Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Tuesday~and I'm still alive

OK so it only took two text messages and a call to The Barren to get me out of the car,
that I had parked up the street from the home I had arrived a half an hour early at.
I am not gonna lie, I was scared...of what I am still not sure still but
 it was like taking that unsure step knowing you would really have to make more of a little jump, but you wouldn't scrape your knee in the act.
I was just scared of making a total fool of myself.
It was one of those.
I had stopped at a market and brought a little plant for the hostess, and when I started seeing other women arriving I grabbed the plant, put another layer of deodorant on (I brought it with my change of clothes) and my sweater and took a deep breathe and remembered The Barrens mantra.
He said it worked for him when he had similar situations, just pretend you are the confident person you aspire to be...I had worked it out a little different in my head,
I was a secret super hero, my powers were hidden but I was able to bring them up in a flash and my cape was invisible. (I had to have some sort of flourish)
I walked into the open front door, I said a timid "hello", there was no response...but there was a bathroom right there in the entry...and my over anxious bladder had her own plans...so I jumped into the bathroom, checked my teeth and washed my hands...and when I opened the door, a group of women was there signing in...so I smiled said hello and entered the party...it was simple.
When I looked up after signing in the group had vanished so I of course went the wrong way and had a nice chat with the caterer, and the friend of the hostess who made great efforts that I was comfortable and had a drink in hand in no time.
I found my way out back and it was like when Dorthy opens the door in the Wizard of Oz and her world goes from black and white to color.

the magical back yard
The house was AMAZING, and the backyard where the event was to take place was mind blowing...there were three detached studios in the terraced backyard the largest (two level loft) belonged to the hostess, the others were used by artists who rent them out for their own work.
entrance to the studio of the hostess
Her paintings are similar to Rousseau or Kahlo
I strolled the grounds (it was really a perfectly laid out terraced big backyard) and I could see the talent in the plant selection and placement...I could imagine it all growing into a mature landscape and how beautiful it was yet to become.
little sculptures were dotted all through the garden
Women started filing into the yard and I started with chatting to a person I know,
 then a new person joined us and I was off and running!
It was like remembering to ride a bike...
ohhh yeah I remember how this can be fun not all bad after all.
I fell into an easy uneasiness in no time and the uncomfortable faded quickly into a
 " wow this is pretty cool"
I did not have a single "do you have kids" question, NONE not even a passing reference!
It was divine! Mature conversation about my art, their art, inspirations, methods and theories.
I got to exchange cards and tonight I will be writing my "it was so nice to meet you emails"
I was sort of high from all the good feelings, even after my car ride home.
When I woke up this morning, all I had left of the anxiety from last night was a massively circled reminder in my weekly calender.
Look the sun rose again!
I am still alive and it does feel better the next morning
It is kind of refreshing to reuse that emotion that unlocks good surprises.
I can say that I enjoyed myself, I really can, I am looking at the week after next and realizing all
the potential conversations and learning ahead of me...but not in a " oh gosh that is gonna suck" way...but a WOW I can't wait to talk to this person.

Monday, September 24, 2012


I am reminded at the start of each work week that things start anew
...over and over again.
sunrise view from my office
I am continuing to make big efforts to meet with friends; for my mental health and theirs.
I have been working hard at creating new friendships, and so far it has been rewarding. 
During a recent chat, one of these friends mentioned that things were tense, she was freaking out and anxious about money and her relationship and how life is shifting quickly.
We talked out a good brainstorm and made a list of sorts about how she would find things less crazy, and what she needed to do to feel more in control.
In the end, she sighed and said:
"I know it will be so much better when I wake up tomorrow, it always is"
I admired that, the unshakable knowledge that things will be brighter the next day...in some way.
Maybe it is just a little distance, or a little extra breathing space...but the ability to just see things that much more clearly and calmly.
I can honestly say that infertility has made me less social, hence the strides to "break out of my shell"
In some ways I have lost major pieces of my social skills,
or I seem to want to make less effort at them.
What is out of practice is now needing to be relearned.
Sometimes this is like dragging a wet blanket behind me,
other times it is like finding a lovely scent and following it.
It is always something isn't it.
Well, my newest homework is going to come into play tonight.
I am a new member of an academic woman's group. One that plays a role for my art,
 as well as, just a good group of new people to become friendly with. 
Tonight's goal:
Walk up to a new person, learn about them and then REMEMBER their name.
I have been given tips on how to do this from the chattiest person I know.
As she was explaining the nuances, I felt like an alien being introduced to a culture, and a child.
My dignity and ego has taken a back seat for sure.

