Saturday, August 31, 2013

A Day In The Life of a Wannabee SMC: The Package Arrives, and The Riveting Mama Panics.

Ah yes, the mid-cycle discombobulation.  Every woman going through fertility treatments understands exactly what I'm talking about.  I looked at my calender, trying to figure out my schedule.  I realized that I had some work and U/S cross-over issues.  Crap...had to get those sorted out.  Then, I had to call and arrange the "pick-up."  (Much less awkward conversation this time, lol).  And, of course, call Freedom to get my trigger shot shipped out.  All before I had to go into work at 3pm yesterday.

Then, this morning, CD 10, I had a positive OPK.  This is not good.  I have made no secret that I am a fan of the Clearblue Fertility Monitor.  This month, another SMC donated two boxes of the Clear Blue Digital Ovulation Tests.  So, I decided to use these.  This morning, I saw a smiley.  I panicked.  I don't have my juice and cannot pick it up on a weekend. I also can't leave work to go have an IUI.  Shit, shit, shit.  I calmed myself down, and called Jami.  She said to disregard it.  Too early.  She said it could be too close to my last dose of Femara.  I've read about women detecting multiple LH surges during their cycles too.  But, that doesn't mean I'm not panicking.  I have NOT felt any ovulation cramping, and last cycle, I did; no mistaking it.

Any other ladies have those experiences?

Also, "the package" arrived this morning.  Anyone who has never gotten fertility meds before is usually surprised when this shows up:  a rather large box with a bursting package inside.  Um, I thought I only ordered one injection.  Is this someone's IVF meds? 

You open up the pouch, only to discover that, nope, they didn't screw up your order.  You didn't cash in and just receive a massive ammount of misdirected IVF meds that you can save, "just in case."  Nope, the only thing inside this huge box is this:

The illusive "trigger shot."  You open up the box and double check that it is the right medication and that it is not expired; you must report any issues within 24 hours. You stash the shot in the fridge right away; it must be kept cool or it could degrade, and you just wasted $80.  When you are told, you will give yourself this shot, which will tell your ovaries to let go of any eggs they have been diligently growing in exactly 36 hours.

And now, I wait.  For the next few days to pass so I can see what the heck is going on in there.  For the next time I have to pee so I can check another OPK, hoping the smiley face will go away.  Waiting stinks, and fertility treatments include a lot of it.       

Thursday, August 29, 2013

A Day in the Life of a Wananbee SMC: The Girl Scout with Achy Ovaries Slaps on a Patch.

As of tonight, I still have two doses of Femara left (I take 5mg for 7 days).  So far this cycle, I haven't had too many symptoms.  I can feel my ovaries aching, "talking to me," as I like to put it.  I'm really feeling it on the left this month, which also happened last month.  I suppose the whole alternating sides every month doesn't apply when drugs are involved.  I have been emotional, but that is understandable, given what I have been going through with my family and the Ironman these past couple of weeks.  I can only imagine what I would be like if I had "the Clomid crazies" on top of all this; another reason for me to NOT take that drug, you narrow-minded, self-important fruitcake who calls the U of M RMC your place of operation.... on that note, I have been trying to breathe, eat well, remember my supplements, and get a good night's sleep as often as I can-haha.  Joking aside, I am a firm believer in practicing good self-care, even if I have to force myself to do it.

The Girl Scout in me is already thinking ahead to the next cycle if I need it, just as I did the last time.  I met with the Good Doctor today.  He was very factual with me: "With annovulation, your odds are zero.  With oral meds and fresh sperm, you have about a 20% chance of getting pregnant each cycle.  With frozen sperm, that goes down to 15%.  You grew a follicle, with possibly one to spare.  I can give you a chance; which is more than I can give every patient I see.  But that is what it is: only a chance." 

He has a point.  So, I asked him what happens if this cycle doesn't work.  I was recently blessed with a month's worth of donated Gonal-F.  I have no idea what good deed I did to deserve this; it's a favor that I can never re-pay.  All the research I have done indicates that, if oral meds don't work after a cycle or to and male factor infertility isn't an issue (this guy's boys seem to be in decent shape all things considered), a woman my age would probably do well with Gonadotropins.  Better eggs, more likely to work, but also a higher risk of multiples (up to 30%), ovarian cancer, and a possibly fatal complication called ovarian hyper-stimulation syndrome.  Google that one; it's nasty.  The choices we must make, am I right?   

