Monday, April 30, 2007

Insensitive Infertiles?

This post over at Stirrup Queens about "Secondary Fertility" got me thinking about a lot of things in my life. As I was pondering those who struggle with infertility the first time around and get so lucky the second time around...the mail arrived. In the mail this morning was a birth announcement from a girl I have known through the WebMD boards for many years. I knew she'd had her baby - I get an Email every time she updates her page so I know to go check it if I can handle it. This morning, though...I began to wonder.

Those of us who live in the Land of IF have a (usually) unspoken set of rules that we live by. Things we do and do not say to those who don't live here, and even to others that do. The way we behave towards those lucky enough to escape, and those who seem doomed to live here forever. Some, like me, just hang around trying to help...even though we don't really live here anymore, because we can't seem to find the door to leave. I began to those codes apply once you do leave? Do you suddenly forget that others are still sensitive? Do you have a magical form of amnesia that allows you to blank all the heartbreak that you experienced at the hands of others? If so, can I get some of that?! :)

I am not terribly upset at the birth announcement. A few months ago it would have had me in tears, but I'm alright. I think I've come to terms with not having children - or at least am in serious denial and justification mode. But how many other girls that we know received this in the past week? How many of them just got their 80th BFN or got news that their tubes are blocked or their totsicles didn't survive the thaw?

At what point do infertiles have to learn to "suck it up" and not let it bother them anymore? Why do we think we have the right to be so very sensitive about our reproductive state? Why do we all react so differently to it? (Some hide the problems, some wear it as a badge, some talk to complete strangers about it all the me!) Why do we expect the rest of the world to tip-toe around us because we've been told we can't have what they can? If that were the case, we would not eat chocolate in front of diabetics because the diabetic would have the right to cry at us for pushing it in their face. There are so many fine lines and double-standards to everything. It makes me wonder how we all survive, how our families stay in tact, how we keep our friends. I'm afraid I don't have any answers to any of my questions, but they're just food for thought.

Hello to everyone still reading me. I promise I haven't fallen off the face of the earth. It's "Dead Week" this week, finals are next week, the boss is on vacation for a week after that. Then it's SUMMER BREAK. No classes for 3 whole months. There's a lot going on in my life - I'm just not sure how much of it I'm comfortable sharing here. I don't want to run anyone away, and I sure as hell don't want to be judged for my choices in life...good or bad. I'm hoping to get back to writing this summer, but there isn't a lot that seems like it would be interesting to all of you. :) Thanks for stopping by - have a GREAT week!

Sunday, April 15, 2007


I was directed to Snickollet's blog from Adrienne over at Max's Mommy. There was a beautiful memorial candle on her page and I wanted to know why. I went to Snick's site...and read her news. I then proceeded to read all of her posts on the story of her and GH and all they've been through as they've fought his cancer. By the end I was weeping for them. The Stirrup Queens directed me over to Emmie's blog, where she had made a candle for us to post. Thanks Emmie!

So, in memorium of GH and his battle, I am posting this. Maybe it can make someone's day a little brighter.

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Thursday, April 12, 2007

Free Treatment?

So I think I mentioned that MIL got her disability and is absolutely stoked. I think I may have also mentioned that they are going to be moving out in a year. If I didn't, I just did. :) We may actually be selling the house THIS summer if we can get all the fixing up done in time - we'll see what happens.

At any rate, we were talking with MIL last night about moving, and the stuff she's bought lately, and how happy she is that she's got her own checking/savings accounts again and stuff. Out of what was, to me, the blue she says "I've been thinking. If this isn't too out of line for me to do this, I'd like to set some money aside in a separate fund for you two to try another treatment."

Slam to the gut #1.

My dear and loving husband says "Jen? This is your decision to make."

Thanks hunny...appreciate you buffering me there. You know how I feel about treatments these days.

