Thursday, September 4, 2008

I'm coming out of the closet...., not THAT closet... the one down the hall. Another topic that nobody talks about, to the detriment of society, I think. I've been holding off posting about it here for several reasons (privacy concerns among family that they won't spread the info indiscriminately, a certain amount of shame, grief... ), but the time has come.

I am a mother of 12 with no child to hold.

Yeah... I hear ya... WTF? What's she talking about???

Well, this is what I'm talking about.

D and I have been struggling with fertility challenges for a few years now. Over the past year we've been stunned by our diagnosis, come to terms with it, I've gone through more tests, scans, blood draws, and injections than I care to contemplate, we've done 2 fresh cycles of IVF (in vitro fertilization... about as invasive as it gets in this game) with ICSI (which theoretically upped our odds), we've done 1 frozen cycle. And still we have no child to hold.

But we have children we love.

We've transferred 2 embryos every time we've transferred.

The first fresh cycle worked. Sadly, it didn't stick, and even before we'd had a chance to enjoy the good news or seen our child(ren), I miscarried. We didn't have a chance to enjoy being pregnant, but we love those children.

The frozen cycle didn't take. That was great news to get on New Years Eve. They didn't stay, but we love those children.

The second fresh cycle also worked. But when we went for our "viability ultrasound" at about 7 weeks we discovered that not only were we facing a missed miscarriage (where the fetus stops developing but the body doesn't clue in), but also an ectopic pregnancy. We love them, too.

It's been a rough ride. Losing my job hasn't helped, because now we're stuck spinning our wheels until I am established in a new job (after probation). We have 6 little babes waiting in cryo-preservation for us to be able to give this another go... hopefully sooner rather than later.

I'm tired of hiding. I'm tired of dodging questions. I 'came out' on a forum I frequent a while back... so now I'm coming out here (now that D has finally said I can).

What do I hope to gain by 'coming out'? I hope that people who know me might understand me better. I hope that people who have a high opinion of my strength will have a better idea of some of what's made me the way I am. I hope that some people will be more compassionate in dealing with people battling fertility challenges... that they won't make assumptions about when or whether people who are living childless want children... that they'll think before they speak... before they ask insensitive questions... before they make comments that might be hurtful. And I hope that when my friends become pregnant, that they'll try not to be hurt if I don't seem thrilled for them... I am thrilled for them, but I can't separate that happiness from my own sorrow. That pisses me off, and I'm truly sorry that I can't share in their untainted joy. And I hope that through this I can raise awareness and help someone else through my experiences. Because the pain in life is only meaningless if we don't use that knowledge of pain to help someone else in the same place.

So... there it is.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Seagulls and Turkeys and Bears.... oh my!

You know, I used to think you knew when you were in Northern Ontario when the roadkill changed from raccoons to porcupines. After this weekend I've decided there are other indicators that are perhaps more accurate (ok, so part of that is because we didn't see a single porcupine until we were already well on our way home).

Like a black bear sprinting across the 2 lane highway in front of your car. Like seeing Wild Turkey and not being in a bar (yeah, I know... bad booze reference). Like being the only car visible on the Trans-Canada (yup, seriously... no cars visible ahead or in the mirror). Like bare Canadian Shield. Like glass-smooth lakes sprinkled with islands of bare rock with a single pine tree and no other vegetation or dirt.

I love the parts of this province North of "cottage country" (well, what Torontonians consider "cottage country")... if it weren't for that pesky winter element, I think I could be quite happy living up there. Well, winter and income... but since I still don't have a job, that's not necessarily so much of a concern *laugh*

Now to wade through all the pictures and see if we got anything good!