Anyways, the doctor is ok with me using Gonal-F next cycle IF I need it.  Start with 150iu a day, then increase/decrease as needed, obviously being ever conscious of the possibility of OHSS.

I am still trying to stay positive for this cycle.  I am really wanting it to work; I want this so badly with every fiber of my being.  Even with all the confidence I put in the folks at Diamond, one thing kind of bothered me.  I had to ask the doctor if there was anything else he could think of that would prevent implantation, since everything else looked good.  He opened up his laptop again, saying, "Well, let's see."  Turns out my progesterone level was only at 2 at 14 dpo/dpiui, on 50mg of vaginal progesterone twice a day.  That's pretty friggin' low.  I wish someone would have told me that last week.  This could have explained a lot.  I'm so certain I felt implantaion cramping 6 days out last time.  If my progesterone level is that low, I would think there was very little chance of my little embie burrowing in.  He explained that it's hard to know if this is the case or not, since it can also drop dramatically after pregnancy is not achieved.  The only thing we can do at this point is to check it 7dpo and see where it's at with the supplementation.  At this point, more progesterone or a different kind of progesterone could be added, but the cycle could also already be a wash.  So, why was this not explored last time?  I'm a little irked by this, but there is very little I can do.  I think I will ask my resident stork stalker for advice on this...perhaps get them to up my dose, just in case?

In other news, I have slapped on another estradiol patch.  Since my endometrium was at 6mm on CD 11 last time, I am starting on CD 8 this time.  Might as well give it as much time to grow as I can.

 Cool pharmaceutical companies give out samples.  Cool doctors share them.  (Love Jami's little love notes?)

A Day in the Life of A Wannabee SMC....the cycle begins....

So, last Thursday, my cycle started.  AF, that ugly red-headed tyrant made her appearance.  Ironically, remember the days when I used to be happy to see her rear her ugly head.  It meant her distant relations of the ovarian persuasion just MIGHT be doing their job.  I have since learned that that entire family is estranged and prefers to work independently of each other because they have a fairly dysfunctional relationship, which has become enmeshed in my life in the most unhealthy manner. Thus, at present, it seems that they are better off apart.  Since my relationship with the Ovarians is much more supportive of my long-term goals, I have decided to focus my therapeutic efforts on them, and serve my scarlet Aunt her eviction notice from my life, until which time she becomes proactive in my overall well-being again. 

OK, I'm done with that. 

Anyways, I call Diamond like a good girl, and go in for my ultrasound on Friday, which must take place between cycle days 1 and 3.  This is not the ultrasound that you see on TV, where they glide something over your belly for a few seconds and you don't even have to get undressed.  Nope.  You go in, "take everything off from the waist down," and have a lovely intimate encounter with what The Stirrup Queen lovingly refers to as The Dildo Camera.  (Sorry, I had to).  Yes, you are still bleeding; no, you didn't make the little bastard buy you dinner first; yes, it's over in about 60 seconds, and no; no one has a cigarette afterwards. And yes, I forgot to remove the Diva Cup.  So, rather than put on my job interview outfit again, I wrap myself up in paper, and slink down the hall to the bathroom, reminding myself to remind Jami to remind me to do this if, God forbid, there is a next time.  Except that she already asked me if I needed to stop there first, like she always does.  After Jami declared, "Your ovaries are quiet," she left, returning with more estrogen patches and instructions for this cycle.  (If there are cysts, it can interfere with the effectiveness of ovulation induction drugs, and they can ask you to sit the cycle out).  After it was all over, I plunked down my MasterCard, firmly concluding that labor and delivery will be far less degrading than this.  

On the plus side, she accidentally called my Femara into CVS instead of Freedom.  I got a text saying that it was ready and all I owed was my co-pay.  So...$60 saved I guess.  I took the first two pills on Saturday (cycle day 3).

A couple teeny pills that could change my life:


I am so happy.....

For SMC K in San Fransisco, whom I have been following over at The Solo Mama Project since last year.  After countless IUIs, 2 IVFs, 2 chemical pregnancies, and 1 miscarriage, she just received news of an excellent beta!  Picture me sitting down with what will (hopefully) be my last margarita for a couple of years, scrolling through my emails, squealing with joy and shedding a tear or two.  Only someone who has struggled with infertility and struggled alone can appreciate just how happy I am for her.  Congratulations sweetheart, you deserve it!  

Sunday, August 25, 2013

IUI cycle #1-A Learning Experience.

