Saturday, August 30, 2014

Whew, This Week

This week has been an anxiety filled stress fest.  I'm feeling much better now, I turned a corner last night and then had a wonderful night's sleep. 

So the week started off with an job interview and an immediate (that day) selection to the next stage.  I waited anxiously to hear back and got the official verbal offer on Thursday.  They verbally offer because they had to offer me less than I am making now and had to make sure I was for sure interested.  DH and I discussed (at length) and asked for "extras" (I'd never done that before!) and decided it was worth it.  I should be making more within about 6 months and it's a literal 5 minute commute. 

I had had anxiety earlier in the week after a deep tissue massage, which isn't unusual.  Then after the discussion about the job, where the company wasn't able to meet my need of a two hour lunch one day a week, I may have freaked out about my counseling.  I couldn't sleep during the night, but I had to reach the difficult decision to accept the job without knowing for sure if my counselor can accommodate me (it was the start of a holiday weekend here in the US).  I hope that she can make arrangements for a few weeks or do phone appointments.  I do love her and I hope it works out. 

The reason I am freaking out about it is because I am embarking on this donor egg program and she has had 100% success with all her donor egg patients.  She feels like my lucky charm (in addition to an amazing counselor) and I was probably trusting in that a little too much.  In my head I thought "of course it's going to work, I see her"!   Honestly though, I know I am so stressed at my current job that it might have overridden any benefit I get from her.  I've only been at work two weeks since my last full week of vacation and ... it's been difficult, I'm angry and hurt and HATE IT. 

My manager did have a meeting right after vacation to apologize for calling me 'nearly insubordinate', it was super great because then I was told all about how I have to remind her if we are approaching that point again, and ask for clarification (which I did originally anyway, and she acknowledged that), and basically it came down to me being more responsible for our "relationship".  I was forced to give her ideas on how she could support me more.  Cue eye rolling. 

I did request both from my manager and my director (her boss) that certain work be removed from my desk.  I originally asked for this 4 weeks ago and there's been no movement, not even a tiny "good faith" effort to show they are serious about it.  On Thursday (due to the pending job offer, not that I told her that) I met with my director again because I had heard through office scuttlebutt that the answer was "no".  She was so insincere in her response and it was the first time I had noticed that from her.  She said she was still discussing and thinking about it and then proceeded to go through the whole list I had given her just 4 weeks ago again.  After 5 minutes I was looking at her and thought "I want to shove my pen into my eye, this is all bullshit.  She's just bullshitting me!!"

I think that sums up my current job.  I work so hard, I ask for things: a raise, training opportunities, not doing certain duties, work being reassigned and the answer is always "oh that's great! We'll work on it!".  Right now they want me to hold on just long enough to kill any opportunity to leave - and that's not going to work.  As soon as I have a written job offer I will give notice.  I am alternatively terrified and excited...isn't it that way with every change? 

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Guest Post for Amateur Nester

Today I am published over on Amateur Nester, what are you waiting for - go check it out!


I will publish an infertility timeline later today/tonight as well! 

Thursday, August 21, 2014

More Waiting

Let's get this party started!  Or not...

I am a very driven person, or at least that what other people tell me.  I have a tendency to decide to do a thing and focus on getting it done immediately.  It's a challenging character trait, at least for other people who have to deal with me.  All this to say: my period started and I'd rather be moving forward, but we had already decided that we would wait another month.  Our original plan to transfer around early October, but it's definitely moved now to later. 

My cycle was only 22 days this past 'month', so it's not that long to wait.  It's the last wait, and it seems to be the longest at this moment.  I know I need this additional time to prep my body and soul for this experience, but I also want to get a move on!

This feeling is complicated a little bit by a tiny monster in the back of my head.  This monster wonders what the 'plan c' is.  I'm on plan b, I'm pursuing donated eggs.  What if it doesn't work?  What if we don't have any blastocycsts?  Any leftover frozen embryos?  What if I go through all of this only to end with empty arms?  I've given up so much, will I be asked to give up more?

