Wednesday, January 21, 2009

I remember...

I remember back when R and I were just newly engaged. I remember the HOPE that filled me. Everything I always wanted right in front of me. I remember trying to plan a wedding and being distracted because all I really wanted was the stuff that was to come after the wedding. I remember sitting up in the darkness of insomnia-3am. Hours and hours and hours spent surfing the www looking for answers. Something anything to solve the problem. Relaxing, a holiday away, spermmeetseggplan, children's aspirin, acupuncture, Chinese dirt tea, some pill ANY pill that would miraculously make me pregnant. All of this alone and silent. Not letting anyone into my mind filled with doubt. And then finally I summoned up the courage to talk about it with my husband. Silly as it sounds I was nervous at how this would affect my new marriage, not even realizing it was already affecting not just my marriage but everyone, everything, absolutely every part of my life.

Then the testing began...and there were no answers. This was "Great news!" according to all the doctors. Still can't really wrap my head around that. Then there was the panic attack in the middle of Madison Avenue that scared the shit out of me and rendered me paralyzed in the middle of the city. Then the magical three week holiday to France. My first time in Paris and yet a dark cloud followed me around. Then in the middle of the gorgeous-ness of the south of France, AF showed her ugly ass self. Misery.

Then Rolyn reconnected with old friends that had been there done that. They gave me not just love and support but HOPE. Then another couple we were friends with started their road with ART and were successful. Again, love, support, HOPE.

During this time, even with HOPE, my world grew very small. I could never be sure when or where tears would come. I started avoiding group gatherings. I started avoiding phone calls. When anyone would say "Hey did you hear the news about so-in-so?" I wanted to run away. Far far away and just disappear. I had never ever felt so alone so broken. I remember sitting on the train coming home and listening to an obviously tweaked out woman beg for money. For. Her. Baby. The baby in her arms was barely a year...the baby in her belly? I'd say 4 months from being born. I cried, no I bawled from the moment the train doors opened until I walked into my apartment. Only to met with an email from a newly pregnant friend telling me "she understood. You can be as involved or not involved as you want to be. etc. etc." She was trying be a friend and say all the right things. It unfortunately hit me in the wrong moment and it fucking stung.

And then it was our time. Success on the first ivf cycle. A boy! A girl! HOPE was more present then than ever before...though it never put down roots. It didn't have time.

The darkest day came and went. I went back to work, back to life and we put on the good front as best we could. I remember sitting at my desk eight hours a day for six weeks (at least) and not getting anything done. Looking back now it's like a fog, a numbness, surrounded us, protecting us from ourselves and the overwhelming grief. I don't think the full impact of wtf happened really hit for about six months.

By then we were into a new cycle. It did/didn't work. And we did another, and then another. Finally, HOPE returned. We also had fear and statistics and more than just a touch of that protective numbness. We had incredible friends who even though had been almost totally shut out after losing Tess and Oliver, they still came to our sides and held us up. Home cooked meals, care packages, ichats, IMs, emails, weekend slumber party visits. They did it all and we have never been more grateful. We had incredible doctors on our side. All of these things came together and we made it. To the other side.

August 4, 2006 was as life changing a day as April 12, 2005.
They came. They died. Our hearts were broken.
She came. She lives. She healed the parts of our hearts that could be healed.
She is our light. Our biggest joy.

This blog has been such an incredible thing for me. I have written things here that I could share in very few places. There is a lot more in my head and heart I have yet to write down. I have yet to write the posts about both Tess & Oliver's and Davis's birth. They are in head, already written just not typed into the computer. I have yet to write the post about our cabin upstate and the magical things that have happened there. The post about what happens when two leaves are placed in the water to say hello to my babies. The post about an infant loss support group we attended and how one man's child will FOREVER be in my heart, how I wish I had his name so I could tell his wife that it was not her fault and her baby is not forgotten. How infertility and losing T&O reconfirmed why I married this man and brought us closer and made us stronger than I could have ever imagined. And then there is the future and what it much on the horizon in every aspect of our lives.

