Saturday, November 28, 2009


It’s been 2 years since that fateful appointment with my RE. I can remember every minute of that appointment like it happened just yesterday. Him smiling when he came into the room, telling us that was our last appointment with him, asking us if we had made an appointment with a perinatologist for subsequent visits.

And then the ultrasound when our world came tumbling down.

The RE’s shaking hands as he tried desperately to find that heartbeat, to dismiss his suspicions. His voice, higher pitched than usual, saying “There is no heartbeat”.

Numbed silence from DH and me. No tears, no words, no nothing. What could we say? Then the whole whirl of things – someone saying “Let’s schedule the D&C”, someone coming and hugging me, saying “I’m so sorry”. DH and me looking at each other, holding hands, still numbed and silenced by the events.

Two years to the day.

They say time is the best healer. I think time just dulls the pain. The actual pain remains forever. The loss remains forever. All time does is make memories dull and faint. I can feel the choking lump in my throat as I type this right now. The pain is still there, right at the surface.

If anything is fading, it’s my memories of how it felt to be pregnant. That was the only pregnancy I felt anything. Not being able to sleep on my tummy as I usually do, because my breasts hurt so much. Not be able to stay awake past 8 PM because I was just SO exhausted. Wanting to eat meat that was cooked with a lot of spice. I am not a beef eater – I didn’t even know how it tastes, but I swear, watching those steakhouse commercials on TV at that time would make me want to go eat steak right then!

But those memories are fading away. Every week, every month, every year, I am further away from the time I was pregnant.

I’ve been working very hard at accepting the cards that have been dealt out to me. I got tired of being angry at the universe. But then it’s days like today when the floodgates open, and everything comes pouring back in. Why us? What did we do wrong? Our baby would have been almost a year and a half old today. We should have had a home full of toys, and baby clothes and diapers and formula, and baby food. Instead, it’s just us, 2 more years older, no closer to having a family now than we were then!

On this day last year, as I wrote a blog entry, I was getting ready for my CCRM IVF. I still had hope. If my uterus was the problem, we had "fixed" it. If DH's translocation was the problem, we were doing genetic testing anyway. The cycle at CCRM HAD to work. Well, it didn't. We all know how that IVF cycle turned out.

Today, I feel miserable. Simply miserable. We did all we could, because we had the ability to hope, and we had the stamina to keep trying. We lost.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Somewhere in the universe…..

November is Adoption Awareness Month, and so far, the month has been just that for us. More and more awareness about adoption.

We started the month by kicking off some of the steps for home study. We got our fingerprinting done first, because fingerprinting results take up to 3-4 weeks to come back. (Of course my finger printing wasn’t without drama! We discovered that my little pinky fingers don’t “print” very well. I have faint lines on my palms anyway, and the little pinkies are practically “smooth”. The fingerprint technician was making jokes with me, saying “If you ever turn to a life of crime, use your pinky fingers, so you don’t leave fingerprints! She then started referring to me as the “Pinky Finger Bank Robber”! Ha! Can you imagine that? I on the other hand couldn’t help but wonder if my fingerprints are getting eroded and my fingertips are now smooth because of all the “drumming my fingers” I have done in the last 8 years! So much of infertility and treatments involved waiting, doesn’t it? Hence the finger drumming…. get it? Get it?)

Then we got our medicals done. And as always, not without drama. No sir, in my life, nothing is without drama! DH went to his doctor, got a physical exam, got some blood work done, and was on his way. For me, drama.

As part of my physical, my Dr. ordered some blood work and X-ray. I went to get my X-Ray done, and after I was changed into the paper gown, the lab tech asks me “So I think I asked you this already, and you told me you are not pregnant, right?” No, lady, you did not ask me, and yes, while I am not pregnant, it shouldn’t be SO obvious, should it? I should at least be asked!!

Then I went to get the rest of my blood work done. I filled out my name and DOB on the check in form, and I get called up immediately.

Nurse: “Is this for your son?”
Me: …………………………… “No” (Couldn’t for the life of me figure out why she would assume that, till she pointed out that I had put 2009 in the “year” on the DOB part of the form!! D’oh! Why me?)

I finally get called in, and the phlebotomist puts on her glove and looks for my vein. She finds the vein, looks up at me, and says: “Looks like you’ve been poked a lot”. I said yes, and asked her how she could tell. She said she could feel all the scarring in my veins from the blood draws I have had earlier.

I could have let myself get sucked into the unfairness of it all, all the reminders, all the drama, and question the universe about the injustice that has been doled out towards me, and I did, for a tiny bit. I did have a “Woe is me” pity party for a little bit. But I am not going to allow myself to get sucked into that whirlpool again. I’m focusing on the end goal this time, and I have my sights set on bringing baby home.

The agency that we have selected as our adoption agency had an “Adoption Day Party” this weekend. DH and I went, to make use of the opportunity to meet other people in our shoes. It was an awesome experience. We met some birthmoms, and some adoptive families. There were little babies crawling / running around, and it was pure joy watching them.

