Posts Tagged ‘Random Thoughts’

Things that Could Mean Everything,…or Nothing At All.

Things That Could Mean Everything

I had to take a few weeks to myself while nearing the end of our IVF journey because I was battling extreme anxiety and wanted to be as focused as possible.  But have no fear!  I have been documenting all the while, so that all my thoughts would be fresh and that I’ll be able to share with you what has been going on once I was a safe distance from it. The following are my actual thoughts while enduring everyone’s dreaded two week wait between transfer and beta testing.

Regina

 

Because what is infertility without panic and superstition?

Things that could mean everything, or maybe nothing:

  • Going to pee and then after sitting right back down, feeling like I forgot to pee when I was in there.
  • Extreme and relentless boobage somehow.
  • Black person myth-busting necessity: Dreamed of Salmon…though I don’t know what the rules are about the whole “I dreamed of fish” thing.  Do the fish have to be swimming along having a good time?  Or does my dream of perfectly cooked salmon last night not count?
  • Dizziness.  I could have just been tired though.
  • Nauseatingly warm.  Not nauseous. But boiling.

Coincidences that made me smile momentarily and then just creeped me out:

Spiders are supposed to be good luck, right?

  • Spiders in the doctor’s office on the day of transfer
  • Spiders in the bathroom at home the evening after
  • Spiders at work the next day
  • Spider in my CAR the next evening
  • Spider in the hallway of my building the next day

When visiting my doctor’s office for bloodwork and ultrasounds, there was always music playing in the ultrasound room:

  • We Don’t Have To Take Our Clothes Off by Jermaine Stewart
  • If You Think I’m Sexy by Rod Stewart
  • Danger Zone (this one actually played the day they found out I was hyper-stimming a little)
  • We Belong Together by Pat Benetar
  • Sweet Dreams by Eurythmics
  • Lady by The Commodores
Times I freaked out and assumed I’d ruined everything:
  • The day after the transfer, Wendy’s under-cooked my chicken sandwich and I almost had a conniption and believed I’d ruined everything by eating under-cooked meat.
  • Upon returning to work that day, I also moved a piece of furniture in the teen room at work and once again had a conniption and believed I’d ruined everything by overexerting myself.
  • Bought pineapple to try and do the pineapple diet, but forgot it was in the refrigerator and didn’t eat it.  So of course…I’d ruined everything.
  • Then, I dreamed of fish, but it was cooked. So once again, I had a conniption and believed I’d ruined everything.
  • Oh, then I drank a glass of ice water and took my socks off to fight the aforementioned boiling point…then read a blog about PCOS during the 2ww that said, you should NOT drink ice water and you should have socks on 24/7 to “keep all your energy going to your uterus”. So then I had another conniption and believed I’d ruined everything by taking precious energy from my uterus to warm my water and feet.

Clearly I’m neurotic, and making hellafied mistakes with this whole thing I’m sure, but whatever the case…stick around, kid.  Stick. Around.

Did I Ask You All That? Opening the Door On: Infertility and Advice

Opening The Door On - Infertility and Advice

We’ve all heard our fair share of what goes for “advice” these days.  Everything from “Are you sure you’re infertile?  Did a doctor tell you that, or are you listening to too many people on the tv?” to “Maybe you’re doing it wrong”, we’ve heard them all.  Today’s #NIAW post is a tongue-in-cheek look behind the door of one of the most dreaded by-products of infertility; Advice.


Girl look, I appreciate your support.  You seem really committed to helping me “get over this whole infertility thing” as quickly as you can make me, and I appreciate your go-get-em attitude about it all.  But here’s the thing, I didn’t really ask you for all that you’re trying to give me.  I can appreciate the fact that the earth goddess and the moonlight came together for the bark that you put into your tea that led to  your ovaries singing songs and welcoming the dawn that led to you conceiving your fifteen-year-old.  I think that’s awesome, and I’m really happy for you and little Shaman.  However, all the moonlight and tree bark in the world may not open my Fallopian tubes or clear out my endometriosis, so girl bye.

Friend, I’m sooo very sorry about your head cold.  I mean, it sounds like it sucks, and I can only imagine how hard it is to remember to take your antibiotics every day.  Man, I remember what that’s like, from the millions of colds I’ve had throughout my life. Because you’re so stressed out, I won’t bother bogging you down with my woe of being on a PCOS induced menstrual cyle from hell, or how I’ve hit day 20 of this one in particular.  I mean, you don’t have time to hear all of that, you’re going to need a day off pretty soon if that cold keeps getting you down.  But don’t you worry, you go ahead and take that day when you need it!  I’ll be here.  At work.  Bleeding.

