MicroblogMondays: Self Care

Microblog_Mondays

Last Friday marked the day after we confirmed that our 5th transfer has failed.  The feeling is so familiar yet different.  We are used to failure.  It is a sad thing to say, but we are.  We know how to handle ourselves when it comes to failed transfers.  We know that we will be sad and devastated for a bit and we will be over it.  And we will move forward again.  But then, this time is also so different.  We have given this transfer the best embryo with the best grade and score and the best uterus that we could provide ever.  It was supposed to be a foolproof formula.

But it wasn’t.

I can’t begin to express my gratitude for having Jesus in my heart.  Without Jesus, I don’t know where my hope would lie.  But like one of my readers said, it is okay to be sad.  And I was sad.  At one point, I had fear and doubt in my head and my heart.  December is the end of the 5th year of our journey.  It was highly possible and probable that by the end of the year, we would be expecting a miracle in 2017.  Except that it didn’t happen.  And I was wondering if this is God’s message to me that a child is not in our future.  But I decided to once again not jump to conclusion as God is the only one who knows His plan.  This is the time for me and Bob to exercise our trust and faith in Him, knowing that regardless of the outcome of our quest, He is going to provide for us.

With that understanding, I tried what I could to take care of myself.

Fortunately, Friday was Veteran’s day.  It was a day off for me.  I opened my eyes with peace in my heart.  I am always thankful for the peace and strength that God gives me, as it is not a given and is not something that I take for granted.  In my pajamas, I made south Indian filtered coffee, sat there, and wrote my last blog post without even brushing my teeth or washing my face.  I just needed that quiet, alone space to feel and to let everything sink in.  Order in my life always makes me feel better.  After a couple of hours of chores cleaning the floor, changing the bedsheets, and tidying up any mess, I felt more control about the situation again.  That evening, Bob and I spent time with some of our best friends.  Their kids are our favorite kids.  Just enjoying the time with them brought about tremendous healing.

This is what self care is all about.  Being aware of what makes you happy and doing it.

I just started watching the show “Parenthood” on Netf.lix.  In one of the episodes, the younger brother, a playboy, just discovered that he had a son with an old fling.  He went to seek the advice from his older brother who happened to be a family man with two children.  He asked his older brother about having children,

“What makes all of it worth it?”

His brother said, “What makes it worth it is the connection.  It’s a bond you feel.  They are yours, you know.  You are part of them.”

I so long for this connection, this bond that I will have with my future child.  Regardless of the genetic links or who is going to carry the baby, my child is going to be mine.  He/she is going to be part of me and I am going to be a part of him/her.

It is all going to be worth it.

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MicroblogMondays: Sadness is…

deleting all the reminders of PIO injections and replacement of estrogen patches on my Goo.gle calendar

removing Kevin the embryo’s photo from the fridge and putting it in a folder

seeing that Christmas cards of friends’ children have replaced Kevin’s photo in the prime spot of the fridge

running my hands on the areas made tender by the progesterone injections

feeling the subsiding soreness of those once-tender spots

looking in the mirror and seeing the faded “permanently-marked” circles for injections on my back that no longer need any re-marking

seeing the deflated hot water heating pad that has been untouched in the last three days

spotting the box of syringes, sharps container, and meds I kicked under my nightstand

reaching for the pads in the drawer that I thought I would say good-bye to for a while, but now are needed because of AF’s arrival

opening the freezer and seeing the ice pack that I had been using to ice the injection sites

touching the itchy rectangular residue from the estrogen patches that are no longer required for my lower abdominal area

tearing up while cutting open the Am.azon box and touching the panda hooded towel that is going to be my baby shower gift for my super pregnant supervisor

seeing the date knowing that we are approaching the end of our 48th month trying for a baby

closing my eyes at night having Kevin’s picture vividly in my mind

feeling heartbroken waking up at the crack of dawn losing this pregnancy

 

 

… but, it’s okay to be sad.

And I will be okay.

Microblog_Mondays

One Victory

Remember my friend Anna?  She actually never wrote me back after I emailed her several weeks ago about our pregnancy loss and my emotional state with her pregnancy.  I had been waiting every single day and thinking that I must have offended her with my email.  I thought about emailing her again, texting her, or even calling her.  Then I decided to just wait to see if I would bump into her at church.  Week after week I didn’t see her.  Finally, this past Sunday, she was one of the first people I bumped into right when I walked into church.  Her big pregnancy belly greeted me.  Honestly, she looked good.  Once she saw me, she apologized profusely for not writing me back.  She said that she had been the most horrible friend.  She thought about me often but did not write me back.  I told her that it was okay.  I was actually relieved that she wasn’t mad at me.  I told her that I was worried that my email offended her.  She reassured me that she wasn’t offended at all.  So we proceeded to chat about her pregnancy and Bob’s job loss.  Just a bit of catching up after not seeing each other for a couple of months.  

I made a few observations about this encounter. 

1) I was more worried about her being mad at me than anything else, so it was quite a relief to know that she wasn’t.

2) I was surprised by how big her belly already was at 19 weeks.

3) I was more surprised at my own reaction of hugging her and being with her; I was actually not repulsed by her presence.  I was happy to be around her and I was not feeling like I wanted to flee or hide from her.

4) I was also not repulsed by her updates about her pregnancy and details of the discomfort that she has been experiencing.  

Conclusion: The Lord is good.  I have been praying and praying for my heart and the last thing I want to do is to distance myself from a close friend, one who had tried for a long time, because of her success.  I want to be able to celebrate with her.  In the most unexpected way, looking at her glow and seeing her growing body, instead of jealousy and bitterness, God allowed me to see the beauty of this friend and the miracle that is growing inside her.  He is allowing me to see the importance of this friendship and allowing me to cherish it.  I originally thought that I would have a difficult time being around her.  After all, I had never been in this situation with a close friend who finally found success after trying for a long time.  But, I am happy to report that we are making plans to get together before my overseas trip.  So that means that I feel okay being with her.

I even told Bob that I think I can attend Anna’s baby shower in the future.  I can’t tell you how big of a change this is for me.  The Lord is changing my heart.  I don’t even remember the last baby shower I attended.  Let’s see how good I will be when the time comes.

I declare this a victory.

*****

Yesterday was cycle day one.  I am usually okay with AF’s arrival.  However, this CD1 is not the same as other CD1 this year.  My goal that I set for myself last Christmas was to have a baby in my arms by the end of 2014.  I always have this deadline in my head that we would have to be pregnant by March in order to have a baby by Christmas.  Not God’s plan.  This time it hits harder.  I was in a bad mood yesterday.  All sorts of lies from the enemy came into my head.  You’ll never have a baby.  You’re wasting your time.  You’re not meant to be a mom.  It took a lot of prayers to get these thoughts out of my head.  Satan.  Go away.

Never underestimate the effect of a failed IVF cycle on a person’s emotional well-being.  I for one have been surprised by how unwilling I am to think about the next steps.  My head just needs that space to be IVF free.  I am not even taking my prenatal vitamins or other supplements that were recommended by my RE.  I have been praying for peace, strength, and wisdom for the next steps.  I have also been praying for my motivation to think about the next cycle.  So far not much motivation to speak of. 

I declare this a failure.  

*****

One victory.  Not bad at all.