Wednesday, September 5

On feeling bitter...

about shit you can't control...

Wanna know a secret? O and I have been trying to conceive a little baby wonder for almost two years. Also this week I started taking the pill again. So I guess you guess what that means. We were not successful, and I am sad about it.



Back in 2008 when I had that surgery, the docs said that the tumor they found on my L intestines was either cancer, or endometriosis. They told me that if it was cancer, that was bad, and if it was endometriosis then it meant I was most likely not going to be able to conceive. As you can imagine, I was relieved when I found out it was not cancer!

So for the past several months I have had painful, expensive procedures (insurance does not cover anything for my fertility issues b/c it is considered a pre-existing condition).  I have taken hormones and since I have been off the pill, every time I have ladyproblems it hurts more and more. I have had so much anxiety because I needed to stay off the pill to get pregnant, but being off the pill could make my endometriosis get worse! Ahhh!


Right now I am finally out of the hell soup that is taking fertility hormones, but my body is adjusting again to taking the pill. I feel so sad all the time, and I can't seem to settle on any decisions. Also I can't sleep, I am sweating all the time and my belly is distended and it hurts :(

A few months ago I decided I wanted to move, now I don't know...because what I really want is to live in New York...but we can't make a huge change like that now b/c of O's business (and he isn't as jazzed about the idea as I am) and because we are planning to adopt a little baby wonder!

I am very excited about this prospect, much more excited than I was about getting pregnant. I think deep down I was so sure it was not going to happen, that I never let myself actually believe it could, except for when I did believe it. Talk about emotional roller coaster. I know we will be parents, and I am looking forward to it, but I also feel like sleeping forever, and not having to make any decisions about anything ever. Except maybe what kind of doughnut to eat, and what wine would be the best wine pairing with it. 




Sometimes I feel so bitter about all of this shit! I mean, if I had not felt so bad when we lived in NYC we never would have moved. And if I hadn't gotten sick, maybe I wouldn't have developed Endometriosis. No one knows shit about what causes it or how to make it go away (except get pregnant, or take the pill). That pisses me off too. I want to live in a city I love, but I feel stuck in Atlanta because I love my family and O's family. O's business is here, and my life is easy and uncomplicated and fun...Plus when we adopt I want our folks around b/c they are pretty awesome.

Then I remember that I am lucky to have O, and my family and most of my health. I don't have to worry about how to pay for food and water, or bombs falling on my head. As O would say: Are you tied up on a dungeon floor? No? Well then that settles it. 

Sigh.


It is amazing how many people come out of the woodwork when you begin to openly discuss infertility. I am a pretty open person, and I like having my friends around to support me and come along with me on my projects. It seems like every other person we talk to has been touched by infertility or adoption in some way. When you are going through the awful process of fertility treatments, you can't help but notice every single pregnant lady, every young mother, and it feels isolating and there were times when I felt like a huge failure. I also felt so much guilt because there were more options for us, we could have taken the fertility drama to the next level: IVF.



We decided against it, and making that decision was one of the hardest trials of my life! I felt guilty about that b/c seriously, that isn't a very big problem to have, and also I kinda felt like I was supposed to do IVF. The fertility world is sort of crazy, I mean the doctors just expected us to do it, and so does everyone else. You should have seen some of the judgmental faces I get when I fell people we opted not to do IVF, wowzas. I couldn't handle the thought of even more, and stronger hormones, the expense (up to 20k a pop, with a 50% success rate) or the anxiety of taking more time off the pill, and feeling my lady times get worse and worse...insurance would not pay for a surgery if I needed another one, so that is another 30-50k we would have to come up with...Its enough to make me bitter. I opened up about it to my wonderful folks and O's parents, and everyone agreed that I needed to make the best choice for myself and for O. You know, this ordeal made me realize how easily I can be pushed off course. I mean, I knew in my heart and in my gut that I didn't want IVF, but I let myself be conflicted about it, and conflicted about pleasing other people in my life. O, of course has been amazing, he didn't take it personally when I threw things or sobbed b/c his shirt was draped over the door....again.


Its hard to admit that I didn't handle this whole episode with the dignity and self assuredness that I hope I exude most of the time. But dude, thats what fucking happend, and I guess this will teach me to be more confident and self aware in the future.

We have not chosen an agency yet, or a lawyer or anything; but we have so many options and so many wonderful people offering us advice and love and support. I am sure that when my hormones back that shit up, O and I will get hella started on realizing the next step in our lives: parenthood! We are excited to go on this adventure together, for reals.

I am also happy that you guys will get to hitch a ride on our adventure too. That makes me think, I might have to cut back on the cursing.




