyover for a memorial celebration nearby.

What a way to commemorate 9-11 and give everyone heart attacks.

 

Where were you 10 years ago?

Understanding why

Its so much easier to stop asking why when you’re content with the answer.  But I keep asking myself WhyWhy now Why did I get pregnant this month and not any of the ones before?  But I realize for as much as I want to know and to understand, I’ll probably never have these answers.  Just as I never had the answer to my previous question, Why not?  Only thing is, this is a lot easier of an answer to live with than Why not?

But I guess just for a little exercise, I’ll throw some things out here.  There were so many reasons I shouldn’t have gotten pregnant.

I scheduled work to start after I got my period.

I scheduled to see my friend’s new baby for the few days before I was supposed to get my period.  I am strong, but I know my limits.

I had a negative pregnancy test on P+12. DESPITE being on HCG.

I had cramps.  My period was coming and it felt just like it felt when it was always coming.

I didn’t finish my HCG dose because I ran out.  When I talked to the pharmacy  I just said, screw it and had them send it but not rush it because surely I’d need it for next month or the one after.

We got in a huge discussion on Thursday (P+14?) about how I needed to go to this Christian support group I had found that met the following Tuesday (even though we had a conflict and it would take us over an hour to get there in the LA traffic) and even if all of them were doing IVF it would still mean more to me than sitting in my house by myself and not knowing anyone in real life going through the same thing because I was so lonely.  My husband was supportive and I was looking forward to going.

 

Of course, I guess there are a few things that make sense…

 

My husband had almost finished 3 months of Proxeed.

This was my third cycle after the surgery, 1st full cycle after we both finished the antibiotics. (Probably the most convincing reason)

I was super emotional on the day I should have gotten my period.  Usually this happens a week before, but the few days before I’m stable.  Was totally not stable that day.  I was acting like I was on HCG…hm…

Third month of my anti-inflammation diet.  (Less convinced this did it, although who knows.  I did cheat the day after I ovulated, had a pretzel, and texted my husband, “Im eating this pretzel because I want it.  If I don’t get pregnant because I ate a pretzel, I don’t deserve a baby.”  So, as if there was any doubt, I really don’t deserve this baby.)

My husband had been going to daily mass and told me over the summer he started praying specifically for a baby.  This was a change and something that we used to disagree on, i.e., can you ask God for something you want specifically or should you always just pray for acceptance of God’s will.

Prayer buddies, anyone?

 

So, I don’t know.  I wish I knew why.  Of course I wish I knew why.  The line that kept in my head is “God never gives us more than we can handle” and I feel like I got off easy.  Yes, I know I got off easy.  But I also feel like I was at the end of my rope in some ways.  The fact that we got pregnant makes me think, maybe I really was.  And that’s scary.   But who knows, if I would have gotten my period, I would had to have kept trucking along.  What other choice is there?

I wish I knew why so many women have to wait and wait despite wanting to be mothers all their life.  And I wish I knew why some women just decide one day to try for another and get pregnant immediately.  And most of all, I wish I knew why people who subsist on cereal and Dr. Pepper get pregnant right away while other eating organically and living super healthy don’t get pregnant ever.

I do know that one day this will all be revealed to us.  So I had better get good at waiting.  And keep praying for those whose time of waiting isn’t as exciting as this time of waiting.

Not quite as good as a hug

As happy as I am for a blogger that announces their pregnancy, somewhere in my head (or blog reader) I (sometimes) eventually stop being as loyal a reader as I once was, mostly because their blog doesn’t offer that sense of support that I crave(d).

This isn’t a dis-invite (de-vite? unvite?  here I am making up words…) to stop reading my blog, I just wanted to provide a couple other blogs (outside of the Catholic bloggers) I had stumbled upon recently that I felt tremendous support from and maybe they will do the same for some others who need it.

 

Held.  So, so good.  A Christian network of women currently or who used to suffer from sub/infertility writing about their experiences (and the best part, they don’t tell you!  You just get to read their wisdom).  Very faith based, but with a touch of ART mentioned on occasion.  Such wisdom and you’re bound to cry, so you’ve been warned.  Some of us could probably write over there as well…

Life as two.  I found Thelma’s blog from the Held site because her pieces were so insightful.  When I followed it to her blog I loved it even more and consumed almost all her posts related to infertility.  Her bio, “I do not write this blog from ‘the other side’ of infertility. We were a family of two the day we were married, and it appears that the Lord intended for our family to remain that way. To my knowledge, I have never been pregnant.  We have seen the Lord quietly close all the doors to parenthood (ARTs, fostering, adoption) as we traveled this road and we stand here today as we did on the day we wed: a family of two…..I wish I could tell you how your story ended.  I can’t promise you a child at the end of your road.  I can, however, be witness to the faithfulness of God in the midst of the storm.  He is near, faithful and strong enough to bear you up through all of this.  Lean on Him, even when it feels easier to be angry with Him.”

If that didn’t make you cry, you have no soul.  I found her blog the week before we found out we were pregnant.  What a gold mine.

And on a lighter note…

Scrambled Eggs.  Found this after the NFPWorks blog mentioned it.  Mostly funny, well, as funny as you can get approach to dealing with sub/infertility.  I love the movie Dumbo when I was a kid!  And now I see the connection…

 

I still don’t know what to do about the Catholic Infertility Support group in California I wanted to start.  I felt that I was in such a position to do some good here (despite no one emailing me and saying ‘yes, sign me up!’) and then…well, I’m pretty sure no one wants a pregnant woman running the group.  I feel bad though because I know that although no one emailed me or started one already, there has to be a need out there and they’re just by themselves.  I’ve still thought about organizing it and being the moderator or something, but I guess we’ll just see how things play out from here.