Archive for December, 2006

you can run, but you can’t hide!

December 27, 2006

Well, here we are, the much fussed about Christmas holiday has come and gone already.

I have to say, my actual Christmas was just plain wonderful. I highly recommend running away from home for the holidays (if you can). C@pe May was beautiful and we even had nice weather. We went for an evening carriage ride to see all the old Victorian homes decked out in their holiday best. We ate several very yummy meals at some favorite restaurants. We slept in, lazed around, window shopped, ate, lazed around some more. We went to a local church service to sing some carols and reflect on things**. We climbed the 199 steps to the top of the lighthouse for one amazing view (we had it all to ourselves which was extra sweet!) We also walked on the beach looking for sea glass and shells. On Christmas day, my parents joined us for an amazing dinner at the Blue Pig T@vern at Congress H@ll.

All in all it was a relaxing and stress free holiday weekend!

So why the ominous post title? Well, the worst is yet to come. I knew this in advance, but I kind of ignored the fact that while I can run away for the actual holiday, I can’t really get away with skipping the family kid related thing. It still looms ahead. This Saturday we go to the big family shindig with kids everywhere and one very annoying SIL***. But, it’s just one day, right? Surely I can endure that?? I plan to employ the help of a bit of vodka in my cranberry juice as a means of buffering the painful bits.

And to counteract the negative, we have some fun planned for Sunday, New Year’s Eve. We’ll have some child free friends over for drinks, good eats and frivolity.

In hindsight, I would have been better off not dreading this whole thing for three weeks in advance. Not because my fears weren’t real and valid, but because prolonging the pain, only results in . . . well, MORE pain.

I can’t change the fact that I am not a Mom yet. I can’t change the fact that I (like most people) have an annoying relative or three. But I can make an effort not to drive myself crazy for weeks ahead of time. But, hindsight always makes life look more manageable!

**(my only complaint was here: I never realized how many times the words: virgin, womb, birth, baby, etc. would be mentioned in a Christmas service. I lost count but between the carols and the sermon I was all birth vocabulary’d out!)

***Truth be told, I don’t mind the kids, not really. It does make me sad to be around what I don’t have in some ways, but I also enjoy being with them. It’s the endless kid talk by the parents that really does me in. And worse yet, the “martyr mommy” stuff and the “you’re so lucky to have your freedom Auntie Beagle” stuff. That may sound awful. But you have not met my SIL! No one can make it all about her like she can!


Holly Molly

December 23, 2006

How are YOU?

December 22, 2006

What an odd couple of days!

Yesterday morning, after writing my somewhat upbeat post, I headed to the mall. Ugh. (Background: my Dad called to say my Mom wanted pajamas, after I have been asking her for two months what she wanted. So, aiming to please, I headed to the mall.) The mall is so depressing. Baby strollers everywhere, headache inducing manic holiday tunes blaring overhead, crowds, rude and impatient people . . . man, was it hard to hold on to my “almost happy!”

I did get the PJ’s but it blew the better part of my free time for the day. I hope she likes them at least!

Earlier I had stumbled across the virtual cookie exchange and got it into my head that I needed to bake. Rumor has it baking is therapeutic. Look at all the IF bloggers doing it!

I did make two sorts: apricot spirals and oatmeal raisin. Both use a lot of butter and both are delish!

Later, with a totally wrecked kitchen and no energy to clean it, I wondered why I had gotten myself into this! My almost happy was fading fast. I ate a few cookies and when the sugar rush kicked in I cleaned up my mess and then put my feet up.

Poor C. is coming home exhausted every night. He is one of those cute guys in brown that deliver all the stuff that the women like me order on-line because we hate the mall. I gave my own guy in brown cookies and a nice holiday tip (the one that delivers to my house.) And, of course, my husband got cookies and a kiss and a backrub.

Now tomorrow we head off to our escape but we’re both a bit tired. I hope the mood will improve once we get there. I just hope we (well he really) are not too tired to have some fun on our romantic holiday escape!

