Lord, Give Me Strength.

It’s not been easy this past week. It feels like my diffuser has been on overdrive every time I’m next to it.

I’m not actually 100% certain why I’m feeling this way. Emotional, tired, quietly stressed. I feel like I need another holiday. I want to be removed from everything that is happening. I want to be removed from my feelings. I feel like I’ve barely smiled this week. I want to be happy and I am trying to… not make myself be happy, but just decide to make that effort. I know how sometimes I can get in a rut mentally and be stuck in it with no good reason, then it’s up to me to change things. But it’s difficult to do tbat when it feels like you really need to cry some decent tears but they’ve got stuck somewhere on the way out and nothing is going to improve until they get unstuck. I suppose it’s just another one of those things that I’ll have to take moment by moment.

Karl and I both decided that I should stay home today. I’m thankful for that. He is such a trooper. For 4 years now I’ve been stuck in some state of grief, and he has supported me so well while dealing with his own grief. It seems so much simpler for him. I’m sure it’s not. Sometimes I wonder, why is it that I feel everything so much? Why do I hurt so deeply? I know I feel the positive just as much, but this negative stuff just hangs around like a bad stink. I wish it would go away. I know that there is an element of decision with this too though, and trust me, I try. I know it’s rooted deeply in me not wanting to let my babies go. And I know that will never happen, they’re my babies and I love them. I’ll never forget them, even though I barely knew them. But I also suppose it’s just the unfairness of the situation that keeps these feelings present. With every pregnancy announced and every baby that is born I’m reminded of what I don’t have. Yet again a decision on my part to accept that feeling or to acknowledge it and gently kick it in the bum. And as nice as it is to see people’s happiness, people just don’t stop breeding and it just makes life hard. Once again it’s one of those feelings that I feel so deep. Mother’s day is coming up in a few months and already I’m wondering how I can avoid it. I hate it. Let me smile politely in silence and look happy for you while inside I scream “I’m a mother too!!!” I read this awesome quote the other day (I can’t actually remember where I read it or who wrote it so I’m very sorry I can’t give credit where it’s due)…

Identity shifting is a huge piece of the postpartum experience for every new parent, and yet moms who lose their babies are not able to show the world their mother-ness. If you feel like a mom, and yet are not able to participate in the experiences that the mothers around you are included in, know that this is a shared experience and that, whether or not the world can see this, we value you as a mother too.”

It’s nice to know that I’m valued as a mother too, at least by those who wrote that quote. But those who know that I lose my babies, still no acknowledgement of my motherness. I was pregnant too. I grew life inside me too. My body still told me to “push” too. But I don’t get to see my babies grow up. I don’t kniw what colour their eyes are and I certainly don’t have the joy of experiencing all their firsts like all the other Mums who birth live babies do. Instead I live in silence. Isolating silence.


Makes sense…

And this is why grief is so horrible and can last for so long.

While you need to remember and think and contemplate in order to process your grief and move forward, it’s also really hard on your body.

Sorry if this is TMI, but my last period was NOT fun. It reminded me a lot of my last miscarriage, which was naturally quite upsetting for me. And when I read things like this, it makes sense. Cramping and pain is obviously part and parcel of having your period. Duh. But combine that with the experience of two miscarriages and nearly 3 years of grief? Your brain just takes you straight back to when you were in the thick of it.

Have you ever?

I felt the tears coming for probably a week. I spent a week in NZ with some of my absolute favouritest people in existence. It’s always hard to leave but the thing with me is, I always think to myself “what if something happens and this is the last time I ever see you?” Goodbyes seem a little harder and it’s probably my brain’s fault.

Have you ever just completely had no control over tears? Unfortunately it’s been a common occurrence over the past few years. Yesterday was no exception. I was getting some work done and I thought, why not have a movie on in the background? After flicking through Netflix, I spied the first Sex and the City movie. I never got into that series but despite growing up a bit of a tomboy I am a sucker for fashion. But for some reason, it just made me bawl my eyes out. Not because it was an awful movie, or because it was sad, it was none of those things (well, some of it was sad). Maybe it was because there were four women, together. I miss that. My best friends are strewn across the world and desipe connecting with them most days digitally, I would love to have them here in person with me. The way Charlotte yelled at Big when he left Carrie really struck something in me. That deep love that causes all of us to protect each other fiercely. I wish we were all closer so we could love each other in more tangible ways in our tragic situations. How I would love “a Samantha” to tell someone where to go when they ask me inappropriate questions. Or a Charlotte to hold me tight and yell in my defence while I struggle to hold myself together. My husband has been all of these things for me (as I have for him), but he hurts too. He needs his own best friends in his own way just as I need mine. I wish he had that easier.

So basically for 2 hours I cried. And somehow, afterwards, my eyes didn’t look that terrible! I felt a bit better 😊

Gone (not forgotten)

Welcome to my dreams board. You’re currently looking at the remnants of v2.0 from early 2015. It’s been “safely stored” under my glory box for a while now (read: forgotten about and gathered sufficient dust for just over 2 years).

