Thursday, December 09, 2010

Birthday thoughts

Tomorrow is LB's birthday. Tonight the boys are in bed and the house is quiet. My DH is away on business.

I was talking to the mother of twins today. We are at the same daycare. The twins birthday is this month too. She mentioned in passing that there had been another, who didn't survive the 3 months too early birth. It ripped me wide open. I told her that I was sorry for her loss. I told her about mine. She suggested that we get together for coffee some time. I wondered whether I could do it without crying.

Tonight I am missing the unknown ones. The ones that didn't make it. The one's that didn't get to stay. I am crying as I write this. I don't even know if they were boys or girls. I never gave them names. I think that I hoped that would lessen the grief. You know the mantra. "Don't think about it. Don't talk about it. Focus on the good. Move on."

The grief just surprised me. There is so much happiness in my life. Somehow I thought that I had let that go.

Where ever you are my babies, Mummy misses you.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Today

Today the trees where throwing their farewell party and I was the guest of honour. I walked the dog and it was just a perfect moment. The air was cool but I was warm in my coat. The colours and freshness was inspiring. I was there and it was good.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

The Telling

Okay, so we have reviewed the advice and we are wondering how are we going to do it. We decide the DH should do the first telling. He was much less freaked about the whole thing. The waiting was making me nervous. I told my DH that we had to find a natural opportunity in the next month or make our own opportunity. I was finding the waiting stressful.

Okay, so here is how it happened. LB and I were in the kitchen at the table. BB and DH were in the living room. Like a bolt out of the blue LB says to me "Did babies come from IKEA". I look at him. I realize that this is it! The moment of truth! I call Mike in from the next room. Did you hear what LB just asked? I repeated it and Mike launched into "The Telling".

"Babies come from a seed from the daddy and an egg from the mummy, but mummy's eggs didn't work so we got an egg from a nice lady. Do you have any questions?"

Both boys look at us, with this "Huh?" look on their face. Nope, no questions. LB looks at me and then says. "I meant my baby bunny". I answer, "Uh, the bunny, yes he came from IKEA".

...

Since that fateful day. We have repeated it a few times with very little reaction. LB asked again today how babies were made. I told him again. I mentioned that I had a book, would he like to see it. He said no.

The whole thing has been sort of non-event-ish. Other than my huge stress reaction. I did not realize how I had been carrying it around with me. It has been great to let go of it. The worry that I was going to be rejected has been lifted.

I am so lucky that I got to have a family.

I really liked letting go of that fear. I would like to get rid of the rest of my fears now too.

Monday, August 09, 2010

The meeting

The day finally came. I got a babysitter and headed off to my appointment. I met with a Clinical Social Worker with a specialty in infertility. Sadly, she is one of us. She got pregnant 4 times but couldn't carry to term.

I met with her for two reasons. First to make sure that I was okay and second to get advice on what to say. We talked about a couple of things. I told her my story. You know, ten years of infertility, failure to respond to IVF, 1000 needles, and ultimately two boys through donor ovum.

We talked about my issues. How for a long time I wanted to be perfect and there are still stray pieces of that idea hanging around. Which, of course, involves punishing myself for things that I cannot control. I sometimes feel ashamed that I was unable to get pregnant without help. She suggested that I might need to work on forgiving my body for failing. I cried a bit.

I have so many blessings. I am at the good side of the infertility journey. I have my kids. I love them. I know them. I would not trade them for biological children. She said something very interesting and something that struck me as absolutely true. She said that I will never get over my infertility completely. Although I got my kids, I still didn't get the journey that I wanted. It is natural to be sad about it occasionally. I am not disrespecting what I have when I am sad about what I lost. This was big for me. I somehow thought that I needed to rise above this experience and be totally at peace with it. It is a relief to realize that my grief is normal and not an issue. I have a wound. I need to accept that I was wounded, and I don't have to pretend it will ever totally heal.

She had a lot of advice about telling. She also said that we shouldn't gather the herd and make a big announcement. The information comes as it comes.

She talked about how it is my attitude that will determine how my children react. If I am crying and freaking out then the kids will think that it is strange and upsetting information. I need to be okay with the truth of it. But, it is also okay to be sad that it went that way.

When we talk about it, it should be a body part talk and not a genetics talk. You pick your opportunity, such as an outing to a zoo, you see some babies and then say "Do you know how that happened." or "That baby is so cute. Do you know how babies start off?" Keep it short, just one or two sentences. She suggested...

"Babies come from an egg from the Mommy and seed from the Daddy. Mommy's egg was broken so we got an egg from another lady. We used her egg and Daddy's seed."

Just a short and simple thing. You pause and see if they want more information. If they don't ask for more, then you don't tell more. You repeat this a few times on different occasions, here or there. You do it naturally when the subject comes up. It is part of the truth of our lives.

Interestingly we also discussed the frozen embryos. When we get done with the "telling", I am going to go back to discuss with her what to do with them.

I had a strong reaction to this meeting. I thought that it went very well, but afterwards I did some crying and screaming in the car. I had not done that for ages. It was like old home week to be back there. You know there with all of that upset and turmoil. My mind has been filled with all this negative shit again. I had moved to a place of relative peace. This "telling" has been hanging over my head for a long time. I guess that I had been stuffing down my emotions. I need to make space for what I am feeling.

We decided the my DH would do the first "telling". He could be calmer about it.

I will blog more about the telling later.

