Sunday, February 27, 2011

The Waiting Game

I have not posted in quite awhile.  I think it is because I have felt stuck--stuck in the purgatory that is the waiting game of trying to conceive.  This stickiness seems to have affected everything.  I feel stuck in my cycle, stuck in my diagnostic testing, and even stuck with nothing to say.  It is as if a layer of thick, slimy goo has oozed over everything.  It will age me right now, I know, when I say that the goo in my imagination is tied to the slime from Ghostbusters.  Yes, that is it.  I feel as if I have been slimed!

image via google images
I have come here to write often in the last few weeks, but when I come I simply sit in my chair, stare at the screen and wait for words that never come.  How could I have no words?  First of all, if you knew me, you would think that absolutely impossible.   Secondly, there have been many events that would usually lead me to pouring my heart out.  Instead, they have just left me numb and, apparently, mute.  I don't have the words to go into everything that has transpired over the last few weeks.  For at times, the events, comments, and feelings seem so disastrously monstrous and at other times, so embarrassingly insignificant.  The main disappointment is that I had another month of doing everything right with no little bean on the other side.  It is so crushingly comical to me how every month, without fail, I have the same desperate moments where my hope is so overwhelming it turns me into a hot, delusional mess!  My constant inner dialogue goes something like this:  
"Well, I know that I've gotten my period, was earlier than expected and lighter and shorter, so it could have been implantation bleeding.  I have felt so sick and I know I have the flu, but it could be for other reasons.  I know I took pregnancy tests and they were all negative, but some people have to have a blood test to confirm pregnancy."  
How silly!  How insanely delusional can I be!?!  Am I certifiable?  Do I need to medication?  Counseling?  The thoughts are downright crazy, but in those moments, I whole-heartedly believe every single one of these things.

So now, I wait again.  Indeed, this time I wait closer to the edge of my seat than ever before.  After surviving a violent case of the flu, I have found myself in the probable position of having missed my ovulation completely.  It is so hard to tell with fevers that tamper with BBTs and dehydration that disturbs CM, that I truly don't have a clue what has or hasn't happened in my body this month--something that hasn't happened since we began TTC.  In months past, I had entertained the idea of putting my charts away for a month to see if it would help me to relax.  I now know that relaxation does not come from being left in the dark while TTC!  I am addicted to the information that charting provides me--the assurance that I ovulated, that we had well timed sex.  While it all seems very clinical and void of romance, I still feel like monitoring my cycles closely is the only thing that keeps me sane at times, my lifeline.

I wait this month also, for my cycle to fall on a day I can get into the clinic for my tests.  It was a huge disappointment last month when the possible testing days fell on the weekend.  In fact, I was crushed by the news.  I felt like falling out, letting the tears cascade down my face, hiding in a dark corner.  And then I realized how silly it all was.  There was no real devastating news, just more waiting.  I keep trying to tell myself that while waiting is the hardest thing on this side of (in)fertility, when I finally find myself on the other side, rocking a baby in my arms, this time will seem completely insignificant.  Another month is another month.  No more, no less.

And so, I wait.  With all the patience I can muster, I wait.


Monday, February 14, 2011

A Song for My Little Bean

I have a lot to write about after a packed weekend, but am having trouble finding the time I need to delve into everything.  At some point, it will come!  

I did, however, want to quickly share this song, which has brought so much hope to me over the months, let alone the past few days.  Now, I know there are a lot of opinions out there about Christina Aguilera, but no matter your stance, I still encourage you to listen to this song written as a lullaby for her own little boy.  It is beautiful.    

I have talked before about how, in my mind, my babies are waiting for me up on a cloud.  They are adorable up there and I meditate on their image often.  Please don't think I'm crazy, but at times I talk to them, sing to them, and just let them know that we are all ready for them to tumble on down.  Often, it is this song that I sing.  Surely, when I can't breathe, it is this image and these words that give me hope.  While I imagine my baby inside me as I sing this, I know that there is nothing there . . . yet.  Still, I feel that I hold my someday child inside me everyday.  There is a connection because I am a mother.  Whether or not that baby is in my hands yet or not, I am happy to carry it inside me everyday.

Because of the comfort I have found in these lyrics, this song will be prominent in the nursery my husband and I will someday create together.  In my head the entire room is complete.  In my head, my painting is complete also.  It hangs above the crib with these lyrics inscribed within the bright, whimsical scene.    This is a song for my little bean---the words I sing when dreaming about baby, the words I will hopefully sing someday while rubbing my pregnant belly, and the words I am guaranteed to sing countless times as I rock our little bean to sleep.  

