Thursday, December 14, 2017

Note to Self

I don't know why I posted this "note to self" 8 years ago today, but it popped up on my Facebook page and I think it is quite significant and relevant to what I've been going through with infertility.

Note to Self: there is no such thing as a sure thing

That is what popped up today when I logged on.  There is no such thing as a sure thing, that is for damn sure.  This month is the final month of TTC for us, and I have yet to bring myself to tell my husband that we are in the fertile window.  I think I have to today, or it won't even be partially true. 

I am at the point where I don't want to get pregnant.  I don't want to go through one more two week wait, I just fucking don't.  I'm in too deep into the camp of "not having kids" that I can't be sure that I'd be excited if I did get pregnant.  I know that probably would absolutely stun my self of one year ago, but I've done a lot of emotional work in this past year and I've made a lot of progress.  I've convinced myself of every positive there is to not having kids and I've reinforced the negatives that I don't ever want to have to experience.  I know that I've done this because I'm forced to, as a defense mechanism, and not because I want to think this way.  How else would one cope with something that is so much out of their control but to try to find every fucking silver lining they could possibly imagine just to keep themselves sane?  The only other option to me would be to remain in misery and despair, becoming bitter and miserable.  I know that it will continue to be a deep wound in my soul, quite possibly until the day I die, but I need to move on and finally feel like I'm living life, not just getting by. 

I've had a lot of distraction lately which is helpful.  Things at work are not even dying down for the holidays like I expected, so I'm pretty busy.  We are also planning multiple trips right now which is giving me plenty to look forward to.  There's also a financial aspect that is sort of weighing on me, keeping me from wanting to care about having kids.  I've allowed myself to put stuff on my credit card which I shouldn't have.  I have prided myself on turning my life around financially, and I now get anxiety if I know there is money I owe.  I now use credit cards - that is to say IF I use a credit card - I pay them off that same month, often before my bill is even due, so that I don't incur any interest.  But lately I've gotten out of hand and I don't know that I could pay enough to get it down to zero in just one month.  Now let me assure you that this is NOTHING compared to my old habits, and just this little bit of credit abuse is causing me anxiety, so I know I have to put a stop to it.  It's nothing I can't handle financially, it's just that it's causing me more harm emotionally, so I know I need to stop. 

I don't know where I'm going at this point, but I do know I have a wonderful, supportive husband to go along with me for this ride.  I hope it is a pleasant surprise.

Friday, December 1, 2017

Loss

I am very saddened by the loss of a co-worker.  We worked together for 6 years.  He was about 20 years older and was my work spouse, my uncle, my big brother, and most of all friend.  We got along great.  We knew tons of stuff about each other's lives.  Occasionally we would butt heads but it was never serious, he just sometimes got way too opinionated for my liking.  He had lots of sayings like, "peachy keen, jelly bean".  He loved the fact that I called myself the "patsy" of the department, meaning that stuff was always being dumped on me.  One time he told me that he heard a Patsy Cline song and started cracking up thinking about me being the patsy.  He would often chime in with the "Crazy" lyrics for extra added effect when I would tell him another example of how I was yet again the "patsy".

He just got elected to his community's school board.  He was only a few years away from retiring.  His kids were/are doing well in college.  His daughter had some struggles this first semester of school, and she reminds me a lot of me and my issues when I was her age.  I gave him insight into why she was doing certain things when he was frustrated and felt like he couldn't help her, because I did the same things when I was her age.  Even though this past year I am in a different department, he still confided in me that he wanted to leave our company and was sick of some of the changes within that department.  I was here for him to vent about it when he needed.

He died unexpectedly.  He was recovering from a knee surgery that he had last week and was reportedly doing well, and then his wife found him dead at home yesterday.  I keep thinking about him and about all that he did for his community and family.  He was Catholic and taught religion classes, he was elected for school board, and he was an all around great father who often joked about how he "hates people".  He loved going to baseball games and hockey games and of course watching his kids play sports. 

From his death I am realizing how much I have not done in my life, and I kept waiting to have kids to become a part of a community.  I realize that I can't rely on me having a kid to somehow find my niche in my community.  I always think about how I could do this or that, that I have all of this time on my hands, but I never put it into action.  I hope that when I'm Rob's age, that I will be much more involved in things that I'm passionate about.  Somehow I need to figure out how to start putting these thoughts into action. 

