An Open Book

open bookSometimes I fool myself, thinking the days of infertility are long behind me. But then I am reminded that an open book really never closes until you take action to close the cover.

I never had an end to my book. No epilogue.

Just blank pages.

For the last few years I’ve been wondering what will be written. How it will end. ¬†Hoping the words magically appear. I have grown tired and weary of staring at this book.

Unfinished.

Or is it?

I wrote chapters that I’ve ripped up in my head. Hundreds of times. I’ve started new chapters, decided that they just weren’t quite right. I’ve written pages that I know others would enjoy reading, but decided they were not wholly representative of me.

I am ever-changing, and therefore my book is as well. I might as well switch to pencil from pen, or find a font in my computer with disappearing virtual ink.

I just can’t shake the feeling that the conclusion, the perfect chapter, isn’t going to appear. ¬†It will unfold, but not on the timeline I want it to.

And not with the ending I envisioned.

Another day, maybe tomorrow?

Next week?

Next year?

Or maybe, years ahead I will look back and find the path was necessary and clear… and, hopefully, I will be content in knowing that.

This will be the longest book ever written.

Off the hook

Don’t stuff your face…
Face your stuff.

When I walked into W.eight Wat.chers in mid January I heard this phrase as part of the first meeting, and it was something that stunned me. Trust me when I tell you, it’s hard to be stunned at WW meetings.
How profound is that simple statement?

For those of us who have ever had an eating problem (or addiction of any sort), this is the root of it really. Emotions make us do whacked-out things.

Over the years, I have taken an introspective approach to my addiction of choice… food. I know why I am overweight. I know what it takes to lose weight. I just choose to do it or not do it.

The last five years had taken a toll on me physically. I was down on myself…. lower than the lowest I’ve ever been.

FAILURE is my trigger. FAILURE makes me sad, and worse… it makes me eat. Food won’t judge me like people judge me. Yes, it’s the oldest excuse in the book, but it is what makes me tick.

Sure, I wanted to change… but every pregnancy loss, every failed attempt at pregnancy, every job change and shift, illness, EVERY TIME I ran into a roadblock… my body revolted against me. I morphed into my own personal speed bump.

And anyone who has ever been in this dark place knows that it’s so goddamn hard to pick yourself up. Sometimes we rely on others to lift us up when we can’t. In the end, the buck stops with us. The reality is just as the phrase my Dad has always lived by…

“Pull yourself up by your bootstraps and get goin’!

Over the holidays I had an epiphany of sorts. Even IF I achieved all I wanted I would still be unhealthy in body, mind, and spirit. Let me tell you, hitting 40 was a major wake up call. I had pains I never had before. I felt slower. Things were just different.

I started to think about THE REST OF MY LIFE.

Yeah, heavy stuff.

I made pact with myself that day in January.
1. I will attempt to lead a healthier lifestyle.
2. I won’t berate myself for making mistakes along the way.
3. I will nurture ME.

So, how’s it been going? Even with the donor disappointment, and my work life on the verge of collapse I stuck to my pact. I feel the emotions, but I am not letting them control me. For the first time in my life.

I am treating myself well. I’m still doing WW, and happy to say as of yesterday, I’ve lost 30 pounds (still MANY to go.. don’t get too excited).
I am walking again.
I started reading again (a pastime I gave up, until I realized how much it soothed me).
I ate an entire cheese steak last week and felt no regret (hence, did not fall off the WW “wagon”).
I bought a pair of jeans in a size I have not worn in 10 years.
I made an appointment for a facial.
I now listen to music when I feel my blood pressure rising.
I let myself off the hook for my past.

And it feels good.

Moving along…

It’s distressing to look at the state of my life.

From the outside in, I must look like a total hot mess. Not of Britney Spears proportion or anything, please. Despite some major setbacks, I still can appear that I have my shit together, even though I am one latte away from a major freakout.

Regarding my rant yesterday on the education issues…. I am a little calmer and have a plan D, E, and F in place. I e-mailed the Principal of said Catholic school, and fell on the sword. My Mom-in-law helped with the all-out assault, and she too contacted Ms. Principal. We found out that David is in the top three of the waiting list, and my willingness to throw down a $500 donation to the church would have helped (before decisions were made), but now is of little value.

Yeah, that freaks me out a bit. And more so when I happened to chat to the co-director of the school David is in now.. she mentioned that her nephew was just accepted to this same school. Her sister is not a parishioner. That pissed me off. Because it means that there really was no priority given to parishioners like me, and Ms. Principal chose students only on the basis of the “squeaky wheel” theory.