I hope you find happiness and hope in the words of this lullaby as well.  Listen, but get a tissue first!

video link from youtube

All I Need
Christina Aguilera

Kissing your lips, kissing you top to toe
Wishing for this, hoping for all you know
Hearing you breathe, you leave and return
Oh how we take, how we give, we learn
Taking my time, seeing the signs, letting you guide me home
Watching you grow, letting you know you are my only

You bring me hope when I can't breathe
You give me love, you're all I need
Slowly I'm holding you closely
You're wrapped in my arms
And you're inside me

Tell you my fears, telling you everything
Telling the truth to you gives me wings
Free with my words, free as a bird
I am flying high
Looking at you, everything new, you are my life

You bring me hope when I can't breathe
You give me love, you're all I need
Slowly I'm holding you closely
So happy to carry you inside me

I'll feed you love and I hope it's enough  
To inspire you through suffering,
Holding you up

You bring me hope when I can't breathe
You give me love, you're all I need
Slowly I'm holding you closely 
You're wrapped in my arms 
And you're inside me

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Dream Catchers

Afterr reading countless new blogs, I have delighted in the monikers given the players in each person's individual story.  They are creative and thoughtful, witty and insightful.  I knew I needed to name the players in my own story and so, I have begun to do just that.  These are my dream catchers.

I have always loved the concept of the Native American Dream Catcher.  Legend has it that these intricate woven webs would catch all dreams floating through the air.  But, mindful of the child below, only the good dreams were allowed to trickle down and land in the slumbering mind, while the bad dreams remained trapped in the tangled web above.  I have had a dream catcher above me bed since I first heard that story as a child.  Though it is no longer a dream catcher that I hang above my bed per se, I have made sure that the art over my own slumbering mind has similar woven elements.  For, though I am no longer a child, I still hold fast to those good dreams!  Don't we all?

So, here is the line up so far.  These are my real life Dream Catchers.  I know they can't catch all the bad for me, serving up only the positive.  But they will, no doubt, help me investigate the facts, filtering the good from the bad.  They will scrutinize my every inch and every move and work to purify me, readying my mind, body, and soul for motherhood.  They are my dream catchers who will help me catch my dream.

Of course, I am Lil' dreamer and our someday baby is Our Little Bean.  Oh, how hard I am dreaming for them to tumble on down from those clouds!

The Garnet Gyno
image via Google Images

This is The Garnet Gyno.  By the name, you may have guessed that yes, she is my OBGYN and yes, she is a red head.  Perhaps this illustration is a bit misleading as the real Garnet Gyno doesn't appear to be a style train wreck or a floozy.  In truth, I have only met her once, but I liked her immediately.  She is warm and comforting, with a bubbly personality that is friendly, not obnoxious.  She is an optimistic OB who relates to her patients with personal stories of her recent pregnancy and her own frustrations while trying to conceive.  Best of all, when she tells me with a genuine smile, "We'll get you pregnant, don't worry," I really believe her.  Indeed, I feel like we are a team.  I find that this cartoon image oddly sums up all I know and feel about her.  In times of celebration, I could imagine her in this exact pose.  Perhaps, I will even see it one day when I get pregnant!

Auntie Dumplings
image via Microsoft Office Images

This is my fertility nurse.  She is our guide through all of our fertility testing and possible future pregnancies.  I imagine her working on me tirelessly, making sure every ingredient is just right for a ripe little womb to conceive a little bean.  She is kind and straight forward, dedicated and pensive.  I knew when she left me a message from the clinic at 7:15 one night just to check if I had received her previous test result message, that I had found another caring professional.  I call her Auntie Dumplings for many reasons, but mainly because I think of her as my personal chef, readying my womb.  One could easily imagine her as the Aunt you enjoyed as a child who fixed up a steaming bowl of soup for you as you and the cousins came in from a long day of sledding.  Once she settled down from her kitchen escapades, she might even pick up her latest niece, calling her her sweet little dumpling.  This is my fertility nurse.

