view from the in-laws garage

view from the in-laws garage

After having a very stormy week with my husband, with lots of stupid arguments and bad attitudes on both sides, real storms hit Illinois and other states in the Midwest today.

Total devastation was seen in some areas, including the town my in-laws live in. Luckily, they weren’t at home (MIL is out of state, FIL was volunteering) when the tornado ripped through their neighborhood. Their home was badly damaged but most of it was on the exterior and most of their things are ok. Some of their neighbors lost everything.

Thinking that we would have an overnight guest, I cleaned my house like a madwomen while my dad and husband helped his father pack things up to move to safety. I drank entirely too much coffee, and worked like a crazy person. In the end, he decided to stay with my husband’s aunt and uncle, since they have an extra bedroom and we just have a couch.

Now I am exhausted and have the worst headache ever. I feel like puking or crying or both. I do feel thankful no one I know was hurt, but my heart breaks for all those whose lives have been totally uprooted in an instant. It makes you want to hold your loved ones close and never let them go…




Disclaimer: I’m feeling somewhat tipsy after two glasses of pumpkin pie liquor and will not be taking the time to proofread for grammatical errors.

This weekend was a weekend of “firsts.” An old friend of mine got married yesterday and the wedding was out-of-state. Because I had to leave early on Friday, my husband was unable to go, as he had a meeting that day he was unable to get out of. My best friend and her husband were invited but also unable to go due to a myriad of reasons, one of them being that her Grandpa is very ill and about to pass away. Growing up, he was like a Grandpa to me, so this has been an emotional week.

Despite everything going on and despite the fact that I would be going by myself, I was determined to go to my friend’s wedding. She has been my pal since high school days, when we both got involved in the same group of friends from a church youth group. We were even roommates for about a year in our early twenties. She’s an awesome person and she’d been looking for Mr. Right for a long time, so I was not going to miss this for the world.

So, for the first time ever, I crossed state lines by myself and drove a total of five and a half hours to a completely unfamiliar state. This may seem like a pretty simple thing, but I have no sense of direction and somewhat of a fear of driving in big cities. Luckily, I had a Garmin as a co-pilot or I probably wouldn’t had made it. I then attended a wedding solo for the first time in my life (I survived but I do not recommend it) and I stayed in a hotel by myself for the first time (two nights!) which was kind of fun because I could order what I wanted to eat, spread out over the whole bed and watch whatever I wanted on the TV, and didn’t have to share a bathroom. My dream in life (second to motherhood) is to have my own bathroom….

The whole experience ended up being kind of empowering. A few awkward moments aside, nothing bad happened and I faced some things I never thought I would be able to. I live a pretty sheltered life, and I’ve always had people taking care of me. First my parents, now my husband. I guess I need to branch out and challenge myself to do more things I’m afraid of.

As a side note, this weekend taught me to appreciate my husband more. Sometimes I think that being childless is the hardest thing in the world, but I honestly think being single would be harder. (Clarification: harder for me personally…I know there are lots and lots of happy single people out there!) I hated the feeling of showing up to that wedding alone, walking in alone and being the only “single” person at the table. I felt like I had to try harder, felt I had to make everyone like me, whereas if my husband was with me, I would have felt braver and more confident and I would have enjoyed myself more.

Also, two out of the three husbands at the table were utter tools. Seriously. One had the jerkiest attitude and the dumbest hat; I just wanted to knock the look off his face or the hat off his little pinhead, either would do. I really am lucky. My husband is a complete sweetheart and totally a catch in the looks department, too. That’s one thing I console myself with when I look at other couples we meet who have litters of children. My husband is funny, successful, adorable, and so very good to me. Not all of the husbands of my friends or other couples we meet fit all areas of this description. I guess I have to admit that no matter what I’ve said or felt recently, I might be pretty lucky.

I’m still here, still muddling through. I feel kind of like I did about four years ago, after reaching a diagnosis of infertility but before we started any kind of fertility treatment. As I did then, I feel stuck, unsure of what to do next, and gathering every bit of my strength and nerve to begin down an unfamiliar path full of unknown obstacles and challenges.

