Archive | April, 2014

hope, anger, courage

25 Apr

This week (April 20-26) is National Infertility Awareness Week.  I initially thought I’d join in first thing on Monday, but I haven’t posted anything (obviously) because I was hoping and praying that we were going to find out this week that we were finally getting off the infertility train.

 

16 days ago, I had my first IUI.  The girl who fought tooth and nail against medical intervention let them shove a catheter up her cervix to inject sperm directly into her uterus (after hormones to help a follicle grow and a shot in the ass to trigger ovulation).  If I’m being 100% honest, a huge reason I didn’t want to go the medical route was because if it fails, it’s over.  Period.  The end.  So since we’ve started, every time we do something new or different, I think this has GOT to be it.  This is going to be the time that works, this is going to be the last time I have to undergo some painful/humiliating/scary procedure, just to have a baby.  Every time, I am crushed again.  And it’s hard not to be fatalistic in that moment when you realize that “the next thing” didn’t work and you’re moving on to the NEXT next thing.  Remember when I was naive and thought that having a baby, when I was ready, would be so easy and loving and happy…silly girl…

 

So yesterday morning, I took my first pregnancy test in what feels like forever.  This is a big deal because I have probably taken at least 50 pregnancy tests over the past 3.5 years.  With this test, I already knew.  There was no question in my mind–I’ve been watching my temperature fall for several days now.  Not a good sign.  I saw the negative test and went back to bed–there were no tears at all.  I didn’t even bother to wake Eric.  When he woke up on his own, I matter-of-factly told him it was negative.  There were no tears–it’s like I’m numb to all of this or I’ve cried them all out already.  Like none of it matters anymore.

 

I called the doctor to see what was next.  Without my period, it’s not technically over, they said.  I’m right, the falling temperatures most likely indicate that I am not pregnant, but there’s always a chance.  So test again tomorrow morning (because one slap in the face isn’t enough), and then call back on Monday if you are still testing negative but not getting your period so we can send you for some blood work and figure out what’s going on.  Lovely.

 

I woke up this morning.  I took my temperature, was simultaneously dismayed and unsurprised by the low reading, and got up to go pee on a stick (POAS in fertility chats).  Sure enough, it was negative.  I went back to bed and got into bed, pulled up my fertility friend app on my phone and plugged in my temp.  The program is designed to look at your temps and tell you when you ovulated and chart your temperatures.  A screen popped up when I hit save this morning to let me know that due to the most recent input, they could no longer confirm ovulation.

 

I lost it.  I cried for a half hour or so this morning, and then cried a few more times as the morning went on.  I don’t know if fertility friend is right–I had an HCG shot to trigger ovulation, so I thought that was just a given.  Then again, with my body, nothing seems to be a given, and NOT ovulating would explain why I haven’t gotten a period yet.  I almost called in sick today, but we’re testing, so I really couldn’t.  I got ready and went to work.

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If I didn’t ovulate, I’m not sure what the next step will be.  Possibly injectibles, but my doctor was nervous because of the HUGE potential for multiples.  I wish I could have multiples.  At the rate we’re going, we’d be lucky to get pregnant once.  And I really don’t want an only child…I mean, I would take it.  But I never dreamed in a million years that we’d be facing the potential of no children or an only child.   The only other option would be IVF.  And I’m pretty sure that for us, that won’t be an option (which I will maybe go into another time).  There’s also adoption.  I was so sure that adoption was right for us, but now that I’m faced with that potentially being our ONLY option, I’m unsure.  Something that I’ve always been excited about (even before the fertility issues, I thought adoption would be really awesome after I had some of my own kids) is now something I go back and forth about it.  I guess I really don’t know what I want.  No, not true.  I want to lay on the floor and throw a temper tantrum because I’m not getting what I want and this is ridiculous.

 

anger and courage

 

So hope, anger, courage.

 

I tried, with this cycle, to keep my hopes pretty low.  Everyone keeps telling me to think positively, to hold on to hope, to keep my chin up.  They don’t realize how much worse it hurts when your hopes are so high.  It’s worse when you think this time might be it.  It’s worse when you have analyzed every possible physical symptom and convinced yourself that you were “feeling pregnant.”  It’s worse when you have let yourself start to think about baby names and toys and clothes and nurseries…

 

So I tried to keep my hopes pretty low.  Maybe that’s why there was an initial lack of tears this time.  Even when I was on the phone with the doctor yesterday, even when they said that I was most likely not pregnant, I didn’t cry.  I didn’t even get misty.  Amazing.