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

The Final Days of Limbo

So now that December is almost here, I am left with a small amount of limbo still lingering about.  It is much more bearable knowing that the end is near, but it really does have a way to creep inside my mind, some days more so than others.  Today on the way into work was one of those days.  I don't even have exact words as to what I was thinking about, just a feeling that the way that I was living will soon end.  What does that mean, exactly?  Well, it means that I have been living with the thought that one day I would be a parent, it was just a matter of when.  My identity has always been labeled as "Future Parent" or possessing the potential to become a mother, of experiencing childbirth for myself, of experiencing the "firsts" in my child's life, of all of the hopes and fears that one takes on when becoming completely responsible for a child.  After the New Year I will be living as a person who will never be a parent and quite frankly I don't know what the means for me.  My whole identity will be changed.  This may be a dramatic statement, but to it me it's sort of the B.C. and A.D of my life, of my life's timeline.  Funny that I would use that as analogy since it is the actual marking of one man's birth as a significant point in time, in all of mandkind's history. 

We did give it a decent go this cycle with TTC and I'm in my second to last two week wait.  This is why I am still in limbo.  I am trying to take my prenatal vitamin (I think they help me from getting very sick when I get colds anyway, so I'll take them as long as I have them - and remember them).  I still pick on tiny little things my body does and thinks that maybe it's a sign of pregnancy, even though at this point I'm completely delusional. 

I also just cleaned out some drawers in my bedroom and discovered two used pregnancy tests that I've been hiding until the right moment to dispose of them deep within the garbage can, after wrapping them in paper towels and grocery bags first.  See, my husband and I always had a deal that we would test together if I thought I was pregnant.  I literally never had any signs that I was pregnant, but I did have plenty of insane, impatient times throughout the past 3+ years where I felt compelled to test based on nothing other than sheer desperation.  So I did do it maybe a handful of times in secret.  I decided I would just retest with him again and act like I didn't know.  I'm not a deceitful person and I have difficulty with lying in general, but that was one thing I was willing to do to allay my own insane emotions.

I am currently in discussions with my brother and his wife to go to New Orleans soon...either over Easter or in June.  In the back of my mind I say "watch me get pregnant now that I'm planning a mildly debaucherous trip to New Orleans".  The reality is, I'm sure I won't get pregnant, but until we stop trying for good, there will always be that tiny spot in the back of my mind and heart that thinks it might happen. 

I will say that my husband made a statement recently that made me feel reassured in where he is at with all of this.  He has been consoling a female friend he works with (trust me, there are not trust issues between us, and also the girl is ugly anyway) who is married and thinking of leaving her controlling, asshole husband.  He told her how we are going through a lot with not having a child and that this might tear some people apart but we are strong and are handling it together.  When he told me what he had said to her I then knew that we were going to be all right as a couple (with some time for grieving, of course). 

On a positive note, we did schedule a road trip to stay in a beautiful old mansion for New Years, so we are both looking forward to that.  I also decided to change many aspects of my Christmas decorating, including when I decorate, how much I decorate, etc.  I will be simplifying much about all of it.  I am not using my family ornaments that I hoped to one day pass down to my children.  We are doing a small live tree with sort of a decorator's look, rather than my hodge-podge of homemade and varied ornaments.  I guess I'm changing the look along with my new, impending change of identity.  Maybe that's why I dyed my hair, too? 

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

On Feeling Old

I turned 42 very recently and I have to say that I do feel old.  Not ancient, but old.

For a while now I have thought of this age as being the cut off point for TTC given that we said we'd be done trying for good next month.  I am actually in a good place overall, in part because my husband is showing more acceptance about our fate.  We are giving it our best TTC effort these last two months of 2017, but I don't expect any different outcome so it has been less of a chore and more about just having fun.  (Although I think some of the sexual rut issues of TTC will need to be addressed for sure...stale is a good description at this point.)

