Monday, September 30, 2013

Three years ago today

Today is the anniversary of my infertility art exhibition.
It opened three years ago, and I was terrified that people would be less than kind about my vision.
There were a few mean comments, some left in my visitor book, some delivered to me personally face to face; BUT the majority of the comments were sweet, kind, heartfelt and honest.
It changed me forever.
As I reflect on this day, I am thankful beyond words to be where I am now.
Although I am still infertile and I am still not going to be a parent in this lifetime.
I am also still married to my AMAZING wonderful Barren.
We are understanding and coming into ourselves as grown up kids
We are still asking questions and exploring what we want.
I am no longer scared or ashamed of my Barreness
I am not thinking of myself as first The Barreness and then all the other qualities of myself.
I am healing my perception of my body.
I am able to look at myself in the mirror and not be mad at my reflection.
I am not only my twisted and fused  reproductive system
I am growing
I am whole
I am strong
I am smiling

Friday, September 20, 2013

Putting down some bags


I tried two new classes this week, they pushed me, hard.
I felt sluggish and needed a little kick in the ass, so I kicked myself.
The first class was the next level up from the classes I have been taken these last three months.
It was a good change; new poses and a faster pacein that 103degree room.
The second class I described to a friend as this:
OK I did it, I went to Sculpt this morning....It was like taking: cardio, step, aerobics, core and weight training in 100degrees with a few yoga moves thrown in for giggles. Oh it is was taught by a speed freak who was as tiny as a spider monkey! I am still red in the face and floating...I think I will stick to the level 2 for build up my strength....or stamina. I actually was laughing at one point because everything was swirling around me so fast....
It was like being in a gym class, the teacher was yelling, the music was loud house music and the people in class were mostly athletic college students. I was way out of place!
Being out of place was good, in a weird way.
It highlighted that I don't need to fit into all the boxes.
A reminder that I am not like others and I have no desire to be.
I finished the class, and showered slowly and quietly. On the way out the yoga teacher that told me to give it a try saw that I had actually done it and congratulated me, and then asked what I thought.
I said:
 " it was not what I had expected, I think I need to build some endurance up before attempting another class"
She said she understood and that she didn't like crossfit
it made me giggle
I have carried that idea all week, push myself and accept things that I am not meant to be a part of.
Drop a few bags that I am done carrying.
I have bowed out of the women's business group for a couple months; I felt I wasn't really present as of late and I needed to be for myself and the others there.
So I am taking a little break.
I am also transferring responsibility for a nonprofit group that I have
been doing webwork for the last three years for.
It was hard to ask someone else to take over; but such a relief that the person I asked agreed without drama or hesitation. I am incredibly thankful!
And I am beginning to feel a little less weight on my shoulders.
I don't like saying no, or not volunteering when I know I can do what is needed.
Right now I am building a new me, and it requires that I stay focused on my goals and basic needs to build a firm and confident foundation.
So I am not saying yes to much right now....not to be mean but to be focused.
There are a few things coming up that I could say yes to but I have remained silent.
In the past these same people have asked for the same things and not reciprocated and it has left me feeling stepped on and used, so right now I am just focusing on me
being happy and giving in other ways and being kind.

If you haven't heard this speech yet here is a link to written version of
George Saunder's commencement speech,
it is inspired and moving and good words to live by as we drop our bags
and open our arms to new paths:

Friday, September 13, 2013

Focusing under a grey cloud

I think I am fighting some melancholy.
I think it is that, it seems grey and unformed.
I am not sure why....well maybe I do.
I am being tested it seems, or poked...or taunted, still unsure how I am reacting to that.
Maybe that is why I am unsure if it is melancholy or not.
I found out a friend is doing IVF, I have a new niece, one dozen children play daily outside my front door (literally, our front door and garage door are the start and end points of their games),
I got bamboozled into a yoga class this week taught by a woman who is visibly pregnant,
I have purposely not taken her classes as I am selfish and don't want to spend my hour thinking about her uterus being full with a baby.
It twisted my mind so much, that I wasn't focused in class,  and I imagined the sounds coming from outside the studio were those of crying babies and it pissed me off and I wanted to run from the class.
She mentions that she is pregnant in every class she teaches and looks like she swallowed a basketball. I heard her tell a student that her body was not meant to carry the weight of a baby, she misses being able to suck in her stomach...I rolled my eyes and fled to the lockers.
Ideally I can continue to avoid her classes.
There have been a lot of articles about infertility in the news recently,
And of course this sent me to do some Dr Googling on stage IV endometriosis and chance of pregnancy, with IVF or otherwise.
The verdict: less then 5%
It was a stark reality check again,
and in many ways reassuring that I am not missing something.
So back to the focus on my work and self and relationship and the life I want.
A mentor told me the other day that I need to really focus on what I want, career wise,
and then work backwards from that point so I can make that a goal a reality.
Once I let go of the feeling that I was doing something wrong, I was left feeling that I have work ahead of me; panic set in and then yesterday I sat down with my yellow pads of paper and started writing down what I want. What my goals are and now I am working on figuring out how to work back from that point to make them happen.
Big leaps are involved and there are big empty spots too....
focus focus focus focus
oh look a shiny thing....
I think my first task is focusing well
I am not quite sure what the point of this post was.....ugh

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Doing it...

