Sunday, May 29, 2016

That Phone Call...

A year ago, yesterday, I laid in bed quietly crying into BJ's shoulder awaiting "the call".  The same
one I get every single time.  The one every infertility patient dreads because you just know.  You know 'it's not meant to be', 'it just isn't your time', 'maybe you should look at other options.'  You sit there and let all the comments and "helpful advice" run through your head and you wait.  You wait painfully, tearfully, all the while simultaneously begging for just a little bit more time being the most pregnant you've ever been.

You've changed your diet, your lifestyle, given up your savings account, stabbed yourself with gargantuan needles and bargained with God to just help you get through the cycle no matter the outcome because you've convinced yourself you've given up on your miracle.  You tell your partner you just aren't ready to hear the bad news.  You wonder how many people the phlebotomist told about the crazy girl that sobbed through her venipuncture because you were "not ready to hear bad news".  

All this emotional, medicinal, financial and spiritual investment is pent up in this one phone call.  As you bury your face into your partner's shoulder your phone begins to go off.  You contemplate not answering it, because if you don't know just yet, you get a little more time with that precious embryo or two.  Just a few minutes more loving that should be baby you've poured your soul into.  Just a few minutes more pretending your miracle has come, and that you don't have to hurt like this anymore.

But you know.  Deep down, you know, so you answer that phone call.  "I'm so sorry, Mary Katherine..."  That's what you always hear....I can't tell you how the rest of those phone calls go because all the air is sucked out of your lungs, and you don't know how your shattered heart continues to beat. You look at your partner, your face scrunches in pain, the air is stolen from your lungs, yet you muster a "thank you" to whoever has the burden of telling you what you already knew.  Telling you your greatest fear has come to fruition.  You feel the searing pain of your heart breaking.  It feels like the air you manage to suck in is 1,000 degrees Celsius.  You hang up and you don't know whether to scream, curse God, or just let yourself waste away since it feels like all the important parts of you died with that embryo.  And that embryo was everything...

You know all of this pain is waiting for you as soon as you hit that green button on your phone.  But you do it.  You do it because you are brave.  You do it because you have to start the healing process.  And you do it because despite knowing the answer, there is a tiny, tiny voice in the back of your head that thinks 'just maybe'.  The one little part of your spirit that evades the protective wall you've convinced yourself you've built. The thing we call hope...

That wonderful part of your spirit that just can't be broken no matter the beatings it takes.  The hope that gives you the strength to endure another month of heartbreak.  Another month of telling all the people who knew what you were going through that it did not work.  Another month of convincing yourself it was worth it. Such a tiny, tiny voice, yet the one that gives you the drive to put yourself right back in the same position, waiting for the same phone call all over again. 

Because sometimes...miracles happen.

"Mary Katherine, have you gotten your lab results?" 
"Well, you're pregnant."
"No I'm not."
"Yes, you are pregnant..."

And your entire world changes with just 3 words...

James Matthew Roberts, thank you for being my miracle.  Thank you for being my little embryo that could.

Peace, Love, and Miracles,

Mary Katherine & Matt

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

4 Months!!!!

My little Goober is 4 months old!!!

He's such a sweet little guy, and I can't imagine life without him.  He's cute as a button, darling, smiley and very curious about what is going on just outside of his bubble. As in please move me so I can see what's going on over there, ok now back over there, ok I don't want to be here, either...I'm really just Matt's minion, but it's the best job in the world.

He laughs...this deep, almost can't tell he's not grumbling laugh, and it cracks me up. His hair seems to be blonding up and he's still got these gorgeous blue peepers...
He drools like a champ.  He smiles like a cherub...He's simply just the best.  I look back and cannot imagine not having him.  I am soooo lucky, so blessed, so thankful to be this baby's Mama!  I just want to drink in every precious thing about him all day, everyday, but alas...that doesn't put much food on the table.

Matt is thriving on the boob juice.  He's 14 lbs 7 oz at 4 mos and 2 days.  He's 24.75", rolls from front to back in either direction, and rolls from back to side if there is a chance that my boob is a magnet.  If i'm not there, there is no desire to roll in that direction...I mean why do more tummy time when that is the actual worst thing in his life, right now?  He can sit in his Bumbo seat, and LOVES to stand up.  He was a total champ at the doc's today.  Toe prick and he didn't even flinch, cried only a little bit when he got shots, and nursed right away.  He's meeting all his milestones, and we are pretty impressed with him. He's loving the 25th percentile.

I'm trying to learn how to balance motherhood, wifedom, working, and being a grind when it comes to studying.  I'm mostly flailing, but somehow (thanks mostly to BJ) things get fed, loved, we have clean clothes, and our house isn't in total least my definition of shambles...which means we don't count Emma Grace tumbleweeds...

