Monday, December 12, 2011

And that's that...

I received my final update for this cycle.

Of 13 eggs retrieved, 12 were mature. Of those 12, 9 fertilized. Of those 9... one blasocyst was good enough to freeze for future transfer.

I don't think I need to explain how devastating this is to me. Every fiber of my being is screaming that this is a futile effort... a waste of time and money and energies I am just no longer sure I have. I still have one, this is true... and maybe it is that one which will give us the blessing we desire... but, based on past efforts, I can't hold hope for this.

I have no prospect for a job. I have no savings. I have nothing which makes this seem like a worthwhile endeavor to continue pursuing. And this is such a horrible and hard decision for me to make.

I have locked comments on this for a reason. Please do not call or email or message me about this right now. I do not wish to talk about it and I need to move past this on my own.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

And the wait continues

It looks as though we're not going to do a transfer this cycle. My body is sort of ok with that... I think I need a little rest. But I'm still a bit disappointed. Even though we seem to have nine fertilized embryos, not all of them are growing as fast as they should. Which doesn't bode well... this is a trend we've seen in my previous cycles and each time it makes me a little more convinced that maybe this just isn't meant to be.

The embryologist who called today said they'll check again tomorrow and will freeze any they get to blasocyst state. I don't know when that means I'll have an actual transfer, but we'll see.

Research shows sometimes doing a frozen cycle over a fresh cycle is more successful. I have yet to find an answer as to WHY that is (though I keep looking). The only thing I can think is that with a frozen they have a better idea of the actual quality. /shrug

At any rate, I do need to consider how long I keep this up. I don't want to give up, but the realist in me keeps saying maybe it's time. And that breaks my heart to think about... that the realist is speaking from purely a financial point of view instead of the hopeful side of me who will keep trying until the doctor says it's over.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Unlucky? Or SUPER lucky? I guess we'll see. Today's retrieval saw 13 eggs... the most he's gotten so far. It came at a price to me... in order to get so many my insides weren't treated very kindly and I'm in more pain than I have been previously during this procedure. But, if it works... it's all worth it. Still not sure if we'll actually do a transfer this cycle or if he'll freeze whatever he gets. The decision will likely be made near the end of the week as he sees how things progress.

I really could use a Christmas miracle right now after the news of being passed over for the job here in Pennsville. Please let this be that miracle...

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Whew... almost there

I swear, the meds this time have made me dumber. A week of minor "stupid" culminated in a day of some major dumb. Let's start with the thawing of a roast for dinner. One would assume this wouldn't take a rocket scientist. Get roast from freezer. Place roast in warm water to thaw. Walk away from running hot water to accomplish just one little thing (that turns into several chores all over the house). Return to kitchen to bake...... why is the floor soaked all the way to the fridg... oh crap. Ohcrapohcrapohcrap. Rush to sink to turn off running water. Rush upstairs to grab every towel in the house to start sopping up mess. Sink still overflowing. Plunge hand into scalding hot water to unplug drain... this... this was unwise. Sit down, unsure of whether to laugh or cry. Opt for something in between. Read text from husband saying he's on his way home. Tell him that's a terrible idea. Have him text LOL at you. Give up. Go back to kitchen to try to clean. Figure out where all the blasted water is coming from. Realize your SILVERWARE DRAWER is full of water. Mop up / clean everything. Sit down for another laugh/cry. Continue cleaning. Have husband come home to tell you that you missed a drawer... but the house looks nice. Ponder NOT murdering husband.

And then... after all this... put dinner together. Still feel flusetered over flood fiasco. Put corn into microwave (after realizing there's not a SINGLE package of peas in the house which is what you REALLY wanted). Continue putting dinner together only to hear loud POP from microwave... realizing you didn't slit the package open like you're supposed to.

Realize that this week was a series of stupid and you can't wait for these meds to stop.

Pregnant or parental friends often use the term "baby brain." Let me tell you... "baby" has nothing to do with it. Hormones make us dumber; I swear this to you.

Tuesday is retrieval. Yay. Last shot tonight, blood work tomorrow morning and procedure Tuesday morning. Then I can rest. Still not entirely sure if we're doing an actual transfer this month or if he'll opt to freeze anything he gets, give my body a rest and transfer next month. Whatever. I'm too tired and done with being stupid for this month.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Moving along

I went in for my regular scan / blood work appt. this morning. The only other man in the practice (other than my doctor is Mark, one of the embryologists. He doesn't usually draw my blood, but he was there this morning taking care of things. He's always very sweet and has been there for every one of my transfers (I swear, like most of them in the practice, he takes each success and failure as close to heart as I do). We were chatting as he was drawing my blood and he suddenly looks up and greets someone who walked into the lab - Stephanie. Turns out, Stephanie sits down in the chair next to me and it's my regular OB/GYN.

First... this is the woman who referred me to this practice in the first place. So, to know that she was not only his student (he told me that at one of our first meetings), but that she's apparently a patient makes me feel even MORE happy with where we are. If she trusts him to take care of her, he must be good. He has confidence this will work eventually... so I have to keep the faith as well.

Second, she and I chatted a little about my cycles. And Mark commented that the success we had the second time was so disappointing when it started to fail because the embryos had looked so good. Any one who 1) remembers that much about a patient without a chart in front of him and 2) genuinely seems to care so much as to be visible disappointed.... this practice is what all other doctor's offices should model themselves after...

Doctor came in then and wished me good morning and just had one of those caring looks as Stephanie, Mark and I chatted. He's not a man of many words, but you can just tell... the way he looks at you when he talks, touches my shoulder before a procedure to reassure me it will be ok... I know some folks might be offended by that sort of familiarity, but honestly, I'll take a doctor who shows he cares and is comforting over a brilliant doctor  with the bedside manner of a brick wall.

As I drove home, I started to rethink my earlier "maybe this should be the last" way of thinking... it's a hard decision to make every month... emotionally, physically, and especially lately, financially. How often do you keep trying for your dreams?

And I was overwhelmed with the image of me holding and kissing the forehead of a little baby...

Maybe it's a "sign." Maybe it's just more wishful thinking. But, if you're listening, God, I could use a little Christmas miracle this year...

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Woke up at 10pm in a panic last night... completely forgot to give my shot. Doctor's office says that it doesn't matter, but of course, I'm super paranoid now. Plus I went in for my ultrasound today and apparently there was a cyst or fluid or *something* outside my left ovary. /sigh Must. Not. Stress.

I'm at a loss with this recruiter. I want to know if the company has made a decision, but I cannot seem to get hold of the recruiter at all. She must be checking her email or voicemail or something, because she's definitely posting on LinkedIn... is it so hard to write back to a client with a "no word yet" just to acknowledge I've contacted you???

The holidays are upon me and as has been the case for the last few years, they're making me melancholy. Because I'm not already moody enough. ;-) I'll get through like I do every year... but if the Divine could throw a little Christmas spirit or holiday miracles my way, I'd be grateful...

I'm going to try to write more often... even if it's just a stupid little blurb like this...

Monday, November 28, 2011

A little slice of crazy

It's hard to deal with all the stresses and emotions that come with being me right now as it is. Lack of job, money stresses, inability to get pregnant... but just for shits and giggles, let's throw in some meds which really mess with a hormonal state I'm still getting used to, a sick dog, the holidays and ... oh yeah... throw in a "normal" bout of depression and anxiety to boot.

How I hold myself together on a day-to-day basis, I'm still sure I'll never know. It's been a sort of cry fest week in the Burr household. But I'm still here. I'm still holding on. Still toughing it out.