You see those pink and blue bits just left of and below centre? That’s where the baby / family goal was. I made this not long after my first miscarriage. I kind of numbed myself to what I was doing when I took that part off earlier tonight. It was very reflectful (if that’s even a word). Tearing off old dreams with the assistance of scissors is a mixture of sadness, disappointment, but also a quiet excitement for the possibilities of the future. Sometimes you have to suck it up and let dreams die in order to be happy again.

I’ve been thinking about that first pregnancy a little bit lately. I think it’s because I know that I won’t have that opportunity again, to see a precious little heartbeat and to see the hidden excitement that only you and your husband know about. I wish I had photos. I never want to forget that special time. That moment when the double line on the pregnancy test becomes a 2D image with a lovely little flicker of a heartbeat. It’s real, it starts to sink in.

The grief and the sadness never goes away fully. It doesn’t matter how many times you re-do your dreams board, or how much traveling you to do bring back some form of happiness into your life. I’ll always miss that little person and that little heartbeat. And it’s phantom sibling who disappeared on us a year later.

Sometimes before I go to sleep, I’ll pray that I’ll dream about my babies. See what they would have been like, meet them in a sense. So far it hasn’t happened and that’s ok because well, one day Heaven will happen and I won’t need to wake up to a life without them.

I never expected

I never expected that at the ripe old age of 34 I would be considering birth control options again. The future always had children in it, the possibility of not having children was always just that, just a possibility.

When you’re faced with not having kids, life changes. It’s sobering. Not only will you not have the joy that other parents have (baby showers, the birth, life’s firsts for your little one/s, the list goes on), but you realise that life ends with you. You are where the line stops. Once one of us dies, the other will be alone.

It’s not that we can’t have children. It’s the fact that my AMH levels are already low-ish, my body has just been purged of over a year’s worth of eggs, and if my egg quality improved with this second round of IVF, but none of the 5 eggs that were able to be injected even fertilised, then do we want to risk more miscarriages through continuing to try unassisted? IVF # 1 was our initial line in the sand. IVF # 2 was the new line in the sand. I wanted my life back one way or another (with or without children), and that is what I have got.

Don’t get me wrong. In amongst the sad and sobering moments of our current position, things are actually quite good. I’m feeling that such a load has been lifted from me. I’m enjoying not thinking about pregnancy. I’m enjoying not giving myself injections and having irrational moody reactions to silly little things. I’m enjoying the fact that I can go and bounce on a trampoline or do gymnastics (aka enjoying life) without the fear of doing something detrimental to an unborn child that I may not even know about. The gold star goes to me for my maternal protection levels but good grief that was exhausting. I’m looking forward to the travel we have planned and actually doing something positive for ourselves. We have been through enough. We don’t want your “prayers for a miracle”, we want your “prayers for God’s will”. And as far as we are concerned, we already know what that will is. Thank you for your hope, it’s lovely, but I don’t want it. I also don’t want your comments of “when we gave up I fell pregnant”. I’d like to exchange it for adventure.

Which brings me back to the original topic. Contraceptives. I probably shouldn’t use the NuvaRing, because well, I’m almost 35 years old. Can I be bothered taking the pill again and dealing with the side effects? Do I want to attempt a diaphragm? No way in the world am I getting any form of IUD (I am an IUD baby by the way), so what does that leave me with? Not a heck of a lot… I’m tempted to chart again and use all the “fertility awareness” methods I have learned over the years to help me avoid pregnancy rather than achieve it. Really, I should just suck it up and go see my GP. But that would mean talking to someone face to face about what we’ve just gone through and well… I’m not quite sure I want to unleash the ugly crying face and relentless snot on some poor unsuspecting health professional.

Anyway. I’d better get some work done. Have you seen Girlboss on Netflix? Feels a wee bit like my life right now… (minus the random sexual encounter in episode 1 and hernia in episode 2).

Well, that was rough.

This week has been less than fun. Aside from dealing with a heavy and uncomfortable period, I have been extremely tired and grumpy, with the odd dose of randomly timed tears, just for good measure.

I don’t know how meeting up with our specialist will help us. Obviously we have our questions but how much can he really answer? It’s not as if he can tell us how many rounds we will need to do for this to work. So much of the decision on whether or not to try again will be 100% up to us.

I had a skype date with my best friend in NZ on Monday. She is such a blessing. Unfortunately she had to endure my ugly crying face for a short while but it was nice to talk to her. I really wish we were all closer. I feel like because my small number of (local) close friends have limited knowledge of our previous unsuccessful pregnancies, the best thing to do would be to completely move away and start fresh. I call it running away but my best friend lovingly said it wasn’t running away at all. I think I just need this to be over, no matter what we call it. I want my life back. I know I’ve said that a number of times now but it is so true. I feel like I’m suffocating in my own unhappiness and it’s like I’ll never be free from that feeling until it’s over. I just want to tell people exactly how I’m feeling, no sugar coating it. Tell them how much I hate their wonderful perfect family (even though I don’t hate them at all), and how their happiness hurts me so much. I just want to meet my own little people and have the connection that everyone else is so blessed to have. I want to be their preferred person when things are sad, or when they do something cool and who else would they share their excitement with but mum? In a lot of ways I’m wondering how I will get through life without that. Especially when my other feelings of “getting my life back” and the things I would do are so opposite to a life with children. I’d feel like I’m constantly just trying to fill a void that I know won’t be filled with random fun things.

