Sunday, February 27, 2005

What Have I Become?

I realized something about myself today. Something I don't like so much, something that infertility has created. I am secretly an Infertility Nazi. I don't like it when others around me have children, while I still wait for even the chance to conceive mine. I honestly thought I was past that, the jealousy, the envy, the little green monster on my shoulder. I was able to go out in public and see families without crying, although there always was that sense of wistfulness that would fill me...the question of "why not me?".

My beloved sister-in-law, whom I adore, emailed me today because she was having a dilemma. You see, she's due to give birth to my niece in 9 weeks. Her first name has been chosen for some time, but SIL was having problems in choosing her middle name. She had mentioned a couple of times that she loved the name Catherine, but she knew that if I'm ever fortunate enough to have a daughter of my own, that I want to name her Katherine, so she backed off the name, worried about my feelings. Instead, she choose to use her own middle name for the baby. Well, apparatly, she was still very much in love with using Catherine, and she asked several sources, including my husband ,whether or not she should go ahead and use it because unbeknownst to me, she has been in love with name since she was a girl. She so desperately wanted to use this name for her daughter, that she finally emailed me to let me know that she did not want to hurt me in any way, but could she please use the name?

I felt so ashamed. How could I have made her feel like this? Who am I to hog a name for Pete's sake!? Why do I expect those I love to stop procreating, just because I can't? Besides, the spellings would be different, and it wouldn't be my niece's first name. And I would call my daughter Katie or Kate for short anyway. I gave her my blessing (which she felt she needed) to use the name. And I'll admit, I did shed a couple of tears in doing so. But, just a couple.

I hate this feeling of despondency. The feeling that I'll never get to be a mother. I've been in a holding pattern for years and I feel so helpless. I'm genuinely happy for those of my IF friends who have gone on to become mothers. I'm even happy for those who are fertile myrtles. If you want to create a child, and are fortunate enough to do, I'm happy for you. But, I'm also jealous of you. I want to be the one who sees the two pink lines, have morning sickness, back pain, labor. I want to hold my child in my arms, feed her from my breasts, rock her to sleep, and soothe her hurts.

Why have I let my pain block me from experiencing all the joy there is in life? What have I become? Why does my empty uterus rule my every waking thought? The sad thing is, that even if I am fortunate enough to have a child, I'll never really be the old me. Infertility will always be a part of who I am, I will always carry these scars and memories. I will always be a little jaded, a little cautious, and a little jealous. I hate that. I wish I could magically wake up one day and not feel this way, but I can't. There's not a pill I can take, no therapy I can undergo, nothing that will completely heal me.

At what point do we stop grieving what never was or could be? Will I forever feel cheated? Will this hinder me from fully enjoying the experience of motherhood, should I ever have the opportunity? If you have the answers or experience, please, let me know. I'm so weary.

Thursday, February 17, 2005

At What Cost?

I'm not a mother, and can not even begin to imagine the heartbreak endured by those who have had to make difficult decisions regarding the health and well being of their child. However, I will say that I found this to be extremely disturbing.

I understand a mother's desperate instinctual need to do everything possible to help her child, but at what cost to the child itself? It seems to me, and this is just my opinion here, that this child has absolutely no chance of survival or any kind of quality of life to look forward to. How can you be a truly loving and selfless mother to allow your child to suffer, just because you believe that your child is "telepathically" informing you of his will to live? It's not just the hospital and doctors treating this child that believe he has no chance, but 40 other medical facilities have concurred with the treating physician's diagnosis. At what point can you come to the realization that you must let your child die a dignified and peaceful death?

I truly admire women like Julia and Tertia who had to make these heartrending decisions regarding their own sons. It was not a decision either of them came to lightly, and they still mourn for their lost babies, despite having since been blessed with other children. Yet, they had the courage and love to let their sons go in a peaceful, thoughtful, and loving way. It was because they were mothers and had no desire to submit their children to a life of pain, that they could make the decision to let them go. Most mothers will tell you they would do anything to keep their child from harm and pain, and that is exactly what Julia and Tertia did.

If you believe that it is against God's will to "pull the plug" on this child, then I don't know what God you worship. My Lord is a loving soul, who does not wish the most innocent of creatures to suffer needlessly. Wouldn't you rather have your child exist in place without pain, in perfect love and peace, instead of selfishly keeping them bound to this plane where they can only know of life of suffering?

