Thursday, March 26, 2009

Fighting the Funk - Some Strategies

I have to post something else here. My last few posts are bringing me down, down, down.

And I wanted to tell you that we are feeling better. (I know I have probably said this a hundred times between December and now only to roll back into some sad) But hey, today is ok. Roll with me.

Ever since the nadir, we've been trying to pro-actively nip this funk in the bud. And I wanted to share some of our strategies. Not saying they'll work for you, or will even work for me every time, but sometimes a combination of them eases my shoulders back a little:

1. ) We've been using these acupressure points - on ourselves and each other. The head points were actually a mandatory home work assignment from my acupuncturist after she witnessed my full meltdown on her table Friday afternoon. They help. I swear they do.

2.) Today is the fifth morning in a row I've gone to the gym. Not just gone, but worked my ass off there. M and I went on Sunday when neither a long walk nor the pressure points helped and I've been going ever since. Instead of crawling back into bed when M leaves for work, I throw on my gear and walk out the door with him and keep walking to the eliptical machine. No weight loss or muscle tone to report just yet (I may even have some weight gain - damn you, pro.vera) but M. swears he can see a noticable difference in my attitude and energy level. I think I can too. Cool.

3.) I have been trying to listen to what people are trying to say to me - not in their words, because let's face it, if I really took all of them at face value, I would get mad every time (no, I'm not going to "get over" this. And yes, we are trying again but I could have a hundred babies and I would still never have Iso.bel or Jo.vita. And no, this isn't "just life." Why should it be?) - so, no. Not the actual words, but what they are trying to tell me when they search for the words. Because there isn't a handbook on this shit and this isn't easy for them, either. I think what everyone is really trying to say is, "we love you and we are here for you, you silly girl, even when you aren't willing to see it. We love you."

4.) I have been reading and re-reading and then reading again your comments on the last few posts. And then sharing a good number of them with M. Particularly those on how you have handled your own memorial services. It is so easy for M. to dismiss other people (see #3) with a "they don't get it" or "they have no clue what we are going through." Ah ha! Those excuses don't work in this little forum, do they? Your words and thoughts have proven invaluable. And I've been meaning to email each and every one of you privately. I hope to get to that soon....

5.) We are going to bed at a rational hour at night - for some reason, we were staying up until past midnight on most nights without any good reason. We used M's freaky work schedule as an excuse, but that's normalized now, and so have we. I think that has helped a lot. Sometime I sleep through the night; other times not so much, but at least I now have a fighting chance at getting a few hours' sleep.

6.) We are planting okame cherry trees by ourselves (well, us and the sweetest retired park service employee you'll ever meet) this weekend. And I feel so relieved. This feels right. What to do on April 11 is still undecided. I think that will work itself out closer to the date. Everyone we have talked to so far has been so kind and understanding about this. Why did I think they wouldn't be? I'm an idiot.

So, there you have it. Nothing really new or revolutionary here. I guess it boils down to trying to eat, sleep and act right with a little bit of acupressure thrown in for good measure, but wow. Hey. It's working. At least for now.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

The Nadir

We woke up this morning and told ourselves today would be better. A day would never be as hard as yesterday. I hope we're right.

You see, on top of everything else, this weekend was the time we had always assumed Iso.bel and Jo.vita would arrive. A few weeks early, but still ok. Here in time to help us welcome spring. Obviously, that didn't happen.

Instead, we spent the day picking out invitations to use to invite people to a "memorial celebration" and I spent the afternoon writing them. Only for M to decide a few hours later that he didn't think he could make it through one. And perhaps we should rethink it all. Not planting the trees, just having others present. All the invites are sitting in their envelopes. Unaddressed, unsent.

The celebration dinner never happened. We got all gussied up, made it to the restaurant, and got as far as bread on the table, one cocktail ordered. M. simply crumpled into tears and started saying something about wrestling magazines and San Diego. And I couldn't understand a fucking word but it was pretty clear that all appetites were lost.

