Thursday, June 26, 2014

Fear: What Is It Good For

Today I bounced around filled with fear and anxiety about all the DE things I can't control.  Someone told me this horrific story about a woman who had moved through all the same procedures and had moved to DE and only then found out that her DH was the issue because his sperm was unable to fertilize the donated eggs.  TERR-I-FY-ING.  It took me a while today but I finally (mostly) let it go, without having an actual panic attack.  It required an email exchange with my donor coordinator, who said it was highly unlikely and that they'd run all the tests they could on him, and a friend pointing out DH had fertilized my eggs before and he has two previous children already.  It should be fine, I know I can't keep worrying, it's outside of my control.

It does seems the more I am removed the more my anxiety grows, it could also be a thyroid medication side effect.  And for years during these infertility treatments I have focused my anxiety into doing or taking things - vitamins (like prenatal, D3, Omega-3, CoQ10) Maca Root, other Chinese herbs, counseling, acupuncture, mayan massage, bone marrow broth and eating as healthy as I can (I'm a picky eater and carry a lot of guilt about it).  Now that I have to warm the bench (or the uterus) and don't  have much control I feel more stress about the process.  I have nothing to focus on.  And I can't seem to eat well, I have no motivation to give up the occasional fast food and sugar. 

Work is contributing to this feeling, it's crazy, I manage all employee compensation for payroll.  Work has assigned huge projects to be done in two week payroll cycles to me throughout the summer into September.  Then from October on it is crazy because of end of year.  I worry there won't be a good time to do a donated egg cycle.  I want this baby now and I will force work to let me relax even if I have to call in sick.  My work can go fuck itself, it's dysfunctional and I (quite honestly) can't wait to quit.  I used to plan my work availability around my treatments and then the treatment would be cancelled or not work out, it would be humiliating.  Even if I wanted I can't plan my work around now before I even know when we might do fresh or frozen or ...?  It's frustrating.

On a lighter note: I've been watching way too much Orange Is The New Black because I dreamed last night the clinic wouldn't give me a donated egg because I'd been in prison.  Seriously, it was like 10 minutes of laying there at 4:40am before my brain calmed down enough to realize that I've never even been arrested ... or given a ticket for that matter (knock on wood).

I hope you are all having a wonderful week! I am on vacation next week... mostly, because I'll still have to telecommute into work at least two days.  I'll be hanging around my house, taking care of house and car business... which may or may not include buying a new washer because ours is slowly dying.  We can tell because of the terrible screeches and screams emanating from it.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

First DE Appointment & It Feels So Good

Ok, whew, that was some information.  The board I read recommended going into this meeting having read a specific guidebook, which I did not do because a) I don't like books with babies on the cover and b) I am lazy and c) I don't want to be seen buying the book.  If I could have it delivered to my house in a plain package and a different cover, then I might have bought it.

First we had a psych eval, sadly it turns out we are not psychos (teehee).  It wasn't much of an evaluation of us per se, more ensuring that we understood what DE entails, how DE children do, and that we (me, mostly) had grieved properly.  I don't think they expected me to be "over it" and she (the evaluator/counselor) said I had really done my research and was very well prepared.  She was also happy that I was in counseling and approved of my counselor, which is good since I've been seeing the counselor for more than a year.

Second we met with a coordinator, who will be our own coordinator, to discuss the process and how a donor is chosen and what types of plans they offer.  This is the biggest discussion point between my DH and I, the next big choice we will have to make together.  I was all for the guarantee program, but (based on our discussion) DH is not and will want to discuss likelihood of success with the RE before we completely choose a plan. 

Then we talked to finance, but only briefly.  First we have to decide what type of plan to do, what type of donors are available (frozen or fresh) and how many eggs we feel will guarantee us a good shot if we decide against the guarantee program. 

I feel great about all this today.  I think everybody feels great the day of the appointment with the RE (or really, other coordinators in this case), it's just the next day or two where you think of all the questions you should have asked and get all wound up.  I have anticipated it and scheduled this the day before my normal counseling day (Wednesday).  I am so smart, S-M-R-T (Simpson reference, sorry).  Hope you are having an amazing day!

Monday, June 23, 2014

Sharing the Pain

Every time I'm off the computer I write blog posts in my mind and every time I am here staring at this screen I have no words or ideas.

The last few days have been difficult.  I want to shout my pain from the mountaintops, I want everybody to know how much this hurts and how unfair it is.  I want to punch people who tweet trite shit in the throats, so they are left gasping for air.  Positivity may help others, but in the best of times I roll my eyes.

Depression, or really sadness since it's situational, always comes on slowly for me.  I slowly feel a little more sad, and a little more sad, until I hit a sort of 'bottom' of sadness, where I just exist for a while.  I don't have many tears left for my situation, the pain is no longer sharp enough, it's dull and wants me to sit around the house and eat bon-bons.    