My day today was kind of melancholy, odd, and funny. My parents are married 39 years as of today. I talked them into at least going out for lunch at their favorite restaurant. They agreed but insisted I come along. (We work together, remember.) So there I am on my parents anniversary date. I jokingly told them this was possibly quite appropriate since my presence would be a reminder of how they got into this mess in the first place!

So this led me down an odd path of thoughts. I am an oopsie baby. (My Mom was 17.) My mother’s mother had an oopsie baby at 42. I never in a million years dreamed that infertility would be an issue for me. As a matter of fact I was the most vigilant woman in the history of the modern world when it came to birth control. You see, I assumed that I was one of them. One of those woman who says “ha, ha, my husband only has to think about making love to me and I get pregnant, snicker, giggle” . . . well, male factor never even crossed my mind. So you can see why I occasionally succumb to a major case of denial when it comes to my current reality. You can see why a beta of 4 makes me think I have a chance. Surely, I have a chance. It’s a family legacy!

Anyway where the hell is this post going? I don’t know. DD wrote me a kind note today asking how was I REALLY doing and it got me thinking. I don’t bloody well know! One minute I get a manic burst of holiday energy and gleefully head to the mall to fulfill my family’s every wish, the next minute I am hating myself for being so stupid as to think that would be even remotely fun. The next minute I am mixing batches of cookie dough, and shortly after that I am loathing my body and cursing, telling myself the last thing I need is a cookie, and bemoaning the wreck my kitchen had become.

So how am I really? Well, it depends. I keep leaving perky posts wishing everyone better luck in 2007 but then I get hit with an ugly thought. Last year I thought this year would be better. And look where that bit of misguided hope got me! Fuck, that is just depressing, isn’t it?? We do need the hope to go on, I think. Otherwise how can I drag myself to another single RE appointment or gather up the strength to face all the hoops and hurdles of adoption? I am not in hoop jumping form these days!

My plan is simple but not easy. I plan to make the best of this holiday thing. I’m going to try to “be in the moment” and enjoy the away from home thing. I plan to try to find the holiday spirit in small things and if I need to be sad, I will just tell myself that it’s OK. It’s been a shitty year. There is no law against sadness at the holidays.

So . . . how are YOU? And I mean how are you REALLY?

I wish you the best holiday you can manage, whatever your circumstance. Some of you will be holding your brand new, hard earned baby(s), some of you will still be feeling the ache in your heart where that child should be. But I hope that all of us can find at least some tiny bit of “almost happy.” That is my wish for all my bloggy friends.

And if you run into trouble, just refer back to this list.

Almost Merry

December 21, 2006

Yay me! I am almost happy. Wow.

My Christmas just fell into place. I just got an e-mail that changes my plans into something I can almost like!

How cool is that?

We’ll be spending Saturday, Sunday and Monday in C@pe May, (a little Victorian seaside town on our east coast for all your faraway bloggers). We’ll be staying at a little B&B. We’ll attend church services (the one time a year I love church) and walk the beach and take a guided tour of all the old homes decked out in their Christmas best and generally loaf around and relax. My parents will come out Monday noon (this eliminates the guilt aspect of my running away for Christmas plan) and join us for Christmas dinner at a little old tavern and then we will drive home (C. has to work Tuesday again already) and my parents will stay for their couple of days at the shore (which eliminates my guilt for asking them drive 2.5 hours for a restaurant dinner on a holiday!) This way no one has to cook, clean their house, decorate, etc. Also no one is left alone for the holidays and everyone gets some fresh (albeit cold) sea air! The forecast is even halfway nice for winter at the beach.

I think this is just the best plan I’ve made yet.

Most importantly, the thing I was fretting about, the ruin of my New Year’s plans, has just been rectified (by the aforementioned e-mail). We will get together with C.’s family on the 30th rather than the 31st two states south of us. This is when we see all our nieces and nephews and exchange gifts, etc. I may have to drink my way through this one (see tip #3) but it will be OK. At least I have my little New Year’s soirĂ©e to look forward to (see #3 again).

Some times things do work themselves out. Maybe there is a Santa Claus after all.