DH (My Designated Hitter) aka The Hubs
image via Google Images

And this is the hubs.  The image is so him--I always tease him that he is "little boy cute", especially when he wears one of his Charlie Brown shirts.  I love him so!  He is a little bit shy and laid back, incredibly thoughtful and supportive, analytical and intelligent.  He is my kind of boy and I feel so lucky that we have found each other and stuck!
If you have been in the land of fertility for long, you know that it has its own language, filled with mind-boggling acronyms.  One such acronym is DH, which I have now learned stands for Dear Husband.  I will not be using DH in this way.  It is far too schmoopy for me, but I may use it in the way I originally read the acronym--as Designated Hitter.  Yes, it is a little embarrassing to admit, I suppose, but for months I though DH stood for Designated Hitter.  I thought it was so clever and logical for all of these fertility friends to have decided on DH-- the husband would be these ladies' Designated Hitter, after all.  It was logical.  Apparently, I am too in tune with sports terminology!  But I'll keep it.  He is my designated hitter and hopefully, one of these days, he'll hit me a home run!

I realize that in my descriptions of my Dream Catchers, their lives are largely about . . . me.  Of course, I don't really believe that that is the case nor should it be the case.  But, I do like how they have all made me feel that way.  Now, to go out and catch some of those little bean dreams!  Wish me luck!

Support that Keeps the Faith

At this moment, I feel lucky.  Lucky that in every arena of my life, I can find support when I need it.  Support is a tricky thing during trying times like these.  At times, you need it more than anything, but find yourself mute by the emotional strain.  All at once, you finally open up.  The support that follows, filled with heart felt talks and thoughtful gestures, is the very best remedy.  Honestly, it feels as though I am cuddled up on the couch in front of the fire sipping a warm bowl of chicken noodle soup!  Now that is hear-warming!  And then, all of a sudden, while overcome by the darkness, you find yourself wishing no one knew a bit about your personal life, in order to avoid the perceived pity and the fear of constant questioning.

I know that there will always be ups and downs like this, for this journey is quite the roller coaster ride.  But, at this moment, I feel lucky that I have found, in some, the purest form of support:  comments when they can tell you need them, no pregnancy questions, an ear when you need and want one.  Whether personal friends or anonymous bloggers, it is exactly what I need at this moment.

In fact, this morning I woke up to see exactly what I needed at this moment in my inbox.  Exactly what I needed from none other than my boss.  While checking work emails, I open one to read this:

No matter what happens along this path of vulnerability, you are an outstanding human being.  Don't lose sight of that. We're all in your corner to cheer you on as a person, as an aspiring mother, and as a nurturing teacher. Here is my official, "Have a great weekend"

And then, the tears start to flow!  From pure happiness and feelings of immeasurable fortune, they flow.  I  can't imagine what an amazing place I have found myself in where I get this kind of support and encouragement from anyone, let alone, my boss!  It is this support that makes me feel like the little set backs are just that, little setbacks, instead of the insurmountable, life-ending dramas I once saw them as.  Support and the perspective it brings is a beautiful thing!  

Inside the mind of a 5 year old

There are so many reasons I am ready for my own little one, but yesterday I was struck by the incredible, heart felt gestures of 5 year olds.   The image that melted my own heart, made me laugh heartily, and (of course) resulted in teary eyes.  All this because kids are just so damn cute!

Yesterday was my husband's birthday and, because I am a talker, I talked about this special day in our family with my Kindergartners.  Now, when it is someone's birthday, a little mind and little hands get busy!  Immediately, they wanted to scratch our math and reading lessons and devote the whole day to making him a card.  Cognisant of our curriculum map, I had to squash their requests at that moment, but I did put some paper and markers out for their free time.

Now these little ones know few real details about the man behind their "teach".  Here is their breadth of knowledge:  Mr. T is a scientist.  Mr. T stands with his hands in his pockets.  Mr. T loves cheese puffs.  Mr. T clicks his fingers and it annoys Mrs. T.  Mr. T likes snow leopards.  It is very hilarious to me how little comments I make during snack time and in passing make such an impression, obviously sticking with these little ones.  I would love crawl inside their minds for a moment to see their real perception of him!

At any rate, the students did put their meager knowledge of Mr. T together to make him a wonderful birthday card.  It was quite the popular lab station for the day.  I feel as though I cannot give justice to the result with my words, and thus am including the picture.  Behold, Kindergartners' card for a scientist:

Germs.  Yes, those are germs drawn on the card.  And mold.  Yes, that is mold.  Germs and mold drawn for the scientist, because that is what he loves, right?  They were so excited, literally jumping up and down.  "Won't he love my germs?"  "Look at that mold.  I know he likes mold because he is a scientist!"

So  . . .  freaking  . . . cute!    

Friday, February 11, 2011

Thank you from the bottom of my heart!

