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A Post-Birthday Post

Well, I am a horrible wife.

Because yesterday was my birthday and I’m ashamed to say that I acted like a spoiled rotten brat when I didn’t get what I wanted. Which is so rare for me because I usually don’t care what I get at all. Every year, my husband asks and every year I say something like, “Oh whatever. You know what I like.”  But this year, I did have a request. I wanted a necklace — simple, classic, something I can wear every day — that holds two birthstones. One for my daughter, our Cupcake. And for the baby who never got to be born, our Teddy Graham. I wanted something to represent that I’m a mother of two, something to commemorate our loss and honor the Baby Who Almost Was. Some people get tattoos. I wanted — want — a necklace.

And I knew I would get what I want and looked forward to unwrapping that small, pretty box all day. And then when I finally did and it was a necklace (yay!) but nothing at all like what I had pictured in my head (boo!), I just felt all color drain from my face and my husband knew with one look at me that I didn’t like it all. And then I started crying.

So here is one more flaw I will reveal to you: I am a horrible, horrible wife. I let my disappointment show. I didn’t even try to hide it. My Honey’s heart was in the right place and he tried so hard and I reacted with no thought to how it might hurt him. And it did. It hurt him. I’m not proud. I hate myself for it. But can I blame it on hormones? Or just on a tough life? Because I really am a mess right now. Such a mess.

But other than that, it was a good day for me. I spent most of it alone with my favorite little person and I indulged in a lot of good food. I talked to my mom five times throughout the day and, even though I carry my pain with me through every moment, I was mostly able to breathe through that and just experience the joy that my birthday always brings me. And I got a card from my sister, which brought a smile to my face. I was wondering if she’d even remember my special day and was pleasantly surprised when the mail arrived at noontime. It was a simple card and lacked her normal friendly, upbeat tone, but at this point I will take what I can get. At least she made the effort.

As yesterday was coming to a close though, I started to feel deflated and sad. Because now our road trip is over and my birthday is done and what else do I have to look forward to or to distract me through the weeks ahead? Nothing. Now it’s just all about waiting and that’s so depressing. Especially because, for whatever reason, I am starting to feel like this cycle is already a flop. A failure. It’s CD10 and I already have lost hope.

And I’m so scared for everything that is — and isn’t — around the corner.

Tears in Idaho

Well, I called it, you guys. I’m no fool.

My sister is pregnant.

She called me when we were halfway to Idaho and I cried the rest of the way here. Why oh why did she have to call me? I sent her an e-mail so that I could get a quick response from her and later reply with my own congratulatory e-mail that I had carefully planned out. Instead, she caught me off guard while I was on vacation and I had to figure out what to say on the spot.

And as a result, this was how the conversation went:

SIS: Blah blah blah. (Small talk)

ME: Blah blah blah. (Small talk right back at her, but the whole time I’m thinking, Just get on with it, will ya?)

SIS: So I was calling about that e-mail you sent me…

ME: Yeah.

SIS: Well, I wanted to wait until I was further along to tell you, but I am pregnant. I’m about 8 weeks. (At which point, I wanted to ask, If you were trying to hide it from me, then why did you keep dropping the most obvious hints ever? But I didn’t.)

ME: Congratulations.

SIS: Thanks! We’re very excited!!

ME: Well, congrats.

SIS: Thanks so much.

(Silence. Utter silence. Did she want me to say something more? Because I really had nothing left.)

ME: So….when are you due?

SIS: Oh, like, in the middle of March, somewhere in between the 13th and 17th.

(More silence because I am thinking, Great! That is just flipping fabulous. March 14th is our wedding anniversary. AND will be the anniversary of Teddy Graham’s conception. Thank you, God, for making this even HARDER.)

SIS: I just wanted to call and tell you. I didn’t think it would be right over e-mail.

ME: Oh, well, it probably would have been easier that way, but it’s okay.

SIS. Oh. (Pause.) Well, I guess I’ll know for next time. (And I think, Next time?! You think I’ll have to go through this AGAIN???!!!)

ME: No, it’s fine. I just thought we had talked about that? But it’s okay. You did what you felt was right and that’s fine.

SIS: (sounding slightly miffed) Well, fine then.

ME: (feeling crushed by guilt and remorse) Listen, I can tell you’re upset and I don’t want that. This is a hard time for me, but I’m happy for you. I really am. I want to be there for you and help you celebrate this baby.

SIS: (sighing and sounding just as pissed)  Okay. Well, drive safely.

ME: (now highly annoyed too) We will.

SIS: Talk to ya later.

ME: Yep.

