Go Away Big Green Monster

Monster

I have managed to be okay over the last two months. Today was one of the few days when feelings of sadness and envy brewed into threatening tears. Amidst all the glowing faces and growing bellies (and not the binge-y kind like the one I have now shamefully developed) in my workplace, I overheard one of my coworker’s happy pregnancy announcement, which was promptly met with cheers and celebration. Tiny little needles pierced each cell in my heart. As I stood up and felt the oh-so-familiar trickling sensation of the beginning of yet another period, I could not wait to get the hell outta that room. Thankfully I was almost off.

I refused to give in to tears. I breathed…in…..and…..out…..in…..and…..out…Just like what my therapist taught me. Yes, I am sad. Yes, I am jealous. I am feeling those feelings. In…..and….out….And I let it go. Go away big green monster.

A month ago, I had my third surgical hysteroscopy. This time, surprisingly, I didn’t experience the crippling anxiety and fear beforehand. I guess I was now in a position of being able to accept the fact that I may not be able to bear a baby within my own womb.

Well, the surgery went well as far as I know. My hemoglobin level managed to hold so I did not need a blood transfusion and did not need to stay in the hospital longer than one night. And as far as me and my family doctor could tell from the operative report, my OB-GYN had removed as much as he could of the fibroids within my uterus. I will not be able to see him for another 3 weeks so I don’t quite know his thoughts on my fertility yet.

I had been putting off contacting the fertility clinic. The doctor there had asked me to call her once there was a surgery date. I had figured, what’s the point? I probably won’t be getting pregnant anyway. And S and I had casually been talking about the possibility of maybe doing IVF in the Czech Republic since it was significantly cheaper than in Canada.

Anyway, I did end up calling her post-surgery. I told her it had gone smoothly and she asked me if I was ready to go ahead. I told her that I would prefer to start with IUI if possible. Oh and by the way, my boyfriend has now decided to become involved…I give her credit for barely flinching at this sudden change of plans.

So now I am supposed to get a SHG next month and then go meet with them at the clinic at the end of September. In the meantime, S will need to get all the appropriate tests done.

Since the surgery, I have been feeling great physically, which likely has helped me feel pretty good emotionally as well. So far my hemoglobin levels seem to be stable and at the highest that I am able to maintain with my thalassemia. I have been able to get 7 or 8, instead of 11, hours of sleep at night and feel alert in the morning. I have color in my face and my lips are a nice red color. I was impressed with how thick and dark my blood in the tubes were when I had my blood drawn yesterday.

S and I went on a romantic weekend get-away to the mountains earlier in the week and I even managed a 3 hour hike and a morning trail ride on horseback. Even had a steamy quickie on the moss and pine needles of the forest floor ūüėÄ

Things with S have been pretty amazing over the past while. He hasn’t had too many depressive episodes lately. And neither have I. As we had been brilliantly advised, we are both trying not to go into the past or into the future and to just enjoy each moment and each day as it comes. This has really helped me curb my anxiety about the future.

Trying my best not to think about babies, pregnancy, fibroids, infertility (which is I suppose why I have distanced myself from this blog and other related blogs as of late) has given me the space to get out there and mindfully embrace the moments of each day. And with all this in the background for the first time in the longest time, I am reveling in simply being in love.

Until next time,

M

Impermanence

How things have changed over the past couple of months after I found out that I was unable to conceive…I have transformed into this recluse, only coming out to see the light when I have to go to work, a medical appointment or the obligatory family get-together (thankfully not that many lately). I still cannot manage to see any of my friends for fear of having to talk about my fertility issues.

My only true confidante has been S. He has been so kind and understanding. One weekend morning, I could not manage to get out of bed and tried to stifle my crying so he couldn’t hear while he prepared our breakfast. When I finally could pull myself together, he didn’t try to comfort me with false hopes or try to talk about the reason behind those tears. He simply asked me if I was feeling a little better, to which I nodded. I just needed to get that sudden intense pain out of my system when it hits.