Every morning is the same thing - I wake up, pour myself a delicious bowl of cereal, start reading my most beloved blogs, and link to new ones.  Except, this morning was a little different.  This morning, I woke to find myself receiving one of the most wonderful compliments a blogger could--blog awards.  As a very new blogger, I find blogging itself so interesting.  This blog was something I simply had to do, a straw I grasped at at the last minute, the last thing I thought I'd try before I had to admit it was official, that I had completely fallen apart.  I began the blog as a means of getting my emotions out of me.  They were beginning to take control of my body.   And all the words--everything I wanted to say and couldn't--kept  swirling in my head, making me nauseous and keeping me up all night.  But, surprisingly, blogging has saved me from all of that.  Now I can get the emotions out.  I can get all of the words out.  And, best of all, I really can connect with others who truly understand my journey--the roller coaster ride of thrilling highs and stomach turning lows.  I never knew if there would be even one person out there that read my words, but it is wonderful to know that my words are reaching another.  I know what a difference it has made to me to be able to read beautiful, heart-felt words of fellow bloggers that not only affect me deeply emotionally, but also make me feel like I am not living on a deserted island.  It is an odd, but incredible feeling to think that my words could do the same for others.  So thank you, thank you, thank you!

The Rules of accepting the awards are:

1.) Thank and Link back to the blogs that gave you your awards
2.) Share seven things about yourself.
3.)  Award 15 recently discovered great bloggers.
4.) Contact the bloggers to let them know you've given them an award.

First and Foremost:  Thank you from the bottom of my heart to Princess Wahna Bea Mama from  and Alli at for the awards.  The Princess and the Pee Stick has everything--an emotional story, humor, well-crafted writing, wit, and of course, a princess theme.  Are You Sure Doing it Right? is fabulous as well as she writes about the truths of not only the emotional journey we all go on, but also comments on others often insensitive comments and attitudes.  It is all about the truth of interactions and emotions.  I love that.  They are both on my must check daily blog list.   You absolutely must check them out!

Second: Share 7 (or 14 for both?) things about yourself.  Wheww!  
Here it goes . . .

1.  I am a country turned big city girl and wouldn't have it any other way.  While I have fond memories of barefoot summer days in the fields spitting watermelon seeds and laying in the sun, I currently enjoy the energy and vibrance the big city brings with its flashing lights and soaring skyscrapers.  I think I've had the best of both worlds.  

2.  When I was younger I used to dream of being a travel show host on The Lonely Planet.  At times I still wish I could jet off to one mystical destination after another and learn the ways of every culture around the world.  

3.  One of my favorite things to do is to get lost.  I know so many people who become panicked if they are one block off course, but I find it relaxing to be lost and simply exploring new places, even if they are just another city block.  Of course, this is only if I have no where to be when I am lost.

4.  When I was a student, I travelled a great deal on study abroad trips.  France, Switzerland, Italy, Austria, and England were visited while studying in Europe and China, Thailand, and Vietnam were visited while studying in Asia. 

5.  I lived in Thailand with a Thai family while studying abroad.  I became very close to this family and after 7 years, we are still in close contact.  One of my dreams is to adopt a Thai baby and raise them with my family, my husband's family, and my Thai family.  I can't stop smiling when I think about this!

6.  When I met my husband in college, he was a great friend.  However, once his roommate and I were discussing how we were ready for a romance.  "How about E?", he asked.  I scrunched up my face and said, "Really?  He is sooo not my type!"  A year later, we were inseparable.  

7.  I have never felt as intense emotions as I did the year or so I was relentlessly flirting with my now husband and beginning our relationship.  Falling in love should be included as one of the wonders of the world!

8.  I have always dreamed about becoming a mother.  My best friend and I used to cut out pictures of cute kids from magazines and choose elaborate names for them.  These were our children.  Yes, that's right people--I had a made-up family scrapbook with pictures of people from catalogs.  But I was 8!!!

9.  I am a teacher of vivacious, precocious little Kindergartners.  It is never where I thought I would be, but I love everything about the job.  I could write for days about some of my best memories, but as this is a baby blog - here are some baby related memories:  Last year, my principal was having a baby and for her teacher shower, I had my each of my student write a page for her.  They titled it "What to do With Your New Baby".  Advice ran anywhere from "Hold him and read to him a lot.  If you do not hold him,  he will cry a lot." to "Don't forget to put the nipple in his mouth," with a wonderfully illustrated picture of a mother breast feeding.  However my favorite was from a student who wrote, "Your baby will be just like me."  Five seconds after I read that at the shower we were having at school, he pulled the fire alarm!

