Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Holding on to Hope

This guest post is by MyHope. I've mentioned her many times here. She's my Ex-SIL and I love her with the love of great big giant water balloons of love. So when I drop them they will splash all over you. You can't help but get hit by them and love her too.

Anyhoo, she needed some anonymity for a post and I offered up my home. She needs some outside the family feedback from people who have done the mom thing and can give her some support and hopefully from some people who have been where she is right now.

I have a son. He is almost two and a pain in the ass. I love him. So much it makes my heart hurt. And although that sounds so cliche, it is true.

I have always wanted a big family. Growing up with siblings was wonderful. I can't imagine it any other way. I want the same thing for my son. I used to think that I wanted five to seven kids. After I had one, I got realistic and decided three would be my golden number. I had a girlfriend tell me that I better get pregnant again before my son turned two--or he would be so awful that I wouldn't want any more kids. I laughed at that, but thought about the age difference that I would like between kids. There were three years between my older brother and I. I enjoyed the age difference growing up, but looking at my nephews that were not quite two years apart, I started thinking that was good.

So, when my son was just over one year old, we started trying to get pregnant. I stopped my birth control in October of 2007. Now eight months and three rounds of Clomid later, still no pregnancy.

As a woman with fertility issues, you feel "broken". You are supposed to be able to conceive. Have children. It is as natural as things get. When something is wrong, you feel like you are unnatural. It is a hard thing to explain. Each month you calculate your cycle...time everything just perfectly and each month you get a negative pregnancy test. It is heart wrenching. Suddenly getting pregnant is all you can think about. It consumes your life, your emotions, your everything.

In a moment of clarity (brought about by a tall vanilla vodka and Diet Coke after yet another pregnancy test came back negative) I realized I was letting my obsession with the thought of a future child cloud my interaction and my happiness with my son. My depression from the fertility issues and the moodiness and anger from the Clomid was making things very difficult. It was not a good place for any of us to be.

Then I realized that I should be happy that getting pregnant with my son was not a big ordeal. That it happened relatively quickly. That he is happy and healthy. I am grateful for that. I need to remember that if there are no siblings for him, that it is okay. That we are okay. That I am okay.

Now if I can convince my heart of what my head says is logical, we will be great.


Bill said...

Okay, I can't exactly understand about feeling "broken" since I'm the dad and not the mom, but:
1. Relaxing about it, which it sounds like you're doing, is supposed to help things move along more quickly (isn't THAT easier said than done!)
2. Appreciate that if you wait longer, your son will be potty trained by the time #2 comes along!
3. Vanilla vodka sounds great!
4. Things were wonderful when we had one kid. Things are wonderful with two kids. I can't say either was better, just different. At the moment, with a 3.5 and 1.5 year old, things were certainly EASIER with one. *laugh*
5. Don't underestimate the potty training thing! :)

Good luck!

loving your blog said...

ms.sassypants....tell MyHope...I am here for her...literally. I can't take the place of her (MyHope) wonderful SIL (she doesn't like ex and rarely says ex), but I sure do try. :)

O and SIL...was you. She really loves you. Loves you with all her heart, and she thinks of you so much.

SP said...

Loving your blog: Thank you for being there for her "literally." Please give her a giant hug and a martini from me.

SP said...

MyHope: I cannot say that I can relate. I do not and cannot even begin to fathom what you are going through. However, that feeling of "failing" as a woman, biologically, that I understand. I've been there in a completely different situation. It's not logical. It's not rational. But it is tied into our hopes and dreams and our identity. And the hurt is raw. This I understand.

I'm here for you, always and forever.

Dawn@Embracing the Ordinary Life said...

I believe children happen when they are supposed to happen...both my kids were concieved when I had "stopped trying"...I wanted the perfect summer baby to have fun birthday parties...DS concieved on our wedding anniversary...DD on New Years...

Let go of control...and let nature take hold...if you end up with just your beautiful son...concider it the most awesome of blessings...and know it's what was intended for you!!

Stacie said...

Here are some helpful phrases that I have been learning lately (totally unrelated to fertility issues, but still apply)

Let go and Let God
Surrender to the powerlessness

and the Serenity Prayer.

Hope they help you as well, things will happen and as much as it hurts, you do have a son who is watching you and counting on you! HUGS

Good & Crazy said...

I wrote a post a while back about an amazing friend of mine. I'll dig up the URL.

I too can't totally relate. 3 kids and then had to make sure we didn't have more... Pregnancy was tough.

We are in the process of becoming foster parents. My youngest is 4, and the process is sort of long, I expect my youngest will be near 5. And we aren't looking for babies, more like toddler/preschoolers.

Anyway, check out this link. And know that there are lots of options for you. Including enjoying every minute with your little boy.

Honestly contact me if you want to contact Deana. She's like a wealth of comfort, I promise she would thrill to talk to you like on a real phone and everything. You'll love her accent at least.

