Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Taking a breath

The wind along the front range is what I might consider gale force; but I'm not a meteorologist, so my opinion isn't official.   It was, however, strong enough wind to take the tops off the trash, move gardening stuff, and freak the hell out of the dogs and the kid (and me, but I stayed quiet). 

The last 2 months have been a challenge for me, and frankly, I'm not used to a challenge.  I figure this sounds lame, and I ought to do some 'splainin' on it. 

I'm used to getting what I want, and having the capacity to make that happen.  When I want a pair of boots; I budget for them or pick up more work.  Bam.   If I want to learn a skill; I gather my information and read/watch/absorb and plunge right in.  Bam.  If I want to pick up a hobby; I learn costs/lessons/efforts/time and BAM.  If I have a goal I want to crush, I set it in my cross hairs, list out hurdles to overcome and what I need to do to see it through, and BAM. 

You see how that goes?  Easy peasy.   But usually, when I put my mind to something, I don't fuck around about it.  I also happen to obsess about it, which makes it easier to accomplish.  I'll usually push everything else that isn't essential out to my peripheral world, and focus myself on accomplishing this one thing.  I'm not going to list all of the things this list encompasses because it's  years worth of activities that I've been up to, and it'll just end up making some weird pat-myself-on-the-back-list.  I can do that on paper and give myself an "atta girl" while I'm looking it over, or something.  Yeah.

So this whole pregnancy shtick is really hard to nail down. I didn't think it would though, and that makes me seem like kind of a whiny baby.  And yeah; maybe I am.   I know there are other people who have been doing this a lot longer than I have, and have had to endure many times over what I have only BEGUN to experience.  My heart goes out to those couples (or singles). Very seriously. 

This shit is ridiculous. 

The holidays approach upon us, and I reflect more and more about what I am blessed to have, and what I normally feel a great deal of fortune and appreciation for, which is my family.  As pathetic and campy as it sounds, they have become what I was always in need of.   The thing that I was looking for, was also looking for me as well.   These things in my life that I have surrounded myself, they bring me great joy.  I have very little to despair for, aside from not being able to have a baby together. In some ways this could be considered a fairly nominal thing.  Sometimes I myself make it into a nominal thing, however.   It would have the potential to become a very large part of our family (making us a 4, and not a 3 anymore).  But what cannot be helped, simply cannot be helped.

I still write in my journal to the baby that, I'm frankly not sure I will see soon, in hopes that someday he or she will be able to read it and know that even before they were made, they were loved and thought about with great anticipation.  Just like their older brother was.   It's a way to keep my hopes up, and to keep going through this.  Poor C is just floating along with me; unable to help much more than by just being near me (since a man isn't going through the physical part, like the exams, the calls, the visits, picking up the specimen, etc).  He's with me, and that is something I am thankful for. 

So this holiday season I will hold my family close, and remember that we are still whole and filled with love for each other.  Hopefully our whole will include a fourth before too long, but until then I will keep waiting with blithe anticipation that it won't be a very long wait.

Friday, November 6, 2015

Finding my blessings

So much about my life is revolving around getting pregnant right now, that a great deal of what I should be doing is following to the wayside.  Like, my human development class for example.  I haven't logged in to work on that all week, and my unit is due Sunday.

However, I should confess, between now and then is actually plenty of time for me to write a blog, a journal, read 3 chapters and take a test.  The procrastinator in me has already worked that out, so I have about zero stress over it. 

If there's not a pressing need to get this stuff done over a long period of time, frankly I don't want to spend every night with this one class.  I've got kid-cuddling to do. Probably 26 other things as well, but when faced with a toasty flannel-encased bed with your adoringly snuggly 6 year old, that other shit can wait. 

I've started reading the Little House on The Prairie books to G.  He L.O.V.E.S. them, and I will ask him to practice his reading with me while I read some parts.  I'm so pleased that he's getting into them, and how much he absorbs from them.  We talk about the social issues of that era, and how that compares to our more modern times.  At 6 years old, he's already begun to see the world as a far more overly-complicated place than it ought to be, which is tremendous to see him do.

I really need to start shopping for some good wool fleece.  I have a friend with a local farm that I haven't been able to come visit (mostly schedule issues), but she's been saving a few nice fleeces from this spring for me, and I'd really love to hunker down this winter with some non-strenuous projects seeing as how we're still trying to conceive. 

It should be said that beginning this whole "make a baby" parade shouldn't have been crusaded until after we finished remodeling the master bedroom (by ourselves no less, so it would cost $200, and not $2k) was true stupidity on our parts. I'm fairly sure our child now knows the word "cocksucker" as a result of both the steet rock hanging, and spraying texture.  

It should be noted that I am a crappy drywaller.  Do not hire me if you don't want your seams showing.  Painting, however, is where my talents can really shine.  Not shocking.  Way to go me for putting my fancy art degree to use, finally.  Thanks mom! 


Husband calls me every day while I'm at work and asks me how pregnant I feel.  I love that he asks. 

So here's the grit for today: My progesterone test came back at 4.6. A good level would be more like 5-10 to support implantation of a fertilized egg.  So, my OB will have me on clomid this cycle to push my ovaries a little harder to bring that up.  While my cycle isn't expected for another few days (I am not out of the game until she shows up), that 4.6 is a hauntingly low number, so I really wouldn't be pregnant.

After that I'll do an ultrasound to see what my eggs are doing, then somewhere in there when I ovulate we'll shoot up some more donor semen and do another 2 weeks of tedious, tearful, terrible, glorious and boring waiting.