(As a point of interest and a testament to poor family communications everywhere: the 2 SIL’s planned the gathering on the 31st because after talking to my dear husband, his sister (SIL#1=the nice one) thought we wanted it that day and that we couldn’t do the 30th. Who knows how that got lost in translation, but they were actually happy to switch days. And here I had myself all worked into a lather about how they were conspiring to ruin my New Year’s!! (Which SIL#2 tried to do last year so I was overly sensitized to this I think.)

PS This does NOT change the fact that SIL#2 is still a burr in my side and that doing the whole ‘adore other people’s children’ thing will be hard. But at least I won’t be fuming mad about missing something fun to endure this agony. I plan to hang out with the kids as much as possible, play with their new toys (because I got them cool stuff) and ask BIL#1 to throw a little vodka in my juice if he sees me stuck with SIL#2 for any length of time! I also plan to talk incessantly about my three cats if she insists on talking incessantly about her three kids. She hates cats. Fair is fair.

How’s that for a plan? I may survive this holiday after all.

We’ll see.

Beagle’s 12 coping tips for Christmas

December 20, 2006

1) Consider becoming a Jehovah’s Witness around December 1st, then switch back to your denomination of choice on December 26 in time for the sales.

2) Eat Chocolate. Try my current favorite “recipe” . . . simply melt 4 dove promises on toast and slice a banana over top and voila . . . a healthy, mood lifting sandwich.

3) Drink. Alcohol. A lot of it.

4) For every gift you buy someone else, get yourself one too (I overheard this one at the hair salon.)

5) When in doubt refer back to #3

6) Go on a cruise to the tropics.

7) Wear earplugs to any family gathering you must attend and just smile and nod at everyone all day. If you have long or pouffy hair and can get away with it, stick earbuds in and listen to your iPod. (Not that I actually have an iPod.)

8) Volunteer to serve a meal at a soup kitchen or a homeless shelter. It’s guaranteed to make your shit seem less shitty, at least for a little while.

9) If this just makes you more depressed refer back to #3

10) If you’re stuck hosting the family gathering, find a way to hide some laxative in the dessert, it’s sure to keep your guests from lingering too long after the meal.

11) Be sure to stock up on toilet tissue if you choose suggestion #10

12) When all else fails, refer back to #3

Help me out all you internet wizards!

December 18, 2006

I used to be “clever” with the computer. That was about ten, fifteen years ago when it was new to me. I have not kept up. As matter of fact I do little else other than send e-mail, shop, and now blog. I don’t have an iPod or an MP3 player and I’ve never downloaded a single tune. I have “designed” two web sites, but while I was proud of them at the time, and they are pretty good for someone with no training in that area, they are . . . well, lame. I see all your spiffy blog templates and I wonder when exactly I fell of the tech train.

I think I’d like to go password protected. I think that if I continue to blog, then I need to feel safe saying anything I like on here. I would also like a face lift and a new name. (And a boob job, oh . . . wait a minute I was talking about my blog wasn’t I??) Afterall, I have not really kept up with my fortune cookie theme. And now the title is more of a sorry reminder that the cookie message I got so excited about way back when I started and named this blog has obviously NOT come true! (Yet.)

So all you clever gals, help me out if you would. I am spending way too much time at this blog thing already, so I am not about to learn HTML or graphic design or whatever! I don’t want to pay for a blog. I also want to make my e-mail address available but I am not sure where to sign up to get a private one. I am an AOL kind of girl. (For those of you who ARE Internet savvy, that pretty much sums up the fact that I am not.) Where should I go for a free blog that allows password protection and is not as annoying as blogger but still easy to use (feel free to tell me to dream on or to stay with blogger). And where do I go for an e-mail account that is not as traceable as simply using my AOL account?

TIA for any help you can throw my way. (See I am a tiny bit cool, I know a few of the acronyms!)

We went to see 007 last night. The new Bond is quite a hottie except for those funny ears. The movie was so fast paced, full of leaping from buildings and shooting and chasing that I felt a little dizzy, but I did enjoy it overall.

