Saturday, November 29, 2008

I'm Just Asking for a Little Compassion

But perhaps that's too much to ask for.

I spent the week in Richmond, with my parents, at my brother's house. Many stories including the phone call from J on Monday night and Tuesday night dinner with my niece's boyfriend, but more on all that later.

As we were driving home yesterday, my cell phone rang. It was my niece (the one who got married this past summer, the stupid family wedding fame). I was in the bathroom at McDonald's so just hit ignore.

As my parents were ordering something to eat, I went outside to listen to the voice mail.

"Yeah, hey Ellie, just wanted to see if you had a good Thanksgiving and to let you know I'm expecting. Yea totally crazy...wasn't planning on it, we weren't even trying, it just happened. So I'm due July 9th. Call me back if you want."

I turned my back to my parents inside the restaurant and started crying. But I had to pull myself together. I wasn't going to tell them for a number of reasons. Not my news, not my place to tell my parents. And I wasn't going to get into a car for four more hours and discuss this.

My eyes welled up several times on the drive home. I tried to push it out of my head. I tried not to think about it. I'm happy for her, of course.

But that the way you tell someone who has been struggling with infertility for the past 18 months? Seriously.

My fucking family -- and that's the way I feel about most of them these days -- can't see past the nose of their faces. And sure, I'm probably being a little egocentric about this as well, but really...

I talked to my sister-in-law and Bubbles -- both reacted the same way. That is to say, that they don't think I'm over-reacting, being selfish or being egocentric. Both feel that a little bit of compassion and understanding could have been a part of the phone message.

Of course I would want to know, of course I'm glad she called me, and as I said, of course I'm happy for her. But at the same time, I'm sad for me. At the same time, I would have appreciated a little human decency on her part in telling me.

I haven't been able to call her back. And probably won't. At some point I will send her an email.

I've been having anxiety over Christmas. With my cycle and the retrieval and transfer dates up in the air at this point, I wasn't sure if I would be able to go to Richmond for Christmas. If I didn't do that, then I would go to my sister's in Syracuse.

I always have anxiety when the entire family (or damn close to it) gets together. I'm the odd man out, I feel self-conscious about everything. Virginia is easier, but questionable this year.

Well, the parents-to-be will be home for Christmas this year. More than I could really take. So even if I'm driving eight hours on December 25th, or I spend it alone in Ithaca, I'm not going to Syracuse. It would be too much.

And maybe that's me having a pity party for myself. Or maybe I'll change my mind in a few days or a few weeks. Or maybe I won't. I guess only time will tell.

And so for the "I-don't-know-how-many-times" time, I'll feel lousy for a few days and then try to snap out of it. I really thought when I woke up yesterday that it was the start of feeling good, of moving forward and being positive.

Maybe tomorrow. Tomorrow is another day.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

My Day Yesterday

I was over-tired from being up late on the phone with J.

Towards the end of the day, a friend at work confided in me and another friend that he and his wife are expecting. So there I sat, with my 33-weeks-pregnant friend and another one about to have another baby. When Heather asked if they had been trying long, we heard, "we thought it might, but it happened almost immediately."

I managed to hold it together until he left Heather's office. And then I broke down. I left work, skipped the gym, came home and got into bed pretty early.

I skipped through the TV channels. Law & Order -- pregnant woman. Next.

Discovery Health -- woman having quads. Next.

Food Network should be safe, right? A Challenge. Excellent. "Four bakers must make cake mystery client." Perfect.

Until the mystery client turned out to be a pregnant woman and the cake they had to make was for her baby shower.

I gave up at the point and just watched it. I even tortured myself and flipped over to the quads on commercials. I cried. Didn't wipe my tears, didn't blow my nose. Just laid on my bed, kitty on my lap, and cried.

I rolled over and fell asleep about 8pm. I managed to mostly sleep all night and woke up feeling a little better. At least not like I was going to break down at any given moment.

I'll be busy next week. I'm driving to Richmond on Sunday with my parents. We'll spend the week with my brother and his family, and then I'll be back on Friday. The next day, I'll begin giving myself the stomach shots. Moving forward. I just have to keep remembering that. I'm moving forward.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

I'm an emotional wreck. It's the holidays. It's the no baby. It's the always being tired from the hormones and the waiting and the hoping.

I talked to J last night. He made me cry. I didn't want to talk about it, I didn't want to give him updates and tell him about the second failed IVF attempt. I didn't want to tell him how I was feeling, but he pushed. And I cried.

I told him I didn't want him to hear my cry. He told me to go ahead and cry. And so I did. I filled him in on how I was feeling. And the emotional roller coaster I've been riding.

And he was great. He apologized for not keeping on top of it, for not checking in on me more often. I should have called him out on all of this, what's going on with him, what's going on with us. But I didn't. Because in the end, it just felt good to hear someone be that concerned about me. It felt right, even though it's not.

