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Just pretend.

30 Jan

Sometimes, I just need to give myself permission to step out of this world for a little while.  After two years of it, it can be quite overwhelming.  When I step away, I try to pretend it never existed.  For a few days – a week – I pretend like my life is normal.  That I’ve never experienced a gut-wrenching loss, never mind four.  I try to pretend that the negatives on the pregnancy tests don’t bother me, that they’re what I want.  That I’m a thousand times joyful for everyone else who has a baby, and don’t care that I haven’t had one yet.  That the last two years have been spent blissfully with my incredible husband, that not a sad tear has been shed.  That come February 11th, the only anniversary it will be is the day after I met my husband, not one where my heart was ripped out of my body with the passing of my baby.

That I’ve never buried a tiny little being, in it’s once-hopeful sac, under an old oak tree in a field nestled between hills.

Sometimes, I want to pretend that my life went as planned.  That it didn’t take a detour down the dark and twisty road of pregnancy loss, that I’ve been on the sun-filled road all along.

And the thing is, sometimes it works.  It works for a few days – a week – and I wake up happy for once.  But the reality always creeps back.  That relentless longing for a child never seems to disappear, no matter how much I pretend it was never there.  I start to miss the people in this little virtual world of mine, the people that I am invested whole-heartedly in their lives and their cycles and their collective uteri.  I can’t turn my back on it now.  I can’t pretend it away.  It’s who I am, it’s who I’ll always be.

But I’d be lying if I didn’t say: I can’t wait to be the fuck out of it.

Festive with whine.

14 Dec

I’ve been running around like crazy since Saturday trying to get a bunch of things done for Christmas and for friends visiting this weekend and I’m ready to slow down already.  When I get like this, I get tired and emotional and that combination is never a good thing for someone in my shoes.

You would think running around crazy wouldn’t allow for the baby thoughts to creep in, but they seem to never go away.  This morning as I was cleaning up a bit before I left for work, I opened the trunk in our bedroom and caught a glimpse of the baby blanket my friend made for me two pregnancies ago, and instantly I thought that the chances of wrapping a baby in that incredible gift of love is very slim.  Then moments later as I was getting dressed, I opened a clothes drawer and saw the onesie I bought when I was pregnant for the second time, the one that was just too cute to pass up, even though I knew I was pressing my luck.  It’s red and white striped, and fits exactly into the style Tim swears I possess – that of a pirate (I like to call it romantic).  I love that onesie.  And all I want is to be able to see it on our baby.  Except I realize that it may remain in my drawer, left forever waiting to be filled.

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how, at two years, I seem to be becoming an elder in this community.  I know there are a handful of you out there that have been at this for twice that amount of time, and I am awed by your persistence and strength.  Because even though I’m “only” at two years, I’ve started to notice that the majority of women out there don’t usually have to struggle for this long.  I am not by any means saying that their pain or grief or frustration is any less than mine…believe me when I say a month at this is too long.  It’s just that I’m starting to see more and more people succeeding while I remain in the same place.  I’ve begun witnessing a new wave of women come into our community (I’m so sorry you’ve joined us), while the old ones move on to their newfound (and much deserved) families.  How did I get to be a Super* Senior in this shitty-ass high school?  And who can I talk to about the fazing involved for the Freshman?  They don’t deserve this pain.  I’d rather be the welcoming Senior, with an arm-full of babies to hand out than the one handing out blows to the uterus with a paddle.

It’s difficult feeling like you’re being left behind.  And it’s not just in blog world.  Yesterday I saw from a distance a woman that I used to be friends with before all of this crap, pushing a stroller with her 3-month-old in it.  I realized later that day that she has gotten engaged, married, pregnant, and had her baby all in the time I’ve been trying for a successful pregnancy.  Why does she deserve it so much more than I?  I can’t make sense of it.

To those of you that have succeeded or on their way to succeeding, please know that I hold no resentment towards you – in fact, just the opposite – I’m thrilled for you because you give us hope when it feels impossible to find.  Unfortunately though, that excitement doesn’t erase the fact I want so badly to be in your shoes – for all of us left in here to be in your shoes.  And I know you want that, too.  That’s the one thing this infertility school gives us, an uncanny ability to be compassionate to those who know what this is like.