I was facing the computer, MIL in the doorway behind and to my right, Aaron in the rocking chair behind and to my left. I tipped my head back and said (as calmly as I could) "I really appreciate that. I don't think we're going to be doing anymore treatments in the near future. I want to graduate school first, which is another 3 years from now, and I'm not even sure I want to DO any treatments. One was enough. Besides which, next time they want me to do stims along with the clomid. I don't want to do stims. I'm not a fan of needles, I've seen the bruising that it leads to. I don't like the idea of all those drugs in my system. If you thought I was bad on the clomid...stims just makes it worse. It's also a lot to pin on a cycle. A lot of heartbreak that I'm not sure I can do anymore. This journey of ours has really taken a toll on me - I'm much more bitter and jaded than I might otherwise be. I don't even recognize myself anymore. So...thank you for the offer, but it probably won't be used."

My once again dear, loving, supportive husband says "Well, Jen, you know they won't MAKE you do stims if you don't want to." SHUT UP SHUT UP SHUT UP YOU AREN'T HELPING! My MIL responds with "You would have changed anyways - that's what life does. If the result at the end is your own biological child, isn't it worth it?"

Ouch. Slam to the gut #2.

To which I again tried to calmly respond "No. If I lose myself in the process, it's not worth it. I want a child, yes, but if I resent that child because of everything I went through in order to have's not worth it." (someone sorta made that point in a comment...thank you)

MIL then said "Well, I think you'll make great parents. And you can't blame me for wanting a grandbaby."

SCORE! Three slams. Thanks, MIL, for making me feel like I'm your only hope. Even though you have a daughter who can give you babies. Even though we could adopt. Even though you have two step-grandsons and 3 step-granddaughters.

I hashed it out with Aaron. He understands that I don't think I can do this. The gesture is nice, but it isn't about the money...something too many don't seem to understand. Wilma is beginning to get it, after our long talk. MIL just...doesn't. No matter how many times I try to explain that it isn't the money - I could put it on a card if it were THAT important still. It isn't the fear that I won't be a good parent - I've raised several happy kitties as humans, thank you very much. It's the heartache and the stress and the drugs. I never thought I'd have to go through treatments - none of us ever do, I suppose. I have always been adamant about IVF, though. IUI isn't so severe, and so I was okay with it. I made myself be ok with the clomid. I don't think I can make myself be ok with the stims.

Part of me thinks I'm crazy for not jumping on this train. Some of you will probably think I'm crazy too. It's not every day that someone offers to pay for a treatment. I think all of us would love to have a free treatment, just once. Problem is...I don't want it.

Friday, April 06, 2007

Hello? Hello?? *TAP**TAP*

It appears that some of you are still checking in on me. I apologize for it being almost a whole freaking month since I last blogged. Life has been slow, and yet very very busy. I haven't had a whole lot going on besides school and work, and nothing special going on in either place...all of which means I don't have a lot to say. But tonight...well, tonight God decided to let me know He still has a sense of humor and I'm still the butt of his jokes. So I decided to swing by and update anyone who is still lurking around for me.

Last weekend, Aaron and I went away for the whole weekend. It was the end of spring break and we just needed some time away from everyone and every thing. We went to McCall, Idaho and stayed at The Whitetail Club. It's a 5 star place - full resort. We've never been to a place that nice and I'd love to go back over the summer. It was really relaxing! On the way there, we passed a white horse. So what? you ask. Well, my grandmother taught me a ritual that you do any time you pass a white horse. It goes "Spit, Spot, white horse. Money before the week is out!" and is accompanied by some hand movements. I, out of habit, did this when we passed it. It's always worked for dad and Nan, some day it's bound to work for me...right? Today it did. I received a check in the mail from our home mortgage company because we apparently overpaid our escrow. The amount? $11 shy of what we spent on our trip. :) Way cool!

