Wednesday, October 31, 2012

My Time Management Sucks

I was going to call this post negativity, but that sounded to me too much like the results of a pregnancy test and that is not what this is about at all.  It is about how it feels to honestly look at yourself and be called out on some negativity that has been coming out of your mouth and showing in your actions.

Growing up, I was known as a pretty positive person.  Looking to build other people up, even going so far as to take their feelings and make them my own.  Empathy to the nth degree.

It has always been exhausting, but when you are young and only have to worry about school and putting gas in your car, it is fairly easy to deal with. When you are sneaking up on 40, with a toddler, a DH with a stressful job, and have been doing an inordinate amount of not for leisure travel over the past few months, it is much harder to keep your positive flow.

I've been complaining (I recently learned) a LOT about not having any time.  It is a very legitimate thing when you have an infant and you are still trying to remember if you already had lunch.  It becomes more about poor time management when you have a toddler who sleeps in until 10am and takes a 3 hour nap and have family nearby ready to lend a hand.

So my time management sucks.

It is hard to get called on something you are doing.  In my case, doing a LOT of complaining and not a lot of trying to fix the many things bogging me down.

One of those things is a friend of mine.  One of my very closest.  She is going through a few different things that are challenging and she is complaining.  A lot.  Daily.  Through calls and emails and texts.  I'm turning around and telling DH about it.  Under the guise of how can we learn from what she is going through, but I think sometimes it is to make yourself feel better as in, "at least I'm not THAT bad."  That sucks.  On a few different levels.

I'm also listening to many podcasts and audiobooks.  Many.  All day.  Playing in the background, while I feed and play with N, clean the house, drive the car.  They are on constantly.  They are my friends.  They are my escape from the things that bog my mind down.  They are my escape from the overwhelming empathy and feelings that I'm not enough for anyone.

DH's job is very stressful right now and I feel like more often than not, I don't know what to say.
N is very challenging to feed right now, in that toddler what worked for me yesterday is definitely not going to work today.  He has literally put his pointer finger on one corner of a piece of chicken or fruit or whatever and looked at me like "how dare you put that on my tray??"
I just got finished planning and pulling off a family party (with help) that went beautifully and I felt like somehow someone was going to be disappointed with something.  I felt like I needed days to recover afterwards.

I realize that I am putting some imaginary pressure on myself.  That if I need help, I just need to ask.  I can tell DH that I don't know what to say, but that I wish I did and that no matter what, he has my support and love.  I know I can laugh when N will throw a cookie on the floor one day and the next be pushing a chair to the cabinet to get one.  When he will ONLY eat avocado and the next day when he pokes at it and says "Ow" with his eyes.  I know that party was beautiful.  I know everyone said they were happy.  I still can't help but wonder if everyone was telling the truth.  My family is really good at hiding their true feelings.

I should be packing right now to go on the road again tomorrow.  Instead, I am going to go to sleep.  I will get up an hour early and pack.  An hour will be enough, because I will focus on exactly my task.  My phone will be off.  My computer will be off.  I will get up.  Have a cup of coffee and take a shower.  I will pack a bag.  I will focus on my task and baby step them out of my brain and be in the moment.

Maybe what this is what this is all about.  Being in the moment.  If you are in the moment, you don't have time to worry about what everybody else is doing or thinking or feeling.

Ok.  Tomorrow I start focused.  I'll update this and let you know how it goes.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012


I was going to title this post "A Little Stronger", but I'm feeling more than a little stronger.  I won't go so far as to say "a lot", but I'm getting there.

Back in August, and I write that as if it was years instead of weeks ago, I was posting and thinking about death.  The feeling was pervasive, getting into my thoughts while washing dishes and dreams at night and happily in the last few weeks, it has been relegated to the far back of my mind, instead of the forefront.

September was a BUSY month and a month in which I had to spend a lot of time alone racking UP the mileage on my car.  I had two massive road trips that I had to make alone and not only was I missing DH and my baby boy, I had to drive at all hours, spoiling my reputation of sleeping on long road trips.  Audio books and 5hour-energy were my closest friends and as cliched as it might be, I learned a bit about myself.

I learned that it didn't matter if it was my first overnight trip away from my son or my second, I tear up just the same while driving away.

I learned that a little time apart is OK.  N was just fine with his Daddy and their boy time is just as important as my alone time.

For both trips I started the night before with thoughts of, "I really don't want to go"  "Really.  Really. Don't want to go." "Don't need to go, it doesn't matter if I go."  But it did and it does and in the end was very worth it. (Again, apologies for the vagueness.  This is the nature of trying to keep my blog fairly private).