And maybe part of the issue is that I am young, but my DH is not as young as I am.  I am scared, if it fails does this mean that we are done?  He's not opposed to adoption, but it's a long wait and then he would be older.  Would he want that?  Would it be me pushing it?  Would he be saying yes to appease me because he is worried I might leave him otherwise?  He has said it's not over if this fails, he has acknowledged this could fail, but how far should I push it?  What is fair to him and to our own life?  What money would we even have left to pursue having children?  Oh god, I don't even want to think about all the money I've spent if this fails.

Clearly I don't have the answers to these questions, but I am pondering them and wondering.  I am going to get on track, I am going to think positively (for the most part I do anyway), and I am going to eat right!  I'm not going to exercise, unless it's some light walking, because I'm lazy. 

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Cleanse Fail

After my diet (called "eating whatever the hell I want because all my eggs died in a petri dish during my last IVF") I needed to get back on track with the fertility diet stuff.  This is not so much for fertility as being the most amazing baby oven ever!  Now I've never been a great follower of the fertility diet, I hate vegetables and am a general picky eater.  This was always going to be a challenge.

After maybe 4 days, if I'm really stretching the definition of "days", I had to give up.  Mostly because I don't eat enough and at point it becomes anorexia, the final two days it took hours to fall asleep at night because of hunger - not a pleasant feeling!  There is too much 'not too eat' on the list for me.  However, I am going to keep a couple things:
  • no milk/ice cream for a while, limited cheese (may have included cheese at every meal today, so clearly failing at the limited part)
  • no red meat
  • eat as organic/healthy as possible
  • drink green tea (found a tasty & good one!)
  • drink lots of water, like 2 liters a day (this is fairly normal for me)
  • take a probiotic
  • of course, take my supplements/vitamins
  • don't eat for 12 hours (this is a goal, 10 hours easy)
The 'cleanse' part of the cleanse did not happen, which makes me unhappy.  It might be because I am PMS-ing and that is one of my symptoms.  I am hoping it will ease up soon, I've started spotting (day 20 here, fun). 

I do have more energy now that I'm off the cleanse!  I hope to do tons of housework this weekend in preparation for a family visit.  I trimmed all the bushes in front after work today and worked up a good sweat.  Now my husband can stop complaining about 'your overgrown bush'... silly man.

Does anyone have a good probiotic recommendation?  There is one in my nutritional shake, but I'd like another one that maybe aids in fertility - is there such a thing?

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Choices

A philosophy I have on life is that you can't pretend you don't have a choice.  It might be a choice between bullshit or horseshit, but it's still a choice. 

I am not saying it is easy to evaluate shitty choices, but when life handed me the inability to have a genetic child I had some serious choices to make.  What did I want out of life?  Could I live never having a child?  Does this mean I don't want any children?  Are the genetics more important to me that the raising a child?  It wasn't easy to ponder all of this, but the biggest, hurty-est feeling in my plan is that at the end of the day my child will be able to decide what I mean to them, whether I am, in fact, their mother or if I am something "lesser" due to genetics.  It was really hard for me to accept this risk, I feel like I deserve to be a full mother, to be considered someone's mom and not deemed lesser by my own child.  It's a scary risk!

Then Maya Angelou died, and the radio stations covered all Maya Angelou for a couple of days.  And a quote was read and it struck me:

I've learned that whenever I decide something with an open heart, I usually make the right choice.

Wasn't my heart open?  It was open and waiting for a baby, my baby, however that baby would arrived.  I became a tiny bit excited, I could do this!  How my baby judged it's conception wouldn't matter and if it did matter then that was a trial for a different day.  All of my adopted friends consider their adopted mothers their 'real' mothers, even if they have searched/met their birth families.  (For the record I am open to adoption, but don't want to wait.  Also, I have step children who would need to be interviewed for a home study, which would mean sharing that I am infertile.)

