On My Own Terms


This weekend we officially moved into our new condo. It feels like it’s been a long time coming, and taken a lot of blood, sweat and tears. J’s parents came on Saturday to help us start moving things from our previous home, on the second floor, to our new home on the fourth, and top, floor. You’d think it’d be a pretty easy move, only 2 floors up, but you still have to pack all of your things to get them from point A to point B. We didn’t need a lot of help, since our tenants don’t take possession of our old unit until Nov. 15, but we did need some assistance with larger items, and some of the cleaning.

We went appliance shopping Saturday morning, and J’s mom had already arrived just before we headed out. She was going to help finish cleaning our new unit so it was ready to bring all of our belongings up. We left for a few hours, and while we were out J’s dad and brother arrived as well and sent J a text to ask what they could start moving. I told J I’d really prefer if they waited for us to come home before they started moving anything, as I’d rather be there to supervise since the majority of our house was not packed and I didn’t really want them just chucking stuff in boxes.

When we got home they were just hanging out waiting for us, and wanted to get going as soon as we walked in the door. So, we immediately started disassembling things, packing items away and loading already packed boxes onto a cart to be taken upstairs. There were 5 of us all together, including J and myself, and I felt overwhelmed with the magnitude of the task at hand. Boxes started leaving, most of the contents of our spare room was quickly whisked upstairs. Our mattress was moved upstairs, so I began the task of taking apart our bed so the pieces could be moved. I saw my father in law leave with an armload of coats from our spare room closet, things I hadn’t yet packed were being thrown into boxes and moved upstairs.

Anxiety was creeping up my neck as I noticed an empty front closet, a cartload of a mishmash of items. J came in from having just taken our massive couch upstairs, to ask me where my keys were, when he saw me just standing in chaos with a screwdriver in my hand, looking lost. He asked me what was wrong, and it all became too much. I was freaking out, I told him, I didn’t know where my keys were because I didn’t know where my coat was. Things were just getting out of hand. I felt bad that I wanted everyone to stop moving things, because I knew they were just trying to help, but I needed to sort through my own things, pack them the way I wanted, so I knew what was what, and not be rushed. I told J that I appreciated everyone helping, but I would prefer they help with the big things and leave the smaller stuff to us.

J went off to tell his dad to slow down, to let us pack things before they got taken upstairs, and the flurry of motion slowed down. Later, J’s dad and I rode the elevator up with a load of things, and he apologized for getting ahead of himself but I felt as though he thought I was being a little unreasonable, and he just trying to be helpful. J’s family helped move the rest of our large items, and then J’s dad asked if they were needed any further. We told them no, thank you, but we should be able to manage the rest and they excused themselves to leave.

J and I spent the rest of the evening carefully and orderly packing, and unpacking things. We organized the kitchen to our liking, spent time deciding what should go where. Cleaning things as we went along and making decisions on the layout of our new home. It felt good, just him and I working together.

Earlier in the day when I saw J’s dad moving a load of coats out of our spare room, I also spied a little bib in the pile. A bib that I bought in May of 2012, just before we started trying for a baby. At the time that I bought it, I was buying other items for my best friend who was about to have her first child. I saw the bib which said “Daddy’s Little Monster” and I had to get it. J calls our dogs his little monsters, and it just felt fitting, and exciting for the new chapter of our lives that we were about to begin. After so much time has passed, it just hurts seeing that bib hanging in the closet. The closet in the room that was meant to be for our baby, instead filled with old coats, luggage and other odds and ends we haven’t had to find another home for.

I have fertility related products strewn all throughout our house. Estrogen, antibiotics and prenatals in the spare bathroom; a multitude of vitamins and minerals in the cupboard above the stove, ovulation predictor sticks under the sink; and a pregnancy book in my night stand. I hastily tucked items away as J’s parents were pulling open closets and drawers.

It felt like an invasion of privacy all over again. Infertility has taken so much. I can’t bear to look at the bib in my spare room closet, I want to throw out the pregnancy book in my nightstand (yet can’t for the hope that I may need it). I want to quit with the meds, I don’t want to have multiple doctors probe me multiple times, to be able to impregnate me without my husband even being present.

When first trying to conceive, you feel as though it is on your terms. You decide when to throw out the birth control, because a spring baby would suit you, you finally paid off the student loans, you bought the big house, you scored the big promotion. And so you try, with excitement each month, until the excitement starts to wane, frustration takes its place and frustration gives way to worry.

As I am about to start the meds this week for my second attempt at an FET, I have hope that some of it may still be on my own terms. Let the meds do their job, and let us please get to transfer before Christmas.


And The Hits Just Keep On Coming


Ah Facebook, my worst frenemy. I know I should really just deactivate it because it causes me more heartache than anything, but I do keep up with some friends, and people message me on there rather than email or text. I know they would find another way if I suddenly disappeared, but I am addicted.

