Saturday, December 5, 2009


I had a strange realization the other day.

When I was younger, I was in no hurry to have kids - I had way too many other plans! Kenton and I thought we were being smart, not having kids before we got married or were financially stable. We also wanted to have some time to ourselves, build the founding blocks of what we thought would surely be a wonderful, stable family life.
Still, even though I was never one of those girls who dreamed of becoming a wife and mother from, say, age 7, I always assumed that I'd have two kids - you know, the generic average.

Things changed when this whole journey hit the first speed bumps and I had to come to terms with the fact that I might not just NOT have two, I might not even get ONE. So, all of a sudden one seemed perfectly fine - not ideal, but I'd settle for one. After all, one is better than none and, it's not like I'd wanted a gazabajillion kids in the first place. came as a complete surprise when, a few days ago, as I was talking to Dad, I realized that at this point in my life, I felt more than ready to take on motherhood. All this time I kept thinking about all the bad bits and all the crap - the infertility issue, the fact that we might not be able to have kids, that we probably wouldn't be able to afford either IVF or adoption without going broke or even into debt. But I had this epiphany: the gross, the icky, the worrying, the disciplining, the scolding, the yelling, the sleepless nights...all the inevitable drawbacks of motherhood suddenly seemed like they were just not that big of a deal in my head. Before, I had so many doubts as to whether I was just panicking because I'm getting older, because there seems to be a big hold-up in the maternity department and so on. I'd gotten to the point where I was almost embarrassed as I was forced to contemplate that I had become one of "THOSE" women who were constantly talking about the proverbial biological clock ticking.

At the tailend of that conversation which led to said epiphany, I had another unexpected revelation. I suddenly thought, twins might be fun - and it would be cool to have four kids when it's all said and done. WHAT??? I mean, here's the thing. I'm not one of those people who thinks there's some kind of godliness about reproduction. Technically, it's a purely scientific process that, in general, the female body simply negotiates without much input (no pun intended). Still, I had very specific "demands" of potential motherhood: preferably girls or a boy but only first born; no twins (who wants to start motherhood with twice the poo? EEEWWWWW!), and definitely not more than the middle class perfection of 2.2 (rounded down mathematically to 2) kids.

But suddenly I realized that, for the first time in my life, I can say that I really, truly feel ready. And not in that desperate, must-have-a-baby-NOW kind of way. I just feel like I've rounded a corner and feel a sense of balance, almost zen-like acceptance of the potential challenge that becoming a mother would present.

Of course the reality of our situation hasn't suddenly faded from my peripheral vision - it's pretty much still smack-dab in the middle of it all. But Kenton and I had a long talk not too long ago and we decided that, next year, we're going to pull out all the stops. I'm going to get every test under the sun done to find out what's going on with me, demand answers, results & advice, and I will do everything I can possibly do to combat this problem. Infertility? Pah, I'll show you!!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Time After Time

It's been so long since I last posted on my blog - sadly, there's still no new or positive development in my quest for motherhood. What remains in the pain and emptiness I feel.

Lately, I've started feeling more and more like my life is somehow without meaning because of this whole issue. I feel like I'm waiting, all the time, for this one thing to happen - knowing all the while that it may never happen. Sometimes I think - why write about it? I still feel like I can't talk to anyone about it, and writing the same thing about the same issue seems almost ridiculous. Sometimes I feel like I'm just repeating myself over and over again.

I want to have the patience and the courage to go find other women like me - to strike up a "conversation" with an unknown person on the internet and commiserate. I want to read and write emails that carry the hopes and dreams of two women sharing their thoughts. But where and how? Maybe it's just asking too much, like with everything else. Maybe you can't have it all - or at least some of us can't. Sometimes, when I look at the world around me, it seems that the expression "haves" and "have-nots" applies to so much more than material wealth. It seems that people who are blessed with parenthood are usually multiply blessed so, whereas the poor saps who are still begging for just one chance are forever denied even one.

So I wander around aimlessly, filling my life and my days with things that, when it comes right down to it, are completely unimportant and irrelevant. Because I don't know how else to cope with the hand that fate has dealt me. I want to be one of those go-getters who will stop at nothing until the desired result is accomplished, I so want to be the person who'll spend hours upon hours culling mountains of research, testimony and other information, condensing it until you have the most potent facts in nutshell. Armed thusly, Mrs. Gogetter will march herself into the appropriate place of business and demand that the situation be addressed, the wrong redressed, her helter skelter off balance world put back into "normal" mode.

But I'm not that person. I'm just a sad women lost in self-pity. I feel like I'm floating in this murky pool of emotions, surrounded by darkness and hopelessness. I want to swim ashore, to the warmth of understanding, compassion and answers, but I'm disoriented and don't know how to get there.

Time after time, I feel heartbroken...

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Tiny little tears

It happened again. A totally innocent daily occurrence turned into drama for me. A friend emailed me some pictures of one of her kids, and there was this one candid shot where she's holding her son up...and she's just beaming into the camera. A totally natural, normal picture of an totally natural, normal every day life.

And I cried.

Sometimes, there are these little moments where it feels as though someone is reaching into my chest and squeezing my heart, hard enough to make it hurt, to make it feel like it will burst from the pressure. I want to be happy for others, I do - but it's just getting harder and harder not to be resentful. Each time I have to stop myself from almost starting an argument because I really just want to tell them to STOP SENDING ME REMINDERS OF MY INFERTILITY!!!

But it's not their fault - how could they know that the things that are just normal for them are like shrapnel to me, like a hollow-point bullet that pierces your heart and then expands to cause even more damage. It just hurts so much.

I'm not crying now. I want to, and I know I will again before long - probably before I can hit the "publish" button at the end of this screen, to add another blog entry on this road of desolation. I keep seeing them everywhere - all these women from all walks of life, tall and short, fat and anorexic, young and old. They all have kids, many of them more than one person should want to have, many more pregnant yet again.

Sometimes I feel invisible. I feel like I'm walking through a nightmare - like I'm not really there and no one feels or notices my pain. I keep thinking that I should be able to wake up now, anytime now, please let me wake up NOW. But of course it's not a dream - it's my life. I feel so empty, so lost and deprived of any kind of hope.

I know I'm not alone with this problem - I know there are many women who've walked miles in my shoes, been there done that and got the t-shirt to prove it. But somehow that doesn't help me - it doesn't lessen my pain, my anger, my frustration. It doesn't make me feel any less lonely and alone with this problem that threatens to envelop me and swallow me whole, to wrap a dark ugly cape around me and keep the light out.

I feel so, so alone.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Outside Looking In

Have you ever noticed among your friends - or, really, ANY group of women - how seemingly unrelated topics have a way of making it back to pregnancy and childbirth? You're talking to someone about a movie you want to see or a book you're reading, and before you know it, somehow someone manages to worm their pregnancy stories - complete with fold-out wallet pictures of 1-18 kids (these days it seems to me that the norm/average lies somewhere between 3 and 7 ) - and you're standing there thinking, ARE YOU SERIOUS???

It's bad enough that you can't open a magazine without 75% back to school content - ok, I can deal with that. I guess I should just not buy magazines - ANY magazines - around certain times of the year. It's even worse when you keep seeing, it seems, EVERY SINGLE WOMAN ON THE PLANET with a slew of kids in tow, preferably pushing out an enormous belly to announce to the world that yes, I really AM that fertile!

The other day I saw this young woman, circa early to mid 20s, with three young boys - all close in age - and heavily pregnant with Spawn of Evil #4. They were hollering, screaming, one of them threw himself down in front of the supermarket entrance and ACTUALLY beat his fists into the ground. And Mom Of The Year (I'm sure they have those awards for people like that - IN HELL!) did...oh of course: NOTHING!