I know this sounds like one big whine-fest, but we’ve hit our two-year anniversary of trying to make a pregnancy work and I can’t believe I’m still here.  As happy as the holidays are for me, the Christmas lights and warm fires are reminding me of a more innocent me that is gone forever.  I miss her spirit, her hope, her naivety.  This is a world I never wanted to be experienced in.

*Super Senior is a phrase my friends and I used when we were all in our 5th year of college.  In that case, it was fun to be a Super Senior because why rush the real world?  In this case: not so fun.  I want back into that Super Senior year…this one sucks.

A heart-wrenching PostSecret.

7 Nov

Did anyone else see this secret on this Sunday’s PostSecret?


Those last five words…..I want to find whoever it is that sent it in, grab her, and not let go…and pray with all that I have that she won’t lose that baby.

Those last five words are uncomfortably familiar.

After my first few losses, I wasn’t sure how I would be able to continue.  I remember so clearly after the second and soul-crushing loss, how I briefly thought about driving into the river instead of going to the doctor’s, where I was headed.  It seemed like such a better alternative than my reality at the time, with all of my hopes and dreams lying lifeless in a plastic container in the back of the car.

These particular words are so very bold and real, it is incredibly frightening.  My experience was fortunately just a fleeting thought, but these, these are a permanent declaration.  I know I don’t know the entire story, or how long she’s fought for this baby girl…but these words, they hit me in a way that make me want fight for our collective voice.   So many of us have felt like our entire world ended with the loss of a heartbeat and felt at times like no one could possibly understand what it’s like to experience this heartache and this pain…and it’s all because people don’t talk about it.  We are made to feel so completely alone in this grief because it’s not recognized as real grief.   A woman like this needs to know that she’s not alone and that we’re all out here to help get her through this.  I know I’m where I am today largely because of you guys; because of your brave words I learned I wasn’t alone in this.  What if she doesn’t find that?

This is why it’s so important to keep talking about this out loud, and not just on our blogs.  This is why the Redbook campaign is so important and why RESOLVE exists.  I feel like I need to do more.  If I can make just one other woman feel less alone, it will make all of this hell worth it.  If I can stop one other woman from wanting to drive into a river, I want to find a way to do it.

I hope this woman finds the support she needs.  More importantly, I hope she never needs to.

Feeling restless.

19 Sep

quilt

Somedays, it takes all that I have to get out from under this quilt and face the world.

As a direct result of this fourth loss and facing the reality that I may never be able to have a child, I seem to have become quite restless in my day-to-day life.  I’ve realized that if I’m not able to fulfill my dream of having a family, then I need to have something else in my life (other than my amazing husband) that is worth waking up for.  I’ve been sitting at a desk of some form for nearly 10 years and I feel in my gut that it’s not what I was meant to do.   Don’t get me wrong – I’m thankful to have a job, especially one that does such important work for the world – but when a huge part of my dreams have been shattered, it’s impossible to want to come and face this computer and this desk every day.

I admire those that seem to love what they do.  They wake up in the morning excited to see what the day brings.  Tim is one of those people, and I adore that part of him so very much.  He loves what he does and rises early in order to get started because it’s his passion and why would he want to sleep when he could be working?  As he jumps out of bed, I roll over to hit the snooze one or ten more times, contemplating calling in sick.

I’m thankful that out of this awful experience of having my heart broken into a thousand little pieces, it has left my heart yearning for something more.  I’m determined to somehow be able to live my passion every single day.  To have something to get out of bed for.  I want my passion to call to me, not my quilt.

I just don’t know where to start.   The people I work with have become my family, so I have to find a way to be okay here until I see a way to make my new dreams a realization, not letting them down in the process.  So for now, I have to keep coming to this computer and this desk until I can afford to do otherwise….knowing that someday, I’ll want to get out of bed.

I need to get all of this out.

25 Aug

I haven’t been able to blog much this month besides the photos, and it’s been frustrating because the things swimming around in my head haven’t been able to get out and that doesn’t make for a very settled feeling inside.  I keep trying to find time to get on here and it doesn’t come, and it’s been very disappointing.

