Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Guest Post - 1,000 Needle Sticks

I asked my husband to guest post a while back because honestly, I love his writing and it always sticks with me regardless of what he writes about. This post is no different. I hope you enjoy.


1,000 Needle Sticks

Shot of what? Inject it where? Mix it how? Give this why? Is it time? Hold your legs up? How long has it been?How long do we wait? One day two days three days four days one week two weeks two weeks and two days two weeks and four days now your’re late we’re late really we’re late how do you feel I feel nauseous a bit you do yep I do man man man oh man do you think we got it right this time yes I feel like we finally got it right this time holy cow I think we got it right this time how late are you we are late baby baby baby –STOP – I STARTED TODAY….blank expression…watery eyes…turn around, turn away, walk away, stay away for two more weeks of avoiding the topic and wondering how on Earth we’ll ever get pregnant…

Infertility kills. Infertility hurts. It will –and yes it will – beat you down. It will be the elephant on your shoulders, weighing down your every step. Making every movement slow, deliberate, burdened, unnatural. You lose the flow of life. Lose the simple joys of a mockingbird on your brick wall somehow mocking the sound of a red tailed hawk. Normally, that would be fascinating – absolutely fascinating. But you just shrug that off and put your hand on the car door, open the door, sit down, close the door, sit in your silence for a few seconds, then put the key in the ignition and spiral your way back down into your own private hell. Every. Single. Cursed. Day.

The mechanism of infertility. The steady, methodical demolition of the self. The brutal machine that quite quickly condemns one of life’s greatest joys into one of life’s greatest failures. That “BFN”. Big. Fat. Negative…Big. Flaying. Nife.

You may never feel this alone. You may never feel as alone as you will as you endure this arduous process. But it is a process. But you are not alone, unfortunately. There is no solace in that, however – because who gives a rat’s rip that other folks are in your unique position. It doesn’t help. There is no help when there is nothing to help you. Either you get pregnant, or you don’t. If you try to look much beyond that, well… then I wish you the best of luck, friend.

Luck. Faith. Work ethic. Talent. Humor. Perhaps we’re not as solid as we thought? Perhaps we aren’t the strongest person we know? Perhaps we will never, ever get pregnant? Perhaps. I mean, it’s been over 2 years (I quit counting the months when I realized it’d been two years) so why should it change now?

And then I came home from Dick’s Sporting Goods around 8:00 one night. Had to get a new team catcher’s mitt and new BBCore approved bat. I walked in from the garage. I took two steps into the kitchen. And then I saw her emerge from the hallway. Her hand outstretched. Her face a beautiful display of one thousand raw emotions at once. In her hand a white stick. But I already knew because I had already connected with her eyes – her beautiful, oceanic eyes. She was shaking, barely able to speak, barely able to stand, barely able to barley be able to. Her body, like a life-sized tuning fork, hummed and sung with limitless energy. The test said we were pregnant…

So did the next test. So did the third test. And the fourth. And the fifth. And the sixth. So did the bloodwork. So did the next round of bloodwork. So did the ultrasound. So did the world-changing sound of the “thwump-thwump-thwump-thwump-thwump” sound of a beating heart – the beating heart – of our baby. Yes, yes – it finally worked. It finally, finally, finally, finally, finally actually worked.

Look. You may be down in that deep, dark, dank emotionless cave that only you can reach. You may be as cold as a mountain stone. You may be one step away from either retreating for good, or taking your first step towards the mouth that leads out of this damned cave. I wish I could take your hand, look you in the eye, and tell you that it’s going to be perfect. I wish that would make a difference. At some point, you’ll either get pregnant or you won’t. At some point, you’ll either keep trying for one that is of your own blood, or you won’t. Just don’t ever quit trying to fight your way out of this. Fight your way through it. Fight your way to your own unique sense of peace with your path –whatever that path may be. It isn’t easy. It was never meant to be easy.

I wish for you that which you need most right now. - Rik

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Hello me....

I have been thinking a lot lately about how strange it is to be ME again.  Not the old me really, just a new me.  A better me.  A peaceful me.  I haven't been "Ok" in a long time.  2009 was the beginning of what ended up being three of the hardest years of my life.  TTC, Infertility, pregnancy loss, job loss, my grandfather dying, surgery, treatments, etc.  It just felt like the hits kept rolling in.

