Sunday, December 18, 2011

Some call it "nesting"

Just a few results from all of the "Susie Homemaker" projects I've done over the past month. Why? Choose from as many of the following reasons:

a. it helps me de-stress
b. holidays remind me that I'd be a great stay-at-home mom... if it weren't for that whole not-being-a-mom thing
c. I'm off for a couple weeks - what else will I do?
d. I'm in denial


Since every year we have too many holiday cards to fit on our mantle, I decided to create a back up system. It's just an embroidery hoop decorated with clothespins (with nice holiday colored paper to make it "festive").

DOGGY TREATS! I felt bad that after making "human" Holiday Cookies, Asa, our "child", didn't get to take part in the celebration. So... she gets her own (and a few extras will go to her canine friends).

Friday, June 24, 2011

Speed bumps are evil

Both figurative AND literal. Lately I have become aware of them both. Silly realization, but nonetheless, both painful.
About 6 weeks ago, D and I found out that we were pregnant:) After all of the fertility treatments, the surgeries, the emotional roller coasters... it finally happened. The day that I found out, we were, needless to say, both ecstatic.. surprised... did I say ecstatic? But because of our struggles over the past year with this endeavor (and because I think we are both realists at heart), we decided to not let the good news go to our heads... wait until we got farther along in the pregnancy before we really celebrated. And this included sharing the news to only the parents (although I spilled the beans to a couple people who have really helped me during this difficult time). So at about 8 weeks, we did just that... told parents... and of course, they allowed themselves to get overjoyed. And we let them, all while knowing that D and I were trying to protect ourselves "in case".

Flash forward to the "in case".

The weekend after school got out for me, D, Asa and I went to visit my mom and Fred (to share the "good" news). But on the way back home, June 12th, (in Sacramento, nearly 2 hours away from home) I asked D to find the nearest hospital because I felt intense cramping and dizziness.
What appeared to be a viable pregnancy a week or so prior, turned out to be a rare type of ectopic pregnancy that had ruptured internally. So in the ER, after an u/s, docs could not find a heartbeat, and discovered that the embryonic sac was actually outside the uterus, and in fact inside the remaining part of the right tube (the tube I had surgery to close off in March). They rushed me into surgery to remove the rest of the tube (and the embryo) and noticed that I had lost so much blood from the rupture (it was just filling inside my abdomen) that if I had waited even a few more hours to come to the ER, I likely would have died.
Whew. I need to breathe just writing that.
The good news. D tells me I need to always try and find the silver lining, focus on the positive. It's not easy, but he's right. Good news is that I did survive. Barely, but I did. And even thinking about what D must have been going through while I was struggling physically? That hurts even more. How much more he could have lost that day. He's so strong, and always looks at things positively... I really love and admire him for that. And I need him for that. Because I know that as I heal physically, a new struggle (emotional) might appear... and for how long? Who knows. But D sees it another way... the other good news is that we DID get pregnant. Something we didn't even think could happen. So that is what we need to focus on... and through this speed bump (and any more that come along the way), I will try to look to that, along side D, as my focus.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

A time to grieve

Here I am, about 1 month post-op, waiting for my body to signal my next cycle of treatment in this journey toward trying to start a family. And in the last month, I've been feeling a mixture of emotions, ranging anywhere from hope to defeat. But at the request of a friend (thx JRC), I started following a forum of supportive fellow infertilites. And I read something that completely changed my view on the whole process. It read, " To many, this process and struggle may not seem like a hard situation. For me, it was as tough as losing my mother, my best friend."
Reading those few words.. it really made me start thinking about where to place my anger, frustration, sadness, etc, etc, etc.
And I had a realization. A big one.
15 years ago, my brother, Jason passed away. Jason and I were extremely close, and I still feel I mourn the loss of him from my life. But for some reason, this year has been particularly difficult, I couldn't say why, it just has. I miss him so much, yet feel he is with me everyday, even through my struggles.. especially then. But when I read that comparison of infertility with death, I began to see my severe mourning of Jason as really a manifestation of my sadness over the loss of a child that never was... and may never be. And though I still miss Jason immensely, it was both struggles that compounded one.
Jason's future, his dreams, his hopes, his plans... all were cut short. Taken away. And in some sense, infertility feels the same to me. It feels like a very slow, agonizing, dragged-out release of the dreams and hopes for the future, especially those thoughts of conceiving and carrying, and finally holding your child. For as long as I can remember, I've dreamed of having a child. I've imagined and felt love for this child. But to mourn means to find a way move past the "should be" and face the "what is".
As we begin to educate ourselves on all the potential avenues we can take in this exhausting journey, this realization has left me wondering where I will find the strength to untangle that "should be" and "what is" in order to find peace for both Dave and I as we deal with the painful reality.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Feel like a pin cushion?