Meeting the birthmoms was the best part. Talking to them brought images to my mind that this could work. We could, at the end of this, bring a child into our family in this way! We can actually do it! I hugged some of the birth moms after they shared their stories with us, and felt that all too familiar choke in my throat, and the sting of tears in my eyes. These birth moms are mere girls! 18 years old, 20 years old! They look like little kids! If we had had children at their age, some of them could actually BE our children! (I mean age wise)

I don’t know how our path ahead will be. I don’t know how rocky or smooth our adoption journey will be, but I do believe that somewhere in the universe, the wheels are turning. And our baby is making its way towards us. Only, none of us know how, and when it will all come together. But it will. It has to.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

This one's for the girls

This is a story about real life friends. A story about how a group of ladies that met as part of a support group grew to becoming a group of ladies that were supporting each other through some of the toughest times in each others’ lives.

A little over a year ago, Shelby commented on my blog for the first time, and she said she also lived in the San Francisco Bay Area, so I said: “Let’s meet.” We met one afternoon, and hit it off. It was so easy to talk to Shelby. She is wonderfully witty, compassionate and very warm.

Shelby had been going to a local support group in San Francisco, and she had met some other ladies there that were also going through IF struggles. She asked if I would be willing to come and have dinner with the group some time. At first I hesitated. I had never been to support groups before. I had never talked to “strangers” about my situation in life (I mean, I do talk through my blog, but I have the cover of anonymity here). Shelby asked me if I would be more comfortable if the group included spouses. That way I could ask DH to accompany me. I did, and that’s how I first met “the ladies”.

Our group met quite regularly after that. Sometimes for brunch, sometimes for a drink, sometimes at someone’s house. Everyone was at various stages of their journeys. LW was in the decision making space in between her IUIs and IVF. M was doing IUIs. J was coping with immune issues, and doing IVF coupled with very severe transfusion procedures. OC was going through IVF, and it worked! ME was going through DE and it worked! KW had just had a miscarriage after IVF, and then got pregnant naturally! Shelby’s IVF worked! I was going for my uterus surgery and getting ready for my last hurrah IVF at CCRM.

One by one, it seemed like the group was achieving success. It became a little difficult to be the one(s) left behind. I had by now been lapped several times through the years, so in a way, I was expecting it. But it still made it hard for me to meet the group, especially when the majority of the group was pregnant. We met a couple of new ladies, also from the support group that Sarang met Shelby at. The group sort of started growing in a different direction.

Sarang (her blog is private, so I can’t link it here) was phenomenal through the changes. She reached out to all the pregnant girls one on one, met with them, checked in on them regularly, all while she was going through a failed IVF and failed FETs.

I, on the other hand, let myself withdraw. I felt I needed to. I called it “my coping mechanism” or “self preservation”. I went through my cancelled FET, and subsequently my failed FET, and fell into a dark deep place in my life. I am doing much better now, and now, as I look back, I realize how much of a hand each and every one of these ladies had in gently pulling me out of my trenches. I got emails, voice mails, phone calls, text messages, flowers, and hand written cards in the mail! Each time someone reached out, it put a smile on my face.

See, I had spent 8 years struggling alone with IF. I had never explored support groups. I had grown used to dealing with my failures and losses in my own way – which mostly meant closing down from the rest of the world till I regained the energy and the strength to face life again. Receiving these notes and flowers and messages felt different. And I am so very thankful to everyone for being there.

So Sarang, MV, Shelby, ME, OC, KW, JC, L – if you are reading this, thank you from the bottom of my heart! You rock! You don’t know how much you have helped me by just being there, and by reaching out to me when you knew I needed you, though some of those times, I didn’t know it myself!

OC and ME recently had their babies, Shelby is due soon, and so is KW. MV, Sarang and JC’s journey still continues. My journey continues too. The routes may have changed for some of us, but the destination remains the same – parenthood.

The group continues to meet – sometimes in big groups, sometimes one on one. We now have more members. Recently, Meg found my blog and reached out. She and I met for dinner a couple of months ago. Meg is beautiful, and warm and funny! I introduced her to the original group (or at least the ones still on the TTC bandwagon from that group). Meg introduced us to Melissa, who is a sweetheart! Sarang brought in a few more ladies, and the "new group" met just recently.

So now we have new faces in the group, but the bonding remains the same. The stories are different, but the struggle is the same. And it is so easy to connect with these ladies because everyone gets it. Everyone is in different stages of her journey, but the emotions are the same.

We meet at restaurants and bond over food. And as any veteran IFer, none of us are ashamed of talking about our body parts, or medical procedures, or TTC terminology. I am sure many a fellow restaurant client on the surrounding tables has had trouble ingesting their food if they have ever overheard our conversations! We giggle over stories of cervical mucus, sperm counts, fertilization rates, number of eggs retrieved etc, while proceeding to eat pizza, or chinese food, or whatever else it is that we are eating. No queazy stomachs at our table! On the tables surrounding us? Who knows? And frankly, who cares? Would they rather have queazy stomachs from overhearing IF conversation, or would they rather be us, having that IF conversation?

So this one's for the girls!!

This one's for the girls
Who've ever had a broken heart
Who've wished upon a shooting star
You're beautiful the way you are
This one's for the girls
Who love without holding back
Who dream with everything they have
All around the world
This one's for the girls

I recently noticed on my blog traffic monitor, that someone came to my blog by googling for "real life IF meetings in San Francisco". Whoever that was, if you are reading this, and if you are one of us that needs support, I am sure our group will be more than happy to welcome you. Leave me a comment, and we will include you in our next get together.