Archive | March, 2011

A second six-oh.

31 Mar

It’s was my dad’s turn first, but today is my mom’s 60th birthday!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MOM!

Growing up, I wasn’t always easy on my mom.  I was a moody teenager.  I would wake up cranky every single day* and take it out on my mom.  I don’t know why she put up with me.

But as soon I grew out of that (hormonal) stage and she no longer had to be around me in the mornings on a daily basis, we became very close.  I know I can tell her anything and she’ll listen.  Maybe even laugh.  Sometimes even cry.  Okay, often times even cry.  She’s always been there for me – for both of us – whenever we’ve needed it.  She will drop everything for her daughters and have always made sure we knew how much she loves us.  Thank you for this, Mom.

She rocked the seventies

She’s a strong woman.  I think both my sister and I get our strength from her. She’s put up with a lot in her life, and still puts everyone before her.

I also happen to think she’s the most beautiful woman in the world.

Pregnant with my sister

I know this year has been really hard on her being so far away from me.  The last time I was pregnant, I didn’t tell either of my parents because I was going to see them at 10 weeks in person and wanted to tell them to their faces that I finally had a pregnancy that was working.  But two days before I got on the plane, my D&C was scheduled.  Instead, I had to break her heart.  I hate breaking her heart.

But when my own heart was breaking, there was no where else I would have rather been than next to her.  Sometimes moms are the only ones that can make things better…even when you’re 31.

Winter 2009 & proof I am in fact her daughter

Mom…I love you so much.

Thank you for all the love and support you have given M and me throughout these years.  We couldn’t be luckier to have a mother like you.

Happy Birthday.

Love,

Court.

* Some things you apparently don’t grow out of.  Now poor Tim has to put up with Morning Cranky-Head.  How he does it, I’ll never know.

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Hello there!

29 Mar

I’ve apparently been taking weekends off from the keyboard…and yesterday, well, um, I stayed home from work because, I, um…*cough cough*…didn’t feel well.  As for the weekends, I think I have a fairly good reason for stepping away — all week long I sit in front of the computer from 8:30 to 4:30, without even taking a lunch (I eat a my desk – bad Courtney!).  Then, when I get home, I turn on my computer and either write a post or keep reading what I couldn’t read while at work.  It can’t be healthy.  The last two weekends I’ve barely turned on my computer.  I briefly read a few key blogs, then walk away.  And it’s been really nice.  I think it helps not only my mind, but it gives my wrists a break.  After 15 years of waitressing and 10 of typing on the computer non-stop, my wrists are a wreck.  It’s nice to give them a break, too.

This past Sunday I met up with another fellow blogger from this world of ours, and I can’t tell you how good it was to be able to talk to someone who understands.  Yes, she has gone on to have a baby, but because she’s had a loss, she acts as hope for me rather than fear.  And it was the first time throughout this entire experience I’ve talked face-to-face with someone who knows exactly what it’s like to have experienced this kind of loss.  Do you know how wonderful that is?  We also have some common ground with the friend issues, and it was nice to compare stories and get validated that we’re not crazy for feeling like we do.  I also loved that we were opening talking about our womanly organs and fluids with an old man not even a foot away from us.  Now that’s my kind of girl.

And this is the part of the post where I talk about my period and bodily fluids.  (Dad, feel free to step away at this point if you’re reading.)  Guys, I’m on day 35 of my cycle.  THIRTY-FIVE.  That’s 1, 2, 3, 4, 5! days past when my period was supposed show, and I’m not pregnant (there are 4 BFNs to back me up).  For the past 6 or so years I have had consistent 30 day cycles.  I have never been this late without being pregnant.  Unfortunately, I didn’t temp this month, either, so I have no idea if I even ovulated.  There was an absence of CM for the second month in a row, so there’s a good chance I didn’t.  Last month I’m pretty certain I had a large cyst on my stinking left ovary (they’re almost always on the left one), so that could be the problem.  Last night I had a pretty sharp pain there as well, so maybe it never burst?  I just don’t understand.  Has this ever happened to any of you?  When should I call the doctor?  There aren’t even any signs of it coming any time soon.  Although, just this morning my breasts started hurting a bit, so it might be finally coming.  But this is just too abnormal for me to not worry just a little bit.  Any thoughts?  Oh, I also haven’t been stressed or had any strange changes to my diet, so it’s not that, either.

After a year of being completely in-tune with my body, I hate not knowing what’s going on in there.  Not to mention a little bit annoyed.  I mean, come on!  Haven’t I dealt with enough disappointment regarding my body in the last year and half, can’t it just do this one thing right?!

Hate the wait.