It had been years since I hit the road like that.  It was important because it was for family and getting closer to some relatives that I had been rather distant with over the years and it turned out to be worth it in spades.  It reminded me of how important it is to make the time to be with the people we care about.  To stay open to possibilities and opportunities that might otherwise make me want to stay under the covers.  To make the effort and just be in the moment.  To realize that Mentos are my go-to road candy and you must never ever wait until the "next" rest stop.

It also reminded me of how valuable decompression time is after all that travel is too.  I'm still working on that one.

I also had some friends in town who came with their children.  It was beyond awesome to see our kids play together and strengthened my feelings of a sibling for N.  I tear up (again) with the thought of what a wonderful older brother he would be.  But, as I watched my friend struggle with a toddler and an infant, watched her wash pump parts and wait up until midnight to pump, only to be awoken less than 4 hours later, I remembered the relief that I felt when I put the pump away, the sheer ecstasy of sleeping more than 6 hours in a row and I realized that I won't be devastated if this doesn't happen again for us.

Our family of three is the most beautiful thing I've ever seen.

On a different kind of strength note, I dug up and swore at a huge bush, roots and all tonight.  I started off just doing some light yard work and asked DH to let me know an hour had gone by.  I was just going to trim that gnarly bush in the front and then I was just going to clip it back a little more and then I just started digging.  And clipping.  And swearing "You will not beat me bush!"  After another hour passed my original hour, I got that bush up and out.  I filled the hole back in with dirt.  It is ready for a new start.

I'm ready for a new start.  Stronger than before.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

A secret

This is another one of those posts where I am purposely vague enough to get things off my chest, but it is super annoying (I imagine) for you to read. I found out today that a close(ish) family member has been keeping a secret for the past 7 years.  The secret she kept didn't directly affect my family of three or my siblings either, but I haven't been able to stop thinking about it.
It is making me think about trust and what it must be like to silently suffer for such a long time.
I'm sympathetic and curious.
I have questions that I will probably never get the answers to.
It makes me more self aware which leads me to wonder what else I might be missing right under my own nose.
I feel deceived and even threatened by what "I'm fine" means when someone says it.
No one was really surprised by the news, but it wasn't like we knew all along. The news just seemed to make some previous confusing things clear.
It makes me question what is real. My relationship with this person carried on the same as always. A card on my birthday and a visit every few years, but underneath all of it was this big secret.
We all have secrets don't we? Some we never tell. Some we only tell when we absolutely have to. Some we can't keep and some we bury so deep we almost forget.  As this secret came out, she worried that it would change our impression of her. It doesn't. It wouldn't. It's just life.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Why do I care about disappointing someone I don't even know? (updated)

I'm exhausted.  But as I walked into the kitchen to get a glass of water before bed, I was struck with a thought and it became the title of this post.

I realized last night that my gray hair is not the only thing giving my age away, it is also the fact that I drank coffee at 6pm and couldn't fall asleep until 2 (my coffee cut off used to be 7pm and I could fall asleep easy at midnight).  N got me up at 7 this morning and 5 hours is just 1 hour short of enough to function for me.  I've been off all day. 

I've mentioned here before that I don't have a huge circle of friends.  Two women who could be sisters to me and a small handful of buddies I enjoy a lunch date (or play date) with.  I'm happy with that.  Very happy.  And try as I have to fit in with play groups and moms at story time, I haven't really felt like I fit in as easily as it appears other women do.

This afternoon I needed a few things at the grocery store and decided to hit the store closest to the new children's museum for N to burn off some energy before I dragged him shopping.  The few times we've been to the museum I've only made a few friendly comments to other mothers, asking ages of their children or other passing small talk, so it was a surprise today to have a young mother start talking to me with as much openness as a friend.  

She was sweet and friendly and I felt big and awkward.  I always do.  I'm on the tall side and no one would ever describe me as dainty.  I'm not overweight, but have those pounds that we would all like to lose.  My voice is not high and girly, much more soft and low and...well, lets just say more than a couple people have told me I could answer 1-900 calls as a profession.  I like my voice much more now, but I vividly remember my attempts to make conversation in a high school cafeteria or hallway were often met with, "What?" and "I can't hear you."  

Anyway, so there I was, off to the side, watching my son run and play and smiling as I see my little baby run over bridge and scream with sheer delight.  I couldn't help myself and despite my own awkwardness, I said to the woman next to me, "Wow, he sure loves this bridge."  