I have been nudging my heart in the way of preparing myself for the very real possibility of finally losing my uterus and the notion of bearing a child in my own body. I guess it is like a relationship that just has not been working. I am slowly distancing myself, becoming less attached so that when the time comes, it won’t hurt as much. My therapist asked me how I managed to get to this point. I told her I don’t know. Maybe it’s that I have removed those blinders she pointed out that I was wearing for the first part of this year and that I am now opening up to other ways of having a child. I have mainly been toying around with the idea of surrogacy.

The next thing I am now waiting for is another hysteroscopy next month when my doctor will attempt to tackle the fibroids once again. A second one would be needed in the fall and he would like me to try IVF right after that if they are indeed successful.

I have mixed feelings about IVF. I had not planned to go that route initially. I really do not know if I want to go on that rollercoaster. First of all, I am constrained by finances so I could maybe only be able to afford one or two attempts. Secondly, I don’t know if I want to open my life to additional emotional and physical stress and for it to carry through the entire pregnancy.

Oh yeah, and to throw yet another twist into the mix, S has now decided to become a part of this journey towards parenthood…

M

 

“I have never seen a HSG like this before”

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I have not been doing well, which is why I have not been writing lately. I just could not stand to be around anything pregnancy/baby related and I now regret having the word “mom” in the name of my website. I saw my doctor last week and he confirmed my fears. With the current condition of my uterus, I have very low fertility and will not be able to get pregnant. He told me that he has never seen results of an HSG test like mine. And this is coming from a very experienced, older doctor. Once again, I prove to be an exception and continue to keep my special patient status aka “pain in his ass” (verbatim from him). Gotta love¬†his blunt sense of humor.

This fucking Judas uterus.

My right fallopian tube is distorted and blocked, possibly by a fibroid. So he wanted me to see what the fertility clinic he referred me to would say. I just had my consultation. $200 for a 15 min. telephone consultation. The doctor pretty much verified some information on the patient history form I had filled out online. She told me that my doctor will have to do surgery to remove the fibroids as a last ditch effort. That he will need to be aggressive and optimize my uterus for pregnancy as much as he can. If this is possible, I am supposed to contact them again to proceed with IVF. I inquired about the pricing and as I had suspected, the price is astronomical once you add everything up.

I promptly booked an appointment with my doctor to discuss surgery once again. We were originally holding off to help preserve my fertility but guess at this point I don’t have it anyway. Maybe my uterus is too ravaged with fibroids to save anyway. I know I need to start refocusing from hoping to become a mom to getting used to the very real possibility that I can avoid a hysterectomy no longer.

A couple of weeks ago, my brother, who’s a doctor, voiced his concerns about my medical situation to me. He believes that both my OB-GYN and family doctor are irresponsible and wrong in supporting my decision to try for pregnancy. He warned me of how anemia gets worse with pregnancy and also the possibility of post-delivery hemorraghing (as a single mother, who would take care of my baby if I’m gone?). He is adamant that with my consistently low hemoglobin levels, I am risking my life by continuing trying to become¬†pregnant.

Initially I was very upset and defensive when he brought all this up. He made me cry. But after a while of carefully considering the points he brought up, passing on his concerns to my OB-GYN as he requested, and looking things up online, I realized that what he was saying was valid. He has a right to be concerned and I know he was only telling me these things because he cares. He doesn’t want me to sacrifice my life in order to bring a baby into this world. He is a good, thoughtful and intelligent brother so there is certainly weight to his words.

I have not told him yet that I have thought over what he said. I had simply thanked him for his concern at the end of our conversation. On some level, though it pains me to admit it, I know what he is saying is true. I ended up having to go to the ER again this past weekend for another blood transfusion since my hemoglobin level dropped again. Though I am a bit ashamed to admit it, I was not even planning to let my family know this since it only justifies that I am barely hanging in there. But by chance, my mom called me while I was in the waiting room and I was never one to lie.

Right now, I continue to stay suspended in this fog of sadness, wrapped up in avoidance by eating my sorrows away and playing this mind-numbing zombie game on my phone. At least when I am working, I am busy enough to forget my troubles for those few hours. But even in my dreams, the feeling of my baby hopes slipping away continues to haunt me. I woke up in the wee hours of this morning, hyperventilating in a panic from a dream of my best friend (who is due next week) having a daughter and was asking me about my pregnancy situation. That is how badly I am dread talking about my infertility to the people in my life.