 

I don’t know when I became so bitter and jaded and angry.  I was having a conversation the other night with Eric and Gustavo.  Afterward, I thought about the things I had said.  I sounded insane to myself.  So mean, so bitter, so jealous. So not myself.  This was a conversation Eric and I have had a few times now.  I didn’t use to verbalize some of the more ugly feelings because they’re…well…ugly.  But the truth is that I am often horribly jealous of women who are pregnant or have children.  Horribly.  There have been numerous occassions where I’ve told Eric that I hate them.  And his response is simple:  It’s not them I hate, it’s our situation that I hate, and that’s completely fine and normal.  His support and love through all of this has been unwavering, and it’s reassuring to know that when I’m at my bitchiest, when I’m being the worst person in the world, filled with hatred and jealousy and ugliness, he doesn’t run.

 

So I’m angry, which is a weird emotion for me–I’m not typically angry, and if I get upset, it usually goes away quickly.  I’m learning how to cope with that anger, though.  I’m angry that I live a relatively healthy lifestyle, I am educated, I am successful, I am intelligent, I am a hard-worker, I am (*I think*) overall a really good person, and I want a child.  I’m angry that Eric is the same, and that despite being ready and willing to have a baby, we can’t, while women who don’t want to have a baby are getting pregnant all around us.  Women who aren’t ready, who are too young, too immature, too careless.  Women who don’t want a baby, men who are nothing more than sperm donors.  They all get what WE want.  People tell me to pray harder for a baby and I want to laugh.  I’m sure the last thing people who get pregnant on accident were doing was praying for a baby.

 

I’m trying to be courageous.  I’m trying to keep my chin up and keep hope alive, to think positively.  But sometimes it’s really effing hard.  Sometimes it’s hard to smile.  It’s hard to go out and see pregnant women.  It’s hard to work with so many beautiful little children all day long and then go home to an empty, quiet house.  It’s hard to hear people talking about their families and not know if that will ever be us.

 

I think that’s the hardest part–the not knowing.  It’s not like I KNOW that we’ll be parents someday.  If I knew that it was going to happen for us sometime down the line, then I could hang in there knowing that it’s just not time.  Conversely, if I knew that we were NEVER going to have children, I could grieve about it, then get on with my life.  Not that I think deciding to live childless would be easy or just magically end all this angst.  Just that I could stop getting my hopes up all the time just to have them crushed again and again.

 

I have no idea what to do next.  I’m just thankful that we have a really busy weekend so that I am not sitting around thinking about all of this…

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body image and a long run

13 Apr

I have always had a lot of body image issues.  A super lot.  I mean, what woman hasn’t?  Or maybe what person hasn’t?

 

I have been on 9 months of meds that have “weight gain” as a side effect.  It’s been a challenge for me to say the least…

 

So I’ve been struggling through my body image issues a lot in the past few months.

 

Yesterday, we had a 12+ hour day of race set-up, management and clean-up for Mess the Dress.  It was fantastic–my heart was bursting with joy and pride that this idea–my idea–had gone off so well.  #TrailsRoc is the shit for pulling off these amazing races.  So I rode the happy high for the whole 12 hours we were there, but when we got home, I crashed.  I felt like I’d ran 20 miles–but no, the 20-miler was today.  I still kind of question the wisdom of registering for a 50k with 11 weeks to train, but on the plus side it means that there is NO wiggle room.  You had a busy Saturday?  Tough luck–looks like you’ll have to get your long run in on Sunday on tired legs.  So we met up with a group of people around 8 am to do some running…20+ miles of running, to be exact.

 

By mile 5, my legs were tired.  Not sore, just tired.  We soldiered on.  There were points where I was pretty miserable, but for the most part, I felt kind of numb–like I was having some weird out-of-body experience where I was running but didn’t really feel like I was running but was so tired of running.  I don’t really know how to explain it.  I looked at my watch around mile 16 and was like, hmmm only 4 to go, that wasn’t even so bad, and 4 is nothing.  This is not a “normal” Shme thought.  I am normally much more pessimistic and cranky by this point in the run, especially in my own head.

