Monday, December 21, 2015

"Merry" Christmas

If you remember my post from last year at this time, Christmas was not so joyous or merry. It was a very hard year. An extremely hard, emotionally draining year.  We finally tried IVF (twice!) after four failed IUI's and both of them failed.  Christmas was just not what it used to be, at least not that year. I ran out of the mall, for God's sake, when I saw Santa with all the happy little kids and families.  I was green with envy and my heart was extremely heavy with such a deep, dark sadness. Something like getting pregnant seemed so easy to so many people everywhere I turned, I just couldn't stand it anymore. I broke into a million pieces.

This year, I'm happy to say that I'm in a much better place.  We did officially try again this year (an IUI we told no one about back on the 4th of July) that once again failed, but that's ok.  I'm here, I'm healthy and I'm going to enjoy the season and the much needed Christmas break.

We decided to once again not go anywhere for Christmas this year.  Every year we traveled and we made sure to spend time with both sides of the family and even made sure to keep track of which side we spent Christmas Day on, so we could alternate.  This meant traveling to different states every single year. First we flew every year, and then after we got Zeus (our black lab) we started driving in order to take him with us.  Then a few years later, we adopted Poseidon (our chocolate lab) and we then traveled with 2 dogs.  It was chaotic, and expensive, but we loved it. It was great spending time with our families.  Last year I needed a break.  I needed to wake up in our bed with my husband, in our house.  I need the quiet.  I needed  peace.  I needed the break. I needed just him.  Luckily, Dave agreed.  This year we decided to do it again.  Not because we needed the quiet or because I was sad and in a bad place, but there was something special about waking up in our own bed that made it perfect.  Something that everyone else has always experienced, except for us. We never woke up in our own bed before last year.  14 years together and last year was the very first time we woke up on Christmas morning in our bed, in our house.  Something I think others take for granted, and something others don't think about. When was the last time you woke up in your own bed on Christmas morning.  Chances are, if you have kids, the answer is last year and many other times before then.  Last year was our first, and I wanted to do it again.

You can call it selfish. You call it whatever you want, but I wanted to do it again. When you don't have kids, you're always the one that has to travel.  You are the ones who have to go to all homes (in different states). Yes, I have invited my family down for Christmas, but of course they want to spend it in their homes with the kids...and who could blame them.  I most certainly don't.  I just also hope then, that they don't blame us for wanting the same thing.  For wanting to wake up in our home on Christmas morning..with out without kids. I feel guilty for not traveling, for not spending the time,energy and money to travel like we used to. Maybe next year we'll travel again....maybe we won't.  Maybe next year we'll have kids...maybe we won't.  We don't know what lies ahead.  We only have the here and now, and this year we will spend it in our house, alone, with each other.

We may only have two human stockings and two dog stockings hung again this year, but we have each other, our families, and our amazing friends.  Whether you travel, stay home, are surrounded by a huge family or spending the day alone, I wish each and every one of you a very Merry Christmas and happy new year!  May your lives be blessed and may all your dreams come true!

Saturday, November 21, 2015

I Hate You Olivia Pope

For the past couple of months I've been struggling to come up with a topic to blog about.  I have about 5 different drafts that I started and never finished.   I'm not going through any treatments, work has been CRAZY, and we've been talking about maybe just moving forward childless.  So writing has taken a back burner at the moment.

This past week I was super busy at work and my TGIT (Thank God It's Thursday) shows had to wait.  Saturday I finally got a moment to sit down, pour a glass of wine and catch up on Scandal. I just love Olivia!  Everything about her. I want to be Olivia Pope! I'm also a huge fan of Olivia and Fitz (unlike my sister who really wants to see her with Jake...a debate we have often!). I love them together. I love their chemistry, their passion, and their dreams of the future together. Although I must say, I haven't liked them the past couple of weeks when Fitz moved her into the White House without her permission....but here I digress!

This is the time to stop reading this post if you haven't watched the episode on 11/19/15. Last chance....

Anyway, I'm sitting on the couch all snuggled up, drinking my wine, watching the episode and it hit me.  I'm watching the Planned Parenthood debate going on and nothing phases me. Then they pan to Olivia. She is sitting in a waiting room.  My stomach twists in knots. My heart drops. I put down my glass of wine as slowly as I can as the tears start falling uncontrollably from my eyes.  I'm sick to my stomach and I think several times that I'm going to puke.  They are now in the room and she gets into the stirrups...the stirrups I know all too well. The stirrups I get into over and over again trying so desperately to become pregnant are the same ones she's in about to end her pregnancy. I'm sick and crying non-stop. I turn away and can't watch wishing it would all just end. I bury my head in the couch cushion just sobbing. Screaming for her to stop..."I'll take the baby" I cry out.  I can't turn off the TV because I'm shaking so hard.  How could she?!? I hate her!  I now HATE Olivia Pope! I once wanted to be a Gladiator and now I want to destroy her. I hate her so much!