Don't even get me started on anything remotely relating to ANY holidays. I mean, it doesn't matter if it's Labor Day or Christmas - out come the tall tales of Baby BooBoos, milestones of the pregnancy calendar etc. It's enough to make me want to revert to something resembling a tempestuous 6-year old, stick my fingers into my ears while sing-songing annoyingly "IIIIII'M NOT LIIIIIIIISTENIIIIIIIIIING!!!".

Today has not been a good day. There has been absolutely NOTHING good about this day - everything and everyone in this entire day has been nothing but an enormous aggravation. This day should be stricken from the calendar.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Breakthrough conversation?

It's a strange world we live in - and, as women, we share it with the strangest creatures yet: men. There are so many differences and yet so many similiarities; but often you find yourself as though trying to navigate some tropical jungle without so much as a map.

Last night, Kenton and I had one of The Talks. It was weird. I didn't cry for a change, but I had a hard time looking at him while I talked. I told him how hard it was for me to keep seeing all these pregnant women, to hear about women getting knocked up who don't even want another baby. I can't even fathom the concept of child abuse because if I thought about it, I would probably just implode from a combination of fury and incomprehension.

The world is a big place, and yet sometimes thanks to the internet, it feels like your backyard. There's something strangely comforting about knowing that there are people who've never met you but who, through some chance or circumstance, find themselves in a situation that makes them understand you even without knowing you.

I think we've sort of tabled the whole discussion for a while, in some way. I think we have to make a decision: to either rally the troops and move forward, or to deny the undeniable for a while until we both feel steady on our feet again. We get pictures from friends and family with their children, ranging from newborns to preteens. We look at them and I, for one, have started feeling old when I look at them. I start to think about my age - which I normally never do - and then I think, what if when we turn 60, there's no one left for us? It's just him and me (and in this day and age, even that's not something you can take for granted, no matter how much you love someone in the here and now), our parents are long gone, our friends have grandchildren and we...we have pets. When I think about that, there's this lump in my throat that threatens to suffocate me and I feel as though I'm engulfed in fierce anxiety, like having a panic attack. Part of me wants to scream and holler - I feel as though I'm in danger, as though I need help, need to be rescued, treated for some imaginary wounds.

Only maybe they're not imaginary; maybe they're just not visible to the naked eye. Maybe they're under the surface, never quite healing. Maybe they keep reminding me of the fact that, no matter what I tell myself, I don't think I can be happy without a child. I can learn to live without it - God knows there's a chance I might have to - but it will always be an unhappy coexistence. I will never feel at ease with the thought of not having children.

When we talked last night, Kenton seemed close to the edge too. He started talking about what I always feel too: this great sense of injustice, how we did everything "right", by the book, didn't have sex at a ridiculously early age, didn't sleep around, didn't get knocked up. We were always so careful - so trusting that our time would come, that when we were ready to expand our little duo into a family, it would all fall into place. The 2.2 kids, the child-friendly Golden Retriever, the white picket fence...the whole nine yards. No one told us that being responsible came with such a huge price tag. No one told us to guard our fertility like Fort Knox, that the thing that happens to people everywhere in the world, every second of every day, would just refuse to happen for us.

I want to cry, and I don't want to cry. I want to cry because I'm hurting, because it hurts not to cry. It hurts to pretend that everything is ok. It hurts to watch all these people have babies, watch them grow up and smile at the camera from inside a bathtub or a sandy beach, covered in ice cream or birthday cake. It hurts to feel so left out of something that shouldn't have restricted access. But then I think about how little the crying accomplishes, and how much it brings the pain right back to the surface. I think about how talking and crying and crying some's not getting me anywhere.

I wish I could just sit back and examine this entire situation without emotion. To make a "battle plan" and knock down the door of every doctor until someone, somewhere, can tell me what the problem is and how to solve it. But I'm embarrassed and I'm not made of money. So, instead, I sit here and write, thinking about how much easier this all must be for someone like, oh I don't know, SJP for example. I know money can't buy you happiness, but in this case it can buy you the best doctors, the best fertility treatments - and, if nothing else, at least a better fighting chance than those of us with limited resources have. If I were rich, I think I'd fly to some tropical island and soothe away my pains.

You know how, when you were single and all your friends were paired off, everyone kept telling you it would happen for you too? And you didn't really believe them, thought it was easy for them to say that since they weren't out there looking. The old advice always came back: it'll happen when you least expect it. So now the same advice somehow gets regurgitated when you're trying to have a baby - only this time, it's not a matter of going out there and looking (or not looking, isn't that what's supposed to "make it happen"?). This time you have absolutely NO control. It's not a matter of dressing nicely when you go out because there isn't much you can do if your uterus is on strike, your ovaries are playing Sleeping Beauty or your fallopian tubes are experiencing total gridlock.

And then you have a hundred thousand quacks who try to exploit the vulnerable, hurt little you who's just asking for a chance to do what so many are incapable or unwilling to do: be a good mother. When we first started having these issues - or, rather, becoming aware of them - I went on the internet (my trusted friend) to see what information I could pool. I came across a website that, in my Google search, promised support groups and information. A couple of clicks later, it turned out to be a "members only" club with a hefty price tag. I was outraged! How dare anyone restrict such vital information or refuse to give access to any and all??

Then there are all these other websites that throw together people with the whole panoply of infertility issues - so that you're trying to sift through the "TTCs" and the "finally got knocked ups" in hopes of finding a lost soul like yourself: the '"(seemingly) lost causes".

I don't know if I find it annoying or encouraging when someone who tried to get pregnant for a long time finally does. Part of you thinks, hey maybe it'll happen to me. But part of ME thinks, come down from your high horse and stop preaching like a televangelist "THY DAY SHALL COME!" (cue melodramatic chorus).

So where does this all leave me? I don't really know. I want answers, more than anything. I want to have a good, reliable and honest doctor who will tell me exactly what the science says and how it applies to me: which tests to run, what the worst/best case scenarios are, what options are available for different problems. I want someone who is sympathetic without being patronizing, someone who, above all, is professional in a caring way.

The truth is, part of me just wants my mom - and for her to tell me that everything's going to be alright. I guess that, no matter how old we get, there's still a little girl in every one of us...

Friday, August 21, 2009

In a slump...

Lately, I've been in a slump. Not just baby-related, although that never helps. But in the past month or so, I just feel sort of out of it. I don't really feel like going anywhere or doing anything. I just sit around at home and watch sappy movies, eat chocolate and sleep. Ok so obviously that's a bit overdramatized, but you get what I'm saying. It's just not a very happy place right now.

I've been trying to distract myself. Kenton has an appointment in a month - the clinic couldn't fit him in any sooner - but there's a chance a business trip may come in the way.

And you know what? I almost don't care. In fact, lately I don't even feel like having sex. I get so mad because of everything that's going on, feeling totally powerless - and everything seems like this colossal joke. I don't even want to think about any of it anymore, and I feel cranky almost all day, every day.

For the past week or so, my chest has been hurting - in the same way it usually hurts when I'm coming up on my period. Except I'm a good 2-3 weeks away. So I have no idea what's going on, and quite frankly I'm so fed up with this whole ordeal that I just want to pull the covers over my head and disappear.

The other day I saw a woman who was both larger (significantly so) and older than I am, with a tiny little rosey baby. And here I thought both age and obesity are supposed to almost guarantee that your chances of having a baby are zilch - and yet EVERYONE AROUND ME is having babies, whether they actually want them or not. My favorite one are the people who keep having "accidents". I literally don't know what to do with that.

So I don't know what I can say that I haven't said before...I'm just not feeling the love right now...

