The great Erykah Badu has a song called “Out My Mind, Just In Time”, where she laments, for close to eleven minutes about losing herself in a man she thought she loved, and how she gave more of herself to him, than she even gave to herself. It’s a beautiful song, really, that drifts in and out of changes that reflect the growth and depth of this over-thought and overwrought relationship.
And while she is clearly talking about a man who wasn’t worth the stress, this is a feeling I had about my own damn self recently. That I had been in a relationship with myself and my feelings about infertility for some time now, at the expense of my husband’s feelings. A relationship that it was clearly time to move on from.
There are things that you get to be selfish about in this journey.
You get to be frustrated when the medicines don’t work.
You get to be annoyed when you have to have a painful procedure that no one else could possibly understand.
You get to be angry when you’ve spent six months losing weight to prepare for IVF, only for the hormones to put the weight back on.
You don’t get to be so wrapped up in those feelings, that you forget to think about your actual wellbeing and progress, OR that you forget to think about any person who is on the journey with you.
It is very easy to assume, after going through so very much, that you are the only one who gets this. You and the other women who have had the pleasure of enduring shots, and invasive procedures, are the ONLY ones who can truly understand your particular pain. Your loving, but clueless partner has no idea what you really feel like.
He is not hurting in the way that you are. How could he be? The most he had to do was get friendly with himself.
And can he rattle off the names, addresses, and phone numbers of the doctors, nurses, and phlebotomists?
I didn’t think so.
That means he doesn’t give a damn about it.
Can he quote you the appointment dates for the next three appointments?
I knew it.
He’s practically not even in the game.
But, as we start to think those thoughts, here’s the thing though…
Did we ASK him how he felt about everything?
Have you ever really thought about how it feels to him that he can’t make you know how sufficient you are to him, when you’re basing every piece of your worth on this?
Or how hard it must be for him to not know what to say when you’re gushing the details of how you feel, out of fear that you’ll only tell him he doesn’t understand, or that you won’t listen when he tells his own feelings?
Or how terribly, terribly embarrassing and uncomfortable it is to do something so private and intimate, and know that everyone in that clinic/office knows what you’re doing?
Granted, most of what we do as women in this area, is invasive and humiliating. Just getting through the preliminary workups, our pocketbook, as my grandmother would call it, is known from here to West Leviticus, and has made happy times with many an ultrasound wand or speculum. But to be honest, as women, we are somewhat familiar with the stirrups. For a man, so much of this has to be new and fast, and terrifying.
The more I started to think about that, the worse I felt.
I had made this entire thing, about me. I want this so badly, and I am so very tired of waiting, that I have become incredibly sad but ridiculously headstrong. I will not waiver, because I feel like I cannot, even if it is just to stop and acknowledge that he’s lost his footing. I will drag us both over the finish line before I stop at this point.
And worse still, I’ve been so very tight-lipped about my feelings with everyone else, that he was catching ALL of it. All the frustration, and the angst, and the polarizing aggression. I was pouring everything onto him and leaving absolutely no room for him to feel anything of his own.
And as usual these days, that emotion led right back to anger.
I was angry that this stupid, stupid thing had once again made me a monster. It had made me cold, and irrational, and impatient, and…
I was back in my head, making everything about me. Making every emotion I was feeling, the fault of something or someone else. It was my pity party, and I wanted to just cry and cry.
I couldn’t let myself off that easy. I was wrong. Point blank and the period.
I was wrong for being in my head. I was wrong for internalizing everything to the point of insanity. I was wrong for stealing his voice and swallowing it into my own.
So why am I telling you this? You’re a perfectly respectable infertile, right? You handle your stresses far better than I do, and would never dream of making your partner feel isolated and forgotten. Right?
But just in case you ever find yourself being the raging lunatic I discovered I was capable of being, remember these words I said to myself:
The worst battles we will ever fight, take place in our minds. We play the hero and the villain. We project words and actions and even thoughts onto those around us, based on our own insecurities and fears. We lose sight of reality, and sometimes our partners pay the price.
This path is exhausting, and scary, and rough, and a whole heap of other adjectives I could throw in. I am grateful that I don’t have to move down it by myself. I have to remember to appreciate and acknowledge that, before I ostracize the person who is walking beside me.
Get out of your head. Quickly. See things for what they actually are.
If he honestly isn’t doing everything in his power to really be on the journey with you, then say so. Don’t yell it or accuse it. Address it.
If you discover, however, that you just weren’t seeing the full picture, because you were too busy writing a new script in your head, then address that too. Apologize, and move on.
