Saturday, February 23, 2008

If You Have Nothing Nice to Say...

...then don't say anything at all. That's what they always tell you growing up, right? Well, I've been upholding that little rule, which is why I haven't posted in a while. Really, who wants to hear me whine (and whine, and whine) about my current state? I'd hate for you all to start thinking, "That Frenchie, what a downer!" But, just so's you don't think I've fallen off the face of the earth, here's an update:

1. Germs.
It has been a real germ factory around here. Baby Boy picked something up a couple of weeks ago, which started as a mild cough and moved into big-time snot territory, and then progressed to a high fever for 3 days in a row. I noticed his fever a week ago, Thursday, when I picked him up from daycare, and could tell he was feeling rotten. I was shocked when I got home and took his temp that it was 103! Long story short, (or long?) I had to keep him home from daycare the following day, make a Dr.'s appointment and take him to work with me in the meantime. Not to mention I had 2 weddings to produce for last weekend, and I was struck by the horrible virus myself. The weekend was long and phlegmy, with BB and I both hacking and sneezing away. Luckily the doctor affirmed it was just a virus (no ear infections, bronchitis, or anything else scary) and I continued with a regimen of lots of love, and baby motrin every 6-8 hours. By this past Tuesday he was able to go back to daycare (ps all the kids in daycare are cycling through this particular cold, as well as the daycare provider) although he still has a gooey-runny nose and a bit of a cough even now. Mister has been fighting something for weeks, and was especially run down right around the time of my birthday and Valentine's day, and now has succumbed to The Virus, hacking away all through the night last night. So, we're all just plucking along here at a somewhat reduced pace.

2. Money.
This has been the hot topic around my house lately, and not a pleasant one. We have had a lot of long talks about our current situation (bad) and how we need to get out of it. Yeah. Unfortunately, we've overspent in huge amounts in the past few years: Home improvements (much needed), infertility testing (insurance covered zip), therapy for me and couple's counseling after our miscarriage, lots of overspending on vacations and various retail therapy moments to try to improve our collective moods, and finally, a very expensive (although well worth it of course) private domestic adoption. (And living out of a hotel room and eating restaurant food for 2 weeks while we were in Boise for BB's birth, and while waiting for our ICPC to come through). All of this as 2 self-employed people, which means our incomes fluctuate, and we live in one of the most expensive places on earth. (Not our actual city per se, but the Bay Area in general).

3. Despair.
With our current financial situation looking grim, and what is looking like a slow year ahead for my business (thank you, recession) there is no money, anywhere, for fertility treatments. We need to triage our situation and first, find ways to cut our costs and stop spending more than we earn, (not that we're extravagant spenders, but see #2 to understand that we now have an enormous amount of debt to pay off). Then we have to aggressively start working on paying down our debt. Right now thanks to the housing market taking a dive, we owe more on our house than it is worth, so there is no hope of refinancing or even, as a last resort, selling our home. We're fucked, people. And my eggs aren't getting any younger. By the time we have money again to do any fertility treatments, it might be too late.

4. Jealousy.
My former nanny (who happens to live directly across the street from me) is getting bigger and bigger. (I've been spending a lot of time with my curtains drawn). My friend who became miraculously pregnant after stopping ttc, at age 42 (and who then went on to complain to me about her rotten luck/bad timing/wasn't how they planned--while I was going through IUI #1--ugh) is rapidly approaching her due date. My formerly infertile friend, B., who you may recall got pregnant from her first IVF (and I'm happy for her--for reals) just had her baby, and I was sent a group email from her SIL regaling us with ALL the details of the labor and delivery and even the first breast-feeding session. My former intern who is like 17 or 18 and has no high school diploma or GED, and who's boyfriend is a total loser, just had her baby shower (thankfully, I was not invited). I see her mother sometimes around town (she works in the local deli) and she goes on and on about the baby, like her daughter being pregnant is the best thing in the world. Shall I go on? I can't escape it. I want to scream, I want to rip my eyes out, I want to do serious damage (to what, I'm not sure, but I'd really like to rip something apart).

I just generally feel like shit about myself right now. I feel/look old, I'm frumpy (hey, no cash for a trip to the hair salon!) barren!, useless, can't make enough money to save our family from this financial disaster, and I just basically feel like I suck 100% of the time. There. Sorry, that sounds so melodramatic, but that's how I'm feeling right now. Obviously, I'm depressed. I may have to reevaluate the antidepressants. They haven't worked great previously, but perhaps I should try yet another type. I don't know. I do know they are only a part of the answer, not a "magic pill."

Silver Lining.
It's hard to see one right now. But, I have my family and I love them intensely. I have this community that truly seems to care. And, I'm hoping and praying that there is a Greater Plan behind all of this. I don't know, but I am clinging to that hope right now.

So, now, are you saying, "That Frenchie, she's such a downer!"? I thought so. I am sorry. Thanks for listening.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

I Missed My Anniversary!

My Blogaversary, actually. It was February 11th! I've been blogging away for one whole year. Wowee.

p.s. Happy Valentine's Day, everyone.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

It's All Good!