I feel myself drifting away into depression once again. Good thing I have an appointment with my therapist this Friday.

I really wish I had named my blog differently. At this moment in time, I am most definitely not hopeful, nor is there a good chance that I will be becoming a mom anytime soon.

M

Dear Kindred Spirits

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To my sisters in the online infertility community…

I read about your struggles, your joys, each step along the way in trying to bring forth a life you already deeply love even before it materializes into flesh and blood. We are bonded by this indescribable desire for a baby and we somehow manage to face these incredible challenges with the insurmountable strength, will and courage of a superhero(ine).

I admire each and every one of you, and I feel so grateful that there is such a supportive online community of ladies who have the dream of motherhood ever-present in their hearts.

Since my HSG test a couple of days ago when I found out that there is a problem with one of my fallopian tubes (hopefully just one…) and that this is yet another hurdle I will have to face, along with the¬†innumerable amount of fibroids and polyps I have; my spirits have been shot. I feel numb; like a zombie going through the motions of everyday life. It’s been a beautiful start to Spring here and I feel like I should be reveling in the sunshine, breathing in the much warmer air, and looking forward to finally packing away my boots and winter gear and doing all of the wonderful outdoor activities we only have 6 months of the year (sometimes less!) to enjoy.

I did go online and found some success stories of women who have been able to deliver healthy babies even though they only had one working tube and fibroids/polyps. This definitely did make me feel a little better and I no longer felt like the world was crashing down on me like I did on Tuesday.

But the anxiety of seeing my doctor next Tuesday to find out the final results of the HSG test and whether or not IUI is off the table now with IVF being the only option left, has me on edge. If this is the case, my brief journey may then be over. I looked up the costs (our provincial healthcare as well as my work insurance does not cover anything fertility related) and for one cycle of IVF, it will be at least triple the amount I had planned for a couple cycles of IUI. I am limited in finances as a preschool teacher since my fibroids condition and thalassemia prevents me from being able to work full-time. I had tried to apply for a loan last year for some major emergency dental work (damn rollerblading accident years ago!) and they rejected me since I wasn’t making enough income. So I know that won’t be an option unless I maybe try another bank…The only other possibility that has entered my mind is maybe selling my beloved little loft and moving in with my mom…She is great but of course this is not ideal after being accustomed¬†to living on my own for what feels like eternity.

Facing this possible fork in the road, I am struggling these days.

I am surrounded by pregnant teachers all around me at work and my best friend is due with her first in the next little while. I have been avoiding contacting another friend who gave birth recently. Yes, I do feel guilty about that. My baby niece and her parents will be in town this weekend and I will be babysitting her for the very first time. Originally, I was over the moon excited about it but now I admit that I am dreading it. I know, it’s selfish. Must stifle this green-eyed monster. Unfortunately, (or rather, fortunately I suppose) I do not have any family or friends (that I know of anyway) who have or had any fertility issues so I feel really alone in that regard. I know that if I really wanted to talk to some of them, I could; but how can someone understand when they don’t face infertility themselves? I tried to look up to see if there are any local infertility meet-ups but so far, I have been unsuccessful. There must be though and I will continue looking. Although these last couple of days, with the exception of¬†S, I have isolated myself from everyone and have absolutely no desire to converse with anyone.

I know that I am a bit more short at work with people, shameful to say, that this includes the little ones. Good thing the weekend is coming up. I will also admit (so much easier to type it rather than to say it out loud to someone) that my relatively clean and healthy diet has been straight out the window and has been replaced with ranch chips, pizza, cookies and cream chocolate and vanilla wafers. I know I will need to stop this self-pity and emerge from this saturated fat, black hole at some point soon. I know that doing some meditation, yoga or Buddhist reading would probably help my emotions but it is just one of those times that I just cannot muster the strength or motivation to do it. I am glad that the antidepressants are preventing me from falling down too far and I have been trying to book an appointment with my therapist for next week. I am aware of all the resources and ways to help raise my spirits again. I just wish I could somehow reach deep inside my soul and find that yearning again soon to give me enough strength and guidance to keep me standing in this battle.