With those 6 words, I opened the door.  I opened the door to conversation, to small talk, to potential rejection or even the possibility of friendship.  She took that opening and swung it wide, making a huge effort to engage me in conversation.  It was as deep as we could get while chasing two toddlers and both of us as first time, stay at home moms with sons, we connected in a way that I'm not used to.  Before we had even exchanged names, we exchanged numbers and before I knew it, she was inviting me and N and C to her son's first birthday party in two weeks from now.  At the time it seemed like such a sweet invite, opening her life to me and wanting my son to share in the fun of face painting from a guy dressed up like Elmo.  But wait, she doesn't know me at all.  She might be disappointed.  She blindly trusts that we would come to her party and fit in with her family and friends and that we won't steal anything from her house or leave a dirty diaper on the floor.  How could she possibly know that I'm not a nut?  Nuts take their kids to the museum too.  Maybe she is a nut?  

I left with the plan that she would call me to get my address to send a birthday party invite.  I felt like I was saying yes without really thinking about it.  Saying yes with the thought that I could always come back with a no.  N and I met C for dinner and to be honest, I forgot about the plan for her to call and not until I heard her voice mail remembered and then some doubt kicked up.  I hate to disappoint though and called her back and gave her our address and as she started inviting us for another play date, the thought crossed my mind that this was all moving a little fast for me.  I know her for 20 minutes of real life time.  It is not even like story time where we have gone for a few weeks in a row and slowly gotten to know each other.  All of a sudden I feel like we are going to be the guests of honor at the cult of Elmo.  Then, she invited us to come to her house to for dinner, so we could get to know them before spending the day with her family at a party.  I appreciated the gesture, but as she tried to get me to lock in an evening in the next few days, I felt a bit like I was choking.  I was ready to back pedal, remembering some appointment or visitor or anything to back out of the whole thing.  I wanted a redo to slow things way down.  And that feeling became even stronger when I came home tonight and found a facebook friend request from her.  

Maybe I am being too closed off.  Maybe it is one of those moments that we will look back on and say, "I'm so glad we became best friends in 20 minutes on the floor of the children's museum."  Maybe I should take a cue from my baby who instantly becomes friends with whoever is holding the toy he wants to play with right before he yanks it out of their hand.  Maybe it doesn't matter if I back off and slow this down since if we are meant to be friends whether or not I went to her son's first birthday party is irrelevant.  Maybe I am too tired to make a good decision right now.  

Maybe I should be true to myself and make decisions based on what I need and want and not what I think other people want.  Thinking about it, why would I want to spend some hard to come by free time with virtual strangers?  Will my son remember or care about a sweaty dude dressed up like Elmo?  Who am I really doing this for?  Am I doing this because I think I should branch out?  Why do I care about disappointing someone I barely know?  Should I step out of my comfort zone?  

What if I get rejected?  

Hey friends,
I ended up calling her this morning and she was just as sweet as she was yesterday.  Even when I explained that while we wouldn't be able to make the party or dinner in the next few days, that I would LOVE to meet up again at the museum with our babies next week.  We plan to talk early next week to pick a day.  I'm MUCH more comfortable with this plan.  

I realized tonight that perhaps that one of the reasons I feel awkward, the reason I hesitate might have come from an old relationship.  One where when the guy who seemed so head over heels for me, after he flew me to come visit him for the weekend, turned his back and rejected me when he got to know more about the real me.  In the course of a weekend, he started walking ahead of me, he read the paper while we had breakfast, he acted like he couldn't wait for me to leave after he had worked so hard to get me there. (As a side note...sweet victory when I got to reject his friend request on facebook...)  Anyway, that thought crossed my mind tonight as a possible reason for that lingering awkwardness and fear of further rejection of the real me.  

Monday, August 13, 2012

Afraid of death. Up at midnight.

Death has been popping up around me lately and it is the reason I am up at midnight.  I just made three craft projects, one for my son and two for friend's children.  I have a load of laundry in the dryer and I'm watching an old movie.  I'm in a fairly small room, but I've got the TV on, the computer on, the baby monitor on, two lamps and the fan all on.  Even the shredder is on, although I'm not shredding anything.  Even though I am writing my blog post, my email is open.  I'm surrounded by stimulation, but I can't shake the heavy feeling on my heart and mind.

Death has popped up on a few blogs that I read.  Death actually ended the show I was watching and started the movie I am now watching.  My friend's grandfather just passed away too.  I'm afraid of getting old. I'm stressed about what will happen to my parents as they get into their 70's.  I'm stressed that I am not living my life to the fullest that I possibly can because there is no way to know how long we get to be here.  That feeling gives me a pit in my stomach.

