Saturday, January 31, 2009

Still Resolutely Ignoring Everthing

Nothing new on the health front. . .still waiting.

This week I was unfortunately reminded of how breathtakingly horrid some people can be. Unethical, immoral, unscrupulous, dreadful, awful, corrupt. . .Part of me wants to use every last ounce of strength that I have to fight back and to show the world this person for who she really is. But, most of me just wants to shrug, believe in karma, and let the universe take care of the situation in due time. I have had enough of wasting my efforts and precoius time on unhappy, toxic people, particularly when they have appeared in my life as at best incidental players.

This morning, I am off to purchase a new laser printer and some paper. I need a new laser printer because something went amiss with my present laser printer after a staple accidentally made its way into it, and I cannot find anyone in my area who will fix it. I need the paper so that I can print my resume and cover letter. It's hard to imagine, but I need to send them to a prospective employer who in this day and age only accepts real mail. The best news: the job is thousands of miles away from my current snowy home, in a warm and happy place that I've visited numerous times on vacation, and love, and thousands of miles away from the evil that inhabits part of my current life. Some might think that I am running away, but in reality, I am simply responding to finally being free.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Getting Through

First, thank you all for your kind thoughts. It really helps.

Second, where am I? I don't know yet. We are waiting until old test results can be compared with new test results. If they are the same, then we are good. If they are different, we are headed for more tests. . .

I am mostly hanging in there. I've had a rough go of it professionally of late. Old shit that has come to pass. . .I've made my peace with it, but it's still no fun to relive long past issues. Yet, it's also nice to have the distraction.

It seems like everything of late is in exactly the wrong place. Everything is out of sorts. But yet, I am still hopeful. I find myself calculating just how pregnant I will be on our anniversary in May, and how that will play into the anniversary plans that I will arrange. . .how pregnant I will be for Christmas next year. . .how long I must stay at my current job, if I want to take advantage of the very generous maternity leave.

I am optimistic that this will all be nothing, and that I will be a neurotic freak for fearing otherwise. I hope I am not wrong. I cannot bear the alternative.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

I Don't Know What To Think Any More

I feel like the gulf between me and motherhood is ever-widening. I haven't blogged about it, because I mostly want to pretend it's not true. I want to believe that I'm okay and everything is okay and we're going to be back in the proverbial saddle in no time. But I must confess, it might not be true. And I'm scared.

While doing some tests to get to the bottom of how I've been feeling since sc.uba in Hond.uras, they found some abnormalities on a CT scan. They're not in the area of my back/chest that I'm having the discomfort, so they aren't related to how I've been feeling (well, probably not). Nonetheless, one of the differential diagnoses for the abnormalities is can.cer. There is an abnormality on the scan in the area of my hip and another in my liver. They are tiny, and my doctor was quick to tell me that the danger of doing CT scans is that they reveal things that are perfectly normal for a particular individual, but appear as abnormalities because they don't appear in the general population at large. I haven't posted about this, because I spend most of my time thinking happy thoughts and trying to be positive. But it's not entirely working, and I just need to get it out. Maybe then it will be easier for me to be positive in my head.

The first couple of rounds of blood tests have all come back normal, but I've done enough research to know that there can be something wrong, and you still have normal results for the tests I've had done. I really wasn't expecting this. I thought maybe the scan would show I'd injured something in my back. I definitely didn't see this coming, and I don't think my doctor did, either. The last time I talked to her, she wasn't sure exactly how we should proceed, which wasn't exactly comforting. I'll speak with her again this week, now that I've done more tests (all with normal results). No matter what, we will NOT be taking a "wait-and-see" approach.

I'm sick of being sick. I have had a ridiculous number of medical issues over the last 18 months. None of them have been overly serious to date, and hopefully this will turn out to be nothing, as well. But really, it's getting a little ridiculous. Don't I deserve to be normal and move on with my life, at this point? Haven't I suffered enough? Can't I just go and have a healthy pregnancy and a happy baby? Do I really deserve to have to worry about scary, horrible medical stuff, after the hell of the last year?