It seems that when I was in San Diego in August trying out the "P" word, M was walking home from the store with magazines in hand and a car pulled over to the side of the road to congratulate him on the wonderful news. That person was the owner of the restaurant we tried to be in last night (and also the girlfriend of our super smooth next door neighbor who looks like Clint Eastwood. That's how she knew.)

And being in a place that reminded him of those happy times was simply too much.

So, we put money on the table and drove to his parents house because we didn't want to go home. Gourmet meals turned into pizza and subs and our company became 3 loving standard poodles who curled in around us, fancy clothes and all. And that helped.

I woke up feeling hopeful this morning, but that feeling has faded and the sad remains. I can keep it together, until I think about interacting with anybody in any way other than email or skype. I don't want to use my voice because I'm afraid it will crack and once it does its all over.

So we are practicing some radio silence today. Over and out.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Feeling Just a Little "Off"

Yesterday, I was walking to a meeting downtown and I walked right past the building I needed to be in. Overshot it by a few blocks before I realized that I had. Thus making me late for my first meeting on the day. One of those everyone turns-around-and-stares-at-you kind of late.

I should probably note it was the fucking state capitol building that I missed.

Once at said meeting, I ran into a colleague who asked me really quizzically, when are you due? I kept thinking she said what do you "do" and I was so surprised because I thought for sure that information was old news. No, she said when are you due. Because women never forget, do they, when you share good news. So I explained and she sighed. And we hugged. And that just about threw the rest of my day off. Never mind I had to head straight to another meeting and give a pretty detailed presentation to my Board of Directors. That went ok. At least that what my co-worker (and friend) told me. I was on auto-pilot. I really couldn't tell you. I hope someone took notes on what I'm supposed to do.

It's the weekend of my cancer remission anniversary, and these last few years, this seems to evoke more of a melancholy than a joy. 21 years cancer-free. Tomorrow. Woo. Now if only they wouldn't have fucked with my ovaries. I bet they would have been just fine where they were.

I had this sick, sick thought the other night, post-sex, post hearing chicklet's amazing news...I was thinking, oh my gosh, maybe, just maybe. You know where I'm going with this....and then I remembered that I could actually see the surgical clips where my ovaries should be on my last HSG.

Surgical clips don't ovulate, no matter how much estrogen you feed them.

To combat this funk, I just signed up to be part of study I learned (thank you, FertileHope) my very own clinic is doing on the effects of cancer treatments on female fertility (short answer: it seriously fucks with it). I told them they could mine my medical records for any and all info they thought could be helpful. Just have at it. They said word. Sent consent forms, asked me to schedule an appt to talk.

This weekend also marks two years since our first visit to that fertility clinic. I have to laugh. We tried to play it off so cool. Oh, we're just checking out our options. If it looks promising, we'll see what can be done, if not.... If not what? We're funny. We crack me up.

This weekend also marks the five year anniversary of this really cool thing we did once upon a time. Sure, I'll link out. Anonymity be damned.

It's also M's sister and M's grandmother's birthday weekend.

M and I have reservations to go to this fabulous restaurant tomorrow night to celebrate (with the help of an Xmas gift cert from M's sis). But I would like to get into a better frame of mind before then. It's far later on a Friday morning than I would like to admit right now. Not only am I not at work, I am not even bathed. Fell back asleep after M left for work after an almost 100% sleepless night and only woke when my acupuncturist called to see if I was ok. Completely forgot I had an appointment this morning. Shit.

So, I'm take the day off work, hopping in the shower, calling my acupuncturist back, opening some windows and trying to take some deep breaths. Today, I am alive and for that, I should be thankful. I'll get there. I will.

Monday, March 16, 2009

In the Midst of a Regular Day

Yesterday M and I were driving around, running errands. I was on a rant about something. M. was chiming in. This is what we do. We rant and rave, drive around and shake our fists at the world and laugh at how ridiculous we are.

In the midst of this, M. said, "man, you're gonna make a great mom."

