Monday, December 13, 2010

Gratitude revisited

Has anyone ever told you to think positive....things will happen for you.   I have heard this quite a lot lately and my whole life come to think of it.   In church this Sunday the priest even talked about giving thanks for what you do have in your life.
   I like this message.  Power of Attraction they call it.  Positive thoughts, positive things will come.
While I am an optimist most of the time, I am also a realist.  But today I just have to say I am extremely grateful.
  I visited a friend of my in the hospital today.  She is young and otherwise healthy, but she has serious issues with her kidneys.  Life threatening issues.  And she is looks and acts as if nothing is happening.
So going to visit her in the hospital was a no brain er.  I wanted to be there for her.  I wanted to help.  But it wasn't until I left the hospital on my way home that I started to get uneasy.  Scared really.  Being in the hospital seeing her so vulnerable reminded me of when I was sick.  It reminded me of the feeling that I had to be in the hospital and could not leave.  As I left her alone there in that hospital room I was sad that she had to be alone with all these strange people.  It's crazy how our health system works.
So anyways on my drive home I found myself reciting the "Our Father" over and over and seriously thanking God and Mary and all the angels in heaven for my health.  Here I think about not being able to have a child "naturally"  but God has given me the gift of health.   I can run, jump, eat, drink, laugh, speak, cry, swim, clean, and serve others.  What blessings I have.   And I am full of gratefulness.

Friday, October 1, 2010

East Coast West Coast

  We went to my cousin's wedding this past weekend and it was on the East Coast.   It was beautiful.  New Hampshire. Atlantic Ocean.  Country club, tent, open bar, harvest moon.  Really a magical night.  It was so amazing because my cousin has been through sooo much in his life.  He lost his dad, my uncle, when he was only 10 or so to suicide.  I love my uncle and my aunt so much, and I miss my uncle a lot.  He is my dad's brother.  During the mass the priest talked about how in life we have all these expectations.  He said the moment you two were born your parents looked at you, held you, and those expectations were so fresh.  They expected to hold you, for you to cry, for you to learn and grow.  ( I about lost it because all I could think about was my aunt and how she probably thought of her husband who is now gone.)
Anyways.  It was magical.  My aunt was beaming all night long.  My aunt now has a fiance who is AMAZING!  He is so sweet and loves her as she deserves to be loved and treated.  So after all these years.  After everything was basically torn from my cousin and Aunt's life, there is beauty again and hope.  We could never have predicted how things would turn out with them.  And it's not over for sure.  But it was so beautiful.  So beautiful.  I left the East coast after that wedding with a sense of hope.  A sense of hope that all things that happen to us do not define us.  It's how we persevere and keep on living and adding to the good in life that matters.
   So as I flew across the country back to the West coast.  I also realized that I love the pacific ocean.  Well I love any ocean, but particularly the pacific.  I love that the sun sets in the West.  That the surf is good here, that my home is here, and mostly that for a moment in time all is how it should be in the world.  For that I am extremely grateful to God.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

What to do next

We all come to these times in our lives where we must decide what to do next.   What is the best decision.  How will we pull through.  Some of us reach this crossroad frequently.  Others not so much.  But what if you literally can not move forward?  What if you stay at the crossroad forever?  Is that even an option?  I surely hope not.  
    So many days I wake up and think....what if today God decided to bless us with a child as a surprise.  What if today I don't get my period because I am pregnant and not because I am in menopause.  Would that heal all our scars.  Would that make my relationship with my husband all better?  I don't know.  I don't know because it has never happened to us.  Will it ever?
Will I ever feel like I am a good wife because I am the mother my husband always dreamed I would be.  Will I ever see my husband be the father I have dreamed him to be.  Will we ever be the parents we both envisioned when we committed till death do we part.  
    The hardest part is when do you finally decide that the pain of getting over infertility is less than the pain of passing on your genes, carrying a baby, and being with that child from day one.
How do I pick the next road?  

