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Hang in there

22 May

It’s been quite a week.  Today would have been our first ultrasound.  I knew it wasn’t going to happen even when we scheduled it.  It still hurts to see the appointment come and go.  I am officially un-pregnant as my hcg is now under 2.  The good news is, that’s the last needle poke for a while.

The next question is why?  As usual, we have no explanation.  These things tend to be physical, chromosomal, or possibly immunological.  Because we did CHG, we already know the two that were implanted were considered chromosomally normal.  I was hoping to get some information from the immunology Dr. showing that it was an immune issue.  Their tests came back and showed that no, there were no immune causes.  We tested during the pregnancy and found that my immune system was responding fine with everything coming back as normal or slightly elevated.  So there goes that theory.

My new theory is that my unexplained repeat pregnancy losses all have one thing in common:  me.  Since I can’t pinpoint any specific cause, not even a specific body part or system that is causing this I am really left to just blame myself-  me as a person or my behaviors.  Maybe I should have grilled that burger longer… maybe I should have not been weeding so much…  Maybe I should have just given up a long time ago and started the adoption process.  By blaming myself it is almost easier to accept than to just think the world is a random scary place where unfair unexplained things can happen to anyone at any moment, or in my case, repeatedly happening to the same person again and again. Self-blame naturally leads me to feeling guilt, shame and embarrassment which results in me wanting to just isolate myself from the world and hide.  Each time I get the question “how are you?” I force myself to smile and say “great” when I really just want to tell the truth, but I can’t, at least not to most people.  Since I can’t tell the truth to most people it just takes so much energy to hide the truth and act happy that I prefer to hide at home alone.

The secret keeping and isolation that comes along with RPL is almost as bad as the RPL.  I feel like all my friends just had babies and jumped on a boat and left me abandoned on a deserted island.  I can see their happy status updates on Facebook and we see each other at BBQ’s with their little ones, but they seem miles away.  I feel like I have only 2 choices : be alone or be with friends and feel awkward.  When I stay away from them I feel even more guilty that now I am pushing them away.  I am to blame for my own isolation.    I am not sure what to do.  When we all get together with the kids I am just miserable. I feel like a giant spotlight is on me and my failure to have a baby.  Now that all of our friends (even the gay ones) have at least one baby it’s all they want to talk about and I feel totally awkward around them.  It’s just embarrassing to be there when they all start talking about being parents.  I hate being so lonely, but I hate these awkward social interactions even more. I want so badly to have good news and be able to rejoin my friends, but instead I just feel ashamed and embarrassed that we are still at square one 4 and half years later.  Actually it isn’t even square one, it’s more like negative six.

 

Here is some interesting information about the Hang in There Cat-

The image, of a tiny kitten hanging off a tree branch (or rope in the case above) with the words “Hang In There” has been around since the early 1970s. Many have tried to reproduce the original’s genius, while others, such as The Simpsons, have parodied the motivational poster. In ”The Twisted World of Marge Simpson” Marge sees the poster’s 1968 copyright date and says, “…determined or not, that cat must be long dead. That’s kind of a downer.”

One of the cats from the posters passed away last October, to which singer John Mayer tweeted, “That cat from the “hang in there” poster just died. Makes a man just wanna give up.”

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Alone in Happy Land

24 Jan

We just came back from a weekend away from friends at Lake Tahoe.  It was both wonderful and really hard.  As the only couple without kids I struggled as they joyfully introduced their kids to snow and happily snapped photos of them in their extremely cute snow suits.  Meanwhile none of them know what we are going through for the past four years trying to start a family.  Since they’ve had kids we’ve kind of moved apart and stopped talking about real problems.  While it is great that they want to be so positive all the time and their lives seem to be zipping along nicely, it makes me feel completely isolated.  My choice is to paste on the smile and join the happiness or be alone.  It seems clear that if/when our story ever changes that they would be supportive and happy for us, but when it comes to pain and grief, we are expected to just deal with that on our own.  At this time I feel like I need supportive friends more than ever, and instead I find myself feeling bitter that I have to bottle myself up until I have good news.  Anyone relate?

Note- We are crossing our fingers again this month after 2 negative cycles.  Hoping this month (our last month of trying naturally) finally leads to a BFP!

Tales from my High School Reunion

30 Nov

So last Saturday was my 20th high school reunion back in Boston and after MUCH debate on whether or not to go I took the leap.  The tipping point was that Mr. Star actually said that he wanted to go.  In his words “I want to meet all these losers you went to school with” (smirk).   I warned him that I wouldn’t know anyone and it would be totally lame, but figured I’d go since I missed the last two and happened to be in the area for Thanksgiving.  To my complete surprise it was actually a blast.  My worries were completely unfounded.  I felt genuinely happy to see folks and they seemed to be happy to see me.   20 years later it was hard to remember and recognize anyone, never mind worry about social awkwardness and competitiveness.  I didn’t expect the familiar feelings and warmth that filled me.  People I thought I’d hate to see because of whatever grudges from years ago, I actually was thrilled to see and magically could only think of our positive memories.  It helped that we were all well supplied with drinks and it seemed like people had already gone way past the inhibition state by the time I arrived.

What I learned was that just walking in the door I sent the message to my classmates that were there that they mattered enough for me to show up.  I had no idea how grateful people (some I barely remembered) would be to see me.  When we did get to talking I felt an instant level of acceptance and understanding that was completely surprising.

When they did ask about children I didn’t break or fall apart as I’d feared.  I’d seen their Facebook profile pics choc full of kids.  Since it was SO loud in that room I had to yell it like this -“NO KIDS, HOW ABOUT YOU?!”  I got a surprised look back and it seemed like people were eager to change the subject afterwards.  I am sure we were the only couple there that didn’t have at least one.  By age 38, that is kind of what people expect.  Many of my classmates had 3 or more.  One of my classmates told me she had 5 boys!  At the time I was genuinely happy for them, but you know how that stuff feels as it marinates in your brain for a day.  It stings.  I wanted to answer differently and they wanted to hear that I too had kids and that we had that in common.  It was just weird.  But we didn’t have time to dwell since we were mingling among so many people.

Now that a few days have past I look back and feel really proud, like I climbed a mountain.  Despite all my insecurities I lived through my 20th high school reunion and even enjoyed it.   Hopefully I’ll have some better news about new family members by our 25th.  ;  )

Abducted Baby

6 Oct

As if becoming a new parent isn’t hard enough (esp. for us in the IF and RPL community) now we we have one more fear: abduction     This story just breaks my heart.

What kind of person steals a baby?!  According to the story, the profile for an abductor of an infant is usually an “emotionally disturbed woman who lost a child or wants a child for some reason”.  Unfortunately that description sounds a little too familiar.  I hope the baby returns home safely soon and the abductor finds the help she clearly needs.