Catching Our Rainbow

Hoping for a rainbow after the storm…

The Truth

I have a lot of practical reasons why I’ve been so absent from this space. When I first started this blog, I was working a desk job with a lot of down time so I would write blog posts when I was waiting for the phones to ring at work. Since I started school, however, I am no longer in the position where I am stuck in front of a computer with nothing to do. Also, I spend so much of my time reading and writing now that at the end of the day, I just don’t want to write anymore. These are all good excuses for not being present in the blog world anymore. They are also just that: excuses.

The truth is that this space has been too painful for me ever since Tup died because it is much too lonely. For the longest time, this space gave me hope. I loved reading about my infertile bloggie friends’ pregnancies and watching IVF and rainbow babies grow up because I knew that one day, after I did my time, I would join those ranks. I thought about it, worried about it, even feared it, but I never truly believed that I wouldn’t be able to carry and birth children. I always saw our struggles as a season that we had to pass before emerging on the other side with a baby in our arms. But after two and a half years and five losses, I’m having to face the very real possibility that we may never have biological children. Even as we are filling out our adoption application, I’ve realized that I still believe that we will adopt a child and then I will have a successful pregnancy, but that is not realistic. Unless there is some change in medication, procedure, something, I don’t think that I will ever make it out of the first trimester–we can’t keep trying the same thing and expect different results. I’ve always heard that part of the adoption process is grieving the biological children that you will not have, but that is something that you cannot truly understand until you face it.

So as I am in the process of coming to terms with the fact that I may never carry and give birth to my children, I have reached a new level of intolerance for pregnant women. I feel nothing but anger and resentment when I see them, and I have no sympathy for the struggles that come with pregnancy. This means that not only am I having to deal with the anger I feel towards myself and my body for failing to protect my children, I’m also having to deal with the guilt that I feel about some of the hateful bitterness I feel towards others–some of whom I love dearly. Like our good friend who is an adoption lawyer and is helping us through this process in every way she can. She has been such a wonderful friend and support, but I can barely stand to look at her because she has a beautiful baby bump.

The worst part is how alone I feel. Especially in blogland. The place where I once I found comfort, camaraderie, and hope is now extremely painful. I’m fairly certain I can count on one hand how many of the blogs I’ve followed through this struggle that are still active and childless. Even the RPL blogs I follow are all carrying seemingly healthy pregnancies. And the number of pregnancies among my friends is almost unbearable. We started early trying to have children, so for most of our struggle, we only had a handful of friends have kids. Now I am facing pregnancy announcements on almost a weekly basis, and some of my friends are even having their second child. And where do I go to escape? Where do I go to vent and commiserate? This place doesn’t provide that for me anymore. I cheered on so many blog friends and celebrated their victories, and at some point, I was left behind.

So that’s why I don’t really write anymore. That’s why I don’t comment. Coming here is a chore. A reminder of all of my loss. I thought about starting an adoption blog, about creating a clean slate, but I’m still unsure. The truth is I would just like to feel less alone. Filling out all of this paperwork is daunting. And it’s hard. I’m having to dig up a lot of emotional baggage at a time that I’m already pretty fragile. And while I’m trying to come to terms with the fact that I may never have biological children and filling out paperwork with tough questions where I have to write about things like the sexual abuse that I endured as a child, people just keep popping out babies and making cutesy announcements and I keep feeling more and more isolated.

That is the truth.

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Scarlet Letter

Thank you so much for your kind comments. I’ve read and reread all of them, and I am very thankful for this community.

I finally filled my prescription yesterday. I wanted to wait until things passed naturally, but I really did not want to start passing everything at work one day this week, so I decided to go ahead and get it over with yesterday. Needless to say, when I walked into the pharmacy, I was upset and distracted. That might explain why I didn’t realize what was happening until I left. When the pharm tech was typing in the prescription, he asked me quite a few questions. First, he asked me which doctor wrote me the prescription and which office she is with. I thought that was a little weird because that information was on the prescription, but I answered his questions figuring maybe he was new or something or maybe they had a new policy where they have to double check that information. Then he asked, “Do you understand what this is? Did your doctor talk to you about this?” I answered that my doctor explained everything to me, thinking this was a weird variation of the “Do you have any questions about your prescription” question that I always get. It wasn’t until I was walking out and looked down at the coupon that came out with the receipt that I understood his questions. It wasn’t a coupon. It was an advertisement for Gerber that the machine automatically printed with that prescription. That’s when it hit me that the medication I was about to take is the same thing as the abor.tion pill. The tech thought I was getting an abor.tion. His questions revealed that he obviously disagreed with my “decision” but could not voice his concern because it would endanger his job.

