A Week of Tears

So many tears this week.  All for different reasons.  Here is my pity party list – I need to get it out of my system!

1. Tears of Joy Quickly Turn Into Grieving the Loss of Having Biological Children

I learned recently that the younger brother of a former student (and now family friend) has been diagnosed with a form of Leukemia.  It broke my heart to learn this and a community of support has been created for the little fella.  The boy needs a bone marrow transplant and last week they found a match!  Even more exciting is that the match is his older brother (my former student).  I was so relieved that I cried.  Then I cried some more.  Then I cried because I realized that through adoption I’ll very likely only have one child (if I’m lucky enough to even get one).  No sibling for support and definitely no genetic match.  I know this is such a stretch, but for some reason this is where my mind went.  I guess that’s just a symptom of living with infertility and pregnancy loss.  I never know what’s going to set me off.

2. The Birthday Party

On Saturday night the plan was to go out with a group of friends for a friend’s birthday drinks. Most of these friends are single gay men. It’s safe to say that a typical night out with these guys means freedom from the world of babies and family life.  I put on a cute dress, loaded on the mascara (something I don’t do when potential crying is on the schedule) and headed out with my hubbie to meet them.  We got to the restaurant and ordered the first round of drinks. A few sips in, my evening changed.  My friend and her husband came in with their 7 week old baby.  I think I broke some kind of world record for fastest downing of a dirty martini.  It took everything in my power not to cry or run away.  Instead I went pale and started to shake.  My friend was very kind and carful when she saw me. I’m lucky for that.  She suffered a significant loss a year ago and understands my pain.  She parked the baby at the other end of the table with her husband and talked to me about non baby stuff.  I thank her for that.  It was still hard though.  There was a lot of baby talk. “She has your hair”, “she has your eyes” (more grieving of my bio child – these comments sting). There was at the table breastfeeding (something else to let go of). There was “you look so amazing, I can’t believe you had a baby 7 weeks ago” (I’m still so bloated that I  look like I’m pregnant). It was a rough night and my only escape was to drink too much.  Thanks to all the drinks, Sunday was a rough day too!

3. Seriously????? It’s MY turn!!!! 

While nursing a hangover (something I haven’t experienced for YEARS), I got a message from my aunt.  My younger cousin is pregnant again.  All pregnancy announcements are painful right now (and maybe forever), but this one hurt even worse.  My cousin (who I used to be very close with) was pregnant with her first when I was pregnant the first time.  Our babies would have been a few months apart.  I still have a little onesie that she gave me in a box in the basement.  We were so excited to be having babies together.   I lost my baby the weekend of her shower.  Ouch.  Hearing that she is pregnant again only added to my “what if” list.  Would I be having my second baby now? Would we be starting the adoption process for our second?   What makes it worse (for her and me) is that she’s not even with her husband anymore. He’s returned , on her request after years of fighting to his country of origin and isn’t expected to return. This just goes back to the stork distribution problem. Why can’t I have a baby when I’m SO ready while other people can get pregnant when it’s unplanned and not the right time in their lives? I no the answer is “there’s no reason”.  It still stings though.  When I got the news I cried.  No, I sobbed.  I went up to my bed and sobbed for hours. I couldn’t stop, I couldn’t be consoled.  This news coming the day after seeing another baby was too much for me.  I was mourning my first baby all over again. It all came right back up the front. All the pain, all of the losses, all of the disappointments.  I’m sure I cried because I needed to.  I’m so tired of crying. When will this hurt less?

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Boot Camp Baby Bomb

Last year, around this time, I signed up for a boot camp with a friend.  It was in the time just before I got into the fertility clinic. Another little window for exercise.  I stopped the class when we started to “try”. There was no way I was going to lose another baby.  I know that exercising is very likely NOT the reason that I lost my babies, but in the back of my head there is always the wonder and blame.

“Maybe I shouldn’t have gone swimming”

“Maybe I shouldn’t have done those push ups”

“Maybe, maybe, maybe….”

To take the class in the first place, I of course had to fill out the medical questionnaire.

  • Recent Surgery? Yes, two D&Cs
  • Medication? (insert long list of fertility drugs here)
  • Recent Weight Gain? Yes (see above)
  • Reason to want to “Get Fit”?  So that I stop looking pregnant/ So that I can get pregnant

Tonight I went back to Boot Camp.  I have a small window to “Get Fit” so it seemed like a great idea! (And I’ve already filled out the stupid form, so I won’t have to fill it out again!)

Feeling extra sporty, I rode my bike to Boot Camp. I got there a little early and was waiting outside the studio with my friend.  A woman who had been in the class with us the first time arrived and spotted me.

“It’s so great to see you!” and she gave me a big hug.

As her body pressed up against mine, I realized that for someone who’s been doing Boot Camp for a year, she hasn’t lost ANY weight.  Then I realized why her stomach was so big.  I almost threw up.

I thought I was going to be ok.  I held it together and kept eye contact with my friend.  This will pass.