Eventually I read my DE board and searched for people who also had to use DE at a young age.  I do think it's harder to have to use DE at a younger age, but it isn't good to dwell on how hard it might or might not be.  It was great to read about those who are also young and using DE.  It's sad, but it helped me not feel so alone.  I'm not alone, many other people have gone through this and had to make decisions based on this shitty reality.

I know the sadness will be back, but I'm feeling really great now.  I have my DE appointment tomorrow.  I am nervous, but mostly about funding right now.  If I think about it then I am also nervous about picking a replacement for me too, but that's a problem for the future.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

21 Grams of Conciousness

This post is going to get all metaphysical and philosophical on you, and I apologize for that, but I'm not sincere since I'm still publishing it.

I've always wondered about consciousness.  In second grade I have a vivid memory of looking at another girl, a "friend" much more popular than me, and wondering what it would be like to switch places with her, what her thoughts were, how she perceived the world from her own body, and I desperately wanted to see the world through her eyes and go home to her family.  I wanted to be free of the limits and constraints that had been imposed on my mind.  I wondered: could I be her and still also me?

The physical body is an interesting thing: if my mom and dad had conceived in a different month would I be a different person?  Prevailing wisdom may say yes, because a different sperm and a different egg would have met.  But what if that's not really true and I was always who I was meant to be?  I may have a (slightly) different physical form, but my spiritual form would have been the same because I, before birth, was destined for this particular family.

I'm not a big destiny person, I didn't expect to find my 'soul mate'.  The thought of 'the one' quite frankly terrified me.  I have never believe in pre-destination (Calvinist belief, where God has already predetermined the course of your life); I fall squarely and liberally into the free will belief.  Now part of this belief is fear.  I have never believed I am good enough to receive anything good, or be chosen for anything good, and I never expected to be the lucky one.  I am one who has always felt like she has worked for what she has -  affording college, finding a good husband, working at my marriage, having a baby.  I am happy to work, but often feel things shouldn't take so much effort.

So, while I in some way believe that I was always "destined" to be this spirit or consciousness, I don't agree that the filter through which this spirit exists or my physical plane was always destined.  There are many things that factor into creating a human being; "nurture" if you will.  Would I have been a different if my father hadn't been killed?  Yes.  Would I have been different if my second grade class hadn't stopped speaking to me for the last month of school?  Yes.  Would I have been different if my parents hadn't chosen to have my brother? Absolutely. 

For example (and this comes from an article I read in a doctor's office more than a year ago, so no citation) if a person suffers a head injury and is no longer 'themselves', a family member might say that they see flashes of the 'former' person, but prevailing medical opinion would say that person is damaged and is now a different person in essence.  However, if we smashed a radio and then listened to it and only heard every other word it would be laughable of us to say that only every other word was being said by the announcer.  We would know the radio is broken.  Are not those of us who suffer physical trauma or psychological damage or imbalance also 'broken' and are not able to show our spirit through a non-compromised physical form?

We are a sum of our experiences, but are we also more?  If we destroy our neural pathways that control our thinking patterns do we become different people or are we the same person who is now unable to access these pathways and patterns?  Is my spirit always afraid of june bugs or is this physical manifestation of me programmed to hate june bugs because they crawled on me as a child and it was terrifying and that set a specific neural pathway?

Changing neural pathways is something I've worked on in different forms of counseling.  I've found comfort in yoga, learning to throw off the physical, gaining more control over your mind and thoughts (though not enough to start liking june bugs).  To accept where you are today.  It's one of the areas that I think Christianity could do a lot better and, perhaps, one thing I see more clearly in the ancient Christian beliefs than current ones. 

All of this to sum up the one desperate thought I cling to: I will have the baby I was meant to have, no matter how that baby physically arrives.  My assignment from my counselor this week is to work on releasing my fears for this baby: that they won't love me, that they won't be physically or spiritually like me, that I'll be again rejected because my infertility means that I shouldn't have even tried to be a mother.  I'm going to work hard at releasing these thoughts and attracting only positive energy.  I do deserve it and I'm going to be so excited when the most amazing bundle of joy the whole world has ever known arrives.  Also I've decided I'm taking credit for all moles and dimples; I've decided there shouldn't be too much of either, but just enough to show how much I care. 

Monday, June 16, 2014

Pondering Grief

I was born the first grandchild of both families, a fact that my maternal grandmother never forgave me for since she was too young to have a grandchild (she was 54, not that young). It may have been the last time I was first at anything. I could never quite muster up the dedication to be first in my class, once winning the award as "sweetest spirit" in the fifth grade (I was so insulted and disgusted by that award). I was never very athletic, even though I was (am) hyper competitive and used that even when outmatched - once knocking myself out at age six when, in an impromptu downhill ski race against a 12 year old, I tried to take the outside track to win and instead ran into the ski shack at the bottom of the hill.

