Thursday, June 11, 2015

The possibility of yes

It always arrives, anew. It unfolds like petals. After March 2014 I thought it might be gone for good. But it's here again.

It's the glimpse at the night stars and the feeling that maybe there's a thread from this world to infinity, to fate, to something bigger. To magic. To a preordained happy ending. It's the sense that maybe everything you thought, you feared, could be wrong. It lets you daydream, even if it's just a little toe dip in it. Dickinson called it "the thing with feathers." Hope.

It helps that we're doing this in summer, when life is all around again, all joy and forward motion and yes.

Our surrogate (hopefully) and her husband arrive this weekend, and the process of getting to our last try begins for real. I thought I would be more anxious than I am.

I went to spinning class tonight (because, damn, it feels good to take care of myself again), and while I was short of breath and pushing and feeling the rush, Florence Welch sang to me that it's always darkest before the dawn.

Could it be?

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

A Day in the Life of My Brain

E! News: Next, Kim Kardashian opens up to E! about her long struggle to conceive baby #2. 

Really? Her long struggle? She doesn't know about a long struggle. If she'd needed surrogacy, she could have paid for it from her change jar.

I am a bad person. If I were evolved and decent, I would be happy for her. I would welcome her into the infertility and loss clan with open arms.

But why couldn't my struggle end happily? Why am I cursed? Will the curse continue with this next round? Or is it like starting fresh when you use someone else's uterus?

Maybe we're crazy for doing this. What if we spend all of this money to get to transfer and it doesn't work? Then we'll be stressed about money and still without a second baby. Will I regret doing it?

Maybe we should forget it.

Maybe we should adopt.

Adoption is hard.

I want to adopt my own embryos.

I can't just leave them there. It's not fair to H. We are stewards of his biological brothers. This is a lifetime bond and he deserves a shot at it. It's not even our decision to make. They exist, and we need to give them a chance.

Most people don't have to spend $50,000 to have a baby. Why me? It is so unfair.

I'm a prisoner. There is no escape but to move forward. I don't even dare to hope that this might end happily.

Where's the chocolate?

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Taking Care of Me

When you're after a baby and circumstances make that difficult, it's pretty common to let yourself go a bit.

I finally woke up to the reality I'm sure everyone else could see: the weight I was holding on to was much more than pregnancy weight. It was the weight of thousands of tears, of seeking small comfort in sugar, carbs and wine. It suddenly dawned on me that I was holding myself back with this pattern of instant gratification. And I stopped doing it, cold turkey.

I don't think I've had a bite of refined carb in two weeks. I'm still allowing myself wine in moderation on weekends and the occasional special event during the week. And I feel fantastic. I'm noticeably thinner and have more energy, and my skin breakouts (another topic for another day) have cleared considerably.

Before H, sticking with a PCOS-friendly (low carb/sugar) diet was a way for me to feel in control and stay healthy as I tried to conceive. I slipped after he was born, then started conceiving naturally -- so I guess it registered that maybe it was unnecessary. Then came the miscarriages and the medicating with food. But it's a new day. My body is mine again, and I need to take care of it.

Saturday, May 2, 2015


Yesterday, we took H to the library for story time. My husband (who works from home) wanted to go too, because they were doing a special tour of the conveyor belt book return system and, well, he's a guy and likes such things.

On our way downstairs for the tour, there was a gaggle of moms talking about how wild the boys in the class were, and how one of them should know because she has three of them. You can imagine where the conversation went. She should have another! She'd get her girl! Oh she hadn't decided on a fourth yet.

Decided. A fourth child. A question of will, not of chance. Not of daring and struggling or pain and suffering.

R and I met eyes. I explained later that I encounter some form of that conversation at least once daily. He shrugged his shoulders as he does. What can we do? That's how it is for most people.

I'm tired, guys. I'm just tired of it all. Tired of waiting, and wondering. Tired of still wanting something that's so hard. Tired of this horrible position I'm in, of having the first half of what I want in the freezer, and a horribly unclear and difficult path ahead for the second half -- yet no alternative. What can I do? Let them go? It's impossible. I have to do it. And I'm terrified.

Mostly, what scares me at this moment is that the clinic will say yes to the truly lovely potential surrogate we've found, whose records they are reviewing. And we will go down this path with her and spend all the money and then something will happen -- she won't get pregnant, or she will and we'll bring her into our reproductive den of doom. And then we'll have less money and still no baby.

That line of thought leads me to adoption. From there, I'm with the embryos, and knowing for sure that if we adopt it will bring us joy but also horrible pain over letting those embryos go. And possibly regret, and possibly some low-lying resentment toward the adopted child. Which obviously cannot be allowed to happen. Around and around we go.

And then I wish we didn't have the embryos. And then, horrible guilt over that thought. Then anger over being in this terrible predicament with no one to bail us out. With nothing to do but keep going and take the risk.

When I look at H and feel a sense of loss over the early childhood/pre-school years I can see evaporating before my eyes, I don't know if I should feel hopeful that we might do it again, or if I should cling more closely to this time, because it's the only experience of it we'll have. The answer is probably both, but the way I experience it is pure and painful limbo.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Modern Medicine

About a year ago (I am still too traumatized to look at dates or otherwise dive too deeply into the day), I was rushed to the hospital where they had to do a second D&C to remove the remaining pieces of my poor, broken baby.

My broken heart is another matter. Those pieces are still coming back together.

I want to mark this unfortunate anniversary with a comment on our health care system with regard to OB/GYN care. Miscarriage -- and other unfortunate complications of pregnancies -- is incredibly common, yet there remains a huge disconnect in the way providers address women who present with it. Warning signs are dismissed. News delivered insensitively, even harshly. Hurtful offhanded comments made. The entire (hugely relevant) emotional experience of miscarriage remains largely -- notwithstanding the rare, evolved obstetrician -- ignored.

I have been handed ER discharge forms referencing "fetal parts." Been told it's probably nothing. Given advice about it being meant to be, and told to "just try again." Last year, I called the doctor with a huge warning sign the day before I hemorrhaged at home and bought myself an ambulance ride, and was told to "monitor it" and call on Monday for an ultrasound. I still think about how nice it would have been to avoid one of the most significant traumas of my life by being brought in, calmly told there was remaining tissue and brought to the OR without drama.

And then, perhaps the most significant indignity of all, the one I shake my head at every time it pops in. After the second D&C, they brought my loopy, exhausted, shattered self upstairs to the maternity floor to recover. They put an ice pack in a newborn diaper for me to use. I heard cries through the walls. I had to see that fucking hospital channel that tells you how to take care of the baby you just had, if you were lucky enough to bring it out alive.

Get it together, doctors.

To every girl who has been there, may your own moments have made you a little tougher, a little wiser, a little kinder, a little better. "In the midst of winter, I found there was, within me, an invincible summer." -Albert Camus.

Monday, April 27, 2015

If Only It Were This Easy

I just got an email from Target with this subject line:

Baby Sale at Target

Are babies for sale? Because I am definitely interested, and -- in contrast to the Lilly Pulitzer offering -- I would actually line up for this.

In real life, things are a little tricky. We may have found a surrogate, but every step feels precarious.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Not a Weight Loss Plan I Recommend

One of H's teachers commented this morning at drop-off that I am looking great -- thin, but not too thin. Have I been working out?

Nope. Just lost the dead baby weight.

I said that in my head. Don't worry.

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