Maybe seeing a spy movie has re-ignited my paranoia and need for a double blind identity. But blogging has freaked me out right from the start. What if my parents or my neighbor or my dreaded SIL find this blog. It is after all basically an online diary and confessional! The chances of being found are so slim and all that but I’ve been watching my site meter a bit and some of the searches that lead to me are pretty odd. A lot of them have to do with fortune cookies or other things unrelated to infertility. I don’t think total strangers finding me will do much harm but on the other hand you never know. As I move forward, probably on to adoption, (with or without continued ART efforts), I think I will feel more paranoid having my life out here.

Would anyone follow me if I go password? That is a whole separate issue. But I hope that most of you who stop by regularly would. My readership is not exactly huge. I like to think that I do most of this writing for my own sanity but your feedback, via the comment feature, has become quite a support network for me as well. I’d hate to impede that aspect. Reading your blogs is also a great help but I can do that whether I password or not.

So . . . if any of you expert bloggers have any sage advice, I’m eager to hear it.

SIS: All Clear

December 15, 2006

SIS=Saline Infused Sonogram. Mine is normal. My RE repeated this just to humor me, and I am glad she did (though the cramping was a bugger! I forgot to take Advil beforehand.)

On a recent follie check U/S the tech saw a fibroid and after what just happened I got obsessed that this was the root of all of my troubles. (Ya right, it should be that easy!) Well, my uterine cavity is normal. My RE is convinced that I can get pg. She was also VERY understanding about what I’ve been through so far and would not blame me one bit if I just wanted to quite treatment. I told her I am on the verge of doing so and embracing adoption fully. She supports that if that is what I want.

You see, we have sort of a sad little history. Yeah, sure I went through 7 IUI’s before we did IVF. But the glitch in our case was that they didn’t take the male factor seriously until we did that extra antibody test right before IVF. Until then they kept downplaying (they being Dr. Left-town) the male factor. We had shitty morphology (5%) but Dr. LT kept insisting that this was not such a big problem if we do IUI and even less so if we do IVF.

The thing is all the IUI’s were literally useless in hindsight considering the antibodies. They all but completely disable the sperm. And when I said to the new RE yes, but we had nice embryos for IVF and still they did not implant so that has to be me right? She said not necessarily. If it’s a chromosomal issue then it could still be male factor, nice embryos or not. (Dr. LT gave us the impression it was all the eggs doing whether the embryo was good or bad.) So, what to do? Follow my heart (which is sure I CAN get pg if I persist) or admit that I am just spent and I am running out of time and adoption is a wonderful thing and in cold hard facts, at this point it’s the most efficient and most economically sensible thing to do (Trolls, don’t even bother slamming me for that . . . life is not all touchy feely nicey nice shit, there is reality to figure in too, no matter how politically incorrect!)

So . . . I am taking this cycle off, no matter what. I can barely face Christmas as it is. But January is my fresh start. All I know is I have to move forward, it’s a matter of choosing a direction. So what do I do?

A) Keep trying?
B) Focus on and embrace adoption?
C) Try to juggle both and lose my last shred of sanity??

(This is a largely rhetorical, thinking out loud, kind of post. But feel free to throw in your $0.02)

(Unless your name is Troll.)

Oh, and some housekeeping:

I refuse (so far) to upgrade to beta. So it seems this has pissed off the beta gods because I can no longer comment on blogger blogs.

I’m undecided about a lot of things right now, and how to improve my blogging world is kind of low on the list (for the moment). I WILL fix this. I am just not sure whether I want to succumb to pressure and switch to beta or to switch altogether (to wordpress or the like). If I go that far, then I would like to give my whole blog a facelift and that will not happen before the holiday shit passes. I can’t handle extra challenges right now, certainly not nonessential ones.

So, why bore you with this? I just want you to know that I am still reading (somewhat less than normal) and I am here, I am just not motivated to fix this right now so I am a silent lurker where I would normally comment. If you have typepad this does not seem to be an issue. So, I’m not playing favorites like we girls used to do in grade school . . . I am just too fucking tired to figure out anything more complex than typing a few random thoughts, running spellchecker (if you’re lucky) and hitting “publish” . . . forgive my lazy ass . . . the nicer Beagle will reemerge eventually.

I want to cancel Xmas

December 13, 2006

I want to draw a big fat X through it. I just can’t do it. I don’t want to.

