Wednesday, December 26, 2012

A Birth Story (The Short Version)

A couple weeks ago I woke up with a kink in my neck.  Throughout the day it got progressively worse so I called my OB.  She suggested that I take some tylenol and keep a heating pad on it which I did for two days only to have the pain continue to get progressively worse.  I called the OB again and it was suggested that I go to a local ER and get some percocet which I did.  I used it sparingly because I didn't want to drug the babies but the pain persisted.  Then after about a week of suffering I woke up in the middle of the night with stomach cramps.  I began vomiting and didn't stop for about 12 hours.  I actually hesitated calling the OB again but I just knew something was not right. Jason and I drove into the hospital on a rainy Monday night thinking that I'd be given some IV fluids and something for the nausea and sent on my way.  Instead, I was told that I had a very severe form of preeclampsia called HELLP Syndrome and that the babies needed to be delivered immediately.  I was just 34 weeks.  We had nothing packed and had only what we wore into the city.  About an hour later Arlo John Sullivan Coleman was delivered weighing in at 4 pounds 11 ounces and just moments later Ellis Cameron Sullivan Coleman was born weighing in at 3 pounds 4 ounces.  Surprisingly Ellis was doing just fine despite his size and hypo plastic left heart and joined my in my room shortly after I was sewn back up.  Arlo needed to be monitored a bit more closely in the NICU because he was having a tough time breathing on his own. Thirty-six hours later I was feeling a lot better and was sent to the maternity ward with Ellis.  Jason had been able to see Arlo several times and assured me that he was doing just fine in the NICU.  He just needed to work on breathing a bit.   After lots of visitors that second day Jason and I send everyone home to settle in for the night with Ellis.  My spinal was starting to wear off completely and I was beginning to feel some pain.  That pain that I had had for two week before the c-section had returned and it got progressively worse just as it had before except this time it was very rapid and much more severe than it had been.  After hours of trying to tell nurses that I thought something was wrong I was finally seen by someone who decided to do a quick ultrasound of my abdomen.  Suddenly things began to move very quickly and frantically.  They took Ellis away to the NICU, sent me upstairs to get a proper ultrasound and had several liver specialists to come talk to me.  It was, by far, the most painful thing I've ever experienced.  I was rushed off to the ICU for close monitoring and further tests.  As it turns out I have a very rare and life threatening complication of HELLP Syndrome.  I have a large hematoma on my liver.  So here we are eight days after the babies were born, eight days into my what is to be a very long recovery.  Arlo is still in the NICU and will be for a while.  He's breathing well and is now learning how to eat.  Ellis is still with us.  He's a little angel.  If we hadn't come back for him I don't know what would have happened.  Here we are eight days after the babies were born savoring every moment with them, loving them, taking it one step at a time.
Arlo John and Ellis Cameron

   

Thursday, December 6, 2012

On Being Honest

I'm not a natural writer.  Most of my posts require me to dig deep.  In order to write effectively I must allow myself to open up and pour my heart and soul onto the page.  I write and rewrite until I feel that my words are conveying the message that my heart whispers to me.  It takes time and patience and trust.  Often it is difficult for me but it is always worth the effort.  I do it because it helps me heal.  I do it because I believe in the power of connection.  My beliefs, mine and Jason's, are above all, what define us.  It's the one thing that, no matter what, make us who we are.  This journey has helped us to strengthen our beliefs.  It has helped us to define the kind of people we want to be for ourselves, each other and to our children.

One of the things that Jason and I believe in and value is honesty.  From the beginning of this journey we have been honest about what we are going through.  We have been honest with each other, our friends and colleagues and with ourselves even when it wasn't most convenient.  When our insurance company required us to disclose any fertility treatments used to achieve this pregnancy we were honest knowing that it would mean the pregnancy would not be covered according to their policy.  Prenatal care in India is very affordable and although unfair we accepted it and moved on.  Now that we are in the US and in need of some very specialized health care we are facing tens of thousands worth of hospital bills complicating and already complicated situation.  This week we learned of a kind of medicaid for pregnant women.  It was suggested to us that we apply so on Monday we spent hours waiting to see someone that would tell us if we were eligible to apply.  As we sat there among other women and families also waiting to apply Jason and I couldn't help but wonder if we were doing the right thing.  Having some financial assistance would really help alleviate a lot of the stress we are facing right now but we certainly don't feel entitled to it.  We wondered if we would be somehow taking something that someone else needed much more than us.  We are so very blessed in so many ways.  In the end, we answered all their questions with the utmost honesty because that's the only way we know how to be.  We explained our situation in the hopes that maybe we are eligible for some assistance but knowing we probably won't get it.  We won't know for another 4-6 weeks so until then we must proceed paying out of pocket.  If we are eligible and do receive assistance we will find a way to give back and help other families in need.

When all is said and done our savings will probably be depleted and our bank account empty but we will be rich in our hearts.  We will come out the other end of this with integrity and we will be able to share this defining event in our life with our children.

This is who we are, Babies.

This is what we believe.  

Friday, November 23, 2012

On Being Thankful

This is something that I normally live and breathe and, yet, here I am on the day set aside for giving thanks unable to.  All I feel is sadness just like those first few days after we received the diagnosis. I feel so unlike myself.  I was able to hang onto a few moments of joy in the past month.  I can say that I am thankful for those moments.  I am.  But.  All that seems to be gone now.

Now I feel as though I'm lost in a world that's not my own.  Because my parents were left homeless from hurricane Sandy we are now all at my Aunt Pat's house. And yes, I can say that I am thankful for the roof over our head and a bed to sleep in. I am.  But.  We are all so on top of each other, my aunt and uncle and cousins and my mom and dad.  I feel so unlike myself because the soft protective space I keep around myself is gone.

I'm hanging onto the hope that we'll adjust, Jason and Tashi and me.  We're resilient.  That's another thing that I am thankful for. I am. But. I have cried myself to sleep every night I've been here, I've cried silently each morning I've woken up here and throughout the day big hot tears come without warning.

Today, as I try to get through this day, I have to find something that I'm thankful for that doesn't have a but.  Maybe it will be a collection of small things.  Maybe it will something bigger.

Today I need to hang onto a shred of myself, that part of me that knows how incredibly blessed I am.

Update: Black Friday

No, no I did not go shopping last night and I plan to stay in my jammies as long as I can today.  And, yes, I am thankful for that.  I am.

The black cloud has lifted.  And that I am also thankful for.

Yesterday was a really nice day.  The weather was beautiful.  I haven't seen blue skies like that since this summer.  Tashi (and Jason) had a great time running around with all the kids in the back yard.  I enjoyed seeing my nieces and nephews.  They are all getting so big and have such distinct personalities.   I am looking forward to spending more time with all of them.  I am thankful that I am here and can do that.  They are treasures.

The thing is, as my wonderful husband pointed out, I am still incredibly blessed and have so much to be thankful for and although those things feel so far away they are not because I carry them with me in my heart.  