I was ready to mount my attack. But cooler heads prevailed, and I have resigned myself to the fact that if they don’t want us, they are missing one great opportunity and a great kid. Whatever will be will be.

In the meantime, I setup some appointments with two other private schools (tomorrow, and Saturday) for a grand tour. These two schools *may* have space available, but I need to check out the atmosphere, curriculum, teachers, and most importantly the price. Both have non-refundable registration fees, but they are less than $100 each, so if I like what I see I may just register and have it in my back pocket. After all of this, I am willing to gamble $200 for some peace of mind. Otherwise I’ll be a total mess until the end of the summer.

Also, for those of you who have e-mailed me on the info I was seeking on RPL testing, THANK YOU! Keep the notes coming! You guys have given me some great hints and ideas to check out. I am so grateful for this community.

Amongst all of this drama, hubby and I are also renewing our research into adoption. I’ve been poking around with a lot of my blogging buddies on that subject as well, so if you are in the process of adoption, I’d love to hear from you. We are still leaning towards Int’l adoption, but I’m not ruling out anything at the moment.

Lastly, a bit of more sad news….. I never have enough it seems. My Grandmother (my Dad’s Mom) is gravely ill and not expected to recover. She is in the hospital (has been for the last month or so). I have a sort of unusual relationship with my Dad’s parents over the years (I was never as close to them as I was with my Mom’s parents). A long story for another time……
however I do wish a peaceful ending to the situation for my Grandmother, and prayers to my Grandfather that he can be strong through this. But mostly, I am thinking about my Dad. He has shouldered much of the care (and drama) over the last few years, and I know how difficult a decision he has along with my Aunts and Uncles.

Sheesh, it’s only Tuesday and I feel like it should be the end of the week.

My goal for today is to take deep breaths and try to remain serene.

With everything going on, I’m still surviving.

Scared to lose

It’s good to be scared. It means you still have something to lose.

I heard this quote, on of all things, the TV show Grey’s Anatomy. It was so interesting, I scribbled it in the margin of a magazine on the side table as I watched the episode.

A couple days later, I saw the scribbled words as I got together all the old magazines and newspapers on recycling day. I tore off the cover with the quote on it and placed it on my desk.

I’ve been staring at this quote all morning and pondering why I found it so interesting.

Through many of my trials and tribulations in the last couple of years, one thing I’ve carried in my backpocket has been faith.

Faith that our luck would change.
Faith that better days were ahead.
Faith that my family and I can overcome the challenges that come our way.

Fear is a component of my life that comes and goes. I don’t live my life in constant fear, thank goodness, but when the fear creeps up it’s hard to shake. Sometimes the fear is like a vice grip, slowly squeezing the life out of you. Or a cat in a dark alley ready to pounce. But it never appears in the same way.

When I think of my life in its totality, I feel lucky. I have S. and David. I have family and friends who I love to pieces. I make a decent living. I live in a modest house and have food on the table. I laugh (mostly, lol).

My Dad always used to say to me (still does), being scared is reserved for situations of the utmost importance. Death, for example. Anything else isn’t worthy of being scared about.

That’s easy for him to say.

So maybe it’s not about being scared that I will never have another child. Perhaps it’s just the fear of losing more.

You know that old adage about “it’s not the destination, it’s the journey?” Well, if you don’t ever make it to your destination, how many of us will live in the moment during the journey? Remember it? Cherish it?

Or even if we do get to the destination…. does it make the journey more special, or just a mish-mash of stuff that got us from Point A to Point B?

After I really thought about this phrase I kept on my desk, it dawned on me that I was scared. Scared to face the death of a dream. The dream that I can’t bear to lose.

A fellow SIF blogger blogged about this topic awhile ago, about getting to the END. The last chance at catching the star you’ve been reaching for for so long.

Because of my (ahem) advanced maternal age, I don’t have the luxury of doing IUI after IUI and gazillions of IVF attempts. It seems odd that I only went to the RE for my first visit 10 months ago, on my 39th birthday… and how quickly the urgency appeared.

The reality is I have a couple shots at this. 2 or 3 IUI’s with injectibles at the most, and two (insurance covered) IVF attempts.

In four to five months, if none of this works, I could reach the end of everything.

Perhaps it’s the hormones coursing though my body, but for today, I admit. I am a wee bit scared.