Tuesday, May 29, 2012

the real deal

Made the 90-mile (150km) trip to FTT at 6 this morning for baseline monitoring. At the check-in, the receptionist asked if this was my mock. No, I said, it's the real deal.

The u/s was uneventful. The u/s technician spent 10 minutes looking for my ovaries. The uge. She said my lining looked good. Today being CD2, I said "good in a disintegrating way?" She laughed.

Well, folks, this party is starting. First dele.strogen injection tomorrow. I go back to FTT in two weeks today for another monitoring appointment. Two weeks after that, I'll be in DC for the transfer (oh please, please, please let that be true, let there not be any monkey wrenches thrown about in this plan).

The anniversary of the miscarriage came and went on the weekend. I spent it gardening, a la Misfit (you get bonus points if you understand the reference). All told, it was nice to notice that those 2 days last year (the day of the u/s and the day of the D&C) sucked the big walleye, and that this year, those two days did not suck as much. They were orders of magnitude better in fact.

I wanted to say thanks for your sweet comments on my last post. It was a really great day for me, that one spent with Dragonfly at her daughter's birthday party. I don't always live in that bigger place in my heart (you've read some of my more bitter posts), but it's nice to stretch out a bit. Thanks for the love, dear women.   

Thursday, May 24, 2012

the things we do for love

I have had an emotionally intense and very rich week. It started with the cycle dates being communicated last Wednesday (and confirmed today - hey, it did take a week), and it went deep from there. There is much to reflect upon about it, but let me start with one anecdote.

Context
I was visiting a number of much beloved friends in the US over the weekend, including everyone's favorite: Oat, as well as my friend the geologist who is living with stage 4 gastric cancer, my friend the Nepalese Dumpling, and my beautiful friend Dragonfly.

The trip was prompted by my (previously stated) desire to live in my life more fully, and to the fact that one of my friends above mentioned might have the blessing of fully living his life revoked in short order by themotherfuckingcancer. So off I went on my own, in my little Neko, to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

Zoom in
One of the stops on my whirlwind tour of the Commonwealth was at a 1-year-old's birthday party. My beloved Dragonfly is a mom and her sweat pea was turning one. I had been invited to the party, but never thought I would make it, since, you know, it's a 10+ hour drive. But there I was.

The infertile among babes 
Well, I know. It does sound like a recipe for disaster, going to a little one's birthday party. I already have the rule about NO BABY SHOWERS. But this is Dragonfly, people. I love her more than life itself. And her baby daughter. Oh my. I met her once in a dream when Dragonfly was 3- 4 months pregnant (before she told me it was a girl) and in the dream, we were the best of friends. I adored her before she was born. It was amazing to meet her in person. So I watched the sweet, young parents sing to their daughter, with their family and friends around them. I watched as they fed her a tiny cupcake and marveled at her delighted expression. I was filled with joy at this scene. 

A life lesson
It appears that a bitter old infertile can attend a 1-year-old's birthday party and a) not liquify into a mess of black bile, b) not sob uncontrollably while nursing a bottle of pinot, c) not retreat so much as to be mistaken for a new wall decal purchased on etsy, or d) leave the party feeling happier and more fulfilled than she did when she arrived. Ha! Take that infertility.

The take home
I need to keep opening my heart. There are wonderful things to be experienced with those I love.

From Woolcrazy
   


  

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

we've got dates

Finally!

After all the stops, starts and delays, I am holding the dates loosely.

I have a baseline u/s scheduled for May 30. Egg retrieval is scheduled for June 20 and embryo transfer June 25. The nurse said she would send out an official schedule later today (does that mean next week?), but that is what we are working with at the moment.

Finally, we can gear up and get this party started.

(I hope)

p.s. I also wanted to tell you that I passed my exam. Thank jaw, because I'll have bigger fish to fry (or embryos to nestle) in the near future.

Friday, May 11, 2012

staring straight at anger

What can a blogger say when there is nothing new to report? I keep waiting and what keeps coming is nothing. It was my understanding that the clinic would see the other recipient on Monday and what? help trigger her period? Start her on bcps without having a period? I haven't heard a thing since last Friday, and so I put a call in this morning. Nothing yet, of course. I started thinking that the other recipient is probably pregnant. Talk about having conflicting feelings if that were the case. I'd be eccstatic for her, and really effing pissed about the extra delay upon delay. But this is not fact, just mere flotsam from the hypothesis-generating machine. The facts are: I know nothing. We first picked our donor in mid-March and it's now mid-May, and we are no further than we were then.

This intro leads me to the hot topic in my current inner (and often outer) landscape. Girls, it's not pretty. Not ladylike. Not encouraged among the girls we were years ago, and the women we grew up to be.

Anger.

It's a real achiles heal for me. I'm not alone in this, especially not among women. There are entire centuries of social scripts unwritten about how women are not to express their anger. Luckily, I was born at a time when women were fighting to break those scripts.

My mother's feminist penchant notwithstanding, she did not tolerate anger originating from her child, especially not if it was directed at her. She believed that women belonged in the workforce and were the intellectual equals of men. In that way, she was a great role model for me, and I attribute a lot of my own success to her modelling and instrumental support. When it came to emotions though, and still to this day, she was very impaired. She did well with joy, happiness, passivity and contentment. Anything else was outlawed.