Today I’m meeting with a Reproductive Endocrinologist at one of the top reproductive clinics in the country and I can’t figure out how I feel.  I can’t remember if I’ve admitted this yet on here, but I honestly feel like I’m not going to be able to do this.  That I’ll have one more loss and that will be it.  I can’t do this for much more.  This sadness and grief that is ever-present is just so tiring and to think about prolonging that for another 2 years…it’s too much to bear.  I’ve felt a weight pulling me down for two years now that I can’t even remember what it feels like to be truly happy.

If I can’t do this, I need to move on.  I need to find a way to get my happiness back and I honestly know that won’t be possible until this chapter has been closed.  I’m scared to death that the last page will turn and there will still be no baby there to fill this hole.  I’m scared to live with that hole that will undoubtedly never go away for the rest of my life.

I feel like the only other option for us will be surrogacy.  But the cost of that is frightening; the only way for us to do be able to afford it would be to find someone we know – friend or family – to do it for us.  But how do you ever ask someone that?  How would you ever repay that person for giving you the biggest gift imaginable?  I would forever feel indebted, unable to show them how incredibly grateful I am.  I wonder how I would handle it.  I’m the type of person who thinks about others before myself, to the point where I will do whatever it takes to keep them happy, at the cost of my own happiness….how would I ever be able to handle the pressure I’d put on myself to show my appreciation?  I don’t see it being possible.

Yet I don’t see another way to do this.  Adoption is out of the question, and I would most likely just miscarry an embryo through IVF, so it’s down to these two options – trying one more time and most likely miscarrying, or surrogacy.  What the hell.  Do you know how shitty that is?  I’m supposed to be able to do this.  I’m supposed to be able to procreate, and yet I’m failing.  I know it’s not me or my fault or blah blah blah….but ultimately, how can you deny that my body has failed to what it’s supposed to do?  How can people honestly see a way around that explanation?

I’m excited for the appointment only because I’ll finally be able to talk to a specialist, except my excitement stops there because my gut is telling me they won’t be able to tell me anything new.  That they’ll say I just need to try again while we cross our fingers.  How long will they tell me that?  How many more losses will result in that very same approach?  I think I have one more in me, then I’ve reached my limit.  I just can’t do this to myself any more.  4 losses are more than any one should ever have to go through and 5 is an even more overwhelming number.

I realize this has been just one long release of emotions…but they’ve been bottled up in me for a while now because I’ve been working so much I’ve had no time to get it out and that’s what this blog is supposed to be for.  I’m afraid the RE is in for an emotional meeting with a very upset patient in a few hours.  I can’t believe I’m at this point where I need help doing this.  How did I get here?

Ready for a change.

30 May

In case you haven’t noticed, I’m having a hard time getting back into blogging.  After I was forced away due to lack of internet in Brazil, I just can’t seem to get back into the swing of things.  The sad part is, I haven’t even really missed it.  I think I just got to a point where I was overwhelmed by it and by what this blog turned into for me.  It was never meant to be a miscarriage blog.  It started as a way to connect my family back home to my pregnancy, so they could be a part of the changes in my body and the growth of their grandchild from afar…but then it got forced into the exact opposite.  Which, I don’t mean to sound ungrateful, I could never fully express how thankful I am for this community that I’ve discovered and the people I’ve met through it.  I would never give that back.  I shutter to think where I’d be without you all.

It’s just…when I come to this space now, I just feel kind of blah.  Although, if I’m being honest, I think I’m feeling that way in many areas of my life outside of my blog, too.  I was telling Tim last night that I can’t remember the last time I was truly happy.  I mean, I’ve found happiness here and there, but I can’t remember the last time I was literally beaming from joy or bursting at the seems with excitement.  This past year and half has beaten the crap out of me and has left me wondering who the hell this new Courtney is and what it is that gives her happiness now.  I don’t do anything for myself for purely the joy of it, I don’t even know what that would be at this point.  I think part of my separation from my blog has been to re-access my life.  I’ve spent a lot of time coming here to vent my sadness, but then I get sucked into it and have a hard time separating this life from my real life.  I need to get better at that.  I want to come here and talk about joyful things, things that make me happy and make my life worth living.  I want this space to be positive again.  Maybe, just maybe, I’m tired of hearing myself whine and I’m just ready to be happy again.

