Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Collateral Damage

If you think that the only shit to clean up after a miscarriage is of the psychological nature, you are wrong.

Here's what else there is:

-A baby bump to get rid of, without a baby to make it worth it. I've been thin my whole life, and I'm not going to lie, I've liked it that way. I was just -- just -- recovered physically from H's birth to the point where I recognized myself last fall. Then IVF, 1.5 trimesters of pregnancy and all the wine and ice cream sundaes I drowned my sorrows in afterward...and I'm not thin. I feel horrible, and I know I don't look like a thin person, and the worst part of that is there is no apparent explanation for it. I sort of want to have a t-shirt made that says "I'm fat because I had a miscarriage." I know this all sounds very vain, but there it is.

-As a result, wardrobe issues to contend with. As soon as the procedures were over, I wanted back in normal clothes. I would literally burn my maternity clothes if I didn't think there was a modicum of chance that we may still use a surrogate, and it might cut costs to ask her if she can wear some of the clothes we have. But I'm definitely not back in my normal clothes, either -- at least not the sizes I was wearing last fall. So I've had to buy fat clothes, and let me tell you, it is physically painful to do this.

-Bills to pay. There's a whole big billing mess with my fertility clinic that I might make you suffer through at some point; the short story is that they wouldn't actually take the insurance plan they said they took when I signed up for it, so we ended up owing $1,300 to them this year for the pregnancy monitoring. And other bills keep trickling in. I just received one from the perinatologist's office for $400+ for two ultrasounds; it's incorrect, so I am now in a super fun phone war with them to correct it. Oh, and my insurance company is still dragging their heels on paying out for the laminaria procedure pre-D&E, because apparently they think just for fun I went to the hospital one evening to have seaweed sticks shoved in my cha cha so they could safely remove my dead baby. I can't tell you what it does to my soul to have these arguments with these people. What I really want to do is tell them to pound sand.

-Stuff still in the attic. There are bins upon bins of stuff up there that I would love to sell, but still can't, because if we do make one of these embryos into a person it will be a boy, and the thought of buying that stuff all over again makes me want to go to sleep right now. So we remain in limbo, not using those things but not free to sell them, either.

-Just the general shitiness of living in a super fertile town where everyone has lots of kids and many people seem to take that for granted. I am reminded everywhere I go that we are different, and not in an electively cool alternative/hip/indie way. Different in a mother-nature-shit-on-us way.

To counter all of this suckage, I am in the process of getting a puppy. Which isn't going to make it go away, but is going to make things a little bit cuter.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Stuck.

I haven't written, because I'm not sure what to say.

The clinic won't do it. They won't let us take my friend's other-worldly offer to carry our baby.

I can't get into the particulars -- this is a real person who has been through enough scrutiny and discussion around her reproductive system. We knew all along that she wasn't the "ideal" candidate on paper that you'd get by going through an agency. She was ideal in every other way -- every way that matters in someone you're considering putting your embryo in -- but something in her pregnancy past gave the doctors pause. And ultimately, after a lengthy review, the risks spooked the docs too much to give us the green light.

What can I say about another heartbreak? About all this torture with nothing to show? About having to say no to someone offering to make you a baby when you can't do it yourself? About the fact that we're left with four frozen embryos, and all I can think about is the fact that one of them might look like his brother H -- but we'll probably never know?

I get up every day and give it my all. I haven't missed a beat with work. I laugh and eat and read and exercise and even enjoy myself a lot of the time. My life is good. But someone is missing.


Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Mother Nature Doesn't Read Her Memos

I've had all the physical signs that ovulation happened this week.

Yeah, that seems useful.


Sunday, September 7, 2014

Highs and Lows, on an iPhone

I went for a nice long walk/run today. One of my favorite parts of walking, other than zoning out and often clearing out enough fog from my brain to elicit new ideas, is listening to music. I recently discovered the wonders of Pandora radio -- I love choosing an artist based on my mood and listening to the mix of similar music on "their" station.

