Friday, June 12, 2015


I'm not sure when it happened exactly.  But at some point in the last six months I feel like things that formerly seemed fantastic and impossible have now become ordinary.  My pregnancy problems have shifted from infertility fears (What if this isn't real?  What if I lose it?  Why don't other mothers experience the same level of anxiety that I do?) to normal-people annoyances (It's totally a bummer to not get to eat rare steak anymore, am I right?)  The squirming in my lower abdomen is so frequent now that I often don't even acknowledge it most of the time.  And when I think back to the days when I couldn't quite make it back to the apartment before I started crying, it seems like another lifetime entirely.

In one way, this makes me sad.  I kinda wish that the shadow of infertility would always hang over me so that I would be forced to appreciate every second of growing life as precious.  And on top of that, I sometimes feel survivor's guilt and I can't stop thinking about the people who would do anything to be in my position.  I still feel like I've somehow betrayed them.

But in another way, it's good.  It's nice.  Comments that people make in casual conversation don't hurt me anymore.  My mind is freed up to think about all kinds of things.  I get to remember what I first loved about school and friends and family and my life in general.  The whole world is no longer out to get me.  And I haven't seen that wench Aunt Flo in months, but I know that when I do her visit won't be accompanied by the feeling of my heart getting ripped out of my chest.

I don't know if me saying this will make any of you angry or bitter or jealous.  I know how awful it is sometimes to hear about someone else's joy (ESPECIALLY pregnancy joy).  But I decided to write it anyway in case it gives you hope instead.  Because the things that have power over you now may not have power forever.  In fact, one day, you may feel that they have no power at all.  Pregnancy doesn't have to be haunted.  Not for us.  We've dealt with all kinds of things that others will never have to and we've fought hard just to stay afloat.  But one day all that struggle might just end, and the armor and weapons we built and hefted around with us will drift peacefully away like falling leaves as our battle days become mere memory.  Like me, you may find that the transition is so quiet and so gentle that you don't even notice it happening.  And then you will have finally gotten one beautiful thing that you didn't have to fight for.

For those who are wondering, I'm having a baby girl. :)

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

A Long Overdue Update

Maybe I am a cat.

You know how someone decided that cats have nine lives?  I feel like I've got at least three.

There's pre-diagnosis me, post-diagnosis me, and pregnant me.  Let's call them Innocence, Depression, and Prongo Congo.

Innocence and Depression are dead.  Prongo Congo killed them.  She just belly flopped right on top of them and now they are dead.  That's probably why I was so nauseous for a month and a half because I was figuratively vomiting up my former self.  Day and night.  I know it certainly felt like an entire other person came out of me in barf form.

So now I feel like I'm getting to know me as an completely new person.  I'm happier.  I'm friendlier.  I'm lazier.  I'm crazier.  I'm a little chunky around the middle.

And just like making a new friend takes a little time and involves a certain amount of evaluation and hesitation (at least it does if you're an introvert like me), coming to an understanding with my new self has been a bit of a drawn out process.  Because the memory of my former selves still haunt me.

When Little Miss Innocence thought she was pregnant, she used to rub her belly several times a day and whisper, "You are wanted.  You are loved."  I don't do that now.  It scares me.  Like my verbalized affection will somehow make this pregnancy a figment of my imagination, too.  The most I can manage is just putting one hand on my stomach and breathing.

On the other hand, when Depression had hormonal symptoms and mood swings, she would go into a rage and rant at the world about how unfair it was she had to go through so much.  Prongo just laughs and takes it as a sign that things are ok.  Hormones are raging and for the first time ever that is GOOD.

But no matter what I feel about me and who I am and who I was and who I am/was becoming, I can tell you that I know exactly how I feel about my little one, affectionately dubbed "Bear Cub".  I love Bear Cub, and I cannot wait to meet him or her.

And I can tell you the exact moment I knew and my attitude changed from fearful distance to actual love.  It was when I first heard the heartbeat.  For a minute or two, my midwife couldn't find it and I was just lying there on the examination table with my pants unzipped and my stomach covered in goop completely terrified that there was no heartbeat to find and my baby was dead inside of me.  But then she did find it and it was the most beautiful sound I've ever heard.  She said it sounded perfect.  And then I went home and cried because I really like hearing the word "perfect" when it comes to my baby's health.

