Monday, August 24, 2009

Perfect Moment: A Conversation

Yes, ok. I'm sorry. I confess. I did "bury the lede" in my last post and Nutmeg rightfully called me out. Sorry. Sorry.

But I wasn't doing it to be coy. Seriously, I honestly just HAD to blurt it out and I wasn't sure how to segue into that news and where to go with it all once I did. And that's still kind of where I am this morning. How much can I say here? What is "safe" info to share and what might influence future events by saying it out loud?

Bear with me people; This whole "reunification" thing, it's a bit of a mind fuck.

But wait. Stop. I'm getting ahead of myself. Because at the heart of the matter, there are some truly Perfect Moments here that I don't think will fade. Let's see if I can't round them up:

This all went down Thursday evening, just as M and I were setting down the kick ass platter of bean burritos, home made tortillas and fixins and trying to figure out which old movie to watch. I see that there's a message on my phone and who its from. Do I deal with this now, or wait until I eat? M. says, what the hell, just check it out.

Sure enough, the message is brief. "Call me back. I have news."

And so I did. And so she did.

My birth mother was located. Contacted. Said thanks, but no thanks. And for some reason, I was unfazed by that. Did I expect it? Am I simply so well prepared for disappointing news these days? Did I anticipate that better news was awaiting at the end of the sentence? No idea, really. I just kind of shrugged my shoulders, shook my head no to M. and kept on prepping my burrito.

And then,

And then the person on the phone started to chuckle as she explained to me the second reaction she received that evening. The one from my birth father. The one that resulted in tears and shouts and a YES! Please. I would love to talk to her! When??

I got a name.
I got a number.
I have two brothers.

I had an hour-long conversation with someone that I don't know very well who told me that this was something straight out of the movies. He told me he is proud of me and he loves me.

And that, my friends, is my Perfect Moment.

Yes, yes! Still many, many questions and unknowns and I am trying very hard to keep a level head about it all. Stay Calm. Carry On. But I think it is A-ok to just bask in this (not very) little piece of it all right now. Don't you?

Perfect Moment Monday is about noticing a perfect moment rather than about creating one. Perfect moments can be momentous or ordinary or somewhere in between. Want to see more perfect moments? Go check out Lori at Weebles Wobblog and others' perfect moments this Monday.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Ok. Breathe Deep.

You should be thankful that I didn't post yesterday, or the day before, or the day before. It's been a helluva week. But I am ok now. Really beyond ok.

A fight with a credit card company resulted in me transferring that balance into far cooler and better cards - ones that give me things for the debt in incur. Take THAT Bank of America. Hmph!

Obviously, I'm feeling a little empowered by that.

A second look at a house that I really liked (that we learned was under contract pending a home inspection) revealed all kinds of reasons why that house is not the house for us. Two words: Asbestos. Termites. So, absolutely no need to pine over a house that we could have had but were too slow to make an offer. We didn't want it anyway.

Oh what? I didn't mention we were house hunting? Well sure. Why the hell not. It's something to do, right? No hurry. No rush. One of those, if the perfect place pops up maybe we'll think about it kind of searches. But one that has me taking far too many peeks at nonetheless.

Some body images and self-loathing placed on hold last night after I made some phenomenal plays at our kickball game. I was this close to having a double play all by myself. Note to self: aim for the legs.

Did I say that last paragraph out loud? Shit. Ok, fine. Don't laugh. Our friend volunteered to be captain on a team for this kickball league in our city because there was this cute dude she liked that also wanted to play and she was desperate and we said sure why the hell not and after M. learned the hard way that he is absolutely in no way shape or form to say a WORD about my speed or lack thereof when running we have actually had a pretty fun time. Phew. There. Confession out.

And yes, someone I love very, very much told me (in the best way possible) that she is expecting. And yes, that brought up some things that I thought I was handling but apparently I am not. But (and L. I know you are reading) I LOVE YOU and I love that you told me and we will celebrate your new one together. Don't even sweat it. What I hate the most is that you had to think about me when you need to be thinking about your self and keeping your lunch down.

But, but wait. There's more.

I don't even need to talk about my frustration with the adoption agency that is helping me find my birth parents, or how I felt they were totally brushing me off or any of that. Because it doesn't matter.

Because I talked to my birth father last night.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Extrovert + Babyloss = Introvert

There are a lot of things about losing a child (or two) that suck. Oh. Wait. Everything about it sucks.

And that statement, even in its completeness and all-encompassing-ness, is still an understatement.