I don’t think I need to explain to this community just how upsetting I found this whole situation. I got out to my car and just sat and cried for awhile before I drove home. When I told hubby about it, he got really mad and said I should have complained, but technically the man did not say anything inappropriate to me. It was almost all tone of voice and facial expression, and I really could have just read into it because I was upset and hormonal (although I’m positive that I didn’t).

I know I shouldn’t care what others think, but after all that we’ve been through and how much I struggled with the idea of medically inducing this miscarriage despite the fact that my baby already died, I really just hate that man for judging me. Seriously, why don’t you just give me a scarlet letter while you are making assumptions about me?

Has anyone had an experience similar to this?

As a side note, I learned yesterday that medically induced miscarriages are very different from natural ones. I won’t go into details, but I will say that I found one perk to having a husband with Crohn’s: readily available painkillers. When I spoke to her Friday, my midwife offered to call  me in a prescription for some painkillers, but I figured I’ve been through this three times already and I would be fine. I was wrong.

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Frustrated

Remember how I said that hubby has Crohn’s and he will be starting Hu.mira to help him? Yeah, that hasn’t happened yet. He got his prescription on the 9th of this month, and he will finally get his medicine on Tuesday, an entire month after he first went to see the doctor. First, we had to wait for him to get his TB test, which he couldn’t do on a Thursday or Friday because it has to be read two days later and can’t be read on Saturday or Sunday, so it was a whole week before he was done with that. Then, we had to deal with the insurance company and prove to them that he actually needs this medication and no other medication will work. Then, we had to contact the drug company because our co-pay was $1,000 for two shots (which is a month’s worth of medicine). Seriously? Why the hell do we even have insurance if it doesn’t actually make it so we can afford our medical care?  Anyway, the drug company has a co-pay assistance program that will basically waive the cost of the co-pay so that we only have to pay $5 for every month. Once we finally got that worked out yesterday, we have to wait until Tuesday because the shots are overnighted from a special pharmacy. It was too late to send it yesterday, and they don’t ship Fri-Sun, so they are sending it Monday and we should get it Tuesday.

Meanwhile, my big bad husband who never complains is constantly wincing in pain and has even cried quite a few times because he hurts, he’s tired, and he’s frustrated with the whole process. I really just want my husband to feel better and do the things he loves (like respond to fire calls), and I feel so angry and helpless about this whole process.

Not every day has been bad, though. He had a really good weekend, and he even initiated some sexy time on Sunday for the first time in a month. Consequently, I ovulated the next day, so we’re not writing off this month like I had previously thought. Maybe we’ll get a one-hit-wonder baby this month… I’m not getting my hopes up, but I am keeping my fingers crossed.

Anyway, if you are a praying person, please pray that hubby starts feeling better ASAP after he starts his shot on Tuesday. The first time he takes it, he actually has to take four. Then he takes two the next time, then just one every time (he’ll take it twice a month). If you are not a praying person, please send healing vibes and good juju his way.

On a completely different note, make sure to email me your project before tomorrow if you want to participate in the Little Miss Craftypants Challenge. It doesn’t have to be anything big or complicated, but we would love to have as many people crafting with us as possible!

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Not a Resolution

I’m not a New Year’s Resolution kind of girl. Throughout the year, I try to be more mindful of stuff or improve on things, but I rarely set hard “goals” because I beat myself up so much and I have so much anxiety when I don’t achieve them.