 When I was thinking about this evenings goal on the way to work today, I was sweating, anxious and then I remembered two things:
This evening will not kill me, I might be uncomfortable, but I will not die from it
it will be better when I wake up tomorrow morning.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Deeply Felt

When I saw this photo in the news this morning, my heart sank.
"Zoo officials said in a press release that the cub was found dead Sunday morning after panda keepers heard sounds of distress from its mother, Mei Xiang."
*Mei Xiang, the cub's mother, appears to still have a maternal instinct. "Sadly, we have witnessed her cradling an object for most of the night," Zoo Director Dennis Kelly said. "
I felt it so deeply, this loss for me is universally felt.
I don't see a defining line between animal and people, we are all sensitive beings.
My thoughts and prayers go out to this grieving mother.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Did I say too much

I wondered if I said too much with the last post, pissed you all off...
It came from my heart...pure concern and fear.
I hope that you know that.
When The Barren and I  were in our darkest hours, I saw many many doctors, like many of you have, and what I heard from them were things that would make it easier for them to treat me.
Fixes that would reduce my questions and discomfort. Easy outs.
My gyno told me over a phonecall, when I was asking for a renewal on my pain meds: 
" maybe you should just have a hysterectomy, sweetie, it will make it so much easier for you"
I was told by a doctor in the ER after being admitted for a 8cm corpus luteum, that I should really consider having my ovaries removed because it would avoid problems like this.
I was told by an oncological gynecologist that I should consider having my cysts and fibroids removed, but it would most likely plummet my chances of conceiving, so get a good doctor to preform the surgery to hedge my bets.
I was told by a gyno that my pain was just me being extra sensitive to what a real period was like after being on the pill for so many years. 
I was told by an ultrasound tech that I didn't drink enough water and that I made her job very difficult, then she proceeded to berate me through the exam
After all of this, I went into my primary doctor because I had been exposed to strep through a friend that was a teacher, she looked at my chart and looked at me and said:
" I am surprised you even came into the office, this is not a pretty path, I am surprised you do not hate doctors by now"
I don't, I just don't like it when they give up on me
What I took away from many years of therapy is that:
 it was not MY FAULT that I wasn't able to have a baby.
It was alright that I chose to not walk the assumed path.
It was OK that I wanted to fight to keep my reproductive system.
I had a set of beliefs that made me feel like a person
and removing any of those would remove my belief in self worth.
Trying to get pregnant is hard for many of us, staying pregnant is hard for many of us and hearing that we are not pregnant over and over again is hard for many of us.
What I didn't like and what I see happening to others is that being turned around and women being left as a shell of themselves with the same results going in.
That scares me, I simply want to remind you that you are
whole, you are lovely and smart.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Today in the news....

* another soapboxy sort of post*
ok so all sorts of crazy stuff swirls around us daily and personally I try to navigate around the fake news stuff....like movie star dinners out, sports team negotiations, and telephone releases (sorry) ...but I do follow medical news as I am really bad at taking vitamins and I am always curious about how to make up for being a dork about simple things.
Anyhoo, I saw this today:
Mother-to-daughter womb transplant
'success' in Sweden
Doctors say the operations will only be considered a complete success if they result in children
um, no pressure or anything...and WOW
this is clearly highlighting the lengths and heights women will go to in an effort to get pregnant.
I admire the trial, but I am also heartbroken by it.
When will it be enough? How will you ever know when you have "tried everything",
or crossed off everything on your list ? Is it when you are left as a mere shadow of yourself
feeling totally defeated?
I am often thankful that The Barren and myself made these clear defining lines before trying to become parents...so when the emotions were so thick, and the sadness was so dark we were able to make choices.
I admire women, I care about women and I am often concerned about women who fall down the rabbit hole, and get lost and overtaken on the path.
Directed by empty promises
I know many of these women get pregnant, and many have chosen to take these paths.
It was not a path we chose, but I am not your enemy, nor am I judging you.
I am just concerned about how doctors seem to take advantage of couples.
It is those that I am referring to...I am most concerned about. 
 the all cards on the table, all the chickens
The all to familiar story of: 
"Well first you have to try these four things that will most likely not result in a pregnancy first, break your heart into a million pieces, finance yourself into a hole and then dangle a carrot just out of reach so that you are always feeling like you have never done enough"
I can only image what these women are about to go through next, their mothers gave them their uterus and now the doctors are pacing to see if they can get pregnant.
One has already had her path face cancer, another wasn't even born with a uterus...the emotional expenses so far are huge!
I am sending out love and strength to these ladies, I am sure your road was not easy up to now, and I fear it will continue to be a bumpy ride.
BIG love your way

