Sunday, May 11, 2008

the missing H

After I posted last night I put another cd in the player. Patti Griffin's "Living with Ghosts". We all have music that we know really well, those songs that just get to you, make you emotional. Well, it has been awhile, and I should've known(maybe I did) that this cd would push me over the edge. I was singing along and suddenly I was crying. I haven't cried much, recently. The first year we were trying it seemed each monthly reminder that it wasn't working could make me lose it. But when you keep getting bad news(one bad Semen Analysis, a worse one, more and more BFN's, failed IUI's, no insurance coverage for infertility) you start to become a bit numb. I think I needed that cry.

Last night I felt like I had lost something and was getting it back. I couldn't pin it down. Mr. Seed came upstairs(from working on aforementioned mix cd) and I said, "Can you sit down?" And told him what had happened, and that I couldn't quite pin down why I reacted so strongly. I said, "I feel like these past two years I've been some sort of half-me. Dulled down, somehow. Why didn't anyone notice?"

We talked some about it. Finally, I came to a realization. It is one of those obvious revelations, but neither he nor I saw it.

I have felt hopeless. Truly. Utterly without hope. Constant failure wore me down.

How do I know this was the problem? Because the little threading root feelings of hope I've been having lately have been so surprising . A feeling I almost didn't recognize.

No wonder I've been so negative about little things. No wonder the room we call my study, where we put all my books and desk, has remained a virtual storage space since we bought this house(2 yrs ago last month). My regular, pre-infertility self would've had that room set up and covered the desk in projects. It would've been messy. But workable. There have been many other signs, but I pegged it all to other things. Being busy, owning a new home, etc.

Most of my life I have been an optimist. This is despite my childhood. I grew up with a lot of heartache: a mentally ill mother, having to move a lot(11 times before I was 12), moving from parent to grandparent and finally being raised by my Dad, occasionally seeing my Mom. Through it all I was able to keep a semblance of hope. Of "at least someday things will be better."

I don't think I quite understood how invasive infertility can be. How complete the feeling of failure is, and how deep the hole of uncertainty can feel. I knew it sucked, but I never fully understood the true thievery.

I am not expecting to go back to that same self. But I hope I can bring a little of that optimism back, and incorporate those hopeful sensibilities back into my life. I need it. Hope.

Today my eyes are dry in that way that only a cry the night before can make them. But I feel lighter. And, appropriately, my period has just shown, and I will get this IVF thing started for real.


  1. I found your blog on Cycle Sista, and I just wanted to drop by and wish you luck.
    I know the feeling of the upcoming IVF - like you're getting ready to jump off a cliff.

  2. You so poignantly described how I have be numb as well the last 20 months of trying to conceive. Thanks for sharing Birch. You are a beautiful writer.

  3. Reading this post, I thought, I'm so glad Birch and Mr. Seed have each other. I'm glad you're blogging about this because I've been wondering what's going on.

    Now that CP is pregnant, I've been really scared. It's been such a Sisyphean ordeal. I feel like we've finally gotten that rock up the hill for good and I don't know what will happen if it turns out we have to start over. I'm tired and I'm not the one who has to go through the physical rigamarole.

    I spend my days going over articles about ectopic pregnancies and miscarriages. The same articles over and over again, trying to find a clue as to what will happen. Or to ease my mind.

    When CP had her first job interview, she said that she didn't want to hope, didn't want to look forward to something because, what if she lost it. She didn't want to be disappointed. Our friend C said that CP would be disappointed no matter what, so why waste energy trying to not get excited?

    So...cautiously optimistic? With 100% more hope.

    Good luck!

  4. thanks everyone. I was worried I took too much time to explore this issue. But I should've known there are others who've felt the same way. I guess there are few things in life that have such obvious proof of success/failure as pregnancy.

    Nina-I hear you on that, researching like hell. I hope you get good news today and can relax(a little) I think worry is a perennial part of parenting.

  5. Found your blog through Lost and Found. Just wanted to welcome you.

    I went through an IVF cycle in November/December 2007, so if you have any questions, please feel free to stop by my blog or e-mail me through my profile!

  6. Thank you for sharing your blog with me, I feel honored to be here.

  7. I will check yours out, Katie.
    Thanks, Kan, I am glad you came by!