Having said that, I have come to a realization that I have to stop comparing myself to other people. I know that this seems so obvious, but I really struggle with this. I compare myself to people who have more than me–women who are fertile and have no problems in pregnancy, people who make more money than me and don’t struggle to pay their bills, people who seem to have endless patience and compassion (or other enviable qualities), people who get to travel the world while I’m stuck in small town East Tennessee, etc. I also compare myself to people who are facing hardships that I am not facing (the “Oh my gosh, if it happened to them it could happen to me and I should panic about it” comparison). Either way, it makes me feel bad about myself, and if I would just stop comparing myself to others, I would see that my life is actually pretty great and I’m a good person who is worth knowing.

Today, one of the girls I work with came in our office and announced that she is pregnant. She actually announced it by grabbing my hand and putting it on her belly and beaming about having a baby. She went on to say the she got “fixed” three years ago because they were done having children, and she only has a .03% chance of getting pregnant. I just smiled weakly because I was so shocked and luckily she was too excited to notice that I wasn’t jumping for joy. After she told everyone in the office, one of my co-workers told her congratulations, and she responded with, “Yeah, I guess you could say that!” (because, you know, this wasn’t planned and was as prevented as you can get). My mind immediately went to a pity party–she has a .03% chance of getting pregnant because she had invasive surgery to prevent pregnancy and yet she is having a baby and I’m looking at adoption options. How unfair is that? It makes me want to scream and cry and throw a legit temper tantrum because I am just so angry at the unfairness of it.

Yet I can’t compare myself to her. I will make myself crazy and miserable if I compare myself to all of the people having babies. I have to just concentrate on myself–my health, my sanity, my marriage, and the options that are available to me. What can I do with what I have been given? Because no amount of envy or wishing or anger or longing or comparing is going to change what I have been given and make me like someone else.

So it’s not a New Year’s Resolution (because it’s almost February and I don’t do those anyway), but it is something I am going to try to work on. I’m going to concentrate on me and try to not feel like a failure when I am not accomplishing the same things as those around me or go into panic mode and live in fear when something terrible happens to someone else. I know that is easier said than done, but I think awareness is a good first step.

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Stuck

I’m feeling a little guilty about my lack of posts lately, but I promise that I’ve been here reading all of your posts and even doing quite a bit of commenting. I have a few different things to post about, but I think I’m going to divide them up into different posts so I don’t overwhelm you. I’ll probably write them all today and release them throughout the week so I can hold you captive with the suspense.

I briefly mentioned in my last post that I feel stuck right now. After my last mc, I went to see my midwife who suggested that we wait six months before TTC again, and she also offered to refer us to either a high risk OB or a RE. She also ran a bunch of blood tests which of course came back normal. It has now been three months, and I have not gone to see anyone else.

There are a lot of reasons for this. The biggest one is money.

I live in a state where all infertility testing and treatment is completely out of pocket, and hubby and I really don’t have that money to spend. We’re still paying off the bills from my first mc which cost us about $1,000 with insurance. I usually don’t tell people that we don’t have the money for a RE because inevitably, they always tell me that kids are expensive and if we are worried about money, maybe we shouldn’t be having kids anyway. Needless to say, this really upsets me. We are very careful with our money–we don’t have cable, we rarely eat out, and we go without some things that we would like to have so that we can work on paying off school loans and other debt. We have enough money for a kid. We won’t have enough money for a kid if we spend thousands of dollars on a RE. Part of me keeps saying that it could be something small, an easy fix, and then I could carry to term and we could finally have our beautiful rainbow baby. But I am quickly losing my faith in small, easy fixes. IF and loss treatments can accelerate so quickly, and I honestly don’t know how far we would be willing to go once we get caught up in the rush of tests and treatments–I don’t know if I am willing to open that can of worms. We already have student loans and a mortgage, and we really can’t afford to acquire any more debt right now. Especially when we have no idea if we will get a baby in the end.

So we’re stuck. We just can’t move in that direction right now. Maybe in a few years after we pay off a few things and get better paying jobs. You know, when I’m thirty and my chances of getting pregnant start rapidly decreasing. Which is so fucking unfair. I just want to scream and cuss and curl up in a ball and cry at the injustice of it.