Hey, thanks everyone for the supportive comments, and the Birthday wishes. I just wanted to say that I regret sounding like a miserable sad-sack in that last post. I did have a very loverly birthday, and the best part was just being able to spend the day with my family--which was exactly what I wanted.

Despite all this infertility crap, I am very aware of the many blessings in my life. And one big one is this amazing community. I've said it before, but I'll say it again: Thank YOU! (sniff, siff, I love you guys!!)

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Happy Birthday To Me...

(Note: I started writing this post on Sunday, Feb. 10th)

Sorry I've been a little quiet lately. The truth is, I've been a bit depressed after IUI #2. I have been seriously trying to stay upbeat. I have been praying a lot and counting my blessings. I've been breathing deeply and doing yoga when I can find the time. But, despite all of that, I can look at myself from the outside in, and see that I am, still, depressed. Not sleeping. No appetite. Tired all the time. Foggy brain. Can't concentrate. Snappy with the Mister. Yep, Depressed.

Now, this is nothing new, of course. I have been dealing with the blues my whole life in varying degrees. When I was 14, I lost my dad, and my whole world came crashing down on me. I stuffed up my sadness and despair for an entire year, resulting in a nervous breakdown that actually required hospitalization at age 15. That woke me up to the fact that I have to deal with my feelings. I have been managing my tendency toward depression ever since.

However, nothing prepared me for infertility and the loss of a pregnancy.

And what had helped me manage my depression in the past: counseling, antidepressants and such, had little or no effect on the grip of depression that came from this experience.

Not since seeing my father die have I felt so lost and alone and so forgotten by God.

And one thing I've learned from my early education in loss and grief, is that, despite what people tell you--time heals nothing. 22 years have passed since I lost my father, and I still live with the scars of that loss. Sure, I may not think about it every day, but I still get depressed and anxious every year around March 7th (the day he died). Even if I'm not thinking about it at all, and have no idea what the date is, I'll start getting really moody and sad and withdrawn, for what seems like no good reason. Then, eventually, I'll look at the calendar and realize what day it is. It's as if grief has its own internal clock that keeps on ticking, whether I like it or not. And despite the passage of so much time, I still miss my daddy like that 14 year old girl did all those years ago. I still miss him on special occasions like birthdays, and Christmas. I can still be brought to tears over the sound of Nat King Cole singing, Adeste Fideles. Because, Adeste Fideles was his favorite Christmas song, and because Nat King Cole's voice reminds me so much of my father's beautiful singing voice. It packs a real emotional double-whammy.

And so, that is why I am not so surprised by the way grief and sadness pop up around this infertility experience. Each February I become especially down, not only because another year passes, and I am worried about my decreasing fertility, but also because it reminds me of actually being pregnant, once, and the subsequent loss.

But then, there's the blessings February has brought. One year after we found out we were pregnant, a pregnancy that wasn't meant to be, we found out we were pregnant again, in another sort of way. We found out about Eryn, and the baby she was carrying. The baby she wanted us to parent.

Bittersweet. That's what February is for me now. Just as March 7th will always be bittersweet. My dad died, but it is also my dear niece's birthday.

But as depression goes, things have taken a turn for the better, lately. I've been doing much better, generally speaking. We've been so blessed with Baby Boy. I've been able to recognize all the good things that are in my life. I've been coming out of the fog. I've even felt genuinely happy, even if only for moments at a time. I am able to feel happiness, recognize it, and be thankful for it. I've been focusing on being a good mom, and a better wife. It is though I've been returning to life after a 3 year coma.


I was just hoping beyond hope that IUI's would be our lucky break, and that I wouldn't have to "celebrate" another "barren" birthday. I hoped, greedily, that this birthday, I'd be celebrating again--that I'd have it all.

So, in the past couple of weeks since my negative, I have been dreading this upcoming birthday. Another year older, another year that I have managed to NOT get pregnant. Another year marking yet more decreased potential fertility.

When I woke up this morning, I felt a tug of sadness when I realized it was my birthday. But, I didn't want today to be a sad day. I told myself there was nothing I can do about it. Get up, and enjoy the day.

And, I was greeted by the best birthday present I could ask for. My son smiling and reaching out for me as soon as he saw me. All he wants these days is his Mommy. I can't tell you how much it makes my heart leap around in my chest when he reaches out for me like that.

My husband had already gotten up with the Baby, and was preparing breakfast for me. Pancakes. Yum. And there were gifts. The complete second season of Big Love, and the new Crowded House CD, which I've been wanting for ages. (Yes, I'm a dork).

And, then there was the card from Mister, in which he wrote:

I'll do anything and everything in my power to make your dreams come true. Happy Birthday! Love, Mister

This of course, made me start to cry, because I know what he meant. He meant that even though we can't afford treatment right now, especially IVF, he is going to work hard to make it a reality. It means that even though he'd be happy enough to adopt again and let all this madness go, he loves me so much that MY dream of being pregnant and having a baby is HIS dream, too. It means he is holding my dream in his heart along with his own.

Happy Birthday to me. I love you, Mister.