I have a peak window left in later November, which will put me in August/September (which we were going to "tr" to avoid because our anniversary is in September), but I'm going to steam roll this whole thing on through until I've got a bun in my basket.

If this get's any closer to conception in December, I"m going to end up with an October baby, and that's going to suck.  Hubby's, (step)daughters AND baby's birthdays all in the same month. 

Fuck it though.  Baby's going to come when baby comes, and we can just suck it the fuck up.

Zing, and Zing!!!

Thursday, November 5, 2015

T-Minus 4 days

I'm obsessing.

My cycle is due by the 9th or 10th. I could begin spotting as soon as the 8th.    I was insanely emotional yesterday, and then totally in the doldrums today.   My body feels empty and devoid of the subtle changes of pregnancy.  No little cramps, little swelling, chest tenderness. 

I keep stupidly holding on to the fact that with G, there were no symptoms until I realized I was at 35 days without a period, then a week later I was hit with intermittent nausea that rarely produced the relief of throwing up.  Just swirling, dizzying, awful nausea.  

My ObGyn is out of the office until Friday, so I couldn't call and freak out yesterday. 

During my last IUI, he said that the follicle was mature, and the egg was already released.  It would be a high likelihood of a boy.  While I don't necessarily want to know whether I have a higher chance of a boy or not (and I am secretly hoping for a girl, since I know this will be my absolute last shot at children and I'd like to have someone, who, after her terrible teen years, I can bond with over female things.  I'm sure my son will be busy dating, and doing things that don't involve hanging out with his mom), it was mildly depressing to know that I would be having another boy, if I'm being honest.   

More likely to have a boy, I should say. 

I had a blood draw two days ago to test for progesterone, which would confirm that I have, in fact ovulated at all. I was supposed to get one on my first IUI, 7 days prior, but I very honestly slacked off and didn't bother.  I have no defense. I'm a dick.

I felt more physical changes in the first round than in this one, but we were still remodeling the basement and I was working out every other day.  I remain convinced for no reason that this was a bad thing for me.  This time, however, nothing. No womb-gurgling, no exhaustion. Just....  Nada.  :(

I had a cramp here and there, but nothing else. Especially on Halloween night.  I was totally bloated, but I couldn't tell if that was because I had a hamburger or not (and burgers tend to stop me up).

4 more days to miss my cycle and then if this round wasn't successful, I'll likely ovulate somewhere around the 17th or 20th, depending.

I had acupuncture on the 3rd, and while I didn't take a wholly deep nap, I did get a few light zzz's in.  I woke up a few times and found myself talking to my body, in my mind.  Telling it we were doing great, we were in this together, and that we could do it. Together.  Talking to baby and telling him/her that they were wanted, and I hope they were there already, and I couldn't wait to see them, how much Mommy loved them.  It made me tear up something awful behind my closed eyes.  I think of people who go through this for years, and seriously question whether or not I could go through this for that long.  I imagine that the pain lessens over time, despite that you keep trying.  Reality kind of fades into the background so you can get through the anguish, in a way.  

Joined an online message board of women who are in similar positions.  They're giving me a lot of great information, which I have immensely appreciated.  Helps to know you're not the only one. 

Hubs called this morning to see if I felt anything. Preggo or not.  He was a little sad to hear that I still felt the same.  It was nice that he called me. It lifted my spirits a bit.  It's kind of the first thing he's really done to reach out and connect with me about since we started TTC. 

Friday, October 30, 2015

Take two

Bust for round 1.  When my period started showing up, I found myself crying at almost every still moment.  I'd sit in a chair, and tears would be streaming silently down my cheeks in a few seconds.  They were welling up from a place I didn't realize they were even hiding.  3 or 4 days of that, mostly at night after I put the bear to sleep.  I cried alone, and often up until it was time for me to go to sleep.   This drained me considerably.

So when the app that tracks my ovulation gave me a heads up that I was going to ovulate soon, I was back to testing urine midday, in whatever bathroom I happened to be near at the time.  I got my first peak notification Monday the 26th, and had my second shot at 7:30am Tuesday the 27th.  Weirdly, I ended up with an awful and hateful headache that same day, and spent most of the day in bed, resting, with a heating pad at my shoulders.

Almost oppositely compared to my last IUI shot, I haven't spent nearly the same amount of time obsessing about what minute symptom my body might be experiencing, might or might not be related to conception.  Oooh, a gurgling in my lower abdomen!  This must be a good sign!    None of that.   I am, however, trying desperately to compare it with my first pregnancy and remember what was special about it that would have given me clues as to being knocked up.  The funny thing is; there were no major prior signs that clued me in.  My last period that year was on Cinco De Mayo, and on Monday June 10th, I happened to look at my calendar and realized that it had been 35 days since my uterus had reenacted the final scene in Carrie. 

About a week before this, I had astutely noted that none of my typical pre-menstrual symptoms were present, and had peed on a stick.  The pee test was an expired test, and there was a faint second line, which I discounted as being faulty and literally thought nothing of it beyond that.   Of course, that Monday the 10th of June, I came straight home and took another pregnancy test (with a close friend on the phone, who had been pregnant-by-surprise with all of her three children) who educated me that a faint line is still a line, and I was pregnant.

While my first pregnancy was completely by chance, this one will be completely planned and anticipated.  With breath that is bated, even.  At $450 per round; breath being bated isn't even really the only thing going on for me, either.  There's anxiousness, fear, apprehension, excitement.  More fear.