Yes, I know she's just a character on a TV show.  Yes I know my reaction is irrational. Yes, I know I may be a bit (or a lot) pathetic because I have this much hate for a make believe character on a TV show that I once loved. Yes, I know people in real life that have had abortions. Yes, I've supported their decisions. Yes, I understand that it's a woman's choice to do what she wants with her body. Yes, I still hate her.

I hate her because she has had what I want. I hate that I hate her so much. I hate that all these feelings that I thought I was moving past, came back in a matter of 10 seconds.  I hate her for doing what she did. I hate her for making me cry in a way I haven't cried since my last failed IVF. I hate her for making me cry an hour after the damn show has ended. I hate her because I'm jealous of what she had. I HATE HER.

I thought I was ready to move on, but maybe I'm not.  Maybe my hate for Olivia has only made me realize that I'm not quite ready to move forward yet. I still don't know what we'll do, where we'll go from here or what lies ahead, but I'm not ready to give up. If I can hate a character so much and have SUCH a reaction to her decision, I guess I'm not ready to be child free just yet.  So yes...I still hate you Olivia Pope, but thank you. Thank you for making me realize I'm not ready to give up and move on just yet.

But yes....right now, at this moment in time, I still hate Olivia Pope!

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

October 15th

To most people, October 15th is just another day in October. Another day to fight for breast cancer. Another day at work, school, or home. It's just another day.

To the men and women who have suffered with infant loss, miscarriages or stillbirth, October 15th means something else entirely. This is the day of remembrance.  This is the day for them to grieve, all over again. This is the day where they honor their babies who have left this world all too soon. This is their day.

Too many of my friends will be remembering and honoring their angel babies on the 15th. Too many of my friends will be grieving and suffering all over again on the 15th. Too many of my friends grieve every single day.  Too many of my friends have holes in their hearts and empty arms.  Too many friends.

One of these dear friends of mine is Lisa. Lisa and her amazingly strong husband have suffered more in just a few short years, than any couple should ever have to endure in their whole lifetime!  My heart breaks for her, yet I am so inspired by her courage and strength. Her love for the Lord continues to grow over each passing day even through the times I know might have shaken my faith. I don't know how she gets up each day, how she makes it through, and how she inspires me and others around her. Her strength and courage is like something I've never seen before. Her determination to look infertility and loss in the face and just give it a big middle finger makes me love her more and more. She has suffered more miscarriages after losing her son Jake, and somehow still manages to get up each morning and try again. We actually cycled together this summer (which means we had an IUI at the same time).  Both of our attempts ended in a negative test result, but together we rose above it. I love this girl more than she will ever know. To know her, is to love her.  <3 You can read more about her, her story, and her inspirational and emotional journey on her blog Hope After Hope.

So what can you do to help?  How can you show your support to these women who have suffered so much when you don't know what to say? You want to help, you want to be there for them, you want to take their pain away but you don't have the words and you don't know where to begin.  This is what you can do.  You can light a candle on October 15th at 7PM. That's it.  It's called the Wave of Light.  This is the day where we can all band together, show our support and come together. I will light my candle and share on my Facebook and Twitter pages to show my support for all of my friends that have already lost way too much in this lifetime.  Please do the same. We may not know what to say, or how we can help, but letting our friends know that we are here for them if/when they need us is a start. This will show our support for them.  They are not alone in this. They are never alone!

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

I Suck at Getting Pregnant!

We all know I completely suck at getting pregnant! There is no "A" for effort when it comes to infertility, getting pregnant, or staying pregnant for that matter.  I suck!  I suck big time!  I can't seem to change that, so I decided to find the silver lining around the infertility gloomy cloud in my life!

I decided to focus on the positive and let go of the negative, so I went ahead and created a list of all the things I'm really good at when it comes to infertility and the things that I suck at big time!  So here is goes....

When it comes to infertility I SUCK big time at...

  • Getting pregnant
  • Seeing 2 lines on a pregnancy test
  • Keeping an embryo (or embryos!) in my uterus for more than 10 days
(only 3 things I majorly suck at...not too bad!)