The second time I got to hear the heartbeat, I recorded a bit of it on my phone and it's the most reassuring thing ever to play it over and over and hear how strong and good it sounds.

So that's how I'm doing.  Identity crisis.  Lots of symptoms.  But a lot of joy and love, too.

Monday, February 16, 2015

I Don't Know What My Feels Are

So I haven't been blogging a lot.  And it's mostly because I don't know how to express what I'm feeling.  Because I don't really know what I'm feeling?  Feelings are weird?

When I was in the trenches my feelings were very difficult to experience, but very, very easy to articulate.  I felt sad/mad/bitter/resentful/hormonal/misunderstood/defective/alone/jealous/unfeminine/unhappy/unmyself.  Now my feelings are easy to deal with but I have no idea what they are.  People keep telling me I seem so much happier.  Am I?  Am I happy?  Is this what happiness feels like?  Could I really have forgotten what happiness feels like to such an extent that I don't recognize it anymore when I feel it?

After months of raging depression and ferocious anger, walking around and not feeling that way is strange and it feels a lot like being emotionless.  Don't get me wrong, I don't miss the emotion storm.  This isn't one of those things where I tell you that I started personifying my depression and came to view her as a constant companion and friend.  Nuh uh.  That jerkface can stay away forever.

But I am trying to figure out who I am without it.  And it's not as easy as just remembering who I was Before, because I'm never going to be that girl again.  That girl never had to deal with ANYTHING as hard as seeing blood on toilet paper and having no choice but to spend the rest of the day crying.  Those experiences changed me.  So if she's gone, and my barren hag persona is, at least for the moment, dormant, then who am I now?  And what does now feel like?

These are the things I have been thinking about lately.  I don't know if they make sense to anyone else.  They barely make sense to me.  But I'm figuring it out, and I'll keep you posted.

(P.S.  For those who have asked, and for those who didn't ask but are still wondering, I'm just over 8 weeks.)

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Pregnant Women Who Complain

So you know how one of the worst things that a pregnant woman can do around an infertile is complain about how hard pregnancy is and jokingly ask if said infertile reeeeeally wants to go through it?

Now that I am on the other side, I have some things to say about that.

First of all, pregnancy is totally hard.  Things I have gone through so far include:

1.  Running out of class to throw up.
2.  Walking home even though it takes an hour because I can't bike anymore without vomiting and my husband can't always give me a ride.
3.  Period-like cramps for TWO WEEKS STRAIGHT peppered with sharp pangs that I have never experienced as my uterus swells to an unheard of size (no blood, though, so no cause to worry).
4.  Waking up in the middle of the night to throw up.
5.  Throwing up for half an hour straight, so hard that chunks were coming out my nose, then getting a nose bleed as well so that blood and vomit are just spewing out of my face orifices in an endless stream of disgusting bodily fluids.
6.  Awkwardly avoiding questions from friends and family about my ttc journey because I'm not comfortable telling EVERYONE yet.
7.  Peeing like basically every seven minutes.
8.  Bloating and feeling fat and unattractive.
9.  Constant exhaustion.
10.  Difficulty sleeping because of all the stress dreams and the inconvenience of trying to train myself to sleep on my side when I've always been a sleep-on-the-stomach kind of person.
11.  Insane cravings.
12.  Super fun pimples all over my face.
13.  Inability to eat sushi or rare meat or soft cheeses or alcohol or excessive seafood (all my favorite things).
14.  Wild mood swings that have me sobbing one second and laughing the next.
15.  Fear and anxiety about miscarriage or complications.
16.  Throwing up.  Yes, this deserves FIVE spots on the list because, seriously, it is the worst.

These things are not fun.  They are, in fact, rather inconvenient.  But let me tell you something, ladies.  And I want you to know that I mean this from the bottom of my heart.

Even without all those symptoms, struggling with infertility is still harder.  SO MUCH HARDER.  IT IS NOT EVEN CLOSE.

Because all those things (except the mood swings and the anxiety, but they come with fertility drugs, too) are purely physical, and I can handle physical difficulties all day.  All day.  For nine months.  No freaking sweat.