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Whooping Cough

Guess what.... I have whooping cough.  This old school, should not exist, and horrible infection.  It's been almost 3 weeks!  I could not breath for a while and woke up 4 times a night gasping for air.  UGH!  NOT FUN!
   But today I woke up and realized I slept through the night and didn't wake up from coughing.  AMAZING!  Being sick like that makes me remember when I was really really ill.  When I had cancer and it broke me down to tears just to get up in the morning.  When I could barely walk to the bathroom without passing out.  When I thought I was celebrating my last birthday.   Being sick does that to makes me remember that hard time I went through.  Fighting for my life back then was even harder than infertility.  I never thought I would say that, because infertility feels like it's the worst thing that has ever happened to me.  However when I am sick again, I remember.....I could not have existed today because of cancer.  I am still here despite my infertility.  That's a big deal for me.  A big realization.
    When I started this blog I remembered the plea bargains I used to make with God and my family to let me live.  To let me survive cancer.  And I did!  Not because of plea bargaining, but because there is some purpose for me to still be here.  For a while I always thought my purpose was to give birth to a child and pass on my husband and my genes.  But it's not.  It's to adopt.  It's to be a loving wife, daughter, aunt, sister, friend, cousin, coworker, and one day mother.  I know we will have a family through adoption when it is the right time for us.  I will always have hope that one of my so called non existent eggs will be fertilized, but I will not let it rule my life anymore.  I have love to give others, and I need to share my love.  That's it.  So thanks nasty whooping cough for reminding me.  I needed that.  (although I could do without the lack of oxygen)

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

My lessons from a donor egg journey.

Since my last square 1 post much has happened.  Well "much" in my world is really not
that much.  So we didn't even get to the retrieval phase of my sis in law donating her eggs to
us because of medical reasons.  Ok fine.  So then I realized I must get pregnant, I must give my
amazing husband who I have known and loved since high school a child.  I must must must get
pregnant.  (I am sure you all here know that musty feeling).
Well therefore against the very fiber of my being we found a donor egg agency, met with the
agency, advertised for a donor with our requirements, found a donor, signed a contract, paid bunches of
dolla bills.... got an ultrasound to check my lining and bam:  my doctor says I have a follicle on my ovary.
I thought nothing of it, but my husband pushes me to ask the doctor more about this little follie.
So re doc suggests we do a stimulation cycle.  Why not... it can't hurt and we have never tried it.

Well I will tell you why not.  Because when you have been told for 9 years that you will never have your own biological child and when you have moved on to donor egg b/c it's your last option for carrying on your husbands genes.... you kind of bury, mourn, and forget about that dream of having a child with you husband.   So just as we think it's in bad form to dig up a grave, I did not want to dig up that nice plot of land where I had buried my dream of passing on my genes.  Flowers were growing on it, the grass was lush.

Alas, we tried it.  We did the cycle, and it didn't work.  The follicle is long gone which was expected in my mind.

The funny thing is that is not the hard part.  The hard part is there is some synapse in my brain that keeps pushing me to not give up.  Some loose wire up there that still thinks I will get pregnant naturally, and without the help of western medicine.  It's crazy I know, logically I know.  But I can't shake it.  I really really want to shake it, but it keeps haunting me.  Like the other week I woke up from a dream that I took a pregnancy test and it was positive.  It was the most real feeling I have ever experienced and I even took a pregnancy test that day which turned out negative.   I don't know.  Where do we start saying to ourselves enough already.  When do our hopes become obsessions.  I don't want to send myself to the loony bin, but I truly feel our bodies tell us things and we have to listen.

So here is what I have learned from this last western medicine attempt to have a child...
I realize I am done using reproductive endocrinologist.  I am done getting vaginal ultrasounds and pumping my body with synthetic drugs.  I am ready to feel whole again and let nature take it's course.
I have listened to my body and the intense urge I feel to not do donor egg.  I thought it would be the right option for us,  but after some work with a healer and deep introspection I realize it is not a good option.   I don't disagree with it in any way, it's just my body said no, and I listened.