10.  I have one adopted sister and three biological brothers.  My sister is the oldest, a result of my parents moving to adoption because they thought they couldn't conceive.  Obviously, that didn't turn out to be a problem.

11.  I find people's attitudes towards adoption extremely intriguing.  Because I am from an adoptive family, I have never really thought twice about it.  The first time I realized people had different views on this was in college, when people began asking what it was like growing up with an adoptive sister.  What?  It was just like growing up with all of my other brothers and sisters!  I honestly have never seen or felt any difference whatsoever.  If it were up to me, I would adopt right now and then continue trying to get pregnant on our own.  But so many people feel so differently.  I don't judge others for their choices or beliefs, but I honestly never knew so many people wrestled with the idea of adoption, or bravely admitted they wouldn't be good adoptive parents.  I never knew adoption itself came with such a stigma.  

12.  I need to get my emotions out creatively.  I like to write, draw, and paint.  I have a series of paintings that will hang in a row when finished that are a tribute to my husband and my love and this long journey.  The first is that dreamy state of falling in love, the second the magical night we decided to start trying to make a little bean, and the third the devastating moment when I was already low, that my best friend announced her pregnancy.  It was the moment that made me spiral out of control, even though I was very happy for her.  I have no idea how I would have dug myself out of this hole if he would not have been there to save me.  

13.  Hubs is a bio-medical scientist and has such an interesting way of looking at this pregnancy stuff.  He is just as ready as I am at this point, but he is always spouting off medical reasons for things happening or not happening.  Usually, it is nice and comforting.  Usually.

14.  We have four names for our four children conceived only in our heads:  Sophie Leone, Kenley Shea, Andrew Davis, and Liam Frederick.  We have had these names now for three years.  I always said that they are subject to change, but that I wouldn't look at any baby name books until I was actually pregnant.  Lately, I haven't been able to do this at all.  Some of my new favorite names are Lilya, Alliana, Lizbeth, and Lorelei.  Can you tell I've only made it through the L's?   

15.  My constant image while trying to conceive, indeed, throughout my entire life is of all of my babies lounging on a cloud, just waiting to come down.  At my crazier moments, I talk to them, try to coerce them to tumble down off that cloud right into my belly.  Thus far, they are not listening to their mother! 

Third:  Bloggers I love.  I am extremely new to the blogging scene, but these are some blogs that I have found that have moved me, help lower my anxiety and just made me feel that I am not lost at sea.  They are in no particular order and I just had to include the two who nominated me as well as they have been very instrumental to my healing process.  They are all recently discovered to me, as I'm the newbie.  Thank you to each and every one!  You have a wonderful way of using beautiful words and humor to express your emotions.  I wish you all well on your journeys to babyland!

1.  A Journey Through Infertility
2.  Fresh Conceptions
3.  Life and Love in the Petri Dish
4.  For We are Bound by Symmetry
5.  Weathering the Storm
6.  The Princess and the Pee Stick
7.  Someday
8.  My Dusty Uterus
9.  Empty Arms, Broken Heart
10.  My Path to Insanity & Beyond
11.  The Sun Will Come out Tomorrow (I Hope)
12.  The Infertile Gynecologist
13.  Me and You, Just Us - Two 
14.  Buck Up, Buttercup
15.  The Infertility Doula

Fourth:  Contact - I'm working on it!

Thank you again and definitely go and check out these blogs.  They have all touched me in some way, helped ease the isolation, and given hope.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Stellar Swimmers!

image courtesy of google images
So, we got the SA tests back and the results are good!  I am glad to report that the little swimmers are stellar!  With good count, volume, motility, and morphology the hubs is good to go.  Of course, this is great news, as I was stressing about it all week.  Actually, I was stressing even more than normal, as this week is hubs' birthday and I didn't want any bad news to get in the way of a relaxing, joyful time with family and friends.

It is so funny where I find myself now--imagining what those healthy, miniscule sperm look like.  When I close my eyes, the knowledge I have gained today helps to create the most hopeful image I have had in a great while!  I have no idea what healthy sperm look like, I have no idea if this picture is of healthy sperm, or unhealthy sperm.  But, at this moment, I do think it is one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen.  How did I get here? --staring at pictures of sperm on the screen with a stupid smile on my face.  My mom cries at countless commercials, I cry at pictures of sperm!  Unbelievable!

At 11dpo with a usual 14 day lp, I will be able to start my own blood work early next week.  That is, unless I am pregnant (enter the relentless element of hope).  I don't expect to be so, but I do expect to be sore from needles come early next week!