I won't regret the road taken, I've done everything to have a genetic child.  I gave it my best college try (I never understood that saying) and it didn't work.  Of course, if money was no object maybe I would have dug deep into my soul for the emotional strength to do another 7-8 mini-IVF tries, which might have lead to a genetic child. 

Don't sit back and let yourself passively become a victim, you have choices!  Figure out what kind of shit you want in your life!  My choice is still the baby type of shit.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Irons In the Fire

I have a problem at my job.  I tweeted, and then quickly deleted, an incident from last week, but thought I would explain it better on here.  I am slightly overworked at work and slightly might be an understatement.  Complicating the overwork is my boss, who doesn't know what I do and worse doesn't appear to care.  There is a process I completed last year (I am in payroll) and it was difficult and complicated, she wanted to expand it this year and asked me for 4 dates (instead of 2 for last year).  I provided 3 dates and declined in the nicest possible way, saying 'I respectfully decline and acknowledge management's right to assign me additional dates'. 

For my opinion I was called 'nearly insubordinate' and told 'you cannot refuse work unless it's illegal or immoral'.  So now my workplace officially thinks it can work me to death.  I am salaried, so there isn't any overtime.  Needless to say I am incredibly bitter about this.  I have (and you'll have to take my word for it) worked incredibly hard for this organization.  I am the hardest worker with the largest workload on my immediate team.  There literally were 2 employees doing my job until a year after I started when the other employee was moved into a different section and I have successfully completed these duties since then (6 years).

The reason my boss reacted this way might be because I have never pushed back on being assigned work.  Or it could be that this was my 4th manager and I didn't care about impressing her when she started, because I was too busy working and I didn't feel I should have to kiss yet another new manager ass.  I'm not sure and quite frankly I can't care that much about why she's being difficult, all I should focus on is myself.

My counselor and I have discussed finding a new job.  However, it seems very stressful to do while I am struggling with fertility treatments.  My counselor would rather I create a countdown to quitting, which may be what I do when a child is born.  Quitting is an option, but I also want the option to continue working.  What if stay-at-home is not my thing?  Right now I think it is, but what if it's not? 

So I have been putting out some feelers and I have a job interview at another job in a couple of weeks!  I am excited, and nervous, and if I was offered a job I'd have to be all vague about needing time off for counseling continuously and then additional medical appointments in October.  It seems like it's destined to fail, but an interview can't hurt anything.

Another option is some possible changes at my workplace.  I may shift some job duties off my desk to another employee, which would at least lighten my workload and would help me feel a little easier about working there.  It's an 'in process' as it's being discussed by management.  I hope for a positive outcome there. 

I am actually on vacation this week - so I am feeling very easy about my job and happy that I have one.  That feeling will fade when I return to work and a refrain of "I hate my job" continues to play in my head repeatedly during the day.  Actually, once I return the manager has set up a meeting to go over how we can 'work together better' in the future.  This sounds like a great idea, but I assume it will end up being a 'suck it up and work hard' meeting.

I am happy that I have a job, that it pays relatively well, that I have FMLA, that a few of my coworkers are truly amazing friends, but all of us hit a breaking point at some time.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

What Could Have Been

If life was easy for me and I was able to get pregnant... today I might have a rambunctious 3 year old boy.  Who would be making my life miserable and throwing cheerios at me from the backseat.  Maybe I'd even have another child.

If I only needed a little help to get pregnant... today I might have an angelic 1+ year old girl. She would be adorable and sweet and I might be exploring when would be a good time to take medication to have a second child.

If IVF could've worked, I might be pregnant right now and looking forward to having a new baby.

But instead, today, the day after one of my best friend's has had a baby, my arms are empty.  And while I am staring down a last chance of egg donation I desperately wish it was me with the baby.  I don't wish it wasn't her, I am happy for her and, of course, am excited and thrilled for her.  I feel all the feelings I should feel for her, who has been there for me through this all. 