I've been such a bad blogger.  And, since I obviously need to focus on other things, why not (finally) share my first IUI experience with the world?  I'll write a narrative really quickly, then I'll work on this cycle in detail as it plays out.

So, the last cycle was really more of a learning experience.  Ok, it was pure chaos.  If you think about it, I had no idea how I would react to the meds.  I had never experienced it before.  Now, I sort of decided to go ahead with the cycle for many reasons.  I was in the middle of a Provera withdrawal, and decisions needed to be made-fast.  But honestly, what was I waiting for?  Christmas?  You all know that by now, B still hadn't made up his mind.  And, I cannot make decisions in my life based on what others may or may not want, nor how they will react.  So, I made the right choice for me.  I called Jami at Diamond, and I went for it.

CD 1, I called in like a good girl.  The doctor said there was no reason to do a baseline ultrasound this cycle if I didn't want to.  Um...ok no problem with that!  Jami called in my prescriptions for Femara and Ovidrel.  Starting CD 3, I took 5mg of Femara for 7 days.  I went in on CD 11 for a follicle check.  Here's what they saw:

Funny how maturing follicles are shaped like chicken eggs isn't it?  So, you can see a 12.8mm follicle and a 15.8 mm follicle on my left ovary.  The spindly thing twisting out to the right of my ovary is my fallopian tube.  The curved structure off camera is part of my uterus.  The Femara seems to have worked.  I actually shed a few tears when I saw that.  I had been waiting so long to see my body do what it was supposed to do.  (I also had a smaller follie on my right, but Jami said it wouldn't catch up).  My lining was at 6mm, which is pretty much the bare minimum to sustain a pregnancy.  So, Jami had me put on an estrogen patch to "plump it up."  This was on a Friday.  I triggered Sunday night, then went in for my IUI Tuesday, 8/6/13.

Ironically, I asked B to wish me luck that morning.  He did. I found $100 a few minutes later.

The weekend before my IUI, my family reunion took place.  I took my parents aside for Skols (our version of a Scandinavian tradition), and showed them my eggs with pride.  They toasted me with Crown, gave me hugs, held my insemisocks, and wished me luck.  Later, my extended family members took turns holding my socks and wishing me luck, even though most of them had no idea what it was about.  I'm seriously crying while I write this.  I'm so lucky to have a family like that.  They stand behind me no matter what, even if they don't quite understand everything that's happening.

The Friday of my follie scan, I called the keepers of the freezer to arrange to pick up my "juice."  For whatever reason, I couldn't come out and say what I needed.  Why that is awkward, I'll never know.  Picture me calling them up and stuttering..."Um, I need to come and pick up my...that is...what's the procedure for....".  Yes, ME, verbally fumble.  Haha!

I triggered Sunday night with no issue.  I historically don't like giving shots to myself (I mean, I don't feel it when I stick a patient :), but it went over fine.  I had to go to the lab on Monday morning after calling and asking VERY nicely for them to open the lab for pick-up a little early so I could be to work on time.  (My job was NOT being very helpful with my schedule this week).  I had a minor freak-out because the tank tipped over in my back seat for about ten minutes on the way to work.  I called the lab, and they said that as long as there were no cracks in the tank, I was good.  Whew!  

The Clearblue monitor showed two bars Monday morning, then Monday night, I felt my ovaries start to ache for a bit.  Tuesday morning, I had three bars with a little egg; the first time I've ever seen it.  I knew it was coming, but so excited anyways.  On the way to Diamond I felt a huge cramp/ache on my left side only (where my two big follies were).  I was a little worried that I'd ovulated the night before, but I think that what I felt in the car was the real deal. 

At the check-in desk, I greeted the receptionist with, "Heey I'm here for the big show!" a la Juno.  She got it, which was fantastic in so many ways!  Jami came out and took the tank from me.  I waited awhile longer, then she came and got me.  She saw my socks and told me to put them on and think good, happy thoughts.  She came back with the catheter in hand and had me check the donor number on the vial.  She said the sample looked "great" with about 40% motility.  Is that good?  I have no idea.  When she saw my cervix, she said it was open, but not as open as she's seen.  I'm still kind of worried that we timed it wrong.  When she pushed the plunger on the catheter, she said, "Ok little guys, go and do your job."  I giggled a bit at that.

I had this whole plan.  I was going to ask Jami to turn the lights down.  I had my relaxing music, and wanted to meditate during my 20 minute "rear in the air" time.  Jami left fast, and the lights stayed on.  Then kept coming back.  "What cycle day is this?"  "What pharmacy are you using?"  So much for that.  After that, I paid my $150 and left.