My gut is telling me it's time to move on from here. I've learned to go with my gut. My first thought was to take this place down. Poof. Gone. No explanation necessary. But then I recently exchanged messages with a friend/old co-worker who is currently in infertility hell. Reading her words and frustration and pain poured out in front of me and getting it. Feeling it with every ounce of my being. Well it gave me pause. Several months ago I started tracking my stats here. I was pleasantly surprised and a bit shocked that I actually do have readers. Even when the posting has been at a snails pace. All of this took me back. I remember. I remember how the internet saved my life. Reading other's stories and realizing I was not the only one that had been down this road, felt these feelings, thought these thoughts, lost babies, fought with family, lost friends...that I was in fact NOT crazy or evil for anything and everything I was feeling.

So because of you, dear internets, lurkers that find yourself here, up in the darkness of insomnia-3am... I wish you peace and HOPE and strength to get through whatever it is you are going through. I am sad to say I cannot offer you any magical answers, but you should know you are not alone. I have found infertile/insane pregnancy complications/life is so fucking unfair/dead baby mommas (etc etc) who are bloggers to be the most open and embracing people ever. Leave a comment, send an email and ASK. I know I know, it was hard for me too. And I didn't, I couldn't. Until Tess and Oliver died...and then I did. I had no choice. I needed someone to tell me that I could live through this. Two women that had been through the same, that live in other parts of the world, lifted me up with words.

So this blog will end here but live on as is...and because this is far from the end of the story, another will be started.
Wanna come? Send me an email and I'll send you the link.
morethanatata at gmail dot com

Catch ya on the flip.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Dear Jackson Heights,

Please drop me a line. Let me know who you are. I have a feeling I may know you IRL or at least in a past life. I promise to keep your identity private and will not sell your information to any of More Than A TaTa's long list of advertisers. Seriously, your email could/would put me at ease.
Much Thanks,
Heather, aka girlh, aka More Than A TaTa

Saturday, January 10, 2009

The Girl Effect


More info here.

Monday, January 05, 2009

um, wow.

My sister just sent me the link to this article.
Growing up in Texas, knowing how competitive high school football is (even when your team isn't very good) I'm left in awe of this coach.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Merry

Traveling over the holidays is not easy but worth it to see Davis with her cousins, grandparents and great grandmother.
At one point amidst the chaos of six girls (my one and my sisters five) ages 2-15, Davis said to her daddy, "Those are all my peoples, right there." as she waved her arm in their direction. We laughed and I was happy that even though we live so far away she know who her "peoples" are.

This pic sums up Christmas.

Monday, December 15, 2008

A new screw.

Today I went to the dentist. He's a friend and an awesome dentist. Going to see him is kind of like meeting a friend for a drink, minus, of course, the drink. Last week while brushing my teeth I noticed some tenderness on my gums. Closer inspection revealed a little bump that looked just like the one I had a few years back that led to a pulled tooth and a bone graft, followed by an implant. Babies were lost and a baby was born happy & well during the time it took to complete the task. At first Dr. J said he didn't think it was that again...even though my gut was saying, oh yes, it was. He took an x-ray and it showed nothing. He felt like maybe I had something stuck under my gum that was causing irritation. So he numbed me up, UGH I hate that feeling, then he poked around for half a second and said, "Sorry babe. You were right."

Off I went about a 5 minute walk east to see the oral surgeon. I was so shocked they could see me immediately, I didn't even think about what this would dredge up emotionally. Until. I. Was. Sitting. In. That. Chair. Again.

The OS took one look and said, "Yup Dr. J was right. This tooth is cracked and has to come out. Do you want to do another implant? If so we'll need to do another bone graft as you've lost a touch of bone, not as much as last time, but you need a strong foundation for the screw." My head was spinning as it had only been 15 minutes before that I was catching up, having a drink appointment, with Dr. J. I said, "wow this is not how I envisioned my afternoon." He said, "Well, we could wait, but it won't get better, or cheaper." I explained that no, I was not stalling I was just a bit in shock with it all. So he numbed me some more and said he'd be back in five minutes.