I’m zooming through the stages of grief, skipping right down the line and landing on anger. I am one cranky chick right now. It’s easier than sad for some reason. But sucks all the same.

I’ve done all the shopping. All of HIS shopping, all of my shopping, half of my mom’s shopping (no, she is not disabled in any way). I’ve written our cheesy newsy letter. It of course contains zero information about what consumes about 90% of my life. I mean what was I going to say: “Dear friends and family I can’t have a baby no matter how hard I try and I am a miserable wench, happy holidays to you. Let’s hope 2007 brings something better!” I ought to have skipped the letter this year, but instead I wrote a moderately cheerful, fully fake one. The rose colored glasses edition of our lives in one page or less. (On festive stationary of course!)

The only part of this holiday season I’ve looked forward to, even a little bit, is having a few extra days off work and celebrating New Year’s Eve with some cool (also childless) friends. Well, cross that off my wish list because my two SIL’s have once again conspired to plan over me. And “because of the children,” blah, blah, blah they have to have our (C.’s side) family gathering on the one day we had something fun planned: New Year’s Eve. (In another state no lessm, so leaving early and doing both is not an option.) And you can guess which side of the argument C. is going to fall on. (Hint: probably not mine.)

I had half a heart to donate all the gifts I bought for his family to a charity and then just leave town and see what they all make of that. But, even in my foul mood I can see that would be a bit extreme.

I love my nieces and nephews, I truly do. I even like my BIL’s and one SIL quite well, I can’t stand the second SIL, but that’s not bad, one relative in the bunch I can’t tolerate. Right? Trouble is she is the most imposing of them all. And always gets her way. (No shit, is that a coincidence??) She leads the most charmed life of anyone I know and yet she is always the one everyone else has to work around to accomodate. Now that is just plain wrong.

It’s just that, do I really have to, for the third fucking year in a row, sit around and admire how amazing each of their kids is and listen to the parents whine about parenting? All the while they’re telling me how “lucky I am” to have my freedom because kids really cramp your style, blah, blah, blah. Meanwhile inside my heart is breaking into a million tiny pieces and no one even notices the pain behind the fake pasted on smile.

I mean, where is the rule that says we must participate in this kind of torment?

I tried to find a way out of it but there seems to be no way. I planned two nights over Christmas at a seaside B&B for just C. and I. So we’d have the perfect excuse to avoid all this. And what do they do? Ruin my New Years by forcing Christmas on me a week later. Oh, and did I mention that my dear husband is not real keen on the romantic getaway anyhow? His concerns included: “What will we do in the evenings?” Umm . . . what part of romantic getaway is difficult for you to grasp my dear?? So you can imagine I’m probably not going to have hot sex or anything great or romantic if there is cable TV at this place. I may just cut the wires.

Most difficult of all is how differently C. and I are processing last week’s losses. I need to cry, yell, scream at God, whatever. He needs to box it up and ignore it as best he can. This leaves me feeling so lonely in all of this. I want to hold him and cry together or at least have him hold me and let me cry. But right now it would be like hugging a statue. I know it’s just his way to cope but it leaves me feeling rather cold and shut out. We’ll work our way through this too, but fuck, why does it all have to be so HARD?

Last night I wrapped gifts (all, and I mean ALL were bought online and delivered to my door) while cursing the wrapping paper, tangled ribbon and uncooperative tape dispenser. All while watching . . . drum roll please . . . the gri*nch. How appropriate.

I am the gri*nch incarnate.

I hate Xmas.

We’ll miss you Maggie

December 8, 2006

Maggie in Mamma cat mode (Oscar is laying across her back but he’s so black he barely shows up, only his little white feet!)

Our three “girls” last Christmas: Mischief, Maggie and Molly.
(Maggie’s the upper middle kitty)

Maggie was euthanized this afternoon. I was with her and she went peacefully. We lucked out in getting our favorite vet who handled it all so thoughtfully. It’s such a hard thing to do, but it was even harder to see her suffering. We hope she’s feeling better now, on a catnip cloud in the sky.

Man, this has been one shitty week.