It is so funny how I come to an internet site anyone in the world could read and share such intimate and even embarrassing details, but, so be it.  I feel like shouting this from the rooftops--something I of course, could never do.  But I can shout it out here to this wonderful community!  Thanks for listening!

Saturday, February 5, 2011


(First off, apologies for the few typos in my last post.  My fault for posting prematurely and running off to a movie!  They have since been corrected and ideas elaborated on a bit more.)

And now, to talk of prohibition.  Personal prohibition, that is, completely self induced.  It may be the only thing that makes me question our method of trying to conceive vs. the relaxed version where people do what they want and assume it will happen when it happens.  How lucky for them!  That does not work for me.  However, I do wonder if some of the dietary changes I make, specifically in the two week wait, are intelligent choices or naive absurdities.

Here I sit, getting ready for another night out with friends.  I am very much looking forward to this night.  It is a wonderful restaurant and with the anticipated company, it is sure to be a fun and comfortable night.  But then I start thinking about the food.  When I find out the restaurant is known for their amazing burgers, my mouth starts watering and I picture a rare, pink, juicy burger to sink my teeth into.  I dream of topping that burger with soft, gorgonzola cheese and washing it all down with a rich, winter lager.  The dinner in my mind is incredible--scrumptious, really.

But wait, I'm not suppose to eat red meat unless it is organic and, by all means, well done.  (At the sound of well-done, I imagine myself spitting out the food of my food fantasy.)  And soft cheese?  Forget it - not for the possibly pregnant.  And a drink?  This is the ultimate catch 22 of TTCing.  I have heard time and time again that by no means should you drink.  "If you really want to achieve pregnancy, I would recommend cutting out all alcohol," my doctor advises.  Not that I drink often at all, but when I want a glass of wine with dinner or a beer with my burger, I want it . . . now.  Besides, wouldn't that help relax my uptight ass?

I suppose I will have to embrace this period of prohibition, even though it is incredibly difficult.  Still, it would be a lot easier to stomach if there was ever a positive result for my efforts.  Up to this point, every month points to a big, fat negative.  I really have no idea if I should even be subscribing to any of these dietary restrictions, abstaining from the very things that relax me the most--good food and an occasional drink.  Really, it is also the prohibitive nature of these very things that make me crave them that much more.  It will be a good night, but I will be craving all that I all of a sudden can't have.  Eat and drink well for me tonight!    

Friday, February 4, 2011

These are a few of my favorite things . . .

Today was a wonderful day, wonderful because I saw happiness and felt happiness at every turn.  At times, that sort of satisfaction is a little hard to come by, as everything is clouded by the worries and what-ifs, the hard truths and the unanswered questions.  But today, there didn't seem to be a cloud in sight!  I'm sure this post won't be poetic, I know it won't be poignant, but I do hope that it is full of happiness.

Maybe it was because I wore kick-ass high heeled boots today, which can always brighten my mood.  Maybe it was because I applied my make-up and did my hair in my well lit bathroom instead of at red stop lights on my rush to work.  Maybe it was because I indulged in one of my ultimate guilty pleasures for lunch--Crazy Bread!  (mmm...mouth watering again!)  Whatever it was, I was glad the sun was literally and metaphorically shining on me today.

Sometimes, I think the darkness is one of the most alluring things.  It is not that I like having that darkness engulf me, but at times letting it seems easier than confronting it.  I have no doubt, actually, that it is much easier.  If you let yourself live in the darkness, you don't have to put up a mental fight, you don't have to indulge and engage others, and you don't even have to function normally or appropriately.  Or, at least, this is what the darkness would tell you.  It tells you you have the ultimate excuse, how could anyone expect you to function with everything you're going through?  Unheard of!  Of course, the darkness lies.  The catch is that you do have to do these things, but the darkness will always lure you in encouraging an indifferent, lethargic, detachment from reality at every step of the way--a detachment that promises an escape, a place to hide and block out reality.  Despite the lies, the darkness and its promises of pure apathy are somewhat seductive because you don't have to fight, at least to get there.

Sometimes the fight to see the light comes with a great deal of effort and sometimes, it comes completely effortlessly.   Today, for instance, I didn't have to put up a fight.  Today, I felt happiness right down to my core.  I felt happiness when one of my students said that what she really wanted to do this weekend was visit "Bopswana" in Africa to see those funny looking giraffes eat leaves in the savannah.  When I asked if she would be excited to see lions too, her eyes got big and she vehemently shook her head back and forth.  I felt happiness when I got an personal email from my boss with a picture of her little baby rooting for the Green Bay Packers, completely outfitted in a foam cheesehead, his chest painted with a giant, green G.  I felt happiness when a previous student ran up, nearly knocking me over with his hug.  At only 3 feet tall, there was a lot of force (and love) behind that hug.  Other little 3 foot munchkins from years past asked me how my day was, what my plans were for the weekend, and gleefully wished me a wonderful weekend!  I felt happiness for all of this and so much more.