It's ridiculous to think this way; but most nights when I lay down to tuck Bear in, I think to myself "How could I possibly love another child as much as I love this one?  Will I just have to dive into this venture knowing that I'll always love Bear more?  Is that even possible?  HOW is that possible?  Is my heart able to contain that much love?"

Truly, I love my firstborn with a passion and fervor that I have never realized I was capable of.  Though my conception and pregnancy were entered without planning and there was admittedly a great deal of hesitation on my part (mostly because I was such a complete fuck up at that time in my life, and I was embarrassed that I didn't have more to give a baby at that time), by the time I heard his first little heartbeat, I was no longer finding myself caught in terror and sadness.  It became awe and interest.  When I first felt Bear's little flutter inside me at 4 months, I was already wrapping layers and layers upon my heart, and his, in love. 

As he grew, so did the connection to him and the adoration I felt.  I would lay on my side at night and wrap my forearm and hand around the lowest part of my belly - where I was sure he was lying, and I held him while he was still there.  I grew used to loving him from there so quickly.

There is so much love that is part of mothering, and childbirth and pregnancy.  I, of many of the people I've known, uncannily loved being pregnant.  I didn't mind my belly, swelling legs, losing sight of my crotch.  Weird hair that appeared, strange new bodily noises or processes.  I didn't care, and I laughed it all away.  I rarely complained and often remained beaming madly at the undertaking I was on.

So, here I am, another few weeks to wait.  To try not to fret, to take it easy and light.  A feat of it's own that is much harder for me to accomplish than one would imagine.  My often overly-active energy allows me to get the shit done that needs doing.  But, imposed relaxation is required and healthy.

But still I wait.  Hoping.  Still fearing.  But mostly, just hoping. 

Monday, October 5, 2015

First try

I've been using an ovulation/conception app to track my fertility. I've been dismissing its reminders every month telling me I'm fertile because getting pregnant has been such a dismal situation for me up until this point. 

I made a joke about this, and my husband came back with the unexpected:  an enthusiastic "let's do it".  So, I picked up ovulation tests, confirmed my peak fertility, picked up frozen sperm, and had my first IUI on Friday October 2, 2015.   I spent the remainder of the day with my stepdaughter for her birthday, as well as our littlest, and my husband.  It was a fantastic day for everyone, actually. 

So here is the two week wait, or "2WW" as it's called by those "TTC" (trying to conceive). My ObGyn says that this is a 25% chance of conception without fertility drugs and dud an internal sonogram on me before he defrosted and inserted the sperm in me.  My Fallopian tubes were all primed and ready to go, he was even concerned that I was "too perfectly" ready, and we should have injected the day before. 

I am obsessed with what's going to happen next, naturally.  I'm petrified as well, to say the least.  I've been yearning to have a baby for so very long now, and suddenly without any planning or discussion, we just jumped straight into baby.

One of the things that makes me really nervous is that I have the sneaking suspicion that my husband just isn't into this. His so very "go with the flow" attitude never lends to any excitement, unless it involves bike riding, lots of money, or going on a vacation.  It's a little heartbreaking to be honest.

We also decided not to tell anyone until we knew what was going on, so we're keeping our mouths shut for another 2 weeks, at least. 

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Saying sorry

Relations with my step-daughter have been rocky for the last few years, to say the least.  The revelation of her drug use came late in these tumultuous years as well, and we didn't have any time to help her try to combat the addiction.  This is something she's remained resentful about throughout.

The biggest clash has been between her and my husband; they don't agree on anything, and we've also both been openly un-supportive of her relationship with her now-boyfriend, which seems to have cost us our relationship with her.  My past efforts to try to patch anything up with her have led to hours-long fights via text that have further driven me from wanting to reach out to her and try to make anything better.  Her anger and resentment have been furious and clear; she doesn't want a relationship with me. Not at all.

So here it all stands: I have a step-daughter I don't have any relationship with, and a husband that I barely have a relationship with, and a son that I have a great relationship with.  One out of three isn't a good batting average. 

I am constantly plagued with the "coulda, shoulda, woulda's" of how we could have done things differently.  When she and her boyfriend came back to live in Colorado with no prior warning, they wanted us to let them live with us, with the expectation that they'd need rides across town to get things done, which we refused. They ended up living with my in-laws, and when things soured, we weren't willing to offer them a place to stay with us for fear that their habits and attitudes would cause too much strain on our lives. 

Admittedly we were thinking of ourselves much more than we were thinking about her. But it isn't just us we were worried about; our 6 year old is still in the throws of a joyous childhood, and not only did we not want to bring in the inevitable fights and bickering we were going to have with her, but they expected to live in and consume our basement (50% of our house, rent free), which we also refused.  For this, also, we are at fault. 

I don't deny that we share some part in the deterioration of our relationship. What's done is done.  I don't know how, if possible, I can ever try to repair what's been done, and what's happened.  She's got no love for me, and I don't even know if she ever did.  Nothing a step-mother ever does is right, no matter what way it's done.  I was foolish to think that I would have a great relationship with her, and an even bigger fool for trying to be something that resembled a parent figure. 

Most of the choices I've made with concerns to my step-daughter haven't been good ones. I've tried apologizing for my faults and mistakes, but it wasn't received nor sufficient to bandage anything up, let alone start healing anything.  I want to send her a text and try to talk to her, but I'm so wary of getting smacked down again, that I don't even want to try anymore. I want to walk away from all this bullshit and quit having to get nothing but bad criticism.  I'm unhappy enough as it is being married to her father, I don't know that she cares one iota to hear my apology.