Miss Claudine, I really want to thank you for your thoughts on adoption.  The idea that you believe something is “wrong” with kids who need to be adopted, was a little odd for me to hear from you.  You know, seeing as how that son of yours was actually birthed by your older sister’s youngest daughter.  But what do I know? Maybe you’re right and I guess as you say, “black folk don’t do that”.  However, considering I’m going through a painful decision process about whether or not adoption is the only option for my family, I really truly don’t need your judgment clouding mine, but thanks for sharing!

Speaking of adoption, Militant Buddy, I’d like for you to cool your heels when heading over to my Facebook inbox demanding that I not be selfish and that I take in one of the thousands of children in need of homes that I’m apparently ignoring.  I appreciate your passion, and I ask you, when are you visiting an agency, and how have you raised your $30,000 in fees?  I’d love to hear your tips and tricks for that.  I mean, you seem really touched by the idea of adoption, and I think anyone with this much fervor for it, must be pretty much on their way to doing it themselves right?  Or are you only suggesting it to me because it seems to you that I have to?  I’d also hope that before you open your home to one of the “thousands” of kids, that you’d take a bit to consider how you plan on telling your new kid that you felt like their only hope and that they were so unwanted that you just had to swoop in and save them.  Because they’re not kids, right?  They’re consolation prizes and charitable acts.  Right?  Right.

Sister Odell, it was great talking to you after church today.  I want to express to you just how helpful it was for me to hear you say that maybe my faith isn’t strong enough or that I’m not praying right,  or that I’m “in God’s way”.  I’d really like to hold on to that when next I see someone who has killed their children, or beaten them within an inch of their lives on the news.  It will remind me that those women, who are on their way to jail, obviously have much more faith than me, and that the Lord hears them and not me.  I’ve been teetering in my faith for a few years now because of this, and I’m glad to know that I’m not wrong, and that God really has forsaken me.  Thanks for the help in deciding not to return to church.  You really helped me out.

Aunt LuLu, I have always loved your sense of humor.  Your sex jokes can still make my dad blush, and you guys grew up together.  I can understand why someone as sexually liberated as yourself would think that us changing up what we’ve done in our bedroom over the last 16 years of marriage should be able to get us pregnant, but I’m sorry to say it won’t. Acrobatic tricks and “massage” oils won’t really do much for sperm count issues, and to be honest, your favorite flavored lubricant can actually kill them.  But I gotta give it to you though, out of all the other people I’ve talked to about this, I appreciate your sense of humor and openness the most.  It helps me to remember to laugh.

Best Friend, I’ve enjoyed sharing this part of my life with you.  We’ve been through so much together, that it would really be hard for me to not include you in what are some of the darkest times I’ve had to endure.  I want to thank you for always listening to me, and letting me vent about how hard it is for me to climb into those stirrups yet again only to be back at square one a few weeks later.  I guess our openness and candor is what makes you feel so comfortable complaining about your aching feet and back to me, or how tired of being pregnant you are.  You know, with this being your fourth baby, when I always thought we’d have had our first together and been pregnant besties who gave birth to besties, I guess it’s hard for you to have to let go of that dream, and so you feel the need to include me on every, single, detail of your pregnancy.  Rest assured, however, that I really don’t need to know.  I don’t actually need to hear your staunch views and jokes about how you wish you could get your husband “fixed” since every time he breathes on you, you get pregnant, and I really don’t give a care to be offered one of your kids every time they’re getting on your nerves around the house.  Do you have any idea how much my husband WISHES he could breathe on me?  Any thought about how I’d love for a toddler to make a mess of my living room?  It’s cool, and we’re cool, and I love you to the moon, but I need you to think when speaking to me these days.  I’m more fragile than I let on.

Mom, I want to thank you for simply asking me what you can do.  Yours is the best and most welcome thing that’s been said to me throughout this entire ordeal.  I am so sorry I haven’t been able to achieve the dreams you have for me, even if it’s been just the basic one of me being happy.  I’m grateful that when I need your advice, you know that I’ll ask for it, and that when you give it, you always take care to consider how I’ll feel after our talk.  I wish you could teach these other people. LOL

 

 

Grey Matter

I Matter copy
I did not sleep last night.  I will admit that aside from taking an ill-timed nap, my anxiety got the better of me.
I did pray, however. And the most poignant message that came to me in that time of meditation was this: “I MATTER.”

I worry a lot. I worry about time. I worry about the world. I worry about my health. I worry about my words. I worry about people. I worry about my dog. I worry. I am a worrier.
My mother compared my niece to me this weekend as she recounted their day together.