At times, it is hard being a teacher--having a great deal of beauty coming from the very things you are wishing for so hard yourself.  Still,  the beauty of these children's innocence and desire to learn, their extreme perseverance and quick wit always reinforces my intense desire to become a mother.  I am thankful that I am able to nurture everyday, doing the same things that I will someday do with my own little bean.  And I am thankful for the community at large, that sees that nurturing nature in me and compliments me on my motherly instincts and passion, saying kindly with a smile that I will be an incredible some-day mother.  I am thankful for the few in this work community that do know our hopes and dreams and are privy to our struggles.  They are always there when I need them and help relieve a great deal of stress when I feel like there is just no way I can function.

When the sun is out and a smile is on your face, you don't feel like you needed any of the help you rely on.  It was just a good day today, right?  But, I try not to forget that it was a good day for many reasons.  Yes, it was a good day because I have not yet gotten my period and I am not near enough to be PMSing, because I have heels and well applied eye-liner, because I have adorable, bright, and loving students that inspire me everyday.  But it is also a good day because today, I had the will power to elude the darkness.  Even if it didn't feel as if I put up much of a fight, it is still a momentous occasion for me in the last couple of months.  It is also a good day because of all those who have been there helping me through the darkness, whether personal or professional friends, or completely strangers via the internet.  I can't think of a poignant comment or a bout of sentimental advice that has come on this specific day, but I know that all those delivered in the past have allowed the sun to shine today.  In this moment, I am full of happiness and thankfulness for my life at large and the support of those around me.  ahhhh---sweet happiness!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Being there to support him . . . any advice???

Tomorrow is the big day for hubby--the Sperm Analysis.  At least, I hope it's the big day.  The "big day" has come and gone a few times now with no pleasure sessions ending in a sample being rushed to the lab.  It is just that every time the date approaches, he begins to melt.  He noticeably pulls away from me, sequestering himself in the bedroom.  He is on edge and very short, uncomfortably quiet.  Yet, the next minute, he is there wanting to be as close to me as humanly possible.  And within another few short minutes, the stress has overcome him again and he is gone from me--emotionally and physically.

I understand his apprehension, the dread for the appointment and the results, the tension that grabs hold of every inch of the body.  I understand this because I live it as well.  Still, this is all very surprising to see, as my husband has been the rock in our relationship, holding us strong throughout this time.  Not only is he an emotional stronghold, he is also a bio-medical scientist, and as such has a very unique way of looking at our fertility struggles (not to mention everything else in the world.)  Generally, it is refreshing, though at times maddening to have the science of our bodies brought into every fertility conversation.  Nevertheless, I was always under the impression that the tests did not phase him a bit.  Before a scheduled fertility appointment, a friend asked me if he was prepared to be asked to do an SA.  "We haven't talked about it," I answered, "but I'm sure he's fine.  He is always around the lab at work, ordering and performing different tests.  I don't think he would have the same qualms others might."  After that conversation, I did discuss it with my husband.  His lighthearted answer confirmed my suspicions as he warmly related that he would do anything I needed, he wasn't worried a bit.

So there we were, both shrugging it off like it was nothing.  Sweeping it under the carpet, stuffing it in the far back corner of the closet.  But it is something.  Obviously.  How irrational and heartless of me to think that it wouldn't be?  How could I not anticipate the worry, dread, fear, and stress that has consumed him when that is what I live everyday?  And now that it is there, the bigger question is why do I not know how comfort him and take it all away?  This dilemma has me feeling like an absolute failure as a wife.  How could I not know how to comfort my own husband?

The hubs is incredible with me--with every melt down and every failed test, his arms are always open, making me feel safe and secure.  His words always shed light on the crisis du jour and help to pull me out of frighteningly dark places.  But when he lays in bed worrying and says, "I'm sure there's something wrong with me,"  I snap.  Instantly, I am furious, hurt that he has decided our destiny, upset that he is luring me into the shadows, absolutely incensed that he is ignorantly assuming all the burden of our fertility complications on his own, enraged that he is not still embracing the role in our relationship of solid rock.  Generally, I have it in me to console for some time, but more often than not the pessimism has already overtaken him, and there seems to be no hope of pulling him out of the trenches.  It is then that I turn to tough love.  And with a raised voice and a snap-out-of-it sentiment, it is then that I begin to show my frustration and irritation, even resentment for this behavior.  I don't know why I do this.  I have no explanation for my rash actions and I am incredibly embarrassed by them every time.  Indeed, I am embarrassed to be sharing them here.  Still, my goal on this blog was to get the truth out, no matter how ugly.  And this is my ugly truth.