Then, came the 2ww.  The FUCKING HORRID 2WW.  Where every symptom you have could be pregnancy or could be just the massive ammount of progesterone screwing with you body, your head, your heart, your soul.  And, the morning of the 14th day, I stared at a pregnancy test with one line only.  DAMMIT!!!

I went in and had my blood drawn, but I got a call in the afternoon confirming it.  I was not pregnant.  In the TTC world, this used to be called a BFN, or big fat negative.  Recently, many women have started calling it NTT, or Not This Time.  It will happen, we have to believe it will.  It just didn't happen this time.  I'll admit it though; I felt like a failure.  I did every thing I was supposed to do.  But, it didn't work.

My step-mom said the sweetest thing to me when I emailed her and Dad to tell them.

I'm sure it's very disappointing to not
get pregnant when so much has gone in to it.  You aren't the failure.
Something else went wrong, but it wasn't you.  It was some piece
of biology, sans of feelings, a sense of hopefulness or a dream, that
went wrong; though it still leaves you with the sadness of it not turning
out as you had hoped.

The fact that you ovulated is quite encouraging.  It's unknown if
the 10 women who got pregnant with this guy's sperm were successful
the first time.  But I can understand your discouragement when it is
something you want so much.  I'll say prayers for you, Kiddo.
And, so that is how I am ending this tale.  With tears and prayers, hanging on the promise of the next cycle.  


Liebster Award Time!!!

Liebster Awards
I am honored to have been nominated for a Liebster Award from MMMReader !  So sweet that she thought of me!
I've never heard of this award before the divine Ms. M told me about it, but I thought I'd go with it, because it's a great way for readers and hopeful Choice Moms/SMCs to connect.  Always a good thing. 

So These are the Liebster "Rules:

"Thank your Liebster Blog Award presenter on your blog and link back to them in your post.
"Answer the 11 questions from the nominator, list 11 random facts about yourself and create 11 questions for your nominees.
"Present the Liebster Blog Award to 11 blogs who you feel deserve to be noticed and leave a comment on their blog letting them know they have been chosen.
"Copy and Paste the blog award on your blog.

"Note: (These are the “rules” but please feel free to do as you wish. If you have 5 bloggers to nominate instead of 11, and you can only think of 7 random facts about yourself – that’s perfectly fine!"
I think MMMSecret thought 7 questions was a lot, so she stuck with five, but they were five very good ones, if I do say so myself:

1.  If you had to pick a different profession, what would you do?
When I first went to college, I was a music major.  I would love to be a full time musician if I could do it and pay the bills.  I feel like I've neglected it quite a bit; I haven't performed in about 3 years.  It truly is my first love and such an important part of my life. 

2. If you had to recommend just one a book (written by someone else) what would that book be?
You're making me pick just one book?!?!?  So unfair!  Ok honestly, I'd give the book On Bullshit by Harry Frankfurt a quick read.  It describes bullshit as it applies to communication, further applying it to interpersonal relationships and life in general.  Bullshit is different than a flat out lie, because there can be some truth to it.  As the author says, "Bullshit is thus a greater enemy of truth than are lies." 

3. If you were given a million dollars to donate to a single charity of your choice, which would you pick and why?
Doctors Without Borders likely.  So, my professional background is interesting, but no matter what I've done, it usually involved making healthcare accessible and amenable to all.  I managed a community based healthcare program for 2.5 years after finishing school, and while it was difficult and stressful, it was rewarding.  Many of my clients were underserved, and needed the supports I could link them with in order to stay in their homes.  I believe healthcare is a human right, not a business, as our country has made it into.  Sadly, there are other parts of the world where even lacking healthcare isn't an option; because healthcare doesn't really exist.  Any organization that works to correct that deserves any support I could give. 

 4. If you could go back 10 years and do something different, would you change anything and what would you change?
Honestly, nothing.  I have made mistakes; God have I ever!  But every mistake I have made has taught me something, and without those mistakes, I wouldn't be who I am today.  Thus, while I accept that there was a better way to do things, I do not regret anything.  Ever.

5. What advice would you give to a 16 year old girl/young lady trying to make a plan about how to decide which college to pick and what her major would be and where she would live and what she would do after graduation, etc.?
I would say follow your heart.  Do what feels right for you, not for anyone else.  And make no apologies for it.  If you end up taking a different direction along the way, that's ok.  It will make sense eventually.  My life certainly hasn't gone the way I planned it to in so many ways.  While it hasn't been easy in the least, I am thankful for where it has brought me. 

