Cont.

As he would walk through the streets of downtown LA, alone, in his head he could see how beautiful some of the old buildings were he would see the clean lines and ornate carvings, through the layers of dirt and graffiti. He would dream about a time when those buildings were offices and banks and respectable places of business. Of what LA looked like back then.

He went to a high school in Los Angeles call Belmont. Where you were as likely to finish with a 4 year prison sentence than a diploma. He did well, got into college, and the day after he graduated he drove off in some crappy broken down car, to the bay area where he intended to go to Stanford University, and get a head start by attending the summer session. He had all the money he had saved, and he did attend the summer session, but being ESL, not knowing anything about financial aid, he spent every penny he had saved to attend that summer session. So he came back to Southern Cal, went to the Harvey Mudd colleges, and did a degree in physics. Then he went to Cal Poly Pomona and did another degree in architecture. He worked as a janitor and on the cafeteria on campus. There were whole semesters where he didn’t have the money to pay for a dorm room so he slept in his car. Somehow, he graduated from both places.

I’m going to omit his first wife and her family because it’s not fair for me to write about them without their permission, and because there are always 2 sides to every story.

But he was married before, and eventually they had a daughter together. Who is now almost 16, brilliant, looks just like her father, she loves animals, and school, I generally adore her. Shes funny, kind, well-meaning and way more poised and articulate than I was at her age.

The trajectory of my husbands career as an architect has been pretty impressive. He’s published a lot. ALOT! He’s well-known in his industry and for his skill and incredible design is always in demand. The recession has hurt us, but while a lot of his peers have lost their business, their homes, their marriages, we have squeaked by and come out a little poorer, but have not experienced the kind of devastating losses they have.

He has some kind of genetic hearing loss, which I believe works in his favor, because there are whole ranges of sound he can’t hear at all, and it works as a filter for background noise. I admit it drives me crazy when I feel like he’s not listening to me.

He was also diagnosed  last year with a mild case of Aspergers. Aspergers is a spectrum disorder like Autism. He love talking with people, connects to them, but he sometimes gets caught on a single though or opinion usually triggered by stress and can stay on it for a long time. He doesn’t always understand or need emotional connections. There are times when he’s hard to talk to. He’s highly intelligent, which is one of the things I love the most about him, he’s always curious about how things work, he is really well-intentioned and for whatever reason, this brilliant man, who has been through so much, and carries almost none of it with him, loves me. For sure I got the better end of this deal.

Vampires and Light Sabers

Monitoring Day 10. First blood work then ultrasound. Get it? Vampires and light sabers? Zzzzzzzgghhhttt zzzzzzgghhhttt. OK technically, that *might* not be how they work but its a funny mental image. To me. In case you haven’t noticed the inside of my head is a combination of song lyrics, images from popular culture, and random parts of books I’ve read. I think it’s about 70% song lyrics though.

The phlebotomists at the clinic I go to are actually really funny and nice all of them are wonderful, I’m not an easy person to poke because my veins are never visible, no matter how much water I drink. But they do a great job, plus they laugh at my lame jokes and generally are fun to be around. I mean “vampire” in the nicest way possible Like “Twilight” or better yet “True Blood” . I don’t mean they are like Vlad the Impaler because they aren’t.

After the blood work, I was waiting in the ultrasound room for the Dr to appear, for what seemed like forever but was about 15 minutes, with no pants on. The paper sheet over my business, knees together, because I am nothing if not a lady. Please note, time ticks very slowly when you are waiting sans pantalon.

The prodigals ovary was easily visible today, practically waving..”Why hello there! I have something to show you!” 2 follicles on the right side, 1 small one on the left side. The left has always been kind of an under achiever. It was visible too but more in a wallflower shrinking violet kind of way.

E2 was 321.3, FSH was 10.6, which is by far the highest my E2 has ever been at this point, and my FSH is by far the lowest it’s ever been on day 10. I don’t know if it means anything but I’m hanging an “under construction” sign on my ovaries, until Monday when the retrieval is scheduled. You know those Walmart happy faces with the hard hats on? Yeah. In my head that’s what it looks like. Little smiley faces with hard hats and hammers.

I am capable of giving really great advice, but then I get caught in the details and mired down in the minutia and don’t act on it. I’m going to try really hard to stop driving myself crazy with the “what ifs?” and the “what happens when?” and just try to take one little hurdle at a time.

Lupron shot tonight at 9:30, (Don’t forget to set your clocks back) ibuprofen tomorrow twice to suppress early ovulation, at 5 and 11pm.