Having the emotional burden of barrenness and fear that I will never get pregnant lifted off of my shoulders is HUGE.  I'm doing better in school.  I had five interviews last weekend for summer employment and I nailed them, even through the nausea.  In fact, I already have two offers.  I'm remembering all the good things about my life and enjoying being where I am instead of wishing, so hard, that I could fast forward.  Life is honestly, genuinely, dramatically easier now.

So I just want you all to know that when you grumble behind your compassionate nods as some fertile myrtle tells you that you're just so lucky to not have to go through what she's going through... you are so unbelievably right when you think about how wrong she is.  What you're going through is harder.  So much harder.  She will never understand.  But I will understand if you decide to slap her, because she is the worst.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Well. Look at that.

So... I'm pregnant.  (I'm going to tell the story, but I skipped to the conclusion first because I know that's easier sometimes.  Pregnancy is where this is going.  Read on if you would like to.)

One week ago, I lay in bed for about three hours debating with myself whether or not to test.  I didn't want to see another freaking negative but I'd had cramps for several days and no blood and I knew I'd go crazy if I didn't just take the test and be done with it.  Finally, when I really had to pee and couldn't put the decision off anymore, I went to the bathroom, did my business, and then angrily slapped the test down on the counter and got ready to cry all day.  I played a game on my phone while I waited to keep from looking.  But then, because I'm me, I glanced anyway.  I was already telling myself that no line didn't necessarily mean no pregnancy and that I had to wait a couple more minutes to be sure...

Only the line was there right away.  And it was really freaking dark.  Look how dark!

I've pictured my reaction to such a thing several times, but all I felt (and felt strongly) was complete and utter shock.  Just shock.  No thoughts in my head at all other than "Uuuummmm.......?".

I picked it up, stared at it while I walked down the hall, and woke up Husband.  Then I told him I was pregnant.  He mumbled something about how he was very sleepy but that he loved me sooooo much (he's not good with processing information when he's suddenly woken up).

So then I emailed KC, because of everyone in the world she understands most (having just gotten pregnant after infertility herself).

She was very excited.  And that made me really happy because I felt like someone should be and Husband and I were clearly not stepping up to the plate.  Thankfully, she told me that she felt the exact same way when she got her positive and sent me a picture of her holding up a pregnancy test with a "Meh, I'm not sure about this" face.  So that was reassuring.  And eventually Husband woke up a little more and called me back in with a, "Wait, what did you say?"

It's been a week since then and I am still not totally processing this.  On a conscious level, anyway.  I think that I've accepted the reality on a soul level, because I've been really, really happy.  Comments have been made.  "Why are you so dressed up?" (Meaning: Hmmm, you aren't in the baggy sweatshirt and jeans you've worn for the last several months out of an inability to care about anything at all besides babies...),  or "You sound happier than last time we talked."  (Meaning: Man, you're usually super depressing to talk to.  Today less so.)

I'm trying to be patient and not too excited because I know that the time I'm in right now is a dangerous one, that the rate of miscarriage for women with PCOS is higher than normal, and that if I get my hopes up then I will only be crushed if something goes wrong.  But if I'm honest, I think that there realistically isn't anything I can do about making miscarriage less devastating.  I just pray that it won't happen to me because I think I might never recover.

I've decided to keep blogging, but I understand if a lot of readers decide to stop reading.  No hard feelings.  I've stopped reading a few blogs because of pregnancy, too.  And in some ways I feel like I'm betraying everyone by getting pregnant because now I'm one of those women we rant about and I know I might cause some of you pain.  And that just sucks, as many aspects of infertility do.

But the truth is that a pregnancy after infertility is totally different than other, "normal" pregnancies, and I'm still going to need a community of people who get it.  So I hope a few of you stick around.  Either way, I want everyone to know that they mean a lot to me and that I wish them only the best in their lives, whether you stay with my blog or not.  You're all awesome people and I'm so thankful for each and every one of you.

That is what I have to say.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Self-Destructive Googling

Someone needs to put a limit on my daily Google searches.  I should get like three.  And when I use those up, there should be no way for me to Google anything at all until the next day.  Maybe that will teach me.