Random Facts About Me:
1.  I have had a pencil led stuck in my right palm since the 7th grade.  It's a fun conversation piece. 
2.  I have two tattoos.  And have had...11 piercings.
3.  I call myself a neo-hippie.  I say I'm a hippie that was born 40 years too late.  Not into drugs and random sex myself (I hate those stereotypes anyways), but in terms of my personal philosophy and the way I live my life, I think I kind of fit the bill.
4.  The first word I ever spoke was "no."  Actually, I didn't say it, I SCREAMED it at the top of my little lungs.
5.  I used to do improv theatre.
6.  At one point, I was both a chicken shit and quite shy.  Shocker, I know!
7.  I am distantly related to Jimmy Carter.  He is my great-grandma's cousin.  Not that it matters much; but given where he is politically, especially lately, I'm proud to share a couple drops of blood with him.
8.  I have one biological sibling, who is my half brother from my mother's second marriage.  He's 13 years younger than me.
9.  When I think of family, I think of it in more of a community aspect, rather than a nuclear or biological one.
10.  I out screamed the entire 8th grade in a contest. 
11.  I can't believe making a list of 11 things is this damn hard!
And now Questions for my Nominees to Answer:
1.  If you could afford to quit your job, and do anything in the world, what would it be?
2.  What is the thing that makes you the most happy?
3.  If you could go back in time and change one decision you made, what would it be?
4.  Who is the person that has inspired you the most?
5.  What is the name of your favorite song, or alternatively, your favorite piece of poetry?

My Nominations:

MMMReader - A long time tryer, lawyer, and excellent writer.     
Chasing the Gerber Dragon - an SMC.  I absolutely love her honest and articulate writing style. 
Twelve22 - an SMC from my neck of the woods whose first child, a girl, is due in October.  Insanely jealous of her crafting and sewing skills as well.
The Solo Mama Project - Another long-time tryer.  She does a wonderful job of exploring the spiritual aspect of the TTC process.
Candlelight and Pacifiers - an SMC who recently had a baby boy after her second IVF.  This is a woman who gives me hope on a daily basis.  She fought infertility for years; and kicked its ass.
Stork Stalking - a long time tryer who is using surrogacy in another country.  She's very scientifically inclined, and knows more than a lot of REs out there IMHO.
Single Infertile Female - a woman living in Alaska who, after two failed IVFs, was able to adopt her daughter, "Cheeks," who fell into her lap.    
True Confessions of a Single Mother - an SMC in New York. 

A Finale Fit for a Bam, or, the Last Midnight.

The summer progressed.  B fell back to his old ways.  Cold and distant sometimes, hot and passionate the others.  I missed him when he wasn't there.  He likes to bike a lot, he is very dedicated to his family.  I am not the type of woman to try to keep a man from the things and people he loves.  I had a social life, work responsibilities, etc. as well.  I asked several times where we were headed.  I think that's a fair question, don't you all.  I never got an answer.  Then, he got messy when I would ask what he was doing on the days I worked.  He managed to go to his mother's birthday party twice in one week in fact.

Remember that cruel bitch, Lady Hindsight?  Yeah....

So, in May, I noticed a post on Facebook from a woman, L.  It went like this:

L:  "B!"
B: "L!"
L: "When do I get to see you?!?!!?"
B: "Tell me when you are going to a movie!  I'll go with!  Love movies; how was Ironman."
L:  "Didn't see it.  I ended up cleaning my house and drinking.  Let's go!"

I asked B about this.  His response?  "She was a friend from last year.  Don't talk to her anymore."  Later, I asked him why he agreed to go to a movie with her if he didn't talk to her anymore.  He got angry, but never gave me an answer.  He became sweet again after I dropped it.  He then removed any mention of her from his Facebook page.  But not before I read all their communication since they became "friends" in late 2011.  Yup, outings, pics; he even became friends with her sister.  In October of last year, the communication became sporadic and she talked about how her heart had been broken.  But, then, he started talking to her again.  Then, she started complaining about how she was being ignored and was hurt by someone.  You can all fill in the rest I'm sure.  No matter what was happening, he was trying to hide her, which is not ok.

