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 Dreamt of Chicken and Basketball Last Night

dream-catcher-902508

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