Saying Goodbye to the Circus

I’ve seen a lot of posts lately, about people’s successes, and truly I am so happy for each of you who has toiled and suffered and worked so hard for the shimmering happiness that comes with getting a longed for positive, with each week that passes that brings you closer and closer to the safety zone. I do not begrudge your obsessive pee sticks, your burgeoning belly shots and your tentative steps toward a cautious joy. I  happily root for you. I sincerely hope that each of you finds that. I hope I find that.

But the posts about resentments have always made me wonder if I was a good fit for this community. How different my belief systems are, how much older I am,  how different my experiences have been, and all the ways those experiences have shaped me.  I don’t understand how you can wish like crazy for a baby and resent someone who has been on their own path through hell, a positive pee stick or a belly shot. Even in my current state of grief, I can’t grasp this thinking. I can’t wrap my head around it. I understand it. I’ve felt those twinges as well, but I have never given in to them. I never will allow myself to.

To be completely clear, I do not judge you if these are your feelings, they are yours. But I do not understand them in the grand scheme of things.

“Coming out” on Facebook has been nice, sort of. But embarrassing and kind of humiliating. The truth is I don’t think most of my “friends” really want to read about the misery I am currently experiencing. To be honest, I’m not sure I want to continue to share it. If I am brutally honest, I think it was kind of pathetic on my part, to call attention to it. Clearly it was me reaching out into the void, looking for support. I’ve said all  along I don’t have a support system. That has never been clearer and more “in my face” than since my embryo died. I call it an embryo because by medical definition, it wasn’t a fetus yet, and I can’t handle calling it a baby.

Yesterday, someone I respect said to me, “You are right. You really don’t have anyone in your life, like a best friend or a spouse that supports you, so you can’t afford to fall apart. You’re going to have to be stronger.”

This statement made me really angry, because after all I’ve been through, I feel entitled to be weak for a minute. I feel like I deserve to be allowed to fall apart. The truth is, he was right. I have no one that will pick me up again so I AM going to have to be stronger. I am going to have to keep putting one foot in front of the other because there is no one else to do it for me. No one to share my burden.

This most recent series of posts that I’ve read and posted, has made me wonder if I have lost the purpose of this blog. When a Circus becomes a Horror Story perhaps its time for the Circus to close down.

That’s what I’m going to do.

I will not be taking the blog down. I will be reading and responding to comments, but I no longer think this is a positive means to express my feelings about my journey. I have decided I will try IVF again, but I have a lot of ugly to get through first. I think its best sorted out in private, so this will be my last post here.

I have found I really love writing, though I’m not terribly good at it,  and you will now be able to find me at The Luncheonette.

It’s still under construction, but I think it will be a more complete representation of who I am. I will be sharing a menu of my travels, photography, food, my husband and stepdaughter, things I think are funny or inspiring, books, music, movies, my observations of the world, and my immature shenanigans.

I want to thank the IF community for being kind to me, for supporting me and tolerating my sometimes controversial posts. For reading even when I’ve been a bitch or my posts have sucked. I know in my heart that the day will come for each of you when you hold your baby(s) in your arms and feel happier and more complete as women, and as part of families.  My email address is jlko@att.net if you want to stay in touch.

I hope it’s not goodbye, I hope it’s just so long, and I hope to see you at the lunch counter!

Jeanette

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Secret

How many of you are on Facebook? How many of you need more than the blogging community to vent, discuss, complain, cry, and have people who completely understand what you are going through to talk to, even if they are virtual strangers?

I have started an IVF Peer Support group on Facebook. It’s a “secret” group meaning no one but the people in the group ever see the posts, and it doesn’t show up in anyone’s feed unless they also belong to the group. I can guarantee your privacy.
Anyone who is dealing with infertility is welcome. From whatever stage you are in, you don’t have to be doing IVF, from first diagnosis, to starting Clomid or whatever, doing IUI‘s, IVF, anyone with autoimmune issues, anyone facing issues with fertility, including those of you that are now pregnant.

There is an embryologist in the group, and a nurse, so there are times that you can get your questions answered straight away. I will invite the RE from my clinic from time to time, to answer questions if there is anything that is really urgent and pressing.

The purpose is to get advice, share experiences and stories, give and get support, make friends, and have someone rooting for you, no matter what.

I’d like to open it to this community. If you’d like to join please contact me at jlko@att.net. I’m happy to answer any questions you might have. If you are uncomfortable with it, I understand, but I hope you will at least consider it. Lastly I do not work for nor am I compensated by my clinic, I started the group because as its well documented here, I just don’t have enough support at home.

The group is small now only about 8 people, but I’m hoping it will grow. I just wanted to offer, because crappy as my day has been, I’m determined to find a silver lining. And this might be it.

101

My last post was post number 100. I didn’t even notice.