Making sex fun again...yeah it is work!

Inspired by Stirrups Queens post today I thought I would chime in.

I have to work to have sex.
Not because I have an unwilling partner, but I have found that the pill is a serious libido killer.
Anyone else find that?

I felt strangely empowered when I was facing the loss of my ovary, and wanted to have sex a lot!
Then after surgery, I sort of coiled into myself.
Which is understandable...but I kept asking my doctor when is it safe to have sex again.
She seemed puzzled by my eagerness to want to jump right back into the game, but I stressed to her pre/post surgery that my sexual health was very important to me and I was concerned about it.

Now, as I create my new future, I am faced with a new challenge.
I have to really focus and put into the agenda of the week,
have sex with my love.

When I was little my parents were very open with how babies were made, and when I got older how to respect myself and others. I was a good girl with a serious sexually flirtatious streak.
I came of age at a time when sex was scary, AIDS was killing people left and right and I remember telling my high school boyfriend: "if we ever have sex, we are using condoms, spermicide, dental dams and I will also be on the pill" poor thing; he was a wonderful bashful puppy and agreed to whatever would make me comfortable.
College I was sexual, and content and had great partners who were interested in making me happy.
I enjoyed that A LOT
The Barren and I met then and we have been "doing it" a lot since then.
We have weathered a lot of issues, growing up together tends to introduce growing pains and we have had them. He is still an eager college boy in the sheets, ready at the drop of a hat.
 I on the other hand, find as of late, that I am simply trying to keep up or in the same room as him.
He being the sweet wonderful man he is, has thought up some libido experiments:
encouraging me to try and think about sex more,
act out, be crass
daydream, think up fantasies...go hog wild
 as an experiment.

We are both wanting my libido to fire up, re-wire the mechanics of the synthetic hormones that are surging thru my body, killing or whipping my endo into submission.
I mean I got a little peek at what my sex drive could be in my early 40's before I went back on the pill and it was AWESOME.
Now I am due to be on the pill again until menopause, I am stunted sexually
and have to really swim upstream to get my rocks off.
It sucks!
Sex after infertility is WORK; first disconnecting the baby making mindset and then trying to recapture your self identity, and finally summoning your inner sex goddess!

Wednesday, September 04, 2013

Self Study


While laying in a pool of my own making Friday afternoon, my teacher was talking about, "sriyaya",* self study, at least that is the word I heard through my own heartbeat and labored breathing. The word struck me as funny and I giggled to myself, making note to look it up and see if she really knew what she was talking about....she did.
I am finding that these classes are getting me closer to understanding myself....really getting a better picture of what I want to do, what I can do and what I have gladly left behind.
I am able to see myself in the mirror and not feel repulsed by who is looking back at me.
I see a hurt little girl, a strong but shaky woman who wants desperately to love herself again.
I am much gentler to her now.
Often in class, while I sit in a pose thinking this feels really good on my low back or makes me feel strong...I listen to my internal banter and it goes something like this:
 I want every one of my "sisters" to feel better
I want to create a class just for us infertiles. Like a club....
 Why would I want a labeled infertiles club? I wouldn't go to it...
that was a silly idea, breathe or you will puke...
I am breaking free from my own labels,
ones I seem to have tagged myself with and I no longer want to carry around or be.
I had a rough couple of weekends, feeling shaky in myself and my self esteem.
I went down a very dark hole and found it was very easy to stay there, angry and mean and unhappy.
I went to bed grumpy and repeated mean things to myself as a lullaby.
Then in the morning, I told myself that it was the wrong way. I needed to float above this Maury Povich show and walk away from this drama and negative self words.
It was a little like taffy but I kept going to class, and I kept my appointments and I walked further and further away from it. Not turning back, to see how far I had walked.
It is something, I find, I might always struggle with.
No matter how hard I work on myself, it is a constant practice of learning to love myself, learning to accept myself and finding ways to make peace with the mean voices.
I am neck deep in these books of self study....but it is helping slowly.
I can look at my newest niece and the first thoughts are not how come it is not me,
 but instead
Hello there you wonderful little one.
* Svadhyaya ("one's own going into")
Svadhyaya is the fourth of the five niyamas (observances towards ourselves). Sva means “self” and adhyaya means “investigation, inquiry, or education.” Teachers define svadhyaya as “Self-inquiry; any study that helps you understand yourself; the study of sacred texts.” These definitions all offer us different paths towards educating ourselves.