This is just me. You are perfectly clear-headed, and in control of your thoughts and emotions these days, right? You would absolutely, positively just never, ever, be this person. I know.
We hold names sacred in the infertility community.
They are our little secret smirks at fate.
They symbolize the victory we’re hoping for. They are precursors to rainbows.
A horizon we can barely see, but one we are trying desperately to get a view of. (more…)
Long time no blog.
I know. *slaps own hand* “Bad Blogger!” But come on in, have a seat…
If you hang with me on Facebook and Twitter, then you know I haven’t really left, but that I’ve just been extremely more quiet about what is going on inside my own journey. There’s good reason, I promise. (more…)
This will be one of those TMI, tell-all posts.
Let me give a couple of you some time to clear the room if that’s not what you’re here for:
So, I’m annoyed and confused today.
Purpose of D&C & hysteroscopy – To diagnose and stop irregular bleeding
Result of D&C – 9 days more of irregular bleeding.
Now, I know what you’re thinking:
Be patient, Regina! That’s completely normal! These things take time… blah, blah, blah.
But let me hip you to something I’ve been keeping silent for a while out of embarrassment, frustration, and a self-destructive need to make sure no one sees the kinks in my armor:
Out of the past 90 days, I have bled in some form or fashion for a total of 67.
I have bled longer than Chad Johnson and Evelyn Lozada were married.
If I bleed another 6 days, I will have also outlasted the nuptials of Kim Kardashian and Chris Humphries.
In the time that I’ve bled, cats, armadillos, bobcats, mice, rabbits, some dog breeds, and many other animal species have fully gestated.
Are you seeing why I’m pissed? Just a bit?
I’ve taken Estrogen supplements, Glucophage, Birth Control Pills, Thyroid meds…and yet nothing.
I’ve purchased approximately EIGHT boxes of Always…each with 32 pads included.
See these special Always boxes that come with the free Modeez Sanitary packs? Yeah, I got FOUR Modeez now.
I’m tired of being tough.
I’m tired of being resilient.
I’m tired of acting like I’m not feeling like I’m literally bleeding to death.
I’m tired of nurses saying, “Yes, but are you bleeding through more than one pad in an hour”, in condescending tones.
I’m tired of feeling eeks and squeaks whenever I sneeze, or stand up too fast, or at random times while sitting absolutely still.
I’m tired of EVERY television show, magazine, book, and conversation being about sex and babies….to point out that I can have neither.
I’m tired of looking at my husband and HATING that he deserves better that what I am capable of providing at the moment because I’m depressed, and infertile, and uncomfortable, and hormonal.
I’m tired of feeling like I’m wearing a diaper every day.
I’m tired of being angry.
I’m tired of being sad.
I’m tired of being told to pray.
I’m just tired.
And I felt it necessary to say that today.
Out loud for a change.
Because who am I helping with this website that I’m paying for, if I don’t tell it all? Especially since that’s what I started the site for. And how am I even helping ME, if I’m not using this website that I’m paying for, as my venting space. And what more damage will I do to myself if I don’t shout?
I called my doctor today. Because once again I felt that I’d reached my breaking point. I was told that this is normal. This post-op “spotting” as they call it. And I don’t know, maybe under different circumstances I’d be okay with that answer. Maybe if I hadn’t already been experiencing it for the past 60+ days then I could not feel so defeated when the nurse once again tells me that “if it isn’t bleeding through one pad in an hour, I can just wait until my follow-up appointment next THURSDAY”.
Next Thursday is 5 days, 127 hours, 7628 minutes, 457706 seconds, and another 30 Always pads away.
At this point in my life, next Thursday is practically a year from now.
And I have lots of curse words floating around in my head to punctuate my feelings about that.
I just don’t understand any of this.
Ladies, (and the ever-elusive gentlemen), we have a verdict.
The jury was out for a good, long while, but within 45 minutes, the final decision was finally made.
BOTH of my tubes are completely blocked.
There is a weight on that sentence that has been rolling around on my tongue for a while. But before I get into that, let me break down how I got this long-awaited answer. Things started with an HSG test.
My appointment was at 9am, and I was actually taken back sometime around 9:30. After undressing from the waist down, I was led to the x-ray room by a very nice nurse named Tammy. Prior to getting things started, Tammy had me sit down so that we could discuss each thing that was going to take place.
