Thursday, January 31, 2008

My EDD + CD1

Today is the day I was due. Due to be a mother. My husband, due to be a father. My mom, due to be a grandmom. I was ready. I am still ready. I am still due.

Today is also CD1. And I am due to try again in 14 days. But not after one last look at the inside of my Ute, on CD11.

I am sad and hopeful all at once. I feel like I lost a whole 9 months of my life-- 9 months that was supposed to be full of joy and plans made for a bigger future. It was 9 months that were supposed to be the most "natural" of my life. Instead, I had what can only be described as the most unnatural year I have ever had. I have been poked, prodded and violated in nearly every way possible. But I was determined and pointed in my actions. I found the most amazing support from a group of women with the same condition as me, who gather online to share their experiences. It is because of this list that I was able to understand what was happening to me, but also to understand how to drive my own treatment. Without the support of these women, I would not have stumbled through this with such speed, and hopefully, success.

On my EDD and CD1, I'll start the clock again. I'll am going to allow myself to be hopeful. I am going to allow myself to believe that I will get pregnant. I am going to allow myself to imagine taking my next pregnancy to term. I am going to imagine my life in a family of three.

Monday, January 28, 2008

My appropriate response

I did it! I had a wonderfully appropriate response to a pregnancy announcement this morning (outwardly anyhow). In fact, it was not soul-crushing. I did notice my hands were shaking a bit after I left the room, but I think that was because I almost blew my cover by knowing way too much about early pregnancy: even warning about the dild0-cam.

So this time it is my department chair. She is up for her three year review in a tenure institution. Having a kid in academia is certainly frowned upon, so I can only imagine she is a bit stressed. I am just a measly adjunct - low-pay, no-benefit, slutting around at other schools and hardly making a cent. The only benefit to having no benefits is you are free from the restraint of the tenure-track process. Your job is constantly unstable - so unstable feels quite normal.

Funny thing was she told me they want to hire me for her sabbatical in the fall. It would be great. It would mean for a few short months I would be making a living wage and finally doing my part to help our little family financially. But there are a lot of variables. I am applying for tenure positions myself. If I landed one, it would start that same semester. But that is just the job part. Then there is the uncertainty of our reproductive future. If I am able to get pregnant with some ease and stay pregnant, then I would also not be available in the fall. Hmm, how does this sound. "Well, even though I have been deemed a habitual aborter, my husband and I are foolishly attempting to cross that threshhold one more time. I might be available. In fact, if we look at my current history, I will be available. But if the cooch-lady did a nice job on my Ute remodel, then there is a good chance I too will be about ready to blow by fall."

So what the hell am I supposed to do? I can:
1. Put TTC on hold and try to time a pregnancy so I can teach through the fall semester. This carries the risk that my anatomy is still faulty. I am 32, so time is not exactly pressing, but not exactly nothing. Should I need more treatment... You see where I am going.
2. Screw it, everything in life is variable. Some plans fail, some succeed. Do what you want - which is to TTC again. Risk here is if I get pregnancy quickly and carry through, I will be out of work from May through (forever?) Spring 2009. This puts a heavy financial burden on my husband who is currently under a one year contract that ends at the end of the summer.

It is such a clusterf*ck that I am leaning toward the "hell with it" route. There is nothing easy about either route. There is also nothing for sure.

And finally, a play-by-play of what was going on in my head when my department chair told me these two things: 1. She is 8 weeks pregnant and 2. they have already picked out names. I wanted to scream, to save her from the potential pain. Don't do it! You are getting in too deep too fast. I do pray to whatever higher power that you have a wonderfully smooth pregnancy. But take a breath. Let your body settle into the process. There is never a moment again in my life where I will share a pregnancy this early with anyone. I will just wait till I can't hide it anymore. Losses happen. It can happen to anyone. Not just habitual aborters like me.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Is this the same as my last post?

Everything is still. I am just waiting. Waiting, hoping, thinking. I have been feeling much recovered over the last few weeks-- which I attribute to seeing a therapist. Not so much because the therapy has helped, but as it is in life, once you finally step forward to grasp that thing you have been needing, you no longer really need it so much.

