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8 Weeks and Counting

February 1, 2010

You can run, but you can’t hide. If you aren’t feeling it, your brain tries to work it out in your dreams. I had some of these dreams last night.

I was in my spiritual group, and my teacher was asking everyone to share something that they wanted to let go of. I struggled to come up with the words to describe what I was feeling. Everyone else was sharing, and I was one of the last to go. Finally, I said, “I want to let go of negatives”. He asked me what I meant. I said, in terms of trying to get pregnant.

Next dream, I was wandering the halls of BigShotClinic. Two technicians flagged me down, and told me I had one embryo left. I ask them what it was graded. They went into some big long explanation that I didn’t really understand, but only interpreted to mean that my last embryo was of so bad a quality, it couldn’t be graded. Then, they were packing my embryo away, and I could see how they weren’t being careful with it. I was pained. I didn’t know what to do. Should I transfer it? Would I really have a shot? And where did this embryo come from? Another cycle of hope and despair.

Then, at work today, one of my co-workers explained to another how she had her daughter at 42 and had an easy pregnancy. The other woman, who is 40 said, so I can still have another? They were talking like it was no big deal to get pregnant in your forties. I tried to stuff my feelings, when all I really wanted to do is to go to the bathroom and cry.

I know you have been wondering what I have been doing all this time that I haven’t been here or there on my blog or yours. This grief is a new experience for me. I knew it would be bad, but you never know exactly what it is going to be like until you get here.

Thanks for checking in on me, those who have commented or sent me e-mails in my silence. Sweet Georgia hoped that everything is ok. Let me assure you that physically, I am fine. I am living my life, going to work everyday, functioning, doing my job, most days. I call it survival mode.

Emotionally, no I am not ok. That is why I am not here or there. It seems like everytime I come back to read blogs, I end up feeling upset. Whether it’s good news or bad, it all upsets me. I used to think that I would feel comforted by other people’s losses, but that makes me feel upset too.

I could tell you about how my latest obsession has become channeling my loss of appetite into losing weight and getting fit, in a healthy way, of course. I could tell you about how proud I am of losing 5 pounds of excess flab that I haven’t been able to work on losing because I was always worried that intense exercise would be bad for my fertility. I could tell you how I’m working on my 6-pack abs because I couldn’t do that before either, and it doesn’t matter now how much I work out because it’s over for my eggs and genes. I could tell you all that, but I think you really wouldn’t care. I think you want to know the answer to the question of, “how do you live your life when you have reached the end of your fertility road?” It’s like a Zen koan to me right now.

A friend of mine who had her DE twins while I was going through my last cycle kept sending me e-mails asking what my “next steps” were. After first bluntly telling her there were no next steps, I explained it like this. Asking me what my next steps are is like asking someone who’s cat has just died when they are going to get another cat. I am grieving. I get that this is hard for people to understand the depth of it, and that it doesn’t go away in a week or two. My husband wanted us to go to a counselor to “deal with my grief”. I said, if we go to a counselor, it will be to understand my grief, because there is no way to make me get over it faster.

I know that people want to feel like they are helping me. I hate felling helpless too. There is nothing easy or simple about this grief. It will be months of grieving. I have been through this drill before, but it’s kicked up to a new level of grief this time, because there is no more trying with my eggs, no matter how irrationally I still want to try. It’s over. And I’m not the kind of person to move into donor eggs right away. I am not ready for that, nor do I know that I ever will be. I am questioning if I’m really fit to be a mother. I am questioning if it really is my path to have my own children in life. Yes, I still do want to have a child, but is that what I am really supposed to be doing with my life? Maybe the universe is trying to tell me something. That it’s hopeless and I’ll never be a mother, so give up trying, or I’ll just give you another failure. I believe at this point that donor eggs would fail for us anyway, and I’m not up for another failure. Because I believe that it doesn’t matter if I’m at the best clinic in the country with a young donor with healthy young eggs. There is always something that can go wrong with a cycle, no matter how perfect it all may seem to be going. Such seems to be our dumb luck.

Please, do not give me any ass-vice about how I am grieving and to take as much time as I need and blah, blah, blah. I know that. It doesn’t make me feel any better. I’m an emotional landmine lately. Which is another reason I haven’t been around. I’m afraid my anger will drive people away, and I never know when I’m going to blow up. Just know that it’s not you, it’s me. This is my hell. Someday, I’m sure I will come out of it, but I’m not up for wallowing in it on my blog either. So if you want to know what I’m doing to work on my 6-pack abs and want to see vain pictures of my new body by grief, I’d probably be up for blogging about such off topic fluff. Or maybe not, because honestly, I’m too busy working out these days to be spending time writing about it. At least when I’m so tried from exercising, I don’t lie awake in bed at night going over my last cycle failure in my head, or going over all the crap that has happened in the last two years in an endless hampster-on-the-wheel futile train of thoughts that go nowhere. These are just defense mechanisms to keep me from feeling the sorrow and pain that is underneath it all. Eventually, I have to just break down and cry, because the truth is, I’m still really sad, but I don’t have the emotional stamina to stay with the grief all the time.