The phrase goes "God never gives you more than you can handle" or something to that effect. Followed with... "I just wish He didn't have so much faith in me..." It's true... I seem to be able to handle a lot. I've had folks tell me through the years they don't know how I've managed to deal with "X" ("X" of course being any number of things I've struggled with, typically involving my health). The truth is, I don't really handle it "well." I just realize it comes down to two choices - deal with it or don't. And "don't" would require me to consciously make the decision that it's not worth it anymore; to give up; to give in and to end it all. I have always sort of thought that was a cowards way out. You leave too much behind for everyone else to clean up and, well... some part of me just cannot bear to do that. No matter how hard it gets for me to deal... I can't bring myself to force others to deal because I chose not to. Maybe that's strength... or maybe that's just that peacemaker nature of mine (sometimes also known as rolling over and being a bit of a doormat) where I just can't stand to burden others with anything. I don't want to upset the apple cart, the status quo... I want everyone to like me and to be happy and to get along.

I've become enough of a realist over the years to know that's never really going to happen... but I still can't bring myself to be the ultimate cause of so much strain and stress on others. I'm not sure if that makes me a good person... or if that just makes me a different type of coward. Either way... I appear strong and "dealing" because really, in my world, that is the only option.

I've entered the 4th IVF cycle. I want to believe this will work. But I'm having a terrible time with the stresses of it this time around. If there is a God, please don't just give me the strength to deal... give me some relief of the stresses; give me some reason to hope and keep trying; give me the one thing I'd like most for the holidays this year - have a little less faith in my ability to "handle" and let me finally know what success feels like.

Monday, November 21, 2011


I have a pet peeve. Ok... I have several... and this particular topic probably fits into a bigger category than "pet peeve" implies. I have an Elephant Peeve. Or not... that just sounds gross.

At any rate... here's today's little bitch (and I don't mean me... I'm, quite frankly, a big bitch and I realize that)... I don't really care what your political leanings, religious beliefs or personal creeds are, but what happened to common courtesy? Why does it appear to me that the human race is increasingly showing the worst of humanity? What happened to "thinking before you speak" or even "do unto others?" (ok... yes maybe that last has too much religious connotation for some, but really... is it THAT difficult to accomplish?

I have friends from all walks of life, all backgrounds, skills, religions and political affiliation. I've stated before why I don't share my political beliefs most of the time... but maybe the reality of why is because sometimes, I'm just really on the "don't want to offend anyone" path.

Let's start with something very simple.

Whether you're a presidential candidate, a member of the armed services or just a guy on the street with a big mouth and an opinion, "get a job" shouldn't come out (in writing, in photos, in speeches) as an answer to ... well to anything. I can almost guarantee that you know squat about the person or people you are directing that to. It's insulting to assume that someone who does not have a job is simply "lazy". Do those people exist? Sure. Are they "milking the system"? I'm sure some are. But, if you don't know the circumstances 100%, STFU.

I'm tired of people carelessly commenting on the lives of their "fellow man."

You see folk posting about "bullying" all the time... but I seriously doubt that some of them consider that careless comments can be just as hurtful as someone who's pushed you down in the dirt.

Let me make a few things clear:
- ALL shapes are beautiful. Don't tear someone down because YOU think they're too skinny or too fat or too anything.
- ALL colors are beautiful. It's what makes up the world.
- ALL religions (and no religion) is valid. You are not better than someone else because of what you believe in. You're better when you BEHAVE better and treat people with respect.
- I would LOVE a job... please, PLEASE tell me where I can find one right now. And please don't suggest I'm lazy because I won't take ANY job, but actually prefer to search for a job in my field, and utilize the money I PAID INTO while I do so in order to supplement my income.
- Lastly, please do not point out my flaws, in any way, shape or form. Even if you think it's to help me; even if you think it's to sympathize. I know what my flaws are. I deal with them every damned day. I already feel a failure and don't need your help having it pointed out to me.

If you really want to know what it is to be my friend, stand by me, love me... and consider what your words may be doing to my self-esteem when you comment on what you think you know about me.

(This ramble brought to you by the words "sick" and "tired" and a complete lack of patience anymore).

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Being Stuck

Well, it's been a bit since I've posted about this. Honestly, I haven't been ready; I haven't been dealing; I haven't been happy about it.

My next IVF cycle technically starts tomorrow. We're on a different regimen this time and I'm anxious. The one drug they are giving me (Lupron) seems to have a history of bad hormonal reactions from a lot of what I've heard. I'm hoping that my trend of being the exception, not the norm, continues with this one in a positive light... because I'd really rather not deal with that on top of everything else going on in life.

Being unemployed is hard (obviously). But add to that about a million other little things which make me feel a tiny bit useless each time one occurs and you rapidly have a problem. Add hormonal wackiness that my body is just not used to, constant pain that I've dealt with for years, acid reflux rearing it's head again... and it's a wonder I manage to keep myself together on a day-to-day basis.

I'm tired. I'm tired of explaining. I'm tired of fighting. I'm tired of crying. I'm tired of feeling that with some people I repeat myself over and over and I'd get more understanding from the wall. I'm tired of feeling back-stabbed, lied to or just ignored.

But I'm most tired of the apparent lack of concern because people are either too "afraid" to ask the dreaded question "How are you?" (when they know the answer is likely not positive) or who just don't care. Or, sometimes worse, who care, but who don't seem to understand the fact that, asking is fine and great and helps remind me I'm loved... but lecturing me on ways to fix my life does very little to make me feel better. I know I have blessings, I know I should exercise, I know, I know, I know...

Here I am, facing more injections, more pain, more bruising, more changes in mood and changes to my body which are not comfortable in the least. Facing more potential disappointment and tears and early morning doctor appointments and blood draws and ultrasounds and procedures and best rests... all the while trying to find a job to keep us out of financial straights - a job that won't mind all the potential interruptions of the above - and to keep a roof over our heads and our bills paid and ....

You get the point. At least I hope you get the point. Because honestly, what I need right now are friends who can help hold me up; not who manage (deliberately or not) to push me down or just turn their back.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

_____ Behaving Badly

So, what do you do when people you expect better from are behaving badly? In theory, a real friend would speak up, explain how and why the person in question is effing up and make suggestions to help them fix it. But what do you do when you've attempted that route and are either "wrong", "interfering" or just written off entirely and ignored?

How many times do you try before you just need to give up for your own sanity? How often do you attempt to repair a broken relationship before it just becomes apparent that, maybe, the best answer is to walk away, regardless of how much it may hurt?

When do you admit to yourself that it's entirely possible you've been fed a line for too many years to count, allowed to believe the best in someone when they repeatedly prove that may not be the case, or realize that something, somewhere, somehow changed in the relationship, and no matter how much you are told to the contrary it hasn't, that it is just time to move on, move past and give up?

"Fool me once" as the saying goes... but fool me over and over and over again and it becomes apparent I've either become a masochist at some point or, in truth, you are not who you've led me to believe all this time. It hurts; it's hard to accept; but it's driving me deeper into a frustration I don't need at this time in my life. The effort has become far more than the rewards could ever be and that is sad, but sometimes the only recourse left is to walk away. You don't need me anymore, if you ever did, and I need to not be hurt any longer. I am not here as a friend of your convenience; I am not your mother to teach you right from wrong; but most of all, I am not putting up with it any longer.

I thank you for the times we had. But I can no longer hope for the times we could have. You have spoiled that; you have messed up too many times and ignored all chances to make amends for the hurts you've caused. The future of the relationship is now on you... like trust, my friendship has now become something you must EARN, not merely something you're given.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Cleaning out the cobwebs - more on infertility and other pain

I have only gone through two actual IVF cycles.
But, I also went through 6 cycles of Clomid.
And 5 YEARS trying on our own.

Every failure hurts, but not so much as the failure of giving up entirely. And that is what I need to cling to as I approach our next cycle.

There was so much which had happened during the end of that last cycle, I've had a real hard time getting a handle on it all. I have been depressed. I have been grieving. I have been hurt, time and again, it seems. And I have put a terrible burden upon myself. Every thing that has seemed to go badly lately I have placed the blame squarely on my shoulders.

It's not fair to me. It's not helping me. And it needs to stop.

I have been given "permission" to grieve, but it was pointed out to me that this doesn't mean permission to blame myself. Or permission to hold onto the past, like links in Marley's chain. I've allowed myself to grieve, but getting passed the past has been quite difficult for a variety of reasons. I'm trying... very hard... but I'm not very successful yet.