I went to the RE today for CD7 monitoring, I have 1 follicle still on the left ovary that is 12.1. FSH is lower, *weird* E2 is about where it’s supposed to be.  It’s grown exactly 6mm in less than 5 days with a natural cycle. Which as of this morning is no longer natural. I’m on a new protocol this month, where instead of Clomid, I’ve been prescribed Tamoxifen. Which I am only familiar with as a cancer drug. Because my mother took it for 10 years, before being diagnosed with breast cancer for the second time. That scared me a little, however it seems my RE has discovered that it acts (stimulates) similarly to Clomid but doesn’t thin your Endometrium or cause your LH to surge unnaturally. I monitor again on day 12 (Tuesday) to see whats happening. I imagine, since I’ve done this 10 or 11 times before, that I will trigger, and get a retrieval at some point next week if all goes well with the new meds. In 10, 11, oh who the hell knows, how many retrievals, I’ve never had a dominate follicle come from my left side. Ever. I’ve gotten a follicle or 2 from it before but they always wind up being the immature ones.

My left ovary is all wallflower-ish and under achieving. Like me in High School. Kinda. It’s the one that’s most easily visible and isn’t in a weird place like my right one, but it’s generally kind of lazy. Who else has 1 lazy ovary? How do you get it to be less lazy? Tell it, “You’re grounded until you produce a follicle?” Seriously, is there anything anyone can do to wake the lazy one up? Throw ice water on it? Poke it? What causes one to be lazy? Is there a difference in the egg quality?

Its been a busy week. Remember how I took Chinese III (Mandarin) a few months ago? We this semester I decided since I’m at home alone a lot at night, to take Honors Economics and Honors Political Science and Chinese IV, for fun. Note to self: Stop making decisions while hopped up on fertility meds or in the middle of a depression after a failed FET. Most people would avoid making decisions during times like that. Not me. Bring on some school, and some homework, and some new pencils, and SHUT THE FRONT DOOR this is expensive! Yes. I am an idiot.

My new “plan” is actually going pretty well so far. I’m avoiding the people and the “friends” and the situations that don’t add something positive to my life or my day-to-day. Instead, I’m trying to focus on friendships and classes and activities like Yoga, that make me feel better about myself. I’m also trying to avoid added stress and while the classes “might* have been counter intuitive, I have to admit it does feel good to have my brain engaged in something intellectual. Add a little more exercise and I should have a good recipe for how to better manage the outside stressors in my life.

Since I had to get a scrip filled from the Dr, I stopped at Costco this morning after my appointment. Where I got the scrip filled and decided to bring home some flowers for no other reason than because I felt like it. Usually there has to be an occasion. But not today. Today I just want to be surrounded by pretty, happy, peace and serenity, and there doesn’t have to be a reason. Right?

Lanterns

Lets see.

Yesterday was Fathers day in which I attempted to avoid a sunburn because my husband sprayed me down with 70 sunscreen. GUESS WHAT? I now have strap shaped sunburns where he avoided rubbing the sunscreen in because of my bra straps. Dude, we have been together for almost 12 years are you kidding me with this bra strap crap? It’s going to go over well at the “he’s trying to kill me hearing”

I had acupuncture today which hurt like a mofo because Shark week has still not appeared. Although my back and right ovary have been killing me. Which wont matter to either of them because they are busy in their ray bans with their skinny jeans laughing and making fun of the fact that I was doing the same thing to them like… 30 years ago.

Of the 2 people that joined my IVF Clinics Peer support group one is now pregnant. I’m happy for her seriously, she’s had a rough go of it, she’s a good 1000 years younger than I am, but all the same, its proof this method works! Now lets just get it working for me, that’s all I’m saying. Linda, all the very best at your second Beta on Wednesday!! Everything will be crossed for you.

Emily finally called last night from Hong Kong, there is a Typhoon warning and they aren’t leaving the hotel much, and while I hope shes safe from harm I also kind of want to laugh at her mom for taking her on such a craptacular vacation. I know its awful. I’m sorry its mean but seriously? I’m a white person, and even I know Hong Kong in June is a bad idea. All that aside it made husband really really happy to hear from her.

We bought 2 bronze Japanese lanterns for the yard yesterday for 45.00. They are both from the 30’s, Pasadena, and probably Green and Green. They look fabulous they way he hung them. Now that part of the yard is complete we need to look at the next area. He got what he wanted on Fathers day. For once he read my blog and loved what I wrote about him being a dad and all I’ve learned from him.

Now I need to find a way to untangle him from me.:p

We are planning a party for sometime this summer. I kind of want to ask my RE and my Acupuncturist, how weird would that be?

I’m considering making raspberry jam, and I’ve had a lot of requests for my bracelets so I’m going to keep up with that. I’ve promised my friend Kate to learn to knit better.

In the meantime, when it starts again I will blog about my fertility struggles. Until then its just me and weird sort of boring life.

Love youse!

Fathers Day 2012

Husband is sleeping in this morning. If you consider sleeping past 6:30 sleeping in. I went to bed before he did so I’m up and chipper and ready to go and he’s still got that face on him that says “what the HELL is WRONG with you? So I’m letting him rest.

