Infertility Bites

Infertile, Trying to Conceive, and Forty-One Years Old – Ain't THAT a Bummer!?!

National Infertility Awareness Week October 19, 2008

October 19-25 is National Infertility Awareness Week in the US.  I want to take this opportunity to thank any- and everyone who has read this blog and given a second thought about the condition that is infertility.  It helps to know that we’re not alone.  It helps to know that others give a damn.  

Take some time this week to thank those who have been supportive of you and your journey through infertility.  Let them know how much their support, prayers, and positive words mean to you.  As we all know, infertility is a condition that is often not spoken about, so the more people we can get talking about it, the better the chance of infertiles getting the help, information, and support they need and so richly deserve.  

For those who are looking for information about infertility, RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association is a good place to start.  The March of Dimes is another useful site for answers to questions before, during, and after pregnancy.  They are the leading organization trying to ensure that every baby gets its nine months, and working to prevent premature births.

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That’s right – I’m a slacker June 19, 2008

Hey all,

Thanks very much for all of you who have wandered onto this blog courtesy of NCLM.  I honestly had the best of intentions when I signed onto that challenge, and promptly buggered it all to hell and gone.  It’s not like I intended to be a person who purposely broke her pledge to visit lots and lots of sites, and comment on every one of them.  Honest, that wasn’t my intention. 

Like a goober, I foolishly thought that I’d manage to bounce back and be my usual pithy self while NCLM was clicking along.  Somehow, that really didn’t happen.  In a way, I’m kind of glad I didn’t jump right back into doing all of the things I’d normally do, because it shows me that I am human after all.  Who knew?

Physically, I seem to be just as healthy as I was before the miscarriage, albeit heavier, what with massive quantities of comfort food and all.  Mentally, I’m less stressed, now that summer break is here where I teach.  Emotionally…I give myself a B-. 

I do fine, as long as I don’t hear an infant crying…or don’t see an infant crying…or don’t see a little one doing something cute or adorable.  Occasionally, my heart breaks all over again when I see something or hear something, or think of something that reminds me that I ought to be in my second trimester now, with a child due in December.  Once in a while, something will trigger a response in me where I again realize that The Baby That Was will never experience certain things that I so wanted him or her to experience, or, that I will never get to witness him/her experiencing said certain things. 

The fantastic mail I keep getting, with the lovely ads and cutesy baby mags are a not-so-pleasant experience, but I now take it in stride.  I have a cabinet where I keep these things, just in case I ever do have a real, live, take-home baby.  After all, lots of supposed experts about my frickin’ life, ignorant assholes people have told me that it could still happen, especially since I did manage to get pregnant this last time.  I could “just get pregnant again”.  Easy peasy, doncha know. 

Oh yeah.  I’m waiting again.  This time, I’m waiting for my body to figure out that it’s okay to reboot and start my periods over again.  The miscarriage happened the week following Mother’s Day, back in May.  Still no sign of Our Least Favorite Aunt.  Actually though, I wish she’d bloody well (pardon the pun) show, already, so that we can get things back on track. 

F and I do want to try again, and as we all know…this ol’ gal ain’t gettin’ any younger.  So while we’re waiting for my body to catch its snap, I wait.  I plan to call my RE’s office tomorrow, to find out what my beta level was when I had it drawn back on June 9th.  Maybe that will help jog my ute’s memory…

“Oh yeah…vamplita needs me to start bleeding again…perhaps it’s time, before her last eggs wither away to nothing…” 

I hope this post leaves y’all with a sense that I’m on the mend, ’cause I am.  I do feel okay, and I know that it really, honestly could happen again.  I really could get pregnant again.  It doesn’t necessarily have to take another eight years. 

Right??

 

And So It Goes… May 16, 2008

The weekend was bearable.  I appear to have survived intact.  F and I didn’t win a darned thing, but that wasn’t exactly the point of going.  It was for “west and wee-waxation”, as Mr. Fudd would say.   

I’m so proud to have married my darling husband.  He did the perfect thing, as far as I was concerned.  He didn’t try to ignore the elephant in the room, as some would do.  Nor did he make a huge deal out of it, which would have made me even more uncomfortable and miserable than I already was.  He simply gave me a Mother’s Day card that stated that he was glad he’d married me.  God, I needed that.  I couldn’t help but cry, but it wasn’t a miserable sort of cry, really.  It was more of a bittersweet kind of emotion.  He told me he’d bought it a long time ago.  I really, really appreciate what F did.  Even recalling it now, it brings tears to my eyes. 

We came home late Sunday night, and Monday I really felt out of sorts, so I didn’t go to work.  I thought it might’ve been bad food or something, but I wasn’t sure.  I’d also starting seeing traces of pink when I went to the restroom, so I had my suspicions in that direction too. 

Sure enough, I was right.  Late that afternoon, I took a shower, and while I was towelling off, I noticed blood on the towel.  Even though I knew it was coming, it still took my breath away.  I tightly gripped the blood-stained part of the towel in my fist, sat down on the commode, and sobbed.  I was still like that when F got home later – stark naked and wailing on the toilet, towel clutched in my folded hands.  Poor man – he doesn’t handle me crying and being upset very well at all.

I took Tuesday off too, partly because I was a basket case, and partly because of the lovely cramping.  It’s weird, too.  It hurts more to lay down; the cramping’s worse then.  It started in earnest about 2:30AM Tuesday morning, bad enough to wake me up, and I usually sleep like the dead.  I will say that the cramping hasn’t been as bad since then. 