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Farewell

I feel like I'm standing on the edge of a cliff cold wind blowing in my face Jason's hand in mine with the warmth of the sun on our backs.

I'm so scared of what we are facing.  I want to stay right here.  I want these babies to stay right where they are, safe and healthy.  I want to stay in this place where we're joyful.
Tim Steadman Photography

Tim Steadman Photography

Tim Steadman Photography 
   
Tonight we leave the comfort of our home and our community and head off into the unknown.  

For the past month we have been living somewhere in between.  We have been focusing all of our energy into where we are now, surrounded by people we love, doing what we love, being pregnant.  We have so much to be thankful for, so much to celebrate.  

Tonight we say good-bye to our Delhi family.  
Many of our nearest and dearest.

Our beloved Yangzom
We have been so overwhelmed by the outpouring of love and support we have received from everyone here in Delhi.  We love you all so whole heartedly.  

Thank you. 

Thank you for your kind words.  Thank you for your prayers. Thank you for your warm embraces.  Thank you for letting us be safe and comfortable in this space.  

Because of you we leave here with our hearts full, full of love and peace.  Because of you we leave here lifted up. Because of you we leave here strong.

Tonight, with love and light we say farewell.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Life In the Now

For the last few weeks Jason and I have both been in a weird place.  Some days are OK and others are not.  Every day we do our best, whatever that may be.  On Friday, I had been invited to join a few dear friends and colleagues for a final happy hour before my departure.  It was just what I needed.  I belly laughed for the first time in a long long time.  In fact, I laughed so hard that I actually peed myself a little.  

As I was sitting there thinking about how my next blog post would be about holding onto these moments of joy, about being so grateful to be surrounded by such incredible people Jason was experiencing something that was equally profound, yet in another way entirely.  He shared his experience with me  later that night.  And now I share it with you.  

**This is my first guest post, enjoy.  jason**

Living in New Delhi, and teaching where we do, we are often given the
opportunities to do and participate in amazing things.  One of those
opportunities presented itself on Friday when we were visited by His
Holiness the Gyalwa Karmapa.  He is the head of the Karma Kagyu, one
the major schools of Tibetan Buddhism. This is the third time His
Holiness has visited our school and I've been fortunate to see him
speak twice.

Friday was a rough day for me.  Our impending departure is creeping up
on us, my pile of work seems to be increasing instead of getting done,
I was tired and I was having a "sad day." In fact, it was the kind of
day that people don't expect me to have. I surprised three colleagues
when they asked, "How are you?," and I gave them an answer they didn't
expect. "I'm sad today."  Their reactions varied from respectful
silence, to sympathetic smiles and hugs. I suppose that's why I went
to see the Karmapa that day.  The primary message of Buddhism is peace
and in particular, finding peace in yourself. If nothing else that
day, I was hoping to absorb some positive vibes.  And then I started
thinking.

I had asked a question about the increase of self-immolations among
Tibetan protesters and the response was that these protests while
courageous may be misguided because all life is precious, especially
those of the  precious few Tibetans. Needless to say, this gave me
pause relative to the choices we are facing.

While my mind was racing, the Karmapa had been asked another question
and was talking about how his most important job is to eliminate
suffering in the world.  Up until that point I was trying to frame a
question about preparing peace in yourself in the face of one of
life's most traumatic circumstances, but then suddenly, I didn't have
to. My mind calmed, my sadness left me and I had found what I didn't
know I was looking for.  These two comments by a Buddhist monk had
neatly summarized the decisions Kate and I have been struggling with.
We have decided to celebrate the lives of our babies, and minimize
their suffering. Then, another question spurred the third framing
thought for the day. The Karmapa was talking about the importance of
living in the moment and appreciating the "now."

I finished listening to the talk and I was invited to dinner with the
Karmapa. At dinner, we had informal discussions where His Holiness
alternated between offering advice, describing his life and keeping us
all laughing by cracking jokes. Grateful for that moment in the "now,"
I looked around the room and saw my school director, who has
graciously arranged for us to return home, my principal and my
assistant principal who have been amazingly supportive and
understanding and a room full of friends who have pledged to do
anything to help us. Anything - including giving us space, sympathy,
hugs and the peace that will enable us to know that we're doing the
right thing for our family.

Friday, October 19, 2012

What My Days are Like

I cry most days, but not all, and usually in the evenings and on the weekends. I hold it together all day long at school.  There is joy there and I cherish every moment I have with my students.  Although, I have shed a tear or two there like when the email was sent out canceling my baby shower.  Most people, when they see me give me a quick hug or squeeze my hand.  I appreciate this so much.  I know how much people care about what we are going through and want to acknowledge that they care.  Usually, when people ask me how I'm doing I revert back to my old ways and put on a brave face, give them a half smile because that's all I can muster and say I'm ok.

In other words, I lie.  I'm not ok.  My baby is going to die.

I hear those words in my head all day long.

I just finished reading a book called Waiting With Gabriel about a family who, after learning that their baby had a hypo plastic heart, decided to give their child a natural death.  They spent the rest of the pregnancy cherishing every moment they had with their baby boy and planned for his death.  I wept as I read their story, for their family and for mine. The author, Amy Kuebelbeck, talks of how when the two most primal parental instincts, keeping your child alive and protecting them from suffering, collide you are faced with an unthinkable decision.  From the moment I learned of Baby B's condition my heart spoke to me.  It told me I have to let this baby go.

Since then Jason and I have spent countless hours talking about our decision.  Most days we are sure, some days we are not.  Every day we are sad. Some nights are spent on the phone with doctors or nurses and our parents.  Some nights we just watch TV because we just can't think or talk anymore.  One night this week we booked two tickets back to the US.  Our return ticket is flexible, we can cancel it or change the date.  We can also add a baby to the ticket, one baby, because the other baby is going to die.

Most days are hard.  Weekend days are hardest.  I find myself alone for far too long on the weekend.  On Saturdays, Jason runs in the morning and then has soccer practice.  On Sundays he has softball.  It being October means that there are lots of parties, octoberfest and birthdays and halloween etc.  I want him here with me but I don't want him to stop living.

I know this is heartbreaking for him.  But I'm just going to say it, it's harder for me, just like the struggle with infertility was.  I'm reminded with every kick in the ribs and every middle-of-the-night pee that this is really happening. There isn't a moment, day or night, that I do not feel sadness.

There are glimmers of joy.  I try to catch them, if only for a moment. Like trying to catch a bubble, they disappear so quickly.  What I want is to find joy in this pregnancy again.  I've been told by several people that I do pregnancy well.  I do.  I look and feel great.  I just wish I knew how to keep the sadness at bay for long enough to enjoy it.  

Monday, October 15, 2012

What I've Got

I've got friends and family near and far.  I've got a community of people that I live and work with and a community of people online that share their triumphs and heartbreaks. I have a husband who is my best friend, who is always loving and strong when I need him to be. I have wonderful people in my life and feel very loved. 

Here are just a few of the amazing people I am blessed to know and love. 

video

I have been overwhelmed by the outpouring of love and support Jason and I have received from the people in our lives these past couple of weeks.