 

So we finished our long run, and I ended up doing about 21 miles (due to some poor communication with Eric about where we were going to meet up).  I’m very tired now, but not too tired to do laundry (the stairs aren’t even that bad!), sweep the floor, and figure out a menu for the week and write my shopping list, so I can hit the store shortly.

 

So back to all this body image bs.  At some point during this run, I got to thinking about what I look like.  I don’t know why I care so much–I mean, seriously, how vain of me.  When I’m running, I rarely think about how I look anymore (except when there are photographers involved, which sends me into panic mode).  It’s probably the most carefree I am about my body, just running along like a little kid or something.  So my initial thought was that I need to get over this vanity business because it’s obnoxious and it’s not what I’m all about.  My next thoughts were that my body might not be perfect, it might be giving us a really hard time right now in a lot of ways, and it might be something that I’d much rather conceal than flaunt.  BUT it also is enabling me to go on amazing adventures with awesome people.  It allows me to run 20 miles in the beautiful sunshine; to “swim” in mud puddles at a mud prom with my handsome date; to go to the gym and lift some pretty heavy weights; to camp and hike mountains like a boss;  to paddle our canoe full of gear a mile out to an island and then paddle it back and forth all week for hikes.  For all of its flaws, it’s still pretty amazing what it can do.  So the next time I’m feeling fat and bloaty and miserable, I hope I can remember all these thoughts and get over myself and go back to running and adventuring.

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Do you know what today is?

9 Apr

This morning, as I’m leaving the fertility doctor’s office, I get on the elevator with an older gentleman.  This struck me as weird, because the elevator was going down, but I was on the top floor (or so I thought) of the building, so I’m not sure where he came from.  Maybe he was just riding it up and down waiting for someone like me to get on.

 

So the doors close, and he smiles and says, “You know what day today is?”  And before I can say a word, he’s unbuttoned his shirt and is proudly displaying a tshirt that has a camel and says, “It’s hump day!”  The irony of this given my particular situation made me laugh.

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I laughed so hard.  It was what I needed–another belly laugh.  I’ve been laughing all morning.  At the thought of turkey basters, at  my neighbor’s “Happy Thanksgiving” this morning, at my comment to Eric “let’s get basted!”  and also that I want to ask the doctor when it’s over if it was as good for her as it was for me.  And for some reason, I keep hearing the voice from the Hunger Games but instead of happy reaping day it’s happy basting day.

 

I was (and I guess still am) so against major medical interventions.  It takes all the beauty out of making a baby.  Everything is so medical and rational and completely devoid of passion.  You would think, being the big-time planner that I am, that this would all make me feel better about things.  Instead, I feel sad that this is what it’s come to.  This morning, sitting in the office, waiting to drop off a cup of sperm (which I had between my legs for the drive over and the wait for delivery because we weren’t sure if I needed to “incubate” it or not), I just kept thinking that I never would’ve thought it would come to this.  This is something that happens to other people, not to me.  This is something that couples who wait to have a baby til they’re 40 have to do.  This is something that people who are unhealthy, who don’t take care of their bodies have to do.  In a world where teenage girls get pregnant on a daily basis, there aren’t really words to express how much it sucks that THIS is what we have had to resort to.  I know that I’ve been anxious and worried because I haven’t slept well in a few days now, and I keep having strange dreams.

 

All that being said, this is the first time that I’ve been hopefully excited in a long time.  I hate it.  I know that mentally I’m setting myself up for serious heartbreak if things don’t work–and the chances for things not to work are great, just like with any attempt at pregnancy.  When you really think about those numbers (it’s like 15-25% odds or something for the general population), it’s kind of a miracle that we’ve continued to grow so exponentially as a species.  Truly amazing.  All I know is that when the doctor showed me the monitor yesterday and said “there’s the follicle that is going to hopefully make your baby” I cried, and for once they were happy tears.