She'll never read this, and neither will anyone else, so it's all just talking to myself out here in the space of the internet, and none of it matters anyway.  Just typing this brings up a well of regrets that I should have been more kind, or tried harder to make something work out. I know we had reasons that we didn't want them to live with us, and we tried to help her to see that it wasn't done because we just wanted to hang her out to dry.  Part of it is that she cannot and will not accept criticism herself, and she tends to yell a lot when debates turn into arguments.  She and her boyfriend aren't tidy, and our house is dreadfully small now.  We enjoy our privacy in our basement, and she asked that we relinquish it to their needs, and we wouldn't.

We've been fairly outspoken about our disapproval of her boyfriend, which has been a bit of a mistake. We didn't dislike him at first, but a lot of the stories he tells seem unbelievable. He's built races cars; but can't change oil in a car, nor diagnose problems in her volvo. He has colon cancer but hasn't been receiving chemo.  Things got out of hand with our opinions about her choosing to be with him.  The fact is; she's an adult now, and this is her choice, and we have no business telling her what she can and can't do. It's her life, and she gets to make the calls now.  We still fucked up though.

In the end; we're assholes.  I'll never have a relationship with my step-daughter, and it makes me very sad.  I can't say anything that will make her anything better, and I can't do anything that will help anyone heal.  I'm helpless. I can't un-fuck this up.

When my son was little, I felt like I was constantly striving for making the best choices and always tying to be the best I could, for him....   Now, I feel like I've moved so far away from that place of inspiration and love.   I feel like I'm not as good of a person as I used to be, and in great part this is because I'm very unhappy being married.  We've grown so far apart in such a short period of time. We don't have any sort of coping mechanisms that allow us to get through stressful events. We try to make improvements to behaviors and personality flaws, but these changes never actually get worked on. 

We had a heart-to-heart this last Friday and my husband not only acknowledged the tenancies he has that provoke me, but how childish and stupid they were. How we have a great life and he never strives to help achieve better. How these stupid habits drive me to utter madness, but yet he keeps doing them.  Literally, the next day, it was as if we'd never had the conversation. 

I think that things like this have gone on for so long, that I just don't care anymore to try to fix anything. If I was fiscally able to pay for the house and support my son without him, I'd have filed for divorce as soon as I could have.  Even when we were planning our wedding party in the mountains, I was wishing that it was just a divorce party instead.  I've been in that mind space for that long now.  I don't even have any physical attraction or desire left in me anymore.  I feel like I am a dead shell, with some shriveled up part of myself living inside.   Sometimes I wish I could just die and stop feeling so miserable all the time.  

If it weren't for my son, I can't say for sure that I'd be here anymore, but because of him I fight to stay above this dark emotion than threatens to pull me under.  Leave him isn't even an option.

Yet here I am, unhappy and paralyzed.  Futile and pathetic.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

30 Things To Help me Percolate!

  1. Read More – Intelligence begins with reading. The more you will read, the more you will absorb and therefore the more intelligent you will get. 
  2. Set Goals – Goals create structure in life and only through proper structure can you increase intelligence.
  3. Meditate – When you meditate you calm your brain. This peace and tranquility is crucial in building intellect.
  4. Make Notes – The body remembers by doing. So by making notes on everything you do, you will increase memory and intellect.
  5. Play Sudoku – Playing Sudoku challenges your brain and helps you think logically. It is a brain game and according to the American Alzheimer’s Association and it might help reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
  6. Stay Hydrated – Our brains depend on proper hydration to function properly. Brain cells require a delicate balance between water and other elements to operate at max efficiency.So try to keep you brain replenished and drink the medically recommended amount of water every day.
  7. Minimize "Bad" Television – Watching TV nowadays with all of its reality shows or just simply watching re-runs is one of the worst things you can do for your intelligence. While it can be relaxing you don`t stimulate your thinking. Try tuning into a documentary or the news every now and then.    
  8. Exercise – Exercise keeps your body fine-tuned and energetic; it is a great way to increase your productivity and intelligence.
  9. Mentally Simplify - Intelligence is the ability to acquire and apply knowledge or skill. So try un-clutter your thoughts and process information one piece at a time. You will find that you will not just be more productive but your mental capacity will increase. 
  10. Have a Good Breakfast – You can’t drive a car without fuel. Once you wake up and your tank is empty, eat a hearty breakfast to get yourself going again. Eating a healthy breakfast is directly linked to higher mental performance.
  11. Eat Yogurt and other “bacteria” – Certain bacteria have been scientifically linked to brain power. So it’s possible that by simply eating yogurt you can promote the growth of neurons.
  12. Get Enough Rest – Imagine your brain like a smartphone. No matter how efficient and wonderful it is, it eventually needs to recharge and shut down. A good night's rest will do wonders in making you smarter.  
  13. Do Math Questions – The only reason people don’t like math is because it requires them to use their brains. By doing math you exercise your brain and just like a muscle, through exercise it gets stronger and quicker.
  14. Make Connections – Don’t wait for ideas to become clear. Always be on the edge and make connections between things.
  15. Breathe – Oxygen is crucial to the brain and it can’t survive very long deprived of it. You should practice good breathing techniques and give your brain as much as oxygen as it needs. "You don't need to know all the answers. No one is smart enough to ask you all the questions". - Unknown
  16. Do Crosswords – Crosswords are very effective in making your brain work and exercise.
  17. Take Breaks – Your brain is just a muscle and overworking it will only cause problems. Take periodic breaks to keep your brain fresh and productive. And never forget to sleep. 
  18. Refine Your Thinking - Don’t just think but think about how you are thinking when you think. It’s a quite a handful of words, but it works. If you plan out your thinking process you will think more productively.
  19. Eat Brain Food – There are many foods which have been associated with brain health, including dark green vegetables, fish oil and nuts. Try to incorporate as much as brain food into your diet.
  20. Draw Diagrams and Charts –Try to organize your thoughts using diagrams and charts whenever possible. This reorganization is very helpful in increasing intellect.
  21. Quiz Yourself – To become more intelligent try to always challenge yourself and push your brain to the limits. So if this simply means that by using your opposite hand you are challenging yourself; do it.  
  22. Keep Your Brain Working – Your brain should never stop working unless you are sleeping or taking periodic breaks as mentioned above. Keep your brain active, and clicking on all cylinders.
  23. Get a Rubik’s Cube - A Rubik’s cube is a great way to exercise your brain and build intelligence.
  24. Don’t take in too much Sugar – Too much sugar gives your brain short term jolt, but after the sugar rush is over the sugar crash is just not worth it.
  25. Learn to Play an Instrument – Playing an instrument is a great way to increase your intellect. The reasoning behind it is that you’re triple tasking: listening, reading and playing the instrument.
  26. Work on Vocabulary – If you know more words you will be able to not just acquire more information but will be able to apply it more effectively as well.
  27. Eat throughout the Day – Your brain needs fuel to function. Try to avoid being hungry and keep yourself well fed.
  28. Focus – Intelligence is largely based on how much you can focus at one time. Practice focusing on tasks and avoid distractions.
  29. Listen to Classical Music – According to the “Mozart Effect” by listening to classical music an improvement in productivity is induced.
  30. Don’t Give Up – Anybody can become smarter and improve their intellect so never give up and keep trying.