First, she asked if I’d taken any pain relievers prior to coming to the appointment, which I hadn’t. She then double-checked to make sure that they had been recommended by my doctor. They had. I have a pretty high pain threshold in my opinion, and couldn’t see how two tylenol an hour beforehand were going to make much difference, so I didn’t take any. After those preliminaries, it was time to break down the procedure itself.
My doctor, Doctor C., would be called down to the room to insert a catheter, Tammy would remain at my head to keep me calm and explain what was happening, and a radiologist would be called in to perform the x-ray itself. Through the catheter, my doctor would use a syringe to push dye directly into my uterus, while the radiologist simultaneously photographed the process with the x-ray machine. Done correctly and without complication, we all would be able to see the dye travel through my uterus and tubes by way of the monitor placed beside the exam table. She asked if I had any questions. I didn’t. Then it was time to sit on the table and wait for the doc.
My doctor came down, as explained, asked me if I was comfortable, and went over the details again. Then it was time for the catheter. Okay, now I have a pretty high pain threshold, like I said, but this was very uncomfortable for me. It didn’t “hurt”, but it was extremely jolting. There is a precise feeling of someone pushing or pulling on a tender part of your skin, but it feels somewhat worse because it’s internal. I was pretty cool I think, but according to Tammy, I was definitely tensing up, so she sat beside me and talked me through a few calming breaths. I stared up at the arm of the x-ray machine, where there was a sticker that read: “7/2”. I focused on that sticker because it is actually my wedding anniversary. I found this, combined with the “breathing exercises” to be maddeningly ironic, considering the situation, but I shook it off.
Once the catheter was fully in, I couldn’t feel any other discomfort. I forgot it was there actually. In about three minutes, the radiologist was there and turning on the machine. Tammy moved the monitor closer so that I could see. Lights, cameras, action!
Only, there was no action. LOL
I watched the screen, I felt Doctor C. push the syringe harder, and none of us saw a damn thing. My lady bits basically flipped us all the bird. I remember vividly that there was one moment when Doctor C. said, “I really can’t push any more. I think they’re both blocked.”
And that’s when shit got real.
I don’t know. The picture in my head was of the dye showing up brightly on that monitor, and of my leaving there with a new script for Clomid. I fully intended on beating this thing with the most minimally invasive procedures as possible.
Instead, she walked to the head of the bed and told me flat-out that I would need to call the RE, and that the most viable option for me would have to be IVF. She put a hand on my shoulder and said, “You did what you said that you wanted to do. You went as far as WE could. This test, was that last thing that WE could do. Now, you go further. Call the doctor I told you about. She’s a great person, who is very honest and personable. This is fixable.”
And I don’t really remember much after that. I mean, it isn’t that this wasn’t frustrating or painful before. It was. But somehow this felt more devastating. There’s something very definitive about the moment you’re told that this thing you didn’t want to do, this path you were avoiding, is the ONLY way to your goal.
Bring me the slippers of the Wicked Witch of The West!
I do remember some things.
I remember getting dressed.
I remember telling my mom, who was in the waiting room.
I remember her taking me to breakfast, and asking gentle questions about what to do next, and sitting there for almost two hours.
I remember her taking me shopping.
I remember holding on to my facade for hours.
I remember watching every mother I encountered, even when I told myself not to.
Mostly, I remember feeling really confused and shitty.
I also remember feeling like I “had” to be positive.
I remember thinking to myself that I didn’t want anyone “worried”, “concerned”, “feeling sorry for”, or “uncomfortable about” me.
So I just shut it off.
I was about to think of the finances. But I shut that off.
I was about to think of the frustration. But I shut that off too.
I just, completed the day.
Fill in the bubbles completely on this standardized test. If you don’t know the answer, after using your study and test-taking skills, make your very best educated guess.
And that’s what I did.
And that’s what I’m still doing.
There’s a plan in here. I always have one. But at the moment, it’s tightly buried beneath my anger and frustration. I’ll pull it out in a bit. But at the moment, I’m frantically filling in these blank test bubbles.
So, it has been a while since I’ve taken the time to actually POST some tidbits here on the site. And it is all your fault. See, most of you follow The Egg on Facebook and we have such great conversations there, that by the time I get over here, I have nothing else to say because we’ve talked it to death over the course of a day!
But, getting back to what this site was created for, and beyond the “business” sides, I have to get my thoughts out once more. And, even in the year 2012…some people don’t use Facebook. I know, I know, perish the thought. But it dawned on me that for those who don’t use Big Blue, there is little to no way of knowing what is going on right now with me if I don’t post it here. So here I am. Have a seat, let’s chat. (more…)