 

Eric’s card to me that’s been on our fridge for well over a year now (probably closer to 2) says  that everyone travels different journeys to get places, and ours is giving us a better story to tell.  I guess so, and I sure hope that the story has a happy ending.

 

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waiting and what ifs

4 Apr

It’s no big secret that we are having some major issues conceiving a baby, and honestly I’m not really one for secret-keeping or sugar-coating things.  Being a social person, and knowing that so many people are thinking of us and sending good vibes our way, I feel like I have to keep my friends “in the loop.”

 

So first, in case you don’t know the reasons behind our issues, I have polycystic ovarian syndrome, or PCOS.  It’s a hormone imbalance that manifests differently in everyone, but basically most women experience irregular periods, cystic acne, either excess hair or hair loss, and some have insulin resistance problems (I am one of them), which can cause weight gain/difficulty in maintaining a healthy weight.  It blows.  I hate every part of this disease, and I don’t understand how we can know so little about what causes it.  I am absolutely convinced that it has to do with environmental factors, from the foods we put into our bodies to the things we put on our skin (anyone else get nervous that they’re rubbing cancer on their armpits when they put on deodorant in the morning?).  In any event, it’s awful and I hate it.

 

To diagnose, they start with physical symptoms, then run blood tests to see what hormones are fucked up (everyone with PCOS is a little different–it’s a blanket diagnosis really for hormonal issues), then do some ultrasounds.  Many women with PCOS have lots of little cysts on their ovaries.  That’s because our bodies produce the hormones to start them (which is normal–they should become follicles, which will eventually release an egg, if your body is making the hormones necessary for this process).  My body, unfortunately, does not.  So each month, it makes a cyst which never matures and then just stays there on my ovary.  Over time, they start to form a ring that looks like a pearl necklace.  My ovaries have impressed every tech/dr who has ever seen them (and at this point, that’s a shit ton of people–I have made a lot of jokes recently about how many different people have been “up in my bizness” these days).  There are a LOT of cysts.

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Not mine…but that’s what they look like, although I think I have more cysts actually and they’re smaller…

So according to every doctor I’ve seen, this should be relatively easy to fix.  Everything else is normal–most of my hormone levels are actually not too fucked, and Eric is completely normal (which causes me a fair amount of shitty feelings thinking about how if he had married someone better, someone with a functioning body, he’d already be a happy daddy–even though he assures me there is no one better).  Really all that’s missing is the egg (at least in theory, but we’ll get to that worry later).  So the meds that they have me on are supposed to trick my body into making extra hormones to get follicles to mature and eggs to release.  For many/most women with PCOS, Clomid or Femara works.  It can sometimes cause too many follicles to mature, so they start you on a very low dose, and then slowly build it up if needed.  The most times you can do these meds is 6 cycles (then you have to take a break before restarting), because there’s the risk of literally exploding your ovaries.  Therefore, each cycle, I have to be monitored to make sure that everything’s ok and my ovaries aren’t swelling too much and I’m not producing too many eggs.

 

In addition to the doctor monitoring, I also take my temperature every morning.  As a woman goes through her cycle, when she ovulates her basal temperature first thing in the morning will increase.  It will stay elevated until she gets her period, at which point it goes back down.  I had no idea about this before we decided to start trying to conceive, but I have a lot of friends who have been able to get pregnant relatively quickly by charting and timing sex.  So I’ve been charting my temperatures for the past 4 years now.  My temperatures are almost always the same–they never elevate.  I have, to the best of my knowledge, ovulated once in almost 4 years (not positive though…we’ll get to that).  It sucks–to be accurate, you have to temp around the same time each day, before you do anything else.  That means every day alarms set for 6 AM so I can get up and turn on a light and take my temperature.  Lame.

 

I started on 50 mg of Clomid back in October, after about 3 months of initial fertility workups (blood work, ultrasounds, pelvic exams and the dreaded HSG dye test).  My temperature never elevated, but I also didn’t get my period.  I took pregnancy test after pregnancy test, even though deep down I knew that if I hadn’t ovulated, there was no chance that I was pregnant.  Sure enough, they were all negative.  I was 40 some days into the cycle when I finally called my doctor.  They made me come in for an exam, commented how strange it was that I never got a period (because NORMALLY you would but my body doesn’t do anything normally–my doctor even consulted with other doctors in the practice and excitedly told them when I came in that I was the one so everyone could look at me ha).  They gave me some hormones to jump start my period so we could try another round of Clomid.  2 pelvic exams and a week and a half’s worth of hormones, and we were ready for cycle 2.

