Saturday, June 28, 2014

I'm Losing It

During a serious conversation with Hubs last night I heard myself telling him that I wasn't sure anymore if I even wanted to have children.

I don't know what's gotten into me. I don't know if that's even true or not.

I never used to question it. From the moment I was old enough to realize I was a girl and "girls grow up to be mommies" I knew I wanted children. Whenever someone asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up I told then I wanted to be a mom. (Although Broadway Star was a close second.)

For as long as I can remember I've had a vision of what my future would hold and it always centered around kids. Happy, healthy kids who would be outside playing in the yard while I stood at my (always lovely, always granite-topped) kitchen counter fixing them snacks. That vision never included infertility and it certainly never included deformities and abortion and grief. Now it does. Now it also includes uncertainty and fear.

It's hard for me to admit that since our loss I sometimes question myself now. I question whether I am meant to be a mother. Maybe the path I've led is now meant to just be a story, a cautionary tale of sorts for other women who will stumble across this blog and read about all these sad things that happened to some person who calls herself Chickin.  Maybe everything I've been through has happened because I'm spending all my time and energy chasing something that is just not meant to be.  
Maybe I'm losing my mind.

I think I said that to my husband last night because after assuming for so many years that my dream of a future would someday come true, things feel like they are so off-kilter now that it's enabling me to picture other futures for us for the first time. Futures that include selling our big house in the suburbs and moving into a small condo in the city; traveling multiple times a year and buying a boat to dock at our future lake house; moving across the country or even to an entirely new country... It scares me that I can now so easily picture these things when less than a year ago I had not a shred of doubt in my mind that there was ONE future in store for us, and that we would make it happen however we needed to. I was so impatient then and each month that ticked by felt like an eternity and made it that much more critical for the next thing to WORK. Now, time is barely a factor.  I feel no sense of urgency anymore. I feel no sure path anymore. How quickly things change.

Last night as we were wrapping up our convo I found myself beginning to tell Hubs that he shouldn't worry, that he shouldn't think that I no longer want children. I had wanted to set his mind at ease but I had to stop. I couldn't do it. I couldn't say the words because I'm not sure what's true anymore. I don't know how I feel.

But then I'll see a baby and break out in tears because I'm so sad that s/he's not our child and that our arms are still empty and I remind myself to be patient and have faith. So apparently that longing is still there inside me.  I still wish and hope and pray... I just am no longer certain of what it is I'm praying for.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Fill-the-Void Friday, 6/27

Today marks 3 months since we said goodbye. It simultaneously feels like both a lifetime ago and like it was yesterday.  In the weeks after our loss, every hour ticked by so slowly that I didn't think we would ever put time between us and that moment of despair. And now here we are, already a quarter of a year later.  I expect I will always dislike the 27th of each month but:

Or, I'm reaaaally trying to anyway :-)

So here we go with this week's positives:
  • This morning after an especially intense Zumba class, I went home and dove straight into the pool for a cool down. It was heavenly! I think I shall do that more often.
  • A while ago I had to hide all the automatic Facebook status updates from everyone I know with babies because I couldn't handle the constant barrage of baby baby baby.  As a replacement, this week I "liked" a page that is full of pictures of the same kind of dog I have. Now when I log into FB I am bombarded with pictures of adorable furry puppies instead of things that make me sad.
  • I found a new show I like called "The Profit". It's about some rich dude who finds small businesses that are struggling, invests in them and then turns them around to make them profitable!  It's kind of awesome and the show makes you really pull for the business owners. (PS: I would love to own a business someday, I just need to figure out what that might be...)  Anywho, I found that there's a whole season of the show On Demand so I've been watching some of that to keep me distracted when I'm having tough evenings.
  • I'm looking forward to a beach day on Sunday! 
  • And the big one: On Wednesday morning as I was standing in front of the mirror doing my makeup I found my mind wandering to my RE's office and I realized I was having good thoughts about it. I was actually having pleasant thoughts about going back which proves to me that I am moving towards a place of readiness with TTC and IF treatments again. That's pretty incredible.

Thursday, June 26, 2014


When updating the "My TTC Journey" tab to note that we've officially started TTC again, I couldn't help but notice that the last 3 Junes have all been pretty significant for me:

June 2012: Started TTC
June 2013: Started medicated cycles/IF treatments
June 2014: Started TTCAL
June 2015: ???