We all have horror stories from our childhood, and I'm not going to rehash mine here. I pay a therapist good money to help me plumb the horrors of my past and integrate it. But it's important to know for the tale I'm telling that my experiences of expressing anger growing up were met with threats of annihilation and abandonment. I quickly understood that expressing anger was not a good survival strategy.

What the hell can one do with all kinds of anger one can't express?

The answer is: that depends. For me, it took on different forms, all relating to a lot of difficulty with emotion regulation, which has looked like anxiety and depression most often, and an eating disorder for a solid 4 years of my life, with many more years of disordered eating before and after (and mercifully, not really anymore).

Luckily, in my early twenties, I got a ton of help with this and tackled the anger issue head on. I was going to work on this if it was the last thing I did. As a young woman, I started expressing my anger; at first not very effectively, but over time, much more appropriately. People came to know me as someone who was self-aware and assertive. I liked that person I was.

In most recent years, I've been backsliding on that front. Recently at work, I was dealing with an issue with my supervisor and started crying. It's not a big deal to cry, but when I look back on it, I was just plain angry at him and couldn't hold firm on my position or tell him that he was pissing me off. So, I cried instead. Which was awkward, and really distracted from the fact that he was being a dink.

It's happening a lot in my marriage. It seems like this issue is sinking our battleship these days. Its' not by chance that we marry who we marry. Mr. A also comes from a family where anger is a big no-no. It's a bit ridiculous to see the lengths we'll each go to in order to avoid expressing anger. But the price of doing that is incredibly high. Numbing is a blunt instrument as far as the emotions are concerned. If you don't want to feel and express anger, you're not going to feel other feelings either. Like joy. Like desire. Like connectedness.

I read it in my early twenties, but I've picked it up again. The dance of anger, by Harriet Lerner, is a classic on the subject. Lerner is reminding me about the healthy strivings of my early twenties when I worked with my anger (and all my other feelings) like my life depended on it - because it did. She is reminding me of the need to use my anger to effectively express what I want and need, instead of sucking it back in and doing god knows what with it (revisiting bulimia? I think not).

I am not feeling particularly strong right now, or particularly able to tackle this anger issue, which seems mamoth from where I stand. But if I'm truly honest with myself, my life is starting to depend on it again. And you read my letter to myself from a few weeks ago: I've decided my life is apparently worth living.

Friday, May 4, 2012

the non-update - updated

Still swimming in the land of waiting. I'm getting all pruned and wrinkly over here.

At least today is CD1.

Why is that a good thing? Well, when I finally, FINALLY got a return phone call from our nurse (after really pushing things with her and our coordinator), she just said they were waiting for the other recipient to get her period (and how hard would it have been to reply to one of my 4 emails with those 8-10 words?). And then she told me to arrange my meds so I too would get my period this week. Emailed it in this morning. I will follow-up with a phone call in the next hour.

Right now, we are not too happy with this clinic.

I am holding on to the very important fact that this won't matter once we/if we hold our baby in our arms in the future. We won't look back and bitch about how much they made us wait and kept us in the dark. We will rejoice that we finally have a baby.

But right now, we are not happy with this clinic.

It's just that they seemed much more responsive before we paid them the sum total for the treatment. And I know they are not going to take the money and run, but it just feel like we got relegated to the bottom of the priority list because we are now a captive audience. That pisses off Mr. A to no end. I am typically the one in conversations to try and look at mitigating factors and reserve judgment of our experience with this clinic until we have gone through more of the process with them. But right now, I'm just venting to you, dear readers.

In other news, I'm on a cleanse. You might think this involves giving up coffee and consuming lots of wheat grass and shit. No. My coffee consumption has gone up, in fact. I think my birthday did me in. On that day, I ordered a full octane coffee. In my head, I just said fuck it: This is a terrible day and I need all the caffeine I can have to get through it. Bitter old woman that I am. Anyway, I'm on a fac.ebook cleanse. It's been about 10 days since I've logged on and so far, I'm happy with my decision. It was prompted by a personal email (on fb) from an IRL friend who wanted to let me know of her pregnancy ahead of the big announcement. Thanks. Did I need to also read the status updates from her and her husband, and see the darn u/s pics that would shortly follow? No. The kicker is that I performed their marriage ceremony last fall. The other kicker is that they announced their engagement within a day of when I had the m/c, and got all agitated when I didn't reply fast enough to their big news. Hum, excuse me while I have a D&C. Anyways, I could keep bitching about this couple, but it's not really getting me anywhere. I just meant to say that this was the precipitating event. I'm not sure how long I'll do this cleanse, but for now, it's been helpful. Fb is incredibly masochistic when you are infertile and in your thirties. It's time to be on my own team.

I took to heart the letter I wrote myself and published in my last post. I really did. I think this cleanse is part of it. I'll get back to the reduced caffeine consumption soon. I have a hike planned on the weekend, a visit with friends, and some gardening. Clawing myself out of this hole one centimetre at a time.

**I just got a call from the nurse - apparently phoning in gets you a reply must more quickly - who said that the other recipient has not yet started her period. This means we are in a holding pattern until further notice. Luckily, I've really become an expert on waiting.