As a firstborn I ended up behaving more like an adult and parent to my younger brother after my father died, my mother will still joking say 'she was never a child' about me. I quite vividly remember wanting my father to come back, wanting to have a whole family, wanting to have my "real" family claim me, and wanting to be a twin. My therapist claims I was not loved enough as a child, but that's not true, I knew my mother loved me and as an adult I know she did the best she could. I think I just missed having a whole family; the circumstances of my father's death had ripped apart whatever family cohesion had existed before.  The guilt settled on those responsible, they could not be expected to help or become a father figure.

Those of us who have to suffer shouldn't have to suffer this much. If I didn't get a family when I was younger why should circumstances conspire to deny me now? The studies say that the happiest people live in the poorest countries, where even if they don't have money, they have family. And perhaps that's the truth that hurts the most: I have money and live in a first world country and do not have and cannot naturally have a family. I have two wonderful step-children and I love them very much, but am acutely aware I do not belong to them and they do not belong to me. I am like a benevolent aunt, not getting mad at them, rarely correcting behavior, and teaching them inappropriate (hilarious) things.

As my counselor once said, in the cycle of reincarnation maybe this life, this time, is my tragedy.  I didn't have to be first, just eventually, and I wouldn't have even minded spending the money on IVF for a successful pregnancy.  It's hard to reconcile that this is one more thing that I don't get that everybody else does: a father, grandparents, aunts and uncles, children.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

The Yoga Instructor Tried to Murder Me

Last night I dragged myself to a hot yoga class in my small town.  It is at a new yoga studio that recently opened up and they have lots of classes and even childcare.  I was really impressed when I looked at it online.  I attended a Bikram yoga studio for 4 years before I was told to quit in 2012 due to it (apparently) cooking your eggs (or whatever) because it raises your body temperature.  I never understood why someone wouldn't want to do Bikram, it's amazing and you feel great afterwards.

Now I understand why.  I went into the studio early and the lady behind the counter, when she could be bothered to look up from her discussion with another employee, asked me which introductory offer I would like to purchase.  This should have been my first clue.  Most yoga studios I've been to (the two other ones) have asked me after my class to speak to them and decide what type package, if any, I'd like to purchase.  Either way I am going to feel pressured because if I don't buy a big package after the class it's (in my head) tantamount to saying 'your class sucks'.  In the spirit of getting healthier I purchased the 30 days for $30, it's a good deal and it will force me to go.  Then I asked how much to borrow a mat, since I gave away all my old mats and it was $5, $5!! That's like a quarter of the cost of a new mat.  Geesh!  I still paid it, I didn't have a choice since I wasn't prepared for a ridiculous price.

Regrettably I didn't think about the fact that since there was childcare there would be babies.  But I ran quickly away from them (pesky babies) and laid down in the yoga room.

There were only 5 of us in the class including the teacher, all women, so my fat jiggly thighs in short shorts didn't gather too much gagging.  The teacher (again, a woman) had a SIX PACK - ugh, that should have been another clue.  This was Vinyasa yoga, not Bikram, so the class was 60 minutes.  I had been in the room at least 15 minutes before class started, an old ritual from my Bikram days, and so I was nice and warm and sweaty.  Then the yoga instructor tried to kill me, by working out my abs in a constant stream of poses.  I know it's YOGA and CORE and all, but OMG that was not what I expected.  Also who is going to be able to do a downward dog to standing split on their first class?  I couldn't even do it after 4 years because my hips are incredibly tight and do not bend that way, or really any way at all, thanks hips. 

So I had to sit down a few times because I was exhausted and overheating.  I practically burst into tears.  I was sitting there, trying to catch my breath, choking back tears.  Because I used to be able to do this, maybe not this exact practice, but a similar one.  And all I could think was 'these women, they are still doing it and they probably even get to have babies'.  It's not fair, it's not goddamned fair.

Yoga can bring out or up strong emotions and it's not surprising that the loss of breath and heat made me want to cry.  I expected it to be easier to return.  Even though I don't weigh the same I still expected it to be like an old pair of running shoes that I slip back into.

On the way out the teacher was very interested in talking to the girl who had left ahead of me.  She barely even acknowledged me, except for the awkward moment where she asked 'what was your name again?' and I answered because I thought she was talking to me.  She wasn't.  I also wasn't impressed with the clientele.  It made me realize that my hubby's ex-wife would probably fit it, all tan and blond and perky with perfect little children and lives.  Half of that is clearly a lie, but she (and these women) still seem to have those lives.  I'm just a dark hair, pale skinned barren second wife, and it feels like they can see right through me.  (Hopefully the judgment is mostly due to my resting bitch face.)