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Information Gathering

Today I went to an appointment that I have been working on not thinking about for weeks.
I did pretty well until Friday when the paperwork arrived in the mail.
I had a consult with a specialist about my cyst (Quasimodo) the one that has been camped out for years and refuses to change or go away. My doc, as a precautionary measure wanted me to get a second opinion that my " hell no you can not go for a scenic drive around my pelvis and pluck whatever you damn well please" watch and wait method was still safe. I understood and quite frankly with all the health issues with family and friends as of late, I needed to step up to the plate.
It was a 6 week wait to see this doctor, and after my visit I see why.
I awoke early and as I sat in bed trying to figure out what time it was The Barren said so what are you going to say? I said I was going to ask if I was in mortal danger with my current modus operandi. He said " she is going to tell you, you need surgery...what will you say then? " Sweet man, playing devils advocate so I could prepare my speech. I told him that I would say " that is not an option for me, what is plan B, C,D, E or F?" He kissed me and said " good luck"
I arrived with my folder of past test results from 2004 to current and sat and waited. The office filled with mid-pregnant women and the door between the reception desk and back exam rooms was constantly swinging open as that same group of women were in a parade circle to the bathroom.
Free samples for the pregnant gals, sadly no drinks were offered to the rest of us.
Is there a suggestion card around....
I was called in and I could feel my heart beating so fast, and hard, I was terrified that I would not have the conviction in my voice to speak up in the face of this newest doctor. I was told on the phone that it didn't matter where I was in cycle that as it was only a consult, I was not going to be examined. Well she was wrong, large paper napkin in place, I did the modesty wiggle to unfold that paper as far as possible and then wrap the ends around my hips so my arse was not blowing in the wind...cross my legs up under me and resume some sense of dignity while I sat and waited some more.
I heard my chart removed from the outside of the door and she sat with it for a fair bit of time, in fact I was taken aback how long she read it....then she entered the room.
We said hellos and then I told her why I was there...careful around the word " get another set of eyes on it" as I was not opening the sightseeing tour just yet. She asked how my quality of life was, daily. Asked what my periods were like, then she asked another question:
Doctor Lady: " so you have stopped trying"
I sat there thinking about Nicole's post, feeling like my heart suddenly got a lot heavier
and in my next breath I said:
The Barreness: " it just didn't happen for us the way we wanted." 
Doctor Lady: " so you have come to terms with that "
I took a deep breath, and said
" as much as I can, it is something I work with everyday"
Doctor Lady: " What I mean is, you are not here to ask me to help you try and get pregnant"
The Barreness: " No, it can not happen the way we had hoped. I am here to make sure that my quality of life is maintained and that I am not putting myself at jeopardy"
Doctor Lady: "That is very brave of you, that is something very hard....do you have someone to talk with about it?  like a therapist or friends...you should not try to handle it alone"
The Barreness: " that is the most compassionate thing any doctor has said to me about my infertility, thank you. That was very kind of you"
Lady Doctor: " I am really sorry to hear that, really, that is sad"
She mentioned what she thinks I have is an Endometrioma and that it can be removed, if I ever want it to be...but if I am comfortable and only in hell a few days a month, and I am OK with that we can forget it. She then mentioned my lovely heart shaped uterus and mentioned that that is the most likely culprit for my losses. She mentioned that that could be removed too.
I told her I understood but now that I am over 40, I have changed paths...realizing that those were options (that were never mentioned to me by the way) for me at 34 when I started trying to stay pregnant. Reality is my eggs are older, and most likely pissed off at me and so I didn't need to invite Pandora into my life. I have had enough heartbreak and pain and loss.
She said she understood.
Scary shit you can be tested for...
In an effort to remove yet another scary option off my checklist, I gave a vial of blood for CA125,
she said that endometriosis can show it as an elevated number but she felt confident that she could tell the difference between endo and a cancer. So I did that too...not thinking about that either.
She gave me a feel, furrowed her brow while I tried to relax and told her I would add her to my list of people who have felt my uterus.
She ordered I get new ultrasounds, one as soon as my next period is over and then a followup 6 weeks later. it was important to start the plotting of the cyst and make sure it was not changing at all. My every four months was not close enough together...ugh
So I have those transvag days to look forward too into the holiday season....HOHOHO
Today is also the anniversary of my Nana's death. She left 6 years ago.
I mention this because what I did next is directly related.
When I was in the middle of finding all this sadness out, and being a medical guinea pig
I had to tell my Nana that I could not have kids.
She was not an emotional woman, in the sense that she didn't cry or hug.
Not a babushka kinda grandmother.
My Nana, liked men, drinks and sex.
When I told her, she looked heartbroken and so concerned...
it made it almost unbearable.
She reached out and simply hugged me.
It was the best gift from her, knowing she loved me so completely.
About a week later, she sent me a card, in it was some cash.
The card said:
" Go get yourself something pretty, it will help you"
Classic 50's gal, pretty yourself up on the outside and it will start helping the inside
So today, after the appointment, I bought myself a couple new blouses.
I even got one for a friend that I know needs a little pick me up too.
thanks Nana

Friday, September 07, 2012

Lovely Blog Award

Several months ago I was doing some catch up reading of LaLa's blog and saw that she had so kindly  awarded my little bitch and moan blog this honor.
I have been blogging for so many years with no one ever seeing me that this recent shift of having followers and now an award was A LOT to process.
So LaLa I am sorry for the delay in responding but here is my long awaited response.
I feel SUPER DUPER honored that I have received this Lovely Blog Award from LaLa

Per the honors here are 7 random facts about me:

1. I am incredibly superstitious. So much so that sometimes I will not let you say certain things at certain times. See I can not even tell you what that is and why! I have incorporated this so well into my life that I barely know that I am doing it anymore!