I don't want to miss anything and at the same time I'm tired and need a break from the worry and normal life drama.  I need a break from my own thoughts.  I think what will really help is a break from the media.  I just reached over and turned off the TV and closed my email.  I think I need to set some boundaries with the blogs and podcasts and TV and news and updates and all the stuff that overwhelms me with the thought that I am not doing enough.  That life is passing me by and I'm missing it.

I've had to pee for about an hour.  I don't want to stop what I am doing.  I don't want to stop this brain dump, because I keep hoping I'll write the sentence that makes makes it all stop for a minute so I can rest.

I look at that picture again.  The one I wrote about in my last post.  The peace in that photo is palpable. I'm longing for some peace.  DH's job is super stressful right now and I'm worried for his peace too.  Worry that I am not doing enough to help him, worry that I am not enough of a wife for him right now. N had a fever all day Friday, he was so sad and sick and I stayed home with him while DH went out of town to take care of some family business.  Today, my DH has that same fever.  He will be taking it easy tomorrow and I'm happy he will rest, but I know I won't rest and even though he deserves the break, a part of me will wonder when my break will come.  And then I feel like I don't want a break.  If I take a break, I'm afraid of what I will miss.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Its OK or its not OK. It just is or it is not.

Definitely not pregnant and for the amount of time that has passed since I wrote that last post, I could be in the middle of wondering if I am pregnant again.  I'm not.  Not pregnant nor wondering if I am pregnant.  I would like to say that I am not going to put myself through all the emotion of wondering again.  I can't.

July this year was a blur of celebrations and travel.  It has been a packed month and I still haven't quite recovered.  Sitting at my desk right now, I'm staring at a picture of one of my most peaceful and favorite moments of life ever. It is a black and white photo of me laying on my side, one day after my son was born, cradling him with one arm while both of us sleep.  I don't remember how long that moment lasted, but I will forever be grateful for my husband for catching it for me.  It is a photo that makes me calm when I see it.  And it also blows me away to think this little baby is now a screeching toddler that won't lay still for a diaper change, never mind a cuddle.

In other news, I got the opportunity to be honest last week.  It was kind of amazing.  I'm terrible for details on this blog, but I will say it felt good to be honest with my extended family about what I wanted and needed and not do something just because I thought everyone expected me to jump when they said jump.  Hope to do more of that in the future.  How nice to be an adult.

Time marches on though and while August slows us down a bit and gives me some breathing room for catch up, September is shaping up to be another blur and I'm pretty sure I just bought Thanksgiving stickers for N...yikes!

Oh and I'm totally out of shape and just ate a container of Ben and Jerry's last night.  Gross.  Delicious. But now I feel gross.  Still in my pajamas too and feeling like N is about to wake up for a nap any minute and push my shower off until later this afternoon.

In conclusion, not pregnant, not back at the RE yet, had a sparkling moment of true honesty, Thanksgiving is coming, ate too much ice cream and haven't taken a shower yet today.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Here We Go Again

Its funny how a situation that caused me so much stress and anxiety over the span of 7 months can just be done.  With a 30 second phone call.  Done.  I've been so lame on the details here, but basically I was finally put in touch with the only person who could make a difference and she did.  With a few clicks, my anxiety was put to rest, all my notes and letters suddenly had no place to go.  I know there will always be a next thing, but for now I can put that panic to rest.

Onto the next thing.  Shockingly, I am wondering if the few things I have been feeling lately are......pregnancy symptoms.  Here we go again.  The feelings and emotions are the same.  It would be an amazing relief to keep $4,000 in our bank account and not need medication for a frozen cycle that might not work.  But, if I did get pregnant naturally my heart aches for our frozen embies that have been waiting for us if we needed them.  We KNOW all this.

But, here I am.  The heartburn I've been feeling for a few days could be because I've been putting hot sauce on my eggs in the morning.  The tiredness could be because I am chasing a toddler every day.  The sweating could be because it has been 102 degrees for a week and a half.

But, my DH said I felt like a furnace the other night when we were cuddling.  My mom said I looked "different" the other day.  My last period (three weeks ago) was early and very short.  Just vague enough to make me hopeful.

Oh so hopeful.

Friday, June 15, 2012

About doing things you don't want to do

I have an issue, and despite my fair amount of anonymity on this blog, I still don't feel comfortable putting the details about down here.  I realize that it is not really fair to withhold the details and then ask for support, but well, I don't know.  All I do know is that I feel like I'm being taking advantage of (not so much with my personal life, this is more about hospitals and insurance companies) and my fear of getting an answer that I don't want keeps me stalling when I should just be kicking ass and taking names.

