Nothing Good

 

Wednesday afternoon I was out doing errands.  I was about 8 blocks from home, fully stopped at a stop light and was rear ended. This person tried to drive off but I got out of my car, stood where he was trying to turn, so he would have to run me over to get out and took a picture of his license plate. He finally pulled over. I went to exchange insurance information and low and behold he didn’t have any. In fact he didn’t even have a drivers license. So he gave me his Mexican drivers license. Which would have been super useful if I was in you know, Mexico.

The police don’t come to the scene of accidents unless someone is bleeding in CA anymore, so I actually had to schlep myself into the police station to make a report of the accident today. Waste of my time, anyone?

My lower back was in a really bad spasm by the time the evening rolled around. I had promised a friend to do some stuff with her the next day, and because of time limitations I did it. On Friday I went to the Acupuncturist/Chiro and he declared “uh your back and neck are really torque, in fact it looks really bad”.  Perfect

Consequently I spent half of today on the phone with the personal injury group of my insurance office, made 3 calls to the guy who rear ended mes insurance office, had an appointment to get my cars damage assessed, and having to make a formal statement to the police.

Our Doxie has spent the last 2 weeks at stepdaughter moms house (they like to spoil him) he’s put on 3 pounds and hurt his own back going up the stairs at their house on Thursday.  They didn’t take him to the vet and so when we got him back on Friday, he was dragging one leg around and couldn’t go up or down the stairs, and seemed to be in a lot of pain. Saturday morning we took him to the vet, who said he has a herniated disc. He is on pain pills, steroids, has a good appetite, but is sad and is now dragging both legs like he can’t feel either of them. We took him back to the vet today and he now only has a 50/50 chance of recovery and the surgery is 4500.00. Turns out the vet we took him to on Saturday didn’t give him a cortisone shot, and so the price of this surgery just make our vacation impossible. Did stepdaughter bio mom offer to help pay for this surgery? No. Did she apologize? No. Will that poor dog ever go to their house again? NO! So this poor animal will spend the next 3 days in at the hospital having spinal cord surgery.

I’m scheduled for an X-ray of my neck and back on Thursday. My day 10 monitoring appointment is tomorrow. What does all this mean for me? I’m not sure. I have no idea whats even happening this cycle so I’m just trying to go with it and hope for the best. But the anxiety, worry and stress have crept in.

Anyone stressed out just from reading this?

My Chiro told me that the places I experience pain in my back may shift over the next 2 weeks as one area overcompensate for another. Today, my neck on the right side is really really painful, as is my  mid, lower left back.

Am I ever going to have a time where I can actually focus on my attempts at getting pregnant without all these other things ruining my peace of mind and raising my stress level through the roof? Because it doesn’t feel like it’s ever going to happen.

 

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Friends

I had my cycle day 2 appointment and my stats were as follows.

FSH 6.4, E2 82.2. No visible follicles on either ovary. 5 months ago this news would have terrified me, but now, I will take it. For some reason my protocol is different this time. No Clomid, no stimulating drugs. Yay! But I am being given 2 tablets of Estrace a day with no monitoring again until day 10. Usually I monitor on day 8 but again OK. Dr Yelian, my RE called it Hormone Replacement Therapy, which I kind of prickled at, since I associate that term with Menopause but he assured me no. So let’s get on with it and see how it works out. Next week I will know more. He said not to count on an egg retrieval this month. Weirdly I’m OK with that too. If it happens then great, if it doesn’t, well It’s not a complete break but at least there is no Clomid involved.

Now as I’ve become known for doing, I’m going to abruptly switch subjects.

I’ve always been the woman who has more male friends than female ones. It worked for me for a long time. I find some of the cattiness and pettiness’ of my gender sometimes hard to take. I hate when women agree to go to lunch together and someones pipes up “I only ate a salad I don’t want to pay the extra 2 dollars so can we all just get separate checks?” among other things. I am a girl I know that were not all like that but its one of those things that’s always bothered me.

Consequently when I began this journey I had one girlfriend, that I’ve known since high school, with 6 kids of her own, and she was living in Canada, so we couldn’t even talk on the phone most of the time. But I leaned on her, she said all the wrong things, meant well, and I had to forgive her for that because fertility is obviously not something she’s ever had an issue with. Shes been an incredible friend to me though and I wouldn’t trade her for anyone. I had my acupuncturist who I leaned rather heavily on, and he’s tolerated way more than he should have ever had to.

I’ve spent the last 9 months really trying to make girlfriends. At my age, its hard. But without some kind of support I’d be writing this post from a padded room somewhere. My blog has helped, its given me a starting point as to explain myself and my situation. Slowly over the last 9 months I’ve made friends, real friends who I respect and love and would totally break a nail for. Women who struggle in their own right, with fertility, their weight, making their lives into something they are content with living. Strong women who are on their own journeys. Some the same path as me, and some not. Intelligent, educated women who know better than to be judgy or petty. Supportive women who can handle my mood swings and my frustration and sometimes anger and fear. They are there for me, and I am there for them, on their own journeys none of which are easier than mine.

