Archive for May, 2010

Published by PaintingChef on 19 May 2010

I want. I choose. I am.

I’m not even that surprised. I’ve never been a pessimistic person, I can Pollyanna the shit out of a situation as long as my in-laws aren’t involved. But despite all the rainbows and unicorns that I’ve tried to blow up my own ass, I think things are… not good. My uterus? She is broken. I have a busted uterus and punk ass ovaries and they are just not getting with the program. They come so very close to cooperating and then they just… take a turn for the bad.

But even though the busted uterus and punk ass ovaries are the ones with the actual problems, it’s my heart that can’t take anymore right now. I have to stop. I have to step back. I can’t do this anymore right now. Every month, the hope and the promise that THIS TIME could be it, THIS TIME will be different. And then the grief at the end. Month after month after month. A fresh wound that never fully heals before it is ripped open yet again with a new loss.

I’m losing my ability to smile and to laugh. Every day I have a harder time separating this struggle from the rest of my life. There are so many things to smile about every single day. I have so much in my life. I’m a damn lucky girl and I know it. But its starting to get harder and harder to see all those things. Every time I look at the sky, I see a little less sun and a few more clouds. Every morning, it’s a little harder to get out of bed. Every afternoon it takes a little more strength to resist crawling back into bed and crying for an hour.

And that’s how I know it is time. Time to stop for a while. It’s time for me to remember who I was BEFORE all of this. I need to rediscover the girl who was fun and funny and loved her life. I need to get moving, I need to have the energy to be active. I need to get back to long afternoons over a bottle of wine with my husband. I want to reacquaint myself with the artist that lives inside me. I want to not worry about what time we have to be home because I have a shot that I have to take. I want to look at rooms in our house and not see an unused nursery; I want to not preface every sentence with “when we have kids” or “once this is a nursery”. I want to be done talking about my uterus and my ovaries on message boards on the internet. I want to purge my vocabulary of words like follicles, trigger shot, stimming, estradiol and IUI.

I started this leg of the journey with an open mind and an optimistic heart. I never imagined that it would end like this. But for now? This is what’s best for me. At some point I lost myself to the battle and I can’t be a good mother like this. I need joy back in my heart and the fire of loving life back in my soul. I want to be a mother who inspires her children to be passionate about life and the world. I want to teach by example, the overwhelming desire to drink it all in and savor every second of every day; I want to be a mother who can’t resist grabbing her child’s hand and diving in head first to everything that the world has to offer. I want them to not be able to resist dancing in the rain or the beauty of a thunderstorm from a covered porch. I want them to savor the music of hysterical, uncontrolled laughter or the exhaustion at the end of a day spent outside in beautiful sunshine.

But I lost all those things in me. And until I get them back, I can’t be the kind of mother my children will deserve. So, in the spirit of Kelly Taylor (SEE! The 90210 references! They have been LACKING!!) I choose me. I choose my own personal rehabilitation. I choose to restore the things I’ve lost in my own soul and spirit before I try to pass them on to someone else. I choose to rededicate my life to living by doing, not watching. I choose to say YES when I am weary, I choose to try instead of being scared, I choose adventure over comfort, new experiences over the familiar, outdoors instead of indoors, friends instead of the solitude to which I’ve grown so accustomed.

It will be back. I’ll have to come back to the treatments eventually. There is no magic pill and there are no miraculous cures. I’ll still be infertile. But I’ll be ME again. And that bitch would make a damn fine mother. I just need to find her, dust her off and remind her why she kicks so much ass. Because I’ve missed her.

Published by PaintingChef on 14 May 2010

Tom Petty LOVES Chili Fries… did you know that?

The waiting is the hardest part
Everyday you see one more card
You take it on faith; you take it to the heart
The waiting is the hardest part.

~Tom Petty, “The Waiting”

Tom Petty wasn’t kidding. The waiting is the hardest part. When you are actually “in process” with fertility treatments there are things to do every day. Shots, ultrasounds, doctors appointments, couches to lay on, cakes to bake, fits to throw, arguments to start… oh… there I go again, getting carried away.

But once you hit the window known fondly as the dreaded “two week wait”, there is nothing to do but sit and wait and obsess and analyze every single second of every single day. Heartburn? Yep! But wait… is it the fetus or could it be the chili fries I scarfed down at lunch yesterday.

Sore boobs? Check. But are they sore because I’m knocked up? Or because I’m taking progesterone injections everyday that mimic almost EVERY SINGLE symptom of pregnancy? Or could they be sore because I spend every spare moment mashing on my boobs to SEE if they hurt?

Nausea? Gassy? Well… yes, actually. Pregnant? Who knows… (see aforementioned chili fries) Headache? Yes, as a matter of fact. Oh… look at that. I took my ponytail out and my scalp breathed a sigh of relief and immediately relaxed. Damn. Cramps south of the equator? Now that you mention it… yes. But are they because I’m harboring the miracle of life or do we have a chili fries trifecta?