After tirelessly crusading against the inevitable treatment of these inoperable fibroids being a hysterectomy, and suffering from the constant bloodshed and literally having my life drain away for the last 9 years or so, I don’t know how much longer I can stick it out for.

Maybe fate is telling me I can put off the hysterectomy no longer.

If I am somehow miraculously able to conceive, it will be another battle in itself to keep that pregnancy. I see how many of you out there face pregnancy loss after pregnancy loss, over and over again and I don’t know if I am strong enough to be like you.

I have lived through an abusive childhood, depression and being suicidal, losing all my hair to Alopecia, a couple of cancer scares, going about each day with a hemoglobin level averaging around 80, major financial debt, heartbreaks from men all along the way, and the presence of a real-life Mommie Dearest in my relationship with S.

And yet I feel like this is what is finally going to break me.

To my fellow sisters alongside me on this long-winding road – How do you do it? How do you manage to always pick yourself up after each and every setback and keep staying hopeful??

M

 

Should I Blowdry Your Shirt?

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I had my HSG test today. I didn’t think anything of it beforehand. My doctor had said it was going to be a quick procedure so I was planning to go to work right afterwards. There were never any concerns about my tubes. I had the basic understanding of what the procedure was about – the dye was going to tell us whether or not my tubes were clear. I did not feel the need to google “HSG test.” I was fortunate that it was my doctor who was going to be doing the test. As he was getting set up, I had the opportunity to ask him if all of my fertility bloodwork came back okay, which he said it did.

As he had recommended, I had taken Advil 30 mins before the procedure since there was going to be “some cramping.” I don’t know how many injections of dye he did but I think it was after the second one when I cursed “f***!” clutched my abdomen (forgetting that this was an x-ray so the nurse had to remind me to move my hands as they were blocking it) and nearly passed out from the pain. I do not have a low pain threshold. Every 6 weeks for the past 6 years, I morph into the guy from Hellraiser when I get my cortisone injections (with a decent sized needle) all throughout my scalp for Alopecia. Today’s test was definitely the most painful medical procedure I have ever had done and with my cornucopia of health issues, I have had many.

As I am doubling over with pain, which thankfully does not last very long, my doctor was telling me that I might have to do IVF now since it was looking like one side is blocked. I had no idea what I was looking at on the screen and as he and the radiologist were confirming through the speakers what they were seeing, all I registered was “oh okay, there it is now. Some of it is coming through.” So one side seemed okay. I think. To me, it looked like barely a trickle on the screen. Near the end of the procedure, he got an emergency call from the OR so he had to make a quick exit. I anxiously asked him if I need to now do IVF instead of IUI and he said that he will need to talk to the radiologist about my results. The nurse came to give me a towel to put between my legs “while you waddle like a duck to the washroom” and asked me if I was able to get any news. I must’ve not said anything because I remembered her asking me if it was bad news and I think I said “yeah, kinda.” The bed and the towel were soaked with fluid. Likely not a good sign.

Holding back tears, I dressed with home as the target in my mind. Thankfully, I only had a quick train ride to the next station. As I walked up the platform and wiped away a couple of tears that escaped, I was grateful that I had huge sunglasses and that it was mid-day on a weekday. Other than a lone cyclist, there was no one. Until of course, a smiling, 20something-year-old¬†mom with her beautiful baby daughter lovingly wrapped up in bright, tauntingly cheerful colors in front of her, came to ask me if I knew when the next train would be coming. Thank god, the train arrived within the next couple of minutes. I was practically counting the steps towards the mirage of my little yellow brick apartment, hoping and hoping that I would make it past the threshold of my place before breaking down. Maybe about 40 steps to go (something like that anyway. Was never good at math…yes, even though I am Chinese), a man who was probably not as old as he looked, just ravaged by life, asked me for change. After I apologized and said that I didn’t, he replied with a “God bless you.” Really. Yeah with a defunct pipe(s) and uterus. Thanks, God.