How about:  "June 2015: Rainbow Baby is born!" ?!

(Y'know, I was never really big on the term "Rainbow Baby" until I found this:

Please oh please let us be blessed someday with a happy, healthy Rainbow Baby.)

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Back on the TTC bandwagon

Well, I think I'm officially in a 2WW. My chart is all messed up because I haven't been consistently temping/POAS but my temp seems to be rising a bit and is in the same range it was the only other time I ovulated. If I did actually O we managed to hit the fertile window once so... there's that. But honestly, I have no hope that this will lead to some miracle BFP so yesterday I decided to call the RE's office to start putting the wheels in motion for our FET.  It looks like I've made up my mind that we are now officially back on the TTC bandwagon. Here are my next steps:
  • Contact hospital to have all notes from D&E faxed to RE
  • Office visit with RE on July 3rd
  • Day 3 baseline B/W
  • Hysteroscopy
  • BCPs until all insurance paperwork goes through
  • Then stop BCPs, get AF, start estrogen
  • Day 4 B/W to ensure I'm on the correct dosage
  • Day 14 lining check and schedule the transfer

I'm actually glad I called now and did not wait longer since at this point the FET still won't be until August. I think I'll have plenty of time between now and then to wrap my head around everything.

Making the call was a little tough. I found myself laying on the couch yesterday feeling miserable about the sad dark expanse of nothingness that is stretched out before me and wishing there was something I could do about it. Then I realized; there IS something I can do! So I got up, marched over to the phone and made the call before thinking twice.  I ended up talking with my favorite nurse and of course she was so sweet and so sad for us when I told her what happened so I got a little emotional.  It's not going to be fun to have to have those conversations with the nurses and my RE but I guess it has to happen eventually.

I feel...pretty good. I feel some sadness that we're moving on but it's also nice to have a plan again and something to look forward to.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Fill-the-Void Friday, 6/20

(For info on the origin of "Fill-the-Void Friday", click here.)

Here are this week's positives:
  • I did a good deed for someone special last week. It wasn't anything big but it meant a lot to them and it made me feel good :-)
  • Monday & Tuesday I flew to Washington DC for work to hand over our (600 page) finished proposal to the government. Traveling was a nice distraction for me and also, this means that the work craziness is officially DONE!
  • Tomorrow I'm having a bunch of my girlfriends over for a pool day. I haven't seen them much lately (read: I've been avoiding everyone since our loss) so it should be nice to all get together.
  • The other day I read a blog post by a loss mama who said that oftentimes when she thought of her baby she would see butterflies and took it as a sign from her son that he was still with her.  Not long after reading that, I stepped outside onto our back porch and couldn't help but cry a little when I saw this:

I love you too Petey.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Liebster Award!

My lovely friend Packer at Trying to survive Utah as a non-Mormon nominated me for the Liebster Award! 

According to Teresa at Where the *bleep* is our stork? This award is given to new or up and coming bloggers who have less than 200 followers…the award is then passed along to other bloggers in the same category to help spread the word and support one another.

Here are the rules:
  1. Post 11 random facts about yourself
  2. Answer 11 questions the awarding blogger has asked
  3. Nominate 11 blogs with less than 200 followers, add their links to this post, and let them know that they have been nominated
  4. Create 11 questions for the nominated bloggers to answer
  5. (Post these rules!)
(Why 11?)  

Here goes!

11  Random Facts about Me:

1. I always always have a song stuck in my head. 
2. I love the beach but I hate the feel of beach sand!
3. I get super excited when there is a beautiful sunset.
4. My favorite drink is plain old water (I know, so boring!)
5. One of my legs is slightly shorter than the other which throws my whole body out of whack and gives me chronic lower back pain.
6. I am the youngest of 4 (brother, sister, sister, then me), and my closest sister is my best friend.
7. I have only lived in the Northeast (MA, ME, NY and NH) and have never spent any time on the West coast but I've always thought I could be happy living there. I think I could be happy living almost anywhere.
8. I love to go geocaching (what's that you ask? clicky!) because I love hiking and I love finding things.
9. I get a lot of satisfaction out of doing completely mundane things where I can focus on making the steps as efficient as possible and can consistently see my progress (like folding laundry, emptying the dishwasher and painting a room).
10. I'm a bit of an adrenaline junkie; I've gone skydiving, bungee jumping and whitewater rafting. I'd do any of them again in a heartbeat and would love to go base jumping or repelling down mountains/skyscrapers if the opportunity ever presented itself.
11. I have a slight obsession with storms. I loooove thunderstorms and my biggest fear is tornadoes but they also fascinate me. I think I missed my calling as a storm-chaser.

