Archive | November, 2012

Release the Hounds!

29 Nov

Life feels full right now.  It isn’t dragging.  It’s full enough that I’m able to ignore the ache in my heart that something is missing.  Is that good?

We did the right thing adopting Snow White.  She’s more stubborn than Skill Set (which I didn’t think was possible).  She’s more strong willed.  She’s more affectionate.  She’s more of a puppy.  They work so well together.  They compliment each other nicely.  He has become her older brother.  He’s her protector, her playmate, her teacher.



If we never have kids, I think I could feel some form of contentment with my four-legged family.

I’ve been thinking more lately as well that becoming a teacher mean being responsible for hundreds of kids on any given day.  Kids who are smart and mouthy, shy and nervous, broken and unloved.  Teaching allows me to be involved in the lives of children, even if they’re not my own.  It allows me to make a positive difference in the world, even if it’s indirect.  Teaching makes me feel like I’m accomplishing something, even if I can’t ever be a mom.

This is why I’ve chosen this profession.  This is also why I love it more and more everyday.  I still ache for our children, but my life is finally moving forward.

Snow White

24 Nov

Who needs babies when you fill your house with greyhounds and cats? 😉

We met Snow White today.  She’s awesome.  They let us take her home today too. 🙂  Skill Set is nervous, but happy.  The cats are debating killing us all in our sleep.  Life is good.

Thanksgiving

20 Nov

About a week and a half ago, Jeremy and I decided we are going to stay home for Thanksgiving.  After our second IUI failed and the third isn’t even on the radar yet, we took a step back to seriously consider what kind of mood we’d be in on Thursday. Don’t get me wrong, we have so much to be thankful for, but it also seems that everything we have to be thankful for is wrapped together with the things that are causing us the most pain.

We bought a house with a lot of space for our kids to grow up in.  We adopted wonderful Skill Set because we just couldn’t take the empty house.  I’m loving graduate school, but only because I can’t be a mom.  We’re going to meet the adorable Snow White on Saturday, but that’s only because our baby died 6 weeks ago and I’ve failed miserably at making another one for the foreseeable future.

I know our families aren’t happy with us for this decision.  We’ve never spent a major holiday without at least one of our families.  They aren’t understanding why we can’t just be there and try to be happy.

I saw a facebook status earlier today and this quote was included in it: The holidays are upon us and it can be a very joyful time of year. Some of us have problems during the holidays and sometimes are overcome with great sadness when we remember the loved ones who are not with us.
It goes on to talk about the military and deployed servicemen and women, but those two sentences struck me as the perfect explanation as to why we just can’t be with our families this Thursday.  We are still mourning our baby and the thought that we might never be parents.  Seeing families and children causes so much pain.  I would be 10 weeks pregnant this week if our baby hadn’t died.  But it did.  And being with people who can’t understand our pain isn’t something we want to put ourselves through right now.

Our relationships with our friends and family changed after we lost our baby.  Very few friends or family members mentioned it, or expressed anything close to sympathy or grief afterwards.  I understand why.  It’s a weird situation that people don’t know how to handle.  Someone died.  But they were barely alive in the first place.  No one but me could feel that baby.  No one ever saw him.  But that lack of sympathy makes me very reluctant to be around anyone on a day that my emotions are going to raw and exposed.

So, Jeremy and I are getting a chicken and making an apple pie.  We’re going to hang our Christmas lights because it’s supposed to be nice and warm that day.  We might watch a movie and play a game.  We might light a fire and spend the evening reading.  We might put up some Christmas decorations.  But most importantly, we’re going to be together.  And I know I will be spending a day of thanks with the person I’m most thankful for.

Birthdays and Santa Hats

18 Nov

This weekend, our sweet kittens (who aren’t really kittens anymore) turned 4.

They were so little when we met them at the Chicago Animal Shelter: 4 whole months old…

I know I’ve made our unhealthy attachment to our cats (and dog) very clear in the past, so I’m sure you’re not surprised that we celebrate our pets’ birthdays.  Jeremy claims that they don’t need presents this year because we bought them a house.  And a dog.  Though they’d probably prefer that we get rid of the dog. 😉

Skill Set got into the Christmas spirit tonight with his new hat…

Also, we’re hoping to go visit the beautiful Snow White sometime soon…  We’ve decided that if she’s absolutely, positively perfect for us, she might be the next member of our family.  Jeremy made me promise to walk away if she’s not.  Look at that sweet face. 🙂

We think Skill Set will be a lot happier if he had another greyhound to goof off with.  He’s been having some attachment problems lately – nothing too serious, but everything we’ve read said greyhounds like other greyhounds A LOT and it often solves a lot of problems.

