Friday, August 29, 2008

No Guarantees

I'm a bit sad today, since this weekend marks the end of the summer, and the end of my summer vacation. Back to the grind, starting on Tuesday (with the kids coming in on Wednesday).

While I'm usually more than ready at this point to go back to work, I'm finding that this year, for the first time, I've felt that the time off was too short, and I don't feel at ALL ready to start. I half-heartily went to my schools, set up my spaces, but it was a struggle. I don't want to go back and begin all the mess and politics and bullshit. But, I have to.

I also, stupidly, think every June that perhaps, just perhaps, I'll be pregnant by the time school starts in September. And, of course it doesn't happen, so I go back for faculty meetings with a flat belly and watch the other teachers congratulating someone else on their pregnancy or welcoming someone back from maternity leave. And then I feel like shit because I'm jealous and sad and then I feel even worse because the pg/new moms don't deserve me giving them the stink-eye. And then the vicious circle keeps going around and around....

I think that also, the beginning of every school year also brings to light the fact that I'm going to be a year older; and, when going through infertility, every year that you're not pregnant and every year that you're getting closer and closer to the dreaded 40 is another year further away from the dream of your own child. Now, I do realize that many women my age (and older) have successful pregnancies and births, but who knows if I'll be one of them. There's no guarantee. Sadly, infertility teaches us that nothing in our reproductive life is a "given"-all those assumptions of "fall in love, get married, have babies" just doesn't happen in our least, not easily. And, for some of us, it doesn't happen at all. And it scares the shit out of me that I might be that person-the one who never has that baby.

Of course, the fact that we're trying to get our ducks in a row for possibly another cycle doesn't help the floundering feelings that I'm having right now. Is this the right thing to do? Should we, or should we throw in the towel altogether? In a stupid, almost naive way, I'm not ready to give up yet. I always have the glimmer of that old crusty bitch Hope in the back of my head saying, "Weeeelllll, perhaps if you do just one more cycle....". But, am I torturing myself, or should I trust that voice? Is it intuition, or just delusion speaking?

And, the worst thing of this whole thing is that there are no answers. There's nobody that can definitively tell you yes, or no. I hate that the most about infertility-it's so indecisive, so ambiguous. I like answers, I like dealing with the concrete, not the abstract, which is odd given I make my living in the performing arts. However, infertility's not like researching a character for a play or delving into a solo in a major oratorio. It has a life of its own, very similar to a little child-unpredictable, and unable to understand things that are too complex.

So, what to do? Right now, it's the waiting game. We think that we will probably cycle again, but we need to be prepared; or, at least as prepared as we can considering the situation. Will it suck? Totally. Am I ready? Well, as ready as I can be. We just have to dive in again, instead of just sticking in a toe, then pulling back.

And, that's that.

Our next installment will be all about that lovely mid-thirties rite of passage that we women ALL look forward to......Our First Mammogram. Believe me, it's full of insanity that only I could have the joy to experience. Seriously.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008


Yeah, yeah, I know that I did say that I would blog more. I even make up posts in my head while driving, putting together dinner, during my acupuncture appointments. But, somehow, they never make the connection from my overcrowded brain to the keyboard. And, it's been bothering me as to why. Is it because I've got writer's block? Or does that signal the beginning of the end of this blog? Perhaps I'm all blogged out?

Nah. I've figured it out-it's because I'm a lazy bitch, that's why. I've taken a vacation from my infertility; or, at least, as much of a vacation as one can take away from a disease, I suppose.

I realized that this is the first year since we've begun riding the ART roller coaster that we haven't cycled in the summer in one way or another-either a fresh or frozen cycle. This is the first summer I haven't either been sticking needles in my body or have had to stick things in my girly bits in 40 months. That's over three years, people. Wow. It's really mind-blowing when you think about it.

Quite frankly, I've enjoyed my time away from the RE and the loss of privacy of my nether regions. I did "cheat" once, however,to update some bloodwork and do an OGTT (oral glucose tolerance test) to see what the deal is about those "PCOS ovaries" the RE found (no results as of yet, but we're also dealing with that stupid-ass IVF Coordinator); but, otherwise, it's been nice not being chained to the phone, my injection kit, or having to reschedule plans around an operating theater or an ultrasound wand. I like not having a sharps container next to the coffee maker, or my dining room table becoming a back-door pharmacy, full of fertility paraphernelia. I especially like that I can enjoy a cup of coffee ("half-caff", of course) in the morning without worrying that it will affect my egg quality. I can make love with my husband and not feel uncomfortable due to swollen ovaries (although we stupidly are still having Baby Making Sex), or not be able to at all because we're scared shitless of doing anything wrong during the 2WW.

I've especially enjoyed not having to hear the post-cycle BFN phone call, and subsequent follow-up appointment. That's been my favorite......but don't tell anyone.

However, all good things must come to an end, and we're contemplating going through with IVF#5. It's a lot like being a kid (or teacher!) during summer vacation-even though it's great not having to be in school, September is sneaking up and tapping us on the shoulder, reminding us that we will soon be back to the routine. We've had some interesting developments in our household as to exactly how we'll proceed with it (it's a little bit of a touchy ethical-type of subject to write here, so if you're REALLY interested as to the dilemma, email me and I'll explain it in detail-perhaps one of you out there might give me a different perspective, and I'll certainly welcome that). I've missed blogging, and I feel badly that I've not been commenting (although I have been catching up on reading posts), so forgive me. I will try my hardest to do better (that is, if anyone's still out there in the blogosphere reading this).

The only things that sucks about my Infertilivacay is that I don't have any outward physical signs of my time away from IF-no "tan lines", sand in my hair, that cool "beachy" smell your towel gets from the mix of salt air and sunscreen, with exception of the 15lbs or so that I've lost. Nope, the signs are all on the inside-I'm not stressed out, not worried, no headaches, no marital tension, no depression and anxiety. I've still been doing weekly acu appointments, and I can count on one hand the amount of headaches I've had (and the ones I've had are nowhere nearly as bad as they were). I'm not feeling the pressure to succeed that I once felt. Sure, I want a baby, and I want the whole she-bang-pregnancy, birth and all of it. But, I'm not beating myself up over it as much anymore. I'm not feeling the bitterness at seeing a newborn, and wondering if this will happen for me. I'm not as angry as I was at God, the fates, or whatever else is out there.

I think that I've come to that elusive place called "acceptance". It's not that we're giving up TTC, not by a long shot. But, I have decided that I refuse to let it rule over me and define what my life should be. I can't change the past, and I can't predict the future (oh, but I do wish I could, though-at least, in this case!), but I CAN control my present. And, I'm tired of letting infertility "tell" me that I can't meet with friends, go on vacation, or that I have to work a second job I wasn't happy in simply because of the "possibility" of a pregnancy and birth of a child. I've lived that way for over three years, and I've cheated myself out of so many experiences and opportunities. But, no more.

I've found out that you can take a break, and still be okay. Does this mean that perhaps I'll be okay if we decide to be child-free? I'm not quite sure. But, I do feel that, somehow, whatever ends up happening, it will all be okay.