Infertility hung around.  Dragging me under.  I couldn't get my head back above water.  I was drowning more and more every day.  To be so down and have so many disappointments and just want a child of your own to love with every part of your soul, to ground you, center you, firmly and decisively establish you as someone meaningful in this world and then not be able to have it month after month with no real idea as to just does something to you mentally.  It leaves you feeling like you've been stuck on a Tilt-A-Whirl.  Going around and around, dizzy, sick, scared.  I thought things and felt things that I would NEVER admit to anyone these past few years.  There were times I thought my marriage couldn't last through another week.  Thank GOD it did.  There were times I thought I would go insane from the hurt and confusion of it all.  Thank GOD I didn't (completely).  There were days I couldn't even speak to people because it felt like uttering one word would take every ounce of strength I had and I needed my strength just to get one foot in front of the other.  And I thought I was a strong person before.  You find out just how much you can handle (or not) when you're dealing with being infertile.  I hit the lowest point of my life last year before finally, slowly, I began to claw my way back.  Back to life, back to Rik, back to myself.  But I still wasn't ok.  I still wasn't ME.  I felt unsteady.  A bad case of vertigo.  No real sense of which was up.  I was trying....I just wasn't getting very far.  The sadness was always there.

Until March.  Out of the clear blue my life did a complete 180.  When I had finally stopped expecting it, I received the biggest gift of my entire life.  I went from wanting a glass of wine to peeing on a stick and then being completely face down in my bathroom floor crying and shaking and freezing and saying the only two things I could say: "Oh my gosh" and "Thank you.  Thank you.  Thank you."  I think I spent two hours saying ONLY those two phrases...  I was pregnant.  After years and months and weeks and days of never getting anywhere but further down, I was suddenly present.  VERY, very present.  Those first few days were such a blur.  Terrifyingly happy and just plain terrified.  Loss does a number on your faith.  It's true.  People say you've gotta have's hard when you have gone through a loss.  I was beyond scared.

I've heard people say their lives changed in an instant when something specific happened to them.   That night changed my life.  Just the knowing.  The beginning of something beautiful I thought I would never get to experience.  It took weeks to sink in.  It took months to finally feel that fear of loss start to slip slowly away.  It took even longer before I realized I am REALLY going to be a mother.  I will have a son.  In a few months, my house will be filled with tiny things.  Tiny clothes, tiny shoes, tiny toys, tiny diapers.   We will be exhausted and stressed and 100% in love with our baby.  We will go from a couple to a family.  Just reading that puts tears in my eyes.  My husband will finally get to hold our past and our future in his hands and let all that love in his heart pour all over our little boy.  Six months ago, I never would have believed we'd be here now.  This place is so.....content.  Six months and I am so me again.  The new me, but me all the same, only different.  I no longer feel like I'm hanging on to my sanity by a thread.  I'm no longer feel like every breath I take is through a tiny straw.  I'm functional.  I'm happy.  I found my smile.  I am at peace again.  I finally see my husband again.  Not the soldier beside me fighting his way through, but my soul mate.  It's so unbelievable to feel this way after so long in the dark.  And it all started to change that night in March.  I haven't spent one day since then living in sorrow or pain or anger.  I didn't even realize it until recently.  The rubberbands around my chest are gone.  The weights on my shoulders have been lifted.  The blinders I was wearing have been removed.  It's like I hopped on a speeding train back to LIFE and never looked back.  I hadn't expected that, I guess.  Not so quickly or so completely.  Our lives are changed.

There are so many people out there still dealing, dragging themselves through every day, trying to breathe in and out, hurting, aching and longing for all these same things.  It seems wrong sometimes that I stand on the other side of infertility now when so many people I know are still in the throes of battle, chest deep in the hurt.  I don't understand why the timing of things has happened this way, but I know that anyone I've met, talked to or followed out here who has gone through the valley of infertility and come out on the other side with their dream, regardless of if it's a child of their heart or a child of their body, they all say the same....The timing was perfect.  The child that was meant for them is theirs and they wouldn't trade a single moment of what they went through to get there.  That's so easy to say from "the other side" but I keep telling myself it is true and God's timing is perfect....if not painful at times.

I don't know what's got me thinking about all of this other than I had this amazing feeling of being present and completely content today.  It's been so long since I felt truly at peace that it was almost a surprise to realize that's what I was feeling.  I am so incredibly grateful.  I'm amazed at God's trust in us and amazed that He has given me the opportunity to build my life around my husband and our little boy.  I know I'll make mistakes and I know there will be days when I do hurt and suffer and struggle again...but for now, I am relishing in this light and soaking up every possible ray of peace and happiness that I can.  I've waited a long time for this.