Today I will capture a few of these tips by signing up for a daily vocabulary word (via email).  I will do 5 to 6 rounds of stairs.  I will drink plenty of water.  I will forgo sugar.  I might play a round or two of sudoku even.  :)

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Empowerment, or Deranged Psychosis?

Because only three "events" were involved in the conception of my son, it's reasonable to figure out when he came into the picture.  I entered this journey with a great deal of fear and doubt; mostly about myself, where I was at that time in my life (unmarried, under-employed and a total mess), and through the ensuing years I found ways to bring myself up, and surround myself with success of my own making. I shed a number of tears first at my own foolishness, in that bringing a child into the world so vastly unprepared to tackle parenting.  Then later tears of guilt that it would not be born into a home with two loving hearts, and just the one.

As it turned out, one loving heart was all that was needed.  It has never ceased to amaze me at how lucky I was to have my little boy, and how relatively easy everything he brought with him was.  Sure, it was a learning process; I had no idea what to do when he was awake, fed, dry, and prepped for bed at 3am, but I figured it all out eventually.  I still have moments of panic as a parent on those "what to do's", and the kid is 6 1/2 now.

Time passed, and I met someone, and we liked each other.  But he came with baggage, like I did.  His was a teenage daughter and a vasectomy.  I tread this introduction with in trepidation; infertility put a major thorn in the side of my hopes for another baby, but ultimately he expressed that he'd pay to have it reconnected, or we could move onto other options like donor sperm, adoption or fostering.  He was very open and willing for all the possibilities.  He recognized how hasty that decision was on his part.

It's been 4 years of marriage now.  Lots of ups and downs, lots of delays and backtracking on the plans to move forward with this.  We found out that reconnecting a vasectomy is regarded as elective surgery, and not covered with insurance to the tune of around 10k. The efficacy of it plummets with every passing year you've had it.  It's as though once the swimmers were shut in, their health declined without hope of improvement. Sucking them out of the testicle with a needle should only be done by a professional, and would only be useful for IVF.  This is 18K per round.

Much to his chagrin, this left us with adoption (for around 40k, and that's for foreign kids!), foster children, or donated sperm.  As a man, none of those options really felt appealing to him. He had no part in the production.  Ultimately, this is where he started to lose his interest.  Conversations subsequent to this stage involved him not wanting to read of the info on any donors that had similar features to his, or show interest in coming with me to meet the OB who would perform my IUI.

I met him at 29, and I'm now 34, and still waiting to make moves towards baby#2.  By all accounts, if I were to get pregnant right now, and give birth just prior to my 35th birthday, I kid you not: I would be labeled a geriatric mother.   That's right.  10 years before when menopause might be coming to call, I've already been shoved aside to the geriatric ward, where OBs automatically sign you up for your C-section the second you get a double-line on your piss-wand.

At first I was able to keep doing things like reading up on pregnancy nutrition, exercises, birth groups and clubs.  But as other women kept having delightful pregnancy announcements, luminous pregnancy photos, smiling round and happily exhausted faces filled with anticipation and joy, and then squishy and milk-smelling babies...  I felt myself start to crumble.  It didn't happen right away at first.  It happened when I couldn't watch birth videos anymore without breaking into silent, and constantly-streaming tears. When I started hiding the baby photos in my Facebook feed. When I could no longer even open up the baby & kids section of Craigslist to browse for cheap & useful kids stuff,

When you're fertility incompetent, watching others around you conceive and celebrate, your resilience falls into the toilet, along with your hope and your ability to keep your head about you when a co-worker drops by with their newborn.  Your fein an illness and stay in your cube, listening to the cooing across the office. 