Friday, July 31, 2009

What is WRONG with this picture??

I really need to understand something: what is it with people having not one, not two or even four kids but 14+? SERIOUSLY??? What the hell is wrong with this picture?? How is it that some people get pregnant more times than any one person should reasonable WANT to get pregnant (I'm not even going to get into what I think about the sheer lunacy and complete irresponsibility of having that many children) while there are some of us who'd move heaven and earth for just ONE baby, and can't even get that?

I want to know who's responsible for this complete injustice - and I want to file a complaint!! If there is a God (which, being agnostic, I'm neither denying nor endorsing), I would really like to know what kind of circus he's running here.

Recently, I learned of someone I vaguely know falling pregnant again. Nevermind that she's already got a slew of kids (where have I heard/thought/read that before? Oh yeah, on a DAILY BASIS!!!) running rampant in food-encrusted, baby sick infested clothes and wailing for a parent who's too self-absorbed to care (or, it would seem, consider having her knees sewn together since she's clearly never heard of contraceptives). Bitter, me? YOU'RE DAMN RIGHT I AM! If there is someone in charge of this whole fiasco that's arbitrarily making some of us fertile like bunnies while others are growing cobwebs in our wombs, then, to borrow a line from the movie Good Morning, Vietnam then his "ass is grass and I'm a lawn mower!" (sorry about the vulgar expression, I'm having a MOMENT).

I am SO sick and tired of all these protruding bellies - preferably hanging out of skinny coochie-hugging jeans shorts that look more like belts than pants - or kids who should be in college getting an education walking around with a bunch of kids who, of course, won't learn a damn thing because their parents are idiots.

I wonder why no one has thought about making medication for the reproductively challenged - you know, the kind that suddenly makes you think everything is going to be alright, that prevents your heart from bursting into flames or shattering into pieces every time you hear a baby laugh. You know how, apparently, when you've had a baby, some (not sure if this is true of all women) women end up lactating spontaneously when they hear a baby cry, even if it's not theirs? Yeah, sometimes I think that the tear ducts of those of us who don't have much hope to ever find out whether this could/would happen to us have a similar problem.

I find myself almost daily on this journey where I feel like a trapeze artist, or more like I'm walking on this tiny rope without a safety net to catch me: on one side lies acceptance, on the other is anger and frustration. And I keep balancing between the two because I can't seem to move forward for some reason: I can see the goal ahead of me (not sure if that would be babydom or just plain peace of mind, regardless of where the chips fall) but, no matter how much I push and wiggle and twist and turn, the result is the same. I'm stuck in this ridiculously teeter-tottering imbalance, treading water, not able to turn back or move forward.

Then there are the daily challenges of not running interference when being subjected to cases of Bad Parenting (e.g. a tiny tot trying to scale a bookcase at the local bookstore, with no parent in sight). There are times when I see things like that, and part of me wants to scoop up the kid, find the parent and say: "I'm sorry but you're time's up. You clearly don't want this kid and don't care about it, so I'm taking it home with me." Other times, I just want to yell at someone. Sometimes it's someone specific (see Bad Parenting comment), sometimes I just want to yell and scream at no one in particular, just because I'm so frustrated and so tired of waiting without knowing what's going on.

Which reminds me of something the good Doctor Doolittle (literally did little, if anything) did say to me at my gyno appointment a couple of months ago: that, despite the fact that until now we thought Kenton was the one with the problem, this wonderful lady said that despite his practically immobile sperm, it should still be possible for him to knock me up. Translation? Now it's supposed to be MY fault. Nevermind that this whole ludicrous PCOS stuff hasn't been brought up to me until that appointment (gee, I wonder why that is??). Nevermind that no one has bothered to suggest maybe running some tests to either confirm or disprove her highly hypothetical analysis (get your diplomanat Quack University, didya?). Yes, this has all been incredibly helpful - not only to the mind and heart in turmoil, but to the planning stages that require ACCURATE information in order to advance.

I am so tired of this whole debacle. I want a doctor who will run every single test in the good book of medicine, who will present me with every single scenario ranging from 1% to 99% chance of possibility, who will advise me on the best course of action and will do everything he/she can to turn this disaster around and give me, for crying out loud, just ONE baby. I mean, I wanted three, but I'll settle for one - seriously. Occasionally I get so desperate, there's a part of my brain that's thinking, maybe I should go put flyers at the local high schools & colleges saying that if anyone gets knocked up accidentally, I'll be happy to take their baby if they don't want it. How pathetic and ridiculous is that???

Well, there's that then. I feel like I'm on a rollercoaster, only it's going really slow: sometimes I'm up in the clouds where there's sunshine and I feel like I'm on top of the world (or, putting it in perspective, at least feel like I can deal with all this stuff), but then I end up going through a tunnel or a valley, round a corner, take a sharp turn, and it's back to Doomsville, population: 1.

You know something? The worst part of it all is the lack of answers, the uncertainty, that cloud of "what if" hanging over my head not entirely unlike the mythical Death figure in its long black robe. I know that probably sounds really morbid, and it's not an image I literally carry around with me (thank God for small favors, right?). I just want some answers. I just want to know what's going on. I want to know if I should just give up hoping. I want to know if there's a light at the end of the tunnel, if this is just a particularly trying period in my life that I'll be able to look back on and thinking, wow that was really hard there for a while.

I can't help but keep coming back to what I've written before: sometimes you just don't know how much you want something until you can't have it, or at least it seems that way. I never questioned for a moment that I would have a baby - no one in my extended family has infertility issues - so I really didn't give it much thought at all until a couple of years ago. If I'd known the way this would all turn out, I would've tried getting pregnant as soon as I had a ring on my finger...

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Be Still My Breaking Heart

You know, there are days where you think you just might have rounded the corner on Heartbreakville when, out of nowhere, something smashes into you and you're once again left with the smithereens of your bleeding heart.

I was at the hospital a few weeks ago to meet a friend for lunch. Obviously hospitals aren't my first choice of venue for any get togethers, and in view of my predicament this dislike has only grown exponentially. But I hadn't been able to catch up with her in ages because both of our schedules were crazy, so I gave in.

Lunch was great, catching up even better (even though I'm still holding down my silence on The Issue) and I was in a wonderful mood. On my way out, I walked by a waiting area for a particular section of the hospital - I don't even remember what it was - and there was this little red-haired girl. She was maybe 2, I think, and had really short impish hair. And as I saw her, her eyes lit up and she instantly broke into a smile so big I thought it would swallow me whole.

It was at once the most wonderfully elating and tremendously heartbreaking experience I've had in a while. I smiled and waved at her, which made her break into this beautifully light-hearted and completely insouciant laughter. Oh and I wanted so much to go up to her and pick her up, hug her and tickle her, anything for her to keep smiling and laughing at me like that. But I walked away, of course, feeling like some kind of perv because I keep having to remind myself not to STARE at other people's babies/children.

It's hard with any baby, but there are so many that make me feel less frustrated. Sometimes there's the ones that are just whiny and crying, which most of the time makes me think, phew glad I don't have to deal with that. Then there are the ones that just have this really ugly, pouting, attitude adjustment problem displayed on their tiny bunched up faces - which just makes me want to turn away.

But then there are always those that smile or wave, that look at me for a split second and then beam at me like I'm the person they love most in the entire world - and it's those that make me want to scream, cry, run away and hide under the bed until I'm all covered with dust bunnies, or at least my heart is. Even now, sometime later, I can still see her face in my mind - and I replay my own imaginary home movie with my child, my baby, the one I'm starting to lose faith I'll ever be able to hold and smile at.