I have been happily sunk into my work life. I have been reading again, thinking about some projects to start, even offering to run a training for a local organization that I used to spend a lot of time volunteering for. I check the blogs and the boards on a daily basis, and still follow everything- but no longer do I do it obsessively. I think all of this points to me being a little more healthy than I was even a few weeks ago.

But there is still one strange thing that is nagging me. I STILL do not want to see our best friends who are pregnant. She got pregnant right after I lost the second. I have not seen her since September, I think. Her body must be bursting at the seams by now. But I can not see her. I am too scared. Scared of how I might react. Scared that they both think I am a complete ass for having avoided them for so long. I feel ashamed of my behavior. But I feel safe and protected here, hold up in my own space. I can edit out what I know I can not handle.

The other part is that I do not know how to begin again. If I did feel ready to see them, what would I say? What would I do? "Hey, sorry for missing out on one of the most monumental events in your entire life, uhh, and by the way, can you refrain too much from talking about the arrival of your bundle of joy? I'm ready to see you but not quite sure I can handle the constant baby talk yet..." Seriously? What kind of a friend am I? My only hope is that the people who really know me, know I am not so shallow as to do this on purpose. If I could do a better job, I would. But so far, I can't.

J. wonders if finally getting pregnant and staying pregnant will solve this dilemma. But I don't think so. I might feel better about physically seeing them, but not emotionally. I was not there to support them through their pregnancies, so why should I ask them to be here for me? I fantasize about getting pregnant and not telling anyone for as long as I possibly can. I don't want anyone to know. Maybe it is because I will always be fearful f loss. Maybe it is because I will have to begin to mend these relationships. Or say goodbye to them forever. I can not remember a time when I had so few people in my life- and was fine with it.

Although I do hope to get pregnant soon, it is not the best timing. Being more saturated in my work has made me want to hold off a bit. If I were to get a full-time gig this year, having a baby would put a very serious question-mark in my file. I am really enjoying teaching right now, especially working with upperclassmen again. I don't want to loose sight of that. And I want to be able to salvage a career out of my train-wreck of a reproductive life after all this is said and done.

Another shout out to Pamela Jeanne at Coming2Terms for her post this week. She has the capability to articulate so much of what I am feeling in a way that is dense and true and fair. I would love to cut and paste half of her blog to my own and sign my name to the bottom... Even better, I'll encourage you to go over there and take a gander.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Hello? Are you there?

I have been trapped, I mean hog-tied with work the last two weeks. It is the beginning of the Spring semester and the prep work is worse than usual due to the fact that I picked up a class I have never taught before at a new school. I have also been eyeball deep in the digital disaster which is my portfolio. Getting organized enough to apply for jobs has been scary. Last week, I was up most of the week till 4 am trying to make sense of my "files" from the last year.

This whole "habitual aborter" thing has had me neglecting my professional life for a mere 9 months. No time like the present to pick up the crumbled mess and mush it into something somewhat solid. My life is not pretty. It just is.

My dear boy J. returns from his middle eastern adventures this weekend and I can not be more ready. I mean, I was ready for him to return the second he left, but now I am REALLY ready!

We have a "date" planned. The kind where I shave my legs and show some cleavage, and he buys us a fancy dinner. I am excited for that. Then on to February. The month where we start to try again without really trying. I have given up temping and OPK's in the hopes of maintainig some sanity. I know I ovulate on or around day 16 - so we'll just get busy. The "hump-fests" of 2007 are a thing of the past. This year, we're just gonna chill.

My RE wants to do one last in office hysteroscopy to see how the resection site healed. I am pretty sick of getting violated, so I am thinking to cancel it and just hope for the best? Whatcha think?

I want to add a note of sensitivity here to those of you in the IF world who struggle to conceive. I am one of the privileged who can get pregnant, at least prior to my resection I could. Getting pregnant has never been a problem for me - staying pregnant has. Recurrent miscarriage is not the same as the struggle to conceive. Not better, not worse, just different (some may argue this). So as I enter into the "trying without really trying" phase, it is with great privilege that I do so-- I know I am lucky to be able to say that. In reality, it stems from knowing that we should take a break and plan a bit around our work-life, but being truly scared that we have yet to hit the last bump. So we'll head into it, acting ignorant, but knowing we may still be in for a ride.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

What is real and what is not.