Challenges with fertility make women insane. They become toxic, like being sprayed by a skunk: the stench dies down after a while, but you feel like your nose has been so permeated with the smell, you're not even sure it totally went away to begin with.  You keep sniffing and sniffing because you're sure it's still there.

Four years isn't as long as some people have battled and hoped.  But oddly I read all these stories of couples that are supportive and strong, and hopeful still about their chances of their miracle baby coming to fruition, and I get envious.  I think "how is it that I fall apart every time my husband tells me he thinks the time is wrong, and none of these people ever talk about how goddamned hard it is to keep waiting, and trying, and failing?!"  I must be the only one with a mouth the size of the Rio Grand, because this shit has sucked. 

When things have gotten bad....  Like we were shouting threats of the big D at each other, there was always the sadness in me that realized whoever this little baby was going to be, that I wanted to have, was never going to happen.  And for a long time recently, it's been something that I've felt more and more. 

I can't decide if my husband has postponed and stalled us out so long that I've finally given up hope and let the dream go, or I've just moved on emotionally from the issue.  The apathy I experience on the subject is terrifying, to be honest. I can't believe I don't feel that urge anymore!  The pull!  The want! 

I like to think I'm a good mom.  I work hard on being patient, and loving, and honest.  I like being fun, and my son and I always play little fun games and have conversations about wonderful things.  He rides his bicycle with me while I go on runs in the evening, and always cheers me on to push myself harder.  Every time I hold him in my arms I feel that I've done at least 1 thing right in my life, and it fills me with a lot of pride and happiness.  

And yet I realize that once he's on his own....  he won't have anyone else in this world as family.  No sibling near his age to commiserate with once my husband get old, and weirder than we are now.  No one to shed tears with when he'd got to face losing one -or both- of us.  And certainly no one to blame when one of them breaks something, and I demand to know who was screwing around with it.  Ah, what fun it is to have a sibling to harass and torture!

I digress......   Deny as I might want to, but my best and youngest years are behind me. I'm sure AARP already has me on their future mailing lists, and my advertising choices via social media will stop being promotions for 5ks, and start being coupons for hemorrhoid creams.  My time is running out, and the conversation I have with my husband always ends with "just a little longer".

Having my child was a fast and furious crash into a new routine, and a lot of changes.  I managed to land on my feet and somehow amble into a run sometime after that.  He wasn't planned, and I was in far worse shape in my life than I am now. 

So unreservedly, albeit quietly, I have chosen my donor.  B1047.  I have tracked my periods and cycles diligently, and assuming that I get a positive ovulation around mid-July, this will be my plan to move forward. 

For a few years I've been patient and laissez fair, allowing myself to ease up when my husband wouldn't engage when I suggested looking at donors or discussing when to map out the due date. Unfortunately that patience has worn so thin that what's left of my trust in the fact that "we'll get there, just a little longer" seems not to exist anymore.

Marriage shows you a lot about your spouse. Most specifically you get to see who this person is, an all their purity.  With my husband I know that while he never wanted to be a father in the first place, he half-assedly raised his daughter (as long as things remained convenient). With me, he understood that in order to get me in a relationship, I was a packaged deal and that was something he had to shoulder. 

Vasectomies are not hasty; they're deliberate.  They're an act of finality.  He didn't want the 1st kid he had, let alone anymore.  Ex's are a hassle and who needs that shit?

Whatever this rant or rave is, be it pre-menopausal breakdown, or a manifesto of my plans to say "well fuck this, I'm not giving this part of my dreams up" and throwing the gauntlet out the window.

Really the saddest part of this is that if I get pregnant, and he's not on board at all for it......   I don't really care anymore. 




Monday, March 16, 2015

The Prosaic Tale

I spent the better part of a few hours putting together a fairly dull entry here and after some pretty heavy self-criticism decided that it was total shit, and erased it. 

I'll get right to the capital issue at hand here:  Apathy. This word right here, while I haven't realized it for many years, has dominated my life. 

Some of my more impressive highlights are; going to college because I was told to and then dropping out because I wasn't in to it.  Going back for college a second time just to keep my mother happy, and losing interest in my classes because they had no relevancy to anything interesting.  Moving across country to NYC to "explore" the world; not having any real professional skills so I couldn't actually find any work that would pay me enough to make actual money and not be homeless. 

Really, a long line of choices and actions that revolved around either not giving a single fuck, or just not having the confidence in myself to stick to a single fucking thing in my life.  Not one.   So far the only thing I've "stuck" with is motherhood, and it's not like you can really quit that; you just might suck at it sometimes more than others.  And trust me;  I fail frequently and often,

I'm sitting in an office where my boss neither has time, nor cares to see professional growth is supported and encouraged.  I'm paid enough to tread above a level of starvation, but if I were solely responsible for our households bills, we'd be in foreclosure for sure.  I'm in a constant panic about a lack of contribution on my part to our overall household.   And of course, shortcut taker that I am, hasn't made any kind of real plan about how to fix that. 

My first notion:  get a part time job!  The reality?  I can't actually get away nights and weekends; that would destroy my child.  He can't handle me being away, and for my part, I can't handle being away from him like that either.  Say what you will about how I'm probably damaging him for life - yes, I'm sure he's warped beyond reason, but goddamnit, I love that kid so much, and he's only going to want to be with my constantly for a few more short years.  I don't want to have to sacrifice those just to earn an extra $500 a month, and work an extra 20 hours to get it. 