Before the door was even closed behind me, it came out. I had a fleeting thought that I should maybe try to keep my eye makeup intact as I was supposed to be leaving for work right away but I knew that it was not going to happen. Creating a gray, grainy trail of mixed mascara/tears on my laminate towards my couch, I buried myself like a child in my blanket and pillows and sobbed like I haven’t sobbed for a long time. I didn’t give a s*** if my neighbours, who are often home during the day, could hear through the paper-thin walls. Since hearing the words “IVF” come out of my doctor’s mouth, I felt like I was having an out-of-body experience. I was there but not really. My mind was trying to protect myself. I had never planned on doing IVF. With my very limited funds and with the bleeding from these cursed fibroids getting worse and worse each day, I had planned on trying maybe a few months of IUI until my bank and my body could hold no longer. Maybe if I had done a better job at “managing my expectations” as my therapist had advised or if I was more a pessimist, I would have been worried about my tubes and not be as stunned and upset. I was not mentally prepared for the possibility of the long, emotional journey of IVF.

I try not to have regrets in my life as I always try to believe that there is something to learn in every challenge but I could not help thinking today that I regret ever using birth control during my adulthood. Maybe then I would have already had a baby or two. It would be Russian roulette on who the father would be and I would probably be embroiled in some nasty custody/financial battle and have some man I didn’t really care for in my life. But I would have a child. Well I guess it wasn’t meant to happen that way and it is looking like it may not be meant to happen the way I am hoping for either. I knew that with my uterus packed with submucousal fibroids, polyps and scar tissue from hysteroscopies, chances of having a baby were going to be slim. Now with this newfound discovery of issues with my fallopian tubes, are my chances now down to the equivalent of being struck by lightning?

My one and only ex-boyfriend, Z, has never stopped pursuing me even though I ended things nearly 10 years ago and knows that I have someone in my life. I received another one of his texts recently asking me when we can get together for coffee. As usual, I have not responded. Since realizing that I wanted to be a mother, once in a while I will have this very short-lived reflection float up and appear on the surface. Maybe if I really, really wanted a child, I would go back with Z. He would love to have a houseful of children and a housewife. He is very successful and so money would never be an issue. His family is nice and similar to mine. He loves me and is nice, caring, intelligent, tall, and decent-looking. We have 7 years of history together. And then I think…I don’t love him. Yes, I would maybe have children but I would also have my life entrenched with someone I did not love. Yes I long for a baby but not enough to grow deceit and pretense in my heart and in another’s life. And then it disappears.

In my distressed state after getting home earlier, I had called S. I am rarely in a state like that and hearing my delirious hyperventilation on the phone, he initially thought it was a dire emergency. After piecing together my blubbering words of “IVF, “blocked tubes,” and “can’t afford,” calm and steadfast as he always is, he told me to contact my work to let them know I wasn’t going to go in. It took me about an hour before I calmed myself down enough to call them. I also tried to call my therapist’s office but I was unable to get through to anyone. When I was sedated enough, I started looking up info and pricing on IVF and also on blocked fallopian tubes. In my state of semi-consciousness, I could not even remember which tube he said was blocked. Maybe it was left?? I also could not remember if he had told me to book an appointment to see him next week so I luckily I remembered just in time to call the office before they closed for the day. He will be away after next week and so his schedule was jammed. I briefly explained the situation to the receptionist and told her that I could not wait until May as my consultation with the fertility clinic will be in the last week of April. She warned me that there will be a long wait but she managed to squeeze me in for 6:30 pm next Tuesday, which means that I probably won’t get into actually seeing him until 9:00 pm or so.

S came by after he finished work. I just laid in his arms and cried. There was not much to say. I did tell him that at least I have him in my life. No matter how imperfect our love and relationship is, I know I have somehow managed to get this one amazing blessing in life. He eventually had to go as he had an appointment at the clinic to donate blood. He tried to convince me to accompany him to get my mind off of things. I said no and asked him if I should blowdry his shirt after I saw the sprawling wet mark I had left on his left shoulder. Literally a shoulder to cry on.

I tried to distract myself with dishwashing and¬†Lykke Li but as the occasional tear dropped into the sink, I realized that I have never really, really wanted anything in life. I never had a burning desire for massive loads of money, shiny things, possessions, or even a Prince Charming. My desire to do¬†international humanitarian work was in my heart but it did not consume it. I realized that I have never, in my 35 years, truly wanted something until now. And that is why it hurts so much when there are setbacks along the way. I knew that this was going to be a rough journey. I didn’t realize that if it does suddenly come to an abrupt end, that this will be the worst heartbreak of my life.