Good & Crazy said...


YOU DID IT. I'm glad I was forward enough to ask. Next week there will be an installment of 'easy' blogger tips and tricks.

See you.

MyHope said...

Bill: Thanks so much for the laugh. I have lost so much humor in this situation and really need to add it back into my life!

Dawn: Thanks for reminding me that my son is a blessing--and that I should be grateful for him. Which I am. Most days :-)

Miss Stacie: Those phrases will become my mantras. I love "surrender to the powerlessness". I am powerless. Boy, do I keep trying to be in control...when I shouldn't--when I can't.

G&C: That story about your friend IS amazing. I hope I can be 1/8 of a mother that she is. Adoption is something we considered for the future--once we were done having kids of our own...but maybe that will be more the present and less of the future.

Loving you blog: Thanks. Thanks for truly understanding. And I am waiting for the martini.

MyHope said...

To MySP: Thank you. What else can I say? Thanks for being you. I love you.

Don Mills Diva said...

I just stumbled across this blog but oh my I could have written this post - my son will be 3 in November and I can relate to every single word...

anymommy said...

My hope, I think these feeling are completely normal. Of course you love the child you have, but that doesn't negate the pain of the child you are dreaming about having. You are a really strong woman to recognize even in the middle of your grief that you've lost focus and put your energy back into your son. That's really hard to do!

I'll be thinking about you and wishing you peace AND that positive test result!

Heidi D said...

Wow. Do I ever know what you're going through. And I hated it when people would tell me to just let it happen and to stop stressing over it. Good thing I didn't listen to them because as it turns out, there was a medical reason for my infertility.
You see, I had no problems whatsoever getting pregnant with our oldest son. But just before he turned a year old, I experienced an ectopic pregnancy in one of my ovaries. Surgery removed the embreyo and nothing else.
After 2 years of trying to get pregnant after the surgery I saw a specialist who gave me clomid (and I hated how it messed with my hormones).
That didn't work so the doctor gave me Pergonal, which is a shot. The clomid (8% chance of having multiples) helped get rid of the scarring or clot that had prevented me from getting pregnant, but Pergonal (30% chance of having multiples) gave me that extra boost I needed.
9 months later, I was blessed with a beautiful little boy who is now 3-1/2.
Please don't give up hope. It will happen someday.

Jenny, the Bloggess said...

Beautifully written.


Kristi said...

Hi. I get it, to a degree. Wrote a post about it, too. Praying for you to get knocked up asap. :) In the meantime, enjoy the vanilla vodka -- I am!!!

Kristi said...

Ok, this is the rest of the post. As if you care.


Caryn said...

My heart goes out to you. I hope that you are able to conceive soon, and that your future children are just as wonderful as your first-born.

Jen said...

we struggled for 6 years to get pg with our first so, i can totally sympathize. the wrenching heartache of those negative tests never gets easier but i felt like it was important to allow myself to be angry, sad, indignant...whatever happened. being real doesn't make you a lesser mom - of course you love and appreciate your two-year-old. he knows that too, i bet.

on the practical tip, if you're not already, see a specialist. the RE that i saw was a source of hope because i knew she had an arsenal of medicine and methods and would keep trying. fwiw, the protocol that finally worked for us was clomid + hcg trigger shot + iui.

Jessica said...

I think one of the reasons secondary infertility sucks so much is that you also feel this crushing guilt as if you don't feel grateful for the child you have. I know it doesn't make sense to feel guilty about it, but that doesn't make my sense of guilt any less real. I love my daughter fiercely, but that doesn't do anything to ease the ache of not being able to have another easily. Clomid made me crazy and I know the frustration of trying to get pregnant for 6 years and having your body not cooperate. I have felt myself slip further and further into depression with each negative test. Per our last specialist, we won't be able to get pregnant without invitro fertilization and there's just no way we can afford that. I feel your pain and I'm sorry you are struggling with this.

Sarah said...

My husband and I have been trying for over a year with no luck. I'm just ending my first round of Clomid. Reading this post was like being inside my head. I totally relate. I just wish I had at least ONE child. People don't realize how frusterating it can be!

Lisa said...

I came to that place, too. The one where you just have to decide to like and fully enjoy the child you have now, rather than spend all that time and energy on creating another one. I really wish I could say "relaxing" was the key and I immediately got pregnant, but I think that admonition of "relax, and it will happen" is something doctors tell you when they want you to feel even WORSE about yourself. My ovaries are already failing me, and now I'm a failure in ANOTHER way?

Going off the fertility meds, cutting out the early morning drives for bloodwork, the waiting for ultrasounds, the anxiety of waiting around the house for that afternoon phone call about the numbers and levels... it was a good thing for us. I just didn't think I was the mother I wanted to be to our first child when I was trying so hard to become a mother to more. The years pass by and I know now that our family is complete. My heart strings tug, for sure. Some days more, some days less. But it's ok.

Jess said...
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