Go back to school!  Ok, this idea scares me more than ANYTHING in this world.  Guess where I work?  Debt collector for a major university.  No joke.  I spend my time talking to grads that have spent 4-9 years in school that cannot find work and have anywhere from a few thousand dollars in student debt to more than $100k in student debt.  The ultimate connundrum after the financial crisis question is what in the hell would I study?  What the hell do I want to be when I grow up? 

I'm still waiting for the answer to this question to magically come to me.  I'm sure others are as well.  I remember my sister told me her senior year of high school that she either wanted to be a nurse, or a teacher.  Well, 20 years and a PhD later, she teaches.  My best friend:  delayed in college by surprise (!) child(ren) at 20 and 22, she ended up a nursing school drop out only to begin classes again this semester to try to get herself back into nursing school again sometime soon. 

A good friend from high school who had a beatnick kind of coolness to him had a passion for Physics and a laid back personality:  He was sticken from cancer in his early 20s, took a break for treatment and fucking persevered by graduating with his own PhD in Physics a few years ago.

These are the people I want to be when I grow up.  The people that took the odds against them, and said "well fuck you, pal."    My largest hurdle is me.  I know that.  I cannot make up my mind about what's worth it, and what's not.  I keep going over the scenarios (and mostly my own fears) in my own mind.  I toyed with going to school to weld and never pulled the trigger, and even to this day revisit the possibility that I could indeed actually go to welding school.  But them I'm flooded with the negativity of but would you like it?  Would you be any good at it?  Who would hire you?  How would you pay tuition?  Would this REALLY be what you wanted to do? 

It's too much.  Yes, it's simpler to hide out and quietly watch as others pursue their dreams, because your own aren't really all that great.  I feel bad.  Worthless.  Not really all that impressive.  I don't really feel anything good about any of it.  I can't discuss it with my parents; they're split in the middle as different as possible on how to handle those kinds of choices, and my husband hasn't changed careers in 16 years.  He's already sure I am the worlds biggest flake ever to walk on it. 

I don't know what to do, or what to choose, or what I should do with myself.  It's not worth upheaving my life to fly off in to the sunset with no plan or objective, but doing what I'm doing isn't going to put me into any happier place than I have been for the last 15 years either.

I apologize that this doesn't have some polished conclusion, or an enlightened ending.  Sometimes answers don't come immediately, if they come at all.  Shit, aren't we still debating on who killed Kennedy?  I'm not anticipating that this is an answer I'll get any time soon. 

I can't bear the thought of being a 34 year old semi-first time freshman in school.  I feel like a bad enough disgrace as it is, and hardly worth putting any time into anymore.   Just doesn't seem to be any reason anymore.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Ringing in 2015, aka, "This is terribly belated"

I don't know about anyone else, but "New Years Resolutions" makes me feel about as awesome as when you start seeing a new Doctor and you need to fill out the questionaire about your cholesterol, history of diabetes, and when you last gave yourself a self-breast exam. 


Making a list of things that you need to improve just because it's a new year doesn't seem to have any real weight that will carry you through those 12 long months.  Hell, by the time September rolls around we seem to forget that we're waltzing straight into the holiday season, let alone the home stretch for the end of the year (and thus the deadline for these "goals").

I generally have a list that I've got running for myself that's a lot like my grocery list.  Check the items off as you come across them, and try to get them all in a seamless fashion so as to save time, and avoid backtracking too far.  These are things that need to get done, but if they're leftover for next trip, NO ONE IS GOING TO DIE.

I say that now, but one day something insane like "eating less fats because your cholesterol is over 300, you goddamn animal" is going to be on my list, and then shit is going to be real.  I'll eat my words when that happens. 

So in order of things likely to get done, here's what I hope to get hammered out in the near future:

  • Get our minor reno projects out of the way so we can start planning the scary and lenthy ones
  • Measure dimensions for new beds and start hunting for pallets for free on craiglist
    • pick these bad boys up and store them. Pronto!
  • Move the new dresser into Kiddos room, so you can get rid of his old one that threatens to tip over every time you open it.  Seriously. 
  • UFYH in the 3rd bedroom.  Also seriously.
  • Fix the damn composter (and dump compost into it)
    • Should the old dog run be converted into new composting rotation?
Additional achievements to unlock this year:
  • Stop picking up projects that I can't get to.
    • Also try to finish new shit that I HAVEN'T gotten to.
      • This includes refinishing the rocking chair, and the 2 cast iron skillets I've acquired that NEED to be refinished.  No.More.Projects.
    • Try not to become an unintentional pack-rat
  • De-clutter thyself.  Immediately.  Ahem; TODAY. 
More, on this, but a little later...................

Finding Cheer after the holidays

After all the joy of the holidays, when the presents are torn apart, the toys put away in cubbies, the Christmas tree/menorah/Holiday decorations are all stored back up, we find ourselves in a slump.  It's still cold out, winter doesn't magically pack itself away and we're left with a huge gap in the upcoming months where you shall see nary a shred of happiness, or paid vacation days.  With the exception perhaps of MLK day, or in my employers case, Cesar Chavez day.

I didn't even know that this was a holiday, and I am 1/5 Hispanic.  I failed my Hispanic roots right there.   (Note:  my dad won't admit this; he says we're Native American, and French.  His parents names were Manuel & Roma.  I got nothing here other than that).

