Tuesday, April 24, 2012

don't ignore, augusta

It is National Infertility Awareness Week, and although I am not of the Nation, I still have something to say about it. I've seen the blog post titles pop up all week: Don't Ignore this, Don't Ignore that. I usually keep a remote and/or apathetic stance towards these things, but this one worked its way into my brain like an ear worm.  So here is my submission to the Don't Ignore Infertility campaign.

This post is addressed to me. You are welcomed to read it, and by all means comment on it if you'd like. But my 'Don't Ignore' is going out to moi.

Stop ignoring the rest of your life. Stop ignoring it right now. Pay attention to it. Please. Your life is about so much more than this horseshit infertility. I know it doesn't seem like it on most days, that everything you do or don't do revolves around coping with, surviving, or digging yourself out of infertility. I know that it is what you experience as the thread running through almost each experience. I know that it aches so much and so often that it itself cannot be ignored, but I implore you to stop ignoring the rest of your life.

Infertility is tricking you into thinking that you are completely adrift on a sea without land borders, an endless sea that won't ever bring you to shore. It makes you believe that there is no way out of this situation, that despite people resolving their infertility crisis in one way or another, that for some reason, it will never be resolved for you. It will. And when it does, you will certainly be looking around to see where you've put the rest of your life. If you don't tend to it now, it might not be there when you are finally ready to live in it.

It may be harshness you detect in my tone, dear woman (had to put it in there), but I am in fact trying to convey a sense of urgency. I am gripping you by both shoulders and shaking you gently, lovingly so that you are pulled away from your stupor.

Don't ignore what you love. Not on the count of this soul-sucking thief of a disease. Don't ignore how much you love spending time in nature, how much your enjoy your friends, how great you feel when you connect with others. Don't ignore the signs of spring bursting just a few feet outside your window, in the form of daffodils, young leaves on the birch trees, or the blooming forsythia in the front yard. Don't ignore music, or art, or literature, or reading the paper on Saturday, or the taste of a warm tea. Don't ignore what's around you, what is begging to be noticed.

Don't ignore your suffering marriage and your beloved husband because the ever-hungry infertility has cored you like grated apples. Don't ignore the difficulties that come up and that can be looked after in the moment, instead of putting them away to be solved later. Later, there will be a whole pile of unresolved difficulties that may feel like too large a mess of problems for any two people to address. Don't ignore your precious marriage.

Stop ignoring the rest of your life, Augusta. Live it with a broken heart. Live it with all the sorrow and all the fear you hold, but live it. Don't ignore it. Don't ignore all the moments that offer themselves to you, even if they seemed bruised or lacking because you do not have a baby in your arms. Stop fighting with reality. Stop ignoring what is. Just go into it more deeply.

Don't ignore the rest of your life.


On this topic, I'll end with a favourite poem of mine: Everything is Waiting for You, by David Whyte

Your great mistake is to act the drama
as if you were alone. As if life
were a progressive and cunning crime
with no witness to the tiny hidden
transgressions. To feel abandoned is to deny
the intimacy of your surroundings. Surely,
even you, at times, have felt the grand array;
the swelling presence, and the chorus, crowding
out your solo voice You must note
the way the soap dish enables you,
or the window latch grants you freedom.
Alertness is the hidden discipline of familiarity.
The stairs are your mentor of things
to come, the doors have always been there
to frighten you and invite you,
and the tiny speaker in the phone
is your dream-ladder to divinity.

Put down the weight of your aloneness and ease into
the conversation. The kettle is singing
even as it pours you a drink, the cooking pots
have left their arrogant aloofness and
seen the good in you at last. All the birds
and creatures of the world are unutterably
themselves. Everything is waiting for you. 

Friday, April 20, 2012

thirty eight

I got the exam over and done with. Thank you so very much for your encouragements and support. Most of the people I know who have written this exam have left feeling like they failed. That's pretty much how I felt.  I'm just hoping I passed so I don't have to do this again. In a deep irony that wasn't lost on Bunny, the exam results are usually shared with the examinee 2 weeks after the exam. That's right folks, I'm in a 2ww hell of a different sort.