I am filled with unbearable emptiness, tarred with the brush of loneliness that I will never escape from, and the pain of knowing that what I want might not ever be.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

RIAIBAGM #4

It's another reason (I assume) I'll be a great mom! 

What follows is a foolproof way to improve a child's appreciation of life that I will probably follow in a small ways.  It cannot be done with a smidgen of abuse.  I've taken some time to describe the abuses I suffered as a child, it is not for the faint of heart!

One: restrict all drinks to the non-caffeinated kind.  Now I was raised in a business with free, unsupervised access to a soda machine until I was 8 and I remember making "suicides".  However, in general I was not allowed Coke or Pepsi, much less Mt Dew or Jolt. 

Two: do not allow excessive TV watching, instead force reading and outside playing.  Whenever possible watch your own TV shows forcing your children to amuse themselves or watch MASH, don't worry, they won't get the 'hot lips' reference.  My mother took it even further and got rid of our TV when I was 8, we did have it for a brief period when I was in 7th grade (ah how I loved, Doctor Quinn, Medicine Woman) and she permanently got another one right before I graduated high school.  In civics class we were assigned to watch the news every night and I had to ask for special permission to "just" read the paper.  My teacher was shocked about my lack of TV, to my amusement.

Three: don't allow chocolate.  My mother is allergic, so we didn't have chocolate much until I was 12.  This was so abusive that even friends agree:
 
This was after the friend had offered me carob.  I refused, blech!

I hope that you have new ideas on how to torture your own children...with love and a goal on having them appreciate life and live it to the fullest!  The only part of this that I will for sure follow (and therefore will make me a great mom) is the restriction on caffeine and TV, because children full of caffeine and sugar sounds like no fun at all.   Also, I love chocolate and there's no way I'm giving it up...maybe I'll ban my children from having it so that I can have all the chocolate!!

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Missing Pieces

While I am very excited that I will get, hopefully, to have a child and to carry the child, but I will miss setting expectations by saying things like 'I grew 6 inches in 6 months and hit puberty at the same time' or 'my teeth grew in almost perfectly straight' or 'my jaw pops, see, just like your jaw'.  I've already tempered statements for the step-children, since I am (clearly) not genetically related, but now I feel that I will have to toss them completely.  I don't want to say it and hear in the back of my head 'but not for you, I am not related to you'.

This feels like an appropriate time in the process to mourn the likely genetic traits that I will miss the most (and probably lose - epigenetics being an emerging field). 

I am right-handed.  My brother, one of his sons, my father, two grandparents and an aunt are left-handed (that's fully 30+% of my direct blood relations on both maternal and paternal sides).  Stranger still: I have a pencil-eraser sized (but flat, thankyouverymuch) mole on the right side of my chest.  My brother has the same mole on the left side of his chest.  (We are not twins, as much as everybody asked when we were children, we are 23 months apart.)

Brother and I, my 3rd grade year
Now I have blue eyes, and so does the donor, but DH has brown eyes.  I always assumed brown would be dominant, but I was excited to see what it would be.  For sure I will lose my eye shape, which was present in my father, my brother and both of his children (ie, it's fairly dominant).

I have wavy hair, my father had very curly and my mother very straight.  I was sort of hoping for a curly haired child.  My mother also had red hair as a child, my DH has a child with red hair, would that have pulled through?

Both my mother and I are very pale, both my brother and father are more dark (as in people ask(ed) if they are Arab or Portuguese).  I guess my point, if I have a point, it would have been so interesting to see.  And I suppose it's perfectly normal to wonder, but I know a lot of it is tied up in my grief for a father I never knew.  What parts of him would have been there?  Would I have recaptured some of my connection to him?

Don't mistake me, I'm happy I get to carry and I'm ecstatic that I will have a child.  I'm sad I lose all my genetic history, perhaps especially when I never got to have much of a connection with my father, or his family, in the first place.