 

The next cycle was in December (because remember my other cycle had been over 50 days when all was said and done), and I was on 100 mg of Clomid.  I had terrible side effects–I wanted to murder people, scream, throw temper tantrums and then sob.  I had horrible hot flashes and bloating.  I was scheduled for an ultrasound to check the progress right before Christmas, but I decided last minute to cancel the appointment.  I have to take time off from work for each appointment, so as you might imagine, I’ve taken A LOT of time off this year already.  More than I’m really comfortable taking. I also decided I didn’t want to ruin my Christmas with shitty news from the dr.  Ignorance is bliss and all that crap.   However, based on my temperatures, my guess is that I did in fact ovulate this cycle, making it the one and only time I ovulated in almost 4 years.  My temps went up and stayed up for 16 days.  I tested every day starting on day 12, excited beyond belief that I was finally pregnant.  When I got my period on day 16, I sat on the toilet and sobbed. (My normal MO post failed pregnancy test/period is usually to go back to bed, wake Eric to tell him the bad news, then cry myself back to sleep while he rubs my back or holds me.)

 

I tried to stay positive because hey I ovulated.  When I went back to the doctor, they assured me that temping is not accurate (which is completely untrue I think…) and that I needed to go for ultrasounds to confirm ovulation (which is stupid because U/S can’t always confirm that you ovulate, just that there’s a follicle that’s mature and ready…unless you JUST ovulated) and that I couldn’t have ovulated as late in my cycle as I thought I had (it was very late, but apparently with PCOS this can happen, as I would later find out from my RE).  Anyway, they agreed to give me 100 mg again, and I was so happy and convinced that FINALLY we were on the right track.  I started the next cycle of meds in January.  And nothing happened.  I was devastated.  After my ultrasound, the doctor called and told me that we could bump to the next highest dosage of Clomid.  But she was concerned because one of the side effects of Clomid is to dry up your cervical mucus (sorry if that’s TMI), which helps to provide a good environment for the sperm to get up through your cervix and uterus and into the fallopian tubes.  So she said that it was probably time to see a Reproductive Endocrinologist (RE), who would want to do Clomid with IUI (intrauterine insemination–they take the sperm, pick out the best swimmers, then “turkey baster” you by inserting a catheter up past your cervix and into your uterus so the sperm don’t have as far to swim to find the egg).

 

I had already kind of thought that we were going to have to go into even more medically invasive treatments, but it was hard to hear anyway.  Since day 1, I’ve wanted no part of medicine, and I certainly wanted no part of a specialist.  I am pretty much dead set against IVF–it’s emotionally and physically difficult (lots of hormones to get you to ovulate, then extraction, then they inject your embryo into you and hope it implants and grows), super expensive and comes with no guarantees of actually working.  If we’re going to spend that kind of money, I’d rather look into adoption, which guarantees a child (albeit usually after months or years of waiting). IUI also freaks me out.  My only other experience with being catheterized through the cervix was my HSG, and it was the most painful experience of my life (which I would later find out was because OB/GYNs use balloons and hard catheters to blow your shit open, which results in pain similar to childbirth).  I reluctantly made the appointment anyway.  Suck it up, buttercup.  Since then, I’ve been grieving the loss of “baby-making the fun way.”  We obviously will still have sex, but it really sucks to have a baby this super unsexy way, and I’ve been thinking a lot about what we do when we have an IUI–like does Eric hold my hand, does he kiss me afterwards, do I cry, is it weird if I cry…Have I mentioned that I overthink EVERYTHING.  I mean, seriously, just let the good doctor turkey baster you and go on with your day, Shme.

 

So back to the RE appointment.  When we discussed my side effects from Clomid, she said that we would try something else–Femara.  It’s actually a drug used for breast cancer or something, but it apparently can trick your body into ovulating, too, especially in women who are clomid resistant.  So we were hoping this would do the trick, and she seemed very confident.