And that was that. And I can’t decide if I handled it well or if I said all the wrong things. Because apparently my sister thinks it’s the latter one and I hung up feeling horribly guilty. And how fair is that?! I already feel like sh*t and now I have to feel guilty too? My Honey says it’s because I didn’t give her the response she was hoping for. But what did she really expect? If I’d had time, I could have formulated the perfect, warm, sisterly congratulations. But I need to process in order to do that. I cannot do it in the heat of the moment, when my heart is breaking all over again. I can’t.

But this isn’t about me, is it? It’s about her.

Because she’s pregnant.

And I’m not.

The End.

Some Thoughts on Hurting, Home, and the Things in Between

Today, I hurt.

I hurt today because yesterday I came to the conclusion that my sister is pregnant. She has not confirmed this, but I know. I know that she and her new husband started trying during my short-lived pregnancy in April. I know that she has always had regular periods and will probably have no problems conceiving.  I know that she has dropped hints such as being the designated driver at a bachelorette party, feeling so tired all the time, and in an e-mail yesterday she mentioned that she hasn’t been feeling well for a few weeks but said nothing more. And I know that she is probably afraid to tell me her good news.

I know she is pregnant, and I think I have for a while, though I have tried to convince myself otherwise. Either way, I sent her an e-mail last night to ask if my suspicions are true. Was this out of line? I hope not. I don’t want to make her uncomfortable. But if she is expecting, I want to know so I can accept it and move on. So we don’t have a pink elephant hanging around every time we talk on the phone or send an e-mail.

Sigh.

This, in the aftermath of my loss, is one of the things I have been fearing the most.

As you may remember from a previous post, my sister is no ordinary sister. She is a half-sister whom I learned about just this year. At this point, we are bonded only by blood and quite a few common interests and personality traits. We don’t have a history. Not really. And the history we do have is short and shadowed by the fact that I feel as if she did not support me through my miscarriage as I had expected. This has left me with a bad taste in my mouth and a lot of resentment. I’m trying to forgive, to believe her intentions were always good, to fake it until I make it. I think I have done a good job at that, but it doesn’t mean I want to celebrate her pregnancy with her.

I am happy for her but sad for myself, torn between wanting to hear every detail about every second of this pregnancy and this baby (my niece! my nephew! my very flesh and blood!), but also afraid to experience all of that. Afraid of the jealousy and contempt and pain it will cause me. There have been times that I wished she would have to deal with my same infertility issues (that somehow it was genetic) and, in the last 24 hours, there have been times when I wished that this pregnancy didn’t exist. Not that I would wish her and her unborn child any harm or tragedy. Just that this had not happened for her quite so quickly and not yet, not until there is another life growing inside me too. Maybe then it would hurt a little less.

I just want to stop hurting.

Someone please tell me I’m not a horrible person, or a bad sister. Because I’m new to this sister thing and I don’t know if these feelings and thoughts I have make me the very worst sister-friend to ever exist.

But on to other things…

It’s cycle day 3! Officially. Not long after my last post, the flow started to pick up and blazed throughout yesterday and into this morning. I don’t think I’ve ever been so glad to see that much blood! (TMI?) So of course, I was worried for no reason. Like always. It’s still not as wicked as it has been at times in the past and I’m not nearly as crampy either, but maybe that’s a good sign? I’ve heard extraordinarily heavy and painful periods are not healthy either. And now I’m at a point where I’m hoping for a little mercy and for the flow to slow waaaaaay down by the end of the day. And I took my first 100mg of Clomid with breakfast this morning. It’s always exciting to me, because it gives me new hope, even if that hope wavers. Often.

(And btw…thank you so much to everyone who offered their advice about cycle days, spotting, and Metformin. I needed to hear all of it and, with each new comment, I breathed a sigh of relief.)

As for the Metformin, I am still on the fence. I go back and forth about a hundred times a day. I did fill the prescription and pick it up from the pharmacy, but I’m going to leave it sitting on our bathroom counter for a few days. I want to ponder it and give my decision time. On one hand, I find it deliciously tempting not to take it and not to have one more obligation and worry in TTC-land. Especially when there is no proof that I actually need it. But on the other hand, I want to do everything I can to up my odds and help my body to ovulate and hopefully ovulate earlier than is standard for me. But at any rate, I won’t be taking it until next week (after my birthday and road trip) and I will definitely be taking it if this round of Clomid doesn’t work at all. I think.