In the mean time, all I am hearing from the US clinic are crickets. We got re-matched on April 4. I emailed our nurse on April 5 because it was my CD1. I emailed her again on April 16 because I hadn't heard anything from them and wanted to check in. Nothing again. It would be easier to receive a note saying "hold tight, we are working through stuff and will get the cycle schedule out soon." I did receive yesterday an email from our coordinator asking about one of my blood work screens that I had done in late December. It annoyed me. Greatly.

I am losing hope that this will happen in May. It's going to be June now. Or maybe July. The wait is weighing on me now. I was feeling so zen about it for months, but I'm not anymore.

Yesterday was my birthday. It was rough. Last year on my birthday, we were having our first ultrasound and owlet's heartbeat was detected for the first time. Owlet was growing and alive, and our dreams were finally coming true. This year, well, things are different. I think I was really holding on to having dates all set by the time my birthday came around, and it was a huge let down to not have those yet and still be swimming in uncertainty.

I had a great amount of birthday love from many friends. It really warmed my heart. Unfortunately, I was having a huge wave of secondary guilt for not being able to fully take all that love in, for being so distressed on a day that's supposed to be happy. Ugh. I wanted the day to end as soon as it started. Mr. A took me out to a comedy show, which made me laugh. I was really glad for the distraction.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

note from the brink

of insanity. Studying for this exam is all consuming. That's what I do morning, noon and night. I apologize for my lack of commenting and posting. My exam is Tuesday, and hopefully I won't have to study for it again. Thank you for your messages of support, and a special thanks to those who have taken this exam before for your reassuring words.

from Martinjovev's shop on etsy

No news about dates or next steps, despite my insistent, expectant waiting by my phone. I am hoping it will come this week. And because we will reach the 7 business days within which one is supposed to learn more about next steps, I will be emailing/phoning this week if I don't hear from them.

Enjoy your weekend.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Donor re-match

Good news! I received the match email late on Wednesday. We are in the take-off queue and waiting for the control tower to say it's our turn. The match email is just what it sounds like: it only says that the match is complete and that we will hear from another member of the treatment team about next steps. I'll be patient. Given the dates they gave last time, I'm still thinking this will happen in May, but holding that loosely. I'm only a passenger on this plane; not the pilot.

the mindmap - showing a rapidly weakening grip on my sanity
Easter weekend is a long weekend here. We get Friday and Monday as stat Holidays. I am glad to not have to go to work. I am frantically studying for my licensing exam (EPPP), scheduled for April 17. It's a beast. There is a lot of material to cover and despite having started studying in January, I'm still not entirely confident I'll pass. To try and learn some darn useless concepts, I have taken to constructing mindmaps. I'm not sure it's helping, but I enjoyed taking out my crayons and markers.

Better get back to the books. Thank you for your wonderful comments, dear friends.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012


I got very discouraged yesterday. It's not like this is really a long time to wait. We got unmatched last Monday. It's only been 2 weeks since we've selected our donor.

It's weighing on me this week. It wasn't last week but it is this week. I keep looking at my inbox, wondering when the email from the Donor Coordinator will land there. The ipho.ne dings so much in a day, you'd think it's Christmas time.

Yesterday was also April 2nd, the day we found out about the pregnancy last year. I had a heavy heart all day. Got through the day. Not at all gracefully, but I got through it. That's what counts. Thank goodness there was good news in Blogland, with Jess going to get her baby girl who was born on Sunday. It buoyed me to get such great news.

from Raceytay Photography
I try to remain respectful of how much I hurt, and respond gently to that. It's just a fact. Infertility has destroyed me in a way. No, not completely. But it has transformed me, and for now, it seems for the worse. I realize I may come to view that differently one day.

And then I think about how much worse it could be. I still have my life. I am still healthy. I have a job. I have good friends. I have a loving husband. There's my girl Chicken. We have enough money to buy food. We have a roof over our heads. We can even find a way to pay for DE IVF with the help of our families.

I'm just out of patience today. I'll find some again and apply it to this situation. But not today.