I came across this great article today on the Road Less Traveled. It is called The Blank Space in Our Family Album and deserves a read. It is a rare moment when a publication like the Times sheds some light on the subject of miscarriage and infertility. But like Loribeth, I also take issue with the authors use of the phrase "real babies." Fact is, my babies were real. They existed, if only for a short time, if only ever inside my womb. But they were real, and their loss was real.

So even a woman who has suffered loss and IF herself can mis-step. With just a slight slip of the tongue or keyboard, a single word reveals the pervasive notion of what is real and what is not. And who gets to decide? For me, this gets to the depth of what I have been going through for the last year: the pain of having to endure the loss of someone who is unmentionable. My lost embryos make people nervous. So, apparently, it is my job to keep quiet about them. I am supposed to ignore that they ever existed. I am supposed to suck it up and put on a happy face for the festering ring of pregnant women around me-- because they never knew that I felt my babies presence. That I knew they were there. That even after they were gone, my body could still trick me into believing they were still there.

Some things in the world we can not see. And other things in the world we choose not to see. Miscarriage and infertility fall into the latter. It is easy to ignore something until it envelopes, until it swallows you whole and takes you to that unmentionable place. Alone.

I feel better about being alone every day. With J. gone, I spend whole days not talking to anyone. I don't miss my fertile friends as much as I think I thought I would. It makes it easy not to see them when I know they would fumble around me. Or perhaps I am just numb to the pain of loosing them. Or perhaps I just don't care. Probably another unmentionable subject. But there it is.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

I am flattening out and this post is boring.

Flattening out in a good way. Less like a cardboard cut-out, more like a mood that is manageable. My husband is out of town for nearly a month. So I have a month to heal. Really heal. Knowing that we can begin to try again is a relief. I am scared, but ready.

As far as my health, I am just waiting on test results from a biopsy and blood-work. My RE has been monitoring my cycle just to look for anything else that may have contributed to the losses. We can assume the septum was causing them, but she just wanted to make sure there were not any other factors. I appreciate her being so thorough. My second pregnancy was chromosomally abnormal. That loss was actually the most "normal" thing that has happened to me. It is the kind of miscarriage that "normal" people have.

I saw a shrink last week (do people still use the word "shrink?" It seems so 80's) I liked her ok. But seeing her made me realize I might not need her. What i really asked her for was help developing some better coping skills so I might be able to start seeing my pregnant friends again with out wanting to run away from them and cry. She suggested that I still need more time. She also suggested that I need some way to mark my losses, to grieve in a more tangible way. I was due on January 31st - in about three weeks. So I was thinking it would be nice to make that day special in some way. I just don't know what I want to do.

I am slammed with work. I picked up a web design class at another school here in the city. So now I am teaching 7.5 (possibly 10.5) credits at three distinct university (arg, how many ID's can one person have.) On the upside, that means I also have access to three different libraries! I also have a stupid amount of prep work to do in the next two weeks. I have a job interview on tuesday for a part-time office gig working for an organization that I have a ton of respect for. That would make my spring semester hyper-busy. Which I think would be a really good thing for me.

J. is in Egypt for three more weeks (2 weeks and 6 days actually - but who's counting). I was supposed to accompany him, but the plain ticket was pretty steep and I am desperate for a new computer and software so I can teach this web class. We are also in the midst of a bathroom remodel, so cash needs to be kept aside for that. It is fine. I hate to be away from him, but I can't say I was really in the head space to be in a foreign place. He is working while there, so I would have had to have been pretty pro-active about being out and about on my own.

Yesterday was crazy. My father, brother and uncle came into the city to re-start working on the bathroom. A year and 3 months ago we gutted it. Since then, we have lived with plywood floors, some drywall, exposed insulation, no electric and no sink. It has been rough, but you get used to it. Yesterday got us one step closer. We not are totally drywalled, have three beautiful functioning lights, a light in the closet and masonry board in the tub surround so we can start tiling! It was a long day, and my body it aching, but it is worth it. Free family labor rocks! Now I just have to teach myself to tile.

{the different colors in the image are just the color of the drywall. I did not paint my bathroom purple and green...}