Wednesday, September 26, 2012

My Darling

Dearest BJ,

To quote one of your [my husband's] favorite songs that's from a band other than Dave Matthews...

"You may find yourself in a beautiful house with a beautiful wife, and you may ask yourself, 'How did I get here?'"  ~Talking Heads

Well, Once Upon a Time...

A small town girl met a small town boy, and she fell madly in love for the first time.  The small town boy seemed pretty smitten with her, himself.  He, who was the first in his family to get a college degree, had decided to move to a bigger city to pursue a masters.  Not willing to let the small town boy get away from her so easily, the small-town girl picked a masters program at the same university.  As fate would have it, they both were accepted, and they both moved to the "Big City" together.

They tackled graduate school together.  They thrived in the city despite living in an apartment where they nearly suffered heat stroke from the months of April to September.  The small town boy, who looked and looked for a job, finally found one despite it seeming like every break fell through.  He made excellent grades in graduate school and got engaged to the small town girl who landed her "dream job."  They moved into a beautiful apartment with working air conditioning within minutes of their jobs and life seemed just dandy...

...for two seconds...

The small town girl was laid off from her dream job.

Fortunately, she was able to pick up the pieces and find a new job relatively quickly, even though it was on the opposite end of town as their fab new apartment.  The two small town kids who were still madly in love with each other got married, got two quirky cats, and enjoyed the first few months of wedded bliss.  The small town boy even finished his thesis! ;)

Then the economy tanked and the small town boy was laid off.  He graduated with his masters while he looked for a job in the worst economy for journalists, ever.  He took the best job for them that he could find.  Even though it meant spending the second half of his newly-wed year having to live over an hour and a half away and move back in with his parents.  They kept their chins up, and both began looking for jobs that would get them back together. They listened and consoled each other over the phone when each of those opportunities seemed to fall through their fingers.  They met every Wednesday evening to have dinner together at a Ruby Tuesdays half way between them for six months and cherished every moment they had on the weekends with each other.

When the economy showed no signs of improving, the still very happily married small town kids decided to make the best of it and move to a house that put them each a little over 40 miles to their work and over 40 miles from their friends and family. They lived in an unfinished spec house with two kitchen drawers and having to use satellite internet (when there weren't any clouds in the sky, anyway).  They quickly decided that this was no place for them and they wanted to get back to their beloved "Big City".

The brave, darling, small town boy dedicated himself to searching for a job that would get them back into the city, even considering a career change.  A year went buy and the couple seemed no closer to their goal.  Knowing that waiting for everything to be perfect before starting a family was to be waiting forever they decided to go ahead with their family building plans with a "come what may" attitude.

May never came, and the very brave small town boy watched his small town girl crumble. He watched her writhe in pain, he watched her light fade, but he remained strong steady and madly in love with her.  He picked up every piece of her she lost and held onto them for her.  His courage and belief in her became the belief that kept them together.  And he even kept searching for a job and landed one that was far from perfect but would put them back in the City.

He committed to trying fertility treatments and house-buying with his broken small town girl.  Those treatments kept failing and his small town girl kept breaking.  But they were able to buy a beautiful house thanks to the sacrifice he made taking a job that was a step further away from his love of journalism than his previous.  But he did it for her.  He ensured that even when he was away, his vulnerable wife was surrounded by his friends so she never felt alone.  He continued to be her rock when she became blind to everything but the thing she couldn't seem to have.  He kept working on their future, and kept looking for better jobs.  She kept wasting away, but he held on to her.

He, after nearly 3 years, finally found a job that suited all of his many talents for the communication arts. To beat all, it was at the beloved university that originally brought them to this "Big City".  He did not begrudge his small town girl for her inability to really celebrate with him.  He knew that the weak smiles and short congratulatory remarks were all she could muster.  And he loved her very, very much, anyway.  He held steady when they were told all of their embryos were weak.  He celebrated cautiously with her when they got that faint positive.  He didn't let her see how he was already braced for bad news.  When it came, when they heard she was going to miscarry, he stayed with her. He held her until she had no more tears to cry.  He stayed so strong and brave.  He held on when she had let go.  When she was in too much pain to even see what she never lost, he was still there.  When the worst had come and gone and the dust settled, he was still there, still holding on.  When he picked her up off the rock bottom and enabled her to carry on a new path despite the sacrifices they would have to make, he showed her how truly, madly deeply he still loved her.

