Monday, October 27, 2014


Please tell me that I'm not the only one who has infertility related breakdowns.  Like curled up in a ball on the floor sobbing for like an hour type of breakdowns.  I'm taking my sister's pregnancy/gender reveal really hard, and I guess I didn't realize how hard until last night.  Lets just say that it was ugly.

My husband and I are a fine example of opposites attract.  He is very logical, rational, calculated, level headed, thrives on planning and routines, etc.  On the other hand I'm very emotional, spontaneous, impulsive, dives headfirst into everything I do, etc.  Despite being polar opposites of each other, we really compliment one another and have a great marriage as a result.  While I know that infertility has hurt him very deeply, he and I are handling it in very different ways.  His grieving was a short, liner process handled within himself.  I have no doubt that he dealt with his grief in a logical, sequential manner.  But I'm not that way.  My grieving, on the other hand, is a long and winding road, full of hairpin curves, detours, and wrong turns.  It's really hard on him to see me hurting.  First because he loves me and doesn't want to see me hurt and second because he just doesn't get how I can still be grieving.

So back to the aforementioned breakdown.  Hubs tried to comfort me by telling me that I need to get over this and that it's not fair to my sister that I'm jealous.  Of course he said this a lot more sensitively and with different words, but that's what I heard.  It just goes back to he and I being so different and handling things in different ways, so I don't hold it against him.  Eventually he remembered that when I get in states like that, the only appropriate things that he can do are to hold me tight, tell me he loves me, and tell me that everything is going to be ok.

I know that everything is going to be ok.  I know that everything is going to get better.  But right now it hurts so freaking bad and I just want it to stop.  It doesn't feel like this is ever going to end.  I don't want to put my husband in a position where he has to help me pick up the pieces every time I lose it.  I just want to be a normal person who doesn't breakdown when somebody gets pregnant.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

My Crappy Week and Three Good Things

This has been a really tough week.  It seemed like everything collided and it was just rough.  I missed over a week of work at the end of September due to jury duty and I'm still not completely caught up from that.  To top that off, it seems like work conspires to have all meetings close enough together that it's hard to get a damn thing done.  But possibly the hardest thing this week was that my sister had her gender scan on Wednesday.  I was able to give my gender guess by phone without crying (barely) but later my idiot brother-in-law thought it would be great to tag me and hubs in photos of my nephew holding up a sign that said "It's a girl", my nephew holding up the scan pictures, and of their cute little family.  Thankfully I was able to hide the pictures and unsubscribe from comments and whatnot, but I still had to see them popping up on my news feed.  Then my sister texted to tell me that they had decided on a name, which coincidentally was "my" girl name.  Then at a meeting on Thursday there were three people showing off baby pictures (four people gave birth between April and June).  I was shown a picture, told the mother that she was cute and made a comment about her full head of hair.  Conversation ensued and I was asked if I was a "baby person" to which I replied "not really" and was then told that I'll change when I have my own baby.  I didn't even have the energy (and this woman is only a casual acquaintance) to tell her that no, I won't ever have my own baby.  Friday morning I got an email from a student saying that she found out that she was pregnant on Thursday and was freaking out a bit and was in no shape to come to class.  Also on Friday I finally told my mom that we decided to stay at our house for Christmas this year.  We decided that it was time for hubs and I to start our own family traditions because we've traveled every year we've been together and haven't had a chance to do our own thing.  She understands but took it hard.

After reading my previous post about emotions surrounding being child free (all negative), Obie challenged me to come up with a list of positive feelings about life without future children.  While I couldn't come up with 13, I was able to come up with a few.  I'll add to it as I come up with more.

Here are some positive feelings about life without children:

  1. Unencumbered- It is a nice feeling to know that I'm not going to have to consider children when making life decisions.  Hubs and I can do what we want without factoring kids into the equation.  When we eventually buy a house we can buy the house we want with no consideration given to expanding our family.  If I want to accept a new job, we can move wherever we want without worrying about things like switching schools or pediatricians. We can talk about whatever topics and use whatever language in our house that we want to without worrying that "little ears" are going to repeat what they hear at school.  It feels like freedom.
  2. Passionate-I think that one thing that most parents will agree on is that things in the bedroom take a hit when you have kids.  With no kids, we don't have to worry about this.  Additionally, without kids in the house we can be spontaneous and not worry about making sure the kids are in bed or that we'll wake them up.  I can say with 100% confidence that our sex life improved 1000 fold when we stepped off of the TTC train.  There are also bonuses such as, cough, not worrying about changes in your anatomy due to childbirth. 
  3. Connectedness-I can focus on the relationships that are meaningful and important to me without feeling guilt related to sacrificing time with my children to cultivate adult relationships.
This exercise was difficult but I think it was important.  Sometimes I get so lost in the grief and anger of this whole shit situation that it's hard to see through it and recognize that good could possibly come of it.  So thanks, Obie, for challenging me to do this.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Thirteen Words