The following is a list of things that I Google that I SHOULD NOT GOOGLE and reasons why it is a bad idea (not that many of them need any explanation):

Number one:

Offending Search Term: Every symptom I have followed by the word "pregnant"

Examples:  "mood swings pregnant", "hair falling out pregnant", "my nose itches am I pregnant", "is nails growing particularly fast a common pregnancy symptom"

Reasons That It Is A Bad Idea To Search That:  As it turns out, every pregnant woman ever has had every symptom ever and they just freaking love to post about it.  I can't tell you how many times I've read some late night post by a woman who has just suddenly noticed that her toes are hairy or her freckles seem more pronounced and said woman wants to know what such a thing could mean.  Inevitably, there is an onslaught of assurances that she is definitely in the motherly way because Poster #1's sister and Poster #17's mother-in-law had the exact same thing happen and they were both pregnant with triplets.  A few days/posts later the original woman joyously announces that everyone was right and she was pregnant the whole time.  Only with sextuplets.  These stories, they give me hope.  But they should not.  Because my body is crazy and it gives me whatever symptoms it feels like and I fill in the gaps by making up the rest.  Each cycle there's a new one to convince me that this time and with this unique symptom I am definitely knocked up.  Yet I never am.  Turns out sometimes I just get really hungry or hate smelly things or have a metallic taste in my mouth for no reason at all.  Fun!

Why I Do It Anyway:  Because this time is different, you guys.  This time is the time!!

Number two:

Offending Search Term: "adoption agencies in my area"

Reasons That It Is A Bad Idea To Search That:  Because I'm not actually at that stage yet.  We're not in a position to adopt.  It's expensive and it takes a long time and I'm not ready to give up on conventional (or even unconventional) methods of childbearing just yet.  Only it turns out that when I'm not actually ready to help them, staring at pictures of children who have no (or who have really crappy) parents is super freaking depressing.  They all just want love!  How could their parents abandon them!?  And why did those parents get to be parents in the first place when I don't?

Why I Do It Anyway:  I don't know, really.  Maybe I'm hoping I'll fall in love with one of them and be saved from this whole process.  Or maybe I'm just a glutton for punishment.

Number three:

Offending Search Term: "pregnancy announcements after infertility"

Reasons It's A Bad Idea To Search That:  Ugh, this is a big one for me.  I watched some of these videos this morning.  There are so many on YouTube!  The wives usually set up some kind of cute surprise or present to tell their husbands and said husbands are shocked and keep asking "Are you sure?"  Then they tell their parents, who cry and scream and keep saying how happy they are.  Generally there's a lot of hugging.  And by the end of the video, I'm always sobbing.  One hundred percent of the time.  Ugly crying, too.  No single, powerful tear drop framing my face.  Nuh uh.  We're talking red-faced, scrunched-eyes, snot-filled bawling.  I'm happy for them, I'm sad for me, I'm generally emotional all over the place.  And then I'm in a mood for, like, hours.  Husband hates it.  I have to do it mostly when he's not around.  Which is worse because then I'm alone and crying alone is one of my least favorite things to do ever.

Why I Do It Anyway:  I get to live vicariously for a moment.  There's something gratifying about seeing someone else in my position get what I want and then broadcasting their emotions about it online.  And sometimes crying feels good.  I think when it builds up to a certain point I need to let it out, and these videos are a super easy trigger.

Some other things I Google that I shouldn't include:
nursery themes
cute baby announcements
my potential due date every single cycle
babies in Halloween costumes

And, finally, I have literally searched "when will I have a baby?" on multiple occasions.  As if the great internet gods can answer me and my results page will just say "tomorrow, and it will be a boy."  Somehow, that is never the case.

Do you guys have any bad Googling or internet habits like those?

Friday, January 9, 2015

Hosting a Baby Shower

Thanks to a heads-up from KC, it has just come to my attention that my sister-in-law (ie CSIL, ie The One Who Got Pregnant With Twins On Her Second Try and Is Already Ginormous) is planning to at some point ask me whether I would be comfortable hosting her baby shower.

My first response?


Because, actually, I was trying to think of a way to ask her if I could just not come altogether.  Ship her a thoughtful gift and just skip out on the festivities.  Being in a crowd of people excited about babies and talking about how wonderful it will be and how cute they'll be in all the widdle outfits sounds like hell.  HELL.  So, at first, I was medium furious that she would even think of asking me.  In fact, I started angry/depressed/confused/possibly-Clomid-induced crying immediately.