Some days, what I resent the most (besides the absence of my daughters and the sadness behind my husband's eyes) is this new anxiety I feel when it comes to any social situation even remotely out of my control or comfort zone. And that zone seems to be getting smaller and smaller.

And this makes me crazy. I still shudder when I think of the paralysis, the Fear that came over me the first few times M. pulled me out of the apartment after those dark days. "Pulled" is not just a creative literary turn here, it was a physical act. And I cried. And I shook. And a little bit of that still happens every time I walk out of my fucking door into something where there are unknown variables, people I might not know, conversations I might not be able to control.

What the Fuck.

New things! New people! New situations! Unknowns! Dudes, this shit used to be my wheelhouse. My comfort zone. As a social butterfly, my wings were huge. Overpowering at times. And now...


Back in the early days of our relationship, I had to get used to M.'s social anxieties. If I ever committed us to a social event with folks or at a place or to do things we kinda knew but not that well, he would get so upset. Like, physically upset. Like, sometimes would have the runs so bad we would actually end up canceling because he could not leave the house. On the days we were able to make it, as soon as we arrived at the dreaded event, M. would transform. He was (and is) a Professional Conversationalist. He has this amazing gift of making you feel good when he talks to you. You realize that you are talking to someone that has managed to pull from you things you want to talk about, opinions that really matter to you. You would never know that you were conversing with someone who was literally shitting their pants they were so un-eager to be there.

Sometimes this quirk was funny to me. Other times it absolutely enraged me. I would shout "sabotage!" He would plead, "please believe me, this is out of my control." His way of dealing with it was to be absolutely noncommital to every invite. Maybe. We'll see. I'll have to check..... This would make me even madder. He couldn't see why. His rationale: There are no expectations. If you show up, it is a pleasant surprise, as opposed to anger or disappointment if you say you are going to be someplace and then bail.

Under promise. Over deliver.

Now I get it. And I wish I didn't.

Friday, August 7, 2009

It's Ok

You guys are the bomb. Really the bomb. I love it when my inbox fills with expletives. I feel like such a tease. Getting us all worked up for a transfer and then...and then.

It's ok. I'm ok. I think we are going to be ok. What other choice do we have?

Today feels so anticlimatic. Yesterday feels so far away. I feel so removed from the shaking, sobbing, full of snot, can't even talk mess I fell into in the little cubicle. Fuck. Where did that come from?

Today, I am back in front of the computer, working. Ok, kind of half-assed working. Picking off all low-hanging fruit in order to end the day with some sense of accomplishment. Thinking of new ways to spend the now no holds barred weekend: cook, drink, fuck, drink, kayak, run, drink.

Yes, that sounds ok to me. At least for now.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

No Dice

No stars. No dice. Transfer was canceled.

As so many of you unfortunately know, making the thaw does not necessarily mean turning into embryos that are ready to grow and flourish. Three thawed. None grew. Nurse tried to reach us all morning to: a.) tell us before we started the drive and b.) to be sure she was the one to tell us. And these are just 2 reasons why she is awesome.

But, well fuck, we were already dressed and on our way out the door, both of us had called off sick, and the prospect of sitting at home today sounded beyond awful, so we got in the car and drove to the clinic anyway. Not for a transfer, but for a review of any donor profiles they might have.

Lots of tears. From us, from Nurse (who frankly, looked worse than we did), from the financial advisor who told Nurse she looked like shit and wanted to know why, from the grief counselor who sat with us for most of the day. None from our RE. She gave us what we needed, which was hope and encouragement to keep moving forward. If there was any consolation to be had, at least we didn't spend the day feeling alone.

Its funny, this is pretty much the same cast of characters we spend our very first day with, back at square one. And in a sense, we are back there again. But this time with a lot more baggage.

We are home now. Drying our eyes. Thinking about what next. No donors in sight. Lots cycling now though at our clinic, so there may be some options opening up later. Later. It's all about waiting, isn't it?

If I sound calm and rational right now, it is simply because I am all cried out. M. too. I think we dumped off most of our despair and feelings of hopelessness with the counselor. Now we are just looking forward to dinner - like the very first day, we spent the morning on the road, the day in a cubicle and the early evening in traffic. All on an empty stomach. So, I am clearing off the little coccoon I had made on the bed filled with knitting, magazines and such, tidying up the house since there is no bedrest in sight and getting ready to roll some tortillas. It is all I can do not to pull every last radish from the garden.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Oh my stars

That was a favorite and oft repeated (oft mimicked) expression of my fourth grade teacher Mrs. Clark. Mrs. Clark with the heavy, HEAVY Spanish accent (oh! my-a-starrrrrrrrrs!!!!) Mrs. Clark with the crazy wild gray hair. Mrs. Clark who gave the word "Mesopotamia" more syllables than I thought humanly possible. Mrs. Clark who unknowingly caused me great angst and mean girl clique-related agony (and subsequent visits to a shrink. sidenote: Screw you Sha.nn.on D.) with her unbridled love of me. Teacher's pet? Um, yeah.