Tuesday my cousin’s wife had their twin boys approximately 7 weeks early, so of course Facebook was all a-buzz about that. Then my Aunt sent out an email to the family officially announcing it, with a couple of photos of the teeny little boys. Yesterday two brand new baby photos (one of a set of twins, and one of a singleton) showed up in my news feed, and they belonged to people I don’t even know. Two different friends of mine had commented or liked one of their friends photos, and you know how it does that thing where stuff your friends interact with show up in your news feed. Gawd, I wish it didn’t do that.

*Update: another friend announced a pregnancy on Facebook…of twins! This will be the third set of twins for people I know, over the course of a year. WTF?!

Today a friend of mine, that I don’t see very often (because him and his wife live in the US), posted a throwback thursday photo. It was the two of them dressed up as Bleeker and Juno from Halloween back in 2008, and captioned with “foreshadowing for 2014” as their subtle pregnancy announcement. Someone had wished him a Happy to-be Father’s day, but no one else really commented, and he didn’t really respond so I sort of just ignored it for the time being, though it obviously ignited my suspicions.

Someone commented on the photo that they should wear the same costumes this year, because it is so funny when a pregnant woman dress up as a pregnant person (har-dee-har-har). He commented back that it might be too late by Halloween. I immediately start counting on my fingers…she is probably about 4.5 – 5 months along already. I am surprised, and not, that they hadn’t shared yet. Her husband loves social media and is constantly posting links, and pictures, ect. But, they are fairly private people about their personal business.

It shouldn’t have been such an unexpected shock to me, they got married 18 months after us, bought a cute little fixer upper house last year, got a dog; a baby was the next “logical step”. But I am still surprised. They live their lives like J and I, doing what they want, enjoying their relative freedom. I sort of expected them to carry on their merry child-free lives for a few more years. I do forget, though, they are in their mid 30’s and don’t we all know time is off the essence?

His wife was actually my roommate when her and I were living abroad. I was 18, and it was my first time overseas, and my first time being on my own. So her and I formed a fast friendship, being that we were both in a sea of unknown, together. We’ve kept in touch over the years, her and her then-fiance came to Canada for our wedding reception held here (since our actual wedding was in Jamaica). We went to their wedding the following fall, and visited them again last May. We don’t keep in close contact, but I would consider her a treasured friend.

I’m not offended that they didn’t tell us separately (we’re not that close), but for some reason this announcement has bothered me a lot. Maybe because in them, I see myself and J. Although fundamentally, we are not very similar couples, I relate us to them. For once I don’t feel an ounce of jealousy (ok, maybe a smidge) but they are the sweetest people, and if anyone truly “deserves” a baby, it is them. Not because they had to struggle for it (though I don’t know that), but because they are really awesome people. If only that’s what really mattered in procreation, right?

I’ve been having a lot of ups and downs this week, and I suppose it is not hard to see why. I am not an outwardly emotional person, so even though I have been feeling very anxious lately, one would never know it by my demeanor. I hesitate to say I’m having a down week, because it hasn’t been all down. It has been bumpy. I am more intuitive with my feelings and emotions lately, which leads me to try to mold them.

When I feel myself getting upset, or anxious, I try to calm myself by working with my destressing techniques. And a lot of the times it works, for a little while at least. But, because I am able to observe my feelings, rein them in, and bounce back, it leads to a lot of yo-yo-ing. I suppose this is the road to being more even. First it was anxiety, and sadness most of the time, now it is more unstable ups and downs, but balanced at the same time (if that makes any sense).

I am 19 days away from CD1. We did our serology labs last week, J did his updated SA today (I am hoping Dr. M calls to give us the results, even though at this point by doing ICSI it doesn’t entirely matter). There is a stronger underlying nervousness for me. I haven’t had as much of an appetite lately, and I’ve been getting stomach aches more often. A sign I am familiar with when I am under a lot of stress. I spoke to our clinic today to clear a few things up, questions I had, based on the info they had sent. I’m just trying to manage it all, and not let my emotions get out of hand before we even hit the starting gate.

I honestly think the waiting to begin might cause more anxiety than the actual stimming will. Of course there will be new and different stresses, plus the retrieval, number of eggs, fertilization and transfer will be worries of their own. But for now, I am standing in the warm up area, with nowhere to go, just psyching myself out.

I’ll leave you with this thought, that I read on The Journal the other week, in an article by Trevor O’Sullivan;

“To those who understand childlessness an explanation is not needed, and to those who don’t understand it an explanation is not possible.”

He also cited a fantastic quote from Laura Bush, in her book Spoken from the Heart;

“The English language lacks the words to mourn an absence. For the loss of a parent, grandparent, spouse, child or friend, we have all manner of words and phrases, some helpful some not. Still we are conditioned to say something, even if it is only “I’m sorry for your loss.” But for an absence, for someone who was never there at all, we are wordless to capture that particular emptiness. For those who deeply want children and are denied them, those missing babies hover like silent ephemeral shadows over their lives. Who can describe the feel of a tiny hand that is never held?”