Sometimes, the most loving decisions are also the most heartbreaking. I do not mean to judge, as I said, I've never had to be placed in that situation, and pray I never will. But, after reading the stories of women who have made these choices in a dignified manner, I can only wonder what it is that makes someone think in a polar opposite way? If I have offended you, I apologize. I am however, genuinely curious to know your story if you are one who has chosen to prolong your child's life. Let me know where you're coming from, so that I can better understand. Help me to educate myself on both sides of this issue.

I wish peace upon all your hearts....

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Sweet Dreams

I'm sure many of us have had "the dream". You know, the one where either you're pregnant, or have a baby/child? And when you realize you're dreaming, you never want to wake up, because then you have to face the cold reality of your infertility. Sometimes, upon waking, we cry-our arms and hearts aching with emptiness and loss. These dreams are both wonderful and cruel at the same time, because it gives us a glimpse at the life we so desperately want. We look forward to, yet dread, these inevitable dreams, and all pray that they may someday come true.

Last night I had my first IVF dream. I dreamt that I was going in to transfer 2 embryos, but I had the feeling of dread that they wouldn't implant, but that another woman who was having a transfer that day (that was in the waiting room with me), would be successful. Then, a little voice in my head told me that I would think it didn't work, but that I would have a positive beta. Weird, especially since I'm not even anywhere close to undergoing treatment.

Eh, I'm just gonna blame this on my cold medicine.....

Monday, February 14, 2005

It's A Valentine's Day Extravaganza!!

Errrrr....or not.

Just thought that since it's been a week since I posted (oh how the time flies when you're infertile!) I have an obligation to my (small, yet wonderful) audience to grace you all with some more random mutterings from my addled mind.

If I've said this once, I've said it a thousand times: I'm sick and tired of being sick and tired. I'm currently in the process of working on getting a lovely sinus infection. Oh the joy! I have no idea why I was born with the world's shittiest immune system, and the steroids that I occasionally have to take for asthma or arthritis only weaken it further. Although, I will say that at least I had a a lot of fun leading up to getting the sinus infection.

"What", may you ask, "are you talking about?" Allow me to elaborate: yesterday was my friend A's 25th birthday, and we pretty much declared all of last week to be a holiday in celebration. Friday night we went out with one of our copy vendors, who's also a friend, for free drinks (on him) at Happy Hour with some another friend and co-worker, M. The plan was for us to go to the hockey game (CHL-they're not on strike!) afterwards, and then call it an evening around 10. So much for the plan!! Instead, we stayed at Happy Hour, then as a group (my group, and T, the vendor's group) decided to go bar crawling, especially since A had never done that. So, off we go to this wine bar, (after leaving the ale house we were currently at), before we ordered our first drink we decided that this place was too crowded, and that the clientele was way too pretentious for our tastes, so we moved the party to this club/bar at one of the local hotels. What a blast!! There was this band that played hits from the 70's through today and not only were they good, but the lead singer was HOT. Ahhh, nothing quite like some eye candy on a Friday night! After I called Jake to let him know I'd be home soon (this was around 1 am), he decided to go ahead and pick me up, so my friends wouldn't have to drop me off (because 1-I didn't have a car that day, and 2-I'd been drinking, so no driving for me!). Unfortunately, my sinuses were not happy with having to filter smoke-filled air for 8 hours, and revolted by triggering my allergies and clogging me all up. Then, the next night was my best friend A's (a different one) going away bash at a local karaoke bar we go to. I didn't drink then, but once again, was in a smoke-filled bar for at least 4 hours. Needless to say, I was absolutely miserable on Sunday, and was cursing all smokers (including Jake) for the way their habits were affecting me at the moment. Today I am still miserable, especially with the congestion, but I shall live to see another day. Oh well, it was fun!

Speaking of my love bunny, he totally and completely surprised me this morning (and by morning I mean 2 am) by waking me up with a kiss, a dozen coral-colored roses, and a beautiful card, in which he wrote: "You are my soul.... My life.... My love.... I love you, Jake". OMG, can you just imagine the waterworks!! The written script in the card was also beautiful, but I treasure his words even more. Of course, because of our opposite schedules, and Jake's proclivity to forget upcoming holidays, I wasn't even expecting something, and had not bought him anything in return. Luckily there is a Hallmark store near my work, so I dashed over there at lunch and managed to find a very nice card in the remnants of the Valentine's selections. Whew, for a while there I thought I was going to have to "catch him a delicious bass" instead.