Questions from Packer:

1. Why do you blog? I started blogging not long after I began having trouble TTC (about 8 months in, when I knew something was definitely wrong because I hadn't ovulated once).  I did it to get stuff out of my head and ended up finding it cathartic. Now, I am so glad I kept up with it. It helps me mentally and it has connected me with a lot of wonderful people!

2. What is your favorite way to relieve stress? Exercise.  Specifically Zumba, running around in the backyard playing with the dog, and swimming.

3. If you could choose one thing that you wish you could be better at, what would it be? Cooking. I hate it. I hate everything about it. Maybe if I was good at it, I'd like to do it?

4. What is your favorite thing about your life right now?
My marriage. My husband is my rock. He is wonderful and sweet and funny and smart and a good provider.  He's enabled me to have a pretty cushy life and I am grateful every day.

5. If you could quit your job for a year and do anything, what would you do?
If I had unlimited money I would travel the world!  If I didn't (much more likely) I would like to volunteer at various places to try new things and see what called to me/felt fulfilling. I'd also try my hand at writing (I would love to write a novel some day).

6. What is your favorite food? I don't have one. I'm a variety girl!

7. What is one thing that you really want to do but you've been putting off?
Finding a new job/career.  I want to do something I find fulfilling but I've been putting it off because I have such a sweet gig going with my current job. It's hard to leave such a good situation.

8. What is your next travel destination (either for real if you have a trip planned, or dream destination if you don't)? I don't have anything planned, unfortunately.  But I would love to go to Hawaii soon.  Or Ireland. Or New Zealand. Or Italy. Or...

9. Do you have pets, if so what pets do you have? I have a 3 year old pup who is so sweet and smart and adorable. I love him and couldn't picture my life without that little furbaby!

10. What technology could you not live without? Nada! I could live without any technology!

11.  What is your favorite book? Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

My nominations!!  (Packer and I share a lot of blog friends so I won't re-nominate them, I'll just nominate a few other lovely ladies who I know read my blog on a regular basis. If anyone else reading wants to do this too, please do!!)

1. ttuprincess at Table for Two
2. Krystal at Fish Bite Moonbeams 
3. Runnin' Red at The Harder to Get, The Better to Have

My questions for you!

1. Rank the 4 seasons from best to worst and explain why!
2. Sweet or salty?
3. What was the last concert you went to?
4. If you could be any animal for a day what would you be and why?
5. If you received $5,000 in the mail today with no return address, what would you do with it?
6. Do you have any allergies?
7. What do you do for work? Did you go to school for it?
8. What is your most favorite memory?
9. How often do you shave your legs?
10. Favorite movie of all time? (Only ONE!)
11. What is your absolute favorite thing to do?

TFMR Mamas!

I checked my blog traffic today and found that I've been getting lots of hits lately from an online TFMR (Termination for Medical Reasons) support group because someone posted a link to my blog!  I am so happy to see that and would like to give a shout out to any TFMR mamas who happen to stumble across this blog, be it now or many many months from now.

I use this little corner of the interwebs as my sounding board in a (sometimes futile) attempt to keep myself sane but I also operate under the partial delusion that writing about all of this stuff may be helping someone else (or potentially could help someone some day).  I sincerely hope that is the case and so I wish I had some sort of sage advice to share with you, but I don't. I've just been fumbling through this storm blindly and attempting to put words to the emotions while I try not to crack.

I also wish I was strong enough to speak out about TFMR; to fully come out and fight the good fight by sharing who I am and what I've been through without hiding behind my blogger name. But I'm not. Not yet anyway. I really look up to the women who can be completely transparent about their stories (like on 1in10blog or UnspokenGrief)  and while I think it's important to tell your story, I'm just not there yet. So, I'll continue to write my little blog and hope that something I say resonates with someone else.

So welcome TFMR mamas and check out the "Help through a loss (TFMR)" tab at the top!  I hate that any of us has to go through this but at least we're not totally alone.  
Feel free to comment anytime!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Smiley Face

I got one today: A smiley face OPK. The last two days I've had lots o' EWCM but was traveling for work and couldn't do anything about it. This morning I peed on a stick and it smiled back at me.  Hubs and I went ahead and humped it out.  I guess that means I'm officially TTC again.