Actually, for anyone who does actually read my blog, how did you decide to tell people about your struggle? When you decided that enough was enough and children sadly weren’t going to be a part of your lives? How did you deal with questions or comments from well meaning people? Because the last thing I want is to feel like I’m obliged to give information when I really just want to tell people to rack off. And I don’t want to have to deal with people’s unintentional stupidity when it comes to how infertility works. That’s why we haven’t told many people. We want to protect ourselves and our privacy, and we don’t want to have to deal with people who just have no clue. People who think that you could do a cleanse and all your problems would be solved because clearly your hormones are out of balance so therefore your liver needs some help from this mysterious Himalayan fungus 😒 Did I mention my rage issues that make me want to throat punch people? Don’t get me started on the “you’re next” people…

My husband mentioned maybe doing one more round, if the specialist thinks it’s worth a shot. The skeptic in my thinks that of course he thinks it’s worth a shot, he will be getting paid for it. But I need to believe that he actually wants the best for us so I need to tell the inner skeptic to shut up a sec. And while this cycle was supposed to be the decider, what if we’re just not ready to give up yet, despite the hugely apparent emotional exhaustion? Or what if we need to do just one more round to be sure we read the signs right? All the while I don’t want to force nature into something that shouldn’t happen and have the outcome be the worst possible thing and then have to deal with it for the rest of our lives. That sounds awful, but it’s the truth, it’s genuinely what is going on in my head. Maybe I shouldn’t think that, I try not to but I do.
Anyway. I think that’s enough rambling for now.


Well, IVF 1 is done and dusted.

I didn’t really need to wait for the blood test to know the official outcome, but of course being the compliant patient that I am I listened to my team and continued with the plan.

On Saturday night the spotting started. Three or four days from my due date, the changes started happening like clock work. I had read that Crinone can sometimes cause irritation and bleeding but this was just a little too familiar. If I’m going to get a period, this is when the spotting starts.

But of course – we keep an open mind. People with varying degrees of spotting or bleeding end up having successful pregnancies right? But on Sunday the cramping and “light” bleeding became more apparent, and by Monday we had basically a full blown period. Hello cramps, bloating and basically a crime scene in my pants. Sunday and Monday were definitely down days. Plenty of disappointment and teary moments.

I spoke with my nurse who agreed, it didn’t sound hopeful at all. So she recommended that I do my blood test a day early and to continue with the progesterone until we got the results. Yay… That night I did my dose, within minutes the cramping was nearly unbearable, I was on the toilet and let’s just say there wasn’t much of that dose left! I didn’t even bother with the morning dose (I was on 2 per day).

So, yesterday we did the blood test, and as expected it was zero HCG. Not one micro-ounce, so if implantation did occur, it certainly didn’t last long. Getting the result wasn’t awful, but just more of the same. That mildly angry “eff the world” feeling that you get while you’re thinking “Of course it’s negative! Why on earth would it be positive?” You feel like it’s borderline stupidity to expect any other result. This just doesn’t happen, and when it does, it doesn’t last.
So, now we wade through the disappointment, and try to figure out what to do next. This was supposed to be our line in the sand, but naturally that’s easier said than done. Of course we want to keep pursuing it, but we can’t afford the expense of another full blown round. But do we really want another possible failed round? Do we want another pregnancy that could possibly end in miscarriage? Of course it could work out perfectly fine, but with no frozen embryos, this could be a very clear definite “no” for us. We just need to know if we are reading the signs right. If we read them wrong, we risk blowing another multiple thousands of dollars that could go towards something far more positive for us and our marriage. Trying is never a waste, but how much more do we flog this quite possibly dead horse? In some ways I would much rather invest that money on travel and spending time actually enjoying our lives together – something that has been missing for a good two and a bit years now. While I still want kids, I still want my life back. I want the freedom to know that I’m not going to ruin a potential pregnancy by possibly doing the wrong thing (I know, flawed logic, but after losses one gets paranoid). How does one know when the stop?

But more importantly, how do you decide to actively prevent pregnancy? Do I go on the pill (blehh no thank you), does hubby get something permanent like a vasectomy? Because while pregnancies aren’t exactly a common thing for us, preventing a miscarriage is more important for our mental health than preventing a pregnancy. But then again, doing something so permanent is pretty heartbreaking. The whole situation is heartbreaking. We will see what.our specialist says next week at our follow up appointment.

Here’s to discussions. Many, many discussions…