“She’s very much like Regina,” she said. “there were a few clouds in the sky and she was convinced that it was going to storm, and wanted to stay inside.”

We all laughed. I actually didn’t think much of it. But it nagged me sometime later when I started to realize, that I am passing along this feeling of panic.
Out of all the things I worry about, do you want to know what I worry about most?

Most of all, I worry about whether to ask God for things. Along these years of battle with my own body, there have been many casualties. Slow, silent deaths. One of which, being my hope at many times. Or more honestly, my faith.
I am deeply ashamed to admit that, but hey, I talk about everything else in this space, so why not share that?

When I really started to break down why I wasn’t really praying over any of this very much anymore, I guess what I felt it came down to was, I don’t feel worth protecting, or saving, or listening to, sometimes. In the midst of great accomplishments, professionally I was just named Young Adult Librarian of the Year in my state, and socially, I was just reappointed to a very cool position in my organization, I still feel relatively incomplete in many aspects. And that nagging little feeling of “you don’t really deserve that”, combined with the fact that this STUPID STUPID STUPID infertility thing won’t just die, makes me forget how blessed I really am sometimes.

It’s hard to dictate why people want to have children. I guess that’s why most of us get pissed off when you ask. No matter the answer, as a person struggling with infertility, you’re always going to feel like your answer isn’t cutting it, and is in fact the most selfish one that can be imagined.

Whatever your personal reasons are, I would wager that on the basic human level, there is also an innate desire to leave your mark on the world. To have been here. To know that when you are no more, there is a living, breathing legacy that you have created.

In my silent, overnight meditation, I recognized that for me, it is important that I remember that I matter.
Not only to my family and friends, or even to the organizations and agencies with whom I belong.

But that I matter to God
That He cares for me.
And for my life.
And that no matter how utterly devastated I feel, or how many “no”‘s or “not yet”‘s, I receive, that I am HERE. I am important. I was here.

Whether or not I am ever a mother, in the traditional sense.  Or if I am always going to be battling PCOS.  Or if I forever keep all my hangups, and screw-ups, and whatevers.

I, in all my whatever,…matter.

I will be honest.
I planned to sit on this one.
I make it a point not to debate religion or spirit on this blog, because it is too important to too many, to be left in the hands of keyboards and hotheads when humans inevitably disagree. And infertility-lore is already permeated with misunderstandings, misspeaks, and downright wrongness spewed in the name of it. We’ve all had or heard the “you just need to pray”, or “your faith isn’t strong enough” commentary at some point I’m sure in regards to our medical conditions.

But I think a lot of people feel the way that I do. Once one too many of our prayers seem unheard, or when a new catastrophe seems to fall out of nowhere and all at once, on top of our already shaky faith; that it’s somehow because they don’t matter. That you, out of all your friends, is the LONE person battling childlessness, because it’s you. That it’s because of something you did or said, or didn’t appreciate, that you are now one of the 7.3 million facing this or some other ailment.

I stayed up all night,…just to tell you that if nobody else tells you for the rest of your life,..

I’M telling you;

YOU MATTER.

Take of this post what you will, but it was on my heart to share it.

What If…Infertility Were Acknowledged.

What IF - Infertility Were Acknowledged

In my career of working with children over the past fourteen years or so, I’ve sat through many training courses that have stressed the importance of sensitivity to the home lives of children. We make care to have events that embrace “Family” or “Caregivers” rather than parents or mom’s and dad’s because we don’t want to make any child who doesn’t have a traditional home life, to feel out of place or embarrassed. We are careful to encourage the appreciation of all family types, and to acknowledge things like different family names, and the emergence of separate family structures.

What if we did that in all aspects? What if MY family structure was acknowledged and respected in that same manner of care? I wonder how that would look in this hyper-correct world we’ve tried to create for so many others.


There would be a special card section for Mother’s and Father’s Day that included those who are hoping to be parents one day, or who have lost children.

The childless couples in movie plots and books wouldn’t be used as the emotional scapegoats of the story arch.

The mere IDEA of asking someone when they planned to have kids would never cross anyone’s mind, because there would be in us an ingrained understanding that this was neither our business, nor appropriate conversation for the church aisle/family reunion/grocery store parking lot/class reunion/etc.

Teens in health classes would learn about things like Poly-cystic Ovary Syndrome, and Pelvic Inflammatory Disease, and would be taught to preserve their reproductive health so that they can have the lives they want as ADULTS, rather than being scared straight about pregnancy.

Maybe children would be more greatly appreciated in our society in general.

Perhaps adoption wouldn’t be considered so much of a consolation prize, and people would take into account ALL forms of reproductive health options as viable paths to parenthood.