Well, that's all for now. I'll work on posting something more interesting next time. Until then, I'm off to take more allergy meds and attempt to do homework. Ciao!!

Monday, February 07, 2005

Tapped Out

Eh, I got nothin'. So, until I get my muse back, enjoy this titillating tale that was forwarded to me by a friend. Got to have something to laugh at on Monday!
The woman entered the room, and with a knowing smile
teasing her full lips, she sank into the comfort of
the plush chair in the corner.

The handsome stranger turned, having sensed her
approach. Locking his steely gray eyes on hers, he
moved slowly toward her, his experienced gaze
measuring her, hypnotizing her with his soft murmurs
of assurance.

He sank to his knees before her and without a word,
smoothly released her from her constraining attire.
With a sigh of surrender, she allowed his foreign
hands to unleash her bare flesh. He expertly guided
her through this tender, new territory, boldly taking
her to heights she had never dared to dream of, his
movements deliberate, confident in his ability to
satisfy her every need.

Her senses swam. She was overcome with an aching
desire that had gone unfulfilled for so long.
And, just as it seemed that ecstasy was within her
grasp, he paused, and for one heart-stopping moment,
she thought, "It's too big! - it will never fit!"
Then, with a sudden rush, it slid into place as if it
had been made only for her. As pleasure and
contentment washed over her, she met his steady gaze,
tears of gratitude shining in her eyes. And he knew it
wouldn't be long before she returned. Oh, yes, this
woman would want more.

She would want to do it again and again and again...


Friday, February 04, 2005

Quiet Desperation

I'm going back to that place again. That dark place I swore I'd never let myself visit again. I may have to finally seek some professional help, just to get a grip and maintain my sanity. I thought I was doing so well, I'd managed not to think about babies every second of every hour of every day. But then, somehow, mysteriously, it started creeping up on me again. And now I find myself back to where I was so long ago. I hate this place, this dark cave. I hate that I am envious of those I should be supportive to, just because they have what I don't, but so desperately want-a child.

What did we do wrong? Logically I know that answer is "nothing", but I can't help but feel like I'm burning off some seriously bad karma here. Was I Hitler in a past life or something? I'm in this permanent holding pattern, circling around the land of Parenthood, and I need to land soon, or I'll run out of fuel and crash. Of course, there are those who will read this and think, "She's too unstable to have a child. Depressed people shouldn't be allowed to have children.". Yeah, well, FUCK YOU, you fucking know-it-alls. Infertility is like a death. It rips a hole in your heart that you feel will NEVER fully heal, even if you are lucky enough to finally achieve motherhood. The scars we are left with run deep, and rarely fade over time. I am in MOURNING. My arms ache to hold my child, my eyes want to see her face, my ears, to hear her cry, so I can make it better. Will I ever be "Mommy"? Next month, it will be SIX YEARS since we started our "efforts" at becoming parents. As happy as we are with each other, Jake and I both desire to be parents. It's not just a baby, we look forward to raising our child (hopefully children), watching them grow, learn, have families of their own. It is a fundemental biological urge we have, and we can't turn it off. Childfree (and I commend those of you who have made this choice, especially non-voluntary ones) is not an option for us.

For those of you out there who may think that I am being punished, may I ask you, for what? I rarely drink, don't smoke, have never done drugs, am married to the only man I've slept with, I'm a good wife, daughter, sister, aunt. I'm not perfect, but I'm no worse than the next person. Sure, I have a potty mouth, but not around children. I'm not trying to be preachy, either. I don't believe that the women out there who do drink, smoke, have tried drugs, or have had multiple sexual partners are any less deserving of children than I. In fact, they have the advantage of having additional life experiences that I don't. They can actually tell their kids why drugs (drinking, smoking, etc.) are bad, and can relate what it's like to have had your heart broken, but then how to pick up the pieces and move on. No one deserves this. Why can't we have children, when crack-whores are breeding left and right? There is no rhyme or reason to this universe.

Don't worry, I'll find my way out of th dark place again; I always do. And someday, I hope I can permanently step out into the light, clasping the hand of my precious child, and smile, at the possiblilites of a new day.