I'm writing this post because I want to remember this when I think about what else I've got.

I've got a broken heart.

I've got a sadness that runs so deep in my soul I know it will never leave.

I've got so much to consider it doesn't seem possible to sort through it all.

I've got a fierce mama love.  I have always known it was there buried deep, lying dormant, waiting.  What I never could have imagined is just how fierce it would be.  It's so fierce that I will do anything to protect my babies from pain and suffering.

I've got to trust my mama love. 

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

What We're Facing

I've started and restarted this post several times already.  The enormity of all this is too difficult to fully capture in a blog post.  We've met with several doctors here in Delhi and back in the states via phone and really nothing much has changed from the initial diagnosis.  

It's still as bad as it gets. We are facing having to choose between two nightmares, each with its own set of terrifying consequences.  

What has changed is that the initial shock of it all has lifted a bit.  Sunday has been the worst day since the diagnosis.  The pain of it has now fully settled in.  This sadness is unlike any other I've felt.  This sadness runs so much deeper than the sadness that surrounds infertility.  I never thought that that was even possible, that something could hurt more than years of failed fertility treatments.  The thing is though, as the shock lifted and the pain settled in, with it came some clarity as well.  Yes, this is the worst pain I've ever felt.  But, like the pain of infertility, I get to choose how to live with it.  

Years ago, when the reality of my struggle was becoming more and more clear, I had decided that I would not be jealous of pregnant women. I would not ask why me.  I would not let the bitterness in.  Instead, through the pain, I focussed on the joy in my life.  Jason and I had always marveled at our incredible life.  We have so much to be thankful for, friends near and far, a supportive family, jobs that we truly love and the people we have had opportunities to meet along the way like Yangzom.  She came to work for us as a housekeeper and has now become part of our family. And that's not even to mention things like our travel opportunities or the beautiful things we have collected for our home from around the world. These are just some of the things that bring me joy.

When we got the diagnosis last week I felt the joy get sucked out of me. Since then, I have come to realize that, although many of the things that bring us joy may not be part of our lives for a while or not at all any more, Jason and I made our lives joyful.  Somehow we will find a way to do that again.  I don't really know how, but we will.  

Right now sadness consumes me, but, slowly I will allow joy back in bit by bit. Tomorrow is my birthday. Tomorrow I will celebrate with a few dear friends.  We will eat Thai food and yummy cake.  Tomorrow I will allow room for joy, if only just a bit.  


Wednesday, October 3, 2012

In a Heartbeat Everything Changes


Celebrating Gandhi's birthday at the Taj Mahal
22w5d
We let joy permeate us. It oozed out of our pores.  It filled our hearts and our lives.  We shared our joy with the world.  The parts of us that laid dormant through our struggle to get pregnant breathed with life again.  We were joyful.  
When I woke up yesterday morning, 23 weeks pregnant with two babies I already love so much, I was filled with joy and was excited for our scan.  For the first time this pregnancy I was not nervous to go to the doctor.  All I thought about was how I'd get to see the babies' faces again and their little hands and feet.  I wondered if my suspicions of gender would be proved.  I thought about having the cribs delivered and when my amazon package would arrive.  The day sailed on quickly filled with joyful thoughts.  After dinner I had my prescribed ice-cream.  You see, the last time we went the babies were sleeping so we couldn't get the echocardiogram done.  Ice-cream helps the babies wake up and move around.  I happily obliged. 
Sure enough it did the trick.  When we arrived for our 7:30pm appointment the babies were rocking and rolling.  The doctor got right to it.  Baby A was being very cooperative and we ooh-ed and ahh-ed joyfully.  Baby A's little hand was nuzzled up next to his or her cheek and was measuring right on target.  Baby B was not being as cooperative.  After a few minutes the doctor decided to have me lay on my side for a while in the hope that baby B would turn around so we could get a good reading.  As we waited Jason and I chatted about baby names.  We made up some silly names.  We thought of special family members we'd like to honor.  We were joyful.  Our joy filled the room.  
When the doctor came back he was pleased that Baby B had turned to show us his heart.  When I saw the image on the screen I felt the joy leave me. I felt it leave the room.  In that moment with the beat of Baby B's heart, everything changed.  It was very quiet and I suddenly felt like I couldn't breathe.  I heard the doctor explain what he saw.  I suddenly felt very cold and started to shiver uncontrollably.  I knew it was very very bad.  I cried as the doctor explained that Baby B has a very rare congenital heart defect called Hypo-plastic Left Heart Syndrome with mitral and aortic stenosis (HLHS). Without intensive, ongoing medical intervention he will not live.  With intensive, ongoing medical intervention he might live.  
This morning when I woke up, 23 weeks pregnant with two babies I already love so much, the joy was gone and I don't know what to do next.  We have so many questions and we don't know where to go to get them answered.  
How do I grow a baby only to let it die?
How do we choose a life of pain and surgeries and hospitals for a baby?
How do we give Baby A the life he or she deserves?
How do we do this in India where our jobs (and insurance) and friends are? 
How could we afford to go to the states to get our baby the care he needs if we leave our jobs here in India?
How could this happen to us after all we've been through?

Sunday, September 23, 2012

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

I've become the world's worst blogger.  My last three post have been about how I'm ready to get back into it.  I've been very unsuccessful at actually getting back into it and am feeling pretty guilty about it. This is supposed to be a place where I chronicle my journey to parenthood for my future children who are busy growing right now as I type these words.  It's not like I don't have anything to report on, I do! Babies, there's so much to say!  The thing is, I compose posts in my head and then never get to writing them.  It's just that all this baby cooking is making me so sleepy.  I hope you understand.
So, in an attempt to catch up here's...

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly.

The Good:
There's so much good I almost don't know where to begin.  I love being pregnant.  I know I've said that before, but, it's true.  Aside from feeling tired come afternoon, I really feel good.  I've finally gotten the appetite I thought I'd have as a pregnant lady.  Apparently, I take after my grandmother who, during all of her pregnancies, ate chocolate everyday.  I must have a brownie or chocolate chip cookies at least once a day.  One of my most favorite things to do is to bake 2 cookies that have been scooped out of a tube of ready made dough and put a scoop of ice-cream between them. Heaven.
In my last post I was getting a bit worried that I hadn't felt the babies move much.  Well that has all changed.  These babies are rocking and rolling!  They are most active at night and oftentimes wake me up. Well it's either the babies or the fact that I have to pee.  Either way, I love feeling the little flutters and pops.  Baby A is more active than Baby B making me think that he or she is going to be a handful.
We've started doing some serious baby shopping.  We ordered our cribs and they will be delivered in a few weeks.  We got this amazing dresser that we will use for the changing table.  I ordered a bunch of baby related items to be delivered, some of which include a special breastfeeding pillow for twins, teeny tiny onesies and rompers, the city select double stroller and bottles for when I return to work.
But my most favorite accomplishment in the last few weeks is posting our pregnancy announcement.  I have been planning it for months and I finally made it.  Check it out!  Pin-tastic!