Because the truth is that I'm starting to feel really, truly hopeless. I kept thinking that it was just temporary because things weren't happening the way I'd always assumed they would. I thought maybe it just had something to do with my unwillingness to share this burden, this sadness, with my family and friends. But the truth is that for all the fake bravado I've tried to muster, I can't keep pretending that I'm not at the end of my rope. Part of me wants to die when I think about this, it makes me wonder why this happened to me and why I'm going through this all alone in some way. Why I can't reach out and ask for help - and why I can't find comfort in the success stories of others like me who've navigated this rough and bumpy terrain to find happiness one day. I feel like there's no light at the end of this tunnel anymore.

As I sit here writing this, I realize that it's the first time I've admitted defeat even to myself. I kept thinking, you know there's some kind of cosmic wisdom out there, someone watching over you, and whatever or whoever that is wouldn't let someone like you go through life completely childless. Part of me thinks, why do I have to go through all this when there's no end result? The periods every month with their aches and pains, aging, marriage...What's the point of it all in light of this complete denial of what, as a woman, should have been a given, a birthright?

I want to find hope or make peace with this, but I can't - I feel like there's this big open wound where my heart used to be and it just refuses to heal. Every now and again, it almost scabs over but then somehow it breaks open again, hurting worse than before.

I even got to the point where I thought, you know maybe I'm just not meant to have kids, and maybe that's not the end of the world. But that's not how I really feel, and I know now that I will never, ever be able to be completely happy or content without a child of my own. I mean, I'm not asking for much, you know: I always wanted girls, then after I got married I thought a boy first and then two girls, but now I don't even care.

I guess I'm just a typical example of not realizing how much you want something until someone tells you that you can't have it...

Monday, June 15, 2009

The Sound Of Babydom

The last couple of days have been...interesting. On the one hand, I've been smiled and grinned at by an alarmingly large amount of little people (can you say heart-breaking?). On the other hand, I went shopping today and, while trying on clothes, was subjected to what I can only refer to as hyena-like screeching. Then there was the highly pregnant woman holding the hand of a little girl wobbling along, barely just having learned how to walk (and there she is already pregnant again).

I don't know what to say. I'm just sad and empty.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

tiny salmon swimming in the stream...

I don't know where it came from anymore, but I have this infantile voice singing this sentence in my head sometimes. It makes me think of the whole procress of procreation, the sperm swimming (or, in our case, making like Homer and sitting around doing NOTHING) in the race to get to the egg (or, in our case possibly, what with PCOS, no egg, just a lot of empty space and dashed hopes). I wonder, do they get lost because, like men, they refuse to ask for directions? Or did they maybe realize there was no main attraction and simply give up?

I've been cold a lot lately. I guess it speaks to my state of mind. I reach for my fuzzy warm oversized periwinkle blue bathrobe more often than usual. I watch sappy movies. I sit in silence, not really paying attention to anything, letting my thoughts wander...and often find myself thinking nothing at all.

And then you find out that someone you know, who already has several kids, is expected another one. A totally unplanned one that no one is excited about. It's not exactly being approached as a nuisance by the women in question - more like a "yeah and what else is new". I have to suppress the urge to scream or slap her. Or maybe make an inappropriate comment to the effect of, you have a bunch, I have none, why don't you just give me that one?

I haven't cried lately. I go through these ups and downs; only they're not really ups and downs - more like downs and way downs. Or gradients of downs - like shades of gray.

I wonder what it is that I'm supposed to do with all this crap - the thoughts, the fears, the anger, the sadness, the jealous. What am I supposed to do with this useless mental debris?

Thursday, June 4, 2009


To borrow the infamous words of Rachel on Friends in an episode that in no way relates to this blog:

I really thought I just hit rock bottom. But today, it's like there's rock bottom, then 50 feet of crap, then me.

In this whole struggle, this whole ordeal, this seemingly unending, unnerving journey that's been forced upon me against my wishes, today was, without a doubt, THE WORST DAY - ever. Today was the day of my appointment at the clinic.

The day started out seemingly innocuous. I didn't sleep too well but not too badly either; I wasn't (yet) feeling any undue apprehension about this appointment which, after all, I had to wait almost a whole month for. Pulling into the parking lot of the clinic, I started to get a hint of nervousness but I brushed it aside.

The bottom starting falling out when I saw the first sign reading "Maternity Ward". Out of nowhere, my hands started trembling almost imperceptibly, my mouth got dryer and dryer as I pushed through a seemingly endless amount of double doors leading to the OB/GYN clinic. It was earily quiet at first - until I got to the waiting room. There, in perfectly harmonious homogeny, not entirely unlike walking into an alternate Stepford Wives type scenario, I was suddenly surrounded by pregnant women: women of all ages, sizes, ethnicities, in different stages of pregnancy, in different styles of clothing. And, one by one, all eyes turned to me as if to say: "What is SHE doing here? She's not pregnant! She's not one of us."

I checked in with the receptionist and sat down, trying hard not to look at all these protruding midsections. I tried to read a magazine and felt a huge wave of relief when, only mere minutes after I had sat down, a nurse called me in. Phew, I thought (stupidly!), so glad I won't have to be sitting there any longer. But this was only the beginning of my ordeal. The nurse - cold, uncaring, clinical and not the least bit warm or friendly - went through a series of questions with me that felt like I was being interrogated as a murder suspect. To say that I felt stripped bare, vulnerable and defenseless would not be an overstatement at all. I felt, to be perfectly honest, VIOLATED.

Finally Nurse Frostbite left, saying the doctor would be with me shortly. And there, without warning, without ANY real notice, I burst into tears - uncontrollably, barely managing not to turn into a squeals of anguish and anxiety. It was all just too much at that point - it was as though, once again, the magnitude of what women came there for NORMALLY, what kept eluding me, was brutally and bluntly forced down my throat. I tried to calm down in vain - I bit my lips to where they hurt, thinking GET A GRIP! To my compelte and utter shame, Nurse Frostbite then returned, just as I was struggling to regain any form of composure and wiping the smudged mascara from below my eyes, my reflection in the mirror pale while my eyes looked strained and bloodshot. I was taken to a different room - and, as if someone had gleened what could possibly send me straight over the edge, the whole room, wall to wall, was covered in baby paraphernalia: pregnancy charts, Anne Geddes pictures, checklists, diagrams...It was like my personal purgatory. Everywhere my eyes darted, like that of a caged animal, there was yet another poster, picture or other pamphlet to further break my heart.

I don't know why I was so emotional today, but for once I didn't mind waiting for a doctor to see me. As I struggled to find an arbitrary spot on the floor that I could focus on - anything to not have to be surrounded by all these buoyant reminders of just how marvelous this time of my life and this place is supposed to be since, well, shouldn't I be pregnant and coming for my check-up here? Shouldn't I be listening to helpful advice on breastfeeding my newborn?

For a moment there, to be perfectly honest, I thought I might have a nervous breakdown.

So I sat in the chair like a mental patient, rubbing my hands up and down my thighs in opposing directions, attempting to direct all my attention and focus to the synchronized movements. I started tapping my feet to an imaginary tune. I started humming. I silently reasoned with myself. Anything, ANYTHING, to try not to think about where I was and why; not to look at all these reminders about what women everywhere take for granted - what, even I, took for granted as my birth right, the right of being a woman, the right to reproduce without poking and prodding and questions by sterile nurses who couldn't care less whether you're about to curl into a fetal position and wish the ground would open and swallow you whole. I had just read, somewhere, that in order to challenge your brain you should try to do minor actions/activities with the hand/leg opposite of the one you normally use for that purpose; for example, if you're left-handed, the exercise would be to try writing with your right hand, etc. And that's what I did. I tapped out entire charts of songs with complicated rhythms, switching which foot was doing what and trying to keep going as long as possible without losing the beat. It sounds INSANE, I know - and I can only tell you that, at that moment, I really felt like I was going to lose it if I didn't get my shit together (pardon my French, it's just the best way I can put it right now).