There's a commercial around here for a fertility clinic that Pandora plays (for those of us who don't cough up the fee for their service) from time to time. It begins, "Are you having trouble getting pregnant?" and I swear to you, every time I hear it, I come this close to throwing my iPhone into the Long Island Sound.

It came on today and almost killed my good mood. Almost.

But then Earth, Wind & Fire's "September" started playing and, just as it does every time I hear it, it gave me the feeling that more good things are coming, right around the corner.

Friday, August 29, 2014

One Good Folder



I'm organizing my office, finally. And part of that is finally, finally addressing the monstrous file folder of tests, procedures and sad outcomes that make up my infertility/miscarriage medical records. The folder was brimming over, and every time I used the drawer I would have to curse, because the papers would hang out and create problems when I tried to close it. So I'm sitting here organizing everything into categories of misery.

But for one. There's one new folder, now exclusively devoted to H's pregnancy, and even though that pregnancy had its own baggage, it makes me happy. In it, there's this photo. One of the embryos here is my H, the most hard-fought win I've ever achieved. My best work. We can all take an educated guess at which one he is, which one looks classically as if it would have stuck. But then again, we all know that in this game, surprises are everywhere.

One of those embryos is my H. I've had a rough week, been feeling emotional about the loss, feeling uncharacteristically whiny. And you know, no matter what people say about infertiles just needing to appreciate what we have, it's really ok to whine when you've lost a baby. Whether it's your first or fourth. Whether it was easy to conceive or not. But in the end, no matter what happens, this photo, this result, this family I have -- it's all that matters. Don't let me forget that, okay?

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

New World Order

The thing of it is, I think I've done pretty damn well. I haven't missed a beat with work. I've been very present with H and enjoyed so much of the summer. I have moments when I feel carefree, when I almost forget. I really do.

But it's still like a dark shadow. The...angst, I guess. The pain. The fear. I am so afraid of what happened, of what it means. And, maybe more than anything, I'm really fucking angry.

Every time I pay yet another medical bill ($500 for the second surgery paid yesterday...a drop in the bucket), I seethe. We'll finally be free of all these bills, we'd thought. Finally just have a normal year where we're not paying our copay for another D&C or our fee for someone to put our egg and sperm together and make a ball of cells that maybe, just maybe, might be more than wasted.

Every time I see someone with a baby I just want to demand to know why it was all too much to ask that I get my sibling too. That I be done. That I never have to spend another minute wondering about whether H will be an only child. That I close the book and return it to the Library of Sad Stories, satisfied with my hard-earned happy ending. Why.

And then I self-loathe over the sense that I shouldn't be upset about others' babies, that it shouldn't bother me. That I should be more graceful and less envious. But then I feel like I've spent so much time being happy for others, too, genuinely happy, and why can't I just add another baby to our family without having to feel guilty or greedy. I've been a good sport. And around and around it goes.

Today I was going through receipts and found one from a few days before The Bad Ultrasound and I had this odd urge to jump into the story and rescue the heroine from all the doom. Don't look now, but after you pay for those groceries you're about to walk into a total shit storm. Brace yourself accordingly.

And sometimes moments flash before me, like scenes from the battlefield. The moment I stood in the bathroom outside the OR before I went in, my round abdomen propping up the hospital gown like a circus tent, the last time I'd see myself pregnant. How I told him goodbye. And that I was sorry.

These are the things that keep me feeling different. That keep me clenching my teeth so tightly the pain travels up the side of my head and makes my jaw sound like gritty sand when I move it.

Our surrogacy plan is in question. It's not over yet, but there are some hurdles to climb. The future still feels so uncertain, and it's so painful to know I had the answer in me but we just couldn't get to the finish line.


Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Over the Hump

Would-be delivery day came and went, thank God. I spent it with old friends, wrapped in the comfort of familiarity. I didn't know what I'd feel like doing to commemorate where I should have been, and in the end, what I wanted to do was enjoy the day like any other.


I don't know if that's a betrayal or not.

I do know that I'm glad the phantom pregnancy is over. Now when I see a pregnant woman I don't have to compare where I would have been in mine with hers.

Only thing is, now there's a phantom baby. 

 
design by suckmylolly.com