Other than that, I’m officially on fall break.  I have a whole week off from school.  Although, finals are in a couple weeks, so I’ll  be spending the week finishing up some final projects.  I’m still really enjoying my classes.  I’m enjoying the lesson planning and the reading and the teaching.  I’m more and more sure everyday that I made the right decision to become a teacher. 🙂

I’m also really enjoying this time off from TTC.  I know I was angry that we had to take some time off and while I’d rather we were still in the game, I think my body and my sanity needed a break.  I took a couple weeks off from acupuncture too so I am completely needle free.  However, taking a step back from all of this is really making me question it.  Is all of this going to be worth it?  I don’t know anymore.  I don’t know if I believe that we’re going to parents anymore.  I know that if we don’t go through all the IUI’s Dr. B recommends, then I’ll feel awful for giving up.  But I truly don’t believe they’re going to work.  I feel like everything in our lives are lining up for them not to work.  Jeremy is nice and busy at work (and I’m pretty sure he likes it) and I’m only going to get busier with school and then student teaching and then a real teaching job.  That’s probably another subconscious reason for thinking about getting another greyhound.  The busier we are and the fuller our house is, the less taking a couple years off from trying to get pregnant will hurt.

So, we definitely have one more IUI.  After that, it’s up in the air.  If Dr. B goes on to recommend IVF, we’re done until I start teaching full time.  He was on the verge of recommending it after IUI #2 failed.  Letting him make that decision is the easiest thing for us.  We can’t afford IVF right now.  We’re not even 100% sure if we want to do it.  In a couple years, we can revisit it.  Maybe by then we’ll be content with what we have.

This Isn’t the Room I Had in Mind.

16 Nov

The bill from our first IUI came in the mail a couple weeks ago.  I could only glance at it and then tossed it aside.  The only thing I could think of was that bill, that dollar amount, is the only thing left of our baby.  $98.00.  That’s what our baby dying cost us.  I sat down to pay it a little while ago as I had let it go a week overdue.  That was easily the hardest check I’ve ever had to write, the hardest $98 I’ve ever had to part with.

It seems silly to think about it that way.  We were only buying a chance to have a baby.  There was never any guarantee that we would get one of our own.

I’ve spent the day half deep cleaning the house and half staring at all of the space in despair.  I both love and hate this house today.  I’m debating ripping every stitch of carpet out of the extra bedroom this afternoon.  I really hate that bedroom…

Every afternoon, the extra bedroom that was supposed to be a nursery glows.  Walking down the hallway, it looks like someone has turned on all the lights and then some.
The baby-yellow walls that I hated when we first moved in only magnify the sunshine that comes through the west window.  No window in the house gets as much sunshine as that one window.
When we first moved in, I would frequently double check that I hadn’t left the light on the night before – but there is no light in this room.  I try to never go in there if I can help it.  It reminds me of everything it isn’t.  It isn’t the room my son or daughter will sleep in.  It isn’t the room that we snuggle and read in together.  It isn’t a room full of tiny clothes and tiny shoes.  It isn’t the room I sneak into 100 times a night to thank God for this little soul.  It isn’t the room where all kinds of great imagining will happen.  This isn’t the room I had in mind.
But sometimes, when the sun fills it and makes it glow just right, I’ll sit on the floor in that room.  Sometimes I cry.  Sometimes I imagine it’s the room it’s supposed to be.  And sometimes I just sit and wonder why life is the way it is.
This isn’t the room I had in mind.  This isn’t the life I had envisioned for us.  Things were supposed to fall into place with this house.  It was supposed to be our new beginning.  We were so close.  But this still isn’t the room I had in mind.

“To Earthward” by Robert Frost

15 Nov

To Earthward

Love at the lips was touch
As sweet as I could bear;
And once that seemed too much;
I lived on air

That crossed me from sweet things,
The flow of – was it musk
From hidden grapevine springs
Down hill at dusk?

I had the swirl and ache
From sprays of honeysuckle
That when they’re gathered shake
Dew on the knuckle.

I craved strong sweets, but those
Seemed strong when I was young;
The petal of the rose
It was that stung.

Now no joy but lacks salt
That is not dashed with pain
And weariness and fault;
I crave the stain

Of tears, the aftermark
Of almost too much love,
The sweet of bitter bark
And burning clove.

When stiff and sore and scarred
I take away my hand
From leaning on it hard
In grass and sand,

The hurt is not enough:
I long for weight and strength
To feel the earth as rough
To all my length.

Robert Frost

Time Off

12 Nov

Surprise! Dr. Binor’s office is closed November 22 through 25 for Thanksgiving.  The probability of our IUI falling somewhere in those 4 days is so high that they told us we’d have to try on our own this month with or without gonal-f injections.  My first thought was that we were definitely going to keep trying with medication.  But after talking to Jeremy, we’ve decided to take the month off.  I don’t need OHSS symptoms in the middle of finals for nothing.  Again.

I’m so jealous of those of you with RE’s who are available every day of the year.  Want to know what’s super exciting?  Our IUI in December is likely to fall on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day.  I think this might be the universe’s way of telling us to give up for now.

 

23: What is Going on?