When it comes to infertility I'm AWESOME at...

  • only seeing 1 line on a pregnancy test! (as you can see from our latest attempt!)
  • getting shots in my abdomen and ass! I'm a freaking super-star at this!!!
  • evicting any & all  foreign objects from my uterus on or before day 10! Nothing foreign in this angry uterus...heaven forbid my uterus become friendly and happy and invite others to stay! Damn bitch!
  • knowing the exact times of all injections, pills and doctor's appointments when it comes to infertility, but I can't tell you what I had for breakfast!
  • taking any song and making it about my loss!  Yep...even a Backstreet Boys song! I can't even listen to their Incomplete song the same way! HA! Sorry ladies...that BSB song is NOT about a breakup, but it's about my infertility and the fact that I can't get that damn 2nd pink line to show up to the bathroom pee party on a freaking pregnancy test!  Don't even get me started on other song lyrics that I can make all about me, and not the intended hurtful breakup it was originally written about! BooYah! Now that is talent right there! 
  • getting in stirrups without any direction!  I know what to do, and sometimes I don't even wait for the nurse to leave.  Why wait?  I wear a sundress or skirt every appointment for easy access....just take off my shoes and hop on up! :)
  • Mr. Ultrasound Wand Selfies!  I'm a fucking rockstar at this! 
As you can see by my picture, in 3 different dresses, I have no self control when it comes to ultrasound wand selfies! None!  You have to find a way to lighten up the appointments and have a little fun...and this is what makes me a self proclaimed fucking rockstar :)
I don't know how I could have gone through so many appointments before thinking of this!  It makes every appointment from here on out, so much more fun and entertaining! :)

  • making some beautiful embryos! Our first try at IVF, we made a grade 1 and a grade 2 embryo (aka A+ and A- if they were pretty much they were totally kick ass embryos!) 

  • finding super socks for each occasion.  I must admit, my superwoman ones with the red capes for the 2nd IVF (transfer day) were my favorite by far! And let's not forget about my bad ass (literally) socks for the egg retrieval! 
  • looking like a homeless princess in the hospital gowns.'s not a pretty thing, but I think I was able to sport the homeless princess look every single time...or maybe not?!? 

  • finding the BEST band-aids for each shot! This 37 year old had her inner 7 year old come out with all the princess, pink polka dot, Sesame Street and Mickey Mouse band-aid.s...and I loved every single one!!!  It made this whole horrific process funny! Refer to the second bullet above...


Last but not least....
  • When it comes to infertility, I'm pretty KICK ASS at trying again and again.  Just when I think I've had enough and can't go on, I'm back in the stirrups (literally!) trying again.  It's almost like a really expensive addiction (really, really expensive!) that I can't get enough of. I'm really hoping I can stop the addiction one day when I'm throwing up from morning sickness and changing dirty diapers at day I can only hope!

As you can see by the two lists I've created, evidently I am much better at this whole infertility thing than I first thought.  But honestly....I really wish I sucked at it, because then I would be a mom by now.

Anyone know a good therapist for my angry uterus...I think she needs to be put on different meds, because the ones I've tried haven't worked yet! :)

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Hope Award for Best Blog (Grateful...and Confused)

I'm still in awe and shock! I was just nominated for Resolve's Hope Award for Best Blog.  Me!!  You can't believe it either can you?!?  I know I can't!

I know a few people read this blog, but I don't have the following like a lot of my blogger friends do. I say the "f" word in my blogs...a lot!  I don't write in a 'professional' manner but more-so from my heart like a diary or a journal. A way to blow off steam about my angry uterus, while trying to help even just one person going through the same thing. This is just blowing my mind!

I used to always make fun of the celebrities in Hollywood who were nominated for an Oscar or an Emmy who stated, "It's just an honor to be nominated" I would laugh at them while calling the bullshit card!  Who wants to be just nominated?!? You want to win! Maybe it's the competitive nature in me, but I always thought that statement was BS.....until yesterday. Until I was nominated for an award..this award!

I know I'm not going to win.  I know my blog isn't on the same level as the others who entered.  Hell....I wrote the blog after a four month hiatus because I was so sad and lost after my 2nd IVF loss after the 4 prior IUI losses. I also wrote it on the last day they were accepting admissions.  The only reason I entered the blog post was because I felt so strongly about the topic.  It meant a lot to me, and I knew I needed to start blogging again.

