Childhood cancer survivor. That's the good news. Bad news? Chemo and radiation zapped my eggs leaving me infertile. Egg donors were found, several attempts were made and finally we were blessed with beautiful twin girls - born too early (21 wks, 5 days on Dec. 5, 2008). Hang out with me while we savor life with Big Baby Boy, who arrived via gestational surrogate on March 25, 2013.
Friday, June 25, 2010
And for the lack of composition. These were taken this morning. Mid-run. So, I'm kind of pointing my droid blindly as sweat drips into my eyes and hoping I get something. The tree to the left is J's and the one to the right in this picture is I's. At least in my head. We never named them as such, and I think M. was a little surprised when I actually referred to them that way the last time we walked here together. But, that's what it is. According to me.
As I've mentioned before this is the exact halfway point of my run. A place where I'm always thankful to stop for just a minute. Say hello. Look at the river. Share the view of the trees.
Thursday, June 24, 2010
Is your last chance to vote!
Here's a friendly reminder from RESOLVE:
Have you voted for the Team RESOLVE™ Choice Awards for Best Blog, Best Book and the Hope Award for Nursing yet?
On Tuesday, September 28 in New York City, NY, RESOLVE will present the Team RESOLVE™ Choice Awards for Best Blog, Best Book and the Hope Award for Nursing and we can’t do it without YOU!
- Click here to vote for your favorite infertility book and blog!
- Click here to nominate your favorite infertility nurse for the Hope Award for Nursing co-sponsored with EMD Serono!
Thank you for the emails I've received this week. Thank you for the love and encouragement you've shown me, and for letting me vent. Thank you, truly, for sharing your stories with me, and for sticking around as we continue our quest for a happy ending to ours.
Now go click on some buttons!
Tuesday, June 22, 2010
Running It Right
And at first I was annoyed (because that's how I am) automatically assuming M. was inferring I really should get my tubby ass out of bed and on the sidewalk because, well, you know, last night's pizza doesn't shake itself off, right?
But as you know, he's been down, so I kept my caustic tongue in my mouth and just shrugged and said "we'll see" as I gave him a kiss and sent him out the door.
And then I sat down and wrote this morning's quickie, and then I realized I was having a little trouble getting into the swing of things. I checked my calendar, saw I was uncommitted until about 10 am and said, Aw screw it. I'll run.
So I ran. And I realized I was having a pretty nice run. And that it is a beautiful day. Beyond beautiful. Cool breeze. Sunny, not scorching. And I said hi to the trees and damn they look great (funny how one is tall and thin, the other shorter and a little more, how shall we say, filled out? Both gorgeous. Both unique. Both thriving. Kind of like how I imagined...)
Anyway, I made it back in record time (for me). And excitedly sent a text to M. telling him he talked me into it. He replied, "that's great. You're always so much happier and livelier afterward."
Which made me realize that his hints this morning had nothing to do with my flabby bum, and everything to do with him wanting to shake the sulk. And wanting me not to fall into it. And wanting a helping hand to pull him out once I got my mind right.
I think I'm alright. Not all right, but alright. ;-)
"Everything is just so far removed from where it should be."
And I can relate.
I bet you can too.
Sunday, June 20, 2010
The F word
I can't talk about M. coming home from work on Thursday and sobbing. Not anywhere but here.
Out of nowhere, huge, wet tears rolled down his face and into hands that couldn't contain them and soaked his shirt. That expression of frustration, helplessness, pain - how long has he been holding that in? What in the hell triggered this? Who or what unleashed this? My brain demands to know, to deliver vengeance on the offending item or offender, but I know better than to ask. Because I won't get an answer. And I'm pretty sure I already know.
Things have been better since Thursday. There have been multiple distractions. People to entertain and things to do. But today is quiet. And that always makes me a bit nervous.
We are at his parent's house. With his dad and 2 of the three dogs. His mom and dog #3 are away. The boys are reading the Sunday papers, watching the W.orld C.up - it could be any other Sunday.
But its not.
The hallmark words haven't been uttered. They probably won't be. M. is not the kind that finds comfort in the assurance that he is, indeed, a father. That makes it worse. That he will make a wonderful father....worse yet. This essay in the online NY Times wishing for a daughter #2....for M. made it all much, much worse. His isolation now becomes palpable.