The Bad:
Three weeks ago there were some tears.  We went in for our anatomy scan on a Saturday morning.  I managed to make my appointment early so there weren't many people there.  The scan took about an hour.  The doctor spent a lot of time on each baby. She kept asking me if I was ok to which Jason responded, "she can look at these babies all day!"  We saw little noses and toes, thumbs being sucked and hearts beat beat beating away.  At one point I looked up at the monitor teary-eyed and thought, "I can't believe how much I love these babies already."  After the scan was finished we learned that my doctor was unable to see us.  On any other day this would have been inconvenient but really no big deal.  But, after waiting an hour to get the scan report it had become a lot more than inconvenient.  According to the report Baby B had two soft markers for Down Syndrome.  We had to wait an entire week to speak to my doctor about this.   I, somehow, managed not to freak out too much and waited to talk to my doctor.   I knew it wasn't going to be a good conversation.  I knew what she was going to say.  I cried nonetheless.  She told us that we could do an amnio to know for sure but it would put both babies at risk of miscarrying.  Jason and I already knew that we weren't willing to risk this pregnancy in any way.  Like I said before, we love these babies so much already. We decided right then and there in that office that it didn't matter, that we would be the best parents possible to whoever these babies are.  And just like that something that seemed so bad wasn't all that bad anymore.  
Here are my little lovelies growing bigger everyday.


The 20 Week Bump
And now in other news, the ugly:
Out there in blogger land lots of people have been asking about the state of the world, IPs planning trips to India in particular.  According to the media it's a pretty ugly place.  And, yes, there have been protests in parts of India.  Hate is ugly.  Fear is ugly.  But, there has been no sign of it here in Delhi.  As someone who lives in a foreign country and is surrounded by people who are unlike myself I often forget that  the world is full of hate and fear and misinformation. Fear not, Delhi is as safe as it has ever been.  
I have been reminded in the past weeks that it's important to stay informed.  But more importantly, I was reminded to look at things from other perspectives. Whether you are looking at a news story or an ultrasound report, does not matter,  a fresh perspective can make all the difference in the world.  
Peace.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Home Again, Home Again, Jiggity Jig

We've been back in Delhi for about three weeks.  And in our usual fashion we hit the ground running.  About 24 hours after our arrival we were gathering for our first faculty meeting where my principal announced my pregnancy to all of the elementary school teachers, many of whom knew of our struggles to conceive.  When I stood up and said that we were expecting two babies in January the whole room erupted in applause.  Of course, I cried.  It felt so good to be there standing in front of my colleagues who are really so much more.  I am so honored to be surrounded by such warm and supportive people. 

Telling a room full of people, also, scared the shit out of me, but, that wasn't the end of telling for me.  A week later I had to tell my students' parents.  The most terrifying experience of telling, however, was when I had to tell a room full of 7 year olds.  All I could think of was, "what if something happens, I'm only 15 weeks?"  There's nothing like a blind leap of faith to lift your spirits.  Since I've told I can't help but enjoy being pregnant.  It's wonderful, except for the severe constipation, food aversions and middle-of-the-night trips to the bathroom.  I still have those moments when I worry something will go wrong, but, the moments are fleeting.  I know that's just part of the journey and I allow my self to feel whatever  comes my way so that I can work through it and get back to enjoying being pregnant.  

Now, inspired by Tippy the trailblazer, my stats:

Status: 16w3d

Weight Gain:  I think this week is the first week I have actually gained any weight.  My first 13 or 14 weeks of pregnancy I didn't have much of an appetite. I didn't lose any weight but I have been noticing my face getting thinner.  I'm sure that's about to change.  :)

Symptoms: As I mention earlier,  I am suffering from some severe constipation.  This last stretch was 5 days!  I take citrocel and drink lots of water but it doesn't seem to help.  This morning I finally had a cup of coffee to get things moving.  It worked but then I felt like a terrible mother.  I know it's ok to have a bit of caffeine but I'm so not used to it that I ended up feeling like I had a whole pot.  I couldn't help but wonder what my babies felt. 

Cravings:  These have remained consistent from day one, ice-cream and fruit of any kind.  

Aversions: Onions, although I recently had some salsa for the first time and enjoyed it.  Anything bitter, I took a bite of something bitter in a soup I was enjoying and it was totally ruined for me.  The smell of alcohol is unbearable.  Pork or chicken, I've pretty much become a vegetarian when I need protein the most.  In general, food is just weird for me these days.  I don't know when an aversion will strike so I eat whatever I can when I'm feeling hungry and make sure I take my prenatal every day.  

Exercise:  I've been thinking about calling my yoga instructor.  Does that count?  No, really I will now that work has settled down a bit.  

Best Moment of the Week: Today was a good day.  We had a relaxing morning before we went in to the birthing center for some blood work.  Then we went to the mall for some preliminary baby shopping.  I've been in that baby store so many times, but, it was always for someone else.  This time it was for us! 

What I Look Forward to: Wearing some of the cute maternity clothes I got today.  And maybe, just maybe feeling my babies move in the next couple of weeks.  

And Finally, the Bump:

Saturday, August 11, 2012

One of Our Own

I know many of you, dear readers, know Bernadette, but some of you may not.  I started reading her blog about a year ago.  After many years of struggling with infertility she and her husband turned to India for help and stepped onto the path of surrogacy.
On their first attempt they had the help of a donor and two surrogates.  Their first attempt failed.  On their second attempt they also had the help of a donor and two surrogates.  This time they were successful.  One surrogate was carrying twins and the other a singleton.  Unfortunately, the singleton, who they affectionately nicknamed Ken, was lost late in the first trimester.  Then at 29 weeks her twins were born, one boy and one girl.  As any mother would, Bernadette rescheduled all her travel arrangements and got on a plane and came straight to India 10 weeks before she had planned.
The twins, although early, were a very good weight.  It seemed that it would only be a few weeks that they would be in the NICU.  It seemed that their trials and tribulations would be over soon.  It seemed that their perfect little family would live happily ever after.  At that was true, for the lovely Princess Scarlett.  She did leave the NICU just a few weeks after she was born. But here we are more than 130 days later and Hayden, aka Master Cheeks, is still struggling.  He's still on oxygen, he's still in need of constant medical care.
During her time here in India Bernadette has become the unofficial welcoming committee of every IP that lands in Delhi.  She organizes dinners and shopping trips.  She introduces people and is just a constant source of strength and a know how for families on similar journeys. If you need a cheerleader, she's your girl.  If you need to know where to buy formula or have a prescription filled in the middle of the night, you can count on Bernadette.  She does all this with grace and style and with a sharp sense of humor.  She does all this while caring for her little princess.  She does all this in between trips to the NICU to visit Master Cheeks.
She has done so much for our community.  It's time to do something for her.  In order to get this perfect little family home Cheeks will need a medical team to accompany him on the flight back to the States.  Let's give them their happily ever after.  Please donate whatever you can to...
https://www.paypal.com/webapps/mpp/send-money-online 
bmhunton@gmail.com 
All donations will go directly to Bernadette and Duane.  