And speaking of our road trip…

We leave today!  Going back to Idaho. Back home…or at least to the only home I had ever known until the place that we now call home became our home. (Hey…that was a lot of fun to say!) I’m so excited for this return to our “roots.” There was a time when I hoped I would be returning with a growing belly and, for a short while during my Teddy Graham pregnancy, I really believed I would. In the weeks after my miscarriage, I lamented that this picture I had of myself in a cute sundress attending the wedding of a family friend in Idaho would never come to be. I cried for days over that silly image. But I’m stronger now, and looking forward to going back to a place that is so familiar to us. It will be good to get away for a short while and, when we return, I will already have made it through the first week of this cycle…with only one (but probably two) more weeks until the anticipated ovulation date. I will welcome anything that can make time go faster right now.

And with that being said, I will probably be off the grid for a few days. If there’s time (perhaps in the evening while watching the Olympics!), I will stay caught up on my blog-reading, but I don’t anticipate that I’ll do any of my own posting. Unless, perhaps, I hear back from my sis about her suspected pregnancy. In that case, I might have no choice but to come here to whine and cry over the unfairness of it all.

Just a warning, friends.

10 Things, Part 2

On Monday, I revealed the first five of ten things about myself so you all can get to know me a little bit better. Here is the second part of that list:

6. I was a good student. I graduated from high school with all A’s except for two lousy B’s that still make me mad these many years later. In college, I graduated magna cum laude with a B.A. in English.  I also won a writing award, had two of my short stories published, and won the top award in the Humanities Department for my senior research project on Harry Potter (yes, it’s true). Several of my professors encouraged me to pursue grad school and I am sure I have disappointed them all by choosing to stay home and parent my daughter instead. But I do hope to one day return to school, hopefully this time to finish my degree in nursing, because I studied that for two years too. Okay…bragging done. 🙂

7. I’ve suffered a lot of loss. And I’m not talking just about my Teddy Graham or my sanity as I have taken this infertility journey. In my 28 years, I have lost six grandparents, two uncles (and one was only 40 years old), and a 19-year-old cousin. I don’t know if this is a lot for my age or not, but I do know that in my circle of friends, it is. Some of these deaths were more unexpected than others and some have hurt my heart more than others have, but they have all affected me in some way, big or small. And I still mourn my losses, especially my maternal grandparents, my maternal uncle, and my cousin. My cuz and I shared the same birthday (five years apart) and our children were born on the same day (three years apart), so we always had a connection, even if we fought like crazy. Not to mention that he was very young and died in a senseless act that could have been prevented. I miss him. I miss them all.

8. I love to travel. Like, loooooove it. If I could travel for a living, I would. I love it that much. It all started when I was very young and my beloved grandparents would take me along on their summer road trips. Two of my favorite places on Earth are London (where we will be returning to in October) and Kangaroo Island in Australia (where the Honey and I honeymooned), but I also have enjoyed Paris, Zurich, Venice, Cairns (in Australia), Sydney, Hawaii, New York City, San Francisco, Alaska, Cancun, Carmel (California), Yellowstone National Park, Walt Disney World, and so much more. In fact, there are very few places that I haven‘t liked. Some day, I hope to visit every state (I have 15 to go) and every continent…both are on my very-long-and-perhaps-impossible-to-complete Bucket List!

9. I’m very flawed. I’m lazy. I’m self-centered. I’m bossy. I’m so indecisive that I changed my college major a total of five times. I half-ass things (like housework) if I can get away with it. I’m a control freak. I’m super sensitive and get my feelings hurt very easily. I’m painfully shy, which I’m afraid sometimes comes off as stuck-up and snobbish. I’m terribly insecure. I’m occasionally self-righteous. I have unfair and unrealistic expectations of everyone, including myself.  The list really could go on, but I would hate to make you think I’m totally unworthy and then cause you stop reading my blog.

And finally number 10. I’m an only child…sort of. I was raised as an only child and I am my mother’s only child, but not for lack of trying. My mama would have loved to have a handful of children, but my dad (the man who raised me as his child) was sterile due to diabetes (type I). So I was conceived by a sperm donor. I guess I’m part of the first generation of sperm donor babies! My mom tried to have another baby after me, but after 12 tries, she finally gave up and I was raised without any siblings (which I hated, but I’ll save that rant for another post). However, in January, thanks to The Donor Sibling Registry, I connected with a half-sister who was conceived by the same donor and lives just three hours away. Amazing, right? Like, we could totally be a Lifetime movie. I’ll save our full story for another post, but I can say now that I have a sister (which still seems so weird to me)…and yet, she doesn’t feel like one. Not yet. Not at all.

So there you go! A little about me. But what about you…any little-known facts you want to share?