And there, in the middle of Meltdown Madness, I heard a baby cry: the clear, distinctive sound of a newborn baby. It's a miracle I didn't start ripping out my hair.

Thankfully, the doctor was nowhere near as much of a bitch as the nurse was and gave me some helpful information. The said that based on my bloodwork it was possible, if not likely, that I had Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS), which, from what I understand, is basically a fancy way of saying that a woman menstruates without ovulating. Figures that some cosmic force would come up with a way to make me suffer through the pain, the cramps, the mood swings and outright inconvenience of periods without the reward of being able to conceive.

So here we are. On my way home, I bought a pint of Haagen Dazs and basically pigged out while watching a made-for-tv movie. I didn't even really cry - I think I used up everything I had at the clinic today. Now I just feel numb, like someone hit me in the head and caused me to black out - and now I don't remember what actually happened. Except that, of course, I do. Remember. Vividly, in technicolor details.

Monday, June 1, 2009

So what else is new?

I went shopping today. And, of course, there was this little kid in a stroller. Who suddenly sat up, alert, and looked at me intently with this startlingly blue eyes and broke into a big smile. I smile back and waved, trying not to assume the mom "appraised" me with pity because I was forced to make do with smiling and cooing at someone else's baby. What else is new, right?

This week I finally have an appointment to try to figure out if there may be additional hurdles preventing us from conceiving: namely on my end. While, on the one hand, this would just be yet another setback (and this after just being told, by my father-in-law of all people, how sad it is that Kenton and I don't have any kids - why don't you just shoot me??), at least I'll be able to be pro-active and ask questions that, I'm sure, Kenton failed to do during his appointment a millenia ago.

The truth is, of course, that I really only have two questions: can we ever conceive, and if so, how? To be honest, I don't really care about the biology behind it. I don't care what isn't working and why it isn't working and how or why what is preventing me from getting pregnant. I just want someone to tell me HOW TO FIX IT!!

Yesterday I was cleaning up, and I found these handmade burp cloths I bought on Ebay a long time ago. My first instinct was to pitch them, donate them - anything to get them out of my field of vision, now blurry with tears and a deep sense of injustice. But then I thought, I'll keep them for now. Maybe all is now lost yet. Or maybe I'll just have to upcycle them into something else eventually.

I see so many cases where I wish I could take a child away from someone who cannot possibly, from their actions or inaction, comprehend the miracle, the grace, the completely random gift that they are holding. There are times when hearing a baby cry makes me whince internally, where I keep thinking to myself: why is this person not picking that poor little baby up and cuddling it, reassuring it, comforting it? Why are they ignoring the cries and pleading of this little being that can't yet speak for itself? The truth is that, to them, it's just part of the furniture, part of everyday life - nothing extraordinary. So if it cries? So what, it'll cry again tomorrow, and it'll still be crying after they finish their copy of Sports Illustrated, caught up on juicy gossip with a neighbor or have had their mani-pedi completed. For these people, extraordinary becomes ordinary - becomes boring.

A few months ago, I once did something really stupid. I put a pillow under my shirt and looked in the mirror sideways. I pretended to pat the non-existing belly. And then I looked at my reflection through my own eyes, and I felt like a great big fool. I felt...childish and embarrassed that my need, my desire, for a baby had grown so strong as to make me, a grown woman, play "make believe". Sad, but probably not all that uncommon among those who want but cannot have...

Some days I feel like sleeping all day. I feel like it's easier not to leave the house, easier to just pull the covers up to my chin, hug a pillow, daydream until it's time to go to be for real. They probably have medication for things like that, but why dull something that may not go away, rather than confronting it? After all, eventually all suppressed feelings catch up with you, whether you like it or not - God knows I learned that lesson loud and hard.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

You have GOT to be kidding me!!!

You know, sometimes things happen for a reason. And then other times, things happen completely randomly and you sit there thinking, are you SERIOUS with this bullshit???

So there I was, a couple of months ago, getting blood drawn to run yet another battery of tests to determine what the problem with me is. At this point, for the first time in my adult life, I hadn't had a period for three months (of course it happened to come back three days after the damn blood test, thank you very much for this incredibly fortuitous timing), so I was beginning to, well, sort of FREAK OUT. My doctor was cautiously approaching the subject of premature menopause (interestingly enough, I think I may have had an out-of-body experience right about the time he said that because I thought, there is no way in hell you are telling me that I don't even get a CHANCE at this while Trailer Trash Barbie over there just popped out Babie #5, aptly named for some D-type celebrity she can't get enough of from the National Enquirer). Resentful, me? Never.

So what seems like an eternity later, the blood tests come back and confuse everyone - especially me, since, believe it or not, the finer points of my menstrual cycle with all the fluctuating hormones, phases etc, has never been of particular fascination to me (read: I may have been daydreaming about something or someone during that particular biology class). What became clear, though, is that my cycle is all jacked up, I'm not ovulating when I'm supposed to or - get this - it may just have been an abberration. EXCUSE ME?? Did I mention we stopped using ANY form of birth control over HALF A DECADE AGO?????


Well, so the next step was a referral to a specialist, which isn't for another 2 1/2 I'm stuck playing the waiting game again. The irony is that my doctor speculated that, perhaps, I may have some problems with my pituitary gland - waaaaaaaaait a minute, where did I hear that before? AHHHH, yes, the very same problem my husband has. What were the odds of that happening, I wonder??

If I'd known this was going to be such heartbreaking, backbreaking work, I sure as hell wouldn't have wasted so much money on contraceptives for years. JEEEEEZ!

(and to add insult to injury, this blog post went on to rant for at least another 500 words +, but of course it got lost in translation, aka the stupid website froze and only saved HALF my damn post. )

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Catching Up...

In the last month or so, I've found myself staring into space a lot: at the ceiling when I'm lying in bed at night or first thing in the morning; at the wall when I'm somewhere in a room, a building; into just plain oblivion most other times of the day. I feel like I'm just trying to survive every single day.

A few weeks ago, I had quite possibly the worst day yet. I had to go to the hospital to have some blood tests done in what I imagine will potentially be a long battery of tests to determine whether or not I'm reproductively challenged - which, of course, will affect not only the course of action for the doctors as far as Kenton is concerned, but also our decisions based on that. We've talked about it a little, and I've already told him that I'm drawing the line where surgery is concerned - if that's the only hope for having biological children, then I guess we'll have to pursue other avenues. I'm not putting his or my life on the line on some small fraction of "maybe, someday".

So I spent about 6 hours in the hospital. Surrounded by mothers, women with heavily pregnant bellies, nursing infants and baby cries. It was literally like someone had scripted my worst nightmare and cast me in the starring role: Alexa, Infertile! Thankfully, I had brought a book so I was barely able to keep it together. Yet every time I heard a baby crying, something inside of me felt like needles and pins - like all I could think about was MY baby crying, the baby that's not even conceived and may never come to be, the baby that I would take care of and love and never neglect. Not that, in this instance, I'm saying that the cries came from neglect of course - it just hurt me, physically as much as emotionally.

To boot, when I later when to do some shopping, a woman said to me: "Oh, you smell good! Is that baby powder?" I think I probably looked at her like I'd missed a vital dosage of my anti-mental medication. Of course I tried to get a grip, give her a thinly veiled smile and told her that it was probably my shampoo.