25 Mar

Sometimes, comments can really hit you in a profound way.  And since I haven’t had any hate mail yet, so far this has always been a good thing.  On yesterday’s post, I received one of these that made me stop everything I was doing, and let her words sink in.  I wanted to share it here because I have a feeling it might help you if you’ve been feeling pretty similar, too.

I don’t know why, maybe it’s the fact that she had exactly the same number of losses as me, or she wrote it with tears in her eyes as she watched her child before her, but her words struck me in a different way that similar advice hasn’t before it.  I mean, seriously, do you know how many people have told me, “you just have to believe,” or “you just have to keep the faith?”  To the point where I can’t help but roll my eyes to the person saying it.  You try and do that it if you think it’s so easy!  And honestly, at this point it just goes in one ear and out the other.  It’s been near impossible to keep that hope when every single day there is evidence around me of women who get knocked up and have babies without even noticing.  And me?  I have a 3-time failure record.  It’s a little hard to keep the hope alive.

Perhaps it was because she worded it differently, I don’t know.  But it made me stop and access that part of me that I’ve squelched for so long now, the intuition part of me that has unfairly been bullied by my head and heart for over a year now, afraid to speak up.

I searched inside me for any clue into whether or not I honestly believed I was meant to have a child.  And I do. I honestly believe I am going to have a baby.  Like L said above, I do feel like there is a little one out there calling to me, and the best I can do at this point, is distract myself until that happens.

From this moment on, I’m going to do my best to not let my heart and head crush my intuition, my dream.  They’ve been ganging up for way too long now, and it’s time the intuition starts taking things over again.

Thank you, L, you have no idea how much your words meant to me.  Thank you.  I only hope I can do the same for another woman in my shoes when I finally have my little one.

Pity Party for 1

24 Mar

Mentally, I’ve been doing pretty good for a while now.  But there are still times where thoughts creep in and I have a solo pity party in my head.

My inner monologue goes something like this: “Everyone around you is having babies.  You will never be one of them.  You were there 3 times now, you had it, and still no baby.  You were one of the first pregnant, and now you’ll be the last.  At this point, you probably won’t even be able to get pregnant again.  How are you ever going to find complete happiness again when you’ll never have a baby?  You’re always going to feel just like this.  In limbo.  Between the then and now.  For the rest of your life.”

Cue the violin.

It’s an awesome way to spend an evening, morning, or afternoon for that matter.  Especially when there are tears accompanying it.  Fortunately, these days I can get out of it pretty quickly.  Whereas months before this, it would last weeks, sometimes a whole month like in the beginning.

But I think about how I’ve been this past year – almost every moment of the day consumed with my losses and fear of the future – and it makes me scared for what it will be like if I’m not able to do this thing.  I’m sure the all-consuming thoughts and sadness for my losses will lesson over time, but I honestly feel like there will be a void in my life forever if I can’t.

I feel like this period in my life – the time after my first pregnancy until I hopefully have a baby in my arms – will be just that: the period in limbo.  Sure, I’ve grown as a woman and have found a strength I didn’t know I had.  But come on.  For a year and a half now, I’ve been in distress.  And there’s a huge part of me that knows that’s not going to go away until I successfully stay pregnant.  And that just sucks.

I’d rather have a dance party.  At least the music’s better.

 

Posts from the Past: #4

23 Mar

I think it’s time for another post from the past.  For those of you new here, I’ve been revisiting posts from my previous blog to remind me of what brought me to where I am now.  Without what I wrote in those pages, I wouldn’t be who I am now.

This particular post brings up some painful memories and is somewhat difficult for me to read.  My friend had just lost his best friend to a hit-and-run Christmas night.  It was beyond devastating to him and his community; and as much as I was saddened by her death, it was even harder to see him in so much pain.  I was planning on posting something entirely different, but then I happened to click on this one and after reading it, I feel like it speaks to me now even more.  I can’t compare the pain of losing my babies to the pain her parents must have been in, even the pain my friend was in, as it’s certainly not the same.  But the sadness and grief is just as real.  What I saw immediately after her death was that her friends came together instantly to lend each other support.  They cried and laughed together as they shared memories, they held one another when they fell from the weight of their emotions.  It was absolutely beautiful.  I know we have that here, and like I’ve said a bazillion times, I couldn’t be more grateful for that.  I just wish that that kind of support for our losses and struggles, happened in our real lives, too.  After going through this with my friend, I know we have that capacity to support one another in real life as well, we’re just not there yet.

My friend ended up naming his daughter after her.  She is so lucky to have her namesake.  B was an incredible woman, and I have no doubt LB will be, too.