11 Nov

And we’re on to IUI #3.  This cycle lasted a magical 25 days.  What is that?  I’ve only ever had one cycle shorter than this and that was July’s WTF 23 day cycle.  Interestingly enough, I’m not horribly sad about it.  But I am so incredibly angry.  The severity of my OHSS was rare.  And it was for nothing.  I’ve spent the past 2 weeks in bed and in pain for absolutely nothing.  Now, we get to do it all over again.  Our next IUI will fall on the day after Thanksgiving depending on follicle growth.  I’m waiting to hear what’s on the menu medication-wise for this cycle.  I’m not sure if I’m hoping for higher gonal-f or not.

On the positive side, most of my OHSS symptoms disappeared soon after my period started.  For now, I’m just a little bloated still.

We’re spending the morning raking our leaves and mowing the grass for the last time before all of that snow hits us tomorrow. I love snow.  And then we’re going shopping because I don’t know whose body I’m living in, but it’s not the one I’m used to.

OHSS Continued

7 Nov

Nothing super new to report for the most part.  I’m still in a fair amount of pain off and on, though it’s a different kind of pain than it was.  It’s more of cramping pain and less of a stabbing pain.  I’m having a hard time differentiating between symptoms of a possible pregnancy and symptoms of the OHSS.  I feel a lot different than I did when I was pregnant before.  I’m not sure if that’s a good or bad thing.

I still can’t be on my feet for very long before I start to really feel bad.  I’m managing a load of laundry here and there, and I’m thankful I can teach and study sitting down.  I’ve had a really light workload from my classes for the past 2 weeks, so that’s been a huge weight lifted as well.  I’ve been able to lay down when I need it and not worry so much about getting things done (although, I think there might be something growing on the dirty dishes in the sink… yikes..).

On a positive note, when they drew blood for a CBC last Thursday, they also decided to check my hormones just to see where they were.  I wasn’t supposed to start taking prometrium until Friday and my progesterone check wasn’t supposed to be until Monday.  BUT, my progesterone was already at 15 all by itself 4 days past the trigger shot. 🙂  My progesterone has never gone up on it’s own before.  I know having progesterone in your system isn’t indicative of a pregnancy, but it’s good to know my body can do some things naturally (you know, naturally if you don’t count all of the extra FSH shots and hcg trigger I had pumped my body full of).

I’m having weird dreams too.  Last night, I dreamed that Dr. B’s office didn’t tell us that we actually had 5 mature follicles.  I’m obviously subconsciously terrified of high order multiples.  Although, I don’t blame myself for it.  Twins?  Awesome.  Triplets?  Do-able, maybe.  Quads or more?  No, thank you..  One or two would be just right. 🙂
I also had dinner with President Obama.  He asked for my advice on something super top secret and important.  😉  But that could have been because we stayed up ridiculously late waiting for his speech last night. 😉

Skill has been keeping me excellent company for the past week.  After we lost the baby, Jeremy lifted his “no dogs in the bed” rule.  The new rule is that Skill has to be invited onto our bed, he isn’t allowed to sleep in our bed at night, and he has to get down if one of us is feeling crowded.  It’s been so nice to have company while I’ve been feeling so bad.  The cats are great, but they usually do their own thing for most of the day.  Skill is always with me and is always totally down with all of the lounging.

Today is 9 days past IUI #2.  In less than a week, we’ll know if it worked.  I’m ready for this cycle from hell to be over one way or another.

OHSS

1 Nov

Yep.  I’ve officially developed the dreaded Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome.

The cramps I was feeling the days after Monday’s IUI were just a precursor to yesterday’s OMG I’M DYING, SOMEONE IS STABBING ME WITH A KNIFE pain.  After a brief call to Dr. B’s office, I was told to take some tylenol, rest, and come in for an ultrasound in the morning… Talk about tough love.

Today they found lots of fluid in my abdominal cavity and enlarged ovaries.  Woo! The bad news?  There’s nothing they can do about it other than keep an eye on it for now.  The good news?  It won’t affect my ability to get pregnant this cycle.  Even worse news?  If I am pregnant, it’s going to last even longer thanks to the excess hcg that will be in my system.  At least then it will be worth it.

They’re checking my white blood cell count, just in case, and I was told to clear my schedule and stay off my feet for a while and to hydrate like crazy.

I had to stay home from class last night, so I was home for Halloween.  I hung out on the couch and watched Jeremy hand  out candy.  This is the first time we’ve ever handed out candy, so it was kind of exciting.  Until Jeremy opened the door with the bowl of candy and said, “Hey, little girls..” to 2 little girls.  It was a little creepy.  We had to have a discussion on the proper way to talk to small children without freaking their parents out. 😉  He had the hang of it by the end of the night.  He definitely made the evening humorous though.

Skilly and Bella really liked the activity.  They had never seen Trick or Treaters before.  Alice hid under the bed. 😉

10 days until testing day. :/