So hubby and I have decided to try one more time with just the progesterone supplements. We have talked about it over and over again and we always end up in this same place: trying one more time without seeing a specialist. After that, we are moving to plan B. (Actually, I think it’s plan G. Plan A was getting pregnant immediately without any problems. Plan B was getting pregnant by charting. Plan C was having a healthy first pregnancy. Plan D was having a healthy second pregnancy. Plan E was having a healthy third pregnancy. This would be plan F, but that makes it sound too hopeless.) Also, that whole six month wait thing isn’t happening. We are waiting three cycles, then jumping back in the game. That sounds reasonable to me, and that means we’ll be trying again in a few weeks.

Are we crazy for attempting this again without seeing an RE? Please say no. Lie to me. Also, does anyone else have problems with people saying that you can’t afford children if you can’t afford testing and treatment? Does that piss you off beyond all reason?

Stay tuned: more on hubby, sexy time, and Plan G later this week.

20 Comments »

I Need People to Understand This

I know we have all written the post. You know which post I am talking about. The post about the terrible things people say to those who are suffering through infertility or loss. There are particular phrases or sayings that cut us all to the quick, and many times we are left wondering how anyone could think that was a helpful, kind, or even acceptable thing to say to someone who is going through what we are enduring. But there is one that really upsets me and makes me angry, although I never really understood why it affects me the way it does.

Until now.

Oftentimes, well-meaning people will tell me about their friend, mother, grandmother, sister, cousin, etc. who has had a miscarriage, but now they have healthy children. Sometimes the person is speaking about her own story, telling me about how she was able to get pregnant and carry to term after a loss. You would think that I would find this encouraging, and I would receive hope about how I could potentially be telling the same story down the road. But I think I finally understand why this bothers me so much. Almost every time I tell someone about my losses, I am not looking for hope that I will give birth to a child or encouragement that I will one day be a mother.

I’m already a mother.

When I talk about my miscarriages, I am looking for someone to acknowledge my grief and what I have lost. I want someone to understand that I am not solely mourning the fact that we can’t seem to have children right now. It isn’t only about my fertility issues and whether or not I will carry to term and give birth one day. It is about my children. All three of them. It feels like the whole world wants me to just write them off and try again. Like they don’t count. I don’t care how far along I was–you become a parent the moment that second line appears. I have loved them, prayed for them, talked to them, imagined their futures, made plans. I didn’t get to hold them in my my arms, but I sure as hell held them in my heart. I want people to understand that. How do I make them understand that?

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Feeling a little Horrible

Three posts in one day. I feel a little like an over achiever–like I should be quiet and let the other kids talk. Anyway, my first two posts were prompted, and I wanted to let loose a little and tell you ladies about my day:

Today was a bit of a rough day. It wasn’t positively horrible, but it was a little rough. I work in the office of an EMS service and my office (which is shared with one other girl) is essentially a hallway, so we always have EMTs and medics walking through. We have two chairs we have deemed the “therapy chairs” because so many of the crews will come in and visit with us. Most of the people who work in the office can be a little hateful and the crews avoid them, so it makes me happy that they like us enough to visit. Today one of the EMTs came into my office very excited and looking a little freaked out, and when I asked him what was up, he exclaimed that he is going to be a dad. Exact words: “I’m going to be a dad.” When I asked him how far along she was, he said she was only a few weeks, that she had just found out that day. My heart skipped a beat and it took all of the self control I possess not to shout, “Wait! No! Don’t tell anyone! You still have no idea if she is going to have a baby!” I couldn’t bring myself to pop his bubble and bring him into my world. I couldn’t tell him that a positive pregnancy test isn’t a guarantee of a child. I couldn’t tell him the one in four pregnancies end in miscarriage. I couldn’t tell him that he may have to go back and tell every one of those people that he is no longer going to be a dad. He doesn’t understand, and I know that because I didn’t understand either. My mind went to two different places, and neither of them were very nice. First, I thought that he will understand one day when his wife has a miscarriage and he has to deal with all of the crap that we’ve dealt with–when he sees that he’s not really going to be a dad and the universe is just playing a cruel joke on him. Then I felt really horrible. Could I really think that? Automatically assume that the pregnancy won’t last and he’ll be in the same babyless boat I’m in? I felt a little disgusted with myself, and then I thought, “No, he’s going to have a baby. Why would anyone else have problems carrying children? Just me. I’m the only one who has to keep my pregnancies a secret and be filled with fear when I get a BFP. He’s going to have a baby just like all the rest of those stupid, smug fertile people that have no idea how amazing of a feat they are accomplishing. I hate them all.” This is what my loss has done to me. I am a horrible person.