So now I'm left with 29 days of classes at a studio that I'm not loving already.  It's not the studio's fault that I want to cry when I exercise, but that teacher is still a douche.  I'll go back (I'm nothing if not cheap), but after that I may go to the non-hot yoga place in town with the nice and normal and non-six-pack teacher.

Oh, and I don't want to go back to my old, perfectly acceptable, yoga studio because I told them I was leaving to do fertility treatments and it's been two years and they'll probably be like 'how old is your baby' and then I'll definitely cry.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Horoscopes

Now even my horoscope is fucking with me:

Sagittarius (Nov 22-Dec 21): Sagittarius, with Jupiter spending so much time in Cancer, it’s no surprise your mind has been on the home: how to create it, how to better it. Well, I’ve been reading Joan Didion’s The Year Of Magical Thinking, and here is a piece of wisdom within it: "We are not idealized wild things. We are imperfect mortal beings, aware of that mortality even as we push it away, failed by our very complication, so wired that when we mourn our losses we also mourn, for better or for worse, ourselves. As we were. As we are no longer. As we will one day not be at all." As the summer unfolds, I see big changes coming up for you, Sagittarius, but I’m not worried. At your core, you know what it means to strive with integrity toward your deepest desires. Even if you make a wrong choice here or there, even if—at this moment—you can’t claim to be 100% sure: if you can move away from mourning whatever version of yourself are leaving behind and commit towards this moment, you will be exactly where you should. Your home will be more than enough, wherever you make it.
 
Screw you horoscope and your incredible demands on my life.  'Stop mourning' my ass, like it's easy.  But it did kind of validate how I'm feeling and is really strangely on target.  I am not one for horoscopes, I usually laugh at them and see the transparency of their 'advice' or 'predictions'.
 
 
In other news I am feeling very sad this week.  It's strange, it was about a week of screaming pain after fertilization failed, then a week of peaceful acceptance, and now it's not screaming pain, but a deep ache that I can't really define.  I want to move on to my next step, but I know that I need to release a lot of these feelings.  I am hoping to schedule my first appointments for the donor egg process in the next month.  I hope that I am giving myself enough time to work through some of the grief. 
 
I am going to make a green smoothie today and see if I can drink it.  I am putting only things I like it in!  However, it's a lot of non-similar ingredients and so I am not sure how the taste will end up.  Eek!

Friday, June 6, 2014

A Boring Thing Happened

I've totally spoiled you all by posting so much in May. The truth is that now it's so calm. It feels like ... peace a little bit. I cannot change anything, I cannot work or force anything, I must work on only accepting. I'm pretty good at accepting, it's how I moved beyond my panic disorder way back when I was 28.

Yesterday we had staff training, my company has them about twice a year, and it was about building a better brain. It was a good class and gave us great information about what food to eat and how to think.  However it made me feel guilty and sad. It made me feel like I can never do enough to be healthy and, especially now, I am eating whatever I goddamned want because if I don't get to have a baby then I get to eat McDonald's Cheeseburgers. (I've eaten only 2 of those, I'm not going crazy). I know in my head the guilt doesn't help and 'everything in moderation' is one of my mantras.

The presenter did make me cry; she felt the need to repeat that depression and grief come from loss and you lost something and you're going to be sad about it over and over and over? I kept it mostly together, it wasn't like I burst into tears, but I did have to wipe the tears and that can't be good. I am hoping not too many coworkers noticed, or at least the coworkers I hate didn't notice.

I did see my counselor, but there haven't been any epiphanies.  I still think that I am done with trying for a biological child despite my RE being willing to try again. I feel strangely at peace about it. I don't know if that's because I had so much pain before or if it's because I'm blocking the pain now. I desperately want to push forward with the selection process, but I am holding back for a little bit longer.  I do want to have the ability to back off occasionally as we're going through, to give me space to adjust to the slings and arrows that will naturally be a part of it.

I did cut off my hair!!  I'm not putting pictures of myself up since this is a mostly anonymous blog. You'll just have to believe me when I say that 8 inches of hair is gone and I feel so free!

I promise to be more exciting next week. For now I'm enjoying this natural (and, from the presentation yesterday, bad for you) half-and-half:

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

RIAIBAGM #2

Ahem, Reasons (I Assume) I'll be a Great Mom #2.

I'm mildly crafty, occasionally doing a cross-stitch.  AND I do cross-stitches like this:

 
 
In general I am not crafty enough to actually FRAME things, unless I am giving it to someone.  Most of my stitches are hanging around my house like the buttercup one, covered in cat hair. 

I'm still in a 'meditating' frame of mind, so no updates on my ponderings today.  However, I am addicted to checking out blog stats (it's like crack!).  Please hit refresh a few times, it's like tiny hits of morphine to my addled brain.  I'm joking.... mostly.