And I paused, and I held on to that. Because he said it without thinking. He said it naturally. He didn't wince when he said it. It wasn't tagged by an "IF" or even a sigh. It was just said as if it were a statement of belief. It was said like we used to say things to each other. It was said like he meant it.

And I have to belief that there's still a little hope in that sad little heart of his. And it was utter joy to hear it sneak out.

And he wondered why I wanted to hold his hand at the grocery store.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Show and Tell: The Blue Room and a Borrowed Bass Guitar

Recently painted (twice. the first attempt at creating my "womb room" with a light peach turned out simply creepy. Note to self: Walls the color of flesh are not soothing....)

Recently stocked with a borrowed bass guitar and amp.

Already filled with a hand-me-down day bed and bits of this and that.

This is kind of a multi-purpose room in our apartment. It holds our largest closet (unseen) and the spare bathroom filled with books (also behind a closed door). Our inflatable kayaks live in here, dry out here, get stashed here, as do all the fertility meds. In a few months, this is where I will shoot up with lupron every morning and (hopefully, eventually) PIO every night.

But for now, it is where I am teaching myself how to play the bass guitar. Which makes my husband laugh and me smile.

This is my first time on Mel's weekly Show and Tell! Want to see what it's all about? Imagine a grown-up virtual version of the show and tell at school - Head over to Stirrup Queens and check out all of the other folks who have something to share with you this week.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Honest Scraps, Sisterhood and More

(holy crap, this post took forever to write)

In what world does "ASAP" translate to "over a week later"?? Mine, it seems.

First, sincere THANK YOUs! to lostintranslation from We Say IVF They Say FIV , Brendan and Brenna's Mom at Living Without Brenna and Brenna from the Real Bean who nominated me for an Honest Scrap award. lostintranslation also threw in a Sisterhood award there too. Cool! Next, a sincere apology for not having my act together to share the love sooner.

Before I get started, a quick update: we are better. At least better than my last post. Better than this one, too. Trying hard to talk things out, trying to say "yes" to invitations and to minimize our time on the couch, in front of the TV, wine in hand. Don't get me wrong, that course of action was incredibly healing for a while, but maybe that while has passed. Warm weather is helping. Planning for the tree planting ceremony we hope to have on Easter weekend is, strangely, helping. Thinking about what I want Barbara to make for me in her new Tiny Moments of Pure Joy shop is helping.

Some days I am so agitated, sensitive, annoyed and aggressive all at once I cannot stand myself, and I am sure I am pushing the limits of others (I am sorry L. I am sorry John).

Note to self: having babies that die does NOT give me a free pass to be an asshole for the rest of my life.

I should probably write that down on a piece of paper 100 times.

But when I'm not being an ass to the world around me, lately I have been struck by this other very strange feeling. The only way I can explain it is a sense of knowing. Almost as if I am pregnant already, like babies are a foregone conclusion. That someday soon, I will be changing diapers and life will be different. In a good way.

I don't mean to be presumptuous. Not at all. There is no chance of a "miracle oops" here. To be blunt, I got no fucking eggs. But that hasn't swayed this feeling. Would you call it a premonition?

I don't want to speak too much about it. Fear of jinxing, etc, etc. And we still have a bit of a wait before our next cycle begins. ETD: one month from now? But it's there. And I'm not really minding it.

And now on to the awards. Here's how it goes. For Honest Scrap...

1) Choose a minimum of 7 blogs that you find brilliant in content or design.

2) Show the 7 winners names and links on your blog, and leave a comment informing them that they were prized with "Honest Scrap." Well, there's no prize, but they can keep the nifty icon.

3) List at least 10 honest things about yourself.