One of the dogs is freaking the f*ck out right now. She can't understand where her sister is or where she went. She can't possibly comprehend that her playmate is having a lovely time visiting M.'s sister and her family. She can't understand that her longing will go away in a few days. All she knows right now is the absence. That something isn't quite right and she doesn't know why and she can't do anything about it.
I look at M. right now and that's what I see. That all he sees and feels these days is the Absence.
Only this one will not be resolved.
This weekend hasn't been bad, its just been tenuous. M. will pull himself out of the funk. He always does. And for once, I think the prospect of Monday could make things better. Because then it won't be today, and we'll have a 364 day reprieve.
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
On Awareness, part 2 - Reader Participation Requested
So I wrote this post.
On Friday, I learned that based on that post, RESOLVE chose this blog (this blog right here!) as one of the five in the running for their best blog award.
(I hope they don't deduct points for cursing.)
The point of the post was to recognize National Infertility Awareness Week. As you know, I think awareness only counts when its connected with action. So....
When you have a minute, please go to www.resolve.org/vote. Have a look around. Read some posts. Bookmark some new sites. Make your choice for the best infertility blog and best infertility book. you don't have to vote for me. But it would be awesome if you would vote. And if you felt like spreading the link around, well, that would be great too.
Voting is open until June 24th. So don't dilly dally!
Monday, June 14, 2010
To My Cancer Peeps
- you are between 17 and 35 years old and
- are done with active treatment and
- are currently living in the U.S.
The grants and scholarships are for post-treatment, "real life" needs such as rent and other living expenses, tuition and loans, car and health insurance premiums, residual medical bills and prescription co-pays. And yes, there are even some funds available to put towards fertility options/procedures.
I know this because I was one of their grant recipients in 2007. Here's just a little peak at the essay part of my submission.
If you are NOT a childhood cancer survivor, I bet you know someone who is. Pass this along.
And....if you are so inclined, perhaps consider making a donation to this amazing organization? Sometimes people are so focused on curing the disease, there's little thought left to actually surviving it. The SAMFund was started by young adult cancer survivors. They get it. And they can help you get back on your feet and focus on living, not just surviving. Seriously cancer peeps, go check it out.
Sunday, June 13, 2010
The point of this inning's "race" was for the kids to run shoeless along the third base line, find their shoes which had been scattered and thrown around the area, put them on, race back. First one back wins. One young'un wasn't having all that. When the Go! was given, he dashed to the pile of shoes, grabbed two, any two, and sprinted back. "No, no! They need to be your shoes!" the announcer laughed. But everyone knows it doesn't really matter. Everyone's declared a winner in these things, so why not mix it up a bit? M. and I were impressed with the 5-year old's resourcefulness and utter disregard for the rules.
me: "That's so awesome. I'd be so proud if that were my kid."
M: "That would have been our kid."
[Silent nods. A shared look. Quiet.]
me: "That's gonna be our kid."
Speaking of resourcefulness, we are back to challenging ours. No green light for our proposed gestational carrier. That's 0 for 2.
And yes this is a disappointment, but somehow not as crushing as the first one. This one is disappointing in a different way. When our clinic said no to the first potential GC, it felt like the door slamming shut on any hope for a family. Ever. Certainly never with any of our own frozen blasts waiting so patiently on ice. But then a wonderful person proved us wrong by saying, "hey, what about me? I think I could help." Knowing that we cannot move forward with this person stinks mostly because it would have been so wonderful to have her and her family as an official part of our extended family.
But somehow it doesn't feel like the end of the world this time.
Maybe we're just growing resilient. Maybe delusional.
But today I am filled with the feeling that this will happen. We will someday be the proud parents of the kid that just scammed the rest of them in the between-inning competition.
Now we just need to figure out how.
Thursday, June 10, 2010
This is what i do
i drink red wine.
i sit on the balcony and watch the sun fade over the buildings and wonder when i can harvest my coriander seeds.
i make popcorn and dance in the kitchen with my love.
i pour more wine and go inside and turn the jukebox on.
i play every song that makes me feel alive and creates that mixture of happy/sad that only gets better with
i watch my love play video games based on vengeance and relax at the release,
i pour more wine and book two tickets to the gulf coast of paradise and pray
we make it there before the oil slick.
i dream of the rental car and the satellite radio and the condo we like to pretend is ours.
i count the days.
and i savor these minutes when we are drunk and in love and forgetful
of everything else.