I’m not really sure who is reading this or why, but it makes me feel a lot better to write it. It helps me keep perspective, helps me be sane, and it forces me to laugh at myself. This is serious business I’m joking about. It can be heartbreaking, terrifying, full of fear and anxiety ridden and that was just this week! I’m not trying to make light or make fun of that, but I refuse to live my life in despair. My outcomes matter to me. A lot. I’ve had more meltdowns in the last 4 months than I probably have in my whole life. The analytical and logical part of me finds that mortifying. There have been a few moments when I was ready to just chuck it altogether, but I think I’m starting to dig my heels in for the long haul.

Whats funny is, in my life, I don’t talk about how much I want a baby. To anyone. Ever. It was only when I started acupuncture that I think I said it out loud, other than brief discussions about it with my husband and obgyn. At the beginning I couldn’t say it without crying, so I’ve also probably cried more in the last 4 months than I have in the last 10 years. At some point there are 2 people I’m probably going to have to apologize to, but until then, they know who they are. Bless their hearts. Actually now that I think about it, I probably owe an apology to the entire staff at my IVF clinic as well.

Sigh.

One thing at a time.

In my last post I said it helps to have a good support system. I don’t have one. I have the beginnings of one, but I have relied very heavily on the 2 people I was just talking about. I am shocked that either of them still speaks to me. I don’t have a supportive or close family, my husband is a wonderful man, he’s an incredible father to his daughter, I love him like nobodies business and we have a good marriage but his Aspergers means he’s not always emotionally connected. I don’t have a ton of girlfriends, I have one. Shes one of the 2 people I mentioned. The support system is something I’m working on. If you are going through IVF, and have a good support system, thank them the next time you see them. Hearing about people’s estrogen levels, their cycle days, their follicle counts and geeking out on percentages can’t be easy for the someone who isn’t going through this. Thank them for their patience and their care.

And then come back here and be my friend.

What Im listening to:

Pins

Its been a few month since I started acupuncture. I researched, found a guy whose education and belief system I liked. Hes fantastic, really kind and caring. That was in November. The effects were swift, it helped me to relax, and more importantly it helped my body get ready for IVF. I started sleeping better, things bothered me less and generally I was just coping with stress better.

I spent a month or so feeling like I was finally climbing out of a really dark place that I’ve been in for a long time, and by long time, I mean at least 4 years. But finally a tiny flicker of hope, like a breath of fresh air, that I protected the way you cup your hand around a flame in the wind. The fact that the flame was so tiny, made me feel vulnerable, constantly on the verge of tears, raw. I was afraid of it, because while I am sure most people don’t wander around with a thick turtle shell on, in my world it’s never ever been safe not to. Incoming can fall at any time.

A few months ago I had a counseling session with my husband where for the first time we were talking about his Aspergers, coping mechanisms and expectations with the therapist. I felt hopeful, like I was doing it well, understanding and dealing with his brilliance, and his limitations. When out of nowhere he took a kind of right turn, started talking about his daughter, and how I really wasn’t a very good mother because of my upbringing. That I compared my family to hers. That wasn’t true. It infuriated me that he said that, and it sent me crashing to the ground with a hard humiliating thud.

After talking about it later, what he says he was trying to say was how far I have come in the 11years I’ve been in her life. How far away I was from the early times when I really probably wasn’t a very good mother to her. But the nature of his Aspergers leaves him sort of stuck on a single thought, sometimes for a long time. So he never got there.

To be honest, it threw me. I mean walking around in the world, all squishy and raw, it’s just not my strong suit. Add the holidays, my fractured family, that I’m not really feeling great about myself, and the fact that I am anxious about starting IVF, and what you have is a recipe for slime.

You saw Ghostbuster‘s right? That fat greedy, nasty, needy, little monster i.e. me, who is all emotional and vulnerable, has a conversation that spins off in the wrong direction and slimes you.

The slime is just some weird concoction of tears and snot so while not really hygienic it’s also not going to kill you. It’s just yucky. And so are all these feelings.

I’m trying to come out the other side at hope. Because yes I said it. I want a baby. The entire idea of procreation is one based in hope. Hope that you will be successful and that the baby will come out healthy. Hope that you can successfully raise the child without the scars your own parents left, and without too many new ones that you left. Hope that the world is kind enough to this child that it flourishes and doesn’t see the hard times you’ve been through.

At some level you hope it will redeem you. That it will be the truest love you have ever felt or given. Hope that everything will be alright. This is a child’s phrase, but in the end isn’t it what we all hope for? That everything will be alright?