Baby powder. Those little, insignificant, basic things that are of absolutely no importance to mother other than a product regularly purchased along with toilet paper and butter. To me, these things are taken on near-iconic status:

"BABY POWDER - now only for those who CAN have babies!"

I'm having these movie-type moments where I imagine these blasts or blips in some spoof-type, retro voice-over - and I'm sitting here, little pile of misery, advertised as Coming Soon To A Theater Near You. I imagine this black and white scene with beautifully coiffed, perfectly silhouetted middle upper class 1950s housewives with their 2.1 children whispering behind upheld hands, eyes wide open, aghast at The Woman Scorned By Nature.

And, still, Kenton is not getting the picture. I feel like I'm sitting on hot coals - and he keeps throwing these things into everyday conversation like "what are you going to do when we have kids" - like that's just assumed, like there's no hindrances, like there's a bun in the oven as we speak. INFURIATING!! I know that he has a different way of dealing with this, but I am so damn mad at him. I mean, I keep trying to EXPLAIN (read: beat into his male brain) that I have a limited amount of time left IN THE BEST OF CIRCUMSTANCES, which clearly isn't even the case with us. And I told him, I cannot, cannot, CANNOT go through life without a child, not completely. He keeps throwing adoption in there like that's supposed to make it all better - like that's not just one of those things we might not even be able to afford.

So then, the other day, I'm talking to this 21-YEAR OLD GIRL who tells me that they're having issues because she's been trying to get pregnant - without success - for two years. Part of me wanted to throttle her because I felt like saying: WTF YOU HAVE NO CLUE!! And there was that evil, disgusting, horrible part of me that thought: good, serves you right. I can't even begin to describe the shame and horror I feel when these kinds of mean, selfish and pathetic feelings overcome me - but I keep thinking that, whenever I'm confronted with something like that, there's this little voice that's telling me, seeeeeee, you're not the only one, it's not your fault, it's not you're fault. Because, somehow, I still feel that it's all my fault. It's my fault.

I go through these phases of wanting to do a lot of stuff just so I can block out the pain and these feelings of...what is it? Being incomplete, a failure, dysfunctional, BROKEN. I feel broken. I feel like something got ripped out, trampled on, and then put in a totally dislocated place so that I can never be the same again. God and, for such a long time, I didn't even really think about any of this - even until a couple of years ago it wasn't this bad. Now all I can think about is that little wiggly thing that's not in my arms, those tiny hands not clasping my fingers, that tiny little face not smiling up at me. I AM BROKEN. I feel shattered. I feel not whole. I feel like part of me is dying a little bit every day - and Kenton doesn't get it. HE DOESN'T GET IT. I just don't know what to do, don't know what to say, don't know how to deal with this.

And then there was that consultation with a doctor who, quite obviously, couldn't have cared less about my concerns or my issues. My regular doctor was out of town, which I hadn't known - because, trust me, there's no way I would've seen this guy if I'd known what I was in for. He didn't bother to read my file, didn't even really look at the blood test results, but only told me that the starting point for an infertility workup is a hysterosalpingogram:

Aside from the fact that I'm not really that crazy about letting someone loose with a bunch of tools in my reproductive organs, there also seems to be no information whatsoever about whether or not this is PAINFUL. There's all this clinical blabla which, when it's all said and done, tells me precious little other than that it's the first step to determine whether, in addition to Kenton's problems, I might be throwing my own in the balance. Thanks, that's really helpful. NOT! I feel violated just thinking about it.

So that's where it's at. I'm sorry I've been silent so long - your comments continue to give me hope and something to hold onto in these trying times. Thank you for not giving up on me.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Tears, tears and more tears...

Once again, the comments to my last post really made me feel better - THANK YOU! It's nice to know that some people can really relate, and know exactly how I feel and what I'm going through.

The other night, we watched Cheaper By The Dozen 2 - and when Piper Perabo has her baby, I literally sobbed. I tried to stifle it so that I was just this pathetic, wimpering, shaking mass of pent-up frustration, pain and despair.

All day long, I see all these women - mothers - who couldn't represent a more diverse group: tall, short, skinny, fat, pretty, ugly, smart, stupid, kind, mean, well-mannered, rude...You name it, they're all there. And I KNOW how shallow it is of me to think this, but sometimes I see someone and I can't help wondering: HOW THE HELL DID SHE END UP WITH A KID??? Today was one of those times...ALL! DAMN! DAY!!! When I went to the post office, I saw this woman who was what I always think should be the picture next to the dictionary of (female) couch potato: she looked unkempt, unwashed, was quite overweight and made no bones about it in her crappy, ill-fitting clothes. So she gets out of the car, and as I'm looking her over from a safe distance and thinking to myself, good grief woman!, another thought sneaks into my head: 20 bucks says SHE has a baby. And sure enough, bulging pants and nasty tshirt, greasy hair and all, she opens the trunk of her minivan and takes out a stroller. I actually felt nauseous - and there was a part of me that just wanted to SCREAM.
Then there was the woman - two kids in a stroller - who was so skinny, even her jeans made her look anorexic. I started thinking that she was probably one of those women who breastfed because they say that it burns extra calories (so I've read somewhere, a long time ago).


Don't get me wrong - in many instances I feel that my judgment is, while perhaps snide and mean, nonetheless correct and appropriate. When I see a baby in a car seat being stuffed with Burger King, there's a part of me that wants to yank the child away from the person fueling childhood obesity and a host of other developmental crap.

Everywhere I look, people have kids - dads absorbed in tickling a too-cute-for-words infant, mothers scolding (or, more often than not, failing to do so with bratty kids), sometimes yelling for no apparent reason. And it hurts. All of it.

I found myself in the car today, driving without really paying attention to anything around me - when a sudden realization hit me. I can't live this life without children - I can't give it up. For such a long time I kept thinking, maybe it's not that big of a deal. Maybe I don't NEED to have kids - maybe I can just deal with that not being part of my life. I kept thinking, do I really want to get pregnant - with all the discomfort, pain, potential risks etc that come with it? Do I really want to deal with sleepless nights, poopy diapers, potential medical conditions etc? And I kept thinking, no - I'm not ready. No, it's not that big of a deal - I don't think this would work for me anyway. But today, it hit me like a brick. I started thinking about living the rest of my life without ever having children, without grandchildren, without cute little smiles as the world's greatest reward there ever was or could me, without tears of joy and tears of pain, without MOTHERHOOD. And the thought breaks my heart - and I think that, if it turns out that there's no way for us to ever have kids, it'll break my spirit in a way that I'll never be able to fully recover from.

People make it look so easy - women have kids all the time. Sometimes back to back, sometimes multiple births - regardless of social class, education, weight, age...It happens all the time. In fact, sometimes it seems to me that the ease with which some women have kids is directly proportionate to how UNsuitable they are as mothers. I mean, teenage moms? Or women who push a stroller with one hand and puff a cigarette with the other?

I often think about writing a post, and then don't - because I feel like I'm going in circles, like I'm always just saying the same thing, over and over: that I hurt, that I'm sad, that I'm scared, that I don't know what to do or how to handle this at all. I have days where I feel like I'm on autopilot because I just can't get through the day any other way. This is one of the most lonely things that could possibly happen to anyone...

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

What's wrong with this picture?

Lately, I'm getting increasingly fed up with the fact that I'm surrounded by these people who have kids but seriously shouldn't. From the early-twenties skank with THREE children to parades around like a dime-store whore, to some blip I caught about a woman who wasn't paying attention to her kids - the result being that her 4-year old daughter ended up locked in the washing machine and tumbled to death.

Anger doesn't even come CLOSE to what I'm feeling! INDIGNATION! Frustration! Pure, unadulterated RAGE!!!!