What other ways do I feel old, you ask?  Well, let's see.  I recently decided to forego the blonde highlights because the grays are becoming much more prevalent.  I went with an all-over color and it's darker brown and has a reddish tint.  I didn't want plain brown, so boy did I get my wish.  I'm not sure if I like it or not, but my husband loves it and says it's his most favorite hair color to date on me.  I get some compliments at work but then others remain silent, and I feel like their silence equals that they think it's ugly.  But maybe they didn't notice, right?  The hair color feels slightly teenager-ish, and I don't know how I feel about that.  It's not a natural red, but more of a cool red.  I think I was hoping for a more copper type color, but's it's much cooler and I can't help but think of all of the unnatural hair colors that teens wear these days.  I feel too old to do these types of colors.

Another way I feel old is that I just broke a tooth for the first time.  Actually, it must have been broken for a while but didn't come out until I was eating a luxurious piece of chewy Panera bread.  So I had to have that filled today.  I associate broken teeth with my aging parents, not something a young person would experience.  I've only had fillings, never root canals or anything, and I fear that kind of stuff more so than ever before. 

This past weekend we took our niece and nephew on our first outing in public with them.  Granted my husband's mom met up with us, which I'm glad she did.  I think my husband learned that you can't plan too much with kids.  If he gets a plan in his head for the day, he gets upset if it doesn't quite go as he imagined, so at one point when we thought we weren't going to survive our lunch at the local sit-down family restaurant I thought he was going to flip out.  But he got himself together nicely.  I've never had to change a diaper out in a public restroom, so that was a first for me (and I consider it a success that I had to change not one poopy diaper).  The kids really were well-behaved overall, and there were no meltdowns, so I consider it a success.  But we took them at one point to a play area in the mall and I was so anxious and thought, wow, maybe I'm better off not being a mom.  So many kids running around, bumping into each other...it's a nightmare!  I was glad when it was over...I just felt slightly on edge like I was trapped a little.  lol.  I can't explain that, but it's true.  I'm sure it's different when it's your own kid, but I didn't like that feeling.  I love kids, I really do, but at this age, I feel old, too old to deal with some of this stuff!!

Monday, October 30, 2017

Progress!!!

This past weekend my husband showed some very forward thinking and progress in accepting our childless fate.  My husband and I have toyed with the idea of swapping our master bedroom for the second largest bedroom because it stays cooler in the summer and also is quieter because it's in the back of the house.  The drawback is that we wouldn't be able to move our new master bedroom furniture into the other room because it's not big enough to accommodate all of that. 

So Saturday my husband said we always talk about switching, we should give it a trial run for a week and see what we think.  So we are now sleeping in the other bedroom.  I think he likes it.  When we were rearranging that room he said he also liked the idea I had just brought up recently about making our extra room on the first floor into our TV room.  It's an addition on the back of our house, so another "living room" if you will.  It's also quieter in the back of the house.  Our living room where we watch TV now is a long rectangular room and it's hard to get the furniture placement decent with a TV in there, and there's always a ton of reflection on the TV.  So in this other room, we would keep it simple, maybe his recliner and then get a recliner or some comfy chair for me, a side table, and then the TV. 

I know this sounds like not a big deal, but we have always thought that room would be a second living room/play room for our kids, which was one of the reasons we bought the house.  A room for their toys, for watching kid TV shows, etc.  But since we've moved in it's just been sort of a dumping ground for random stuff, and also an office for our computer, etc.  My husband also mentioned that we could move the desk/computer up to the smallest bedroom.  So I believe he is also ready for change, ready to make our house our home, rather than it living in a state of limbo. 

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Just Some Thinking Out Loud

So almost a year ago now I interviewed for and started another job at my company.  It was something I was worried about doing, because I was giving up working from home two days a week.  But it is something I've adjusted to and something that was needed.  I needed to learn something new and different.  I'm starting to feel comfortable doing what I'm doing.  It's less work at my desk and more meetings and helping to maintain, and at times change, the system of drug and alcohol treatment in our county, and also building relationships.  I'm meeting new people and gaining more notoriety in the company again, as well as with external colleagues in our county. 