 

So last Thursday, we went for an ultrasound.  I made Eric come with me, because if there are mature follicles, they will either give me a shot in the gut at the office to force ovulation (rather than take the chance that my body might fuck up and not produce the correct hormones in the correct amounts) OR send us home with it for a day or two later.  And there is absolutely no way I’m giving myself a shot in the stomach.  Hell to the no.  As many jokes as I made about how excited Eric was to stab me with a shot in the stomach (or ass…some of them go in the ass cheeks, which is also extremely romantic baby-making foreplay), I am terrified of this.  I do not like needles and have seriously considered the possibilty of natural child birth just to avoid the epidural needle…I mean, seriously.  Not good. So Eric’s gotta come along, for moral support and also to learn how to give me shots in the ass.  Joy.  We we went, and I was worried about the shot for no reason–because there was NOTHING there.

 

So I’m laying there, legs spread, looking up at the ceiling while she simply says, “nothing,”  and just thinking about how much my  life in that exact moment sucks and I want to cry but this doctor is here and I’m half naked spread eagle, so it’s not really prime crying situation so I’m blinking back tears.  And then the next thing I know, she is talking about our options, and I have to stop my pity party, sit up and pay attention.

Option 1 is to try Clomid 150 mg starting today–5 days of it.  Option 2 is injectible fertility drugs (terrifying), but her concern is that I have so many follicles already there that the potential for too many mature ones is really high, so how do we feel about IVF.

 

The fuck???  We go from oral meds to IVF that quick???  I balked a little bit, but said that I wasn’t really sure IVF was an option for us, so I guess we’d go option 1.  I put on a brave face (or at least I think I did), but hearing “IVF” sent me into a major tailspin (that I’m still recovering from), because essentially she was saying there was no chance for a biological child if Clomid didn’t work (if we truly don’t feel comfortable going the IVF route).  She wrote the script and sent me on my way.

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Which brings  us to today.  All week, I’ve been cranky.  Clomid makes me angry and sad at the same time–it’s like Dr. Jekyl and Mr. Hyde over here.  I’ve also been bloaty–yesterday I was actually in pain from it and got nervous that we may have overstimulated and my ovaries were going to explode.  I went to the ultrasound appointment today prepared for the worst.  So she’s poking around and finds one follicle that is slightly larger than the other ones.  Most of those are about 8-10 mm long, this one is about 13 mm.  To trigger ovulation, they need to be closer to 20.  So it’s not necessarily bad news–at least SOMETHING is happening.  But it’s not good news either.  I have to go back next week for another ultrasound (which means MORE time off of work) to see if it’s either grown big enough OR alternately it’s shrank and we have to do something else.

 

And so we’re back in limbo again.  In some ways, I would have preferred to have gotten bad news today, because at least then we’d know and we could be doing something or making decisions about next steps.  I am terrified of what’s going to happen.  I hate waiting, I hate not knowing what’s going on, and I love to play what if.  I have, prior to this cycle, just always thought that once I ovulate, I will just get pregnant.  The truth is, just because I ovulate doesn’t mean that I will get pregnant.  And just because I get pregnant doesn’t mean that I will carry a baby to term (miscarriage runs in my family and is also a problem for women with PCOS).  And just because I carry a baby to term doesn’t mean it will be healthy (or that I will have any idea what to do or how to juggle being a mom with the rest of my roles and won’t completely ruin a perfectly good human being).  This 9-month-hell is just the first obstacle that we are crossing.  And it’s taking forever to cross it.  I never thought in a million years that we’d still be at this point.  I watch all of my friends getting pregnant, having babies, raising beautiful families and a huge part of me is so jealous and hateful, which only makes me feel worse about myself.  Every time I express these feelings, Eric reminds me that I don’t hate anyone, I hate our situation and am reminded of that every time I see all the people who have what we want.  Anger is sadness’s sidekick, so it makes sense to feel this way I suppose.  I never knew it was possible to cry so much.  Every 2 weeks or so, I have been crushed–devastated–thrust into dark thoughts and sadness.  That’s a lot to handle and there’s never much recovery time before the next crushing blow.  I keep hearing “think positive,” and “be optimistic,” but the truth is that it’s really hard to let yourself get hopeful only to be smacked in the face with the reality that your shit is royally fucked and beyond medical repair.