With his love she was able to regain a new vision.  A life where she could be happy if they never had any more than they had at that moment.  And when she opened her eyes to that, she realized how much they did have.  How much happiness she could have if she would just allow herself be happy, again.  She fell even more deeply in love with the courageous, chivalrous gentleman that her small town boy had become.

NOT the end...

I look at you, BJ, and I cannot thank God enough.  You are everything I need.  Your peace with life, your patience, your faith in us and our future completes me.  You soothe my impatience.  You help me believe.  You inspire me to keep going.  You've taught me that "my" practical is not always "real" practical. You tell me I'm beautiful, and I believe you.  You allowed me to dream again.  You and I together, we prove the existence of soulmates.  You taught me what true love is.

I write this, because, I want you to know how beautiful and brave you really are.  Truly the ONLY thing that has ever been easy for us, is our love.  And that is a gift that is greatest of all.

I wish you the happiest birthday.

Your Beautiful Wife

To the world you may be one person, but to one person you are the world.
~Heather Cortez

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

The Things People Say...

The comments are probably the thing that keeps most people from sharing their struggle with infertility publicly.  They come from everywhere...perhaps the comments started even before you even knew you would be facing infertility.  I will NEVER, EVER ask anyone when they plan on having children ever again!  This is my solemn vow to myself and all the women who deserve more than to have their ovaries discussed as casual dinner conversation without their permission.

Anywho, envision yourself, amped up on doses of female hormones that are 4-5 times higher than normal (Not forgetting that most of us infertility types run lower than normal on these hormones, so it seems more exacerbated).  You are the epitome of why hysteria was named for crazy women, and then someone asks, "Why don't you just adopt? I know tons of people who adopt and then just magically get pregnant on their own." Your blood boils, tears flood your eyes, your vision blurs, and you think 'What did I do to deserve this?'. 'What if everything I'm doing is wrong?' 'What if such-and-such decision would have been the ticket to us having a baby?' 'Why is this happening to me?' Then your eyes refocus and you smile and say, "We'll consider that option." Then, you get to your car and start bawling.  It feels like it happens every day.  Even when you're "on break".

Just the other day, I was telling someone who asked if I had kids that no I didn't but we had tried and had a few rounds of failed fertility treatments.  [Please note that the fertility treatment failed, not me, or you, either if you didn't hit a winner the first go-around...or 2nd, 3rd, etc].   The person asked me if I had ever tried going off of birth control. Seriously, what?  You mean, all this time my birth control could have been interfering with my ability to get pregnant? I simply responded that that was actually the first thing we tried and really didn't think about it again until I thought about writing this blog.  I guess I've had lots of practice at deflecting, plus I've allowed myself to be happy again. So I'm hoping this post can help you.

At this time, I would like to address the adoption myth:

1.  IT'S NOT TRUE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  DID YOU READ THIS? IT IS NOT TRUE! IT'S FALSE!!!! Despite that every person you know, tells you they know someone who adopted who got pregnant "like immediately right after they got the baby". Studies show, and just google pregnancy rate after adoption if you don't believe me, that it is only 3-10%.  Which is about the same as an IUI working.  I know, you still think you know somebody, but the reason you know or heard is because it is obviously special if it only happens 3 to 10 times out of 100.  Not to mention plenty of people who adopt were never infertile to begin with. Also consider that maybe people who don't get pregnant after adoption are not updating their Facebook status as "We're the 90-97% who still couldn't conceive! Yay!"

2. I think it belittles adoption.  People adopted to have that child.  Those comments make it appear that the commenter believes the adopted child was simply to prime the pump or no better than the first pancake that is thrown out.  I believe you would be hard-pressed finding an adoptive parent that feels that way about their adopted child.

3. We cheat.  I've only glanced at adoption paperwork briefly from two different agencies.  They both recommend you to not be undergoing fertility treatments while seeking adoption.  After digging around, I've seen and put together some timelines that didn't exactly meet that expectation if they were working with one of those particular agencies.  More power to ya!  And, after considering what a friend told me, while they can do all the background searches they want, HIPPA still prevents them from finding out what, if any treatments you are receiving. 

So there you go...that myth is BUSTED!