(In an effort to help remind myself how I got here and what helped make me who I am today, I’m revisiting some posts from my past.  This was originally posted December 28, 2005.  You can read the intro to this series here , Post #1 here, Post #2 here and Post#3 here)

Untitled

I’m sitting here trying to figure out which words that are in my head want to come out through my fingers and onto the screen. There are too many swirling around. The last 36 hours has been exhausting. I’ve been searching for answers that I know are not there, searching for a reason why this had to happen…even though I’m aware that that answer will never be found. In a life where I constantly search for reasons why something is the way it is, there have been too many times in the last few years where I’ve had to accept that a reason will never be known. I can feel my heartbreaking with every tear that falls from his eyes, with every smile I see on her face in my thoughts, with every question still left unanswered. I want to believe so badly that the words I hear myself saying are true, but this is the first time in 36 hours that I haven’t been trying to be strong for someone that needs it so badly right now…and my thoughts are turning darker as the familiar unsettlement returns.

Yet, I find myself in the face of the capacity of the human heart and I’m able to find some solace in the compassion that exposes itself so raw during a time like this…the capacity it has to reach out to another in pain; the ability it holds to drain hard emotion simultaneously with another experiencing similar tearing; the desire it has to do anything it can to make someone else’s pain cease…even if it’s only for a few hours of rest. This undeniable ability we hold in just a few words or movements toward another in pain is sometimes all the answers we need, if just for a moment. It somehow makes the pain of unanswered questions, bearable.

I’ll try to stop searching for answers, and start creating the reasons why I’m still left breathing.

I’ll do that for you. For all of you.

I’ll do that for me.

It’s all the moon’s fault.

22 Mar

Can I just say, I sure hope these two ladies are the start of a trend around here and it starts spreading to all of us.  I just told Tim that another one of is pregnant (I almost wrote “fell” pregnant, why do people say that?  That’s the oddest thing.  Wait, do people say this, or do I just say that?), and the farmer that he is just said that it’s because of the full moon.  When I responded by saying, “But there’s a full moon every month,” he clarified by saying that it’s the closest the full moon has been in a long long long time.  I know, that was a really scientific answer…but still!  Maybe there really is a trend that’s starting!  Can we just imagine for a moment what that would be like if all, what, 179+ of us bloggers all “fell” pregnant at the same time?  Even those of us not actively or even inactively trying (ahem)?  As much as I want that to be the reality, I think that would be a whole lot of hormone to deal with and I’m not sure the world is ready for that.  Plus, I think those of you that are getting pregnant, you need some of us to help you through it.  But, it sure is fun to dream.

I have to say, I honestly couldn’t be happier for them and for everyone that’s going to follow in their footsteps.  I’d be lying to say there weren’t brief pangs of sadness initially, but then I remembered who these women were.  They weren’t the random people who accidentally got pregnant while still breastfeeding their last baby that we so love to hate…they’re one of us. And I can’t take that as anything but hope.

But let’s talk about something else besides reproducing for a moment, shall we?  How about dance parties for a subject, eh?  Okay, lets.

Saturday night Tim and I really wanted to do something fun with K (for those of you new here, K is my 7-year-old step-daughter).  We had thought about going bowling, but decided we’d rather not spend the money and that we should come up with something to do at home.  Game night gets old after a while, and man, if I have to sit through another G-rated movie, I might poke my eyes out.  So Tim came up with a brilliant idea to have a dance party!  I stepped it up and decided I’d make some cupcakes to make it that much more festive.  We didn’t tell K our plan, but she knew I was up to something in the kitchen, so we told her she just had to wait until after dinner and after she did her reading for the day,* then we promised she’d be given a very fun surprise.

While they were reading I created a dance mix that would last us well over an hour.  When she was done reading, we told her she had to go get dressed up, we were going to a party…but that she couldn’t come out of her room until we came and got her.  Tim got out a bunch of candles and I made us some Manhattan’s and K a Shirley Temple, and we changed into our party clothes.  We started the music, grabbed all three drinks, and opened her door to welcome her to C—–‘s Family Dance Party.

She jumped right in, no warm up needed.  And we had a blast.  I even showed Tim and K classic moves like the Shopping Cart and the Sprinkler.  Yeah, I’ve got moves.  The only thing we were missing was the Catepillar (I’m looking at you, S).   We even had an air band in sunglasses to All Night Long, with me on the drums, and K and Tim on dualing guitars.  Guys, I’m pretty sure we were as good as AC/DC, if not better.  We seriously rocked, and it was definitely the highlight of the evening.   We continued to dance, eat cupcakes and drink our festive drinks until the music ended and our bodies were tired.  K even decided we should do this every 3 months.  And I think we just might.

What’s that?  You want pictures?  Well, they may be blurry and dark, but let me not disappoint:


Not sure what I’m doing here, but it looks HOT.

Mmmm.  Maker’s Manhattan.