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Charlotte Bronte–beautifully-written angst-filled novels. Love her.

 

I came home today to a note on the door to go directly to the kitchen.  Eric had a lot of flowers and a card for if things today went well and a card if things didn’t go well.  I texted him to ask which to open, because this news doesn’t necessarily fall into either category.  I opened both.  We are apparently going out tonight. and I have to wear a dress.  If I had to pinpoint something good that is coming out of this struggle, I’d say that it’s brought the two of us closer together.  I can’t really imagine going through any of this with someone else.  He can make me laugh when I least feel like it (but most need it).  Today, as we walked out I said, “See you next Tuesday” (I swear it wasn’t intentional) and we instantly dissolved into giggles as he said “appropriate given what they’re looking at all day.”  Then he assured me that he could help to incubate my little egg by sitting on my stomach like a penguin or other bird.  He is the one who reminds me to take it one day at a time, to cross one bridge at a time, to stop worrying about the what ifs and start focusing on the here and now.  He is the one who encourages me to go out to run or to see friends when what I *think* I want is to sit on the couch and bawl.  Conversely, he is the one to know when I need to just sit on the couch and bawl, and he’ll sit with me, hold me through the tears, and not look at my ugly-cry-face.    I am so thankful to have a best friend who loves me, even at my ugliest moments…

To all of our friends who have been supportive, thank you.  Your kind words mean so much–and sometimes it’s hard for me to express that without getting overly emotional, so I don’t express it as often as I should or in the ways that I should.  But knowing that people are there and thinking of us and if we needed something they’d be there for us…that means a lot.  And I can’t wait to someday have a baby that will be loved by so many people who have been waiting for him or her for so long…

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After a while…

3 Apr

Just read this in a book.  Liked it.  A. Lot.

“After a While”

–Veronica Shoffstall

After a while you learn

the subtle difference between

holding a hand and chaining a soul

and you learn

that love doesn’t mean leaning

and company doesn’t always mean security.

And you begin to learn

that kisses aren’t contracts

and presents aren’t promises

and you begin to accept your defeats

with your head up and your eyes ahead

with the grace of a woman, not the grief of a child

and you learn

to build all your roads on today

because tomorrow’s ground is

too uncertain for plans

and futures have a way of falling down

in mid-flight.

After awhile you learn

that even sunshine burns

if you get too much

so you plant your own garden

and decorate your own soul

instead of waiting for someone

to bring you flowers. 

And you learn that you really can endure,

you really are strong

and you really do have worth

and you learn

and you learn

with every goodbye, you learn…

#TrailsRoc–thankfulness

2 Apr

Yesterday night, we had our course preview run of this month’s Mess the Dress race.  There were about 20 people who came out to run the 5 mile course with us.  I had already logged 2 miles, so I willingly volunteered to be the sweeper for the group.  On my run, I alternated hanging out with a woman who had just run a half marathon two days before and 2 women who were training for Ragnar (and our race, of course).  We spent over an hour running through mud, muck and a lot of puddles, all while chatting about the different races we’ve run.

The conversation eventually came to Ragnar, which then turned the conversation to money–relay races are pricey when you add in registration and van rental, and when you multiply by 2 (because Eric and I would run together), it’s just never been something we’ve deemed “worth it.”  I completely understand how other people say it is, but for us, it’s just never seemed like a viable option.  The Ragnar conversation catapulted us into a conversation about running/race budgets.  And that’s when it hit me.  Most people have finite amounts of money to spend on running races.  Duh.  I know that, but I guess I’d never really thought about it before…

 

So runners have all of these amazing, well-established, and in some cases national races to choose from–yet they come back to us.  Instead of giving $25 bucks to another group for another race, people are choosing us.  That’s really super cool.  Yesterday, as I realized this, I felt so proud to be part of #TrailsRoc and to have created professional events that people love to race as much as some of the other older races that are led by much more experienced race directors. 

 

So thank you, trail runners, for always putting your faith in us and racing our races.  Thank you for coming out no matter the weather, no matter the time, no matter the course.  Trail runners show up, and that means so much to me.  You all rock!

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