So, now I ask for advice.  I plead for advice, for suggestions, for help from anyone.  I am not sure I can endure another night of this or another passed up opportunity for us to finally receive some answers.  When my husband comes home tonight, what do I do if I begin to see the signs of melting?  Can I prevent these feelings from surfacing?  Can I redirect his emotions?  How can I support him?  What happens when he expresses his worries because he knows I am there to listen and I actually say the right things, but it makes no difference?  What if he remains pessimistic the whole night?  How do I show my husband the same support that he has shown me time and time again?  How do I let him know that everything will be alright?  How can I show my overwhelming love for him no matter how far he lets himself fall tonight?  I am anticipating the fall and what I wouldn't do to prevent it!  But, if it is inevitable, how can I catch him with my love?

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Seriously, can Type A people even get pregnant?

In my quest for finding others in my same position, I have come across the incredible ALI network.  Within that network, I have visited countless blogs, each one having already moved me deeply.  And on so many of those blog, the women talk about how they have "a VERY Type A personality."  Well, nice to meet you.  I am Miss Type A as well!

Today was an absolutely crazy day and I have felt flustered since it began.  Not only did I have to arrive very early to work for meetings and substitute prep for subsequent meetings, I also had to shovel snow at 6:00 in the morning.  Needless to say, beginning your day this way does not encourage calm and tranquility within.  I was discombobulated all day!  As I went through the day, I could tell that my students were extremely wound up after their routines were altered with a sub.  I sighed, upset that they were so talkative and antsy while other teachers sat in the back of the room observing me, scribbling madly away.  For the entire day, my shoulders felt as if they were up to my ears--I was just that tense.

Then, after the bell had finally rung and the last little one walked out the door in full snowsuit, clomping boots, and ski mask, one of the teachers who had observed me came up.  "I'm following you into your room because I just have to tell you, I think you worry too much," she said.  This comment came because I had mentioned earlier that my students had been a bit wound up during her observation, though apparently she hadn't thought so one bit.  

We laughed and discussed how, yes, I worry too much about . . . everything!  And since our conversation, that line has been ringing in my head.  But it is not only that line, it is the line this morning from my principal who said with a smile, "You know, you just have to relax.  Everything falls into place after you relax."  In fact, there are two other people today who have advised me, in different ways, to calm down, slow down, or let things go.  hmmmm . . . This might be a problem.

Of course, we've all heard these same words from those perky pregnant women whose favorite thing to do is dish out fertility wisdom to those crippled by infertility:  "Just relax", "Just don't think about it", "Just stop trying",  "Just take a break and it will happen."  I'm sure I'm not the only one around who just wants to punch them in the face when they say this.  (My deepest apologies if you are reading this and you are a perky pregnant woman, but if you're reading this, then I'm sure you've been at this same impasse, clenching your fists the same way, and desperately wishing that you could just make them stop talking.)  "Stop trying?  Take a break?  Really?  That's your advice?"  I always want to ask.

These words are undeniably obnoxious, but how interesting that I received similar advice to calm down and relax from four different people today and not one comment was related to fertility?  They all just saw it in me - this worry, this intensity, this imbalance.  I can't imagine that worry, intensity, and imbalance are great encouragement to a possible fertilized egg that is trying to decide whether or not to implant into a uterus.  I can't imagine that these things make my body very inviting at all, no matter what other factors we are dealing with.

So, type As, I ask-- can we get pregnant?  Could it really be harder for us?  Is slowing down the means to a beautiful end?  Of course, type As get pregnant all over the world.  I know this.  But I find myself wondering what their journey has been.  I'm sure it is a silly question, but I wonder if the percentage of successful pregnancies is lower for those who can't seem to let go of stress and instead live their life at the pace of Road Runner.  Maybe finding a sense of calm, slowing my pace just a smidge, and learning to let things go rather than letting them hang over my head is worth a try.  Really, I guess anything is worth a try!  (sigh) Now, if only I could figure out how to function like that laid back, carefree and coy coyote.  Any suggestions?  

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