go away guilt

I'm sick of it.
I'm sick of feeling
guilty for something
that is beyond my control.

Other people lay the
guilt on.
Like my FIL
who makes comments
about us not having
a baby.
He once was in a
baby store while
my MIL was buying
a gift for a friend.
The salesperson asked
if the gift was for their
grandchild.
My FIL said:
"I wish"

Oh the guilt
and the pain.
My DH is an
only child.
No child for him.
No grandchild for
them.

I tried. I suffered
through multiple
IUI's and IVF.
I was poked, prodded
and exposed to all
the mean things that
the GYN Dr. could offer.

And still it didn't happen.

Most of the time
I can blow the guilt away.
But some days, it hangs over
me like a dark cloud.

I want to be defined by
my other achievements,
not by whether I was
fertile.
Doesn't it matter that I
have a college education?
A good job? That I
wrote and published
children's books? That I ran
a 5K? That I serve on the
board of directors for an
infertility support organization?
That I was published in a
Canadian infertility magazine?
That I worked twenty years
in an Emergency Room and
helped save many lives?

How can all those things be
treated as trivial? Why is
"infertile" how I am
defined?

Guilt go away.
I have to study for
my college class, I have
to send out some books
I've sold, I have to go
to work in the IVF Clinic
and try and help someone else
achieve a pregnancy, so
they don't have to feel the
guilt that comes with the
failure to achieve a
pregnancy.
Go away guilt. I'm too busy
moving on with my life.

Two IS A Family

Sometimes, when we
are struggling with infertility
and under a mountain of pain,
it is hard to remember that we
have a partner. Someone we
promised to love, honor and
cherish.
Someone we married to become
a family.

When the holidays roll around,
so much of the world is focused on
toys and Santa and children.
It is then we need to get closer to
our partner and remember why
we fell in love and what the good
parts of our relationship are.

By remembering that "two is a
family" we will be able to cope better and
maybe., just next year, it will
be three.....

What to do if you find yourself infertile

I guess the title is a little
misleading.
This post isn't about medical treatments
or doctors.
It's about still feeling good about
yourself in spite of all the pain.

I decided to take some of my
anger and pain and go back
to school.

I once had a counselor say to me
"Take all this angry energy and go
get your PhD."
(wise woman!)
Well, I'm not getting my PhD, but I am
going back to college.

Believe me, returning to college
after 20 years, takes your mind
TOTALLY off infertility!
In fact, your head is spinning so
fast, you won't even have a
moment to yourself!
You won't have one minute to
obsess, think about your period,
do any medical treatments,
or keep up with your blog
posts!

So, I haven't gone away,
I haven't forgotten
about my blog or any of you.
I'm just taking my angry energy
and going back to college!

I'll still be posting between
class, tests and breaks!

A way to provide comfort

I went to an infertility support meeting.
A new couple was there.
Their pain was palpable.
Us "old" timers told our story
and they briefly told theirs.

The wife cried and expressed
all the feelings we have had:
jealousy over others who can get
pregnant, fear that her husband will
leave her because she may not be able
to give him a child, mad at God,
feeling ashamed that she is so angry,
hating baby showers and Mother's
Day at church.

She wanted us to tell her when it
would be over. She wanted to know
if she remained childless, how long it
would take her to accept it.

We weren't able to answer her question.
We could only assure her it was normal
to feel all the things she was feeling.
It was acceptable to give herself permission
not to attend baby showers. It was OK
to skip church on Mother's Day. She was
not alone.

I don't know if it helped. I hope so.
The struggle with infertility is so
painful and unfair and emotional.
I hope she can find a little peace
as she continues on her journey.

Goodbye Dr. Craig


Dr. Craig is moving on to
bigger and better things.

A new and important
job. We will still see his
smiling face, but he will
no longer be running our
program.

He leaves behind an
ambivalent IVF staff.
We are happy and proud
of him. We wish him all the
best in his new position.
But we mourn the loss of his
friendship, medical expertise,
kindness, immense knowledge
of IVF and his humor.