I'm just so damned tired of all this.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Trying Thoughts

I just dug out the prenatal vitamins today and started taking them. I haven't taken any vitamins in a few months. Bad, I know, but I've been really angry at my body, so I stopped taking them. How's that for twisted logic? But anyway, I've started up again, in preparation for starting up again.

Now that we're just weeks away from trying again, I've got all kinds of thoughts flying through my head. I'm scared, for one. They never did get to the bottom of what happened while I was on vacation. Everything has come back normal, for the most part. There were a few weird things that showed up on the CT scan, but my doctor says they may just be normal things for me. I've got to have a few more tests done to confirm that, but I'm proceeding on the assumption that everything will come back fine. I am working off the belief that something weird just happened when I was scubadiving. But what if I'm wrong, and something goes horribly awry while I'm pregnant? On the other hand, I've had a million tests done, and nothing has come up. I'm feeling better, for the most part, and the clock is ticking. I can't just keep waiting for something bad to happen, because it probably (hopefully!) won't, and that would just be stupid.

And two, I'm scared. Not about health stuff, but about baby stuff. It's really scaring the shit out of me, now that we're back to this point. For a while, it seemed like it would never get here (and it may never get here, but this is the year of living optimistically for me, so let's pretend it could, it might, it will), so I stopped thinking about how terrifying the idea of being a parent is. But now that we will soon be officially trying again, I've been thinking about it. You know, Terrific T. and I aren't spring chickens. It's truly scary to imagine our house with a baby in it. It's scary to think about parenthood, and all of the responsibility. It's scary to think about how our lives will change.

Okay, just had to get that out there. It's exciting, too. I'm thrilled that we're almost back. Every day brings us one step closer. And all of a sudden Buzz Lightyear has popped into my head--"To infinity and beyond!"

The adoption talk has sort of stalled. T. recently asked me what kind of adoption I envisioned, and someone knocked at the door just as I was about to answer. I know we'll get back to the conversation, but it remains really difficult. Perhaps it will get easier as we are trying, if it does not go well, but maybe it will get harder. Maybe I should push the discussion now, before we are actually trying. The problem with TTC is that it is addictive. There is always the hope, the feeling that the next cycle could be THE cycle. Once we're in the throes of that, I don't know how it will feel to also be talking about adoption. I know we need the "Plan B," though. I wish I could figure out why it's such a hard discussion to have. I wish I could fast-forward through this next bit, and not have to work out the hard stuff.

Friday, January 16, 2009


After several months of "regular" cycles, I just realized it's CD18, and I haven't O'd yet. Damn. Well, I guess the good news is that I "just" realized it's CD18. I haven't been paying the slightest bit of attention, since we can't start trying again until next month. Which means I can still have wine. . .

Monday, January 12, 2009

I Know You'll Get This

My brother called me yesterday to deliver the news. We have a young family member, just out of high school, who is pregnant. She's not married, she doesn't have a job, her boyfriend doesn't have a job, and in fact she's been living with an elderly family member who barely scrapes by on an anemic pension. But of course, she plans on keeping the baby.

This bugs me. It bugs me for a lot of reasons. She is kind of a mess, and has had a messed up family life. She is estranged from her parents. She has no idea who she is, or what she wants out of life. She is very troubled. This boyfriend is her first, and it's the first time in her life she's had anyone who cares about her (her parents are awful, awful people who treated her terribly during her childhood). I have a feeling she wants the baby because it's something that will love her back. But she is so weak and fragile and damaged, I cannot even fathom how she will handle the responsibilities of parenthood. I cannot imagine what lies ahead for this child and her child-to-be.