I have a great fear and anxiety approaching this next cycle. Which will do me absolutely no good. What's worse is my fears and anxieties are spreading, like wildfire to other aspects of my life.

As much as I have worried about the costs associated with going away to Pennsic for a few days, there is another side of me that keeps saying "you need to do this... you need to get away... you need the little fantasy world for just a little bit to get back on track." But, a part of me fears that even the fantasy will be ruined or (maybe worse) be so good coming back will be yet another disappointment.

See? Worries before they even happen. Worries about the past and the future instead of enjoying the "now" like the counselor suggested to me.

*deep breath*

I am a strong woman. I have been through a lot. I have finally started to sort out where real love is in my life, where passing concern and acquaintance resides and where falseness has been allowed to creep in. I need to remember the positive of those people and places and ideas and let the rest walk past me,  move on in life, keep selfishness and hurt and ignorance away. I need to stand up for myself when I'm being taken for granted... but more I need to allow myself to not be so concerned about not being so concerned - I put too much burden on myself to care for the world, when I have neglected myself for far too long.

I can do this. I am ready for this. I may hurt now, but there is still hope (even if it means passing through more hurt, I accept that possibility). And as long as I hold onto hope, I can get past this hardship like I have so many other times before.

Friday, July 29, 2011

My heart hurts tonight.
Something was entrusted to me a long time ago and I was sure I had kept it somewhere I could always go back and read it and reflect on it and remember with great fondness the struggle through a difficult time which led to a great love and passion.

And I have lost those writings. I'm sure they exist somewhere in this world... but they are no longer to be found among my things.

In light of so much that has happened to me lately, this is that proverbial last straw that makes the ache of loss so much more painful right now.

These were a time, a moment, a writing, an emotion I will never be able to reclaim.

One would think memory often more sweet than truth... but, at least right now, I'd rather have the truth of those writings than the faded memories which went with them.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Moving on, Moving Up, Moving Past (Or Why I’m a Terrible Writer)

Sometimes there really aren’t words for all that goes on in one’s head. Emotions are a tricky thing at best and as much as it is sometimes necessary to vent them and rid your mind of them in order to move on, public forum is often a terrible way in which to do so. Why? Because emotions taint everything all of us do. I can say or write one thing, a very clear meaning in mind as I do so, and yet someone else may add their own emotion, feeling, bias to it and change my meaning entirely. I am a lover of language and truly believe anything can be expressed through writing. Pure writing can take out emotion, can lay the soul bare and explain more concisely than the spoken word, tinged with emotions and inflection and body language ever can. But, the real problem with such writing is that you can never ever control the emotion of the reader. Certainly words can manipulate the emotions; create anger or sadness or joy… but to attempt to remove the emotions of the reader is impossible.

That being said, I did my best to vent my spleen in a private place. I am still full of a great hurt and disappointment and fear. But, I cannot change the past… I can only acknowledge it, grieve for it and move past it. It’s been pointed out to me that I dwell too much on the past; and what’s worse, I take too much burden of it upon myself. I cannot change events. What’s more, I cannot change those who do not wish to change themselves. We all walk a lonely path; the best we can hope for is one or two who can hold us up when the road becomes too rocky. I have to remember I have those one or two and be grateful for that instead of lamenting the lack of many to carry me along that path. In the end, we walk a lonely path… and if we don’t learn how, we end up merely walking in circles.

On to the second part of my title – why I am a terrible writer. Unless I were to write tripe for Hallmark, I don’t think many poets make a living from their writing. I’ll happily retract that statement for proof to the contrary; particularly in the form of monetary compensation for my poetry. So, my main means of writing makes for a poor way to pay my mortgage.

Which leaves my prose… which leads me to answer the above question.

I write in the moment. I am inspired to my writing by that which surrounds me. I write as the words flow into my head, rather than plan a story arch, make an outline, develop characters and then write the story. Or, perhaps more importantly, the story writes through me, rather than I write any story. I am merely the conduit through which the words spill onto a page. There is no planning; what inspiration I glean I get from gaming or dreaming or broken hearts.

My greatest “achievement” in the arena of writing thus far has been my novella of the Fae of Sylvania. Now, for those of you in the “know” this should probably more than explain my Writer’s Dilemma. This novella has been over 10 years in the making. And it’s still not finished. And due to my serious lacking of memory, may remain an uncompleted work until the day I die.

Some have said “well… just make it up – it doesn’t need to follow what really happened in the game.” But, that feels untrue; false. I can’t get the “tone” of the characters right (with one possible exception) and the story was told; was played out… how can I change that? What’s more, how could I write an entirely new story that had never been told?

And that’s why I’m a terrible writer. A real writer wouldn’t need that sort of outside inspiration to the actual actions of the story. Inspiration for characters or a plotline perhaps… but not inspiration for every action which takes place; every word a character speaks.

I am an excellent mimic. I can take the tale that happens and capture it on paper, much like writing a plot review for a favorite movie. But, I have no story of my own to tell. And that’s sad – because I will never have those years back again. They are lost to me now… a fond memory, fast fading into the future.

Which brings me back full circle to the start of this entry… I live in the past. It’s shiny and sparkling and very beautiful from way up here in the future and so it always just seems like a happier time. And, those which aren’t so happy? That way leads to anger and emotions which drive that happy story like a villain to my heroes. You cannot define light without the darkness; goodness without evil.

So, I’m left bereft of a good story… only able to use “real life” events to tell fictional tales. What’s more is that sometimes those real life events fall into that category of “things best left unsaid in public.” A real writer wouldn’t care; she’d put it all out there in some form; find a way to use the words to manipulate not just emotions but actions of those around her. Inspire, cowl, anger, shame… playing the reader like a violin, without them even realizing she’s done it. My words only fall flat; lumps of aggression, puddles of tears, questions of confusion. If I can’t even shape one person’s understanding, how can I expect to reach an entire readership with my stories?

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

A Thousand Stabbing Hurts

This weekend seemed to be full of them. Physically and emotionally and even financially.

I am at a loss. I have so many words and yet they all seem to get stuck.

I am hurt and angry and devastated and ... it turns into a vicious cycle. When I think I've got one hurt under control, something pulls the rug out from under me and all those paper cut wounds come bursting open again.

I'd like to blame self-involvement... but I'm certainly as guilty of such as the next. So instead I'll blame complacence. Somewhere along the line, it seeped in. I recognized it years ago when I commented on one of my yearly ruminations on Erik's death. But, it wasn't until now that I realized just how much it had seeped in; soaking everything around me.

This is likely to be the last post for a while. I need a break from the world and I'm tired of trying to be nice; trying to pretend there's nothing wrong - with me, with situations, with others - and I'm quite honestly tired of being hurt so much.

My body and mind need a break. So I'm going to indulge them in that.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Yes, yes... quit the lecturin'....

I don't need YOU to tell me I haven't been writing; I can see it for myself.

But, truth is, nothing really exciting is happening / worth writing about right now. I'm in that dreaded 2ww I mentioned here, and so really it boils down to me trying to remain calm, relaxed and most of all... patient. All of that = pretty boring.

I was to start work today at the new job, but as some of you know I didn't. My procedure last week has left me incredibly uncomfortable (read = in a lot of pain yesterday) and I decided that it wasn't worth it to push things and feel bad. Instead I contacted the recruiter and indicated that, as I had feared, this was the reason I didn't want to start prior to the holiday anyway. He told me to rest up and he'd talk to the client and for me to plan to be in on the 5th. So far so good... it's almost 2pm and no call yet to say "they changed their minds about you; don't bother coming in."

So I'm back to waiting and trying to be patient and relaxed and (how's that workin' out for ya?) just making sure that when I do get there I am in tiptop shape and ready to work.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Decisions made for me

I'm not typically keen on having decisions made for me, but sometimes that's the way it goes.