Much to my joy, I’ve also become friendly with some younger women, one special one who is going to help me learn to knit, who loves animals and is on a break from blogging. We will conduct these lessons via skype because she lives in upstate NY and I live in CA. Another young one who is taking her LVN boards soon and will then go back to school for her RN, and another who is just struggling in general about who she wants to grow up to be.

For the first time in as long as I can remember, and I do believe that’s somewhere around middle school, I have a group of girlfriends that I really adore. Who defy my own petty judgements of women and who make me laugh and who I’m thrilled to cheer for and who cheer for me. It’s nice to get out of my head and do things for others, little things that I hope in some small way brings joy to their lives and reminds that they too have a friend, and make them feel a little more loved.

You know who you are…

It’s such a relief. To have a support system that forces me not to isolate, that can take me out of my head, and who make me laugh like a cackling maniac. Its not easy. But its possible. Just like getting pregnant.

Do I get discouraged. Yes. Do I get tired, yes! Do I have fears, yes! Do I let it define me? No. Do I let my sadness over not being pregnant become my new normal? No.

That doesn’t mean I don’t get all worried and OCD about things. The loss of control in the process is one of the things I struggle with most. That and displaying the Queen Victoria like she was the crown jewels. I still find it mortifying. There are at least 5 people in my REs office I’m not sure I will ever be able to look in the eye.

This month I will do my best to walk bravely into the great unknown and hopefully come out the other side with something good to show for it. That being said, I don’t know what that something good might be.

Baking

 

Cycle 9, CD2 Monitoring update:
My appointment is at 1pm. And because for some reason I am nervous about both this appointment and this cycle, I spent last night and this morning baking stuff to take to the Dr’s office. Like I can feed them into getting me pregnant. The plus side is that I haven’t had so much as a taste of the things I’ve made for them, the downside is, it is clear that I am a nervous baker. A nervous gifter. I’ve baked 18 chocolate cupcakes with raspberry butter cream frosting. Flavored with the jam I made last week. I’ve baked 18 chai spice cupcakes with chai spice butter cream frosting. 1 loaf of banana nut bread and fresh lemon bars made from lemon curd from my tree, and a shortbread crust.

I need to make 2 acupuncture appointments for this week. And I need to be focused on the positive, and the idea that whatever will be will be. I cannot control this process, I cannot control the outcomes or  that the Circus aspect of my cycles bothers drives me crazy. I have to accept it, I have to recognize that my care is in the hands of capable people and trust them.

It’s a hard word trust. Maybe harder for me than most. I don’t do blind faith very well, not even for God. My “experiment” with accepting the crazy of my cycles was in my opinion, a complete failure. All of this has to do with my resistance to being vulnerable. I’ve always been the strong one, the tall one, the one that no one ever stands up for. That has put me in the position of being afraid to be vulnerable. Afraid my vulnerability will be seen as weakness. Afraid I will never find redemption for all my failings.

I still haven’t committed to our family vacation and my husband is waiting, kindly, patiently for me to come to my senses.

So I will come to my Dr’s office today loaded with baked goods, trying to start the cycle with sweetness and a good intention.

I will see what the cycle brings and try to hope for the best possible outcome.

 

Procrastinating

I haven’t posted much this week. I’ve been waiting for shark week to begin. I finished the Provera and Estrace early this week and while I have lots of cramps and back pain, no period. So I’m waiting. I never thought Id be one of those people who actually wanted their period to start, because mine are painful, with a lot of um, yucky symptoms and discomfort.

Normally in July we go on vacation, but because of a screw up in schedule (by his ex-wife) we’re technically not supposed to go on vacation until August. I’ve booked the hotel, but not the flights. Because I don’t know what this cycle is going to look like or where I will be within it, I am afraid to commit. For once in my life I am the procrastinator. If I am completely honest I don’t feel like I can go on vacation this year but after what will be 9 cycles of this my husband DESERVES a vacation. Between the pressures from his work and everything we have been through we both need some time to get away and have a change of scenery.

I’m not sure I can do that though. I told him when it looked like my last retrieval would become a blast that if it did I would take August off and we could go and do whatever he wanted. It didn’t. So I’ve been struggling with feelings of guilt since then. Struggling with feelings of trying to be the balance between the IVF crazy and my husband and family. Of what I want, and what he deserves. I still have no clear answer and the longer this period takes to come the less likely it will be that I go on vacation with him and his daughter.