And this is what I was wearing…please pardon the dreadful lighting by my mirror in my bedroom.  I swear I’m not a crackhead.  And if you could see what that skirt looks like, you would swoon.  It’s lace!  And, it impressed a 7-year-old with it’s twirl-ability!  What more could you want in a skirt?  Oh I know!  I got it for 12 dollars at a consignment shop.  BEST SKIRT EVER.  Perfect for dance parties in your living room.

I think we’ll make it a tradition.  You should, too.

—-

*She has a mandatory 25 minutes of reading she has to do every day per her teacher’s order.  She’s in 2nd grade and attends a Spanish-speaking school.  She reads 25 minutes in Spanish!

 

My apologies to my body.

21 Mar

I’ve touched briefly on my relationship with my body during this past year a bit in this post, but I haven’t discussed it at length. Come to think of it, unless we’re talking about our reproductive systems, it’s doesn’t seem to be talked about much in this community (because, honestly, I think we have more pressing issues we need to get out).  I’ve been thinking a lot about how this whole thing has effected me body-wise lately.  I tend to be going through a constant up and down with how I’m treating myself, and right now, I need to bring it to light so I can force myself to head back up.  So here it goes.

Throughout my adult life, I’ve taken pretty damn-good care of my body.  It’s something I’m quite proud of, actually.  I was a vegetarian for 16 years, and through that, I had to learn where I could get proper nutrition from non-animal sources.  This also kick-started my love of cooking.  Once I got sick of pasta and bread in the beginning, I had to start getting creative if I was going to do it healthfully and not get bored.  Then while I was living in Rhode Island, I met a raw foodist and he inspired me to try raw for a little bit and the result was few weeks of increased energy and a feeling of overall lightness.  Of course, if you’ve ever tried it, you know it’s a hell of a lot of work.  So time started outbalancing lightness and I bailed.  But it left quite an impression on me and made me re-think what I put in my body.  I was still vegetarian up until right before I got married 2 years ago when I started eating poultry again.  It happened after months of all of a sudden craving chicken, and I finally couldn’t keep denying what my body obviously needed.  I jumped back in and haven’t looked back since.  I still don’t eat red meat and honestly don’t believe I ever will (see here).  It doesn’t even dawn on me to eat fast food, and I rarely touch soda unless I’m going to a movie.  Now that I have said all of this, you should know I’m also far from perfect.  I have a sweet tooth like no other and chips are my nemesis.  I also really like bourbon, as well as the occasional beer.  And don’t even get me started on my love for pizza.  So yes, even though I’m a pretty healthy eater, I certainly have my downfalls.  And even with the years of healthy eating, I still don’t love how I look.  I just think that in this day and age where Americans are dying of heart disease and kids are being diagnosed with weight-related diabetes, it’s something I can be proud of.

So where am I going with this?  I swear I have a point, and here it is: over this past year and as a result of my losses, this default for me of healthy eating, has been challenged immensely.  I’ve had, unconsciously, a love-hate relationship with my body.  For obvious reasons, I felt like my body failed my baby.  It didn’t give it a safe place to thrive, and ended my pregnancies.  I wasn’t just disappointed in my body, I was pissed-off at it.  I felt like it betrayed me and I wanted nothing to do with it (good thing it’s so easy to escape your body!).  The weeks immediately following the losses, I couldn’t care less about what I was putting into my body, if anything.  If it weren’t for Tim, I probably would’ve survived just on bread and water.  I didn’t want to nourish the body that took my babies from me.  I felt it (I) didn’t deserve it.  Eventually I came around each time and knew that if I wanted to give pregnancy another shot, I’d need to start treating my body a little better.  I would start taking my vitamins again and eating my greens.  I give up my beloved coffee and quit drinking.  But even now, 9 months after my last loss, I still find myself going through periods of hating what my body did to me*.    These past couple of weeks, I’ve noticed I’ve started not caring again about how I’m treating my body.  For me, it’s always a sign that something’s not right with my emotions and I’ve started getting angry at it again for still being empty, a year-and-a-half after this journey started.   Somewhere in my delusional part of my mind, I think punishing my body will give me my babies back.  Fortunately, I come to my senses and know that’s ridiculous.  So I know I’ll come back around, especially now that I’m admitting it out loud.  But it has been a difficult month for me, and I’m sure that has everything to do with it.  The difficult stuff is starting to turn around, and that’s usually when I give myself a break body-wise.  I know I’ll jump back on track.  It’s in my nature at this point to eat healthy, I know I’m fortunate for that.  So I’ll get there.

But I’m wondering what your experience has been like.  If you’ve had losses or are struggling with infertility, were or are you angry at your body in a similar manner?  Have you caught yourself retaliating against it through your diet?  Could you, like me, really go for a cupcake right now?

*Intellectually, I know my body was doing what it needed to do, and intellectually, I don’t blame my body.  But subconsciously, I can’t seem to let it completely off the hook.  With the help of my therapist, I’m working on it.