It got to be time for me to make a decision.  I decided that I couldn't wait for him to make up his mind.  I posted about coming to the decision that it was time here.  I realized that the right man would support me.  I asked him several times where we were at and never got an answer.  So, I did an IUI cycle. Got an NTT.  (I'll blog about that later).  I didn't tell him either; perhaps I should have.  He knew it was coming though; and I couldn't deal with his potential reaction over it.  I wanted to tell him in person, and I couldn't do it before the IUI.  I did tell him I was doing something important though, and asked him to wish me luck that day.  I found $100.   Take that how you will.  It went right into the Diamonds' hands.  I did tell him eventually.  I asked him to please just tell me he didn't want to be with me if that was the case.  I said, "If it helps, I was inseminated last week.  If you want the out, then take it.  But I really need to hear it from you.  I don't want to guess."  Nothing.  

The week before last, my grandmother got sick.  She went into cardiac arrest ten times and was in the ICU with a brand new pacemaker/defibrillator.  I stayed with Grandpa, who has vascular dementia.  The next morning, I found Grandpa leaning over the bathroom sink, sweaty, and weak, complaining of chest pain.  So, he went lights and sirens too.  I'm glad I was there and able to start interventions right away.  It turns out he had an infection of some sort; but they couldn't trace it.  Because his blood pressure was so low, he ended up the ICU room right next to Grandma.  When we got the call that Grandma was coding, I was a wreck.  I hadn't told her about TTC.  I didn't know how she'd react, so I never told her.  I wished I had.  After signing the consent for the emergency procedure at the cath lab, I reached out to B.  I hadn't heard from him all week.  I told him I hadn't heard from him in awhile, but I needed a friend.  That I could be losing someone very dear to me and had left things unsaid between us.  Nothing.  I got a text saying he was out of town camping and sorry about my grandmother; like six hours later (he got back into town on Monday; it was Thursday).  Asshole.  I'll say it.  Asshole.

I'd had it.  I lashed out at him.  I could blame it on hormones, but I knew in my heart what was probably happening, and I was angry.  So no, it was mostly me talking.  I started telling him that it was like he was ignoring me, like he was making excuses, like he was keeping me on the back burner, just like before.  I told him he was either seeing or sleeping with someone else and just didn't have the courage to tell me.  He said he wasn't, but I must be, and am now throwing it in his face.  Um; no.  Not really.  "I have been going full force with a lot of things. I'm sorry at I have not been really detailed or present with you."  I've heard that before.  In fact, that is the last thing I have heard from him as of this minute.  It's always something with him, and then another woman comes out of the woodwork.  So, L's stuff comes back up on Facebook yesterday.  He starts contacting her again.  Actually, I recently saw he never really stopped.  (See above, I read through her page).  Again, no matter what, he was using her to upset me.     

I had been sending B messages telling him how hurt I was by his actions, that he was treating me the same as before.  That I thought he had changed, but hadn't.  That I shared so much of myself with him.  That I had thought of him as a father figure to my children, either biologically or as an adoptive parent.  That I had trusted him with something I loved and cared about more than my own heart, and he threw it back in my face.  Nothing.  Silence.  I don't know if he even read any of it.  I never will.

I posted this on Thursday night:

"B, I am a wonderful person with a heart of gold. You have had that heart for the past ten years; during the times we were together and the times we were with other people; whether I admitted it to myself or not. Through thick and thin, you've always had it. There aren't many women who would care for someone that much. You once said you gave me yours too, or have you forgotten? And this time, you could have had so many things, including the family you said you always wanted. Maybe one day you'll finally decide you can let people in again. Maybe one day, you can stop being so "scared" of what's right in front of you. But, I make no promises I'll be waiting for you. I don't have anyone else right now, but I moved on the other times because I had no other choice. I suppose I can do it again if I have to. And, if that's the case, know that you lost (another) good woman; again. And now, I know for sure you got the message."

I know that that might not have been the best idea.  But, I needed to say that.  And I needed to know he would see it.  It's not that I wanted others to see it.  I needed him to see it.  And...after, there was no response, but he was signed into chat for several hours.  I'm guessing there were some questions being asked of him, although that wasn't my motivation either.  Like I said, I didn't do it because others would see it.  I saw it because my amazing friends and family were consoling me as well, and I was talking to them.  I am very thankful for them; they have no idea how much.  