He leaves behind a population
of happy patients. Patients
who never would have become
parents without him.

He started our IVF program in 1987.
Over the years, through
his leadership, we have grown
and progressed and created many
lives along the way.

He is our "Yoda."
In the Star Wars Universe,
Yoda is the wisest,
most revered
and the most powerful of the
Jedi Masters.
Dr. Craig is our wisest and most
revered master of IVF.

We are sad to see him go
but know he touched not
only the lives of his patients,
but also the staff who worked
with him.

How do you know when you've had enough?

How do you know when you're
through with infertility treatments?

How do you know when to stop?

When I first started on the
journey down infertility road,
I said "I will never do IVF. It's
too invasive."

Never say never!

Eight inseminations later and
at age 41, there I was in the
IVF clinic.

I only had a 10% chance of
conceiving.
10 % !!!

I thought I could beat the odds.
I kept thinking "If Christie Brinkley
can do it, so can I!"
(That's a whole other story now
isn't it?)

Anyway...........
I didn't beat the odds.
We were offered donor eggs.
We flatly refused.
Years later, I doubted whether
we had made the right decision
to stop.

Eventually, I had a hysterectomy,
thanks to the terrible monster
called endometriosis.
Even now, years later,
I still feel grief.
I still feel that yearning for the
little baby girl I just KNEW I
would have.
How do you know when you've
had enough?
I have no idea.
You may never know either.

Writing it all down....

Researchers have shown
that writing down your feelings
can help you move on and lay to
rest the upsets, fears and diappointments
in your life.

Some people write a journal.
Some people write poetry.
Some people blog.

I'm afraid to keep a journal.
It's not something I would
want anyone to read.
I'm not very good at
poetry (although I have never
really tried it.)
So I blog.

I blog to heal from my
own infertility.
I blog in hopes of
helping others.
I blog to put my thoughts
"on paper."

My friend writes poetry
about infertility.
I've read her poems. I feel
her pain and passion and
sense of freedom as she
takes control of her
own life.

Perhaps by writing it down,
we too, can heal, recover,
and regain
the control that infertility
takes from us.

Write On!!

Pets

I have a friend whose
pet lab has lung cancer.
A dog she has had for 15 years.
A dog that gave her comfort, licked her
tears and hovered over her when she
struggled with infertility and
miscarriage.

Somehow, pets know.

I'm so sad for her dog and
for her.
Grief is once again on the
horizen. A grief that she
knows is coming. There
is no hope.

At least with
infertility, there is always a
tiny bit of hope. Even if it
is the size of a grain of sand.

Life is full of sadness.

Tears well as I think of her.

I, too, have dogs that are labs.
Dogs who have licked my tears
and comforted me many times.
I kiss each one and tell them
that I love them.
One of the best things
God made.

After awhile....

After awhile, your quest
for a baby consumes you.
You're searching everywhere
for an answer....for hope....for
a sign that you will get pregnant
someday.

After awhile, you will reach a
point where you will know that
everything happens for a reason and
getting pregnant happens when it is
supposed to.

Try and remember that the sun does
come up every day and that Winter
does turn into Spring.
You can count on that.

Never give up your hope.
Because even though it is cold and
dreary and your period just came.....
Spring is around the corner.

Hold on to the hope that your
period is NOT around the corner
and with Spring
comes new life.

Thank You to Rosie

This blog would not
exist if it hadn't been
for Rosie O'Donnell.
She is the master of all
bloggers and is the person
who inspired me to
write down what I feel,
and to use my past
and present experiences
to try and help all those
wishing for a baby.

I knew nothing about
blogging until I went to
her site one day and there
it was.
I quickly learned
where to sign up and how
to personalize a template.

I have a lot more to learn,
but I wanted everyone to know that
she was my inspiration and mentor.
When she said, "go blog urself!"
I listened!!
Thank you Ro!