I’ve been snuggling up with a heating pad at night, which seems to alleviate most of the discomfort.  It also makes me the most popular sleeping companion, as far as our beagle’s concerned.  I’ve been waking up with a beagle attachment for the past couple of mornings, with a heating pad between us.  One can’t help but smile when you see how she’s allllll stretched out, right next to me.  It’s pretty cute.  🙂

My RE told me to give her office a call when I had had the miscarriage.  I think I’ll probably give her office a ring this next Monday.  I’ve read several ladies’ accounts of their miscarriages, and, of course, I don’t know if the worst is yet to come, or if this is it, or what.  Considering the baby’s heart stopped sometime during the seventh week, and that this would have been my (sigh) 10th week if I were still pregnant, it’s possible that my body could have started to reabsorb things in the womb.  I may not (TMI alert!) see a recognizable placenta, or anything definitive.  I imagine I’ll probably keep bleeding for at least another week, though again, I could be wrong.  I have no idea. 

These days, my body is and is not my own, if you get my drift.                  

 

A Better Mother May 12, 2008

Filed under: infertility bites,miscarriage sucks — vamplita @ 5:23 pm
Tags: , ,

 

     There are women that become mothers without effort, without thought, without patience or loss
     and though they are good mothers and love their children, I know that I will be better.

I will be better not because of genetics, or money or because I have read more books but because I have struggled and toiled for this child.
I have longed and waited.
I have cried and prayed.
I have endured and planned over and over again.

Like most things in life, the people who truly have appreciation are those who have struggled to attain their dreams.
I will notice everything about my child.
I will take time to watch my child sleep, explore and discover.
I will marvel at this miracle every day for the rest of my life.

I will be happy when I wake in the middle of the night to the sound of my child, knowing that I can comfort, hold and feed him and that I am not waking to take another temperature, pop another pill, take another shot or cry tears of a broken dream.
My dream will be crying for me.

I count myself lucky in this sense; that God has given me this insight, this special vision with which I will look upon my child that my friends will not see. Whether I parent a child I actually give birth to or a child that God leads me to, I will not be careless with my love.

I will be a better mother for all that I have endured.
I am a better wife, a better aunt, a better daughter, neighbor, friend and sister because I have known pain.
I know disillusionment as I have been betrayed by my own body.

I have been tried by fire and hell many never face, yet given time, I stood tall.
I have prevailed. I have succeeded.I have won. So now, when others hurt around me, I do not run from their pain in order to save myself discomfort.
I see it, mourn it, and join them in theirs.
I listen.

And even though I cannot make it better, I can make it less lonely.
I have learned the immense power of another hand holding tight to mine, of other eyes that moisten as they learn to accept the harsh truth and when life is beyond hard.
I have learned a compassion that only comes with walking in those shoes.
I have learned to appreciate life.
Yes, I will be a wonderful mother.
                                                                ~Unknown

This poem kind of conveys how I currently feel. 

Please understand that I’m not knocking those of you fortunate to have given birth without any hint of infertility.  In fact, any infertile who says that she wouldn’t happily shave her head to not be infertile is lying her ass off.  However, in the efforts of finding that ever-elusive silver lining, I’m of the mind that infertility will make me a much better and appreciative mother than I would have been if this hadn’t happened to me.   

 

Run away! Run away! (done in my best Monty Python voice) May 7, 2008

F and I are heading to Louisiana this Saturday, to go gamble and basically pretend that Mother’s Day isn’t this weekend.  It would be a gross understatement to say that I’m truly dreading this Sunday.  I went ahead and bought my mom a card, which I’ve already put in the mail, and I have already told her we’re not heading to her house this weekend, although that’s what I’d usually do. 

I just don’t want to be this great gaping wound around my parents, my sister, and my niece and nephew.  The way I feel right now, I don’t know how I’d react if someone said something to me that touched these raw and exposed nerves I’m currently sporting.  I don’t want to feel anger and resentment aimed toward anyone, especially my loving and caring family, nor do I want to be a sad sack around them this weekend.  I really feel that it’ll be better for F and I to just run away for a weekend.  Maybe we’ll become millionaires over the weekend…

I can lick my wounds while I’m sitting in an oversized tub with its jets swishing and swirling the water around my aging, PCOS-ridden, infertile, soon-to-be-miscarrying body.  I can be as antisocial as I damned well please while I sit mindlessly at a slot machine.  I can even drink if that’s what I want to do.  I can’t really think of a place that is less familial and cozy than a casino, so that works for me and my present mindset. 

Thank God that F figured it out pretty quickly, so that I didn’t even have to ask if we could go somewhere, anywhere, this weekend.  He may have had a tiny bit of help in that department from my mom, but I don’t think so.  I think he honestly thought of it himself.  Bless him!   

I can’t help but think that poor F suspects that he married a ghoul of some kind.  I know I freaked him out when I decided to go to work on the day after we found out I would miscarry.  Sure, my emotions are raw as hell, but it’s actually easier on me up at school than it would be if I sat at home by myself all day, every day, waiting for the inevitable.  Besides, I need to save those sick days for when I’m actually miscarrying. 

Since finding out there was no hope of the baby’s survival, the most difficult part of the day for me is at night, when I get ready for bed.  That’s when I’d don my maternity sleeping bra, take my prenatal vitamins, and used to do my daily Endometrin insert.  These days, the boobs are still tender at night, so I still have to use a maternity sleeping bra, which really kind of sucks if you’re a woman who is no longer pregnant.  I still take my prenatal vitamin, because I believe that it’s important for the wellbeing of any future vamplita and F progeny.  But, like I mentioned in my last post, I’m no longer taking the inserts, since what’s the frickin’ point??   

The first time I had to use the bra after finding out our baby’s dead, I simply bawled.  It seems very, very unfair that I’m still experiencing that symptom, even though I’m no longer expecting.  I can’t even begin to describe the feeling of complete and utter defeat I experienced that first night I had to use the bra after hearing the news.  It really chafes to know that my nightly pregnancy ritual was, after all is said and done, all for naught.