Were I not in this situation, I would maybe be content with just shaking my head. But as it is, I'm getting increasingly angry about it: how come all these totally unsuitable people are able to reproduce like bunnies, while those of us who are decent, upstanding citizens and would actually make good parents are having such a hard time?? I just don't get it. I know some people find comfort in their faith - but, truth be told, if anything I find that this injustice, this completely random selection of those who are fertile and those who aren't, is just proof to me that there is no God - or, if there is one, he's got one hell of a sick sense of humor. I mean, really??

Meanwhile, everything in the world revolves around children - and that's the one universal constant regardless of race, religion, wealth etc. Whether I open an interior decorating magazine, browse online or watch the news - everywhere people have kids as though there's nothing much to it. And I feel like some doofus who doesn't know the answer to something as basic as 1+1. It's just not fair!!!

I go back and forth between trying to find some solace and feeling completely outraged. I can't find my footing, I have no balance. Sometimes I almost manage to forget about the whole thing - right up until I see another unsuitable mother and have to grit my teeth not to scream. I can't believe that time is just passing me by without bestowing this one very crucial "gift" on me. I am just SO frustrated.

Meanwhile, Kenton had some tests done and they want to do some more - and have now said I should have a workup done as well. So I'm going to have to try to set that up this month and try not to freak out at the possibility that not only one of us has a problem, but both of us. Wouldn't that just be typical? I mean, it's just enough to drive you stark-raving MAD!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Good Days, Bad Days...Mad Hatter Days!

My emotional rollercoaster continues. I am still frustrated, and I'm only just starting to feel a bit better after falling into a bit of an abyss. For over a week now, I've been grouchy and basically avoided leaving the house unless it was absolutely necessary. Of course anyone will tell you that social isolation is only likely to make these types of things worse, rather than better - but I disagree. Sometimes, I need to crawl under a dark rock and BROOD. Because, really? Sometimes I just feel like I can't handle the stress of this whole baby thing.

And then there are other things that come along to aggravate me even further. It's been not quite 6 months since Kenton's first sperm test, and about a month since the second one. And only NOW are they thinking, hey - wait a minute! - maybe we should also do a blood test! Needless to mention, I was just a liiiiiiittle bit unhinged after hearing that. I thought, ok are you KIDDING ME??? Quit wasting my - our - time and GET! WITH! THE! FRIGGIN! PROGRAM!!!! To boot, Kenton is being all "private" about all these issues - I offered to come with him to his appointment, which he flat-out refused, making me get even more annoyed because I thought: hang on, this affects BOTH of us, so get over it!!

I am so frustrated. I mean, at this point, I'm starting to think that it's just never going to happen. Because I honestly don't want to be a mom at 40. I mean, I don't think there's anything wrong with that - but it's a choice that wouldn't work for me. I don't want to be pushing 60 by the time my kid gets out of high school, no thanks.

So of course I continue to torture myself with celebrity bump watch: Nicole Richie being rumored to carry Baby # 2, Jennifer Aniston supposedly trying to get pregnant. I don't know WHY I insist of tormenting myself; sometimes I honestly think I must just be a glutton for punishment or some sort of masochist when it comes to this particular issue. I think that, at this stage, I'm almost going into denial. I just feel like I can't "deal" with the reality of what's going on - with the reality of potentially never having a baby. It drives me completely stark raving MAD!

The solution? Grumpiness barely abated by copious amounts of chocolate - which I figure is passably better than, say, imbibing to drown out my sorrows or harassing the doc for some seriously mood-altering narcotics. What did help, the other day, was to actually physically write something of a diary entry. It was in the middle of the night, I couldn't sleep - so I was sitting at the table just brooding some more and, basically, feeling pretty sorry for myself. But there was something really cathartic about writing down a lot of the crap that was going through my head just then - and I also ended up doing some thinking about past issues that have bugged me for years. The bottom line, of course, remains that I'm still frustrated and still mad - but as I snuggle under the blankets and hide behind a never-ending supply of chick lit, fueled by steaming cups of something hot and soothing, I have to believe that things are going to get better. I'm trying to stop living in the past or the future - I read something not too long ago that made a lot of sense (though I can honestly say that IMPLEMENTING these words of wisdom will probably be a lifelong struggle of mine):


I keep hanging on to these ideals and promises of future happiness - when I have a nicer house, a better job, a baby, when my husband gets this promotion or that contract, when I can buy this designer handbag or that watch...But the truth is, while I keep moving the goal posts, life is going on - with or without me. So, as hard as it is, I'm TRYING to be more grateful and apply the latin motto: CARPE DIEM. Every day spent wallowing in self-pity is a day not spent doing something more fun, meeting new people, experiencing life.

There's that new movie with Jim Carrey, The Yes Man - and I started thinking: what if I did that? I mean, realistically speaking, there's no way on God's green earth I'd go bungee jumping or snort hot sauce, but the concept, in its basic tenets, seems one worthy of contemplation. What if I stopped limiting myself so much? What if I stopped obsessing about this baby thing? What if I just thought, ok - there really isn't much that I can do about this except, in a very far-reaching sense, plan for financial security - so that if and when we do end up either miraculously conceiving or looking into adoption, I haven't just been treading water all the time leading up to that moment.
More importantly, though - I think that, as women, we tend to sort of feel like big fat failures if we're unable to reproduce. And I don't know about anyone else, but somehow the fact that, in our case, it SEEMS that the only obstacle right now is a case of MALE factor infertility - it doesn't seem to change MY sense of failure. I guess that, in a way, I feel responsible for my husband - I feel that his "failures" (real or perceived) are also MY failures. And while it's not his fault, obviously, that he has some sort of problem that acts as a roadblock in our family planning, I still feel that it's some sort of failure.

Oh and I do not cope well with any sense of failure - again real, imagined, feared, anticipated or other. Just the word "failure" makes me at once adamant, scared and angry. I think maybe because I associate it with weakness - and that's something I find hard to deal with.

I'm not religious, I don't pray. I don't ascribe my life's unfolding events to any one deity (or several deities, as the case may be) - although I do occasionally cast my eye upward and think, you're really just trying to mess with me, aren't you? So I can't draw on my non-existent faith for some measure of comfort - because there's nothing there. I still haven't managed to talk to my family about this - and I can't foresee this happening anytime soon. I think I'm more inclined to keep these things under wraps and then deal with it if/when something final has occurred - either that I do get pregnant, or that whatever Kenton's problem is turns out to be irreversible.

I hope that, somehow, we all will wake up one day with a big bump - I know it's sounds so cheezy, but I know how many of us really struggle with this sense of being deprived of what, let's face it, most if not all of us totally took for granted. It never occured to me for ONE split second that I wouldn't have kids - if and when I was ready. I guess I just figured that, when that time came, everything else would just come together. HAH! Not so much, eh?

So I'm still here...A bit hurt, a lot frustrated, occasionally angry. But I have to believe that it's in my power to deal with this situation and make a decision, eventually, when all the cards are on the table. For now, it's all just a maddening waiting game - and that is what REALLY drives me crazy.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Don't Mind Me: mini-vent

Ok so after having resolved to an "altered state of mind" in relation to the infertility issue, now I have to get mad about this website of all things!! I come here looking for resolve, peace of mind - and find myself suddenly without my carefully chosen profile image. So I try to upload it again - and get an error message that there's an internal error. I think, ok - maybe there's something in the image. I try 3 other images, same deal. So I think, ok - maybe I can get some help. BUT OH NO, that would make too much sense. Clearly, the fact that I've decided to publish a blog must mean that I have HOURS to kill scrolling through blogs, FAQs and other related bruhaha in an effort to find a solution to my problem. Thanks for nothing, Blogger!