So I just celebrated my 36th birthday last month. Well, I use the word "celebrated" very loosely, since it seemed that everywhere I looked friends and/or family were either announcing their pregnancies or asking me that annoying question, "So when are you and Dave going to have a baby?" To which I almost always reply, "We'll see" (hoping to divert the subject to another topic less painful to talk about.
About 18 months ago, Dave and I decided it was time (because yes, as those friends and family so poignantly pointed out, we were getting old) to start thinking about a family. It's something we both have always wanted, there was no question there. The issue was timing. I wanted to make sure that I had a secure job, so we decided that nothing could happen until after I finished my Masters and was employed. That was the plan at least.
Fast forward to February, 2010. My first visit to the endocrinologist for infertility to just ask questions.... how long should we try before worrying, am I too old, etc. After those questions (and many others) were answered, we met with a couple doctors who decided promptly that we should begin testing on both Dave and myself. And long story, short, Dave's fine. Unfortunately, they cannot say the same for me. In fact, they cannot really say anything, because, like a lot of fertility issues, there is no answer. At least not yet. So after a year now of a times blend of pills, and shots (see the hundreds of tiny vials in photo above), and even inseminations, we're at a crossroads. Apparently I am a "perfect" candidate for IVF (in vitro fertilization) because one of my fallopian tubes is blocked and basically ineffective. But that same tube appears to be interfering with the "good" tube's ability to function. But, as with most people, my bank account isn't as perfect of a candidate for IVF.. with costs for that type of procedure ranging from $9,000 to $20,000 a session).
So I opted for the more realistic avenue... at least at this point... which is getting an answer as to what might be wrong with me. I KNOW I can handle the truth and reality, even if it's the worst of news. What cannot cope with is the unknown. So tomorrow, March 8, 2011 I am having a laporascopic (possibly hysteroscopic) surgery to "explore" what's going on. My surgeon (who is not my regular endocrinologist doctor, but don't get me started on that!) thinks that there is likely scar tissue (thanks again to the drunk driver who caused that scar tissue to form) that is causing the tubal blockage, and hopes are to either clean that tissue out, and/or cut the nonworking tube to detach it completely, leaving the "good" tube free to do its thing. So, we'll see what happens tomorrow. I look forward to 2 immediate, short term things: 1. finding an answer, and 2. eating (I have to fast, so I am starving!!!).

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Because it's been too long...

It's been a while, I know. Been going through some stuff... will post more on that subject very soon.
Recently I had the misfortune of having my iPhone stolen... out of my desk drawer.. by a student! Kids these days! AARRGGGHHH!!! The good part of the whole situation was that I got to get the new iPhone 4.. and of course, then play with all of its features and upgrades:) So here are a few of the photos I took with my new camera... I mean phone;)

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Back to it...

Week 3 has ended... and yet it feels like it's been months already. I'm speaking of school... and sadly am already counting the weeks until next summer. Not because I don't love teaching (which I DO!), but more so because I feel I got ripped off this last summer trying to recuperate from my foot surgery. I know, I know, stop complaining. But it has been pretty difficult to get around at school (as I expected it would be). And I fear that the surgery was in fact a waste of time. But the good part is that I'm not really any worse off (that's my way of seeing the silver lining. Pretty pathetic, huh?). The pain is about the same as it was before, just a little more swelling. I'll live.

Yes, I'll live.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

To go, or not to go...

That is the question.. really, it is.

I continue to battle with the repercussions of another's choices...
About 3 weeks ago, I got some minor surgery to my foot (toe, really) to repair some damage that resulted from the drunk driving crash over 13 years ago. The surgery (I cannot recall the arthroplasty name right now) was very minimal, but was an attempt at lessening the pain I feel on a daily basis. We'll see how that works out;)
But as I am healing from this surgery... and it seems to be progressing as normal, I had another set back... both physically and emotionally (the latter always seems to take the front seat). Dave and I had scheduled a mini vacation, a getaway to literaly just lay around in the pool and RELAX! And of course, me being me, I coordinated this trip completely around 2 things: summer break AND my surgery date.
So my last pre-op visit had be extremely optimistic. His evaluation made a smile appear (a rare occurrence)... because he told me I would have no reason to believe that I couldn't enjoy my upcoming vacation (1.5 weeks away at that point)... including swimming. YAY! A step forward! YAY!
Wrong. Flash forward to 3 days out from the trip.
I notice, in my daily changing of the bandage (which is actually just a band aid) that there appears to be a small amount of drainage. This means that my incision site is not closed completely... meaning it's not a good idea yet to get the area wet. Awesome. Well, there goes the entire point to my vacation. Literally, the only thing I have planned during the week is to lay by the pool.. but more accurately, lay IN the pool (it's 115+ degrees where we are going!).
Okay, so I know you're probably thinking "big deal, get over it, it'll all be fine." And to some extent, I agree. However, this whole fiasco, although it may seem small, is not really even about swimming, or walking, or whatever. It's about the fact that even though I've developed a defense system to "deal" with these issues as they arise, I shouldn't HAVE to "deal" with them... because I didn't make the choice to have these issues. The drunk driver did.
So the true upset on this is a continuous battle I struggle with because of another's actions. The seemingly constant battle of 1 step forward, 2 steps back.
And this was at least 2 steps backwards in terms of my emotional well being. On this particular battle, between the tears and rage, I asked myself "is it even fair that I have to consider not taking this vacation?" But I did... I asked.. explored all possibilities... and came to a conclusion.

More to come...