Saturday, August 25, 2012

Another Disappointment

Each month when I start my period, I pull the the box of tampons and panty liners to the front of the bathroom shelf, refill my Lancome makeup bag with feminine hygiene products and toss it in my purse. When my period ends, I remove that bag from my purse, place it on the bathroom shelf and rotate the OPKs to the front. The box of pregnancy tests always remains at the back.

Well, after a negative test last night and spotting today, I refilled that Lancome bag and put it in my purse. Had to stop at Whole Foods to resupply my stock and moved the OPKS back behind the tampons.

Today is Saturday and officially day 1 of my cycle. I can hardly breathe. I really believed we were pregnant this month. This has been so devastating that I can't even discuss details of emotions and what happened today. Guess that doesn't matter anyway, you all know what it feels like.

Reminds me that I have never seen a positive pregnancy test (at least my own) and justifies my choice of deactivating my Facebook account. It's too much. And next weekend where my bitch of a younger sister has her two year old's bday party on Saturday, and Precious has her first birthday on Sunday will be absolute hell. It will be a miracle if I don't kill someone, end up in jail or hurt myself. That sounds dramatic, but right now is how I feel. What a fucking shit storm.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Wednesday Morning

Woke up today and it feels like all the symptoms which I believed to be indicators of pregnancy are gone. My breasts are no longer feeling swollen and tender, the tightness and pulling in my abdomen (which I had Monday night and all day Tuesday) is gone, and I have that physical feeling like I'm going to start my period. Today is only day 26 of my cycle, so it's too early to test, even though I am fighting the driving urge to do so. If I do, and the result is negative, I'll be devastated, but still hope because the results aren't 100% accurate. Therefore, I will wait and test again, and if it is still negative, I will be devastated again, so what's the point? At least that is what I keep telling myself.

Stop overthinking everything, you might say. Well, that is a complete impossibility when you have suffered through pregnancy loss and infertility.

Going through this is like training to become a scientist. You write down all of your observations, check for controls and variables and publish your findings (in a blog). Sometimes the experiments you conduct are OPKs or early pregnancy tests at various days in your cycle, the tissue sample to check for spotting, taking a different angle to view the sample, checking at different times of the day to see if the results have changed, I could go on. Unlike a scientist, however, we do not receive payment (unless we achieve pregnancy), and are often paying for the privilege to be in the situation whether it be IUI, IVF, FET, or other processes.

I would like to retire from this constant scientific experiment. I would like for all of us to be able to do so.

Monday, August 20, 2012

F You Too, Clearblue Easy

I was reading the blog  Not All Dreams Are Free  and saw this picture which I just had to post. This is exactly what it feels like when "not pregnant" appears in the display window. I wonder if the owner of the company who makes Clearblue Easy is aware of all the pain their product has caused us? Maybe the developers could change the display to more accurately reflect the emotional aspect of the tests. Instead of "pregnant" it could have a woman yelling "That's right, bitches!" and show this middle finger for "not pregnant." Alternatively, it could show Godzilla smashing buildings, an ape going wild behind the bars of his enclosure at the zoo, a person setting a stroller on get the idea. 

Constantly on the verge of our lives changing.

Along that theme, I was reading an article today about  Consumer Reports Best Pregnancy Tests, because we are on day 24 of my cycle and I'm super impatient and was desperately trying to find a test that would work this early. I know, I know, you're supposed to wait until at least the first day after your missed period, but those damn television commercials say they can detect up to five days before your period starts. We've been through it enough times that I know it won't work, but do I really have to wait? And because my period starts any day between 27 and 30 (typically, except for the two very cruel day 32 starts this year), that means I have to wait until at least day 30 to test. And last month, I waited until day 32 and then started my period as I was testing!!!!!!!

Since my last post, I'm back to feeling optimistic this month. Husband and I feel that things are different this time (don't we tell ourselves that every month?), and I've continued to not drink at all (which only matters today because it is our eighth anniversary and there was no celebratory cocktail for this gal), to take my prenatal vitamins every day, and my mood swings have been so bad, it just feels like it's possible this time. Then I begin to think well, I have had these symptoms before and it was just PMS, maybe I've made them worse by thinking about them so much, maybe other physical symptoms are psychosomatic. There is no reason to trust my body. This is why having to wait is so difficult... to know there is a set number of days before we find out that we were kidding ourselves or not is brutal.

But that brutal wait will absolutely be worth it if we find out we have a baby growing in me. 

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

So Begins Another Two Week Wait

This time I am feeling hopeful though. Felt the ovulation twinge on my left side (where there the tube is good), I am not drinking any wine this time and am taking prenatal vitamins every night. I'm trying to be a good girl in an effort to sway the odds our way. To further this goal of doing things differently during this cycle, we avoided seeing people who have somehow always been around during the prime fertility time and therefore we have begun to foolishly blame them for our negative results each month, I'm trying to not think negative thoughts about Brat and Wife, and am allowing myself to feel hopeful. 