Change Is Never Easy

I have a confession to make: I'm tired of my endlessly self-indulging pity party. I'm tired of moaning, groaning, complaining and whining. You know why? Because, for one, it does NOT change the facts of our situation. Second - and that's really the crucial point here - what it DOES do is make me feel even more irritable, miserable and just plain grumpy. ALL! THE! DAMN! TIME!!! So I've decided that it's time that I TRY to contemplate all these issues - and my feelings in relation to them - in a different light.

Am I suddenly converting to a new-found belief in some higher authority which may or may not have decided that I'm quite simply not "meant" to have children? Nope. Have I perhaps decided to attempt to reduce my exposure to Belly Town by become a complete hermit? No, siree! Rather, I've had this sudden "aha" moment: the only thing all this belly-aching is accomplishing is making me feel LESS empowered, LESS in control, and MORE upset. Errrr, no thanks!

The other reason for this attempt at redirecting my thoughts and feelings is the cumulative of a number of different things. For one, the wonderful, warm and thoughtful comments that often pop up on my blog, which I value and which make me feel not only like I'm not alone, but that there are people out there who can empathize. The other thing is that, in the past couple of months, there have been so many tragedies (admittedly most of them in remote corners of my life) - and I'm starting to feel like my constant griping is insolent, childish and ungrateful. Don't get me wrong - the hurt, the frustration, the anger and everything else hasn't gone away. I haven't suddenly embraced some new zen-like outlook (glazed eyes optional) that would do away with the emotional side of this journey. Oh no, I'm still strapped into my seat with the same bewildered look and fright wig. know what it's like. If you're constantly miserable and keep focusing on the negatives, eventually, that's ALL there is: your life becomes this abyss, this black hole, and before you know it, you've become your own worst enemy. And, seriously? Who needs that kind of pressure?

So...I guess what I'm trying to say - to myself, to the wonderful, lovely, sweet & caring ladies following this blog, and to everyone else - is that maybe, just maybe, it's time to take a step back and stop focusing on the thing that ISN'T going right in my life - in all of our lives - and get back to the business of being happy about the things we do have: good friends, plentiful lives, partners and families who love and support us (and who, in some cases like mine, learn to love us despite our obsessive-compulsive need to over-analyze everything! :) Maybe it's time to take a better look at ourselves, our lives, and ask some critical questions: WHY is it such an imperative for me to have a child? WHY do I keep berating myself for things that are OUT OF MY CONTROL? At the end of the day, sure, there are some things that CAN promote fertility and other things that MAY jeopardize fertility - but beyond that, it's really just Russian roulette: you, yes; you, not so much.

Unlike some people, however, I'm definitely not a fan of the "meant to be" school of thought. I don't think there's any rhyme or reason why some people abound with babies, while others are left with a not-unlike-dessert feeling of DROUGHT. What do I mean, you might wonder? Well, it takes a mighty strong woman NOT to feel slighted when surrounded by women who, seemingly without difficulty (and I would like to stress the word "seemingly" at this point since, of course, we can never really know with how much easy OR difficulty someone has achieved that which we all covet so much), managed to pop out one or more of those tiny little gurgling thingies that make your heart thump wildly in your chest, threatening to make you go deaf with excitement. And then...those feelings of being left out and let down: by nature, by God if you're a woman of faith, by something, somewhere...until all you're really left with is a single, painfully one-sided question to which you may never get an answer: WHY NOT ME?

I, for one, am choosing to end hostilities - at least for the time being. I'm tired of being at war with myself and the world. I'm exhausted from endless "what if"s without answer, of guilt and shame. For now, I'm just going to take each day as it comes to me - in the hopes, as always, that things will eventually fall into place - somehow.

Monday, January 5, 2009

New Year, New Pain

The last few weeks have been a bit of a blur - with holidays, little bouts of the flu and other things to make me chicken out from dealing with The Issue. But here I am, still in the same boat. No need for New Year's Resolutions on this subject, since it's out of my control to begin with...

Kenton did gave another sperm sample last week, so we're waiting to hear back on the results. I don't even know why they had us wait so long after the first one. Meanwhile, he still acts like nothing's wrong - and apparently doesn't realize that in NOT dealing with this issue, he's actually hurting me even more. He keeps saying things like "when we have kids", as though it's just a matter of us decided on the time and place of conception. Each time, it cuts me like a knife because I keep thinking: what do you mean, WHEN? How about IF? And what IF we CAN'T???

Of course, life around me goes on unchanged. Oh, no, wait - that's not true: in my immediate environment, as well as in the world of celebrities, people are having second and third babies, twins, more babies...And I'm still sitting here thinking, wait a minute - what about ME??

In light of some personal things that I've become privy to in the last month or so, I know I shouldn't moan and gripe - I should just be happy to be alive and be happy to have a good, caring husband. And I can deal with not having a baby right this second - but I'm starting to have this horrible feeling of growing old and never being able to have a child. The other day, I got one of those glossy gossip magazines, and there was this picture of Jessica Alba with her baby girl. She's crouched and has a hand protectively around her daughter to make sure the baby doesn't fall down, and the baby is sort of glancing backwards so that it seems as though it's looking almost straight at the camera. I looked at that picture for what seemed like hours - the little ears and a hint of a smile playing on her lips. The maternal gesture of keeping the baby safe. It all seems so normal, so NOT extraordinary, almost banal - and yet I feel like a goldfish, forever going round and round in the same old way, looking out at the world but unable to participate in any of the wonderful things going on out there.

Even my hairdresser got pregnant, and up and quit her job in the advent of her first baby being born - and she pretty much got knocked up on her honeymoon. It's like Bump City out there. Meanwhile, I'm stuck in Misery Central, population growing.

Over the holidays, I fell into one tub of ice cream after the next, not unlike an alcoholic looking for salvation - or maybe just a dulling of the senses - in the bottom of every bottle. I feel like crawling into bed and pulling the covers over my head, but ironically, sleep continues to elude me. Instead, I lie awake at night, tossing and turning, hundreds of images in my mind, all competing for a chance to drive me insane. I haven't had a decent night's sleep in so long, I think I've forgotten what it felt like to wake up and NOT have my whole neck and back in knots.

So here I am: New Year, but no new me. No dreams of motherhood fulfilled. No pain of childlessness abated.

You know what really gets me? If I were a recovering alcoholic, no one would expect me to go bar hopping with my gal pals. If I was doing Weight Watchers, people would understand if I said no to chocolate cake. But no one understands that, when you're in this kind of predicament, the last thing you want is to keep having your face rubbed in other people's fecundity. I don't want to constantly be confronted with this notion that, without kids, I should still participate - gleefully! - in activities that revolve around family life. As much as I love Kenton, I'm starting to sense that I don't think I'll feel fulfilled if we can never have kids. And I know that I've written here and talked to friends about adoption - which I still think is an important choice, alternative, option; what have you. But I am suddenly - and painfully - aware of the fact that, as it turns out, adoption was a wonderful option - so long as I had a choice. As in, I would CHOOSE to adopt a child instead of having my own, or as well as having my own. As it is, of course, my choices are growing smaller by the week - outlook: not good.

For the first time in my life, I feel as though my resources are failing me. My family still has no idea about what's going on - I really just couldn't cope with the mixture of pity, dismissal and judgment that I fear would sound loudly from that corner if prompted for a response. So I still live with this deep, dark, hideously paralyzing "secret" of sorts.

But I guess I have to find an outlet somewhere, and that will be my challenge in the weeks to come. I have to DO something - with myself, with my thoughts, with my pain. So, I'm still here...