People would be thoughtful and considerate of what and how they ask questions of adoptive parents. They’d refrain from asking whether your kids knew their “real parents”, or if you were ever afraid that they’d pop up and take “their” kids back.

If infertility were acknowledged, more than five states would have received an A on Resolve’s Fertility Scorecard, with each of them doing their best to treat and serve patients of this disease with compassion and equality.

If infertility were acknowledged, maybe it wouldn’t hit each of us so hard when we receive our diagnoses. We would always know that it is a possibility, but not a period on our sentences, and we would use that knowledge to make plans and stick with them rather than cower at the sheer magnitude of it. We would discuss a plan with our doctors, and move forward with the peace that comes from knowing that we are not alone, because it would never have to hit any of us as the first time we’d heard about it.

If infertility were acknowledged, honestly and truly acknowledged, perhaps we’d be miles ahead of where we are, in its treatment, prevention, and care.

By acknowledging infertility for what it is: a disease that affects 7.4 million people, and speaking out about it in your own way, you can help it become a topic that is not covered in taboos and myths.

By resolving to know more about infertility, you and I can help to make sure that no on we come in contact with, will ever feel like this diagnosis is the end of their dreams, because we can speak to them assuredly.

By resolving to take control of our reproductive health, we can do our part to change the infertility conversation.

So let’s do that.
Together, we can move beyond “What IF’s”, to making a better what is.

Thank you for joining me this week for my National Infertility Awareness Week journey through the land of “What IF”.  For more information on Infertility and Infertility Resources, check out Resolve: The National Infertility Association.  Be sure and check out all the posts from this year’s NIAW blogger’s unite project.  Lastly, to read the other entries in my “What IF” series, click here:

A Week of What IF’s.
What IF…I Said What I Was Thinking.
What IF…I Were A Mom.
What IF…This Wasn’t So Hard.
What IF…I Could Just Stop Caring About This.
What IF…Infertility Were Acknowledged.

Featured image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

What IF…I Were A Mom…

What IF - I were a mom

If I were a mom, we’d start our morning’s with prayer, and listen to “Happy”, as we got dressed and ate our breakfast.

We’d walk to school and leave early enough to stop and observe the morning leaves, and the birds as they went about their business.
We’d have a number hunt on the way to school, and see which of us could find a number 4 along our path, or see the letter B.
We’d say a prayer at the gate of the school for a good day, and good friends, and a happy recess, and promise to tell each other something new when we saw each other in the afternoon!

I’d go to work, and recommend books to mom’s, and not fumble for the wording when I explained who I’d read the book to myself.
“I read this to MY son/daughter”, I’d be able to say, and not “I read this to my cousin/goddaughter/godson/niece/friend’s daughter”…
And they’d take my word immediately, because mom’s are faster to take advice from other mom’s than they are from people who don’t have children.

There would be no more awkward pauses when someone asks “How many kids do YOU have?”, because I wouldn’t have to think of a soft way to let THEM down about MY misfortune. No one would tiptoe around me when they discussed babies and pregnancies, because they would assume that I’m over all those icky sensitive infertile feelings. I would be able to request Mother’s Day off, because people would know that my family was obviously going to need me home that day.

Leading storytime at work would be fun, and I wouldn’t wish I could take the crafts home to do at my own kitchen table. When new books came in, I’d order my own copies so that I could add them to our bedtime collection. We would play library at home, because what I do at work every day would be something my children would aspire to.

I’d leave work on time, because there was someone waiting for me, with their something new to tell me. Dinner would be a recipe from Pinterest, prepped and in the fridge, ready for the oven. We would finish up homework and share our something new’s while we waited for it to cook.

My husband would get home just in time for a little bit of tv.
And there would be laughter.
Lots of laughter.
And even more laughter.
And a few more giggles, as we picked out our clothes for tomorrow.
And we’d each have our baths, and then all tell a story that we’d make up piece by piece, and then we’d pray for everyone near and far, before we turned out the lights.

And when little eyes were closed, I’d clean up the evening’s fun from the floor, and put everything away. I’d finish up any work that I hadn’t done, and I’d plan our next fun day. The zoo, or the museum, or the children’s play room. And I would be able to invite nieces/cousins/godkids, etc., rather than collecting them.

And I would feel STABLE.
In my life.
In my position.
In my future.
Because I’d know that no matter what else fell away, I was THEIR mom, and that it was something no one could take away from me.
I would know that I had the final say, in their care, and their education, and their diet, and their activities, and that no agency could dictate those choices based on any arbitrary guidelines.