I started writing this post on Sunday, but today is Wednesday and I've lost all that optimism. Maybe I'm just tired, didn't eat enough, whatever, but I have been in and out of a low mood for the past two days. I'm angry, screaming at people in the car, feeling very irritated with Husband. Granted, this is how I typically feel, but it has been much worse lately. As a result, I am coping by eating sugar. Seems like I am determined to get really fat, because that certainly will make me feel better. Though I continue to exercise, it's not enough of a release. While I managed to not focus on Brat and Wife this weekend, yesterday and today I have been really stewing. It's so stupid, and I tell myself to stop, which I do, for about ten minutes. It happens when I start to think what if we don't get pregnant? Then I fall into that trap of it's not fair, all these idiots around us have babies, etc. My younger sister texted me out of the blue wanting to go to lunch this week, and to pay....that makes me think she is going to tell me big news that I don't want to hear. Husband and I have been feeling like the second round of babies is coming because the first are all 12 months or older. I'm not ready to handle that if we aren't even pregnant with our first. We are always for the other shoe to drop. Doesn't that sum up all of us going through this?

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Another Gut Punch

The idiot that I am, I checked Facebook last night on my way to bed. Yes, my last post mentioned how I hate Facebook and it is just full of other peoples babies and inane comments, but I can't help myself. Sure enough there was an announcement from this old coworker of mine, complete with photos of the four pee sticks she tested on. She is a mess of a woman, nice enough, but with many physical ailments and a whole lot of crazy and medications to tame that crazy. She recently married a much older man and now they are pregnant. Just barely pregnant.
Her posting it so early on upset me because it highlighted the fact that we, those of us struggling with fertility, will never be free to do something like that, outside of this community. We can share those early moments of joy together because we understand the other side of it. We know what it is like to want and hope and suffer loss and so we rejoice in one another's victories. We also know that things can suddenly change, and if the worst happens, we know that this community offers understanding and support. I thought, what if she loses the baby? What will she post then? What kind of support will her one million Facebook friends offer? To have to tell that many people that you are no longer pregnant...
Infertility, I have said before, robs us of those types of unfettered moments of joy. We will always have fear and doubt creeping around, even at our most happy and hopeful.  That fact only adds to the pain of hearing about someone else's pregnancy who has not endured what we have. How dare they have that kind of unencumbered happiness.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

That's Your Baby, Not Mine

Facebook shows me photos of what I try to avoid (here is an article from CNN regarding status envy). Even the friends we care about, their babies become tiresome. No, the babies aren't tiresome, it's having to hear about and plan around their schedules, getting suckered into viewing 15 minute long photo slide shows when you thought you were only going to see one photo, hear about every new type of poop, new movement or mumble. It's the same with those emails that have a link to photo sharing sites complete with hundreds of newly added photos from last month, and a promise of more to come. It's just like at work when people stop by to chat about their kids, when I didn't ask. Standing in line for lunch, at the elevator, at the grocery store. Your baby is yours, why are you forcing them on me? I am not cold or trying to be mean, just frustrated with the self- centered focus people tend to have. Honestly, we all need to remember that what is ours, is ours, and it is not kind to brag, boast or innundate others about it.   Of course I say this as  I write a blog which is all about ME and my efforts to force my misery on anyone who bothers to read this.

Saturday night Husband and I were hanging out with his parents to enjoy their air conditioning. They are big fans of the show Homeland, which we started to watch, it wasn't bad, but it reminded me of the career I walked away from, plus we were staying the night in the room where Precious' playpen is. It was too much, too may symbols of failure in one 24 hour period for me to handle. 

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Secret World

Tonight I was reading Hope Deferred by Lady Grey Hope Deferred by Lady Grey and in her "About Me" section she mentioned how the blog is her secret world. That phrase really struck me because I often feel like infertility is a secret world, these horrible and painful experiences we go through we keep to ourselves and we feel isolated from the rest of the world. Those of us who have difficulty conceiving operate in two different universes; the one flush with babies and couples who have no idea that some struggle to conceive, and that full of pain, grief, heartbreak and resentment.

It is so unfair that some have no concept of what we go through. They constantly talk about their pregnancies, their babies, breastfeeding, labor, etc. They assume you are doing something wrong and that's why you don't have babies yet. They assume if you just ate differently, exercised more, prayed harder, stopped worrying, had more sex that you, too, would be pregnant.

Ignorance is no excuse. Lack of experience is no excuse. Sympathy, empathy, come from recognizing sorrow in someone else. You do not need to have lived through the same shitty experiences to acknowledge others face different circumstances. Our situation calls for awareness, sensitivity, kindness, but these are traits that so many humans cannot extend or do not hold. The funny thing is that while we are mired in our misery, suffering in our grief and frustration, we have a heightened awareness that others may be experiencing difficulty. Those who have everything they want with no effort are focused solely on themselves.

There is no one in my life who has experienced these hardships, so I turn to the authors of the blogs for comfort, support and kinship. Even though I may silently stalk the blogs and not comment or reach out, all of you have kept me going. You all offer reassurance that my husband and I are not going through this alone, navigating this secret world without a pilot. I am sorry that you are all dealing with this, but thank you for sharing. You may never know just how much you help.