Granted, I am anovulatory and today is CD32 so who the hell knows if this even means anything, but the one time I did ovulate (ONCE!) last August this is exactly what happened.  Hey, maybe being pregnant really DID "fix" my body!  I can dream, right?

So FX and let's hope my temp rises tomorrow morning! Or not. I can't decide.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Fill-the-Void Friday, 6/13

Here are this week's random positive things that are helping fill the void inside me left behind after losing Petey:

  • JEN IS PREGNANT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! This has made me so so happy this week!I am so happy for her and I pray that she will have a wonderful and healthy 9 months <3
  • On Wednesday I wore non-maternity pants to work for the first time in about 6 months.  It has still been difficult every single time I've had to pull on maternity pants since they were the only things that were comfy enough for a full day.  Now, I've lost a little weight and am so happy to be wearing regular pants to work again.
  • Last weekend Hubs and I went to see Cirque du Soleil. It was very cool and I enjoyed it. However, it was really hot inside the tent and the seats were extremely close together so it was a little uncomfortable. I found myself thinking about the fact that I should have been 30 weeks pregnant and would have been so unbelievably uncomfortable that we likely wouldn't have been able to stay.  Silver lining?
  • I've mentioned on here before that one of my close friends is pregnant with twins.  It has been difficult for me but honestly, they have been great and quite sensitive to our situation.  She texted last week to warn me that I'd soon be receiving a baby shower invitation in the mail but that she completely understands if I don't feel like I can come. I got the invitation the other day and she's right - I can't come. I can't do it. I am so relieved that she understands and that not everyone is completely insensitive.
  • I don't have to work this weekend(!!) and I have fun plans: Saturday is my sister's bday so we're spending it together doing girly things and then Sunday is Fathers' Day and we've invited family from both sides to come spend the day poolside and have a big lobster/steak/corn on the cob feast! (Hubs did a favor for some guy in his building who owns a fish distribution company in the Boston Seaport and in return, he's giving us a dozen free 2 pound lobsters! Woohoo!) 

A side note:
Today I am working from home (i.e., from my couch with the TV on in the background) and while composing this post I found that Les Miserables was on HBO. I turned it on to watch for the umpteenth time and amazingly, the part that was on is when Eponine is dying and sings "A Little Fall of Rain"! This was the song I used to sing to Petey. This is "our song".  I don't know if I believe in signs  It brought me back three months ago to all the times I spent strolling around the backyard with the dog, rubbing my pregnant belly and singing to Petey while I cried and counted the hours we had left together. Listening to this song just now was emotional. It made me sad and made me remember, but it also gave me a sense of peace and filled me with love.
One of the things I still struggle with is whether or not to think of myself as a mother but Krystal said something once that stuck with me: something to the effect of how, if she denied thinking of herself in that way then that would mean that her boys don't have a mother and that is simply not true. So I'll say it now, here, for the first time:

Mommy loves you so much, Petey. I miss you every day and I will never stop missing you. I love you.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

And we're back here again.

Hubs told me yesterday that he wants to start trying to have a baby again.

I don't know how I feel.

I don't know if I'm ready. I don't know how to tell if I'm ready. I don't know if I'll ever truly feel ready.

I knew this was coming. I didn't really expect it on a random Monday evening while I was standing in the kitchen arranging a vase of flowers from the garden but I knew it was coming. I think I hoped it would come later though. Like in a month or maybe two or maybe a year. Or maybe never. 

I feel so different about TTC now. I still want to have a baby. I still picture us as a happy little family with kids playing in the backyard, bikes laying on the driveway, and toys strewn about.  I still want that to be our future, I just don't know at what point in time this daydream of mine takes place.  Is it the immediate future? Is it 5 years down the road? 7?  I'm 32, I'm not getting any younger.  If I got pregnant today I wouldn't even have my first child in my arms until I'm 33.  And I want a brood! I've always wanted 3 or 4 of them. If this daydream has any hope of becoming a reality I better get moving. Time is starting to run out.