2. I often have the desire to honk at random people for random reasons. I drive a lot and often times when I pass a car that has someone picking their nose, or talking on the phone or if someone is just walking down the street I want to honk my car horn at them. It is like the least used thing in my car... I barely use my horn. I wonder if anyone has ever had to replace their horn from overuse?!humm

3. I LOVE the smell of wet earth, maybe it is from all my gardening, or that it evokes childhood memories, but I find it so very comforting. If they made a spray of that smell I would spray it on my pillow so I could smell it as I drifted off to sleep.

4. I often think there are ghosts in my house. I wake up almost every night thinking that someone is in my bedroom watching me sleep.

5. When I get dressed up, I spend a good bit of time putting on make-up (this might be because I really don't know how to do it so I am teaching myself at the same time) and then after looking at myself, wipe it off with my hands leaving my face in a state of half made up/ half back at square one.

6. I watch home shopping channels to see how people talk for so long about light bulbs or other things like that. I am training myself to be able to talk to anyone about anything!
7. I sometimes can not see the defining line between people and animals and so when I look at animals, like baboons, I only see a being, no different than you or me.
I have had to adjust the conditions a little to maintain anonymity and to account for the fact that I don't read a lot of blogs...I window shop on ETSY and art supply stores a lot.

Here are the blogs I read the most/ favorite blogs:

Clearly there is LaLa's blog, I love her candid nature and real ideas:
The first blog I started to read when I was looking for infertility blogs was Lisa's:
I ADORE Nicole's Blog, and she writes so wonderfully:
From a friend on the other side of the world, Mali always has such wonderful insight:
There are a couple blogs that I "drop-in on" that are currently discussing children or are actively/passively trying to have children or have them:
KitVonD is a woman show has been riding a roller coaster of emotions in this last year, she is also in the middle of making her life the one she wants, we can all applaud that!
and I always love to simply read this blog, I have for years and years,
Eden is funny, clever, honest and quirky...
warning she is a mom, and does talk about and show her kid...but also her bulldog, clothing choices and lunch
Thank you again LaLa
you made me feel so special

Thursday, September 06, 2012

Pop goes the weasel

image via superstock

 it happened, the building pressure could not be contained any longer...
the pain and hurt,
the miscommunication and anger was all too much.
My friend, the one I mentioned here, was outside when The Barren and I passed to say good morning and she let loose again. She just kept telling me how upset she was, how she has stopped calling or asking me to do things...I heard most of what she said, but in all honesty, I also shut totally down.
 I heard myself say things like, I hear you, I understand you.
Then when it was all over, I ran into the house and closed myself into a bathroom and cried.
That night we went to dinner with her and her family.
As we drove to meet them I turned to The Barren and said
"I feel like you are driving me to an execution".
At dinner, I said barely anything, I was so nauseous and scared. We parted and on the way home I decided I wanted to hole up some more...lick wounds so to speak.
The next day I wasn't able to do anything but think of the recent encounter...so I wrote down how I was feeling. I used words like bullied, mean, fear and emotionally exhausted.
It took three times of trying to meet with her, but that day we met face to face,
I figured if I was going to puke she should see that too.
We sat outside my front door, and I read what I wrote, she listened and then countered...
she used words like hurt and angry and mean and done.
She started to yell, then I started to yell and then...while she was telling me how she was feeling,
I said : " I am glad we are doing this, as horrible as it is long overdue"
We could have been panting by the time were were done,
but it came to that moment when we said so what do we do now?
Was this worth trying to save, did we still want to be friends or try to be...
My suggestion was to start from square one, let go of all the things we had done to hurt and disappoint one another in the past as that can not be changed and
move forward anew for this moment.
She agreed.
How painful it was to see myself in this other persons eyes, thinking all this time I was doing no harm; avoiding conflict, but instead hurting this person. It was horrible, and to be pushed so far that I spoke the hidden words I was feeling for her all this time. It was a lot to process at that moment.
I introduced myself, we ended up talking another half hour and by the end we were laughing and relaxed again.
We have plans to have coffee on Saturday.
The adrenaline that had built up over this is finally leaving my body
and I burned the paper I had written to her.