I've said for a couple weeks now that that CP job was a good, solid second. And I stand by that. But, I won't say I'm excited about taking this position. Honestly, if it weren't for the need of additional cashflow, I doubt I'd have taken the job at this time.

But, there is so much else going on in life right now that maybe this truly is a blessing in disguise. A job I don't necessarily have to feel committed to, that should be fairly easy / stress-free and that is closer to home / doctors / etc.

But, like I said, I can't get excited about this. So, while I do appreciate congratulations and all, I really am "settling" as far as I'm concerned.

I just need to remind myself... it's about having a job, not having a career and not to get too down on myself because of it.

Friday, June 17, 2011

On Waiting

Back to Stranger in a Strange Land, again, are we? Well, it's no wonder. If you've ever read it, you know one of the greatest tenets in it is about waiting; about how only through waiting can you "grok in fullness" the entirety of a situation, new experience, problem. The idea of waiting is so common to a Martian's way of thinking in the book that "patient" can't even begin to describe it. Waiting is...

I am no Martian. As much as I adore Heinlein's tale and concepts of "Thou Art God", I am not good at waiting. Patience sometimes (ok... all times) stresses me out. My mind has a hard time being peaceful and finding understanding, acceptance and "grokking" in waiting. It wants to fill up with all the bad things that could be, rather than focus on the good things that may be gained from every new understanding.

Today is a day of waiting. Waiting to see how the IVF is progressing; waiting to see if #1 choice actually OFFERS me a job; waiting to see if #2 choice pulls offer because I'm making them wait; aiting to see if I can go on vacation; waiting, waiting, waiting.

I try to be at peace. I try not to take seemingly small bad news and magnify it by 100. But I just can't. I can make it go away for a short time; lose myself in other tasks... but the second I let up on those tasks, the waiting and the worrying and the anxiety come flooding right back.

I keep going to "what ifs" and none of them are ever good. And, of course, right now, my problems seem so gigantic to me and everyone else's so much smaller, that I can't even focus my attention on being comfort to others. Because really, from our perspective our problems are always so huge and insurmountable and nothing compares. I'm not sure if that's ego exactly or more just a matter of fact - when we're in the problem, it's always much harder to see that bigger picture outside of it. Where, sometimes, even being blasted with an obvious "this is WAY worse" it's still hard to see that silver lining on your own cloud. Not that I wish "way worse" on anyone; but the point is that when I'm this low, I find it hard to reach my compassion, my empathy and that starts a whole new cycle of anxiety. I don't WANT to be that person... but waiting makes it so.

We are not alone. But, at the same time, we lack the real understanding of one another. We don't share the fullness of our water brothers. We don't cherish them. And all that makes it difficult to grow closer.

I get some of the meaning in Strange in a Strange Land... I just lament that such understanding may be beyond our grasp. So I try to wait... I try to understand... but I'm again reminded I'm not Martian. I'm only human.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

On being a woman...

I've deliberately not talked about this cycle as much as the last time for a variety of reasons... main one being that to do so sometimes sets me up for a big disappointment. And I'm not ready to do that again.

But, as the, we'll call it mid-cycle, starts to approach I do have a few thoughts. The first one being that, after all these years, you'd think that doctors would have a more specific idea of "good" and "bad" based on blood work and such. But... since we are all so very different, "good" and "bad" is extremely varied from woman to woman. It's frustrating, sure... but it is what it is and I'm not going to change that. And maybe that's ok. After all, Mankind has come a long way medically towards "godhood" and I'm not entirely sure having so much control and knowledge about how to make "miracles" happen is a good thing. Sometimes, it really is better to have hope and let the Divine do what the Divine does best - amaze with the miracles of Life.

Despite a host of stresses this time around (2nd attempt, interviews, finances, personal things), I actually feel calmer. I'm not sure why... maybe having enough other things to keep in line is better than having nothing but time to think about it. Or maybe I'm just hardwired to managed several stresses at one time, rather than try to be all Zen and calm all the time. :)

I do feel far more emotional this time... moody even. Could be the drugs affecting me more; could be my body responding differently; could even just be that a second attempt is making me more aware of things around me. I feel the need to hermit; to hide away and do nothing more than cuddle with my partner. It was nice to get out for a bit yesterday, but certain things were so much harder to deal with than usual. I fought to stay as long as we did, just so I could see folks I hadn't seen in a while and I felt far "needier" for touch than I usually do. Which is a funny thing to feel when you also just want to run and hide from everyone and not speak or listen or be around people at all.

Then, of course, there's the timing of the whole thing. I didn't necessarily want to attach significance to the timing of this IVF to the anniversary of Erik's death. But, for whatever reason I did, and maybe that's the positive I've tried to hold onto. The idea that, he's watching over me this time, giving his help where he can; attempting to aid me in this miracle I've been trying so hard for in the last 5 years.  When you've come to this weird spiritual place I've come to with regards to Death and Life and Cycles and the "Hereafter," I suppose it's not hard to start attaching significance and hoping for meaning in such things.

This is going to be a month of changes, there is no doubt. Hopefully all of them will be good, but one never really knows. For as many years as this has been a month of mixed blessings, I hope that this year it pushes the balance just slightly towards the "good" again. I think there are many other than myself who would feel that way too.

To quote Heinlein once again "Waiting always fills."

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Lost in a Sea of People

So, one of the things on my mind lately is sort of a bigger "where am I in the world" question.

I'm in a weird place right now. Ten years ago, I had a large circle of friends and acquaintances, who were relatively the same place in life. Even though we spanned a wide range of ages, we all still seemed to be "on the same page" as it were with interests and jobs and relationships. And those who weren't exactly the same place, were close enough in one or the other that it didn't seem to matter too much.

Fast forward five years. Some of those people were starting families, others getting married, still others, content in their "single" lifestyles and not planning any changes to that in the near future. Houses bought, jobs changed, interests morphed.

Though the years, from back in my high school days, I've always felt I was slightly "out of synch" with those around me. I had a lot in my life which forced me to grow up faster than maybe I was ready for. Now I'm not the only one... but at the time it seemed those who moved at that same pace I did were the ones I was most close to... easiest to identify and empathize with.

It's no secret that I've had a lot of medical issues in the last several years. Or that, some of these issues, have prevented me from taking that next step in evolving my life into something else. Now,  mind you, I'm deliberately not using the word "maturity" here - reason being is that my chosen path doesn't have to be the way everyone evolves.... in fact it shouldn't be... but it's how I've specifically chosen to move forward. It's neither more nor less mature than other choices... just different.

And this is where that "roads diverged in a yellow wood" sort of feeling has started to come for me. I've made a very specific choice of which road I want to take. I've place a lot of emotion and hope and desire into this. Imagine, making a big life choice like that and then having someone say to you "nope... I'm sorry... that path is not open to you, you have to take the other one, like it or not."

I'm in a weird place right now. I'm no longer in the single; married, no kids; long term commitment phase of my life. Nor am I in the new family; established family phase. I'm in limbo. Worse... I'm in limbo with no foreseeable resolution; particularly not one I can control anymore. I've made a decision... and face the very real possibility of being told I have no choice... turn back now... dead end... detour.

Wes is in the same spot, and while I certainly can't speak to his own thoughts and emotional state on this one, I can say that we're together in our alone-ness in this matter. To be so close to the one person who should be able to help you through this and still be miles apart is tough on us both. And, because that wide circle of friends is now divided between the two lives we're moving away and towards, neither of us has anyone to really help us through this. It's left us out of sorts; feeling alone; feeling anti-social. What's worse is that, while I know rationally we are not the first nor the last to feel this sort of thing, in my opinion, it's almost a "you need to be at the EXACT same place in order to help each other through." And how many times does THAT ever happen in one's life?