So here I go.  Starting on a new leaf of truly sinking into what my body wants and listening.  Not just in way of having a family either.  Everything.  I am here to listen.

Monday, May 10, 2010

To Do List

Anyone else out there feel like they have a never ending to do list in regards to
trying to start a family?
Look into this support group....look into this doctor.... find this place that does amazing
acupuncture or craniosacral work.  I am definitely feeling bogged down by all the possible
to do's I can think of that might work for me.  And the money flying out the window.
I mean.  It's overwhelming.  Has anyone spent a lot of money at it seems for nought?
I am determined to not be so bitter in the near future.  It's just something I had to get off
my chest.    Now I have to go make a to do list.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

WHAT if...

What if I am 65 and look back and regret all the time I wasted on trying to get pregnant or
make a decision about donor egg or adoption.

Seriously, what if?  At this current rate I don't think it is out of the realm of possibility.
How can it be that 6 years have already come and gone and I am still not sure what to
do next?  I used to think I was going to be that person who adopted and never looked back.
Or better yet....the person who didn't care about having a family and just rolled with
the punches.  No problem.  Just become a heart surgeon or something.
Absorb yourself in a rewarding career.  Cure cancer.  Do something amazing with your
child free life.
Well guess what....I haven't adopted and I am in the same job and not much is happening.
Sometimes I find myself searching the internet for answers that are like a needle in a haystack.
What about this herb, this doc, this program.  I score the internet in search for one more story that will lead me to the answer to end my infertility.  As if cyberspace was Buddha or something.

What if I am 95 and sitting on my front porch next to my husband smiling and drinking lemonade on a hot summer day?
Well....that would be a pretty damn good day!

Check it out, learn, understand, realize, and empathize.
 a basic understanding of infertility: 
 the background of National Infertility Awareness Week (NIAW):*
 the original “what if” list:

Friday, April 9, 2010

"Let's start out at the very beginning...a very nice place to start...."

"When you sing you begin with doe, rae, me". When you dream you dream
of growing up, marrying, and having a baa, aa, by. Well I did anyways.
Dolls, babysitting, and nurturing pretty much sums up my childhood. Which actually is quite nice. I know I was blessed to have a loving upbringing. I am the youngest child in a large family. Without going into too much detail I found joy and self esteem in helping others care for their kids. I was a camp counselor, a teacher, and finally a wife. All seemed quite whimsical in a way.
I married my high school sweetheart. (Awwweeeee) His name is Brian.
So here goes..........
Flash forward to 1999. Sophomore year in college. I am diagnosed with advanced bone cancer.
I go through several rounds of chemo, radiation, and a stem cell transplant. My periods stop after the second round of chemo. I ask and plea (here starts my first plea bargaining) with God to live.  I tell God that if he lets me live I will do great things.  I will never complain about being fat again.  I will help the world be a better place.  Anything.  I just wasn't ready to die.   Oh and this is totally a side note God....but can you preserve my fertility too?
That was my plea.  I asked my nurse oncologist if I could please please save my eggs.  Anything.  She said no time.  Oh crap.  That's serious.  Ok.  No time.  I asked my radiation oncologist if the radiation to my pelvis will affect my fertility.  Probably not she said, but you never know.  Ok I said. (It's not like I could say no to my treatment.  It was saving my life.)  So I bought a fertility god bracelet from a store and wore it everyday in radiation in hopes that by some miracle the radiation would avoid my ovaries and I would somehow not become infertile.
Alas,  9 years in remission my prayers have been answered...I am alive!!!  Oh and add this side note...infertile, childless, barren, and all those words that come with it.
    Just so you know I am extremely grateful to be alive.  Grateful to God, to my docs and nurses, to my family and friends.  Grateful to be living each day and helping others as I promised.  I now am a nurse.
I decided to start this blog because some days I forget how blessed I am to be alive and I get stuck in a rut of....PUFFY EYES and Plea Bargains again.  But this time for the child I always dreamed of having. So here I am blogging.  Thanks for listening.