I didn't delete him off Facebook until tonight.  He didn't take down my comment until yesterday afternoon.  He still hasn't said a word to me.  I noticed last night that he added a familiar looking woman, E, shortly after my comment disappeared.  I couldn't place it, but she looked familiar.  So, I did that thing you aren't supposed to do.  I looked through his page; his whole page.  He has been on and off with her since at least 2008.  There's pictures from Spring 2008; when he was still trying to be with me.  There's posts about her being with his family.  She was added over and over throughout the years, often when his communication with L would die down, although it often overlapped.  It looks like it happened a couple of times when he was with J too.  I looked at her page.  There are pictures of she and him together in California out at a bar and snuggled up together from last April, around the same time he was road-tripping with L and telling her how much he couldn't wait to see her.  And, remember how he said he never saw anyone after J?  I'm guessing he added her again yesterday, because she's the only one left in his harem who didn't see what I wrote.  I realized he has played me and so many other women over the years.  And, we all must be "crazy."  Well, there is a crazy person in the mix, but it's the only person with an XY chromosome.     

And finally, at the end of 2008, almost a year after the initial break up; well after I told him not to contact me, I saw him trash talking me with D, and her saying it's good I stayed out of gun range.   

I feel like such an idiot.  I am so angry with myself.  I convinced myself that this time would be different, even though all the signs were there that he hadn't  changed.  My friends said, "He hasn't changed."  My father said, "Get rid of him."  But I didn't.  I feel like he's used these other women to hurt me, and what's worse, he probably used me to hurt them.  It kills me that I was a part of causing a good woman the same pain I feel and have felt (D being the exception to that statement).  

What's worse, I almost exposed my child to  a man like that.  Looking back at it now, what kind of father is a man who tells his girlfriend to keep quiet about a child he already has?  What kind of father would a man be if he treats the child he has like dirty laundry?  That was years ago, but, does a man like that ever change?  Probably not.  I am so thankful that I and all the other women alive today have options.  I do not have to stay in a relationship that is this detrimental in order to have a family.  And, thus, I am on to IUI cycle #2.  My heart is hurting so bad right now; I sometimes wish it would bleed out and put me out of my misery.  But, I have to keep telling myself that I made the right choice and that I will be ok in the end.     


Saturday, August 24, 2013

Bam again, or The Next Go-Round...

The story continues...

So, now we are in January.  I have my sperm.  I'm newly diagnosed with PCOS.  You've all read those posts.  I reached out to him.  I have no idea why.  I told him I felt like tying up lose ends.  I told him I thought of his cheating not so much as wanting to hurt me, but as his way out.  I told him I had forgiven him (I was really at peace with where I was at).  I asked for his forgiveness too; I said some pretty horrible things to him.  Although, now, I'm not so sure I should have been so quick to apologize.   

More eee ooo....ok then.

He asked why I contacted him.  What was this new leaf I was turning over?  "Are you getting married or something?"  I laughed and told him, "No, most definitely NOT getting married!"  The next day, I spilled the beans.  He congratulated me.  He told me he always knew I'd be a wonderful mother.  "Wow, a sperm donor, huh?"

We didn't talk much, then in early March, I was working a shift through the nursing pool.  I ran into an old co-worker's (now) ex wife.  She was surprised to know B was my ex.  She said, "You know, people always wondered about you two.  I could see you ending up together."  Ok, that kinda did it.  Anyways, I can't remember who reached out to who, but he told me he'd been following me online.  That he had been thinking about me.  So, we started talking big time again.  More marathon late night conversations again.  He wanted to come see me that first night.  I told him no.  The next Friday, we texted for hours, then Skyped for another five hours or so.  It wasn't all heavy conversation, but it did get serious.  He told me he moved on with J because he thought I had. I told him I moved on because I had no other choice.  He said that they were in love, but that she couldn't handle him treating her well.  She had dated a man for around seven years, who cheated on her and didn't treat her very well.  She was very suspicious.  They went to therapy.  She said she realized she didn't love him after all.  "I could have kids with him, but I don't think I love him."  (Mind you, these are B's words.  I've never spoken to J.)  When I told him I only moved on because I didn't have a choice.  He asked why I never told him this, and I said, "Because you just went away."  He began to break down and cry.  "Five years, we lost five years."  I told him that I thought things were my fault.  More crying.  "Honey, why did you carry that with you all this time?  I'm sorry; I'm so sorry."

All right, red flags already right?  Ah, hindsight; what a cruel mistress you are....

I've never had Skype sex before that night, but strangely, it's not so awkward as it may seem.  After that night, I was in love ALL over again.  I was in church the following day, and I'm not too proud to say that I looked at the aisle and had an image of us walking up it together in wedding garb.  He had one arm through mine, the other around a toddler on his hip; a boy with brown hair and dark eyes in a miniature tux.  We had just gotten married, and he accepted my child.