Bass in your face! Maybe you recall me mentioning that I've always wanted to play bass guitar in a punk rock band. Well, ain't nothing to it but to do it. I decided last week that talking was for posers. I bought a bunch of books on Amazon and was in the midst of consulting with friends and checking craigslist for cheap starters and a friend said, hey man, I got one in my garage, you can totally borrow it. Just remember, it's a loaner. And OMFG, what a loaner. I am now staring at a GORGEOUS Fender bass guitar and an amp (complete with crystalized piss on it and a missing screen). I can almost play a Violent Femmes tune. How rock star is that?

2.) I can't decide if I love the recently added aspect of my job which has me schmoozing and lobbying with legislators, or if I think it is just about the silliest waste of my time ever. I think maybe both.

3.) I am finally figuring out how to make homemade pizza dough. Without it sucking. And I haven't even pulled out Sarah and Alan's super secret recipe yet. That's coming out soon...

4.) I have a bad habit of buying a lot of stuff for myself while I am Xmas shopping for everyone else. This year, I picked up a green and gray striped waffled long underwear shirt from the Tommy Hillfigger outlet. This is back when I had babies in my belly. I wore that shirt every day. I loved it so much, I went back and bought any other color they had (which wasn't much). So now, I rotate between 3 striped long-sleeved shirts. M is puzzled as to what, exactly, I wore before these shirts. Neither of us can remember.

5.) I miss being in the know. We resigned from our brief stint as nightlife insiders for a local rag when my pregnancy started to progress and M got his new job that was connected with the local newspaper (potential conflict of interest). Despite several really sweet requests, I haven't picked up that pen again, and now there is a new writer/editor there. I don't miss the deadlines and trying to track down flaky artists for interviews, but I do miss the recognition, the invitations, the feeling that we were part of something cool here. Some folks remember, but I'm sensing that will fade fast. Sigh. Back to paying at the door.

6.) I will never buy something that is not on sale.

7.) Getting my inflatable kayak last summer was one of the best purchases (on sale, of course) that I ever made. I cannot tell you how much I love being on the water. Why, oh why hadn't I thought of this sooner? Right now, I am staring out my window wondering if it would be absolutely foolhardy to attempt a float down the river tomorrow.

8.) I wish I were more creative. I wish I could do things like my friend Matt. I have closets full of yarn. Why can't I get beyond the basic scarf and hat? I bought a whole bag full of cross-stitchy gear months ago in the hopes of creating some subversive cross-stitch designs of my own. Hell, I even got some pastels and scratchy sketch paper hoping for some inspiration. Matt told me to go take a line for a walk and see how it ended up. Well, it ended up stooopid. Where are my juices? Why won't they flow? I love art supplies. New pens! Blank canvas! But I am not sure I ever had the talent to fill them.

9.) We have rediscovered box wine. Seriously. Have you tried this? It's not great. It's about as good as two buck chuck, but we dig the cool recycled box. In these economic times.....Whatever. 4 liters! Holla!

10.) The public library is the bomb. M. discovered that our local library somehow has an amazing CD collection that they continue to update and expand. And you can search through the entire public library system and have all your stuff sent to one library. And its all there waiting for you. It's like Xmas every day. At least one of us walks there at least once a week. So even on the crappiest of days, there is almost always a treat waiting for us at the end of a short stroll. How cool is that?

And now, for the Sisterhood award,

Put the logo on your blog or post. Nominate at least 10 blogs with great attitude and/or gratitude. Be sure to link to your nominees in your post. Let your nominees know they have received the award by leaving them a comment on their blog. Be sure to link this post to the person who nominated you for the award.

And because I am lazy, I am combining the 2:

and my nominees are:

Mick at WannaBeDad (yeah, I know. You're a dude. But I think you're the bomb. And I think you are man enough to post a Sisterhood award on your blog. In fact, I double dog dare ya)

Mo and Will (Mo is my Hodgkins homie. So, so grateful to you reaching out to me. So happy to watch you and Will move forward)

Lori at Weebles Wobblog (Lori has probably done more to help me shed my adoption anger and angst than any other person. I wish every kid had a mom like Lori.)