Then there is the unsolicited advice of standing on your head, eating this, not eating that, doing it in the morning, doing it in this position and that position, lose weight, gain weight, eat this, don't eat this, take this supplement. It's a little annoying, I admit that. The advice seems silly, but if you are honest with yourself, you probably tried a lot of it anyway.  I mean I totally did headstands after we did the deed, ate pineapple like it was my  job...None of it helped... But if you really break the statement down, all those silly suggestions are given to you because the person giving them wants you to get pregnant.  I mean they wouldn't tell you "how to" if they didn't.  They may be completely clueless as to how a woman's body actually works, but their intentions are good.  So next time, take a deep breath (ok maybe 2 or 3) and think about how they are doing what they can to try to help you.  It can really change your perspective on the bad advice!  

The other route you may get is how burdensome it is to have a child.  "Oh, you're so lucky, I haven't slept in 5 years." My advice...tell them that's why you want to have your own children and not theirs!  I mean, I've been planning to have a children for a while.  I'm well aware that children can have colic, cry all night, wet the bed, embarrass you, make crappy decisions, and just overall not be that cute, cuddly baby who absolutely adores you all the time.  I still would like the opportunity to experience my child and all of their potential crappiness, and love them anyway...and not post bad things about them on Facebook...just sayin'!

The worst however, is when someone says something to the affect of "Maybe this is God telling you it's not meant to be." This one makes me want to tear their hair out, even sans fertility drugs. And yes, not my hair, their hair, and I'll do it because God said I could.  I'll get an acquittal because of my "Battered Ovary Syndrome."  
I really question the faith of someone who would tell you "God's plan" for you.  I maybe read the wrong bible, but one of the take home points I got was, "judge not lest ye be judged", and I think telling someone what they think God is "doing" to them is a form of judgement. Again, maybe it's coming from my heathen Episcopalianism, but I don't believe God sits on his throne and goes, "Hmm, yes, that crack-whore will be an excellent mother, MK, however, no, she likes pink too much and if she has a son he'll be gay." (I've actually been told that my fetish for all things pink and girly will make my sons gay....insert huge eye roll). I don't believe that at all.  It's like saying He gives people, even babies, cancer. What the Hell did the baby do?  People who think like that are very lost in my opinion.  They have such need for an explanation for everything that occurs.  What happened to their faith in God?  How can you have faith, but have to know all of God's plans for someone else? Besides, my gay son will rock your world. He'll be loved and cherished and mine.  He's totally more awesome than the kid you complain about on Facebook all the time...SNAP! 

My and probably a lot of other people's biggest problems when people make comments or give unsolicited advice is their fear of judgement.  Especially when we take their advice as coming from a place of "they know better."  Let's be honest, this infertility stuff is expensive.  Most of us are limited in what we can do and afford, and we are always second guessing our decisions especially in hindsight when a treatment doesn't work. I know I let myself feel that way.  I felt like everyone was 'Tut-tutting" me after both my failed IVF attempts.  I thought people were thinking and saying, "Oh, I knew she should have adopted." "I knew that was going to be a waste of money."

Alright, again, especially after IVF when you have more hormones in your body than an entire middle school. You tend to blow things out of proportion and regress to teenage-like thoughts that everyone is talking about you and hates you.  In reality, probably really nobody thought much about it.  If people were talking badly about you, I'm sorry, that's just pretty shitty, inexcusable behavior that they will have to face on their own time.  I mean honestly, what kind of person would do that?  I'll let God figure that out for me.  

For me, stepping away has been a huge help. So I'm hoping with this blog I can pass on the wisdom I've gained to those currently in the throes of infertility treatments.  Remember today.  Do the things you need to do for your body that you and your team have figured out, and then live your life.

You have to stay in the moment. Or time will fly through your fingers.  I seriously went from being a happy go lucky "25" year-old to a miserable "not 25 anymore" and living like that for 2 and half years, but it seeming like 5 seconds. I missed so much!  I didn't deserve that, but I, yes me, did it to myself.  Again, write a list down of all the things you have, right now, that you are thankful for and read it everyday.  Keep it with you, look at it whenever you need to, because as much as you think infertility can steal, it can never take any of those things you have on that list away without your permission. (Unless you put money, it does steal that, but then you'll learn why money isn't everything, so SCORE.)

It's so important that you remember you, not the crazy, hysterical you, but the person you want to be a mom.  Take care of that person.  Do good things for that person that don't have anything to do with infertility. Don't suppress the anger, scream and cuss when you need to. Go ahead and buy that cute dress. Go to nursing school and get a way cooler job. Get a facial instead of a "fertility massage".