About 3 weeks ago

Time is crawling by way too slowly. The kids are having a great time, but I am not. So I am sitting here at one of those kids indoor playgrounds and I am feeling like a fraud. All these women, with babies that they started in their own bodies, probably without any help. Would they judge me if they knew? Pity me? Turn away disgusted?

I am having an attack of infertility thinking. It doesn't often happen, but I am allowing my thoughts to turn this way. Here I am tapping into the great internal fear. I am going to let the secret out. What will be the outcome? The research says that boys often don't care and aren't even that curious. It seems highly unlikely that the boys will reject me. It is the not knowing that has me on edge. I am trying to hang onto that illusion of controlling the world around me.

Will I be found unworthy?

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Step 2?

Okay, I am not sure what step this is, but if Step 1 was calling and making an appointment, then I am on to Step 2. Or would Step 1 be deciding it was time to tell him?

I have an appointment to talk to someone about telling my son about the circumstances of his birth.

My anxiety levels are definitely up.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Sad News

I have been sad lately because one of my childhood friends lost her long battle with breast cancer. We had sort of drifted apart but our mothers are friends and so I would get updates and we crossed paths occasionally. I was in at least another city and often another country. We got together when I moved back to Canada, but I had a new baby and she was in another city.

She was sweet and generous. She thought of others. She was not afraid to be silly and vulnerable. She left behind a great husband and two kids still in high school.

There were so many parts of this that hit me. She left behind her kids and they aren't grown. That is a chilling idea. What parent doesn't fear that? Her husband is left alone. They had a happy marriage and now it is over. I wish I had been a better friend to her. You always think that you will have more time.

I know that this has changed me. I will be there for the next breast cancer run. I will become a volunteer. It is too late for my friend, but her daughter is still out there.

Please take care of yourself - do self-examinations, get a mammogram. Please if you find something go to the doctor right away. My friend waited and now she is dead.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Telling

This is the summer that I am going to tell my eldest about his conception. I researched that kids usually do better if told before they are 9. He is 8. I have no idea how I am going to broach the subject. I think that I will go to a psychologist for advice and to work on my feelings.

I do have a book meant for a young kid that tells the story in a very simple way. I could use that.

What would you do?

Women, Food and G.d by Geneen Roth.

Okay, I have to start by admitting to having seen Geneen Roth on Oprah. I know that can be off putting for some, but I have to admit that I do watch occasionally. Now, Geneen Roth has written a number of books about compulsive eating that I have not read, but this one was great. I have long been a fan of NOT dieting as I always gain weight on diets. I find that conscious eating is the way for me. But over the last couple of years my weight has been on a gradual slide up and I was not happy. I felt helpless and ashamed. Reading WFG was just what I needed. It reminded me of the rules of eating. Her list is:

1) Eat only when you are hungry.
2) Eat sitting down in a calm environment. (Not the car)
3) Eat without distractions. No TV, reading, radio, or anxiety producing conversation.
4) Eat what your body wants.
5) Eat until you are satisfied.
6) Eat in the full view of others.
7) Eat with enjoyment, gusto and pleasure.

WFG talks about how we eat for oblivion. We need to escape the present moment, but eating does not help us if we get fat and unhappy. You need to be comfortable with living in the now. I have had to do a lot of work examining the lies that my brain tells me. You know how it goes. The kids are acting up and your brain says “I cannot stand this for another minute. I must start yelling right now. They should behave differently. I am a failure as a parent. I need a cookie...”.
I am working on stopping, and looking at what my brain is saying because I can stand it. Yelling does not help. I am not a failure. I am also not hungry.

I have tried to extend her rules to my replacement for seeking oblivion. I watch too much TV and I don’t really enjoy it. So here is my version of the rules for TV.

1) Watch TV only when you want to see what is on TV.
2) Watch only shows that you enjoy - physically, mentally and spiritually.
3) Stop watching when you are not enjoying it.

I cannot say that I have had complete success with the TV, but I have lost more than 5 pounds.

Friday, May 14, 2010

DH Away

My DH is away right now. He was supposed to be away for 1 week, but it has been extended twice. I don't know if I have posted about what a great guy that I have. I am still as blissfully in love with him as I was when we first met. We rarely argue and he is kind. He works too much, but not by choice. His job is like drinking from a fire hose.

I miss him so much. He is so pissed to be away. It is the downside of the happy marriage that it sucks to be apart. I am not sleeping well. It is hard to talk about him being away without complaining. I guess that it is just part of life that you form attachments and separation is hard.

I have been working on acceptance. You know, not letting the hard stuff grind on you even after it is done. I am not saying that I am great at it, but it is coming. I have also been working on fear. I realized how much of the time I am afraid. When there is nothing real to worry about I find something imaginary to fret over. The "what if..." crap is so painful. I have been working on noticing that it is happening. I don't resist it. I don't react. I just notice it. You know like "Here I am in my body, in my car, driving down the road, in this direction. I am having these fearful thoughts. This is fear. Okay." I find that the fear fades, not always completely, but it is less.

I had an epiphany with the dog. One evening about 2 months ago we were out on a walk. He was barking and lunging at another dog and it took me to a level 10 of frustration. I reached my breaking point and strangely I let go. I accepted that this is how the dog is and it set me free. It made me relax which helped the dog. I also broke my silence and reached out and hired a dog trainer. I found out that I can ask for help and you what, I got help. The dog trainer has made a world of difference. I am enjoying the dog because now I am in control. I can walk the dog without worrying about him attacking another dog. I can enjoy the walk. It is a gift.