So here we are, back into the numbing work of plodding along, the nights are just starting to back down a little bit from showing up at 4:30 in the afternoon which causes us to feel like you need to rush directly home, right after work, so as not to be caught out at night.  Because nighttime in winter is terrible, worse than anything in the world.  God forbid that you be caught out in it, and especially when you know your pajamas are waiting for you in the snug surroundings of your abode.   This could also just be me, and I am a lazy freak when it comes to the cold.

Something about this time of year is what causes us to hit a sort-of low point with some things.  Maybe it's that sudden ramp down from holiday cheer and frivolity, maybe it's the credit card bills we all know are coming imminently that we didn't want to deal with when we were buying 3 memberships to wine-of-the-month club for ourselves from "Santa", maybe it's because there's a freakish Arctic weather pattern that is fucking up all of our nice Colorado winter weather.  Whatever it is, we are now deep into the pocket of what's called "Seasonal Affected Disorder", or SAD.  Very apropos. 

Sadness doesn't really need to be for any reason.  It could be because all of your pants are magically 1/2" too short, and you didn't notice that you've looked like Harrison Ford in Witness with his Amish pants.  It came come for a spell and leave just as soon as it would like, and doesn't need to announce itself.  But while it's there, you find that even the nice things you usually enjoy make you feel disconnected, and uncaring.   You don't feel like working on your 1,000 piece puzzle, you don't want to snuggle your children as much when they go to bed, you don't care that the dogs just want your presence next to yours.

The sad thing about sad is that all of those things make you happy.  So many things many you happy, and because the chemistry in your mind is out of balance, none of it matters.    In these times I find it impossible to care about basically anything.  I go longer without shaving, showering, planning meals, planning what I'll wear tomorrow (more out of convenience than anything, I'm not so fashionable that I'm planning something interesting, we're talking shoes, pants, shirt; done).

For those of you, like me, who are in this funk?   Well.....  I'm with you.  We're all here together.  If it's a rough time at work, a crap time in your marriage, something with your kids that you neither understand or know what to do about.  Whatever it is;  I'm here too.

You're not alone.

In light of the fact that you might be feeling as down as I am, I've come up with a list of things that might help.  In no specific order:

  • Google "funny memes" on your lunch break.  Or poop break.  Whatever.  Don't GAF at this point.
  • Schedule yourself a 30-90 minute massage. 
    • Take some time for yourself to relax.  Whatever is pushing this shittiness on you can't very well be fed when you're 100% relaxed.  Shit, maybe you'll burst into tears on the massage table, and while it will be embarrassing as hell, you'll need it.   Not that I've done that.  No, not me.
  • Take a walk.
    • This is not trivial.  Seriously. Take a walk and look around you.   Don't forget to observe the ice and slush around you; I don't want to be responsible for you falling on your ass when you were looking up.
  • Pet your animal for a least 30 minutes.
    • Scientifically, this mellows people out, and your animal will get some enjoyment out of it too.  Win, win!
  • Get some.
    • If you're alone, or if you're married/partnered/unioned; take some time to make this happen.  Orgasms = endorphins = you feel better/not like moose crap anymore.
  • Get a small project together.
    • Nothing huge, maybe it's just organizing a desk drawer, or a bathroom cabinet.  Give yourself some purpose and some body movement.  Even if it doesn't help, you'll still appreciate that you did something, even if it's in that same way that Eeyore would embrace good news, like "yeah, well, it didn't help, but at least it's done".
  • Listen to some music.
    • Not depressing shit either, like blues or jazz.  That shit will not help very much aside from lull you to sleep and make you not ever want to wake up.  Try something upbeat.
  • Ask for a hug.
    • Don't ask for hugs from strangers.  People are really weird lately, and you'll likely get maced anymore.   Try a hug from a friend, someone close to you, who cares about you.  Hugging for 20 seconds or more has been proven to raise serotonin levels. Hell, I will hug you, and not mace you.  I probably need a good hug, too.
  • Do something nice for yourself.
    • At the risk of encouraging someone to be frivolous, darn it, it might be time for you to buy something that makes you happy.  What my mom always called "a little pick me up".  A scarf that you loved that you spy at a store, a nail polish that you thing is lovely, a magazine that you wanted to read.  If you've got a job and a few bucks to blow, then the sky could be the limit!  
  • Talk to someone.
    • Maybe it's not as simple as just "cheering yourself up".  If you're down so low that even a stern puppy-swarming cannot bring you a laugh, a chuckle, or even draw the slightest smile (and might even make you cry), it really might be time to make an appointment to discuss what you might be going through.  No one but you needs to know about it too, that's what's beautiful.  If you're like me, I hate telling people when something is seriously wrong.  I hate sympathy for myself and I can't explain why; I just get very guarded when it comes to things like feelings.   And even if it's just a talk over the phone, or a series of appointments just remember that you're trying to help yourself maintain in a world that's very hard to maintain in.  Seriously; it's insanity out here.   
Wherever you are, both emotionally/mentally or physically, I really hope something on this list helps you.  Maybe you'll read it and say "man, she missed this one important thing on her list "___insert action or item____" that would totally work for me", and that's the thing that gives you just a smidge of pep in your step.  I might not have thought of it, but hopefully I put enough inspiration in front of you to find it on your own.

Many hugs, and don't worry;  Seriously, it will all be ok.