BJ and I are starting to get questioned about what our family building plans are which I guess is always a natural curiosity.  We'd love to have more children, but we want to put our efforts into raising Matt at the moment, and maybe finish a graduate school program or 2...or 3.  I want to love on just Matt for a bit. We will never get to relive his babyhood, or toddler-hood again, and I'm not sure I want to miss any of it because I am jumping back into the vortex of infertility.  I can't imagine missing such important milestones because I'm crying myself to sleep over not giving him a sibling...which I'm pretty sure if I could explain the concept of sibling to Matt right now, he probably wouldn't be up for it, anyway...I'm not going to let infertility steal my time with the baby I do have right now.

Nothing is guaranteed for us, so we don't know that this will even work the next time.  That's another reason I want to relish every single moment of Matt.  Even if we go back for more children, doesn't necessarily mean we will get them.  So BJ and I have been asked "Why would you put yourself through all of it again?"  Well, we wouldn't be exactly.  We've gotten over the hurdle that tripped us up the most. We have 14 snow babies waiting on us to decide what to do, in fact we just paid their tuition for Freezer U.  Other people have commented on my/our age... Yes, I'm an older first-time mother, thanks for reminding me on the daily, but I'm not the oldest, and though I will most likely be over 35 the next time, I would technically not be an advanced maternal age patient because all our embryos are the same age as Matt. Anyway, I just love it when people ask me what our plans are then scoff at us.  If you ask and don't like what you hear...just remember they aren't your plans, they are mine!

Matt Facts:
Weight:  14 lbs 7 oz.
Length: 24.75 inches
Favorite food:  Boob Juice!!!
Favorite Toy:  We've moved on from Eric the Horse to this little Atom model looking thing with lots of tubes that he can stick in his mouth (Thanks, Mamaw Theresa!)
Favorite Comfort Item:  Any of his 3 Wubbanubs.
Favorite Activity:  Standing - nothing he can do by himself, of course :)
Favorite Pet:  Lucifer...even if he tries to kill Matt, he's the most interested in his ongoings and occasionally snuggles with him, if even on accident.
New Skills:  Standing (w/support), laughing, putting things in his mouth, sitting up w/support, mastered head control, and finally mastered only took 4 months!!!
Predicted Future Occupation:  Journalist...must know everything that's going on around him when we are in public.

Peace, Love, and Savoring all the moments,
Mary Katherine & Matt

Friday, May 6, 2016

Dear You Don't Think You Count, Mama

Dear You don't think you count, Mama,

First let me wish you a Happy Mother's Day.  Because indeed, you do count. You are a mother.

You know what it is to sacrifice everything for your child that you do not even have yet.  You know how to sacrifice financially, emotionally, and even spiritually.  You've sacrificed your body with large bore needles and drugs that cause bizarre side effects.  You've sacrificed your dignity with every other day transvaginal ultrasounds. You've sacrificed your sanity, because when everything is telling you it won't work, you have to try one.more.time.  And you know grief like no other.  You've grieved month after month for the child that will not be.  You've grieved the 2nd pink line that faded too quickly.  You've grieved the baby whose heart remained quiet.  You've given birth to a sleeping angel.  Or you've lost your baby way too soon. Yes, Mama, you've got grief covered better than most mothers.

You are nailing all the most difficult parts of motherhood, and yet have not received a single reward.  No tiny hand has gripped your finger.  No beady eyes have stared back at you.  No tiny lips have curled into that oh, so sweet smile.  No little bellies have quivered with baby giggles at your provoking. You are not even awarded for the amazing amount of fortitude you demonstrate when you get out of bed each morning. Yet you do and you keep going. And for that you deserve mother of the year!

I had a hard time accepting that I counted as a Mama before I had a living child.  But I tell you, the 5.5 years it took to get here are way harder than anything I've faced being Matt's Mama.  Even the witching hour when I cannot do anything to soothe Matthew is not nearly so hard as getting out of bed the day after you find out your last treatment cycle did not work. Yet people are eager to wish me a Happy Mother's Day now. With Matt, I know we'll live through the night and wake up to a smiling, cooing baby.  With fertility treatments there is so much investment with no guarantee of anything.

And yet, no one dares wish you a Happy Mother's Day.  Well, I do.  I wish you a Happy Mother's Day and pray that your healthy little one finds its way to you very soon.  I honor your journeys and think about you every single day, not just on Mother's Day.

So again, Happy Mother's Day to you, for you have given of yourself more than most parenting mothers. I send my love and strength as you continue on with the spirit cancer that is infertility. Battle on my friend.

Peace, Love, and Remembering ALL the Mothers, 

Mary Katherine