But... then I thought about it...

And this is something that I would have loved doing Before.  And there's only one opportunity for me to throw her a baby shower EVER because if she has any more kids after this they will probably be adopted and even if they're not it's unlikely she'd throw a baby shower for a second (or I guess technically third?) child because who does that?  And if I weren't all barren and depressed, planning this for her would be a really meaningful and special process, so it just sucks that PCOS would take another significant thing from me.  I don't want to let it.

But then back on the other hand, planning a baby shower for someone else while I continue to play host to a barren wasteland of shattered dreams sounds ill-advised.  If I go, I know that I will cry.  Probably in the middle of things.  DEFINITELY in the middle of things if I'm on Clomid.  And if I'm hosting it's going to be a lot harder to sneak off to do that.  Should I invite that pain?  Can I withstand it?  Would it be worth it?

I'm looking for advice here.  If you've attended or hosted a baby shower while struggling with infertility please share your experience and advice.  She hasn't asked me yet, so I have time to formulate a response.

In the meantime, my backup plan is to throw an over-the-top Venetian Masquerade Ball themed baby shower where masks are required and everything is so grand and distracting that no one notices the girl behind my mask is a stunt double and I'm in the bathroom crying.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Vacationing with the Normies

So I went to Reno with my dad this last week because when someone offers you a free trip to Reno, you say yes.  Especially since I've been wanting to get away so much recently.

Only, when I accepted, I did not think about the timing.  Turns out it's ovulation season.  The merriest season of all.  The problem?  Husband did not come on the trip with me.  He was leading a youth retreat several hours away.

Cue the scrambling.  Dr. Angry Eyebrows says we need to do the baby dance every other day and it's a three day trip, so fulfilling our quota is doable, but tricky.  I had to chart my sexytimes by the hour, y'all.

Monday:  Wake up early for sexytimes before embarking on separate trips.  Everyone was very sleepy.

Tuesday:  Sneak out of room shared with Girl I Have Just Met And Don't Want To Tell My Whole Life Story To Yet to take an ovulation test in communal bathroom and then carry it inconspicuously in my pocket back to the room only to find Miss GIHJMADWTTMWLSTY awake and chatty.  Make awkward small talk until she leaves and I can check the result.  No ovulation.  Great news.

Wednesday:  Repeat ninja ovulation testing.  Literally have to throw test under bed to avoid detection when Dad walks in.  Still no ovulation.  Drive home.  Two hour window alone with husband in which to have sexytimes before we have to go to a New Years Eve service.  Husband is going on two hours of sleep and has just driven for several hours.  He is not exactly in the mood.  Allow husband to nap for an hour and 45 minutes and then get it done in the last 15 minutes before we have to go.  High five over accomplishment.

Then we drove to church and welcomed the New Year.

Mission Success!!

But sheesh was it a lot of work.  This is the first time I've ovulated (or, ok, almost ovulated seeing as my first high day was technically today) during a week that I wasn't at home.  Not fun.  Especially not when I think about how I have no idea when this journey will end for me.  What if I have to schedule my life around ovulation for the next several YEARS?  I know some of you have done that already.  How are you still sane?

I think I'm going to start a business selling signs that say things like:

"I'm going to be in this bathroom for a while because my urine is about to tell me whether sex in the next few days is mandatory or just advisable.  Stay out.  Don't judge me.  And do not ask about the results or I will ask YOU very personal and uncomfortable questions.  For example, why aren't you married yet?  Is it because you're so nosy?  Is it because no one could ever love someone so invasive?  GO AWAY WHY ARE YOU STILL READING THIS."


"We're trying to create life right now; please leave.  YES, it has to be right now.  Right freaking now.  I'm as thrilled by the timing as you are.  But if it doesn't happen right freaking now then we have to wait another month, so if you interrupt us then you are contractually obligated to pay for my wasted month of drugs, my ovulation kit, and a month's worth of therapy.  You may also have to pay for a new face because I will claw the one you have right off.  Thank you in advance for your understanding."

Any takers?
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