I can honestly say, it is TRULY an honor just to be nominated.  I have no words...none!  And for those of you that know me in 'real' life know....that is a hard thing to come by! :)

For those of you that read this blog, and have voted for me...THANK YOU!  Thank you from the bottom of my heart for thinking so much of this little blog to vote for it.  I'm completely honored and humbled by your comments and support!

Love you all!

Thursday, July 30, 2015

What Would You Do?

I was shopping at one of our local discount warehouse stores today, you know the one.....the kind of store where you can get 1,000 rolls of toilet paper for $10 or a 7-pound bag of potatoes for $3, yeah that's the store.

Anyway, as I was going through one of the aisles I notice a little boy, maybe 6 or 7,  sitting on the ground playing with a handheld game. No one is around him. No adults, no other children, no one! He was the only one in the aisle. I couldn't leave him, even though I didn't need anything down that row. I also notice that at the end of the aisle, was the huge emergency exit door.  Now before you start thinking I was planning my great escape, just know that I'm desperate to have a baby but not THAT desperate! I'm crazy and all, but not Lifetime Movie crazy! :)

Time is slowly passing and still no sign of a parent or any other adult looking for this little boy.  He must of thought I was crazy because I just stood there with my cart staring at the same box of crackers so I could keep my eye on him. I finally spoke to him, without coming off as the 'creepy stranger woman'. I asked him where his parents were and he told me they took his brother to the bathroom and that he should wait there.

It then dawned on me, that this couldn't be real and I MUST be on the ABC show, "What Would You Do!"  You know the one with John Quinones where they test normal people in strange situations.  This was it!  Of course I get excited, because I know I did the right thing by not leaving him alone.  I looked down and realize I look like a hot ass mess in my messy ponytail/bun thing, capris, flipflops, and no makeup, but I was also happy that I had  on my Michigan t-shirt! If I was going to be on TV, at least I had on one of my Michigan shirts to represent my mitten state that I miss so dearly! Priorities, people...priorities! :) I quickly put on some lipgloss so that I wouldn't look completely homely on camera. I wait and I wait.....where's John?  How long does it take for him to come out from his hiding place? People come and go, and it's been 15 minutes now.  No John Quinones, and still no parents.  Maybe this is real...maybe there is no TV show.

Now I'm fuming!  If this shit is real, where are these parents?!? Do I take him up to customer service or does that look like I'm trying to kidnap him?  Do I hope another adult comes down the aisle so I can ask them to go and get help so I don't leave him alone right next to an exit door?  What the hell do I do? This is exactly why this must be the TV show!

Next thing I know, a couple comes down the aisle and so does a man who speaks to the little boy.  The little boy gets up and starts walking towards him.   I wasn't going to say anything, but I couldn't NOT say anything either!  "Are you this boys father?!"  "Where have you been!"  "You can't just leave a little boy like that alone  especially right next to an exit sign!  What's wrong with you!!!" He apologized and I lost it even more! I snapped! "You should be sorry!  Anyone could have taken him and left out that door!  What's wrong with you?!?" I couldn't stop.  I laid into him, and now I have an audience.  I didn't care. What is wrong with people?  I turned to the couple watching me and asked them if I was in the wrong.  They thought the little boy was mine.  The father kept apologizing and finally I just walked away....with a few more choice words directed at the 'father'

I looked up, rolled my eyes and laughed! "So THEY can have children and I can't...funny!  Very funny!" Of course, I later apologized to God for rolling my eyes at him and being a sassy brat...but c'mon really!  What the fuck!

So the moral of this story I guess is....never go out grocery shopping at the warehouse store without looking half way decent because you may (or may not) be on a hidden camera TV show.  And if you're not, and go bat shit crazy on a parent for their bad parenting, it will help your case of not looking so psychotic if you don't look like a homeless crazy woman! :)

So what would you have done?

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

A Year Later

As I sit here and reflect on what could have been, what should have been, and what is, I'm brought to nothing but tears. A year ago today is when we got the official news that our 1st IVF failed. Of course I knew in my heart four days before that it failed, but a year ago today was the official beta bloodwork and the devastating look in everyone's eyes as they told me what I already knew. My two perfect, wanted, and loved embryos were gone.

A lot has happened in a year. A year ago, I didn't think I would make it. I didn't think I would ever be able to laugh again, much less try again...but I did, and we did. As you already know though if you follow this blog, IVF #2 didn't work either.