This post should be titled Fear.

Fear is showing up in a bunch of places lately.  It showed up in my yard, where ticks seems to be aggressive and plentiful this year and while I just want to keep N safe in a bubble, it is not fair to keep him inside when I want him to be a free little explorer.  Picking up leaves and sticks and rocks and banging them together.  Chasing bubbles and butterflies.  But it is my job to keep him safe.  At least now he is happy to strip down and get in the tub immediately after playing in the yard, while I am using that opportunity to check every inch of him for ticks, all the while feeling itchy and buggy myself for the rest of the day.  Feeling a little itchy and buggy right now just writing about it.

He is napping now and my fear about ticks subsides and is replaced by butterflies in my stomach this time.  I need to take advantage of his nap time to make some phone calls I am dreading for the insurance issue.  It would be very easy for me to stall just long enough that he wakes up and my opportunity to make uninterrupted phones calls is over.  It would be simple for today to get away from me, for 6 o'clock to get here and for my anxiety to slip away into dinner prep and knowing that it is the weekend and I can't work on the problem even if I wanted to.  I look at the clock and it is 10:30am.  I have plenty of time, but I know full well how quickly 10:30 turns to 2:30 and then to 6 and then to Saturday morning cartoons and pancakes.

If I could just get this one thing taken care of, then life would be perfect.  When is the last time you felt that way?  In my 36 years, I have at least figured out that if I get that one thing taken care of, it will be replaced by another thing, and another and soon enough I'm stalling about something else and maybe longing for problem as "simple" as the one I am dealing with now.

Writing this down has made me realize that during the time that we struggled with infertility, I would have given my left arm to just have to deal with a few phone calls and unhelpful customer service.  But, sometimes I feel like if I have to go through the automated system one more time....or explain my situation for the hundredth time...or hold while someone reads my file...Please.  Just one human being to another.  One rational person who doesn't just read a script.  Someone who can take the time and just fix the error.  Please.  Are you out there?????????????  November will be one year that I have been dealing with this.  This is not an anniversary that I want to celebrate.

What else am I afraid of lately?  I'm afraid of the passing of time.  I have a toddler.  He is a tornado that runs through my house and then takes a nap.  Right now there is a pot and a strainer on the floor next to my front door.  There are plastic measuring cups in the bathroom and a box of tampons is spilled in my bedroom.  Right now, they stay.  I'll pick them up and I'm sure I'll pick them up again later and probably tomorrow.  I don't mind.  I used to have bottles drying on a rack on the kitchen counter.  Those bottles are put away now.  I don't miss cleaning them, but I miss what they meant.  They meant a tiny baby was soundly sleeping with a full belly.  Now the mess means I have an exhausted toddler sleeping in a crib.  I don't know what the next mess will be, but for now this tornado reminds me of how far we have come.  It brings comfort.  It means love.

It makes me mad at the insurance company.  The time wasted fighting this battle.  The time they are keeping me from what I really want to do.  Seven months of this nagging the back of my mind.  Making me nauseous when I open the mailbox, hopeful when I answer the phone and banging my head every time I retell our story.

I'm tired of banging my head.  I'm tired of the fear.  The nagging fear and the stalling.

I'm going to go and kick some ass.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Yearly Questions

I had my yearly appointment this week and it was the first time since the post pregnancy visit a year ago that my feet were once again in the stirrups.  It was very quick and completely ordinary and it was truly wonderful to look to the side and see my little man throwing toys on the floor in his stroller oblivious to my exam.

I've always found some comfort (along with a healthy dose of discomfort) at my OB's office.  Not since I was a kid did I have a regular doctor and even as an adult, with 6 years of REs, I would always laugh off the question with a "Well, if you consider an infertility doctor a regular doctor..."  But an OB (and since I started going, have had about 3 different ones), is the one appointment where it is truly just about me, not me with a cold or me with a problem that needs to be fixed, just me and how I am doing.

Although, now that I type that, my year with a therapist would be just about me, but not really, that was still about a few problems that I needed to work out.  Anyway, once the "OMG, N is sooo cute!" was out of the way, my doctor turned and asked very specifically about me.  About how I was feeling.  Was I getting enough rest?  Working?  Keeping up with hobbies?  Traveling?  And I found that every single thing I said went right back to N.  And, rightfully so, he has been my entire planet for 13 months.  But, it made me realize that maybe I need to branch out a bit more.  I mean, to answer her questions...