M

A Little Rant

A warning for anyone who uses Bluehost for their hosting company…after a month of usage, they suddenly, without warning, shut down my website. They said it was to verify my payment information (but had already withdrawn the full amount on the very first day).

It took more than two days, nearly an hour wait on the phone, over an hour and a half on their live chat, plus an email and a support ticket before my website was back up…grrrr.

Definitely not impressed with Bluehost. Glad to be back though!

More on Acceptance (or lack thereof)

I thought this would be a good follow-up piece to my previous post about the reactions I have received so far from family and friends regarding my decision about becoming a single mother by choice. It’s a great article on Scary Mommy written by a fellow SMC. I’m glad I haven’t yet had anyone tell me that my future child will be doomed to be a stripper!

5 Unsolicited Comments About Becoming a Single Mom By Choice

The Elusive Acceptance

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It was over special fried rice and Shanghai noodles a couple of weeks ago when I finally discussed with my mom the reality of my decision of becoming a mother on my own; some particulars on the process with the fertility clinic. We were talking on the phone the night before and she was excitedly gushing over the latest photos of the first baby in our immediate family, my niece. She religiously checks the website where my brother and sister-in-law post the photos the moment she wakes up in the morning and before she goes to bed at night. I admit – I do check daily too…seeing her brings a smile to my face each and every time.

Anyway, she pointed out how happy my brother and sister-in-law look and how much they must be enjoying new parenthood. She then gave me her blessing on my choice to pursue single motherhood. My happiness was instant. She even mentioned that she had talked about this with my aunt. To me, this translated into the significance of her being okay enough with my decision that she was even comfortable sharing it with someone else.

As for the rest of my immediate family, other than one extremely lengthy email that initially turned me into a puddle of tears with its appearance as an authoritative scare tactic which I¬†have now chosen to trust was written with good intention and love; my siblings are pretty much avoiding the topic altogether. This is probably for the best as I don’t wish to strain our relationships and cause tense disagreements right now. It will only cause me stress and anger, emotions I do not wish¬†to invite into my life right now. I am not planning on telling my dad anything at this point.

As for friends…I have to admit that I am avoiding a number of them because I dread telling them about my decision. Even my best friend. Who is due with her first child very soon. I know that the conversation will not affect our relationship (or at least I don’t think so…), but even though we have a long and relatively close friendship despite not living in the same city, my worries exist because of her religious and cultural beliefs. I know that to this day, I still have not lived up to her fairy tale life that she has envisioned for me over the last 20 years. I have never dared to tarnish her impermeable innocence with the sordid details of my dating life but she should have an idea at the very least of who I am. I know I will have to tell her eventually but at this point, I do not want to risk spoiling the first moments of her own motherhood journey.

One friend I told never replied back to my text.

Another one diplomatically just listened to me, without ever stating her opinion, and only commented that she has never known anyone else to do this.

The only other friend I have discussed this with was filled to the brim with sympathy for my situation and even said that hearing about all the things that I deal with always helps her feel less depressed about her life. Huh. And then wide-eyed, eager and curious, she soaked up every detail of the process thus far. The number one being how to choose a sperm donor, of course. Even my mom had asked me how I would be getting the…ummm…”stuff.”

Fortunately, I also have one wise older friend in her 60s who has always been like another mother to me. She has always been a champion (the only loyal one) of my relationship with S and she was the first one to tell me to pursue single motherhood. She was the one I sobbed to after I realized S was not going to father my child. In those early heated moments when I was considering natural insemination by strangers through co-parenting sites, she was the one who talked me down and pointed out that S is a traditional sort of man who would undoubtedly have his heart destroyed if I slept with another man. She was adamant that I find a sperm donor through official channels. Am I ever glad that she had talked some sense into me. If not, I am certain that any chance of my relationship with S continuing on would indeed be non-existent.