Thank you

December 7, 2006

Your support and kindness are the best medicine. (or is that is?)

I’m not sure what more to say right now. I am really, really, struggling. I think it was a ‘straw that broke the camel’s back’ kind of weekend. I was all set to accept another BFN. I was pretty ready to move on to adoption and be fine with that, even a bit excited at times. Then this ridiculous glimmer of hope. This ridiculous, barely positive, beta. Now I feel like I’ve just taken 2 steps forward and ten steps back.

It’s also the time of year. I hate Christmas. I was never one who loved it, but it was a happy enough holiday for most of my life. My family was not religious so Christmas was more about special foods, an extended school break, and gifts. It wasn’t all that much about family either because I am an only child and our family of three immigrated across an ocean away from all the rest of my aunts, uncles, cousins and grandparents. Then my grandfather died on Christmas Day (Well, technically we got the call Christmas morning) so for years after that it was a sad anniversary. And now? Now it is a reminder of how much I wanted to create my own Christmas as an adult. How I wanted to create my own family and my own traditions. And we have, somewhat, C. and I, but the family part is missing. Acutely, painfully, missing.

Our marriage has become stronger through all of this. That is a testament to our love. It has not become “better” and certainly not “happier” but that is a testament to the pain of infertility. We’ve been dealing with infertility for most of our soon to be four year marriage. That saps a lot of the joy out of it. Not that there has not been joy. But when we look back, joy doesn’t paint the main picture, it more like fills in the edges and the gaps. It is the glue that holds us together but it is not the substance.

C. is hurting too. I know he is. He hides his pain even more than I do. Sometimes I wish we could just hold each other and cry. But we don’t. We both try to spare the other the pain and in some ways this causes a whole new kind of pain. I feel like I “can’t” cry for his sake and sometimes I resent that and when he does such a good job of holding his feelings in, I feel shut out, and I wonder whether he feels anything at all, and then I resent that.

And to top off my mood of doom, Maggie is dying. Everyday we try to assess whether this is the day. The thing is, it’s so hard to decide “when” when it’s a gradual decline as it is in kidney failure. It’s been extra hard for me because while she’s more C.’s cat than mine, I have been taking care of her through this. (He is working crazy hours driving a big brown truck delivering everyone’s online shopping sprees.) And while I fully expected this cantankerous cat (she’s always had a mean streak to put it mildly), while I expected her to hate me due to all the torture of forcing medications on her, trips to the vet, etc. She has done the opposite. She clings to me. Follows me, sits with me, on me, etc. Here this nasty old cat has become my constant companion and snuggle buddy and one day very soon I/we will have to euthanize her.

It all breaks my heart.

I want this infertility thing to be over. I am just SO tired, SO sad, SO broken, SO spent.

I am not good at grieving. I am good at suppressing my feelings until they all of a sudden burst out and take me unawares. I may be the queen of self delusion.

It may seem crazy, but I really actually thought I had a chance with that measly 4. And then of course there was just the mindfuck, as you guys like to say, of wondering what the hell it means. Does this give me a better chance? Should I try some more? Does this mean I am fucked and should just hurry on over to my friendly adoption agency and get the ball rolling??

Well, here I meant to say a simple thank you for your support and I’ve rambled on again! I don’t really know where I am right now, where I stand. I am in a dark hole, wallowing in sadness, self pity, and in pain. It’s the kind of pain where talking doesn’t feel like it would help because if I start talking I start to cry. I could call up any number of friends and go out for drinks or whatever but I am too afraid of public tears. I am also just so fucking tired. So, I am keeping to myself. I go to work and paste a fake smile on, make small talk about the weather or the holidays. Then I go home. And because the effort to keep the fake smile from falling off is so great, it wears me out. I come home and put on fuzzy PJ’s and curl up in a ball. Sometimes I curl up with mindless TV, sometimes with mindless knitting (anyone need a scarf?), sometimes just napping with a cat or two or four. C. has eaten pizza, fast food burger, frozen dinner, etc. every night. I can’t even cook a meal.

I’ll will find my way back, life will go on, but right now I’m just not sure how it will or how it should go on.