There are a couple of things that are VERY bad for this whole “waiting” game. First of all? The internet in general. The internet is good for killing time but BAD for waiting to find out if you are pregnant. Because the internet? She has opinions. Also bad for waiting? The power to buy pregnancy tests in bulk on… all together now… THE INTERNET. Because thanks to the stash under my sink, I can now take a pregnancy test every single day. And then when every single day I walk dejectedly into the bedroom after said (NEGATIVE) pregnancy test, I can be greeted with my sweet, sweet Patrick just standing there and shaking his head at me. AT ME! Because I just HAD to take another pregnancy test. Is it too early for me to take a test… why yes, yes it is. There is no possibly way, in the physical universe that we occupy, that that test could be positive right now.

And yet… here we are… For some reason I feel like I should just KNOW. It seems like when something is this huge of a deal, I’m just going to KNOW that suddenly there is another little person (or two) setting up shop inside of me. But I literally have NO CLUE. I swing from one extreme to the other so fast that all I can tell you is that if there IS someone in there, I hope they brought their own Xanax. And chili fries…

Published by PaintingChef on 11 May 2010

And now? For a change? My feet.

Sometimes I just like to have a place where I can make a little note to myself as a reminder. Like this one…

Dear Self-

Hi! You look so cute today! I just love that dress and even though your (ill-advised) bangs did that weird flippy thing at the ends when you pinned them back instead of taking the time to do that cute little earth-mother braid you normally do, they still look kind of okay! Congratulations on that!

So… I wanted to mention something to you. The next time you are having a manicure and the sweet little Vietnamese salon owner offers up a half-priced pedicure because they are training some new people? Yeah… go ahead and decline that offer. And then we can avoid this whole hobbling around for four days after a 12 year old sliced the bottom of your foot opened with a callous shaver… mmmkay?

I understand the desire for non-sandpaper-y heels. I get it. And ours? Are ESPECIALLY bad. But maybe if your lazy ass would take 30 seconds when you get into bed and just rub a little lotion down there every night and rediscover that giant emery board you keep in the shower, we wouldn’t have this problem and you wouldn’t be walking around the office like a train wreck victim.

You even have gel lined socks! And sure, I know that putting those on and trying to maneuver yourself about the house is akin to slathering your feet in bacon grease, wrapping them saran wrap and trying to dance a jig but honey… consider the people who have to look at those puppies. It’s worth it. Shit… they even airbrush Britney Spears’ gator skin feet… THINK OF THE CHILDREN!!! There is no reason to cause mass hysteria just because you wanted to waltz around town in a pair of strappy sandals.

Thanks.

Published by PaintingChef on 02 May 2010

What if…

I’m not good at rules. Or schedules. Or any type of specific writing assignment. I tend to just go wherever the wind blows me and call it a day. Now that I think about it, I’ve probably lived a majority of my life by that theory and I’m not going to promise that it’s always had good results.

But as you may have noticed as you be-bopped your merry way around the internet last week, it was National Infertility Awareness Week (NIAW) last week. Despite my large mouth and willingness to pretty much tell anyone anything and everything they never wanted to ever hear about my uterus, infertility is one of the epidemics that many, many people aren’t comfortable talking about. I get that, I do. I understand. Because I have people I won’t talk about it with too. And I have friends that don’t want to hear about it. The fear of judgment is huge. As is the case that any of us struggling with infertility know, for a fact, that NOBODY who hasn’t been in our shoes (and even people who have!!) is going to say the right thing. They are going to open their mouths and stab us right in the heart. It’s a fact and we live with it every day. So we protect ourselves by going underground.

The big question or writing prompt in the world of the internet for NIAW last week was “What if?” Just that… what if? And there have been some beautiful interpretations of that question that have humbled me, made me laugh and cry and have broken my heart all at the same time. I, on the other hand, have kind of silently meditated on that question for a few days until I decided what it really meant to me in my journey. And finally, last night, just as I was drifting off to sleep, I figured it out.

What if I were doing this alone? Not necessarily as a single person but alone as part of married couple. What if I weren’t lucky enough to have Patrick by my side through this struggle? What if I couldn’t talk to him about the highs and the lows? What if he weren’t there to catch every time I collapsed into a puddle of ugly tears? (I’m NOT a pretty crier…)

What if he weren’t there beside me, holding my hand, repeating his reassuring mantra of “whatever it takes, we’re in it together.” What if I couldn’t count on him to give me a shot every night? What if he didn’t try and understand what I was going through? What if he weren’t willing to listen to me deconstruct each step in painstaking detail? What if he didn’t ask me questions about what was next?

What if he didn’t understand how desperately I needed him to hold me close when it all falls apart again? What if he didn’t realize that each negative really did hurt more than the last? What if he weren’t there to help me up and dust me off and hold my hand while he encouraged me to try again if I felt strong enough? What if he didn’t realize that the only reason I am strong enough is because of him?

What if I were doing this alone.