A Week in the Life of an Infertility Survivor Pt 1

Hi All –

Wanted to remind those of you in the IF community about Justine’s #MoreThan1in8 project over at Ever Upward.  She’s asking for our photographs and stories of surviving and thriving that she’ll compile, in some surprise way I hear, for National Infertility Awareness Week.  Which is next week already!

I submitted mine a little over a week ago.  I wrote whatever came to mind (shocking, I know) and focused more on the survival aspect as I myself have barely entered the thriving part.  I sense I’ve got a ways to go before that takes hold.

Like Justine I do believe we have power and voice in numbers, and that it is past time for us to be seen.  So if you are in the place of being ready, have your submissions in by this Friday the 22nd.

My writing this week comes in a few parts, so buckle your belts and off we go……

 

The Pause

Musings of an Easter Scrooge

“Cover your left nostril with your right hand ring finger.  Inhale to the count of five through your right nostril.  Pause for one.  Cover your right nostril with your thumb, release your ring finger from your left.  Exhale through your left side to the count of five.  Pause for one.  Inhale through your left side to the count of five……”

I’ll never forget the first time I was instructed to pause between the inhales and exhales of my alternate nostril breathing.  The suspension, for me, was unquestionably luxurious.  I thought I had been introduced to a utopia of sorts, where neutrality and all else that is coalesced, emerging as the perfect cocktail.

In my current life, I’ve been having a decent stretch lately.  I have regained some of my ability to see into the future, at least a few months into it anyway.  What an oddity to have my future vision yield something besides dull blobs of blankness.  I’m slightly busy again, busy for the first time in six years with something other than baby making, surviving and grieving.  And more importantly, it seems I’m actually ready to be. Read more

JOY

The Trauma and Loss Survivor Version

“I know, I get it……Just one more thing infertility ruined.”

This simple yet all – encompassing phrase came from a support group member back when I was TTC (trying to conceive). She lived in the same town where my husband’s restaurant had just finished the construction on its expansion. And I, in the meager 6 weeks between IVF #’s 2 and 3, having just learned that our medical obstacles extended well beyond endometriosis and age, had not been in to see the outcome. Cannon balling my way into what was my most fragile, devastated time, I didn’t want to see people in my husband’s restaurant world. Read more

24 Ways Losing My Children to Infertility Has Changed My Perspective

My answer to the piece in today’s Huffington Post Parents, “20 Ways Motherhood Changes Your Perspective”

Alas.

I try to be the better human, I really do. Today was no different as my eyes passed over the Huffington Post Parents article, “20 Ways Motherhood Changes Your Perspective.”

I fought the temptation. “Don’t read it, S. You’ve got things to do”. My (supposed) higher minded approach to rebuilding my new life I didn’t chose is to focus on myself, not on what’s going on around me.

Apparently, that goes better on some days than on others. And to be honest, my raw material in this department is pretty shabby. So I succumbed, gambling that this might be an opportunity to vent some justly earned smugness. Read more

Back From the Future

When my mind got hijacked in an assisted living facility

I don’t worry much about old age. I know it’s a common concern for those of us who have ended up without children, and understandably so. Though my lack of caring has baffled me, I’m clearly burdened with enough in other areas so I’m actually glad for it in a way (while it lasts). I figure it’s either because A) I’ve got so much else on my shoulders I can’t see fear I do have, B) I’m far too busy grieving the future I lost to be bothered with apprehensions over the new one, or C) I trust that as a scrappy bitch I’ll figure it out when I get there and hey, besides a decades long future spent cold, starving and naked in a prison camp for a crime I didn’t commit, what could be worse than grieving the loss of my children anyway?

We all have our aspects of this child free not by choice thing that rattle us more than others – it is neither here nor there, worse nor better – it’s simply what is. And our individual triggers do not detract from the main truth that ALL of this, triggering or not, is both profoundly hard and life altering.

So you can imagine my surprise when one day….. Read more

The Social Unacceptability of…….

…..THE “WHY DON’T YOU HAVE KIDS?” QUESTION

I’m behind.

I’ve got a long list of posts to complete, some half written, and some that haven’t even made it to keyboard. I haven’t finished my post on that forsaken day back in May which I’m sure no one wants to hear about anyway, and I have yet to write about my personal National Infertility Awareness Week adventures from the end of April. I’ve realized my Why Don’t You Just Adopt Post, smartly called for from all of us by Klara, is not really a can of worms for me but rather a whole friggen boatload, so yeah, that could get messy. Sure, I can do messy, but I need TIME. In my dreams I wanted to make a condensed, easy to read list but we all know THAT rarely happens around here. So between that and the Obama interview given by John La Pook a few months ago that I absolutely have to mock, it’s no wonder I feel a bit inundated. And things were about to clear up so that I could get on this until…..until I went to the nail salon today. Read more

Riding the Waves of Grief

Reflections on my latest infertility survivor undertow

It is one thing to search for answers and fix and define. It is entirely another to be present for that which you can’t. Or shouldn’t.

I know that the band of supportive people who grace me with their presence will always be peppered by those who possess a tendency to perceive my grief as my own misperception. As something that is unique to me and caused by me. As a weak, misguided choice resulting from personal flaws that could be mechanically altered with a childish flip of a switch if I “just” chose to “see things another way”. But I know better. I know I went and continue to go through something that would bring the mightiest in this world to their knees. I know our primal gut is not a mistake. And that it is crucial to create space for its sacred mysterious intelligence even if empty souls chose to scream otherwise. Read more

Was That Really Me?

Evolvement in the midst of crap, trauma, and toddlers in fertility clinic waiting rooms

Below is a repost (with some new thoughts added on at the end) from this past fall from my old space on Blogspot.

I was in the middle of my fourth round of IVF in nine months and not feeling it at all. Every procedure, drug delivery, drug side effect, and doctor’s visit was a total slog. “I can’t stand this anymore. I really don’t want to be doing this. I cannot stand this stupid stupid fucking shit. I just want it to end. I just want it over. This is horrible. I CAN’T believe I’m still here. I would not wish this on my WORST enemy” was the soundtrack that played over and over and over in my mind. When you have had a total of 14 embryos transferred, 11 of them grade a, that have amounted to nothing, the notion that you might be working towards getting pregnant fades real fast. I was at the “I need to do everything I need to do to confirm we CAN’T get pregnant so that we can move on” point.

During this time I was sitting in my doctor’s waiting room anticipating yet another glorious vaginal sonogram. Having already started Lupron I was in the desirable mood of someone who had been forced to transition into menopause over the course of about 10 minutes. And as my luck would have it, it was also during this time that another patient in the waiting room had chosen to bring her little brat child along with her to her fertility doctor appointment. Read more