It's all perception for the most part and the rational side of me recognizes that. But, perception is a large part of how we humans live. We are constantly placing our own interpretations, meanings, emotions onto the people around us and reacting based on that, not necessarily based on the facts. We can't help it... it's why we're human. We all have felt those weird miscommunications that we just can't seem to sort out or know how to fix. Most of the human race has trouble with the concepts of empathy and sympathy - the differences between, when each is appropriate and when each hurts more than is intended. Communications are far more than "Men are from Mars; Women are from Venus." We are all from a different planet of "Me" and speak varying degrees of languages and dialects and it's amazing to me we ever find common ground with anyone long enough to form bonds.

I'm being a bit over-the-top here and I realize that... but it's to prove a point. We are all so very different, with so many different experiences to make up our lives, that finding those bonds we find through the years is a miracle in itself.

I do have those bonds. Some have lasted through years of ups and downs and changes and paths. Some are still relatively new, still testing out the waters and flowing and diverging through the debris and rocks in the river. I know that this will pass, I'll move into whatever phase or path I move into and the turbulence I feel now will pass by... making those strong bonds even stronger. And separating the proverbial chaff from the wheat as they say.

I miss my large and diverse groups... but I am also ok with stepping onto new paths and growing each friendship as it needs to grow, not as I force it to grow. It's difficult... but it happens eventually.

I've had Stranger in a Strange Land on my brain the last couple of days, so I leave you, Dear Reader, with this. It has it's own meaning to me, which fits here in my opinion. But hopefully, you'll take your own path from it as well. Grok?

“Love” is the condition in which the happiness of another person is essential to your own.
-Jubal Harshaw, Stranger in a Strange Land

Monday, June 6, 2011

I am Woman; Hear me ROAR!

Writers write.. and I must be a crappy one because I don't. LOL

But, like I said last post, there's just so much rattling around in this head. So, today, we shall start with the job ponderings. I'll sum up the other thoughts tomorrow maybe.

So, as some of you know, I've been out of work since November. I just started my PartyLite Business with my starter show this past week and quickly reached my goal for the kit. Today I will complete the process and we should have a site up and running before you know it!

But, sadly, at this moment at least, that's not going to scratch the surface of what we really need to make as a household income. I'm about to start NJ unemployment and that will be good, but I do still need a job. And, in the last week, I was hit with three interviews. Nothing practically since November and now three in one week. And one of them was completely surprising.

At the risk of jinxing myself, it's basically a job tailored to my resume, by people I've worked with in the past. I don't have a solid offer yet, but I'll be honestly surprised if something doesn't come of it. The interview was less, tell us how great you are for this position and more "I'll tell you how perfect you are for this job I have in mind specifically for you." Not only is that a wonderful little ego boost, but also means a lot as far as what people I've worked with think of me and my abilities and reminds me that, while I need a job and don't necessarily WANT a career (what with all this baby and stay-at-home-mom talk, you may have guessed that), having a job / career that I do love goes a long way to my other goals of having the ability to pay off debt and save in order to achieve that stay-at-home status.

So then I interviewed for the second position this morning. A project controls position that is very heavy-handed on the administrative side. A "safe" job. A "familiar" (mostly) job. A... stagnant job. It's a contract without a known "to hire" set to it. It's less money (though GOOD money... still less than the aforementioned "tailored" job would be). It would have no security, no loyalty, no pizazz. Like I said... very safe and comfortable. And... I don't think I want safe and comfortable right now. I want to branch out; I want an opportunity to try new things, to be innovative, to feel like I'm really making a difference to the company and my coworkers. To impress. To grow. To challenge.

So, maybe I shot myself in the foot by expressing that I had another potential opportunity on the table (not a lie exactly... but not the truth either) and that they'd need to do better than what they're considering offering. Especially since that offer was LESS than what I had talked to the recruiter about when I took the interview.

And, at the end of the day, I may end up sitting here, bemoaning my financial status, turned down by two jobs because of the risk I just took. But right now? That risk feels good. It feels empowered. It makes me realize that I made a conscious decision of which job I WANTED... and I'm determined to make that happen. And, maybe I'll lose that risk.... but I really honestly think I'm ok with that right now. I think that says a lot about where I am in my life right now. I've also come to realize my potential in the job market and that I don't have to just take anything... I'll take what I WANT and what is best for me.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Writers Write

And I have been terrible thus far of keeping to that!

But... I have so many ideas and thoughts rolling around and so much going on, it's been a little difficult. I know... terrible excuse. I'll get back to it, I promise. But, in the meantime, we're getting close to that time of year for my annual "One Year" reflection, since the passing of a dear friend. So, as I sort out all the various topics in my brain to write on and get that annual message composed, I'll go ahead now and post the last five years on the topic.

I have a new page dedicated just to Erik. So, without further ado, I present you the last five years of "One Year."

For Erik

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

We Got The Funk

I have spent the last several days languishing in the confines of my house. It's been crappy outside for most of the day, I can't really spend any money right now and my motivation is, to put it simply, in the tubes.

I made the decision to start the PartyLite business for the main reason of feeling like I am contributing SOMETHING to the finances... but I'm not as hopeful or enthused as I would like to be. I guess I just don't have a lot of confidence in my ability to take on this sort of a project. I've never particularly LIKED sales... and, to be perfectly honest, the whole concept is a little intimidating and I'm having a hard time convincing myself that it's going to come to anything at all... Heck, I'm not even sure I'm going to make this first starter show requirement for the kit...... and really, if I can't pull THAT off, what in the world makes me think that I can make this even remotely possible.

I know what you're thinking... "That's not the right attitude to have" "That way of thinking will NEVER make it work." And, well... you're right. But, as the title suggests... in sort of a funk today.

I have literally spent the day staring at the computer screen, catching up on episodes of Glee from the first season. I "forgot" to eat lunch today. I'm lucky I even remembered to get out of my pj's. It's not healthy... it's not productive to that de-stress / positive thinking. But hey, we all have our failures right?

So what's this post really about then? Feeling sorry for myself? Justification for why it's ok to sit around like a lump and accomplish nothing day-in and day-out? Of course not... that sort of self-pitying hasn't gotten me anywhere in the past and certainly won't get me anywhere in the future.

I need something to spark my creative interest... to get me motivated and happy and relaxed again. But, I haven't the foggiest idea what that is. I had hoped planning for the PartyLite would do it, but I am just not feeling it. That, my dears, is a means to an end. An end being a tiny bit of release from my constant financial worry. From my guilt over not finding the right job (even though a part of me knows there are rather good reasons why I've stalled on the search right now). From my doldrums of staring at this stupid computer day after day, hoping that something will magically spur me out of this funk and make me not feel so lonely and worried and angry and irritated and....... you get the point. I'm not in a good place, and quite frankly, I hate it right now.

Depression is a tricky Mistress. It doesn't always leave you crying buckets, or wanting to slit your wrists or tossing fine china around the house. Those are the obvious and "expected" reactions. No... more often than not, it seeps in as this horrible empty, lack of inspiration sort of feeling that just doesn't let go. And, having been the routes of therapy and drugs and even the self-medicated, drinking and acting like an ass, I can honestly say that there aren't a whole lot of ways to really shake it. I get more "therapy" out of writing it out than sitting in front of a "degreed" stranger who tells me it's "ok to feel like this" and "what do I really think about how that makes me feel." Drugs.... well I'm pretty sure the emptiness fighting through a depression is almost preferred to that of being stoned or "faking" emotion because of chemicals made in a lab. And well... that last option, even I know how stupid and unproductive it is to drink yourself to "happy" or behave in a manner which makes others (and maybe yourself) be fooled into thinking everything is ok. Everything is NOT ok... and why in the world must we always pretend it is.

Like it has previously... this will pass. And, I'm ok in that knowledge. Knowing that it's just a matter of finding that peace inside me... finding that inspiration... that creative outlet or whatever to drag myself back up out of this funk and move on and past this latest grumble.

In the words of the great George Clinton:

You've got a real type of thing going down, gettin' down
There's a whole lot of rhythm going round
Ow, we want the funk
Give up the funk
Ow, we need the funk
We gotta have that funk
La la la la la
Doo doo doo doo doo doo doo, owww!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Death of the Social Butterfly

I have no idea why that particular title came to mind, but there you have it.