- Sure, I get enough rest...but I can't fall asleep as early as N does and as much as I would love to sleep in one day,  it is impossible unless C is home.

- I'm not working now...but I am very fortunate not to have to go back to work right away and can stay home with my boy.  Although at times, I truly miss the grown up conversations and getting dressed up and having a commute to listen to my favorite podcasts and drink coffee when it is still hot and sometimes when I am changing a poopy diaper and taking the millionth load of laundry out of the dryer, I can't help but want to scream, "Is this all that I do??"

- I do try and keep up with some hobbies...but right now, most of my craft supplies are in a closet and it takes me about three times as long to finish anything and even if I try to work on something when N is clean and fed and playing happily by himself I feel like a horrible mother for ignoring him, when I should be reading to him and playing with him and taking his picture and teaching him how to talk and sing and dance and clean the kitchen and pull one more load out of the dryer.

- Oh sure we travel, just last year we went to San Francisco.  Oh wait, that was 2 years ago.  Sure we travel...but it is to visit out of state family who are missing N.  I can't remember the last time we went on a family vacation, but I do know we were a family of 2 then.

It was really nice to go to an appointment and not hear, "Hope I see you pregnant next year!"  It was nice to be in the stirrups for something as ordinary as pap.  And it was really nice to be the one with the cute baby in the stroller throwing things on the floor.

I expect that next year will be a nice visit too and I'm going to be spending the year working on being there with less buts.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Finishing a 5k (Just not the way I thought)

I found myself tonight checking in on a blogger friend and realized that I haven't updated my own blog in a few weeks. I guess I have been busy, I'm not sure I have a whole lot to show for it, but I am checking things off my to-do list and constantly adding more.

In the "If you want to make God laugh, tell Him about your plans" category, I am going to the doctor tomorrow to check out my foot which has been hurting me for a few weeks now. I mentioned that since January, C and I have been training for a 10k. It was something I've wanted to do for a while and something I really wanted to do before we jumped into another round of IVF. Training had been going really well until a few weeks ago when I think I jumped ahead too fast and got a stress fracture in my right foot. At the time I didn't know what it was and chalked it up to the normal aches and pains of running. It seemed to hurt right away at the start of a run, subside for the duration and then hurt fiercely when I was done.

Last week, which was two days before a 5k that we had also signed up for, I completed my first 5k run on a treadmill at the gym. I was thrilled and since it was so late and I had no one to tell, I celebrated with strangers at the front desk of my gym. Celebrating with strangers while drinking a huge glass of ice water at 11pm at night was a life highlight* for me, since I was truly bursting with pride at completing the run. I was also a little nervous since I was limping out of the gym from the pain in my foot, with a 5k looming in two days and a 10k just two weeks after that.

The limping continued until last Saturday when we woke up early to get to the race. But adrenaline and excitement distracted me and I was determined to finish. It was a huge thrill to get in line with hundreds of other people. It was amazing to see the sea of people ahead of me as the race started and then find my stride as I settled in to the familiar, if not exact, pace I was comfortable with on the treadmill. I laughed when I thought "they must not be doing mile markers because surely we've gone a mile by now," only to see that first mile marker coming up in a few hundred feet. My foot hurt. It hurt like always, came on strong at the beginning of the run and then settled into a low throb throughout. I didn't care. I was feeling pretty awesome. I felt more like a runner than I ever had in my life. Around the 2 and 1/2 mile mark, we could see that a huge, but gradual hill was going to get us to the finish line. I started to psych myself out. I had opportunities to stop and walk during the first 2 and 1/2 miles and didn't take them, I could do this. I could finish. Man, my foot hurt. I had almost no air left in my lungs. I had turned into a wheezing, moaning wimp who was running out of the adrenaline to run through the pain and get to the finish line. Halfway up the hill and with less than 1/2 mile to go, I started to walk. I can still picture the moment where I decided to (had to?) walk. I still wonder if I could have made it. My foot was throbbing. My breath came hard and fast. I could still smile at C, who reached to hold my hand because he knew how bummed I was. When we could see the finish line we started to run again. I knew I wanted to cross that finish line at a running pace. We did. The music blared. The crowd cheered. I drank gatorade and waited for my results to post. Even though we walked for a bit, I still beat my personal best by over a minute. The personal best that I made just two days before. But, I could barely walk. I limped to the car. I limped into the house. I vowed to take it easy all week, pick up training the next week and then run at least 5k of the upcoming 10k and do my best (walk, jog, run) with the rest.
Instead, I am going to the doctor. If anything my foot has been worse this week. I have the top 4 symptoms of a stress fracture and while I don't trust Dr. Google 100%, all signs are pointing this way. A boot? Maybe. 6 weeks of no running? At the minimum. 10k? Not even walking. Another round of IVF? I think I should listen to what my body is trying so hard to tell me. Slow down. Rest. Recover. Enjoy what is right in front of you.