Monday, July 16, 2012

Long Awaited...

This is just going to be a quick one. We finally made it to the NT scan. I plan on writing a full play by play of the events but I want to wait until I have an actual keyboard to work with.
So all is well. We have two very active little nuggets with strong heartbeats. Baby A is way in the back so was making the tech's job pretty difficult. Meanwhile, Baby B was showing off with karate chops and somersaults. Here the are. Baby A is tucked away in the bottom left hand corner behind Baby B.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Prunes

Today I am 10 weeks. My babies are the size of prunes. In fact, I'd like to say that I even have a little bump but I know that whatever bump is there is likely due to the fact that I haven't pooped in 3 or 4 days. This morning's breakfast was raisin bran and PRUNES! Hopefully that'll get things moving. Some of my other symptoms include breast tenderness and occasional nausea. The nausea is triggered by heat and my heightened sense of smell. My breasts have gone up a full cup size! I had to go out a get new bras.
Yesterday I went in for some blood work that is part of the 12 week screening. I surprisingly haven't gained any weight yet. I hope that's ok.
In other news we still don't have Internet. Other than not being able to write proper blog posts regularly it hasn't been too bad being unplugged. We have enjoyed our visitors and focussed on getting the house decorated. Jason and I have a new love for antique/vintage shops. We found this old steam trunk from the 1920's that still has all the original drawers and hangers. It now serves as a side table to our new couch. Yesterday we found some gems at a shop in Superior. Our place is really beginning to look like ours. Next I've got to tackle to light fixtures.
So there is a bit of an update slowly pecked out one letter at a time on my iPhone. I'm so looking forward to my 12 week scan and doing my best to stay positive. I just keep telling myself that is is it. It's got to be it. These babies are my take home babies.

Right?

Monday, June 25, 2012

Worry

I can't seem to help it. On Friday I noticed that I wasn't feeling any nausea and I began to worry. We had guests all weekend and I quietly worried. Sunday night after the all left I told jason that I hadn't felt nauseous in three days and that I was worried. I had also been getting these weird cramps in my vagina. I was worried that maybe I was miscarrying one or both of the babies. I'm on susten 400 twice a day and I was worried that it would mask a miscarriage. Does anyone know if this is true. If a woman on progesterone suppositories had a miscarriage could it go unnoticed until her next ultrasound? By this morning I had gotten myself into such a tizzy that I called the doc and asked if I could come in. I am happy to report that the beans are just fine. I saw both of their little hearts flickering away. Twin B is really far back and not easy to get a good look at but doc said by 12 weeks we will be able to get a much better look. After we left the office I cried my eyes out. I was so relieved. I want so much to enjoy this pregnancy. If I could only stop worrying so much.

Three weeks until my 12 week scan.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Beans

I threw up for the first time last night. I also reached the eight week mark. there are still those days that I don't feel pregnant at all but I'm not as worried about it as I had been. After our scan 2 weeks ago the doc said we didn't need to come in for the 8 weeks scan and that we could just wait until we go in for the 12 week scan. At the time it seemed like a good idea because our insurance will not cover any pregnancy that was achieved using ART. Doctors visits, scans and meds are all very expensive in the States and we have to pay out of pocket for all of it. Now that i have another four weeks to wait until I see the beans I'm wishing we kept that appointment. At this point it's too late and I'm just going to have to be patient.
In other news we are really enjoying our little piece of America. My parents came for a week. Jason ran a half marathon. We are still working on projects around the house. And this weekend jason's cousins and their wives are all coming up. So now I'm off to plan a menu for the weekend before my nausea kicks in.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Lentils

I slept surprisingly well last night considering how emotional I was about today's scan. Maybe it was the big storm that passed over the iron range last night. I always sleep well when it's storming outside. I did wake up much earlier than I wanted to. Tashi was up at 5:30 wanting to go out and to eat. So after anfew chores around the house, cereal for breakfast (which is all I can stomach), and a pre appointment shower we were in the car headed an hour south to see our summer doctor. We didn't wait long before we were called in and put in a room. Summer doc came in immediately congratulating us. My response was some thing along the lines of, "let's not get ahead of ourselves." So then he asked me some questions get me up on the chair with stirrups (no stirrups in India) and rolled in the ultrasound machine. Then we got to see the little lentils. Two beautiful, strong flickering heartbeats. One is measuring 6w4d and the other is 6w3d. This is actually beginning to feel real. I am actually pregnant with twins. This could really be it.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

The Other 2WW

It's been about a week since my five week scan.  A lot has happened in this past week.  Jason and I have travelled half way across the world from Delhi to Minnesota.  It was a long journey that took a total of about 36 hours.  I'm happy to report that we've all, Tashi included, settled in nicely to life on the lake.  Our days are filled with cooking, eating, napping, and projects around the house.  We've taken a few jaunts to the nearby town for some shopping too.  Although I still haven't quite adjusted to not having regular access to internet it hasn't been too bad.  Overall life is pretty damn good.  I have very little to complain about and yet, still, I worry.

Today I'm six weeks pregnant.  Most of the time I don't feel very pregnant and that worries the crap out of me.  I keep questioning if I'm tired because of jet lag or if it's because I'm pregnant.  The sore breasts could just be from the progesterone or it could be because I'm pregnant, that goes for the gas and constipation too.  I keep telling myself that I should just be grateful that I'm not having debilitating pregnancy symptoms, that maybe, I'll be lucky and have an easy pregnancy.  But, I just want to be sure that there really ARE two little beans growing in there.  

I have another week to wait until I get to see them again.  This wait has been much more difficult than any two week wait I've ever endured.  All those other times you just hope it works.  All those other times I knew when it hadn't long before the beta.  All those other times I had a plan; I knew what my next steps would be.

This time is different.

This time I have so much more to lose.

I don't have a plan for what happens if we don't see any heartbeats.

This time the wait is excruciating. 

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

5 Week Scan!

Since my beta last week I've been having fewer and fewer symptoms.  I still have tender breasts and fatigue.  But, I have gone from feeling hungry all the time to not really feeling like eating much, especially in the evening.  Other than that, I haven't been feeling very pregnant.  I know it's early but I thought because I felt so much so soon I would continue to feel the same symptoms throughout the first few weeks of this pregnancy.  I was beginning to worry in typical infertile fashion.  Luckily I have been so busy packing up my classroom and getting ready to leave India for two months this last week has gone by pretty fast.  

This morning when I woke up looked at my husband and said, "We get to see the babies today." Bold, I know! After  a long day that's just what we did!  After school we rushed off to the clinic for a scan where we saw 2 sacs. TWO SACS! One is looking really great and the other is slightly smaller but still looking really good.  So now I have to find myself a doctor in MN to get me through my first trimester.  The Baby Maker said I can get another scan done in about 10 days to see of both have heart beats.  I would be so unbelievably blessed if one of these sticks around until the very end but I sure do hope both do.  