27 comments:

  1. I loved this post- thanks for the honesty. I'll be thinking about you and praying for a smooth transition into parenthood! AMAZING news that you will be adopting, so excited for you! You're going to be a mama!

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  2. There are no words. Perhaps you may enjoy the blog below. A successful artist like yourself...who is working towards adoption as well

    http://www.dearfriendrebekkaseale.blogspot.com

    Best wishes Michelle!

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    1. Thank you! I can't wait to check it out.

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  3. To put it simply but not to minimize in any way….boo that your lady parts failed you and yeah to the excitement that comes with putting an end to one path and opening yourself up to another (adoption). <3

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  4. no you can keep cursing for a while. My son is 2.5 and we're just getting around to curtailing it. Huge congratulations on the decision to become a mom. It does not matter how it will happen.

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  5. Your honesty brought tears to my eyes. There are too many precious souls out there in need of a loving mom & dad. Your precious one is waiting....
    Can't wait to read about how you find one another. Sending you strength & love!

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  6. beautifully expressed. i sense the hope which is so important. how cherished your children will be! maybe the cursing is a hormonal thing? i find it soooooo liberating as i navigate (frequently without dignity!) the silent passage.:)

    smiles to you.

    michele

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  7. girl, i have nothing to say but just wanted to throw some love at you. life is hard and really sucks sometimes.

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  8. Hi Michelle, I'm so sorry to hear about that heartbreaking news. Love the Someecard which sums exactly what people say as well! Once again you're a brave lady and inspiration for sharing the hard and honest stuff. I have friends who have gone through this, and I can see how devastating that can be.

    Good luck on the adoption process! I have friends and family members who are adopted themselves, or have adopted. All are incredibly lucky to have found their families all over the world, and I'm crossing my fingers for you and O. Big hugs!!!!

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  9. P.S. Whenever or however it happens, you're going to be one helluva kickass mama!!!

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  10. Loved this:) All the best in your journey.
    Just in my family alone we have dealt with miscarriages, abortions(eek), adopting out children and lately a case of endometriosis and now my niece is going for her second IVF (first one didn't take)The journey is hard and defiantly painful at times, but we sure do discover who we are and what we are made of. When my teenage daughter decided to adopt out her beautiful son... I thought I would die...but he became a beautiful gift to a wonderful new family. We keep in touch and get to watch him grow. I hope the same miracle happens to you. C'est la vie

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  11. You will be an amazing, modern Mom. (It's ok to swear)

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  12. Thank you guys very much for taking the time to send me a little bit of love through my email :) It makes me feel so much less alone!

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  13. Oh my gosh, you are so NOT alone. Like you said and as with so many things in life, once you begin to share your journey you come to know so many others have walked the same path. I think I've told you that my sister had an illness that led to a situation like yours. They chose the route of IVF and I am so blessed to have two beautiful nephews to love on. Had they chosen the road of adoption, I would have been equally blessed to have a beautiful niece or nephew to adore. Doesn't matter how you get there.

    As for parenthood, almost 13 years into it and I've yet to handle it with dignity and self-assuredness all of the time. You should hear the epic battles that ensue between me and my almost teenager every morning. So don't be hard on yourself because I am certain that no one else in your life is as tough on you as YOU! I'm so excited for you and O and wish you happiness as you embark on this path.

    xo

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  14. Michelle, thank you for your thoughtful and honest post. I feel somewhat intrusive about what I am posting, and in no way am I suggesting that you change whatever decision you have come to as best for you and your husband. I think adoption is a wonderful option, and I just want to preface again that this comment is not intended to change that. Having autoimmune conditions of my own, I have done so much nutrition self-education in an attempt to heal myself from a condition western medicine has not been able to solve. If you have any interest in alternative avenues for attaining health, I think you might find lots of interesting and useful information in the paleo community in regards to autoimmune conditions and infertility. I would recommend chris kresser's website, he is an integrative medicine practitioner and has TONS of very well written articles including those on fertility and adrenal fatigue as well (he speaks from personal experience when he and his wife had 2 years of difficulty conceiving). I will say that being in the nursing field myself, anything "alternative" formerly equated to quackery, but his articles is very well grounded in evidence based research. Again, I congratulate your courage to decide what is right for you!

    Take care, Monica

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    1. Thank you Monica, I appreciate you sharing all of this with me!