I would feel like a whole person.
I would feel like a whole woman.
I would be confident.
I would be happy, on more days than I’m sad.
I wouldn’t have an undercurrent of rage.
I would be blessed to know that I was doing my part for the world by raising an intelligent, empathetic, thoughtful, caring, well-mannered, and creative person to contribute to society.
I would be proud.

I would be at peace.
Real peace.
Not the shroud of peace that comes from numbness.
But real peace.

I would be grateful to God for hearing me and answering me.
I would be thankful that my prayers were effective.
I wouldn’t hesitate opening my Bible because doubt was eating away at me.
I wouldn’t question my faith, or whether I’d offended God, and no one else would either.

I would attend baby showers.
I would buy baby gifts.
I would CARE.
I wouldn’t feel so incredibly defeated.
Or so immensely sad.
Or so devastatingly stupid.
Or so cheated.

I would go to sleep with excitement on my face, knowing that in a few short hours, I’d get to see those little faces all over again, and that we’d have new adventures to share.

But,…
I’m not a mom.
And at times, I truly doubt, against my highest of hopes,
That I will ever be one.
Despite my TWO journeys towards adoption.
And my TWO corrective surgeries.
Or my five dosage changes.
And my 8 years of “trying”.
Or my thousands of dollars spent.

But man, even without the frills, what a mom I’d be.


This post is a part of my “What IF” series for National Infertility Awareness Week.  It is my hope that these words will help someone who doesn’t understand why we can’t just “let it go”, or why we “care so much” about becoming parents, will somehow begin to see where the pain lies, and empathize with the 7.4 million others who feel just as I do.  Resolve to know more about infertility, for yourself, and those around you.  We need your support and your love, and your empathy.

For more information on Infertility and Infertility Resources, check out Resolve: The National Infertility Association.

To read the other posts in this series:
A Week of What IF’s.
What IF…I Said What I Was Thinking.
What IF…I Were A Mom.
What IF…This Wasn’t So Hard.
What IF…I Could Just Stop Caring About This.
What IF…Infertility Were Acknowledged.
Featured image courtesy of imagerymajestic/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

What IF…I Said What I Was Thinking.

What IF - I Said What I Was Thinking In the years that infertility and I have been going steady, my sensitivity to the things that people say and do without thinking, has fluctuated. There are times where I am super-sensitive and ready to slap down a RESOLVE pamphlet on anyone who utters something out of pocket, and there are times where I’m just like, “Ah, whatever…”.

I wonder often if people think before they let words fall out of their mouths. I think I get so wrapped up in it because I know that most of us dealing with infertility don’t have the luxury of just blurting out what’s on our minds.  When in fact, there’s usually so much going on in ours, that if we started, I doubt we’d ever be able to stop.

There are so many days that I find myself trying to control my feelings, and stop myself from blurting out something so direct and honest that it would ostracize me from the general population. Infertility does a good enough job on its own of making me feel separate and often less-than. It doesn’t need my help. But there are days where I can’t move. Days where I just can’t stand to think about this any more. And I start to wonder to myself, what IF on those days, I said the first things that came to my mind?

What IF I admitted that sometimes I’m deathly afraid that this will never happen?

What IF I admitted that I see myself getting older, and losing time EVERY SINGLE TIME I think about this now.

What IF I said out loud how devastated I feel every time I think about my grandfather getting older and NEVER seeing any children of mine?

What IF I said that sweet children make me sad and not happy because I just can’t stop feeling sorry for myself?

What IF I answered people honestly when they asked me how I felt every day?

What IF I told the truth when my husband asks “What are you thinking about?”

What IF I said “NO.”, when someone asked me “Are you okay?”

What IF I told people when they were going on and on about nonsense, that I was barely alive, and that if they only knew how much it took for me to BREATHE every day, they wouldn’t want me to waste my breath on trivialities.

What IF I was honest about how many times I have wanted to close this very blog because I’m just SICK of feeling like I’m in the same position I was when I started it?

Recently, I had a passing conversation with a person who is expecting, and sometime during our chat, she offhandedly said that she wished she weren’t pregnant. Had I uncensored myself and told her about the FIVE couples I know who’ve lost babies in the last year that they’d prayed and fought to even conceive, I wonder what would have happened?

Maybe she would have thought more carefully about tossing phrases like that out into the atmosphere. Maybe she would have gotten offended that I’d “taken it there”. Or maybe, at the very least, it wouldn’t still be bothering me to have heard it.

I walked away from the encounter with a sour taste in my mouth. Should I have used that opportunity to educate this person about how many people struggle with childlessness? Should I have said that I was personally offended? Was it the time or the place for that discussion at all?  Was that one of the rare opportunities for me to actually say what I was thinking?

I wonder,…what if…

 

Featured image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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