Tomorrow we make the long journey back to MN.  I am so looking forward to clean, cool air, playing cards, and lazy summer days.  

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

8dp5dt

Remember my last post when I asked if I should test or not?  Remember how after that I didn't write any thing, almost as if I was avoiding all of you?  Well I was.  Don't take it personally I just wasn't sure what to say.  I got some really great advice.  Some said to test, that it would ease some of my tension. Some said to stay away from the pee stick, keep myself occupied with other things.  Well on Sunday morning I woke up with a bursting bladder.  Jason was gone on his run out in the desert somewhere.  I had to make a game time decision.  To Pee or Not To Pee.

I peed! And do you know what I got?  A BFP!  It was a without-a-doubt double pink line.  In fact, it has been my new obsession.  I  just love watching that pretty pink line appear.  I've taken one every morning since.  I noticed they weren't getting any darker so I figured I should email the Baby Maker and see if I can come in a day early for my beta.

And so I did! And do you know what I got?  346! Three friggin' hundred forty six! I don't have to go in for a repeat beta because it's so high.  But I will go in for a scan next week so see how the little bugger(s) is/are doing.

My symptoms so far haven't been too bad.  I do have some mild cramping.  Last week it was much worse.  This week it feels more like my uterus is heavy.  I have sore breasts, oh and constipation from the progesterone.

We are so very happy that we've made it this far.  But we  know how early it is and just want to take it one day at a time.  We are cautiously optimistic about this pregnancy.  We are very much aware of all the things that can go wrong.

If you know me in real life please be cautiously optimistic with me.

If you know me online, keep reading to see how the next chapter unfolds.

Friday, May 18, 2012

To Test or Not to Test?

I'm 4dp5dt.  The first few days after my transfer I was feeling like total shit, headache, mild cramping and moodiness.  Today, I feel nothing.  Well I'm a little moody but I think that's just end of the year stress.

I have one HPT from America that should be pretty reliable early and I have 2 or 3 from the local chemist which won't be as reliable.
So the question is, do I test this weekend? If so, should it be Saturday or Sunday?
Do I wait? If so, until when?


Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Locked and Loaded

I'm 1dp5dt. Here begins the waiting game.  Luckily since we waited until blast we've done some of the waiting already. I took all day off yesterday even though my transfer wasn't scheduled until 2:00.  In usual fashion, Jason and I arrived about 20 minutes early.  After a long wait, holding my pee the whole time, the baby maker said it was time.  I have 9 lovely blasts.  That was the number I wanted to hear.  I knew that with 9 we'd have a really good chance of one (or two) of those becoming a take home baby.

The transfer itself went well.  It's really uncomfortable having the ultrasound technician push on an already full bladder but overall it wasn't so bad.  Everyone who works at at the clinic are so friendly.  It's so nice to see smiling eyes at every turn.  I really do believe it makes a difference when there is love and hope in the room.  After the transfer I was wheeled back into the room where Jason was waiting for me.  For about forty minutes I lay flat on my back watching The Best of Will Farrell.  It doesn't matter how many time I watch that I laugh every time.  I wondered to myself if I, maybe, shouldn't be laughing.  But, like hope and love, laughter is essential, so it was a fleeting thought.  After I couldn't hold my pee any longer I got up, got dressed, hugged my favorite nurse goodbye and got in the car.

I cried on the way home.  I think it was just a release of so many emotions.  I still feel very hopeful and optimistic.  I, also, feel as though I'm running out of steam a bit.

Today I stayed home from work to rest.  I'm looking forward to getting back and keeping busy until beta day next week.

For now, I'm holding onto hope.  

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Today...


I am wishing mothers of all kinds a peaceful Mother's Day. 

Remember, it's a day for us to celebrate our strength and resilience. 

Be kind to yourselves.

Waiting to Blast... Off

The title says it all.  

Things could not be going any better.  All of our embryos are growing beautifully so the Baby Maker has decided that it best we wait and do a 5 day transfer on Monday.

So, our little over achievers, all 18 of them, are going to make us wait.  


  

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Egg Collection Update

Yestderday was one of those days that just dragged and dragged.  I woke up feeling nervous, anticipation coming out of my ears.  Egg collection wouldn't be until 6pm.  I wondered how I would make it through the day.  Some how I did but it was not a very porductive day.  I did my best to keep myself occupied until 5pm when we got into the car to head to the clinic. 

Every time we have ever gone there we've taken a different route.  Delhi's roads twist and turn and all pretty much look the same to me but somehow Jason navigates them.  As usual, we found ourselves on a road we had not planned on being but managed to find our way eventually.  Anticipating this I was able to remain calm and due to our early departure we arrived right on time. 

On our arrival we were greeted by the friendly faces of the clinic's team.  We were led into the waiting area and a few chats were had about us.  I was put in one room where I'd receive my PIO injection and Jason was sent into another room where he did his business (teehee).  Then we were on our way.  Yup, that was all!  We were there for a total of about 15 minutes.

Shortly after arriving back home we received an email from the Baby Maker.  Our donor had produced 22 eggs, 18 of which, were mature!

18  EGGS!

If you thought I was optimistic a couple days ago you should see me now!

18 EGGS!

Now we are waiting for the fertilization report. Tomorrow we decide when to do the transfer, how many to transfer and see how many we'll have left to freeze.

Did I tell you...

18 EGGS!

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Optimism

Last year, when we were beginning the IVF process, I was feeling very optimistic.  Even after my first ultrasound I was optimistic.  I only had four follicles growing and yet, I was optimistic.   Our mantra was, "it only takes one."  On our second attempt things were pretty much the same.  I had four follicles, only two of which produced eggs, and yet, I remained optimistic, repeating my mantra over and over again.  When our attempts failed I was devastated.  I felt the loss just as I would have had I had a miscarriage.  I felt like a failure.  I felt broken, and yet, I remained optimistic.  I hear people say that they don't want to get their hopes up too high because they don't want to be let down.  I don't believe that if I hadn't been optimistic I would have felt less devastated, less of a failure.  Throughout this journey, I've tried both optimism and  despondency and what I have found is that the feelings of devastation and failure are same no matter how you approach something.  

Here we are a year and a half later on a new path and I continue to be optimistic.  I am not foolish, I know there are no guarantees, but I don't know how to be any other way.  Possibility is invigorating.  This time, much more than any other time, I am filled to the brim with optimism.  Whenever I take another step forward I feel my chest fill up and I feel my face brighten.  This is how I choose to move through this journey.  This is how who I want to BE, no matter what the outcome.

And now, my friends, some stats:

Thursday:  After a day with the stomach virus that has spread like wild fire on our campus I went in for a lining check.  All is well.  My lining is fat and juicy at 8.2!

Friday: unrelated, but very exciting!  Bestie had her baby girl!  Veda Grace was born May 4, 2012 at 3:55pm.  Jason and I were invited to the hospital for a sneak peek just hours later.  She's, of course, perfect!