So then I found out that a manager in my old department was leaving last week.  She did things that were different than I used to do (so it wouldn't be going back to my same duties), and she was a manager and I was not.  So I decided to look into what her position would be, and honestly it is tempting me to go back in a few ways.  a) I would get to work remotely again two days a week; b) I would make more money, as it's a slightly higher pay grade than where I'm at now; c) I did enjoy doing some of the work in that department, and it's 90% writing reports which I enjoy.  I don't know if I would be supervising people but I'm thinking not, as they said it's a position that could be occupied by anyone in our company, at any of our offices throughout the state.  This would be lovely, as I really do not enjoy supervising people.

I feel like I could be chosen, as I was highly valued on my old team.  But, I could be committing career/political suicide at my company, because the position I'm in now is sort of, I don't know, positioning me for possibly moving up more in the company over time, and I think that my boss and her boss may look down upon me leaving.  But, at the same time, I've never cared about moving up all that much.  I see what some of the higher ups in our company have to answer to and I do not want to be in their shoes - the scrutiny, the pressure. 

I reached out to my old supervisor in that department and I know she probably wants me to apply.  We are going to chat about it next week.  I have never stayed in a job this briefly and moved to something else.  I'm still getting my feet wet.  I like the fact that I'm not tied to constant work at my desk, so even though the work would be writing, it would be tying me back down to a desk more so than I'm doing now.  I don't know.  I was just going to ignore the fact that this position came open, but I can't until I find out more about it. 

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Some Closure

Last night on the eve of our 3rd anniversary, I have found some closure on a subject that has reared its ugly head for a long time now that we've been struggling with infertility.  I am grateful that my husband finally is in a place to openly talk about where we are at in this journey without getting upset, shutting down, or by simply saying he isn't in the mood to talk about it. 

Yesterday I was reviewing our insurance benefits for next year, as it's time to choose our options.  We have insurance through my work, and I work for a major health system in our city.  I happened upon a paragraph which I never noticed before about infertility treatment benefits.  I was told initially that any fertility treatment would be covered up to $2,000 under my insurance.  That doesn't make much of a dent in the overall costs, considering with meds it could be as much as $15,000 just to try one time.  But this paragraph also confirmed what my fertility doc told me last year when we tried medication and an IUI.  My doc said that employees (of the health system, which I am) get a discount.  So this paragraph explained that you would get another $2,000 discount if you do the treatments at their hospital (which I have to because that's the only way the actual insurance benefit will pay for the treatment as well).  So that's a total of $4k. 

I texted my husband and told him this, and he seemed interested.  He said we should discuss.  I was perplexed and surprised.  He said we should give it a shot. 

One thing you should understand is that mentally I've struggled wondering if IVF was the right choice for us, and this stems from mostly the odds stacked against us at the age of almost 42 and 40.  That coupled with the desire to not go back into debt when I spent a majority of my adult life deep in debt and depression made me feel that IVF was not something I was interested in trying. Also I am not interested in going through some of the actual medical and emotional process of IVF, either.  I did not know how my husband felt about it, therefor, I had no firm and solid answer that was a joint decision between us.  He's made fleeting comments about it here and there when I told him what our specialist told us about it, but he never made any great statements about whether he wanted to go that far or not.  So it's always been a question mark.  Until now.

I asked if we could talk about our texts about IVF.  I explained a bit about my understanding of the IVF process and how I've felt about it.  He told me that he has always felt that he wanted it to happen naturally, and it's not even about the financial piece, it's how he feels about bringing a child into this world.  He wants it to be something between us, not us and other people helping us.  He said after the IUI is when he really firmly decided that.  I think that after I explained some of the medical process of IVF, he made up his mind for sure.  So even though yesterday he seemed to be slightly tempted by the financial help, overall he is not interested in it as an option.  He also explained that he is not interested in adoption, so now I know where he stands on these topics, which is really all I wanted.

We talked about how I feel it's probably not going to happen naturally if it hasn't happened by now.  He understood but he still asked me to try until the end of this year and remain positive for him.  I told him I would.  I know he just needs time to let this sink in before he can completely give up, so I get it and I'm happy to comply.  I feel like a weight of uncertainty has been lifted, we have a plan, and I see a light at the end of the tunnel.  I'm just glad that we are on the same page.