If you start doing these things for yourself, you'll care way less about what other people think.  Their comments, bad advice, and gossip wash away in your bliss.  You'll get your confidence back and believe in your own decisions.  
Go get 'em, girl!

Peace, Love (for me), and loving you, too.

Mary Katherine Roberts

Monday, September 3, 2012


Yeah, yeah...that was kinda lame...what-evs, but it kinda describes my life of newly trying to deal with interstitial cystitis (IC...get it?). Like yesterday, my husband volunteered that he thinks I've been going to the bathroom less. I hadn't realized he counted...thanks for noticing, babe!...I think...

I have had improvements from the treatments where I have heparin (blood thinner) and lidocaine injected into my bladder, (it's prolly best if you just don't think about that too hard) but that only lasts for 1-3 days. I even slept through the night for like the first time in my life! [So Mom, mark my baby book you know how many years, 2 mos., 2 weeks and 4 days! WOOT!]

But then I seem to rebound to a day when I have worse than usual issues and get up twice during the night. It's totally my fault, however, b/c I've not been adhering very well to this diet of no acid, gluten or anything that tastes moderately appealing. I need to pull my big girl panties on and commit. And it's not like it's gonna be this way for totally forever. I just need to give it 6-8 weeks to let the drugs take effect, and then I can start eating more acidic foods again in moderation so long as I take antacids before I eat. So c'mon, no big thang, MK!

My big obstacle, however, is that other than raw veggies, pears, and vanilla ice cream, everything that I can eat requires preparation and cooking, myself. Apparently, there are no Gluten/Soy/Acid-free fast food restaurants for me to frequent...UGH.

I have a confession...I HATE cooking. If Pinterest has taught me anything, it is that I absolutely loathe food prep. I'd rather read, watch TV, swim, play fetch, vacuum, change the litter boxes, ANYTHING! I've been told that I'm not a bad cook, on the rare occasion that I actually perform these feats of chemistry, but the act of it annoys me. There are sharp things, hot things, slimy things, and onions and contact lenses are not a good combo either...not to mention I bore easily...

I blame this totally on my mother, and I don't think she'll mind. We're just not a foody family. Supposedly, before I was born she was all into cooking, but since I've been around things got difficult. Not to mention 4:00-8:00 gymnastics practices most days of the week didn't allow a lot of opportunity to teach me to cook.  To this day, my job at Thanksgiving is to fill the water goblets and put lettuce leaves down on the salad plates for my mom's apricot salad.  [Golly, you really do have low expectations of me, Mother...haha]  My mother-in-law constantly tells me her kitchen is too small...I'm beginning to be suspicious. Well, anyway, add to that the fact that my 115lb mother is one of those unfortunate people who can't look at a piece of red meat or cheese without her cholesterol jumping 50 points, and we just never had a lot to work with.

So now that I'm faced with consuming my body weight in baby carrots and blueberries everyday, starvation, or cooking, I'm afraid I'm just gonna have to step out of my box.  I'm going to have to learn to make things like vinegar and mayo-free salad dressings or just eat salads naked...Quinoa and I are just going to have to decide that despite our differences, we can work together. Butter-leaf lettuce is going become my new bread, even though I'm not exactly sure what it even is...

Fortunately, there is at least one other blogger in my predicament over at Can't Eat a Thing.  I've dug around and there is some stuff on Pinterest, and even some of the Paleo recipes seem easy enough to modify, maybe...I mean, I hope plain Greek yogurt can be subbed for mayo in anything...and leaving out half of the spices won't be too big of a deal, right?  If any of my friends have some ideas, I'm open to suggestions...especially quick, easy and a step above plain cooked quinoa if I can afford to be picky :)

I feel badly for anyone who has food allergies, because it really is a pain in the arse.  You hate to be "that kid" who can't have anything at a particular restaurant or depend on "special arrangements" made for you. (Friends, please note, carrots and vanilla ice cream and I'm set...) But then again, if it's gonna make you feel better, aren't you worth it? So anyways, I apologize if I'm difficult, but I gotta take care of my innards.  Who knows, maybe it'll be worth it? And it certainly can't be worse!

Peace, Love and Remembering where all the pieces of your food processor live,

PS. Mom, I finally found a turkey breast.  It's in the freezer. Now what?