 A month or so I blogged about how I was feeling really good but also that I was waiting for the bottom to fall out on it.  Well, the bottom fell out.  I'm struggling to find adequate words to describe how I'm feeling and put them together in a cohesive manner.  Here are thirteen words that attempt to describe how I'm feeling right now:

  1. Loss-The sense of loss is profound.  I feel like we lost out on experiencing so many good things because I happen to have a shitty reproductive system. It wasn't supposed to be this way.
  2. Anger-It's just not fair.  It's not fair that it's so easy for others.  It's not fair that we wanted a baby so bad and it just never happened for us.
  3. Inadequate-How is it that crack whores and teenagers are worthy of having a baby and we're not?  I have to think that these people are a hell of a lot less prepared than we were.
  4. Lonely-Infertility is so isolating.  I have trouble making friends as it is, and now I have even less in common with people than I did before.
  5. Left behind-Goes along with being lonely.  I can relate it to being the last kid picked in elementary PE.  Except this time everyone has babies but leaves you behind.
  6. Incomplete-How is it possible to have a hole in my heart in the shape of something that never was?
  7. Confused-Did we go far enough?  Should we have tried treatment?  Should we have started trying earlier?  Even though I know we went as far as we were willing and I know that even had we proceeded with treatment that it would have likely failed, I'm still second guessing our decision to not even try.
  8. Frustrated-Frustrated that all of our efforts were in vain.  Frustrated that so few people actually understand (or make the effort to try to understand).
  9. Betrayed-My body can't do what it is supposed to do.
  10. Guilt-Intellectually I realize that there is no blame to be assigned, but I can't help but feeling like this is all my fault.  That if I weren't broken we'd have a baby.
  11. Sad-Just so sad.  Even on the good days I am sad.
  12. Vulnerable-I hate feeling this way.  I hate not knowing when I'm randomly going to burst into tears.  I feel exposed.
  13. Scared-Are we going to be ok?  Is our life going to be just as fulfilling as we thought it was going to be a couple of years ago?
I'm sorry this is so heavy.  My heart hurts so bad right now and I just want the hurt to go away.  It gets better, I know it does, but right now I'm having trouble remembering that.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

The Things I Can Control

This week has been rough.  I've been on the verge of an ugly cry since the weekend.  I've been in a lot of situations in the past week where I've felt like an outcast.  So much of the lives of others revolve around their family and when there is a family centric conversation I have nothing to contribute.  What's worse is that some of the people have actually expressed envy that we don't have children and can do as we please.  I feel left out and I hate that.  To top it off, work has been pretty crazy too.  I'm still not fully caught up from being out for a week for jury duty, and now there's the hectic-ness of midterms.  I feel like I'll never get fully caught up.  I can't control any of that.

One thing that I can control is going to the gym.  Between grad school and TTC I hadn't regularly hit the gym for a few (too many) years.  Not surprisingly I lost muscle, gained weight, and wasn't happy with how I looked.  A few months ago I decided to go back.  I needed to reclaim this part of my life.  At first it was pretty rough.  I was in the worst shape of my life and results didn't happen quickly, but I stuck with it.  Yesterday I was feeling particularly sorry for myself and quite honestly I just needed something to show me that I'm pretty darn awesome.  As I was walking out of the changing room at the gym I passed a mirror.  Usually I avoid looking at myself in full length mirrors because I haven't been happy with my appearance in such a long time but yesterday I caught a glimpse of myself out of the corner of my eye.  I stopped.  Rather than critiquing myself I focused on the good.  The change.  I'm finally starting to see change! Admittedly I still have a long way to go, but I'm working on it and I'll get there.

When I started this blog I wanted to keep it anonymous, or at least semi-annoymous.  I never thought I'd post a picture of myself, but here I am.  I was so proud of my observations at the gym yesterday that I made hubs take a picture of me when I got home.  I should have done a true "before" picture, but this will have to do.  The picture is crappy and I look like hell (just got home from the gym), but I'm proud of the changes and wanted to share them.  So here you go: (picture removed for privacy)

Because I'll never take myself too serious and will always be able to laugh at myself, yes, my pants are too short.  When you're six feet tall finding pants that are long enough is challenging and at some point you give up caring (for gym clothes, not work clothes).  