Another family member told me that it's still early in her pregnancy, and she secretly hopes that this young girl will have a miscarriage. She whispered that she thinks would be for the best. And me? My first thought was that she should let us raise the baby. We are far better equipped to raise a child, in every respect. Well, perhaps that is judgemental of me, and perhaps she will rise to the occasion. But she's barely more than half my age, and does not appear to have yet faced the many demons from her childhood. I just cannot imagine what lies ahead for her, for them. My heart breaks for her, and at the same time, for myself and every other woman out there who has struggled and who has room in her head, heart and home for a child, but no child to fill that space. The universe seems so badly out of sync sometimes.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Show & Tell, January 11, 2009: What I Stole From Calliope

If you've been reading Calliope's blog , then you know that she has started a project called 365, where she takes a photograph of herself every day and posts it on a second blog that she has started. I completely loved the project when I read about it, and Calliope's photos are of course so gorgeous and creative and heartbreaking and real and magnificent that I check back in frequently. And since I read the following, I have been completely intrigued by, and slightly obsessed with, the idea of coming up with my own project:

If you are feeling like a challenge then I invite you to join me in your own version of 365. And let me know so I can validate your beautifulness and clever camera work!

After thinking and thinking and thinking, I finally came up with my own 365 project, and it is what I'm showing and telling today: a 365 project of my own. Over the last couple of years, I have been extremely neglectful of myself. So every day, I'm going to do something for myself, and to make sure I actually do it, and don't lose myself again amidst all of the other things I'm trying to accomplish, I'm going to document my journey every day. Since I pretty much put taking care of myself last on the list of things I need to take care of, it will be interesting to see where this takes me. Alas, my photos will never compare to Calliope's, but hopefully it will be an interesting journey nonetheless.

Want to see what everyone else is showing today? Visit Mel for the list.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Hoping for the Best, Planning for the Worst

In fits and starts, we've begun talking about adoption. I'm approaching 37; he's over 40. We both, I think, are starting to worry that we will get even further down the path that we think leads to biological children, and discover that there is nothing there. We're both worried about losing more time on a journey that leads to no one. We are both starting to think that we need a Plan B. Given how long adoption takes, we've both realized that it may make sense for us to pursue both options at once. Without much angst, we've both realized that we're completely comfortable with adopting, and that one way or another, we're going to have a family. I like the way that sounds: We're going to have a family.

Still, it's hard to talk about. It's hard to acknowledge that what we've planned might not work out. It's hard to find space to talk about the other path, the alternate universe of adoption. I don't know why it's so hard for both of us, because we talk about absoultely everything. There's something that is really weird about it, though--almost like we're jinxing ourselves by even considering making alternate plans. I just have to keep in mind, though, that we're going to have a family, one way or the other, and I have to have faith that this thought will lead us to the place we're meant to be.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Old Friends

I'm a little sketched out by online sites like MyS.pace and I like being anonymous. I'm creeped out by the shady people who troll the sites looking to do harm to others. On the other hand, it seemed like a good way to reconnect with people I've lost touch with, which would be both fun, and helpful, since I'm looking for a job. I managed to find a happy medium on, and finally joined recently (I turned off a lot of the features, and kept publicly available personal details to a minimum). Within a half hour of registering, I had not only located my college roommate, but sent her a message AND heard back from her! The next day, I heard from a close friend from high school that I'd lost touch with. And so on.

It was really, really great to catch up. Now, before I get to this next part, I should mention that I've been doing really well with where we are at in this process of family building. I can see little kids and buy baby clothes with the best of them. I had a little setback at Christmas, when in the middle of a shopping spree for the baby I was assigned to buy presents for through a local charity, I realized that if we hadn't had the miscarriage, we would be buying Christmas presents for a baby that was the EXACT SAME AGE, but OUR BABY. But I moved on.

