Infertility Bites

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

memories… July 27, 2008

We went the natural route this month…no big symptoms this month thus far, but ya never know, I suppose.  F and I are trying not to burst into flames here in Texas.  It’s been so hot-n-humid that it takes my breath away when I have to venture outside.  Nasty, I tell ya. 

I drove up to my parents’ home in East Texas a couple of weeks ago, if only for twenty-four hours.  I would have liked to have stayed for a little while longer, but it couldn’t happen this last time.  I went up there after my mom told me that three of her cousins were coming to visit for one day only, and she asked if I could please drive to Lufkin to visit with them too. 

It’s pretty funny, because F was convinced a bit concerned that I was going up there to meet with my mom and her cousins and then head to Louisiana to go gambling.  Ha!  Not hardly… these “girls”, as one of the ladies called themselves, were 70+ years old.  These sweet ol’ gals were hardly the slot machine type.  They were worn out by their trip to my mom’s, and I frankly don’t think they could’ve made it another fifteen minutes in the car. 

We had a very pleasant time, catching up on times past, especially their memories of my grandparents and great-grandparents.  I got to see a cool book that one of the “girls” had created about her family on her own computer.  Her book included pictures of my great-grandparents that I’d never seen before, which was a neat thing.  This book wasn’t a professional job, by any means, but I could tell that she’d spent a great deal of time researching her stories, scanning the pictures, and assembling it all into order.  It was a labor of love.

Perhaps one day I will pursue a labor of love along those lines.  I think it would be great to pull all of the memories together that my aunts, uncles, cousins, and my immediate family have of my great-grandparents, my grandparents, Mom, and her brothers and sisters as they were growing up in Central Texas and later in the Houston area.  Mom’s oldest living brother in particular has many, many fantastic stories about growing up as a child of my grandparents. 

Grandmama was an awesome woman, in my opinion.  Some of the stuff she dealt with – a child with epilepsy, a husband whose big heart turned out to also be a weak heart, and children whom she outlived – are the kind of life-altering events that most of us pray we never have to face.  Her eldest son, the man whose first name I share, later died in the same way as his father.  I was truly worried that Uncle Buddy’s (again, not his real name) massive heart attack was going to kill her, but she lived on, still taking care of her youngest son who lived with her until the day she died.  When her oldest daughter was diagnosed with liver cancer, and Grandmama saw another beloved child fading before her very eyes, she again was devastated by how cruel it was for a parent to outlive her offspring.

As far as anyone knows, Grandmama never drank a drop of alcohol, and she cursed just one time in her entire life.  She was a short little thing, about 5’1″ tall, and one time, Grandmama was unfortunate enough to be bending over to get something out of a lower cabinet while someone had left an upper cabinet open.  Of course, when she stood up, she whacked her head really hard on the corner of said upper cabinet door.  Apparently, there was a deafening silence while people held their breaths, until one of her sons asked her, “you all right, ‘Dessa Mae?”  When she managed to say yes, those folks who were within earshot of it began to release their suppressed laughter after finding out she hadn’t been mortally wounded.  Grandmama was still in a considerable amount of pain as she jokingly said, “Well damn, I’m glad y’all found out I was going to live before you laughed.”

Grandmama died on cold day in December 1997, just a couple days after Christmas.  When my sister and I went to talk to her preacher before her funeral service, her preacher asked us what were some of the things about this remarkable 87-year-old woman that would be remembered by those who knew her.  The first thing two words that simultaneously came out of both of our mouths was “her laugh”.  There was no way in the world for my grandmama to hide when something tickled her, because her whole body shook when she laughed.  She had an incredible sense of humor, and God, how I loved to hear and see her laugh at something. 

I think about her often, and wonder what she would’ve had to say about F, and about our infertility problems.  If she’d been around for our wedding, she wouldn’t have been able to not cry, especially since she would’ve known that I was going to move up to Washington state with F the very next day.  I know she would’ve cried to hear of our miscarriage, because she was a very tenderhearted lady, and because she lovedlovedloved her grandchildren.  It may sound bizarre, but the thought that she and my husband’s grandmother were in Heaven waiting to take care of our baby and shower it with all of the bajillions of kisses we would have bestowed upon our little one was one of the main reasons I could still function immediately following our miscarriage.  It’s one of the reasons I could still manage to breathe as the pain  and sheer grief threatened to cut off my supply of air.     

I never knew my grand-daddy, but he must’ve been a pretty spectacular man.  His mother was Native American – Comanche, to be exact.  His birth certificate says that his race was “Native”.  In that day and age, he never, ever wanted anyone to know that he was “Indian”; he’d fight anyone who said he was anything other than White.   He is the person I have to blame for my unruly, curly hair.  🙂

The only way I know him is through the stories that others have told and retold about him.  At the same time, he was both a gentle soul to his grandchildren, and “one of the meanest SOBs that ever played baseball”.  He had a nasty temper, but was generous enough to give a person the shirt off of his back. 

I regret that I myself have no memories of him; Grand-daddy died of a massive heart attack just six months after I was born.


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.                  


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.