Two days ago my sister in law approached me with a "special request". She's gotten into some financial trouble thanks to a roommie who lied to the landlords and needs to move back home for a bit to get on her feet again. I talked to Aaron about it and he said it was ok. She's going to be paying us rent again, and I don't have to give up my coveted office space. She's going to be sleeping in the 3rd bedroom, on the spare bed we have in there. With the cats. And the cat box. I feel so evil for feeling such glee at this. She's developed an allergy to the cats since she went to college and my monster kitty absolutely LOVES my SIL. :) I know he'll be sleeping on her face, keeping her awake with his incessant purring. Today she asked to borrow $200 - and she'll pay us back as she pays us rent. Being the supportive people we are, and me remembering what it was like trying to get up on my own feet not so long ago, we agreed. I hope this doesn't bite me in the ass.

Today, two very important things happened. These are the things that made me remember that God (or karma, take your pick) hasn't forgotten me. The first is that my MIL got her lump sum payment for her disability. She's been trying to get on disability for 3 years...she finally got approved (bench decision) last month. She hasn't even gotten her first monthly check yet, but got the lump sum. This means she and my FIL can get all caught up on their debt, get all of it paid off, pay their other bills on time. And move out. You heard me. My MIL informed me tonight that over dinner, she and FIL discussed moving out in a year. They want to give us time to get caught up on our bills *snicker* *snort* and figure out what we're going to do. Do? Sell the damn place, of course. We can do nothing less, because we can't afford the payments without them here. PANIC MODE ALERT! There is a TON of work that we need to do. Replace all the flooring in every room and paint all the walls with KILZ and new paint. It's going to cost us a little over $2k because we're willing to pay someone to lay the flooring for us. With me in school full time, working part time, and Aaron working full time...we don't have time for this. It's worth it to pay for my sanity. It looks like we're going to be getting started on this very soon, so we can do it little by little. It all has to go on a credit card.

The second thing is that Aaron's oldest nephew called tonight. He's getting married in July - we've known this since last year. He's 19 years old, his fiancee is about the same age I think. Tonight he called to tell us...she's pregnant. I am not sure what to do with this. I swear by all that is holy that once again, just as I get used to the idea that we're better off without kids and I'm going to survive and I'm ok with my friends being pregnant...that someone else comes along to shoot me. How stupid can people be? Kids KNOW that if you don't use protection you run the risk of getting pregnant. Did he think that just because Uncle Aaron's boys don't work, his wouldn't either? Aaron is the only male in his family with this issue - he's also the only one with spherocytosis. Besides his uncle John and we can't prove anything there because he also had the measles, which make you sterile. I'm not happy for our nephew or his fiancee. I think it was stupid of them, and I'm rather upset with karma at the moment. I ARE NOT AMUSED!

I keep hoping we'll win some major money somewhere so I can adopt a child or something. I've given up on getting pregnant - it's just not going to happen and I am not willing to go through IVF. Never have been, from the very start. Kudos to those who do/are, it's just not for us. Outsiders don't get this, and I've given up explaining it to them. Wilma's SIL has gotten them to join her business, selling telecommunications. The SIL knows our issues - hell, everyone knows by this point. We went over to Wilma's house last night and were talking about the business. The SIL says "There is this couple I met, they live here. They tried and tried to get pregnant and couldn't...same boat you were in. They started working this business and making money. She was able to write a check for $22K and go through IVF and now her son will be a year old. When I heard this story I immediately thought of you. You could do this business, have the treatments and not have any debt." I swear...I almost slapped her. Aaron just looked at me and I looked at him, and I knew he understood. That's all it took to rescue her from me.

They don't get it. They'll never understand. I can say "I don't want to do this anymore. I can't. I don't want to have a child so much that it ruins me. I don't recognize myself anymore and it makes me sad. I want to be ME again." And they still don't get it - they think I'm hiding behind a wall, deflecting the pain. I'm not. I'm serious. I simply can't do this to myself or to Aaron anymore. It's not fair. What right does IF have to take away our selves?

Enough rambling for tonight. I hate long posts because I get bored by the end, and I hate writing them for the same reason. I guess that's what I get for not posting for a month. I forgot that this a good place to just think. If you're still here, still reading...thanks! And go check out my friends' blogs. Some need cheers, some need support, some will make you giggle - but go see them!