Whats worse is his daughter knows nothing about any of this because if it fails why bother telling her?

It would be the first time we didn’t spend this time together and we are both uncomfortable with it. He says well then we just wont go, but I tell him he should plan on going without me and if it works out I can make it then ok. His face shows his disappointment and while he doesn’t say much about it, I know how disappointed he is. I know he feels like he’s taken a backseat for the last 9 months. I don’t really know what to do. Normally I can make decisions about this sort of thing really easily but I’ve been told by my RE that if I take a break “there may not be follicles when you come back”.

That’s such a definitive and scary statement. There it is. The truth. I’m scared to stop.

Logically I know missing a month shouldn’t be that big a deal. I mean in theory no meds mean my ovaries would get a rest and maybe things would look better in September. I don’t know. The what ifs and the what might happen make me so anxious that it becomes very hard for me to make a good decision.

There is no fortune-teller at my Circus to tell me that it will be ok no matter what I choose but I really wish there was.

Mother of all that is holy. I am a person of science, I cannot believe I just wrote that sentence. I don’t believe in fortune-telling. I believe we make out own luck and we make our own choices.

But here I am still frozen.

If it comes this weekend I can monitor on Monday and maybe still make the vacation window. If it waits longer than that then I’m going to have to find a compromise with my husband because he doesn’t ask for much and I have a really hard time saying no to him.
In my last post I promised a picture. Here’s today’s. It’s a pie chart with my blogging/work/life process. Enjoy.

Driven

I have decided I’m going to take some time off. Not off blogging really but off the pressure of giving regular updates about what is happening with me. I will still do it often but not to the degree as before.I’ve decided this will also include a picture and will be descriptive of some of my personal process.

So here we are.

The question is: “Who inspires you?” and my answer is so simple. Steve Jobs. Whv? Because he refused to settle for bullshit. Because he refused to  allow mediocrity to drive him. That being said in many ways he was a terrible person. I acknowledge that. Completely. But overwhelmingly those people look at their work and are proud, of how they were driven of his perfectionism and of his overwhelming loyalty towards form over function.

I cried when he died. Not because he was an ass or because he was famous but because he inspired me in every way possible to do better, to reach and to strive for better. And because privately I rooted for his magical thinking. I rooted for him to beat his cancer.

Everyone in the tech community knew for ages before he passed how sick he was. and how thin and frail he looked. But no one had the balls to mention it, not to him. the dreamer of dreams.

I pulled over on the freeway the night I heard he died. And I cried. Like Id lost a relative or a lover. To this day I can’t explain my admiration completely but he was amazing. And we lost him too  soon.

 

 

 

低调

Its been a tough week. Thank you to everyone who commented on my arrested post. I loved your willingness to be vulgar and awesome all at once! For some reason, the thought of women I’ve never met cursing on my behalf so I didn’t have to was really comforting. I’m not kidding. Thank you.

3 more days of Provera and Estrace, and a few days after that a new cycle will begin. The 9th one. I bought a new package this week. There will be 3 more attempts, at least. I never thought I’d be one of those women that goes through this month after month. I never thought I’d be someone who would be willing to do anything to have a child. But apparently I have become THAT person.

It’s just one more way my life is unrecognizable to me.

People ask me how I keep going. The truth is, I don’t know what else to do but keep trying to move forward. I try to focus on the future, and hope for the best. More and more I try to make my mind quiet, and with some practice maybe eventually, I will get good at it.  There are days though that I fail epically. I had at least 2.5 epic failure days this week. Including crying so much during acupuncture the Dr. put little wads of tissue in my ears so that the tears didn’t pool there. While useful I’m certain it wasn’t my best look. But then crying with my nose running and my eyes streaming red isn’t my best look either. I admit it. I’m a really ugly crier.

2.5 is  better than 7 but I’d like to do better.

Its hard, but I’m trying to get into the habit of allowing myself the grace to dream and hope. I can’t always see it and that scares me a lot. But if I focus and let my mind wander, I can see myself, and my completed family.

There it is again. Those words, hope, dreaming, and an implied faith. While all of this sounds suspiciously cheesy, I will take that over cynical, bitter and angry every day of the week. With every single fiber of who I am, I do not want to become that person.

I was that person for 2.5 days this week so I’d like to issue a blanket apology to everyone who saw me, drove near me, talked to me or had to interact with me in any way during that time.

Someone said something to me today that resonated with me.  低调.  The translation is something like “blessings arrive in tune”  like music, but what it really means is “low-key” as in good things happen when you’re not shouting the house down. It’s a Chinese proverb that I need a lot more practice with. A whole lot more.

I’m going to keep practicing, and continue trying to quiet the cacophony of noise, thoughts, anxieties and worries that are in my head. Someday, the silence is going to be peaceful and amazing.