Little Bluebirds Fly (I may not comment on every single post. But I want to. Our journeys are so similar, yet, bluebird often has the clarity that I lack, or a perspective that I need to see. I was so thankful for finding this blog)

The Burdens of Being (is one of the few blogger I know that found herself in the exact scenario as us. Still no answers to so many questions, but she's currently nurturing a new baby in her belly. And I hope we can follow in her path)

No Swimmers in the Tube, No Buns in the Oven (one cool lady. period.)

Barbara at Burble (who thinks I'm joking when I say I want to come over and hang out with her and Ray)

Chicklet at Bloorb (who is fast approaching Legend)

Dani819 (I know you don't have a blog, but it didn't feel right leaving you out. Just know that if you did have a blog, I would love for you to post these there.)

Nutmeg96 at Two Shorten The Road (because I have the honor of knowing this cool lady in real life, way before we both got picked by this new team.)

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Need Some Help

Me, I'm ok. M...not so much. In fact, I am pretty damn worried about him.

For me, work has reached pre-pregnancy levels of frenzy and activity and honestly doesn't give me much time to think about anything else during those hours. Which is probably good. I am jumping on the train today to go get this balloon pulled out of my uterus and I am guessing I am going to feel even better after that happens. And lostintranslation just informed me that I am the recipient of not one, but 2 blog awards (thank you!) so, I'll get on those ASAP.

But M - he is sad. Sad. Sad. We've talked about this before, these fairly regular bouts of melancholy. This is not that. He has convinced himself that his job (that he loves) is on shaky ground (new editor-in-chief, new ways of doing things which essentially amount to weekly reports of what you have done over the week and a subsequent staff meeting to talk about those tasks - all of this imposed upon an office that has been editor-less for over a year. No. It's not going well.)

That lack of job security is not made any lighter by the daily barrage of news coverage of the recession, human interest stories of people losing everything and that mantra, have you heard it? that seems to be everywhere coming out of every set of lips, I HATE it:

"Well, just be thankful you have a job...."

Sorry. I think this is an awful, awful thing to say. To anyone. Even to yourself. Because it opens the door to so many negative things. What? It's OK that someone or someplace doesn't value you or the work you do? It's OK to be asked to do twice as much in half the time for a portion of the money? And you should say, "well gosh, thank you sir may I have another?" NO! It is not ok. It is what is happening for a lot of people right now.

But that does not make it ok.

So, work. That's one major stressor for M. Of course, missing the girls, thinking about the girls, thinking about what could have been with the girls, the pain of the absence of the girls - this lays the foundation for every Sad. Every day. Worry about what happens next. If anything will ever happen next. The idea that we may always and forever be childless - That makes it so much worse. But what really has me quite worried is this new emotion, expressed only last night.

That he is feeling utterly and completely alone.

As in, totally abandoned by friends and family. Completely without anyone to talk to or reach out to. I know this isn't true. YOU know this isn't true. Closer to the truth is that M has always been a very private person, not all that willing to talk about things that affect him most deeply, (you may have even been the recipient of a snarl or a yell if you tried to ask) and people remember that and try to respect that (or at least not get yelled at). But what I heard last night was honestly a cry for help. One that my words cannot soothe, and my rationale puts no dent into.

This is not the M. I know and love. The person who used to frustrate me beyond belief because he always used to believe that things would work out. Now, he is overwhelmed by a cloud of bad luck, which also includes pretty much every electrical appliance or piece of technology he loves and relies on crapping out this week. ("Everything I love is just systematically being taken a away from me.....")

It seems, while I may not want to talk about it, M wants to. Very much so. With anyone who will listen.

That's not to say that he is going to open his heart to you. But he NEEDS to know that people ARE here. Have been here. And want to know how he is. Please, if you know M. in real life, take a minute or two and drop him a line, give him a call, shoot him a text. (Not all today, please, because he will become suspect. And please, please, PLEASE don't mention that you read something on my blog) but sometime this week, next week, next month. Anytime, really. The hurt doesn't go away. We just get better at hiding it.