Tuesday, November 01, 2005

not loving New York so much

This blogging thing is harder than I thought. Before I started there so many things I wanted to say. Now that I have a space to do it…nothing interesting comes to mind. I begin writing something, start checking other blogs and realize that someone else has said it better. And then there are days where there are so many things going through my head that I just can’t get my thoughts straight. Last week was one of those weeks.

Things got off to a bad start last Sunday when my period made an unexpected early appearance. This left my scrambling to coordinate day 2 bloodwork and ultrasound work in preparation for my last chance cycle at the big NY clinic. I also had to come up with a new set of lies for coworkers to explain why I’d be leaving for ‘holiday’ earlier than expected. Doctors appointments were made, thousands of $$ worth of drugs were purchased, flights were booked, hotels were called in a futile effort to change reservation dates. By Monday night, I was feeling more anxious than usual as I got ready for my first injections. Now, I’ve done this before. More times than I’d care to admit.

I should be used to this by now, but I find that instead of getting easier, each time I start a cycle it gets harder. Instead of being excited about this cycle I’m just waiting for something to go wrong. My husband thinks I’m being pessimistic. I think I’m realistic.

When we did the first two IVF cycles my husband held my hand the entire time. He prepared all the injections, worried about every bruise, accompanied me to each ultrasound, was there for the retrieval, the transfer and all the stuff inbetween. By the third cycle, it seemed silly to waste both his time as well as mine in waiting rooms. But he still prepared and did all my injections. It made me, well us, feel like we were in this together.

Last Monday, as I prepared for injections, I received a phone call from my mother who was knitting a baby sweater for my 4 month old niece. Around this time last year when my cycle was cancelled, my brother was announcing that they were pregnant with said niece. My mom went on to mention (as if I’d forgotten) that my cousin (married a grand total of 14 months now) was due on November 11. Hey, that’s the exact day I was cancelled last year. As I flipped through the mail, I noticed a card from a friend of my husbands. We had been to his wedding a couple of years ago. What’s this? I asked. It’s a Christmas card, said my husband. In October?
I looked inside the envelope, it was a birth announcement.
'That’s nice'. I said to my husband (apparently sarcastically). 'Don’t forget to call and congratulate them.'
‘Why are you like this?’ He said. ‘You don’t have to be unhappy about other people’s happiness.’
We’d had this conversation before. He is tired to me making sarcastic comments everytime we see a teenage mother with 3 children, everytime another friend gets pregnant after 2 months of ‘trying’, everytime I receive emails with baby pictures attached.

When I make these comments I want him to say “I know. This sucks for you. I understand. I’m sorry this is so hard. It’s not fair”
But he doesn’t. He can’t.
Instead he says “Don’t be so negative. Life isn’t fair”.
I know it’s not fucking fair. I just want someone to be on my side. That’s all.

So, I was in a somewhat fragile and state of mind as I got ready to prepare the injections. I was sure I’d told him I’d like to do them at 9:00pm.
At 9:00 I said “Can you help me with the injections?”
No answer. He’s busily typing away on the laptop, working on something that is clearly more important than this 6th attempt to make a baby.
9:10 “Can we do the injections now”

"Just give me a few minutes, I’m in the middle of something”
9:30 I head into the kitchen. “I can do them myself” I announce. “You don’t have to help”.

By this time, I’m furious, and upset. And I don’t really know how to prepare the damn injections. When he arrives in the kitchen, he’s annoyed with me. Why am I making such a big deal about this?

I’m starting cycle number 6. I’m 36 years old. My mother is knitting sweaters for my brother’s baby, but she’ll probably never have a chance to knit one for mine*. I’m reminded constantly of friends and family happily reproducing. All this is happening on the 1 year anniversary of my cancelled cycle. I can't bring myself to say any of these things to him.

An argument ensues. Things are said that shouldn’t have been said. It ends in tears. A fantastic start.