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  15. Oh man, does this hit home for me. My husband and I were just starting to try for a wee bebe about 6 weeks ago, when WHAM - I found a lump under my right arm. Lymphoma. Slow growing, but incurable. We have seen several fertility specialists who have all basically told me that it would take them too long to make my body pump out the eggs needed to be successful before I needed treatment. I am not a young chick anymore. Heartbreaking. So my doctors devised a plan of a short term antibody treatment (not as toxic as regular chemo, which would put me into menopause in 5 seconds flat) experiment of four weeks and if they see enough improvement we can try for a baby and resume treatment later. However, we had to come to terms that we may have to look at adoption, and that is okay. For me, the experience of being a mom outweighs the need to pass on my own DNA. And only you can define who makes up your 'family' - I am so happy for you both. And kudos for you for taking charge of your health in such an emotional time. Your family will be better for it and self determination is a great gift that you can give your kiddos! Be well!!!

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    1. Melissa, thank you for sharing. I wish you the very best of luck, and I will be thinking about you on your path. I can't image how difficult this time in your life is, but I am confident that when you do become a mother, however that happens, you will be happy either way.

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  16. Dear Michelle,
    I love how you say things that so many of us feel, or have felt, but can't quite capture into words (even in hindsight, when it is easiest to do so).

    I remember when our infertility doctor looked at me -- I was sitting alone as my husband could not join me on that particular day -- and told me that the odds were I would never have children w/out the help of treatment. The doctor spoke very callously - it was an "as matter of fact" delivery with even an edge or tinge of something that did not sit right. To me, the listener, it felt like the doctor had stepped on me. I remember being very small in that momemnt - even my posture in the chair was small - I remember that.

    The doctor was a woman - which, for me, was the worst offense of all. Why didn't she know to deliver the message just a bit more softly?

    Alas...include me as yet another coming out of the woodwork!

    Michelle---my VERY best to you and to your dear O! Will look forward to hearing any updates you want to share~.

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    1. Oh Mary Beth, I totally understand this. I am so lucky that my surgeon was amazing, gentle and kind. My Gyno, and Fertility doc also women, have been so wonderful. But you know what, I purposely spent time seeking them out b/c the Gyno who originally diagnosed me with Endometriosis was so incompetent (she punctured my uterus three times!, and never came to see me in the hospital to tell me about my results, another doctor had to do it.) I still hate her. So I get it, I am am so sorry you had to go through that! Thank you for your comment.

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  17. Oh Michelle, it's posts like this that make you one of my favourite bloggers/artists/people! We are all going through issues but so many people don't want to talk about them for fear that people won't think they're living picture perfect lives. You are the best, and I know you're going to be the best Mom ever!!!

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  18. you are awesome. i had no idea you were going through all of this. i empathize. fertility treatment consumes! your life when you're in it. there is hardly room in your brain for anything else. so glad to see you followed your heart and your own path despite the nosey-bodies! some lucky kiddo is going to have super strong examples to follow with you guys as parents. best wishes and prayers!

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  19. I have no words, other than: I can't wait to see the inspired paintings you and your future baby wonder will make together.

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  20. Michelle, I remember our brief conversation about this and have thought about you often in the days since. I also remember what I felt like when Terry and I were trying (praying, waiting, begging) and all my friends suddenly got pregnant, well, the old fashioned way. It’s an inexplicable dance, really. Trying to live your everyday life as if nothing extraordinary is going on inside your head. There were so many times I cried and felt like 1.) I was being punished and 2.) maybe it wasn’t in the cards for a reason. I felt guilty for everything. For maybe not always treating my body as I should, for somehow having MS, for not being able to give my husband a child, for feeling so shit about myself when other people were dealing with so much more (dungeon floors and all). It was so overwhelming and I just couldn’t - WOULDN’T - talk about how much. Which is why I was beyond thrilled to see this post!!! I had tears in my eyes reading through it, partly because my heart ached for everything you went through, and partly because I was so filled with joy to see that you’d made the decision to adopt. There is much in this life I don’t know, but I am 100% certain about this: you are meant to be a mother. An incredible mother who fills her home with laughter, beauty and magic. When I was in my darkest hour, someone dear told me she truly thought kids chose their parents and for whatever reason our paths hadn’t yet crossed. Well friend, I think yours just saw you turn the corner. And what an amazing introduction it will be. Hugs.

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    1. E, thank you. What a sweet, heart felt note. Thank you for understanding, thank you for being kind, and thank you for reaching out to me. You made me cry!

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    2. No tears, just keepin' it real, sister! Something I recently (finally) did myself coincidentally. Here's to a year of big things and big truths. Muah!

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  21. Cut back on the cursing? Fuck that.

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Yay! Your gonna reach out to me! I am so excited. I have tried to make commenting here easy for both of us. So please try your hardest to read the squiggly letters so I can chat with you.

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