That’s the 2 minute version of what I’ve been up to the last two months.

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18 Comments leave one →
  1. February 2, 2010 12:01 am

    Oh, Phoebe, no useful words…just know I’m reading, thinking of you, holding space for you…

  2. February 2, 2010 2:07 am

    Sorry you are doing it so tough friend.

    Aint nothing to soothe that kind of pain. Maybe lots of time and tears.

    But can look at your anger (and your abs) if it helps.

    So sorry

    B

  3. elliej permalink
    February 2, 2010 6:13 am

    Just sending you (((((((((((((((((((((((((hugs))))))))))))))))))))))))

  4. February 2, 2010 7:34 am

    When I was grieving, one of the hardest things for me to deal with was that nothing I could do and nothing anyone else could say or do to make me feel better. There were certain poems, One Art, for example, that I recited to myself over and over again while I cried in my car.

    And if you’re ever up for blogging about your workouts, I’d love to read about it.

  5. February 2, 2010 7:58 am

    Oh Phoebe, I’m sorry. No assvice here. I know how hard grieving genetic connection can be, I know how hard having doubts can be and I know how hard reading others’ successes and failures can be. Sometimes, I even find their simple hope hard to absorb. I’m up for reading anything you choose to write – when you’re ready and in your own time. Just know you’ve got a friend in Toronto thinking of you.

  6. February 2, 2010 8:01 am

    Oh man, there is not much room for much to say is there? I did smile at your “it’s not you it’s me” comment but that’s because I’m lame and relate everything back to a Seinfeld episode.

    Just know that I’m around. That I’m in a similar place. That I like working out too, so hard that you can almost not breathe and there is simply no space for thoughts other than “how can I keep going at this pace?” Unlike you, however, I am not shaping up because I continue to ‘grief eat’…not a good thing.

    Boy do I wish we lived closer to each other.

  7. February 2, 2010 8:10 am

    I’m here, reading and abiding.

    XO

  8. February 2, 2010 9:33 am

    I am feeling as though no words will help. Just know that I am here, holding space for you and sending you energy.

  9. February 2, 2010 1:07 pm

    I have nothing useful to say, but, I have checked out before (many a time) and I totally get it.
    I have mourned the loss of being able to be pregnant, which is different of course then what you are experiencing, and it was a fucked up experience.

  10. February 2, 2010 8:24 pm

    What shit luck, eh?

  11. February 2, 2010 10:25 pm

    Well, fuck. I wish I had anything useful to offer up. I know nothing I can say or do will be that “right” thing as I know it just doesn’t exist. We find ways to cope because if we tried to tackle it all at once it would literally swallow us whole. Is it bad that I am jealous of your coping skills as mine have caused me to find those 5 (+1) lbs that you lost?

    Thank you for writing this post and for talking about why “next steps” aren’t just automatic and that grief in this process is necessary. I get it and I support your every word.

    Know that I’m here listening to everything and anything you need/want to say. Love you bunches and bunches!!

  12. kayjay permalink
    February 3, 2010 9:14 am

    Oh Phoebe…no assvice here. I’ve been guilty in the past but I will refrain because I just want to offer my support and not cause upset feelings. Just know that I am thinking about you and holding you softly in my thoughts.

  13. February 3, 2010 3:27 pm

    I wish there was something I could say, other than I’m so sorry that you’re going through this. Nothing about it is fair or right or makes sense.

    The only thing the universe is telling you is that it fucks up sometimes and doesn’t know how to make it up to you.

  14. February 4, 2010 1:03 am

    I wanted you to know I was thinking about you in the last few weeks, hoping that some days are better than others. Otherwise I just wanted to send you some love and a little peace.

  15. February 5, 2010 4:04 pm

    No Assvice, just Hugs. I am sorry you are in such pain.

    Erica

  16. geeksinrome permalink
    February 5, 2010 5:59 pm

    exercise and excise… building up and cutting off, expunging …

    I like how they are similar. Maybe there is some meaning there?

    But yeah, there is nothing to say. Just know you are loved and thought of by a lot of people (and felines)

  17. February 7, 2010 10:08 am

    Your words are very authentic. I have felt (and still do on occasion) most of what you wrote.

  18. February 12, 2010 7:34 pm

    I think grief sucks ass- i really do. And I know there is no way around. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a master of stuffing. But then, it comes up, floods, fills, stays long enough to feel like drowning, and then recedes, leaving me breathless and muddy.
    I wish I could say something useful, but I know the only thing I can do, is what I always do, let you know I send love, and truly deeply wish it were different. All of it. the whole dang thing.

    Thank you for checking in on me, I appreciate it so much.
    sending love,
    Kate

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