I spent the rest of the week thinking about how exhausted we both are. I am consumed by this IF thing. I’m either cycling, recovering from a cycle or gearing up for the next one. I used to enjoy my job, but now it’s just a way to distract myself during the day, and a way to earn money to pay for the next cycle. I used to enjoy thinking of renovation projects for the house. But now, what’s the point? The unused bedrooms are just a reminder that we don’t have children to fill them with. The borderline functional kitchen and bathrooms? If I had children I’d want them to be nicer, but they’re good enough for me. Besides, who has money for renovations. I loved cooking and inviting friends for dinner. Dinner parties are now a thing of the past. All our 'friends' have children. I can't bear to invite them and then listen to them blather on about swim lessons, their new Volvo, or the new cute thing little Ethan is doing. We no longer invite people over, and consequently they don't invite us.

My husband is exhausted too. He has supported me through the surgery, the failed cycles, and my mother’s cancer. He is trying to meet the demands of his job. He is still trying to deal all the unanswered questions he was left with when his eldest brother (the ‘rock’ of his family) put a revolver to his head a few weeks before Christmas. I look at him and I know that he's running hard just to stay in the same spot. He has no patience. He is tired. His back pain is getting worse.

Most of the rest of the week was spent in tears, silence and finally apologies.
On Saturday I flew into NY by myself.
So far, things are not promising. I have invested a lot in this cycle. This clinic is supposed to great at dealing with difficult cases. I am on the max dose of drugs on the most aggressive protocol. Yesterday they counted 2 follicles. That’s right, 2.

I wandered around the city after receiving that news, looking for a quiet place to sit and rest. No matter where I walked I seemed to be surrounded by moms with strollers, and the cutest toddlers dressed as bunnies, pumpkins, fairies, and firemen. Walking by a restaurant, I decided to stop for lunch. A notice posted on the door said “New Mom’s Lunch”. Inside every single table was taken by a new mom with her plump new baby. I decided to get take take-out from a nearby deli and eat in the nearest park. I got to the park which, it turns out was a playground, with a sign posted on the gates “Adults without children are strictly prohibited from using this park”

Talk about adding insult to injury.

*not only because I may not have a baby, but I'm terrified that her cancer will recur and that even if, by some miracle, I do end up pregnant one day it will be too late for her to know that child.


At 5:36 PM, Blogger Millie said...

Oh, Nina, I'm so sorry you're having such a rough time. First off, I know it doesn't count much but I'm totally on your side.

I was so excited to see that you'd posted again. I've really missed you around here. Don't worry about someone else saying something better...just say what you want.

I also found that each cycle got more difficult, not less. That's not something anyone warns you about.

I wish I was in the big apple and we could take over a park and make a 'no children allowed...only bitter people can come through the gates' sign. Strength in numbers, right?

Crossing my fingers that your cycle picks up and that you get nice lovely follicles.

Thinking of you...

At 2:55 AM, Blogger Lut C. said...

Erm, what does he expect? That you take it in your stride? An IF version of Mary Poppins? It just doesn't work that way.

I'm fairly new at this game and I already feel entitled to my portion of sarcasm and bitterness.

I hope your luck improves very soon.

At 4:33 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nina, I'm sorry life is shit right now. From so many directions. I, too, have missed you and am glad to at least have an update, although sorry it doesn't find you in a happier place.

Re the blogging, I don't think that the fact that others have written on a topic should stop you. We've all written our fertile SIL stories, the insensitive best friend stories, the musings on 'just relax' - but we all have an opinion on it and it comes out slightly differently every time. Which all adds to the rich tapestry of the blogosphere. After all, if everyone didn't write about stuff that had already been written about, pretty much none of us would be writing because tertia, grrl, julie, julia and karen would have pretty much covered it.

Re your husband, can you kick him? Can we? Do you think perhaps this is a manifestation of his own pain that he's not dealing with well?

I also hope this cycle picks up. It's possible, given my experience. Of course, you've been through this many more times than I.

Also thinking of you.

At 8:25 AM, Blogger Sheryl said...

Oh Nina, I'm so sorry that things are happening like this for you. So much frustration. I pray that this cycle will work for you and you won't have to endure the heartache and stress of IF any longer {{{{HUGS}}}}

At 2:15 PM, Blogger zarqa said...

I'm glad you posted. And I ditto all the stuff about putting your life on hold and the myraid frustrations over this Obsession. See, you said it better than I could. So keep writing! It helps a little, doesn't it?


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