A year ago today, I was lost and felt hopeless. A year ago, I wanted to crawl up into a ball and melt into my blankets. A year ago, I didn't want to think about anything or anyone...much less myself. Like I said, a lot has happened in a year. Today, I laugh a lot, smile a lot, and cry a little less. I think about them and what could have been, knowing that if it did work, I would be holding two amazing little humans in my arms today instead of thinking about what could have been.

No, I'm sure it's not healthy to think about the past, mourn what could have been, or even long for what never was, but I can't help it. Not today. Today I will take time to grieve, to remember and to mourn our loss. 

Today I am sad. Today I grieve. Today will not last forever.
Tomorrow, I will smile again, laugh again, and even think about trying again, but today is not tomorrow.

Today I am lost.
Today I mourn my two perfect embryos that never came to be.
Today I grieve.
Today I am heartbroken.

Friday, April 24, 2015

You Are Not Alone...and Neither am I!

For 9 years we were suffering with infertility silently.  We didn't talk about it with anyone! No one! Not our friends, not our family and a lot of the times, not even with each other.  It was like if we didn't talk about it and acknowledge it then it wasn't real.  Maybe next month it would happen...but 'next month' never happened. Then we started going to an infertility doctor and we were still silent.  I didn't even look at anyone in the eye in the waiting room...even though they were there for the exact same reason.  I was ashamed, and still felt alone.

Then a miracle happened (no...not THAT miracle), I was introduced to a Resolve support group by a dear friend who was going through infertility too.  I went to my first meeting and it was miraculous.  I knew deep down I wasn't alone, but now I was in the same room with other women who were sharing their stories and I truly knew I wasn't alone.  Everything changed!  And then it happened...6 months later I told everyone in a big way!  This blog!  Yes!  Go big or go home right?!? My coming out story was on January 1st, 2014 and I never looked back.  It was a release, a way of sharing with others, a way to make others feel not so alone.  Since my first Resolve support group meeting until now, a little over a year later, we have gone through 4 failed IUI's and 2 failed IVF's. I felt defeated!

I thought about giving up blogging.  What was the point?  What else did I have to share and say? I feel like I'm stuck in a place where I'm not sure which road to take. The fork in the road so to leading to a childless life, and one leading to possibly having children but knowing that it may take another 10 years of trying, more treatments, more shots, more ultrasounds, more 2-week waits, more disappointment, more tears and more heartache.  Which path do I take?  Which road do I go down?  When will I decide?  The answer is...I have no idea!

I needed some time to think, some time to find the answer and last weekend was so beautiful outside!  Dave was gone and I wanted to soak up as much of the sun as I could, so I decided to weed the garden we made last year and plant a few tomato plants and some lettuce...the other veggies would just have to wait.  I was done weeding, and churning around the soil and decided to drag the 70 lb bags of soil from the side of the house into the backyard to where the garden was because I didn't want to wait for him to get home. I was so excited to grow something! So I planted the few tomato plants I had and the various varieties of lettuce I just bought and started the sprinkler to make sure everything would have the perfect environment to grow.

It was then that I looked around the backyard and it hit me like a ton of bricks!  My heart sank into my stomach and I couldn't move. We built that garden last year during our first try at IVF. We thought it was going to work.  It was supposed to work, but it didn't.  Neither did the next IVF.   I stood there in the middle of my backyard staring at my garden crying uncontrollably. I can grown lettuce and tomatoes and cucumbers the size of my arm, but I can't grow a baby in my belly (even with the help of multiple infertility doctors).  Why?  What was wrong with me?  I was a mess...literally and figuratively! The pain of our multiples losses hit me all over again like it was yesterday.  Am I going to resent my tomatoes now because they can reproduce and I can't?

Luckily, I was able to turn to another infertile friend about this and it made me remember that I wasn't alone.  I was alone for SO many years and now I wasn't!  So many years I was quiet and maybe in denial.  For so many years I didn't reach out and didn't have support besides my husband. Talking about our infertility released such a calm over me.  A weight was finally lifted that I had never felt in the 9 years that we struggled alone!  Even when it felt like we were alone, we were never really alone...and neither are you!  1 in 8 couples struggle with infertility and I am one of those 8! I am not ashamed to reach out to my amazing support group when I need them.  If you feel like you are alone in this, please reach out and find a support group in your area by visiting the Resolve site HERE.  You are NOT alone!

People say I'm strong for writing this blog and for talking about something so personal.  Honestly, I'm only strong because I have the love and support of many other women going through the same thing.  I am not alone anymore and I am stronger now than I ever imagined I could be.  I am forever thankful to my support group and the amazing friends I have found through this heartbreaking journey.

You are NOT alone!