Brazil forced me out of my wallowing every day life and into a life of the unknown.  A life where the sun was warm on my skin and the water that surrounded me gave me an energy I didn’t realize I needed.  For a couple of weeks after I returned, every time my acupuncturist saw me he said Brazil was still surrounding me, the effects of it palpable.  But now I think that’s gone and I’m craving a way to find it here, in the life I have to live every day.  I guess this connects to my last post, in that I think I can achieve this with practicing living in the now.  I know it’s possible, it’s just going to take some work.

It’s funny, I think once I started getting readers, it stopped being solely about me here.  That’s not to say every post I have written hasn’t been from a genuine place or written with complete and utter honesty and I have never altered my thoughts or feelings to cater to an audience.  But it made it easier to focus on the reason they found me to begin with.  It made me obsessed with how many hits I got in a day and how many subscribers I had.  As awesome as it felt (and still feels) to know people want to read my words, it’s not why I should blog.  It’s not why anyone should blog.  (Although, anyone who spent junior high and high school feeling constantly picked on and left out would be lying if she said it didn’t feel good to be liked.  It certainly does!)  And as a result of stepping back and forcing myself to stop obsessing about my hits, it has made me re-evaluate why I’m here.  I want to readjust my focus.  It doesn’t mean I won’t still talk about my struggles with my losses, they’re a part of me now.  I just need to make a conscious effort to focus on the things in my life I am thankful for.  I am blessed with so much in this life of mine, and I need to stop ignoring those things and surround myself in them instead.

I hope by saying all of this, I don’t offend any of you still reading.  You still mean the world to me and I hope you don’t go away.  Maybe you already have, and I promise I don’t blame you.  And if I am able to shift my focus and concentrate on happier things, it doesn’t mean I won’t be here to give you the support you may need.  I can’t erase what I’ve gone through, and in a way, I wouldn’t want to (although, I guess I would trade my year of hell if it meant I’d have my babies here, but you know what I mean).  This community has given me the strength to get where I am now.  Without you, I wouldn’t be able to recognize the bubble I’ve been in and how desperately I’m ready to get out.

When I finally get to be a mother, I want to be able to show my child joy and happiness in our every day life.  I would hate for he or she to have a mother that just lives day to day without a smile on her face.  I have faith I can find it.  And in the meantime, I’m still here for every one of you that need me.  And I thank you with my whole heart for being here for me.  I wouldn’t be here without you.

I hope just maybe you’ll still stick with me through this all.  I know I have so much more to give…not just to Tim and the people around me, but to myself.  I deserve better than this.  I deserve to beam with joy and burst with excitement.  And I know it’s possible.

An update of sorts.

1 Apr

But actually not an update at all because there’s still nothing to tell.

Day 38 and still no period.  Still not pregnant.  Stillnot.  functioning.

There are cramps…kind of.  And I’m pretty positive there are cysts because I can feel my sneezes in my ovaries (what, don’t you?).  I do have a doctor’s appointment scheduled for Monday, though.  So that pretty much guarantees that I’ll get my period later today or on Saturday.  I’m betting I’ll get it on Saturday, the moment I show up at the party, right as I meet the baby my child should have been twins with and see the woman who is pregnant even though she wasn’t even trying.  My body will choose to bleed (sorry Dad) the second I walk up to the both of them.  Like it was just waiting for that very moment to show.

Because the universe just loves to fuck with us, doesn’t it?

Can’t we get it to stop?

Haven’t I paid my dues already?

Shouldn’t it start picking on someone it’s own size?

Wait, that doesn’t sound like it would be good.  Scratch that, universe.   How about you just start being nice to me for once, okay?  Please?

I know it doesn’t sound it — but really, I am okay.  Just annoyed.  And frustrated.  And PMS-ing times a thousand for the period that will never come.

It’s like PMS on crack.  Only without the buzz.

It’s really fun!  Want to join me?