Enjoy what is right in front of you. Tomorrow N and I are meeting up with family for a picnic. I'll be the one limping. Smiling and enjoying what is right in front of me.

*Another life highlight for me came that same week, when I sat in a lawn chair on a gorgeous afternoon cuddled with N sharing a pummelo (Best. fruit. Ever!). It was one of those moments I could feel etching on my brain as it was happening.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

No and it is OK.

I should have known. I always did know. It is OK. It was hard not to hope though. My period wasn't late, but man I did not feel good. Turns out a crazy stomach bug was taking over Virginia (and other states to be sure) and I took over my stomach for a very long weekend.

I'm not pregnant.

I was super suspicious that I was though. Waking up nauseous is always a sign we cling to. My level of exhaustion was at astronomical levels. Losing 7 pounds over a weekend should have pointed more to the stomach flu, but every morning that I woke up nauseous and every night when I threw up, I would look at my husband and say "Could it be?"


I know better. I know it took 6 years to have our beautiful son. I know I laughed when my mom said "maybe it is all the running you are doing?" Nope, my 2012 New Year's Resolution to run a 10K is not the cause of my past 6 years of infertility. And then there was the part of me that felt tremendous sadness about the 5 frozen embies we have. If I was, by some major miracle, pregnant naturally, what would become of my frozen embies? All of a sudden I missed them and the potential they hold.

I'm so curious about them. It is easy to talk about them in a medical sense. If we decide to do a frozen cycle, they will all be thawed, watched and then the best will be transferred in another IVF cycle. If possible, remaining good ones will be refrozen for another attempt. I know medically what will happen to them. But emotionally I look at my son, who will be a year(!) old next week, and I wonder about his siblings. His siblings that I guess could be considered twins in a way, all put together on the same day. He was chosen, the others frozen and waiting. I miss them. I long for them. Or her? Or him? There is no way to know if one or three or all five would survive the thaw. Would it attach? Would I carry another miracle full term? Can I be the mother of two? Could I be so lucky? Could I be more arrogant that these embies are just waiting for me to say, "Ok. Now."? That I can just snap my fingers and pick a date and stick my feet in the stirrups and get pregnant.

I know it doesn't work that way. That $4,000 for a frozen cycle just buys me a chance. That 5 frozen embies means nothing if they don't make it. IVF was so hard. I know a frozen cycle is easier, but it is still hard. It is hard to stab yourself in the leg or the abdomen or the butt every day. It is hard to open your fridge and see stacks of drugs staring you in the face when you just want some orange juice. It scares me to start that process up again. To stare face to face with a box of drugs knowing that you will use almost everything in there. All the supplies are for you and for you alone. Even if C holds my hand or even plunges the needle, it is still going into my leg. The hormones, the exhaustion, the frustration and even the anger. I'm worried about how that goes during a frozen cycle. Is it easier or harder to know that if it doesn't work, that this is it? I know I don't have it in me for another fresh cycle. If we can't get pregnant with the embies we have, we are all done.

I'm so curious about those embies. They hold our future in their frozen cocoons.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

We can't help but wonder


Friday morning started like any other. C was already long at work when N woke up to start our day. We had breakfast and played in the den and when he went down for a nap, I headed to the laundry room to finish up a load. All of a sudden I felt an overwhelming urge to lay down and/or throw up. As I laid on the couch, hoping that N would stay asleep until my husband got home, I rocked back and forth under our biggest blanket fighting back chills and willing myself not to throw up. It lasted for hours.

C got home and saw me huddled under a blanket and started what would be his weekend of taking care of me, N and the house. 7pm rolled around and although I hadn't eaten much more than a few bites of soup, I felt the overwhelming urge to vomit and jumped over baby toys and scrambled up the den stairs to just barely make it to the toilet. Admittedly, I felt a little better after that, but still physically exhausted and spent the rest of the night tossing and turning, first on the couch and then in our bed.

I woke up early with the boys Saturday morning and still felt weak and vomity, but I wanted to help and got up to change our boy while C got a bottle ready. As soon as I got the diaper off, the overwhelming urge to throw up came over me and I yelled for C as I booked to the bathroom. I spent Saturday much like Friday, tossing and turning on the couch while trying to eat bites of toast and ice pops.