Around this time, I was finishing my program and getting ready for my boards.  B and I talked about my TTC plans, but he knew that I wasn't planning on it then and there.  I asked him if he wanted me to put them on hold for awhile to see what would happen with us.  I explained about pre-paid storage, as well as the other semantics of purchasing goods and using a cryo-bank, i.e., you can sell your vials back if you decide not to use them.  He initially said, "No, your plans seem set. I wouldn't want to be in the way of that."  We then agreed to try and see what happened with us, since I wasn't ready to TTC yet anyways.  I told him I'd give it a few months.  I asked him how he would feel raising a child that wasn't biologically his and from a donor, not a daddy.  He said he didn't know.  He had never thought about what that would be like.  Women he knew with kids had them the old fashioned way.  I didn't tell him I had begun to think of him as a father figure, but I had.  I saw how he lit up when talking about his nephews and niece.  I had seen how family oriented he had become.  He wasn't out partying with his work buddies every night.  He had hobbies, he appeared to have settled down.  During our first conversation, when I asked him if he lived alone, he said, "No just with my wife and family," in a joking way.  But then later said it would be nice.  I concluded that if he seemed ready to have kids, we could do it either way.  If he wanted the child to be his, I would have waited until at least next year to start trying.  We would have been together a year then.  That's enough time to know if we can make that work, given our history.  If not, I would TTC this year when I was ready.  He wouldn't be obligated to stay with me, and if it didn't work out, we would have no obligation to try to co-parent.  I really wanted to avoid raising a child under the circumstances I was raised.  My decision to have a child had been made, but I wasn't going to jump into having one with him traditionally right off the bat.    

Notice that the image I had in church was of us being married with an older child.  Either way, the child would have come first.  This is actually not uncommon in modern Scandinavian culture.  In America, there is still an over-bearing sense that marriage should come first.  Across the pond and up "Nort", it is quite commonplace for children to be in their parents' wedding, and I do mean their parents' first wedding.  In fact, the Crown Princess of Norway was a single mom when she met her Prince at an outdoor rock festival.  I was in Norway the summer they got married, and believe me, the people accepted it with open arms.  There really wasn't a scandal.  Well, perhaps the citizens were too stoic to acknowledge the scandalous thought; hahaha.         

My wonderful readers may remember my posts from around this time regarding relationships and how men would feel about a woman in this situation.  Remember how I said that I'd accept a man's child under any circumstances?  Yup, I meant B.    

Anyways, I got to know B again.  Yup, he still had my heart.  But, he seemed withdrawn sometimes.  He would say, "I've been told I'm hot and cold or have the intensity of lasers."  He would either be in the moment 100%, or not really all there.  It was hard to see each other, though we did talk every day.  And, at the time of my boards, no sex yet.  (Yes, the child conversation came WAAY before the sex; as it should be).  We wanted each other and weren't shy about speaking of it or...well, Skyping it out; heh.  It was the same way before.  He would talk it up, but then it wouldn't happen.  The first time we did it all those years ago, it was me who told him to come and put his money where his mouth was.  He was so nervous on the way to my house; like a teenaged virgin.  He got over it quite quickly as soon as we were inside-heh.  So, this time, after Thai food, I sat in his lap and told him the dance was over.  I didn't know it would feel that way and I have no idea why, but making love to him felt so natural to me, like we should have been doing so all along.  It wasn't the crazy animalistic sex we would have before, but it felt comfortable, right.  That night, we stayed up talking until around 4am.  He was actually the one asking me questions while I was falling asleep; funny.  He held me and rubbed my back.  It felt so good to wake up and feel him next to me.  He held me for another two hours. When we got up, he made me breakfast.  When he went to bike to work later (he drives, but prefers to bike; I called him my Ironman Bam for a reason), he kissed me good-bye.  After he got halfway down the block, he turned around, then talked to me for another 20 minutes.  Then he kissed me again, and left.

It would seem like a fairytale ending.  And really, I felt like a princess that day.  I couldn't wipe the stupid grin off my face for days. I felt so loved.  Um....reality check.  Watch the classic musical Into The Woods.  Act three is what happens AFTER happily ever after.....

A hint: when we were in bed that first night, his phone rang at 2am.  He looked at it, saying at 2am it must be an important person.  It apparently wasn't.  I giggled and said, "Or a drunk person."  He said, "No, I got rid of my crazy exes."  I said, "But you told me you hadn't been with anyone since J."  He stopped cold.  ", I have."