So, it was a surprrise to me how much it stung to see all of the pictures of my old friends with their little kids. The kicker was when one of my closest friends from freshman year of college started talking about her baby, who was. . .yes, the exact same age as our baby would be, but for the miscarriage, and how much she is enjoying motherhood. It just makes me feel so SAD. It's like there is an exclusive club out there, and everyone is a member but me.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Decisions, Decisions

I've been spending every spare minute trying to a) obtain the international position that I would LOOOVE to have, and b) looking for a new job, in the meantime. The hiring timeline on the int'l job is at least a year, and I need something to do in between. I suppose I could stay at my current job, but I'm ready to move on. If I can find a position that a) allows me to do something I love, which also b) pays at least what I'm making now, and c) also has great health insurance, then I think it makes sense for me to move on. I don't know that I'll even get the international job, and if I do, it won't be for another year, at least. So basically, I need to live my life on parallel tracks right now, preparing for both alternatives.

I've been in my current job for a number of years, so it's both scary and exciting to look for a new one. There are so many things to deal with. . .recommendations, for example. That's a tricky issue, when most employers seem to want three of them. On the one hand, I want to use people who are familiar with my most recent work. On the other hand, tipping my hand to my present employer may result in unpleasant consequences. For example, if there were layoffs, I would presumably be one of the first to go.

Then, there is the dilemma of just what it is I want to do next. I found one job that I'm really excited about, which I will likely apply for tomorrow. I need to come up with a writing sample, and get my references in line. I have a million things I could use as a writing sample; it's just a matter of picking one. I have a pretty good idea of what I want to use. I think I've decided on references, as well, although I need to sleep on it.

Generally speaking, I think I want a job that uses the skills I have now, but not in the same way that I currently use them. I want to do something that benefits the public good. I want to make a decent salary doing it. I want to work reasonable hours. I want to have lots of autonomy. I want to feel good about the work that I do, the people that I work with, and the people that I work for. I want to be appreciated. I thought I would have a difficult time finding the right job, until this position popped up that I'm so excited about. It's not exactly in my field, but I think I'm qualified. Well, there's only one way to find out!

With regard to the international job, I really need to finish my application tonight. I'm feeling a little stuck, because I need to apply to a particular department of the organization (you are only permitted to apply to one at a time), and I'm really torn between two departments. I've researched the company a ton, and I've emailed some people who work there, to get more information. But at the end of the day, choosing between the departments is really something of a leap of faith. The tough part is that I have something of a preference for one department (as much as you can have a preference for a job that you've never done in an organization for which you've never worked), but I've heard it may be easier to get hired by the other department. I'm not sure how to work this one out for myself. I might be perfectly happy in both positions. Do I go for the easier one, to put myself in the best position of getting hired? I'm worried that I won't like the actual work as much. (This particular organization doesn't generally move people between departments, so it's not a matter of getting your foot in the door and then changing departments). On the other hand, if I go for the position that is more difficult to obtain and don't get it, I will kick myself for not going for the one that has a better potential for getting hired.

This is actually really fun. The glass is definitely half full today. The world is full of possibilities.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Show & Tell: January 4, 2009

The fall after we married we received an unexpected package in the mail. It was months after our wedding, and too early to be a Christmas gift. Upon opening it, we were delighted to find that someone had sent us a set of beautiful glass Christmas ornaments for our first tree as a married couple. The ornaments were all different shapes, and each ornament had a special meaning that was explained on an enclosed card. I laughed heartily at the time when we discoverd that the fish, the symbol of fertility, was broken. We were nowhere near ready for kids at the time, and I thought it was fitting that the fish was broken. I still absolutely cherish these ornaments, and carefully tie them to the tree branches with ribbon each year, so there is no chance a stray tail or feisty paw will cause them to fall off and be smashed.

I recently mentioned to Terrific T. that we needed to buy a fish ornament for the tree, to replace the one that arrived broken so many years ago. When he asked why, I reminded him about the broken fish ornament and its meaning. Yesterday, while I shopped the Victoria's Secret bra sale, he disappeared from the store. He returned a short time later with this:

Yes, it's covered in glitter and sequins, and I find it magical nonetheless. And yes, I feel blessed to have a husband who wholly buys into the notion that a fish ornament will fix our fertility troubles.