Were going looking for an antique Japanese lantern thingy today. For the yard. It’s what he wants for Fathers Day. Since the unfortunate sunburn incident from Mothers Day, this requires me to be hosed down with 70 sunscreen, like I’m 4 (with roughly the same amount of whining), and me wearing a hat. If it were up to him, Id also be wearing on of those Chinese lady visor/welders masks, and carrying an umbrella. Even though I am the crazy one, OBVIOUSLY,  I have to draw the line somewhere.

He’s just lucky my hat isn’t one of those Hatfield & McCoy hats, because that was a HAT. Kevin Costner couldn’t make it work, there’s no way I can.

Its been an uneventful week.

By uneventful, I mean stepdaughter finished the 10th grade, and left for Hong Kong for the next 10 days. It’s the first time we wont have her on Fathers Day and Husband is sad. In the next few days she will also turn 16, and we will miss that as well. Don’t ask, it’s not supposed to be like this but her mother can be really unreasonable sometimes and somehow we got Shanghaied into it.

I also mean I made a new friend, in person, for the first time in as long as I can remember. Shes fanfreakingtastic! HUGE SHOUTOUT!

I dropped a bottle of nail polish in the bathtub which was not very good as my bathtub is white, and my nail polish is red and now even though I’ve cleaned it up, as much as I can, it still, slightly resembles a crime scene.

I finished the Provera and Shark Week should be here any minute. I was hoping maybe Friday but as usual my ovaries are doing whatever they want. Like the anarchists they are, obscene gestures and all, it is still not here.

I know I have a penchant for waxing mushy about my husband but he’s such a great Dad. He helps his daughter with school projects, he loves her to pieces, is encouraging, is patient and kind and funny with her. They look exactly alike and she’s an incredible kid.

I’m not jealous, but I want that. I want him to be a Dad again, and I want the opportunity to do it with him. He sets the bar pretty high but honestly, because of him, because of all these years of learning from him, I think it would make me a better mother.

Happy Fathers Day to all of you, if you are a Dad, have a Dad, or someday hope to be a Dad, Happy Fathers Day! I hope it’s a beautiful one.

Apricots

Apricots have nothing to do with fertility but I’m in the lull between one cycle and the next so I’m going to make preserves. Who makes preserves anymore?

I do. Damn good ones I might add.

I have a secret. Mine contains about 70% less sugar than the ones you buy in the store. Why? Because if you add sugar, and wait, osmosis draws out the natural sugars from the fruit and you wind up with preserves that actually taste like fruit, preserves that hold their integrity, and don’t go bad any sooner than any other jams, jellies or preserves.

If you skim the extra syrup off the top when the preserves are boiling and put it in jars, you have syrup as well. For pancakes or crepes or french toast. The preserves can also be used in cookies, so throughout the year, when I’m baking I use preserves from my kitchen, and something about it makes me happy. Because I like to know what I’m feeding my family.

Apricots smell like summer to me. They look like tiny butts, and have that rosy blush on them. I love their colors, and I love how they look when they are all lovely and orange and golden in the jars when I’m finished. Like the summer sun.

There was a post recently that got a lot of responses, about birthdays. And the idea of being an “old” mother. That they were the child of older parents and because of that, grew up embarrassed of their parents. A lot of people commented, apparently its a fear a lot of women in their 30’s have.

I never wanted to be an “old” mom. If I am honest, the post and the comments really hurt my feelings. Because clearly lots of women in their 30’s blog about infertility, and so there are a whole group of you who support each other. Which is fantastic. But it made me feel isolated in my wish for a child because I am over 40. My own mother was 37 when she had me. She had my younger brother at 39. As a kid yes, there were times that my parents embarrassed me. But I’m sure it wasn’t because they were old, it was because I was a kid and parents are embarrassing when you’re trying to become more independent, especially in front of your friends.

My parents were born in 1935. They were depression era parents, meaning that they were born during the depression, remembered going without, so wasting food was not ok. I had 3 older brothers and sisters, so I never had a pair of shoes someone else hadn’t worn until I was 13. I had to share a room with at least one of my sisters until I was 14, because there were so many of us, and we varied in ages by a lot. My oldest sister is 13 years older than my youngest brother.

Every summer, my mother would take a few weeks and “put up fruit and vegetables” I learned how to “can” from her. I remember when she would do blackberries, and blueberries, the entire kitchen would be purple. She also did beans, tomatoes, strawberries, cherries, peaches and apricots. The mess used to drive me crazy, we didnt have a dishwasher. Plus its really hot work.

I don’t do all that. I do a little, and mostly I do it because it reminds me of good times with my mom. Because people like them, and I like to give them away.

I’ve had a bad week. In fact the last few months have been really, really hard. I try hard to keep busy, making things, doing something constructive. My embarrassing, old parents taught me that the best way to keep yourself out of trouble when things are bad is to keep your hands busy. To not allow your mind to be idle. To make an intention and toil toward the future.

Maybe its better to be young parent. Maybe. Or maybe the world would be a better place if we stopped judging ourselves and others by their age without knowing their circumstances. Did any of you love your parents less because of their age?

Somehow I’m betting the answer is no.