I'm not really sure how I held it together in those five minutes. Because it was incredible how much shit resurfaced. Quickly. So much pain. So much heartache. None of it had anything at all to do with a fucking tooth.

Here I sit, with another hole in my head...and coming to terms (again) with the fact that there are two holes in my heart will never be filled.

ETA: I forgot to mention both the oral surgeon and the pharmacist warned me that the antibiotics prescribed would alter the effectiveness of birth control pills. At least there were two laughs in my afternoon.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Decision '08. No voting necessary.

Four years ago we did IVF for the first time. Luckily we had some insurance coverage, not 100% but some.
Then we had an opportunity to switch plans and have two full rounds of IVF covered 100%. We were pregnant with Tess and Oliver at the time, but I said we should do it, just in case. Thankfully we did because sadly we needed it. We had 3 frozen embryos left from our cycle with T&O. We tried a transfer the first month we could, and it worked and then it didn't. Our options at this point were try the transfer with the one totcicle left, or switch clinics and do a fresh transfer, or start the adoption process.

We went ahead and met with the RE at the new clinic and after hearing the % of a positive result for frozen vs. fresh cycles the answer was clear. I looked at Rolyn and said if this NEXT cycle does not work you will have to commit me, send me away for a long long time. I am not strong enough to go through this again. And then I found out I was. That I would have to be.

Thankfully IVF #3 did work. And 16+ weeks of flat on my back and incredible love & care from Rolyn, dear friends, and the fab Dr. E got us to the other side.

The second thing I was hoping for, after a real live baby of course, was an uncomplicated pregnancy. One that would instill some faith and hope that we could possiblymaybehopefully do this again without so many restrictions. My track record of things-not-turning-out-as-i-had-planned showed up just shy of the 30 week mark. We did however reach the ultimate goal of real live baby. And every day for the past two plus years I have thanked the Universe.

About a year ago Rolyn and I started mulling over what next? Is this it? Will we be a family of three? Again this was not what we had expected when we set out to have a family. While going back to cycle again was hard to wrap my head around, 20 weeks of bed rest was impossible to wrap my head around. Not fair to Rolyn, not fair to Davis, just not fucking fair at all. When I was in the hospital there were several women on on the floor who had little ones that came to visit, they always left screaming for mommy. Always. For me the difference is this: it's one thing to be pregnant and have someone tell you that you must go to the hospital or lose this child. No question there. Of course you DO IT. Of course. But getting pregnant knowing beforehand this is a very real possibility? Just didn't sit right with me. I know there are women out there that have done this, and I am not slighting any of you. But just like with any of this infertility life, we each have our limits of when to say when. No one can judge another's limits. For me, for us for my family we have reached ours.

We have dropped the second insurance that covered me for more infertility treatments. For four+ years now I have been double covered. One plan for ART and one plan so I can go to the OB/GYN/MFM of my choice rather than an in-network doc. Most of the best docs here do not even take insurance, but paying up front and be reimbursed at 70% is better than nothing for sure.

Dropping the second plan was step one. Step two. I can barely type. My eyes have filled with tears and I can't see the screen anymore. Step two is letting go of the frozen embryo. We've been paying lots of $ to keep this one lil' dude frozen for four years. In fact at this point the cost of cryo-storage plus what it would cost to do the transfer amounts to the same as doing a whole new fresh cycle. It's not the money that is the hardest part, I think we have been in a bit of denial that we would have to make this decision at some point. We have talked about this several times in the last year, but always leave it as "yeah we should think about that." The fact that this embryo was created in the same dish as Tess & Oliver. That is has the potential to be another Davis is heartbreaking. But the time has come. To really let go. To move on.

More to come on all of this later. For now, at least, it feels good to write in all down. Get it out of my head and heart.

Last night Rolyn and I caught this documentary on PBS about these two crazy guys from Queens who took a 2+ year journey following the steps of Marco Polo It was incredible. At one point they were in Tibet and one of the explorers said, "You cannot worry about yesterday. Yesterday is gone. You cannot worry about tomorrow, it's not here yet. Life is happening right now. Today. In this moment." I couldn't look at Rolyn because I knew we were thinking the exact same thing.