I can’t remember where I read it (I think it was survivingbabydreams), but a few months ago, I read a blog post where she talked about automatically judging whether someone was “worthy” when you hear they are pregnant. How long did they try? Did they have to do any treatments? Did they suffer any mc’s in the process? Or are they one of the annoying fertiles who just decide they want a baby, have sex, have a positive test, then have a baby–all in a ten month time span? The thing is, I don’t even know this EMTs TTC story. I just assumed that they hadn’t had any trouble or suffering at all because if they did, he wouldn’t be announcing her 3 week pregnancy. I just assumed that they did not meet the standards of being “worthy” of having kids.

I am one of those people who is genuinely happy for others when they announce something exciting. At least, I was. I’m upset because I feel like this journey has stolen that from me. Now when I learn someone is pregnant, I either pity her because she could have a mc like me or I feel bitter towards her because she can have children when I can’t, and I always resent her for reminding me of my pain. Ugh, this post is turning out to be even more bitter than I thought it would. I just feel like a horrible person sometimes, and I wish it would stop. I wish I could just be innocently happy for people again.

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Anger, Prayer, and a Rainbow

My mind is in a million places right now. My second hCG was the exact same number as my first. It’s supposed to double. The midwife I spoke to sounded very concerned and she was very surprised when I told her that I haven’t had any spotting.  She did say that it’s still early and things could work out, but she sounded like she was really trying not to give me false hope. Her exact words were that my numbers are “not reassuring.” Of course they aren’t. I’m honestly not surprised. I’m upset, devastated, pissed off, heartbroken, bitter, and a million other things, but I’m not surprised.  I will be surprised if things work out and this is a healthy pregnancy. In fact, I’ll be floored. Hubby thinks that it was a lab mistake because the number is the same, but I don’t think it is. My progesterone did change–it got even better: 23, and if that number was the same too, I might think there was a mistake. But I can’t afford that kind of hope right now. I know better than to let myself have that kind of hope.

As I was driving to work today, it was a beautiful, clear day. The sky was the perfect shade of blue, which was the total opposite of the bleak grey and fog that was inside of me. I kept thinking about how God fits into all of this. I remember during my first pregnancy earnestly praying for the health of our baby. I miscarried the next day. The next time I got pregnant, I was honestly too afraid to pray about my pregnancy. This morning I was thinking about how I should pray about my numbers and my fears, but I was just so angry and bitter. I prayed out loud and told God that I know He can make this a healthy pregnancy and save my baby. I know He has the power to do that. But I also said that I believe that he won’t do that, and I don’t understand why. I don’t understand why he won’t save me from this heartache or why he won’t save my child from death. I know that’s not a typical prayer, but I try to be honest when I pray because He knows what I’m thinking anyway. After I said all of that, I turned a corner and saw a rainbow. It was just a small piece of a rainbow but it was bold and I could see every color in it. It was a beautiful morning without even a hint of rain so there should not have been a rainbow outside, and I honestly believe that was God’s answer to me, but I don’t know what it means. Maybe this pregnancy will be ok. Or maybe God will bless us with a child later in life and we need to be patient and wait. I don’t know.

Right now I’m just trying to hold myself together. We leave for the beach tomorrow morning, and we will be gone until Tuesday night. That’s just what I need. My first time at the beach in six years, and I’ll probably have an miscarriage which means I can’t wear tampons, which means I can’t wear a bathing suit. Perfect. I’m trying so hard to remember that I actually have a wonderful life with a husband I adore and a stable job and a nice house and two crazy furbabies, but I’m still falling into a place that is angry, hateful, and bitter.

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