Sunday, October 12, 2014


I'm not used to failure.  I set a goal, I work hard, and I achieve it.  It didn't work that way with having a baby.  We did everything we were supposed to do and more and it still didn't work.  The worst part is that I'm the one who is broken and it's all my fault. My husband will never have a biological child because of me.  I just can't get past that.  He says it's not my problem, that it's our problem.  The logical, rational part of me understands that it's not my fault.  I didn't do anything wrong, that sometimes even when you do everything right, you still don't get what you want.  I can't convince my heart of that though.  My heart is shattered.

*This post is brought to you by PMS, waking up with cramps at 5:15am Sunday, spending an entire weekend with my niece and nephew, and my sister complaining about pregnancy.  I'll be back to my usual, more cheery self soon.

Monday, October 6, 2014

The evolution of my Google searches

Last night my husband wasn't feeling well so we had a quiet evening at home.  He complained numerous times about his throat hurting, and since he refuses to take any kind of cold medication or even Tylenol, I figured a nice frozen margarita would help his throat.  As I was making his margarita (and one for me too, of course) I got to thinking about Tequila  at which point I realized that I didn't know what Tequila was made from.  Naturally this led me to Google where I entered "What is Tequila made from?" into the search box.  This made me think about how my google searches related to having a baby have evolved over the years.

Around 5 years ago (before TTC) my searches looked something like:
Could I be pregnant if I haven't missed a birth control pill?
How often do women on birth control get pregnant?

Around the time we started trying to conceive my searches looked something like:
How to get pregnant quickly
How long does it take for the average woman to get pregnant?
How long does it take to get pregnant after birth control?
Due Date calculator

A few months in to TTC my searches were gems such as:
What are the best kind of cloth diapers?
What is the best car seat?
Maternity leave laws in my state?
Birth centers in my area?

Then worry started to creep in:
How to take your basal body temperature
Ovulation charting
Ovulation tests
What does a positive ovulation test look like
How many times should we have sex to get pregnant?
Supplements to improve fertility
If you have a BFN at 14 DPO can you still be pregnant
Old wives tales to get pregnant

Then we made the decision to get tested:
Reproductive Endocrinologists in my area
Who is the best RE in my area
How long does it take to get an appointment at an RE
What types of tests will an RE run?

After we got the results:
What are the chances of getting pregnant with DOR without IVF?
Cost of IVF
Cost of IVF medications
What is IVF like
IVF success rates for women with low AMH
What do you have to do to get certified for foster care?

A few months after that:
Will we be ok if we never have kids?
Benefits of being child free
Childfree after infertility blogs
Will I ever feel ok after infertility?

It's funny to me how my searches have evolved.  I think back to the types of searches and how they painted an accurate picture of the worry that slowly started creeping in.  So to address my searches from a few months after we were diagnosed with infertility:

  • Yes, we will be ok.  In fact, we are stronger than ever.  Definitely stronger than we ever were in the depths of TTC.
  • Full nights of sleep, doing what we want when we want, not having to budget for childcare or a college fund, no dirty diapers, no teething etc.  Of course, we'll miss out on a lot too, but we're figuring out our Plan B and how it's going to be awesome!
  • I didn't even know what I would get when I searched for child free after infertility blogs, and what I found was a goldmine.  What I found was an extremely supportive community of women who have gone through this same thing who are willing to share their experiences so other women don't have to feel so alone.  Lisa's Life Without Baby blog and her book are the first that I discovered.  I read her entire blog from entry one to present and her book in a weekend.  Then I discovered Mali's No Kidding in NZ blog, which I also read from the beginning to present.  Then I discovered Pamela's Coming2Terms blog which led to the Silent Sorority blog and her book, which I particularly connected with for some reason.  Now I'm working my way through Loribeth's The Road Less Traveled blog. I'm sure there are many other good ones that I haven't even found yet! 
  • To answer the last question, I know that someday I will feel ok.  I'm doing really well right now.  I've felt ok for over a month, but I also know that I'm early in this process and the bottom could fall out at any time.  
While I won't lie, I would very much rather have a baby (or two), but the fact that I've found this super supportive community makes this crappy process so much more manageable.  Oh, and Tequila is made from Blue Agave.