And yet this chubby, glasses-wearing little girl loved her all the same.

Mrs. Clark who broke into sobs at her teacher's desk when she found out her best friend, our art teacher, died of a blood clot while she was exercising when she was pregnant. And she was given the task of breaking the news to us. Sobs. Total body shaking sobs. When I think of raw grief, this is often the image that comes to my mind. My first real exposure to it. And to the understanding that it will come up and wallop you when you think you have your shit together and there really isn't shit you can do about it. Your roomful of 4th graders will just have to wait until this thing that you have no control over courses through your body and deposits itself in tear all over your daily planner. I digress.

Mrs. Clark is on my mind this morning because her favorite expression is mine today.

Embryologist called. All 3 survived the thaw. Wait. Let me say that again. All 3 survived the thaw. We are on schedule for noon tomorrow.

Say it with me now: oh! my-a-starrrrrrrrrs!!!!

And yes, as so many of you wise, wise ladies discussed, gently suggested in your comments, we have changed our plans and are considering transferring as many that look viable. Now, that could mean there could be some tough decisions to make in the future. But that is the road we are going to take. As I mentioned to nutmeg96 in an email this morning, I never thought I could manage even facing a decision like that, but then again, I never thought I could manage a lot of other things either.

The action plan as it stands - wait and see what tomorrow brings, review the embies, see how they are progressing, have a nice long conversation with our RE (all with a full bladder, not that easy to do) and take it from there. Be thankful. Take nothing for granted.

Oh. My. Stars.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Infertility and Radishes

I look at that lush carpet of young green shoots, of sprouting young leaves and I can't do it. I just cannot.

I understand that I am supposed to "be fastidious" about thinning the shoots, about pulling many out to give the remaining few a chance to thrive and grow. I know that too many shoots means not enough dirt and nutrients and good stuff for everyone. I get that.

But I wince every time I pull one out of the container. When I feel the tug of the root before it yields to my hand without much of a fight. I look at it and think, "but what if that was the one that would have been the best radish of them all? Now it doesn't have any chance at all. What have I done?"

I spend far too much time perseverating over which shoots stay and which have to be ok with the short time they've had in the sun. The amount of time I spend bending over the flower boxes on my tiny balcony is ridiculous.

Does anyone who does not live with infertility get this? Anyone?

It's Sunday afternoon and I am restless. I wore myself out yesterday but now I'm facing a bit of a lull. And lulls are dangerous. We had planned to kayak today but the clouds are unpredictable enough to give us some pause. I had wanted one last day on the river, one more push of the paddles before...

But instead I'll try to fill the day with more cooking, perhaps one more glass of wine, more last minute errands, more things that require heavy lifting because...

We are aiming for a transfer on Thursday.

There. I've said it. Progesterone and shots begin on Tuesday with my MIL getting the honor of the inaugural thrust since we'll be away together at a conference out of town. We are aiming for a transfer on Thursday, of one of the three last and final embryos we have on ice. Provided that one makes the thaw.

You would not believe the sleep I have lost this week. The initial report was that we had 2 frozen in one straw, one frozen solo. That had been the info we had been assuming for months. So, which to thaw? How many to thaw? If we only thaw Han Solo and he doesn't grow, we are out of luck, we'd have to stop the cycle, wait for a bleed, try again next month. If we thaw the duo, and only one thaws, choice is made. We use that and still have one remaining for a future attempt. If we thaw the duo and neither thaw, back to square one. If we thaw the duo and both make the thaw and seem to be growing equally well, we will need to choose, because a bare minimum of three separate doctors have recommended that we transfer only one embryo. Only one. Never mind that my lining is not the lush carpet of endometrium it once was. The "risk" of twins is something no one wants to face again. And that brings about a whole layer of sad I don't want to talk about right now, so I'll point you to what Bluebird says about that.

So which will it be? which if/then pairing do we opt for? Which roll of the dice makes the most sense?

Turns out my insomnia has been for naught. Nurse called on Friday to inform us that prior reports were wrong. We have three frozen in a bundle. Choice is made. We thaw three. We choose one. Hoping that one makes the thaw. If there are more, a choice must be made. I just hope we choose the right one.