Friday, November 30, 2012

Whose Life Is This Anyway?

I can remember a few moments in recent history when I’ve had the thought of “whose life did I just walk into?”  One involved an amazing experience in Napa (and exceptional wine), and the other involved a paper bag and a request for a sample from my husband.  I’d take the former every single time offered.

As we moved to our new state and settled into our new digs, I began to seek out a new doctor.  I was positively in denial.  Errr, I mean, I really thought I just needed a great OBGYN to answer a few questions.   I called a doctor’s office that I felt comfortable with, and as concisely as possible explained our situation, to which she replied with a swift referral to their infertility specialist.  {Insert instinct to open one of those bottles of exceptional wine at the mere thought of an infertility specialist!}

Thanks to busy schedules, I eventually got an appointment with said doctor on the day of my husband’s annual division meeting which left me to experience this alone {unlike the wine situation!}.  Blurg.

What surprised me about this appointment was how few questions were asked of me.  This was my first appointment and there were no less than three mentions of IVF.  Hell, we hadn’t even quite hit a year of trying – why would we be discussing IVF?  I think there is basic protocol in working with infertile women that includes trying to get them pregnant as quickly as possible and, in some cases, at any cost.  But, my husband and I are quite pragmatic.  We are known to map out our lives on white boards, and we are both planners!  (I know, I know, amazing candidates for the unpredictable journey of infertility – or parenthood for that matter!)

Further, I do not feel a desperate need to have a child.  While I understand that this may put me in the minority of infertile women, it’s the truth.  I always thought that my husband and I would have a family.  I know that we could give a child a good home to grow up in, and I believe that I would love being a mom almost as much as Andy would love being a dad.  BUT, I also know that I have a great life.  There is a huge part of me that believes “having it all” means appreciating all that you have been given.  I know that I have an amazing husband, a career that I enjoy, and family and friends who are second to none.  Therefore, I can’t help but think that this could be my “all.”
But, I digress.  Back to the doctor’s office…

The whole experience caught me off-guard!  So, I did what any smart, educated, very confused woman would do – I started crying.  Not for any particular reason other than, I repeat, I felt so confused.  I wanted to scream my symptoms at these nurses and have them help me find a solution, but I was quickly learning that it wasn’t that easy.  And, although I felt as though I had been put through the entire gamut already; this was merely the beginning.

Ultimately, we decided that we would proceed with the basic testing.  A sample from Andy.  More blood work from me.  A sonohysterogram.  And, another ultrasound.

I was now three months into this journey and hadn’t had a single question answered.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

A Work in Progress.

We're slowly getting settled and it still feels like home.  We were lucky to find a place to call ours that needed little more than our personal touch.  Most of that touch has come in the form of paint.  We chose to change the wall colors and even the oak trim to better suit our tastes.  

This might be the one and only "before and after" shot.   Taking photos of our progress will also be added to "the list!"

I think painting brings with it an unhealthy obsession with perfection.  I am no professional painter, and therefore it seems there is always something to “touch-up;” always something to make better - like many things in our lives!

So, I'll state the obvious and add "the blog" to the ever-growing list of things that could use a "touch-up."

I walked away from this place for a while, and, to be honest, I often do this.  When I’m designing something that just isn’t getting “there,” I walk away.  When Andy and I are at a crossroad, and no strides are being made toward a productive resolution, I walk away.  And, when I’m out for a run and I just can’t keep up the pace, I walk away.  I do this to put space between where I am and where I’m trying to go.
The walk-away technique has something to do with a pursuit of perfection.  If the design project isn’t quite perfect, the discussion not heading toward a perfect solution, and the run not perfectly exhilarating; I walk away.  Lately I have been obsessing over the whole idea of perfection, and my inability to meet my own expectations.
Then I read this quote.

 “There is a crack in everything.  That’s how the light gets in.” – Leonard Cohen

I tend to be the type of person we all read articles about.  Usually those articles are titled something like; “why you can’t have it all,” or anything equally motivating.  I read them, and then – quickly – ignore their message and continue.

I continue to strive for that picture-perfect existence where I have a fulfilling career, productive conversations with my husband, a clean house with a built-in system that washes {and folds} the laundry, so I have time to listen intently to friends, lend a helping hand to family, and work-out five times a week!

But, I forgot that the cracks tell the story, not the perfection.   The cracks shed light on who we are, and the missed strokes remind us of where we’ve been.  Although I think walking away can be the solution, I know it's not the the only solution.  I think evaluating the crack is what gives us the light.  And, this is what sets us apart.

I think it’s important to spend time with our faults.  To share them.  To develop strength through others, and to learn from our weaknesses.  I think it’s important to have people see you when your juggling act has ceased - when the balls have fallen.

I think that's exactly how the light comes in.

Monday, November 12, 2012

It Started As a Hunch.

I always had a hunch.  A hunch that it wouldn’t be as easy for me to start a family as it seemed to be for everyone around me.  But, I’ve had a hunch about a lot of things in life – mainly that I’d win the lottery regardless of my playing it – and many of them have fallen through.  I used to share my suspicion with close friends like I do with other silly thoughts that come and go – Am I getting an old lady butt?  I’m terrified that when I actually want a baby, I’ll be infertile!  Is it just me or would Kate Beckinsale play me while that guy who plays “Joel” on Parenthood plays Andy in the story of our life?  This particular thought – the one about my perceived inability to procreate – was always received with a simple; “we all think we can’t have kids until we turn up pregnant!"

For me and my husband, this hunch has proved to be something more.  This is our story.  And, let me clarify that this story is in laymen’s terms because everything I have found to this point about this whole infertile subject is very stiff, very Doogie Howser, MD sounding. 

My hunch became more of a reality as my period grew increasingly heavy and intolerable.  I remember quite clearly the day I was wearing a “champagne” colored bridesmaid dress as something more the color of merlot began leaking down my leg {despite me already using multiple feminine products}.  I remember hobbling to the bathroom to clean-up and calling my {pregnant} sister for reinforcements in the form of diaper-like pads.  Anyone who knows the pain of “trying,” knows that the reminders of babies and families are everywhere.  Even in our underwear!  Ah, touché life… touché!

This was month one of “trying.”
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