C was awesome and ran errands with N and took care of everything we both needed. It reminded me of how often he stepped right up during our years of infertility when I just couldn't do it.

By Saturday night, I was feeling slightly better and was able to sleep without all the tossing (neither my body nor my cookies). I spent the day today alternating short bouts of energy with moments of sheer exhaustion and a weak stomach. By the end of today, it was hard to tell if my nausea was from a stomach bug or from the fact that I hadn't eaten since Friday morning or...

it couldn't be pregnancy? Could it? Is it just too much to hope for? Am I being silly? Naive?

The Sleep.ys Mattress commercial made me cry twice today. So did the end of Defending Your Life this afternoon. And Innerspace (sick days mean lots of movie watching). And right now, Cary El.wes horrible accent on Law and Order SVU is making me want to cry.

It is possible. My period is not late yet, but the timing would be right. Why does it always happen like that? Just vague enough to give us hope.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Smiling Through Clenched Teeth

Here is that post where I talk about a younger cousin who just announced her second pregnancy.

It is that gut punch of an announcement that would have brought me to tears a year and a half ago and now just brings me to a stomachache. It is that half sad, and a little bigger half jealous and frustrated ache. Especially over the fact that my chance at #2 involves $4,000 and enormous amounts of stress and pain.

The announcement came over the phone via the family grapevine and the ease of the telling of the news made me feel like she just snapped her fingers and got pregnant, which may or may not be the case. Either way, the green monster showed up in me as quickly as I could muster the words, "good for her!"

That stomachache lingers as I wish her a happy and healthy pregnancy. That stomachache lingers as I think about my challenges for something that seemed to come so very easy for her. That stomachache lingers as I wonder if I'll ever make that announcement and that stomachache lingers as I think about all the women that are still trying for #1.

It was that same, so familiar ache as my period showed up on Saturday, crushing yet again our hopes for a natural, surprise pregnancy. Just when I thought I came to terms with that red stripe on the toilet paper signaling another failed cycle, the gut punching and stomachaches start again as more friends and family announce that #2, or even #3 is on the way.

I hate this. I hate IF, but at the same time, IF brought me N. And he is the greatest person I ever grew.

P.S. I'm still running. Week 3 of training. The 10K is coming up FAST and I'm going to train today (maybe now is a good time). It could be just the thing I need.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

New sneakers and a 5 dollar app do not a runner make

But, it's a start. Tonight C and I decided to sign up for our local city's 10K coming up at the end of March. The idea of running a 10K is daunting to be sure, but the occasional class is just not doing much for my jiggle.

So, with my new sneakers on my feet and my in my pocket I stepped on the treadmill and started up the couch to 10K app...

Now of course, after not taking more than a handful of classes since N was born, I was feeling more than a little awkward on the treadmill. I promptly knocked my water bottle on the floor trying to put it in the cup holder and yanked the earbuds out of my ear trying to adjust my music. And just when I was feeling most aware of my various body parts flopping around me, the skinniest, tannest, most short short wearing Runner got on the treadmill next to me.

Of course.

But, I pressed on and ignored the Runner and her pace that doubled mine at my fastest. I finished the first day of training and I'm feeling pretty good. A little achy, a little tired, pretty hungry, but feeling good about what I am trying to do for my body. I'm doing it for a few reasons.
First, I totally miss my pre-IVF body. You know the one, where I thought was overweight when I weighed 40 lbs less than I do now. I want to do this for my DH, to have extra energy for him after a day chasing N. I need the energy and flexibility and strength to chase N since every day he gets stronger and faster and more motivated to break down the barriers that we have in place. And now, after a call to my IVF coordinator, I need the energy to gear up for a frozen transfer later this spring.

N will be the most amazing older brother. C and I believe we are not done growing our family and with 5 frozen embies my heart overflows with the thought that we really could bring home another beautiful baby. It is my head that overflowed with all the emotions that come with starting this process all over again.

This is why the 10K seems like a great idea. Another mountain to climb, but this one is all for me. To cross a new finish line and get ready to start another race.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

And then it came to me...

My New Years resolution came to me yesterday.

Have you ever seen's Stuff routine? I found myself watching it the other day and while I definitely get why it is funny and certainly the audience is laughing, this time I felt uncomfortable. I have too much stuff. We all have too much stuff. Stuff. Even the word was bugging me.

I want less stuff. I want to be in control of the stuff I have. And I don't want to bring in any new stuff until my old stuff is taken care of.