I haven’t made one move towards pursuing adoption. The medical bills are still rolling in and I can’t see moving forward until the IVF is good and paid for. I called the clinic on my lunch break today and paid another invoice off via credit card. “You guys are always so good about paying everything off right away…thank you for that,’ the lady on the other end of the phone said.

At least we’re good at something, I wanted to say.

Everyone in my life seems so positive about our plans to move forward with adoption. They are upbeat, relieved almost. For some people, reproductive assistance is still slightly taboo. At least that’s the vibe I’ve picked up on from a handful of people. I get the feeling some of our older relatives felt we were “playing God”. They didn’t understand it, they didn’t know how they felt about it morally, so they kept quiet whenever the subject was broached. Nothing was ever said, they just got that tight-lipped expression people get when they disapprove but they know it’s none of their damn business.

But adoption…my goodness. That fits neatly under their little columns marked “right” and “wrong.” The acceptance and downright charitable feelings toward this decision are irritating, even though they shouldn’t be. I feel like shouting, I am glad you are SOO excited for me. Whoopee for being barren!! I’m glad you can let go of the uneasiness you felt at my attempts to conceive a biological child and can now induct me into sainthood for adopting a poor orphaned child. Never mind that I’m the needful one, pursuing this out of my yearning for motherhood, not out of pure humanitarian goodness.

I know I’m being factitious and bitter, but I’m pissed at the world right now. There’s nothing anyone can say to make it better. There’s no right way to handle me. I’m angry and sad all at once. I’m the heaviest weight I’ve ever been, I’m broke until payday, and two of my friends just had a baby, their FOURTH and second child. I’ve got scars from progesterone hives on my butt and scars on my heart. I feel ugly, broken and tired. So very, very tired.

The last thing I feel like doing is putting one foot in front of the other. I want to curl up in my bed and never move again. I see an overwhelmingly long line of hoops I’ll need to jump through in order to reach my child and right now I don’t think I could even walk far enough to reach those hoops, let alone jump through them.

How in the world am I going to do this?

The End of a Dream

The nurse called me at 8:45 this morning to say “I’m sorry. It’s negative again.”

There was this slight pause after she asked “Carrie?” and after I said “Yes?” There was a small moment where I imagined that her voice sounded positive, like good news was about to be delivered. Then that small pause that seemed like forever was over and the neutral tone was gone. The apologetic voice took over and I understood by her tone alone, before my mind had time to process the words, that it was over.

I knew for days that it hadn’t worked, deep down in my subconscious, though I tried to stay positive on the outside. I had a brief hopeful spell last night, realizing that my period that is like clockwork was late, and that I wasn’t getting my usual PMS symptoms.

But somehow I think I knew all along. This morning I even got myself a pumpkin latte, after two months without caffeine. That stupid “Keep Calm and Drink Coffee” poster popped into my head and I veered suddenly into the McDonald’s parking lot that is right by my office. A voice inside my head told me, It will be ok to drink coffee now. There is nothing there to protect.

I cried at my desk when I found out, unlike last time I wasn’t able to hold back the tears. I knew this time was different. This was the last time. I stumbled into the office of one of my best friends, who happens to work with me. She held me and we cried together. She told me I’d still be a mom and I told her that I know.

It’s just that it’s so hard to say goodbye to the dream of motherhood, at least motherhood the way I’ve pictured it my whole life. The flutter of life under my hand, the unique bond of a newborn and its mother, the experience of giving birth, the breastfeeding, the child that looks like a perfect blend of me and my love.

I do know I will be a mom someday. It’s what is keeping me from falling apart right now. These eyes will do more than their fair share of crying, I will probably wail into my pillow more than once or twice, but I know I will survive. More than survive, I will be ok. I have never known grief or loss like this but it hasn’t crushed me yet and I still have hope. I know I will have my family, no matter what, and I know when it happens, it won’t feel like second best. It won’t feel like a plan B. It will feel like everything that was meant to happen has finally happened, that my child has finally found its way to me.

I’m not sure if I will keep writing here. It’s not like my infertility has gone away or as if I no longer need an outlet for my thoughts and emotions. I just think I might need a fresh start. I think I might start a blog about the next chapter of our life, one more centered around the adoptive process. I don’t know. Maybe I’ll always need a place to vent about being barren, even after I get my “happy ending”.