But what do you DO?
"So, you do you guys have any kids?"
Thinking he was being helpful, bff nearly jumped to answer for us, "No." And gave his brother a glare like that conversation is so over.
"Well, got any pets?"
"So....(truly perplexed) what do you do?"
M and I took a minute to compose ourselves and then rattled off the most recent lines in our resumes, and then hoped they would disappear as quickly as they appeared.
Perhaps he didn't mean it to sound as accusatory or judgmental as it sounded. Perhaps he's always that blunt. Perhaps they were muddled and sunstruck and missing a little bit of good old fashioned courtesy that night. Whatever the case, I just couldn't be bothered.
Couldn't be bothered to correct BFF who had the audacity to erase I. and J. from the map. Couldn't be bothered to school BFF's brother that there is more to life than what one does to get a paycheck.
But yet, they left, and I was bothered.
As was M. So we got in the car and drove. Drove to the beach. Drove to the boardwalk. Walked around. Walked around. And didn't say much, but I kept wondering in my head, well, what DO I DO? What was the answer I wanted to give?
Clearly saying that you grieve daily while trying to figure out some way, any way to safely bring one or two of those little embryos on ice into the world is not the story most of the world wants to hear. And what would give this drunken stranger the right to know that story anyway?
But any other answer is short of the truth.
Molly at The Unlucky Lottery is right. It does get better. At least the grieving. The infertility, the lost ability to carry a child within me, the barriers and roadblocks we are facing with going a gestational carrier route....that doesn't seem to be getting any better. The world goes on. We stay here. The stasis is cruel. But the pain of loss, the desire to not even be here, that actually does fade, at least to the point where you look stable enough that someone doesn't think twice to demand to know what you do and then sniff at your answers.
I can't imagine what I would have said to this man a year ago. A year ago when my guns were blazing and all bets were off. When I found just a little bit of pleasure seeing some people visibly recoil when I told them my babies were dead. If only to teach them a lesson for being, so, so, normal. So seemingly untouched.
Don't get me wrong. The need to get the facts right doesn't completely go away. But as Tracy so eloquently says,
I think we've learned to wear our peculiar mix of joy and despair a little more gracefully. People do less brow-furrowing when I engage them in mundane small talk...and hey, I can engage in mundane small talk! T almost electronically eviscerated an FB friend who wandered into my lane last week (she responded to my post about my early-rising dog with a complaint about her twins who won't sleep in) but we discussed and decided we shouldn't rain on her parade.I'd like to think we think more about other people's parades these days, too.
So bff's brother learned that I'm in the nonprofit world and M. is a web producer. We live in different state than my parents and yes we think their new house is lovely. We've been together over a decade. We like to kayak and to be outside. Hmm, that's about it. Interview over.
How mundane. How seemingly normal. He thinks we are bores.
And that's just fine.
Wednesday, June 2, 2010
Quit Pulling My Leg!
Clearly, we watch way too much wrestling. Waaaay too much.
Why else would my husband think it was perfectly rational to try to do a swinging leg pirouette in the kitchen - while I still had hold of his other leg?
Let me rephrase that. Why would M. be utterly shocked and surprised when he fell on his face after willingly removing both legs from the ground and spinning around?
"Why are you laughing?!?" he angrily asked. "What about this is funny??"
Um, all of it. Like, all of it.
He disagreed. And further posited that it was my fault, because he had it all worked out, had I not pulled his leg and brought him off balance. Whatever, marmalade.
But its morning, and we've kissed and made up. The brush burn on his chin is barely visible and I think we've both learned a valuable lesson:
Sometimes, we can be total f*ck ups. I mean, WWE moves in the kitchen? Who does that? Do I dare tell you how old we are?
But we are also ridiculously in love. Still. Even after...holy shit....almost TWELVE years together, he's still my main man. I'm his lady. We're quite a pair. And I've said this again and again, but I truly don't know what I would do without him. With everything that has transpired and not transpired, I cannot imagine getting through this without him by my side.
Even when he's sulking and holding ice to his chin.