I am aware that I cannot go on continuing to avoid my friends so that I don’t need to talk about this. And if they are indeed my true friends, they will in the end want happiness for me and so would support my decision. I am going to be selective about¬†which friends I will be telling, as well as which stage I will be doing it at. My current priority is to be as calm and positive as I can be for this journey as I want to be creating a healthy emotional,¬†as well as physical, home in my body for a baby. In the meantime, I will surround myself with people who want to share in this unique and special journey with me and I hope that understanding will eventually reach those who don’t. I will focus on those I am so incredibly fortunate to have in my life right now.

I know it really shouldn’t matter what others think of personal decisions but it does really mean something when loved ones are on board with your choices. Especially moms. I was thinking I should share with her at some point that maybe a huge part of why I desire a baby so much, regardless of all of the struggles in the process, is maybe because I want to have a relationship like what we have had with my own child. I want to be able to unconditionally love a child and share the journey of entering and exploring each and every part of life with him/her. I want to pass on all of the good parts of me I have gotten from her onto her grandchild; the continuation of her beautiful love to future generations.

M

 

On Gratefulness

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Through my humanitarian work, I have the opportunity to meet incredibly strong, resilient and amazing people. I am fortunate to have them share their life stories with me and I love what I do with a passion. It also keeps my feet on the ground and expands my views on life and what community really means.

On the flip side, I admit that I struggle to maintain an aura of strength and hope when I am painted a picture of what human beings are capable of doing to one another and the horrors that exist around the world. I don’t know if I will ever get used to hearing stories of brutality that is unimaginable and the terror and trauma that goes along with it. My heart shatters whenever there are children involved. I have the utmost admiration for those who persevere through it all and try to create a new life for themselves and their families, despite the pain they have suffered through.

Reflecting on this today, I feel ever so grateful for everything in my life. Despite my own hardships, I am so fortunate to be where I am today. I live in a country with freedom and democracy, a clean and healthy environment, and is home to all different kinds of citizens, regardless of background, culture, religion or sexuality. I have a house over my head with clean running water, a toilet, heat and electricity. I am able to stay hydrated and nourished. I have a bed to sleep in at night; clean clothes, shoes.

I can live my life without persistent fear of violence or persecution towards myself or my loved ones. I am comforted by the fact that the people I care about are happy, healthy and safe. I know where they are. I am not alone; I have loving family and friends who are there for me when I need them. I do not have restraints around where I go, who I see. When I am hurt or ill, I have doctors, medication, healthcare; immunizations to protect me from disease. When I am outside, I have the luxury of being able to look up at the sky, soak  in the sunshine, and just be.

M

I Dreamt of Chicken and Basketball Last Night

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I admit, I am a bit superstitious at times. I do believe that there are things that exist in this universe that cannot be explained by science or religion. I sometimes even have premonition dreams. Not regularly, but it does happen. For instance, I knew that I was going to get this particular job that I had desperately wanted. I dreamt right before S and I shared our first kiss; before he first professed his love for me. Despite my brother’s dream of his first child being a boy, I, on the other hand, dreamt of being with my niece. Unfortunately, they are not always pleasant dreams. When S’s father was in the hospital, I also dreamt that he would not make it.

Occasionally, out of curiosity and also shamefully seeking some silly form of guidance (although many times it has proven to be quite accurate in representing my true emotions!), I will check out symbols that I recall from my dream the night before. The two things that stuck out from my dream last night were the raw chicken that my friend and I were barbequing and the other was the basketball that flew into the backyard of my childhood home. According to “Dream Moods” dictionary:

To see raw meat in your dream represents obstacles and discouragements that you will come across as you move toward achieving your goals. Alternatively, it may reflect your untamed, animalistic nature and raw emotions. To eat or cook meat in your dream suggests that you are getting to the heart of the matter. You are recognizing and utilizing your instinctual energies. Alternatively, you are seeing others achieve what you are still striving for.

To see a basketball in your dream suggests that you need to make the first move. You also need to concentrate and focus on your goals. 

Now I am going to go back to how I have been feeling for the last day or two…My day yesterday started off with a call from the fertility clinic that my doctor had referred me to. I did not expect to hear from them so soon. It has only a couple of weeks since I informed my doctor of my decision, but I know that he likely relayed to them the urgency of my situation. The lady told me that they were missing my partner’s information from the referral form. I paused for a beat and stumblingly uttered the words, “There won’t be a partner. I am doing this on my own.”