If anyone's been following, you know that in this post I have a variety of "invisible" diseases. The worst of this is gastric reflux... GERD... or as most people know, "heartburn." I've been through a number of surgeries and could go on ad nauseum about the anatomy of my digestive system. And... I thought it was "fixed."

But it creeps back in, at the worst times (not that there's really a GOOD time for this), and makes me feel more than frustrated... makes me feel like crawling under a rock and never coming out again.

Most people's experience with heartburn falls into a category of "indigestion" where you eat something that doesn't agree with you and it feels like your chest is actually burning. More serious sufferers, like me, can actually have heart attack-like pain, which thankfully has not recurred in me recently. However, I woke up at approximately 3:30 this morning, literally choking on stomach acid. Not really the best of wake-up calls, let me tell you. I have spent the day watching what I eat and hoping to find something which will make my stomach stop burning and my throat stop hurting.

And, from a mental / emotional standpoint, this isn't even the worst of it. I have a get-together tonight. Food, fun, friends and booze.

Being a bit of a "foodie" one can imagine social gatherings more often than not are surrounded food. Loving a good glass of wine, many such gatherings are also surrounded by alcohol of some variety.

And now maybe you'll start to see the picture of frustration I have painted my evening with, given my recent early morning wake-up calls.

I'm trying to keep on a happy face about this (positive thinking and all that jazz). I'm trying to make sure there is food available which will be less difficult on my digestive system. I try to tell myself that, not having a glass or two of wine will be fine.

But sometimes, I have a hard time talking myself into it. So best I can do is make the most of the lot I've been given and try not to get myself too down over it. Try not to kill that social butterfly and opt to hide here in the house instead. It's hard... and I know some folks who would say "don't worry" "don't hide" "we love you"... and that's all well and good, but the truth is this may be one of my most frustrating medical condition because it affects me in a very social way... and a way a lot of folk don't understand unless they've dealt with it themselves.

I blog to "get it out there" / "vent my spleen" as it were (if you'll pardon the pun). But it doesn't fix the problem... only reminds me that it's something I will always have to deal with. And maybe that it's time to start taking the more serious measures of accepting there are things I should no longer do / eat / drink in order to keep the symptoms to a mimimum. Because, I'm out of other medical options... and that's a really bad place to be.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Processing.... processing...

Honestly... STILL processing, even though I've been inundated with it all day on FB posts and news blurbs.

But, I do have a few things to say. And, I'm gonna preface this with - if you don't like what I have to say here, good for you. But, rather than blast me for it, unfriend me, stop reading me, stop speaking to me... whatever, just don't fill up my blog with hate. Because, as you may have guessed, I'm tired of the hate.

I responded to someone who mentioned the "coincidence" of the announcement of OBL's death. For the record, my cynicism doesn't come from any conspiracy belief that it's not true or never happened. It comes from a belief that, I do often feel our government times things for full impact - whether it happened yesterday or a year ago or six months ago or not at all. And, it's sort of a sad statement that I do feel suspicous in that manner. That "DNA proof" and "burial at sea" automatically make me think "lie" or "half-truth."

(Note: the irony of the below quote's speaker in context to the above is not lost on me)

If the people cannot trust their government to do the job for which it exists - to protect them and to promote their common welfare - all else is lost. Barack Obama

I find myself angry at the "General Population" for reaction to this. I am even more angry at the notion that those who do NOT feel like celebrating a death, regardless of the despicable nature of the dead person's behavior, are somehow un-American and un-patriotic. Also... for more irony... many times these are the same sort of people who claim to be Christian and who decry how horrible Islam and Muslims (love generalities) are for calling for the death of those who are not like them. I am glad those who were unable to find closure from 9/11 are able now to do so with this announcement. I am glad that there is one less inciter to violence against his fellow man. But, I'm not going to dance in the streets. I'm not going to wish there had been a more violent "justice" for him. And those who do and think I'm un-American and un-patriotic not to feel the same - I offer only peace to you. Because that is no way to continue to live your life... and what's more that is far from any sort of spiritual or religious belief I do get behind - whether it's Christ's teachings to "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you" or the Wiccan Rede "Do as thou will; but any harm none."

Sadly, this doesn't all magically disappear because of the death of one man. And to blatantly act in a manner which is chillingly reminiscent of those in the Middle East after 9/11 only serves to continue to incite more violence.

I had hoped for so long that a great change and Enlightenment was coming for the World. But, unfortunately, mankind just keeps disappointing me; keeps showing they are far from open and ready for real change.

"...We humans have always sought to increase our personal energy in the only manner we have known, by seeking to psychologically steal it from the others--an unconscious competition that underlies all human conflict in the world."
James Redfield

I'll still hold onto my hope for a greater understanding of each other and a greater change and move towards real peace. It's the one positive that, no matter what happens in my own life, I do still cling to. I'll continue to put out my energy towards a more positive world; a more peaceful world. If you want to think me an idealist and maybe even a little naive, so be it. But don't call me un-American or un-patriotic. Last time I checked, to be American meant to have some pretty big dreams.

Friday, April 29, 2011

A State Of...

I've had a couple topics rattling around in my brain the last few days. Most notably, I happened on a link on FB which took me to *shudder* WBC's website. I HIGHLY recommend never going there, especially if you're trying to stay positive about everything. Because, honestly, there is so much hate spewed there that it made it really hard to see the world in any sort of positive light afterwards.

I may have had a crisis of my own faith lately. I may be frustrated and feel that my "lot" in life has become too much and is unfair. My faith in a God who takes an active part in our lives may be shattered... or at the very least, dwindled to feel that, for whatever reason, my life isn't getting any attention and all the answers to my prayers are "no" for some reason.

But, I do NOT believe that "God Hates..." anyone or anything.

The concept of a God of HATE is foreign to how I was raised... to what my heart wants to believe. And, if for some reason WBC would be correct in their hate-mongering ideas of God, well... I don't want anyting to do with Him anyway.

The world is pretty bad. And full of evil people. And evil deeds. Mankind is not living as Christ taught... and Christ taught LOVE. Not "love if..." or "love only"... LOVE. And I have to believe that, even if WBC were correct in the concepts of certain ways of living ones life are wrong and not condoned by God, that does not mean we HATE those people or deeds. We love them. We embrace them and pray for them. But, we do not hate them. We do not spread that hate and teach that hate.

And we certainly never say that God hates any part of His Creation.

Today is a day full of melancholy. There's a lot tumbling around in this little brain of mine and making me feel tired and sad and alone.

Stop The Hate. It's not doing the world any good...

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Follow the Leader!

OOH... LOOK! I have three followers! I feel special. :)

So... for my dear followers, here's a post... or sumfng.

I have, as some of you know, been half-heartedly job searching. With the unemployment, plus Wes' new job, money's been tight, but not necessarily scarce; meaning I can actually take my time and not rush into a job anytime soon.

And, as we discovered last month, this is likely a blessing in disguise as the IVF takes a CONSIDERABLE amount of time and energy during 2-4 weeks of the process. I wouldn't really be doing a good job anywhere I was at that time.

So I had some hopes yesterday - a company I had JUST applied to contacted me right away and wanted to talk about my salary requirements and what I was looking for. However, after a few emails tossed back and forth, it was realized that any offer they'd make would be at LEAST $10k less than my last job doing the same sort of thing, would involve an extensive commute and then, after a phone call with the HR rep, would also been a lot of work hours at very little financial return.

Now... if you see the above money statement, you might think that even at a 10k loss and increase in commuting costs, I'd still be ahead of the game than on unemployment. And... you might be right (always hard to tell, as taxes are harder to figure out and gas prices keep fluctuating, typically on the higher side and I need a new vehicle). But... what really got me was two things - The HR reps insistence on the "my hands are tied; we're paying for the job not for your skills set which are considerably more than we're looking for; and (my favorite) "it's a very high paced, up-and-coming company, where I often even come home exhausted."