We talked for about an hour. He kept me up way too late, but it was worth it.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Fertility Gurus Deserve a Vacation, Too

I talked to the doctor's office today. It's day 3 of my cycle, and even though I'm officially taking November off, I actually get to do something now.

I'll start taking birth control pills tonight, for two weeks. And then the next day (the Saturday after Thanksgiving), I will start with one of the stomach shots. All of this will suppress ovulation this month and hopefully start my next cycle earlier. The last day the office is doing retrievals is December 20 before the FG is going on vacation for the holidays.

My nurse thinks we'll be able to get it all in, that we'll have time to do the retrieval before the 20th. And so I picked up my BCP at Wegmans after work and I feel like I'm actually doing something, I'm moving forward again, working towards the next time.

What he said...

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Cranky Wednesday

So on Friday, I got my test results. Negative. I stopped the shots, the pills and the suppositories -- all hormones cut off, and I expected that I would get my period on Sunday or Monday.

I cried a little over the weekend, had my usual mourning period, and then started to think about the next steps. It's a comfortable pattern I've established. And then Monday came and no period. By Tuesday morning, I started to have hopeful thoughts.

What if the test was wrong? What if it was a false negative? What if I'm really pregnant? I will wait to tell my parents at Thanksgiving. I can tell my brother, sister-in-law and niece in person. I can tell my close friends in Baltimore in person.

And so it went, the fantasy of being pregnant. The fantasy of being able to hug my friends and family who are far away, but who I will be seeing in just a little over a week, when I tell them that I'm having a baby.

Wednesday morning...this morning, my body decided it was time to bitch slap me back into reality. And so, even though I thought I had moved beyond the mourning, even though I had decided it was time to think about next steps and be positive for December, I've taken a step backward.

I got my period, and all of the feelings I had on Friday and Saturday, the sadness, the grief, the feeling like my body is failing me -- they all came back. Five days after getting my test result. I have to deal with these emotions all over again.

And I will. And the good part about having so many failed attempts, the good part about having so many disappointments, is that I know I can move on, I know that the sadness lessens, and that I won't always feel like this. I'll feel hopeful again, I'll feel like I can do this, that at some point it will work.

Someday I'll feel like that again. But not today.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Everyone's Pregnant...

except me.

I'll get out of my funk after a weekend of crying and feeling sorry for myself. We decided to take November off since I will be traveling for Thanksgiving, and do another egg retrieval in December.

I've got nothing else to say. I can only repeat myself so many times. For how I'm feeling, see a post from one of the previous negative tests.

I'll be in a better mood next week.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

I've not been a very good friend lately

I've been pretty introspective the past week, not really sharing or opening up about what I'm feeling or keeping people in the loop about the process.

I got a phone call from my friend Jan in Baltimore last night. And when I saw her number come up on the caller ID, I instantly felt guilty. I haven't talked to her in several weeks, since my last IVF, and that was a call that she initiated too. And even when we were chatting and catching up, there was an elephant in the room. I avoided all talk of fertility and babies and trying to get pregnant.

Sometimes I just don't want to talk about it. It occupies my mind 95% of the day, that every once in a while, I just don't want to talk about it.

As we were hanging up, I apologized for being out of touch, that I was in my own world, trying to deal with all the emotions. She asked what was going on, and I told her I was in the middle of my second embryo transfer. And amazingly, as have all of my friends, she took it well when I told her I wasn't telling anyone when the blood test is.

"You tell me what you want to, when you want to."

I have wonderful friends...and someday soon, I'll be the friend I once was to them again.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Tricks of the Trade

My friend (who has three IVF babies) called me the other day to check on me, and then to tell quite strongly the things I need to do this week.

Make chicken soup. My way of making chicken soup is chicken stock (from a box from the store) with veggies in a crock pot. The chicken is an already cooked rotisserie also from the store. She told me how wrong I was. "No, need a raw chicken, you need to make your own broth. You need the bone marrow to seep into the broth."

Three-pound raw chicken, check.

Drink molasses with hot water. "And not just regular molasses, Ellie. You need to get blackstrap molasses." It's not as bad as it sounds. It actually tasted like what I think coffee tastes like (I'm not a coffee drinker.) I added milk and I got it down without gagging.

Drink molasses, check.

Full-fat yogurt. That one I knew. That one makes sense. But in this day of health-conscious, fat-free or low-fat this, sugar-free that, do you know how hard it is to find yogurt made with whole milk? I ended up buying YoBaby yogurt.

Yogurt, check.

The chicken is in the crock pot. I drank my molasses and had a yogurt for breakfast. I'm continuing all my meds this week, including the inter-muscular shot, which has gotten much easier, despite the bruises and tenderness all over my backside.

I've decided not to tell anyone when my blood test is. I feel like too many people knew. Too many people were anxious about the results, which in turn made me anxious. My friend Jill, who drove me to Syracuse last week, is the only one who knows the date because she was there when the nurse gave me the lab slip.

So I'll continue on this path -- chicken soup, molasses, yogurt, shots, pills, suppositories -- until my blood test.