Hubs asked me what I felt like I was waiting for.  He was sensitive about it, don't get me wrong, but direct. And I couldn't answer him because I don't know.  I think I'm just afraid.  Some bumpie who is TTCAL said you'll know you're ready when the excitement (of trying again) outweighs the fear.  I don't feel excitement, I feel tired.  I feel dread and fear. I know what it's like to be pregnant now. Besides the amazing fact that you're growing a human inside of you, being pregnant SUCKS. It's really hard on your body and your emotions. Am I ready for that again? Am I ready for any of this again? All the dr. appts and the bloodwork and medications and dildo cams and getting up at the ass crack of dawn to drive 1.5 hrs to the office. All the doctors and all the disappointments. I hated that part of my life.  Although I never would have chosen the path we've had to lead, it was sort of nice to have a break from all of that and just live for a bit. Am I ready to put myself in a position that could lead right back to unbelievable heartbreak again??

But there's that pesky time thing...  and the fact that Hubs is ready has been ready. So now I know for a fact that it's just me. That I'm the one keeping us from trying again. That I'm the one keeping our dream hidden away and pushing it off until I determine that I feel "ready", whatever that means. I'm always going to be afraid.  Even if we wait another 6 months I'll still feel afraid. And I'll be afraid every single day of my pregnancy until that baby is in my arms and is healthy.  So no, I don't really know what I feel like I'm waiting for.

So now I'm sitting here with my heart in my throat staring at my RE's business card. The one that I tucked away happily at the beginning of the year, thinking and hoping I wouldn't have to dig out again until well into 2015 when we were ready for a FET for our second child. (And if I'm being honest, the one I hoped I'd never have to dig it out again because in my dreams, my body magically fixes itself after having Petey and I never have to go through the pain of IF again!! Right.)

But I think today I don't feel ready to make that call. I think I'll just tuck it away again for at least one more day. Or one more week. Or one more month...

I wish I could close my eyes and fast forward to my happy future.

Friday, June 6, 2014

Fill-the-Void Friday!

Hello friends. I have disappeared recently.  But I'm still alive, and I'm doing okay!

I haven't been around much for two reasons: 

1. Work has been CRAZY lately. Long story short: I do government funded work and our contract is up in a couple months so we have to write a proposal to recompete in order to get more funding so that we can all continue to have jobs. IT.IS.MADNESS. I have never experienced anything quite like this before and I'm working pretty much around the clock (including weekends) except for the handful of hours that I'm sleeping.  It's possible I may drop dead soon from utter exhaustion.

2. I've been finding my "new normal" in this life-after-loss. In many ways, my life is exactly the same as it was but in other ways, I am drastically different now. The truth is that I am not the same person I was and I will never be that person again.  But I'm finding that much of the good parts of me are slowly restoring themselves and for that I am thankful. I felt like an empty shell after losing Petey but I've slowing started to fill that void back up again with...what?  I guess just LIFE, really. Love, happiness, knowledge, experience, strength, gratitude, hope, people, plans.

I seem to have reached a sort of 'plateau of grief' that works for me most days.  I am okay. I have moments of happiness. I have moments of sadness. But mostly I am okay.  I do better when I don't think or analyze too much and just try to remain positive.  After all: 

So in the spirit of trying to focus on thinking positively, introducing.......

Fill-the-Void Friday!  
[Kind of like my own little twisted version of a gratitude journal]

Friday used to be the day of the week I'd usually do my pregnancy update post so now I'm thinking that it might be a good day to focus on some happy stuff that has happened/will be happening and random positive things in my life that are helping me fill up this void within me.

So, here we go!
  • I have Zumba tomorrow morning!
  • It's going to be a beautiful, sunny weekend here. I plan to spend some quality time tomorrow relaxing in my backyard, swimming/floating in the pool and laying in the sun reading a book.
  • Hubs and I are going to see Cirque du Soleil (Amaluna) in Boston on Sunday! I've been looking forward to this for months.
  • While walking through the office with a coworker earlier this week, I ran into a woman who I haven't seen in a long time and she asked me how the baby was doing. I was able to tell her what happened without crying or losing my shit. As my coworker and I walked away it was quiet for a moment and then she said "Well that sucked." And we both had a good laugh. I consider that a win.
  • While working from home today, I happened to look out the window just as two little furry brown bunnies were hopping through the yard!
  • My purple irises, orange azaleas and pink clematis have popped and the roses are budding! I do love this time of year.

I guess that's all for this week.  We'll see how long this lasts ;-)