Now... normally that last one wouldn't scare me off. I like to be SUPER busy most days at work, so the time goes by faster and I am not bored to tears.

But then I did a bit of research on the company (at Wes' direction - and Current and past employees have a different take on "fast-paced" environment. It's basically a company who seems to squeeze their employees for all they're worth, with little compensation and home/work balance in return.

I am trying to have a baby. I need to have my stress levels kept as low as possible. I will need to dedicate a great chunk of my time in the next couple months (and hopefully thereafter) to doctor appointments and ultrasound and bloodwork and procedures.

I do not need this job. Not by a long shot.

Wes' answer to me was "Do what you want... but I really think you shouldn't look seriously until after this next cycle."

And he's probably right.

So, I turn my daytime endeavors to more entertaining activities. Or at least more productive around the house - cooking, baking (yes, me... baking! I KNOW!), cleaning, laundry, my garden. It's good. It gets me out from behind this computer for several hours... makes my day pass quickly... and gives me other things to focus on than sitting around feeling bad for myself.

If something falls in my lap before the next cycle... that's great. But, I'm not going to settle. I'm not going to rush this. I'm not going to let it make me feel useless or stupid or any of those negative things. I am WORTH getting paid what I want for the skills I'll bring to any company. What's more, I'm WORTH finding the job that's going to make me happy and make me be content with my work/home balance.

And that's ok. I accept that.

Look... back to some positive. ;)

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

A little sparkle

Hope is a fickle thing. Faith even more so. I still hurt. I still feel that I've gotten that proverbial "short end of the stick" and that I've been given far more bad than I deserve and still managed to come through. Whether "coming through" is due to "grace of God" or merely my own temerity or tenacity (take your pick... I've got them both in spades some days), remains to be seen.

We had our consult with the doctor today. The positve side of me says the news was not as dire as it could have been. That negative side of me, however, says that the assumed issue of our infertility is pretty big... and falls squarely upon me. I hate that feeling. I hate feeling that I am, yet again, somehow "less"; somehow "at fault"; somehow... broken once again.

I am to change my diet in hopes that it will improve our chances. High protein... which isn't necessarily a bad thing; but something I just can't seem to get into the 20-25% range he'd like. I'm hovering roughly 18%... and even if I do get it up, the literature I can find on the problem says that it could take 3 months for improvement... and that's if it can be improved.

I have a month and a half. As I pointed out in an earlier post, the financial aspect of this will make further cycles beyond 2 very difficult, unless I can get a job. Or a lottery win. Which is hard when I don't play.

And even with a job, the time commitment is immense. I know others are obviously doing it... getting in for bloodwork and scans before work starts; taking personal time off. But any new job isn't going to be so forgiving with needing time off. And that makes this a daunting task indeed.

A month and a half. More protein. Finding funds. And... all of this while trying to keep those good ol' stress levels down...

Yeah. Cake Walk.

But, my title to this post seemed a little more optimistic, no? A little sparkle. It is there... it's buried deep behind self-doubt (and a heaping of self-pity); frustration and stress and depression and exhaustion. But... it is there. And if I can just hold onto that little nugget, just for a while longer, maybe that's all I need to make this dream happen still.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Title Blank

There are no words for me to even come up with for a title. I'm not even exactly sure where this post is going to take me. I have so many topics which have floated through my head on this over the weekend, I'm not even sure where to start.

It's the post I most dreaded needing to write... the post that hope kept at bay; and yet "realism" made me certain of having to write it.

We all have moments we dread... or moments which stick out in our mind. Looking down at the cell phone Friday, only a few hours after my visit to the lab, made me certain I wasn't going to look forward to listening to the resulting voicemail.

I am still mostly numb. I alternated between that and ambivalence and gut wrenching tears on Friday. Saturday dawned and I tried to "put my head in order," with the result being going back to bed to cry silently... and lose my faith.

I've said before... I'm not a very religious person, but I am rather spiritual and I still had faith. I'm not so sure about that anymore. Because, after all I've been through in life, all the "tests" I've suffered through, "crosses" I've beared and patiences I've kept... to still end up where I was on Saturday leaves me with two conclusions - either a cruel Diety which I'm not sure I want to follow or The Eternal Watchmaker - wind it up and let it go and just see what happens. Either way, there comes a time when it's hard to keep faith and keep praying when the answer inevitably always seems to be "no." I'm sorry if this offends you - but right now I have little proof otherwise, when good people try and fail and others step all over their fellow man in order to succeed and do. In spades.

And please, if you have any real love or respect for me at all, don't comment with a lecture or "have faith" or "I'll pray for you." I cannot handle that right now even with the best of intentions.

I want to believe in the great big concept of "God is Love" but weekends like this one make it very difficult. I'm not sure if there's a certain irony to this change of heart at this particular time of the year... or if it's just very sad.

I feel my heart has more to say on the matter at hand... but again, I'm numb and I just cannot seem to find the words. I want to believe... but there's no longer anything left in me to allow it. It hurts and that hurt takes up everything else I had right now.

We have our follow-up with the doctor on Tuesday. Barring him from telling us there's something in evidence that shows it's impossible, we will try another cycle. But, between fnancial aspects and the emotional aspects, I doubt there will be any chance of a third cycle. Unless, ironically, by some miracle we discover another way to work through some of the impeding aspects, I will have to learn to reconcile myself with this failure.

I'm not sure how much I will post during the next cycle (if there is one). While it helps me in some respects to keep positive, in others it just makes disappointment that much harder to bear. I'd like to thank those people who have been kind enough to understand... who knew when it was right and appropriate to ask questions or give encouragement and who knew when silent companionship was a far better means to help me through this. I love you.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Posing a question

As some of you know... I've been on this HUGE "positivity" kick.

Always a firm believer in "you get out what you put in" as far as a Life Plan goes, I have started to realize that the more negative I put out, the more unhappy I become. It's not been a sudden realization... it started when I was still out in Pittsburgh and my oldest brother commented on my FB statuses and how "down" they always seemed. I endeavored from then on out to try to keep things more "up." But, the process this month has been difficult to say the least. I've managed, in small ways, to find positives. But, I'm running out... with serious lack of job on the horizon, a self-perpetuating doubt of "this didn't work" and overall gloominess of most days here at home, positives are becoming short on availability.

I find positives in sometimes the unlikeliest ways - a random message from a friend, a poem I stumble across, a nice night out when I wasn't expecting to enjoy myself.

Where do you find your positives? What are reminders to you that Life isn't always so bad and maybe, just maybe, things can be so much better than you're allowing for?

Monday, April 11, 2011

Occupation of Thoughts

Today was a pretty good day for that, actually. I smidge warmer than I'd have liked but after the crappy beginning of Spring, I'll take it. Planted the majority of my garden (and keeping fingers crossed ol' Black Thumb doesn't strike again!), planted my irises, cleaned the (ahem) less desirable aspect of the yard when you're a dog owner, organized the kindling pile for the fire pit (as best I could), signed my tax forms at H&R Block, made phone calls, got laundry started... collapsed in a sweaty, dirty, but happy, mess. :)

I need to keep the thoughts occupied going for the next couple weeks and just hope and pray things are progressing as they should. Waiting truly is the hardest part.

Sadly, the rest of the week looks kinda poor for outdoor work. Which means I need to find things inside to occupy my time that don't require a lot of heavy lifting. We shall see if I can keep the trend going...

Friday, April 8, 2011

This post brought to you by the letters...

"Plan" and "ning"

So... I've been out of work, coming up on 6 months now (technically 5 1/2 but who's counting).And, in the course of that time, I've had exactly... one interview. Now, granted, I haven't been trying as hard as I normally do because there's been so much else going on, but there is coming a time when I'm going to need to make a decision. Keep plodding away at my attempts... or decide what else I want to do with my life.

Any and all of these things require a lot of planning. For example, if this whole incredible process actually results in a miracle, then I have to contend with interviewing while pregnant and/or convincing someone to hire me knowing I'll need to go on maternity leave eventually. Not a huge deal the first few months, but eventually someone's gonna figure it out. Not to mention if this DOESN'T work (a real possibility as far as I'm concerned at this point),  then  we have a lot of decisions ahead on how to proceed.