Then the woman came into the class with us.  She was going to do Boot Camp.  My eyes started to well up and my friend (bless her) pulled me outside the studio right before Niagara Falls started to pour out of my face.  I tried to explain to her (whilst blubbering like a three year old and gasping for air) that it was just so hard for me to watch pregnant people working out. Especially a class like that.  Don’t they have their OWN classes to go to?  I know that it’s healthy for pregnant women to work out, but after so many losses, it’s hard to watch someone putting their pregnancies at risk right in front of me.  I’m sure it’s not even a risk. I’m sure she’s doing all of the right modifications etc., it’s just difficult for me when EVERYTHING I do is a risk. It’s difficult to watch someone who is pregnant be easy and care-free about it.  Those days are so long gone for me.

My friend was amazing.  I can’t say it enough that I have the best “team”.  I told her how important it was for me to do the class and use this time to get in shape.  She helped me build up the courage to go back in, and she even blocked my view of Ms. Pregnant the whole time.  Thanks to the support (and the blinders) I left feeling great and I will go back.  “Get Fit!’

On hold….

I feel like my life has been on hold.  All of the “experts” (unsolicited advice) tell me not to let this stress me out and not to let my fertility issues and losses control my life.

The people dolling out this advice have obviously never had to schedule cycle monitoring and daily medications into their lives.  Trying to get pregnant controls my lifestyle, my schedule, my mood, my body and my future plans. (I’m sure I could have made that list a lot longer.)

I’m already worried about summer vacation.  Will our week away in August mean a month off of treatments? Would a break be a good thing or will I  just be older?

I made a decision yesterday.  I found a job posting. It was for a central school board instructional leader position. This is something I have been working towards and considering applying for “further down the road”.  When I saw the posting, my first instinct was to not apply for it.

Here are some of the  reasons for my hesitation.

1. I wanted to have my family before I moved up the ladder.  A classroom teacher is the ideal job for a working parent with young children.

2. If I continue with fertility treatments, how will I work meetings and workshops around last minute cycle based appointments?  If I have to work at the other end of town will I be able to get there in time from my cycle monitoring?

3. What if I get my adoption referral?  Do I take a new job when I know there is a chance (a small chance) that I will have to leave?

4. I have such a great support system at my present job.

After much deliberation I came to some realizations.  It’s not a guarantee that I’d get the job.  There’s no harm in applying.   If I get it, I’ll manage.  People go on adoptive leave/maternity leave all the time.  My friends will always be there for me, even if we don’t work in the same building.  It may be nice to have a break from the ever-growing population of pregnant ladies at my work.  Working with adults rather than kids may help take my mind off of motherhood for a few minutes a day.

I’m going to apply for the job.   I can’t put my life on hold.  Fingers crossed.

"Please hold..."

“Please hold…”

A mini rant because I need to vent!

I’m feeling very frustrated this week.  Once again I’m being bombarded with pregnancy announcements at work (I really need to get a job in a field with more men).  In fairness to the announcers, they have been very careful, sensitive and understanding to my situation (these friends have had baby making issues of their own ).  It still hurts though.   I really wish that I was in a place where I could jump for joy for them…but I’m just not.

There were also two announcements from my adoption training group (Pride Training)!! There have been zero adoption announcements since the training, but now one newborn baby and one pregnancy announcement!  This isn’t helping to put the “try to adopt and you’ll get pregnant” myth to sleep!  (For the record, I do not believe in adoption as a fertility treatment.)

I’m just feeling really left out and left behind.  Yup, feeling a little sorry for myself.

The Baby Bomb

My delicious jalepeno-cheddar cornbread

My delicious jalepeno-cheddar cornbread

I came up with a new term today – the “baby bomb”.

Definition: An unexpected baby appearance that triggers an emotional breakdown.

Use:  I got “baby bombed” at a staff pot-luck lunch today.

All of those colleagues who shared my due date month are obviously off on maternity leave right now.  This has made going to work the last couple of months much easier for me.

Today one of my co-workers had organized a pot-luck lunch.  It was meant to be something fun to do to relieve some of the stress that we’ve all been under.  It was a great idea. I even baked corn bread (see banana bread entry to know that is a BIG deal that I baked).

I went up to the lunchroom and was just about to fill up my plate with nice yummy fattening goodies when the bomb hit.

I heard my colleagues cooing, I heard some high pitch squeals and I turned to find the little visitor and his mom.  This mom is the same woman who had thought I would find it humorous when she kept going on about how she didn’t even want to get pregnant,  it was her husband’s idea.  She told me she would jump up and down after “trying” in order to get it out.  Ha ha…guess what – people that have lost babies and are trying everything in their power to have one don’t find this funny.   I’m sooo sorry that you got pregnant despite all of your efforts not to.

I thought I would be ok. I thought I could just get my goodies, sit at another table and get on with my day. I was wrong.  My friends know me too well.  One look at my face instigated the dreaded  “Are you ok?”

Ka-pow!  Bomb exploded.

Tears started flowing down my cheeks. I had to leave. I was in a full blubber by the time I got out of the room.  So much for the stress-free fun lunch.   (Thanks to this friend for bringing me a plate later on).

I was baby bombed.  I didn’t see it coming.  It hit and it hurt.

Dear Belly Buddy: UPDATE!

A few weeks ago, I wrote a letter to my first “belly buddy”.  She wrote back.  She understands.  She says she’ll always be there for me no matter what because I’ve always been there for her.

I feel so relieved.  It’s like a huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders.

I still have a few more relationships to tackle but I feel like there’s hope for me yet.