Too many thoughts are going through my head right now and I know I am rambling. I’m not signing off quite yet, if no other reason than I can’t say goodbye to one more thing today. I’ve never been very good at goodbyes.

The Fabulous Four

They retrieved 13 eggs on Wednesday, 10 of which were usable. Of the 10 eggs they did ICSI on, 4 fertilized. On Thursday, they called to let us know there were four embryos and that they wanted to bump up the transfer day and try a day-two transfer on Friday.

So yesterday we made the 2 1/2 hour trek to our clinic for the second time this week. We arrived not knowing how many of the 4 embryos were still viable. The embryologist came in and told us that all 4 were doing well. Three were a Grade B, just like last time, but this time there was also a Grade A embryo. He asked us if we would want to put them all in and I said yes.

Right before the transfer, Dr. G. confirmed this with me and made sure I was willing to take the risk of multiples. I said I was willing to take the risk. Usually, he will put in no more than three but I think he knows from my track record it is unlikely all four will stick. Since not one of three embryos took last time, or one of the two embryos the time before, I’m not too worried. I’m more worried that none of them will make it, that it would all have been in vain.

As relaxed as I tried to be this whole cycle, I am now worrying and obsessing just like the times before. I know that if this doesn’t work, I’ll have to move on. I’ll have to keep breathing, keep planning, keep living my life. I know I will still be a mom one way or another, but damn, wouldn’t it be great if it could happen now?


They bumped up my retrieval day from Friday to Wednesday! My follicles were HUGE. A couple were already 22 mm. Good thing he had me start the Ganirelix on Friday

Even though we’ve obviously been through this before, I had the nurse draw the Sharpie “bullseye” on my lower back for my trigger shot tonight. Knowing exactly where it’s supposed to go makes my husband (and myself) much less nervous. I have to take the Ovidrel and Novarel tonight at 11:45. That means me and Grandpa have to stay up past our bedtime.

I’m excited that it’s moving faster than expected! I’m starting to get that little thrill of hope, despite my best efforts to stay cool. 🙂

Try, Try Again

It’s been pretty uneventful around these parts. I started the meds last Sunday so today is day 8. This time Dr. G has me on 225 IU of Menopur and the same of Follistim. I went on Friday for the first sono and blood work since starting the injections. I had about six follicles on each side.

I can’t really remember what size they were last time at this point in the cycle, but they seemed a little bigger to me this time. They were all 12 mm except for two that were 14 mm. The retrieval day is expected to be set for Friday and I’m a little afraid they are growing too quickly but that’s probably just me being paranoid.

After my appointment, they had me go straight home and take my first dose of Ganirelix. I was having a rough Friday-mostly emotionally but I also felt a little queasy and crampy-so I stayed home for the rest of the day after my appointment. I really am lucky to have such an understanding workplace and supervisor. I went home and watched “Call the Midwife” on Netflix. I’ve been wanting to watch the series and I figured now was a good time to watch in, since I probably won’t want to torture myself if things don’t work out as planned.

I have another sonogram tomorrow afternoon so I guess we’ll see how my follicles did over the weekend. I have a big work event on Thursday so I really hope everything happens on Friday, but if it doesn’t, they’ll just have to get along without me. I’m a little afraid of breaking the news if that happens, but IVF comes first. I could lose my job and I would be o.k. I wouldn’t be happy about it, but I’d be ok.

I’m on my third attempt at this and probably my last. I wouldn’t have had this many chances if it weren’t for the job and the insurance and for that I am eternally grateful. I keep living with my head in the future, it seems like I am unable to just savor the moment, unable to truly dwell in the hope and possibility of the next few days. It’s not over yet, but I’m existing as if it is, as if I already know the outcome. I already have a checklist of things in my head to work on toward adoption, if that is what is meant for us.

At the same time, I’m not worried sick over it like the first time. Nor am I trying to force optimism like I did the second time. I feel calm and resigned, although I may feel drastically different when it comes time for the dreaded two week wait. I feel like whatever is meant to be will be. I will try my best, as I’ve done all along. And at the end of the day, that is all you can do.