It was said out loud and it was okay. She thought nothing of it and then asked me if I would like to go to their office in Vancouver for my consultation or if I would like to pay $200 and do it over the phone. My doctor had already informed me of the price so I went with the latter. The soonest she could book me for was mid-April. She then asked for my email and I promptly received my login information for the clinic’s patient portal. I have to say I am impressed so far. The website is very professional and comprehensive. I’m not sure if the majority of fertility clinics have this but it seems like it is an efficient way for information to be updated between the clinic and patient and I also really liked how there was plenty of useful information, even a comprehensive glossary of fertility-related terms (phew!!) and articles on fertility that were incredibly helpful for a newbie like me.¬†It then hit me. This is real and this is really happening. Their new office opens here in June so I am assuming that my first IUI treatment would occur shortly after that.

I also saw S briefly yesterday. It has been kind of strange being in this pseudo-relationship where I am planning a pregnancy without him. Over the last couple of weeks or so, we have been talking more again. After I had made my decision, I chose to back away for a bit. I originally had made the assumption that since we were not going to have a baby together, then that also meant that our relationship was dissolved. But after seeking the advice of my best male friend, he suggested that I give S the choice on whether or not he wanted to stay in my life. After all, we still love each other. Well it looks to be that our story isn’t over yet. After everything we have been through over the past three years, we somehow manage to still hang on.

I just don’t know how much of this personal journey I should be sharing with him. I did update him yesterday on what is happening with the clinic. He did attempt to revisit the¬†topic of why he wasn’t ready. But as with many of our conversations, he had difficulty expressing and communicating his feelings and simply ended it by telling me that no one, including me, understands him. Once again, I told him that it is what it is and this is what is happening. That it is okay to feel the way he does.

Later into the night, I began thinking about why I am doing this. What if S changes his mind before June? Would I stray from this road I have already embarked on? I have always lived my life by following my heart. In the silence, if I were to truly listen to what I need to do, it is this. Yes, it is probably not what the typical couple does. This is not what is supposed to happen in a love story.

Even though S does not feel I understand his reasons for not being ready for a child right now, I do believe that it comes down to differing views family. Maybe growing up with an abusive father is why I always feel so strongly about living my life the way I want to and being free to make my own decisions regardless of the opinions of others, even family.

S, on the other hand, places much more value on the the opinions of his family (i.e., mother). He had said in the past that because his family all immigrated together here as a unit, they are incredibly close as a family. One of the reasons why I fell in love with him at the beginning was that I thought it was sweet and thoughtful how much he was there for his family. It wasn’t a year into our union that I realized that maybe it wasn’t normal for his mother to call him first thing each morning and for them to talk on the phone several times a day. Or that spending time with his family actually meant him lugging over his toolbox to fix something, to drive his young sisters to their swimming or gymnastics lessons, or to do whatever else his mother needed…on a regular basis. I fell in love with a man who was too kindhearted for his own good.

It should not be surprising to anyone to learn that the issues in our relationship all stem from the involvement of his mother. It has taken me two and a half years, multiple sessions with my therapist, a high dose of anti-depressants, and seeking inner peace through Buddhism, that I have learned to deal with this force of nature.

He has stated “current circumstances” as the reasoning behind his stance on parenthood. I have told him that it will never change. I hope that like me, he will eventually realize that you cannot always make everyone around you happy. I now know that no matter what either of us say or do, his mother will never like me or approve of our relationship.

Witnessing the suffering and anguish she radiates around those in her life, as well as experiencing it first-hand myself, I feel that it is best to protect my child-to-be from this kind of environment. It is very sad to admit but there is a part of me that is glad to finally be away from the negative energy and knowing that I would not be passing those seeds to my baby. I made this confession to my therapist and she explained it as since his mother “owns” him, she would also feel and act like she has¬†ownership over our baby. I want my baby to grow up in a safe, healthy and loving environment, surrounded by family and friends who would support him/her no matter what.

I will listen to my dream. I will concentrate and focus on my goals.

M