Saturday:  Donor report came in!  It looks like we'll have 17-18 eggs on harvest day!  Oh and now Jason has the virus and he's got it way worse than I had :( (poor Muggy Bear)

Sunday: I'm going in for another lining check.  Um, did anyone notice that it's Sunday?  The baby maker is going to be there anyway so she's going to see me for a quick check.  I'm glad for it too, because this way I don't have to miss any more work on Monday. :)

Wednesday:  This will be egg collection day!  Eek!

Saturday, April 28, 2012

D-O-W-N That's the Way to Get Down!

As some of you have pointed out this DE cycle is moving at lightening speed.  Within a week of choosing a donor I was heading to see the Baby Maker for my baseline ultra sound and trial transfer.  This is where she looked to make sure nothing weird was going on with my uterus or ovaries.  She also inserted the catheter that she will use for the embryo transfer to make sure there wouldn't be any problems on the day of the real transfer.
Since that appointment I have been taking BC pills and Lupride injections.  About a week ago I stopped taking BC and continued on the Lupride.  To my surprise I got a very heavy but short period 2 days earlier than expected. The Baby Maker assured me that it was fine and not to worry.
Yesterday, I went in for another ultrasound and some blood work.  This time they were looking for normal LH and E2 levels and quiet ovaries.  Thankfully it was a Saturday so we didn't have to miss any work and Jason could join me.  Our first stop was the clinic where the Baby Maker does all of her appointments.  The nurses there are great!  They are sassy and knowledgeable.  So many times I have asked nurses or receptionists questions about what I'm supposed to do and they just say yes, not really knowing.  It's infuriating.  The nurses at this clinic don't do that.  When I ask a question I get an answer and, usually, an explanation along with the answer.  I've never gotten an Indian head bobble that could be a yes or a no that is usually accompanied with a blank stare revealing the bobble head's confusion. When it comes to medical procedures Westerners want to know what is happening. They are usually very well informed and want to know that their medical provider is providing the very best care. This cultural difference can be the most difficult part of dealing with any sort of medical procedures overseas. So, I guess what I'm trying to say is, I appreciate that this clinic get's that.
After my blood tests were done and I chatted with my favorite nurse the clinic provided us with a car to take us to another clinic.  The Baby Maker usually does all of her own ultrasounds but she has taken a few days off this month.  This surprisingly puts my mind at ease.  Everyone needs a break and I'm glad that she has taken some time for herself, her family, whatever the reason.  So we arrived at the clinic which was basically right down the street and walk into the waiting room.  It's was a typical scene.  Lots and lots of people, women mostly, sitting around waiting.  There was no real cueing system to check in so I did my best to wiggle my way to the front and was sure to mention that I was one of the Baby Maker's patients.  As I waited I realized that they didn't really know what to do with me and I began to worry a bit.  It's never a good sign when the receptionist and the nurse have several conversations about you in a language that you don't understand.  But, finally, I was called in.
There is little sense of privacy here in India so when I walked into the doctors office and there was another woman there speaking to the doctor I wasn't all that surprised.  The nurse, I presume, brought me to the other side of the divider and mumbled something to me along the lines of "here ok?'  I asked her if I needed to empty my bladder first and she just stared at me.  So I went around to the other side of the divider to the doctor who was still meeting with his other patient and I asked him if I needed to empty my bladder.  Then he began asking me why I was there, what procedure did I need.  I began to panic a little.  So now I have to tell this doctor in front of another patient that I'm using donor eggs and that, no, I am not here for follicle monitoring.  It's all right there in the schedule you have in your hands.  I was shown the way to restroom, which was filthy, and after I peed as I was washing my hands I looked into the mirror and I gave myself a pep talk.  I could totally freak out here or I can just roll with it. I've faced much worse on this journey and decided to just roll with it.  I went in, saw that the other patient was gone,  took off my unders and the nurse prepared the ultrasound machine.  Doc came back and took a look.  Then, surprisingly, he answered all my questions.  As I was walking out of his office he wished me the very best of luck.

So, there you have it.  I'm down regulated.  Let the stims begin!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Level Up

A while back I read a post written by Jay over at The 2 Week Wait entitled "Level Two" where she likened IF to a video game, but, instead of saving the princess at the end you get pregnant. I remember after reading it wondering when I would have enough points to finally save the princess. On my journey to save the princess I've fought monsters sometimes winning, sometimes losing. Through the past few months I gained IF points when battling monsters that took the shape of Bacterial Infections and HPV to Jealously and Depression. I've even lost a few points along the way. The night the IF monster reared its ugly head was a battle lost. It was not one of my proudest moments.
All along as I've played this game battling monsters in secret chambers humming the tune to Nintendo's Mario Brothers I've been aware of another way to reach the princess. There is a secret realm that only a few venture into in the Land of IF. It's a whole new level of infertility that I have just recently graduated to. From far away this realm is scary and unknown. But from up close it's not so bad at all.
After our 27th cycle failed things were as they usually are. We were devastated for a couple of days and then, as we tend to do, we picked ourselves up off the floor and asked ourselves what our next steps were going to be. It just so happened that we had planned a trip to Ireland for our spring break so we knew that the coming cycle was going to be a much needed break. Before we left I convinced Jason that it was time for us to look into using donor eggs. We have friends here that did and I know a few of couples from the blogging world that have grown their families that way. I knew in my heart that it was time. So we went to talk to a doctor, who from here on out, will be called The Baby Maker. She runs a clinic here in Dehli that caters to westerners who are interested in egg donation and surrogacy. At first Jason was unsure of the whole thing. The Baby Maker is a savvy business woman which in some ways can be very off putting. But I reminded Jason that she is in the business of making babies and she's damn good at it. She really knows her fertility shit. She spent close to an hour with us answering and ASKING questions. Doctors here in India tend not to do that. They tend to glance at your documents and then give you a photocopy of whatever protocol they use. The Baby Maker suggested that before we make any big decisions I should get my day 3 hormones and my AMH checked since it's been about a year since those have been done. I just happened to be on my second day so the next morning I went in and had my blood drawn. The day threes were back later that day with a raised FSH, higher than it's ever been. The following day my AMH came in. It was devastatingly low.
As I looked at the number I felt the strangest thing. I was relieved. I almost laughed actually. It was just what we needed to take that next step. It was the key to the hidden realm. When I sent the results to The Baby Maker she responded in an email with, "the path ahead is clear." And so, I've leveled up, just not quite in the way I had expected.
Just hours after we had gotten my AMH results we boarded a plane to Ireland. It could not have come at a better time. Ireland, especially in the spring, is lovely and exotic and unpredictable. I've often felt that as an infertile it's so difficult to live in the moment. We're always thinking of what is coming next, always waiting. In unpredictable and lovely Ireland we hadn't a thing booked. Every decision was a game time decision, where to stay or eat or when to get out of the car and look at the scenary. Jason and I haven't lived entirely in the moment in a long long time. It was one of the best trips we've ever taken. (click here if you'd like to read about our adventures in Ireland and here to see them) In many ways it was bitter sweet, though, poetic even, looking at those beautiful Irish faces knowing that my child will not have my freckles or my blue eyes. However, I wouldn't have wanted to be anywhere else in the world while mourning that loss.
The day after we returned we headed to the Baby Maker's clinic to discuss the details of our DE cycle. By Friday our chosen donor had started her period and was beginning treatment. By Saturday I received my schedule and started my treatment. Today I go in for my first ultrasound and away we go. It all happened so fast and yet it feels so right.
So as it stands now we are scheduled for egg retreival on May 8th or 9th and embryo transfer on May 11th or 12th. If I get a positive result I'll have just enough time to have a 5 week scan before Jason and I head back to the states to our home in MN for the summer.
For the next few weeks I have a feeling I'll be updating this blog fairly frequently as I capture this crazy ride.
Here's to the princess. She's closer than she's ever been before.