At any rate, aside from a "normal" job, I have two other options potentially available to me: 1) stay home and not work (ideal if the miracle occurs; less so if it doesn't, but also easier if we keep trying) or 2) consider other alternatives to "normal" jobs. Like getting my writing off the ground (unlikely... I just don't have the confidence in it or the prolific ideas to make a Living out of it) or starting my own business.

Both of these choices however, mean a lot of planning. And a lot of need for changing the way I run my household currently. It becomes slightly easier with Wes' job change, but still not exactly our "current standard of living" (which, admittedly is probably beyond what we need, hence the below list).

So... here's a list, in no particular order:
1. Quit nickle and diming ourselves. I'm notorious for this. Lunch here, breakfasts there, order out... these are the three top offenders. But also little things that we don't need or "perks" (like wanting to have my BBC channel despite the fact that it adds a stupid amount to our cable bill).

2. This Old House. Literally. This house isn't exactly a "money pit" but it's not remotely financially efficient either. New heater, new windows, new water heater... little odds and ends. And the mortgage and taxes aren't pretty either. The location makes Wes' commute suck; and the price of gas making living here significantly LESS than ideal. But with the market as bad as it is, I just cannot fathom unloading it. And I can't do so at a loss either. Last thing I need is to find MORE money just to pay off the stupid mortgage. And, doing that, will make getting a new house closer to his job that much harder... and that much more expensive.

3. Groceries. I plan my grocery and meals poorly. All this time on my hands (and don't say it... blogging is a way to sort out my head to make such things easier, so this IS productive to the matter at hand) and I can't even plan a proper meal. Which leads to running out for little things, spending more than I need or WORST *gasp!* having to order out. Inexcusable and costly. Plus, I can no longer stand shopping in this area, which means driving to DE... more gas; more wear and tear on an already busted up Jeep; etc., etc., etc.

I need to resolve these three things. The first and third are relatively easy, I just need to buckle down and do it. The middle one is the most expensive and the hardest to resolve. But I need to do it. Once I can get a handle on our expenses, I can figure out how to make those proverbial "dreams come true." Whatever those dreams may turn out to be...

Thursday, April 7, 2011

TTC, 2ww and other fertility acronyms

This is by far the worst part of it all...
Worse than the testing, the needle sticks, the funky reaction to meds, the watching the tests and not having a warm fuzzy about it all.

2ww - The two week wait. What's more is the 2ww2ww... (or, in other words, four weeks).

I want to feel something, anything which tells me this all worked. But the meds create a false sense of "positive"... when I feel anything at all. You read all sorts of things including the concept of "well I just KNEW I was pregnant" and, feeling nothing, think "well... then I must not be." It's hard. Every twinge could be hope... or hope dashed. Each day I wake up with dread that it's going to be the day that things prove it didn't work... again.

And yet... LOGICALLY (because we all know how well I do that), I do know that I could have no symptoms at all. I might not even "feel" anything until WELL into the first trimester.

And so.... I have to wait. I have to wait until there is some actual evidence. A line on a stick; a blood test saying positive... the first sounds of a heartbeat.

And I can't bear it and everyone says to relax and not stress and stay positive.


But... wait I must. For good or ill. And just try to keep positive and hope and endure 2ww.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

I Am Me

For Able-Bodied Girl, my own self... and anyone else who needs this sort of reminder now and again.

I Am Me by Virginia Satir -

“I am Me. In all the world, there is no one else exactly like me. Everything that comes out of me is authentically mine, because I alone chose it -- I own everything about me: my body, my feelings, my mouth, my voice, all my actions, whether they be to others or myself. I own my fantasies, my dreams, my hopes, my fears. I own my triumphs and successes, all my failures and mistakes. Because I own all of me, I can become intimately acquainted with me. By so doing, I can love me and be friendly with all my parts. I know there are aspects about myself that puzzle me, and other aspects that I do not know -- but as long as I am friendly and loving to myself, I can courageously and hopefully look for solutions to the puzzles and ways to find out more about me. However I look and sound, whatever I say and do, and whatever I think and feel at a given moment in time is authentically me. If later some parts of how I looked, sounded, thought, and felt turn out to be unfitting, I can discard that which is unfitting, keep the rest, and invent something new for that which I discarded. I can see, hear, feel, think, say, and do. I have the tools to survive, to be close to others, to be productive, and to make sense and order out of the world of people and things outside of me. I own me, and therefore, I can engineer me. I am me, and I am Okay.”

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Tripped the Hurdle

When you enter into a process such as the one I'm in, your rational brain tells you all the things you need to prepare for. Failure is imminent every step of the way, to be honest and you try to remind yourself of that in order to armour against disappointments.

However, your blasted heart always manages to override this logic and let's those little things like "hope" and "positive thoughts" run rampant.

And that's when you trip that third hurdle. The news that out of seven only four fertilized was frustrating enough. But, hey... four, that's good, the only implant a max of 3 anyway, so I'm one ahead of the game, right?(damned heart again)

We left yesterday morning for the transfer, only to have me realize when I got in the car I had a voicemail on my cell. As we pulled out, I listened to the message. My doctor and could I call him right away. Never really a good sign. But, still trying to keep positive, I called back as we drove.

The embroys weren't dividing as much as he'd like, so he was cancelling my procedure for the day. He'd call Monday morning and let me know how things stood, with a transfer possible Monday afternoon. Day 5. The last day to do a transfer.

After an initial emotional turmoil, I got my head (heart) back together and proceeded with "Day 5... a couple more days to "cook"... this isn't a bad thing."

My cell rang this morning, just before 10. Three of the four have stopped (or slowed... emotion was taking over in a bad way and my brain wasn't processing right). One has moved to the next phase and "I'll call you tomorrow morning after the lab lets me know where we stand. Be prepared to come in for a transfer anytime tomorrow."

My heart hurts. It wants to be positive and say "hey... it only takes one, right?" But part of me thinks it's time to let my brain take back over and come to the realization that, tripping that third hurdle there hurt, and I'm not sure we're gonna finish the race, let alone get over the final hurdle. The odds have started to stack against me.

What's more, a completely failed cycle holds a lot of implications for the future. Aside from the big question of "why?" there are a lot of considerations before we'd be able to decide to continue this process.

Obviously knowing why it happened is the biggest consideration. The answer to that could make any future decisions moot... if it's not going to happen, if there is a fatal flaw in the components, as it were, then the decision gets made for us.

But, say it's just "one of those things." "Sometimes these things happen; it's not unusual; there's no reason not to try again."

Well then we come to the "reasons not to try again."

The process is not cheap. Even with a kickass insurance, this process (meds, acupuncture, copay, admin fee) was out of pocket over $1k. In addition, the new insurance does not cover IVF or acupuncture... which means in order to have insurance cover it, I have to stay on COBRA, which is just under $800/month

That's money we don't necessarily have with me unemployed. So... "get a job." Great plan, except for the time invested in this. Bloodwork / doc appt. / ultrasound / acupuncture which for two weeks kept me in the doctor's office approximately 4/ 5/6 out of 7 days. Two procedures (if we get to those phases) which required a minimum 1 day off a job each... with the expectation that it could be 2 days each. Four days... out of work at a new job. A possible 10-12 days pre-retrieval of having to be in for labwork (meaning... may need to arrive to work late). Another 5 days after transfer of the same. And, in between all of this, symptoms from the meds and process which make me feel like crap and most days just wanting to sleep or curl up on a heating pad.

I don't like the odds right now. What's more... I don't like the problems facing us with future decisions if it doesn't work this cycle.

These are moments when my head tells me to just "give up." The financial, time and most of all, emotional, investments may not be worth it.

And then I go to the store... see a little one... see how Wes looks at them.... and my stupid heart breaks all over again reminding me that this is all I ever wanted... and why should I stop trying?