And here's a bit of fun! I've leveled up in another way. I've gone from being OLF with Bernadette over at Rasta Less Traveled to being friends IRL! I am so fortunate to be part of a community of strong women.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Brave Face

Throughout repeated cycles of starting over, building hope, waiting, and utter devastation one way I cope is by putting on a brave face. That's 27 cycles of brave faces.

For the most part this works well for me. Day to day it keeps me out of the depths of depression and helps my live my life a little. I, also, do it becuase I don't want people to feel sorry for me. I know it shouldn't, but it matters what people think of me. I want people to see me as a strong woman and a good person. I do it so that people can see that side of me.

The thing is that sometimes it doesn't work out so well for me. Sometimes I think I need a little pity, or at least a little sensitivity. I think sometimes, people think I can handle anything, that nothing really bothers me. But that is not true. How can it be? I'm facing one of the most difficult things a person can go through. Things get to me.

It hurts when someone makes an insensitive comment or a joke.

It hurts when people ask me, "Is so and so pregnant?"

Hell, it hurts when I HEAR the word "pregnant."

It hurts when I have to endure my colleagues making the same "pregnant brain" joke over and over again about my pregnant BFF.

It hurts when someone says, "well, you don't have kids so..."

It hurts that I miss out on things when I have to tend to my infertility.

It hurts when friends don't check in on me after a treatment or a blood test.

It hurts

Every minute

Of every day

Deep

Down

In

My

Soul.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

The IF Monster Reared Its Ugly Head

I am sure this has happened to you before because it's not the first time it's happened to me. There I was, minding my own business, holding it all together when, BLAMO, the IF monster reared its ugly head. Well, to be fair, I was trying to hold it all together. It hadn't been easy. I had just gotten my 26th unwanted period, I'm starting clomid AGAIN, it seems that everyone I know is pregnant including all the infertiles, AND I'm in the midst of planning a baby shower for my bestie.

My husbo and I had decided to throw a last minute happy hour at our house on Friday and I had had a bit to drink. I was sharing with some people that I was feeling a bit slighted because a woman who was invited to the shower had decided to have her own party the same day. No one seemed to agree with me. I was being silly, I know. At the same time another person was going on and on about how my bestie doesn't like yellow and the shower color scheme is yellow and gray. That's when it happened. I came completely undone. I stood up and beating my fists on the table while saying, "I'm an infertile planning a baby shower I'm doing the best I can! Back off!" The room fell silent and then cleared out pretty quickly. So, needless to say I'm feeling a bit embarrassed and sorry for myself. Normally I can shake these things off and put on a brave face, especially in front of people. The truth is that I don't care very much about that other woman's party and I know that my friend is going to love everything I put together for her. Yeah, I'm sad and all, but, that's nothing new.

Why is it that it all comes crumbling down when you least expect it?

How much longer will I have to manage my pain?


Friday, January 27, 2012

Distracted

In the past month I have had several brilliant blog posts brewing in my mind but I kept getting distracted and before I had time to write, whatever had been brewing was no longer current. As I'm sure you can all relate, things are forever changing when you're in this strange land of IF. One minute you're feeling great, the hope welling up inside you and then one weird test result or a twinge in your lower regions sends you into a pit of despair.

I had been cooking up one blog post whilst exploring the ancient ruins of Angkor Wat or sitting on a beach in Thailand with some of my best friends in the world. I had planned on writing about our visit to Bumrungrad and our time with friends and how we spent our anniversary at the resort where we were married two years ago and about Jason's rock star semen analysis. It was entitled "Eating Pineapple." But I was distracted by too many banana coladas.

The gang hanging out in Siem Reap.

Here we are at Moonlight Bay Resort celebrating 2 years of wedded bliss.

Upon our return from Thailand I was so excited to get back. I love my long holidays but I also love my job and my life here in Delhi. First order of business was to catch up with all my favorite bloggers I'd missed during my three weeks away. I was happy to read about Tippy and her developing twins and, of course, the ever funny Jay who had just dropped out of birthing class. I loved reading about Heather waiting hopefully for her first ultrasound after her BFP. But I was so saddened by Jill waiting with such strength to miscarry. And I was so angry and sad for CGD as she fights to save her marriage while not letting go of her dream to be a mother. Life wasn't supposed to be like this. I mean, look how friggin happy those people are. I played the game. I followed the rules. We all did. I was all worked up and ready to write the "Life" post when I was distracted by the familiar twinges in my uterus.

Yup, that's right. Despite the rock star semen analysis I got my period. I felt myself slipping into the deep downs again as I realized that during my next ovulation Jason would be traveling for a hockey tournament in Ladakh. I desperately didn't want him to go but hockey is truly his passion and he didn't get to go last year because of an IVF cycle. This post was entitled "Letting Go." Jason wanted desperately for me to let him go. I couldn't do that. I couldn't let him go but I knew I had to muster up the strength to let this cycle go. I had to, for Jason, for me, for us. And Jason, he needed to decide to whether or not to go without my approval. He had to, for him and for us. He decided to go and I let go.



Just as I was getting ready to post I got distracted by my thoughts. I began to wonder how much longer I'd be able to do this. As I was wondering I had another idea for a blog post. I remember wondering some time ago how people go on living in the land of IF for years and years. I wondered how they had the strength to survive that long. I wondered why they chose to keep going. I wondered why all the treatments never worked. I wondered how long I would be here. Will I ever get my passport out? Will I ever make it out of here with a baby or will I choose to leave/live childless? I felt those deep downs welling up again. This post was to be entitled, "The Land of IF."


But, just as I have done 24 other times I picked myself up by my bootstraps and carried on. I decided this time it would be me that caused the distraction. I started getting up early and meeting my friend at the gym. I started eating right again. I started feeling better. I thought, "yes, this is just what I need, a whole month of eating healthy and working out and not thinking about infertility," only to be distracted yet again. Two weeks ago, about the time that Jason was deciding whether or not to go to Ladakh I saw an add on the internet for this guy...
Introducing Tashi Michelada Cole-ivan.
He is an 8 week old Tibetan Terrier.
Tashi is the Tibetan word for luck.
Michelada is our favorite Mexican beverage.
Cole-ivan is our names smushed together.

He is the greatest distraction of all.