{Infertile Me} IVF Is Not For Certian 

There is a misconception that IVF is a given. That  everyone who goes through with IVF gives birth to a baby. Truth is, it’s not. There are so many moving parts that need to connect just right in order for that science baby to thrive. 

First step, Stims. My body could respond awesomely to stims and grow dozens of eggs. Or it could peater out and we end up with a few or none at all. It’s literally a crap shoot and a shoot we only have one chance at winning. If Stims are successful we get to move to step two. 

Second step, egg retrieval. I could go through this process and find out that my follicles were empty resulting in zero eggs. Or we could get let’s say 10 eggs and out of those 5 will fertilize and if we are lucky we will end up with one viable embryo that makes it to blast. Or out of the 10 hypothetical eggs zero fertilaize and were right back where we started. If we’re lucky we get granted a pass for step 3. 

Third step, frozen embryo transfer. The day we’ve been working toward and praying for. The embryo thaws nicely and is ready to return back to me. We wait, we will have to wait two long weeks to find out if it took. It’s not a guarantee and there are so many factors outside of our control and all we can do is hope for the best. 

Before I can even think about step one through three, I have to sit down with a perinatologist and discuss if it’s even possible for me to safely go through Stims. Stims = crazy amount of hormones that could possible cause another blood clot. Blood clots and AJ do not mix well. Lovenox, will be my new best friend as it will hopefully keep the clots away. I’ve been pegnant twice before so I have no doubt that she will let me move forward. After all it is my body and now the question is “is it safe for me to possibly carry twins?” 

Since we are only doing this once and we are opting out of genetic testing it’s crazy expensive and culturally it doesn’t sit well with me our best bet is to implant two. Two little embryos that could. Twin pregnancies carry lots of risks, risks that my body might not be able to handle for she is battered and bruised. In my heart I feel a little selfish asking God for two beautiful embryos, but two is our best chance in conceiving one. If we get twins we will be overwhelmed , yet very happy. 

For now I am in limbo. I meet with the perinatologist on Thursday and once I get the all clear I call the clinic and we start stiming for an August egg retrieval. The plan is to give my body a month to come off of the Stims and by October we should be ready to implant our little embryos, the baby we’ve been waiting for. 

IVF takes a lot out of you. It’s a lot to wrap your head around and to take in. Like who knew there were so many treatment protocols and that you can pick which gender embryos are implanted. Like holy buckets I can pick if I want girls or boys or one of each. Part of me just wants to tell them “put them in and I’ll find out later” and the other part wants to know. I have a sleeping son and one unknown baby, I think those babies would want a sister. My heart wants a girl, Jay wants a girl, we will most likely transfer a girl embryo. With our luck we will end up with all boys, and we will love them just the same. 

With a little luck and a whole lot of faith we will get a lot of eggs that will turn into viable little embryos, that will become our take home baby(s).  

{Infertile Me} Infertile Mertyle with the old EGGS 

I am a firm believer in second opinions, especially when it comes to the medical profession. In January I settled in to my fertility clinic, I liked the doctor and her staff, they seemed confident that IUI would work. We did 3 IUI cycles and each one resulted in a big fat negative. Heart breaking, that is what the last 6 months have been. In March I learned that my clinic was not covered under my insurance  plan and that I needed to go to CCRM Minneapolis. I kicked my feet, tried to appeal to the insurance company and eventually gave in and scheduled a consult with CCRM. 

Night and day difference. Dr. Hayes didn’t rely on some other doctor’s data and findings. She ordered a slew of tests for Jay and I. Tests that would tell us our over all reproductive health so she could get a better idea of what we are working with. Since the old clinic said everything on my end was normal, I didn’t give it a second though and was confident CCRM’s findings would be the same. I should know by now nothing in my life is easy…….. AJ with the old eggs, yup that’s me AJ with the old ass eggs. 

I spent months doing IUIs that would never have worked. I’ve got old eggs and Jay’s got dumb swimmers. In that moment I felt a little violated by the other clinic and instantly wondered did they know about this and just carried on for the money? I’m sure they knew my resting egg count was low and that only 2% of our swimmers were champs, but they didn’t care, because we paid the bills and so they carried on with treatment. I can’t think about this, if I do it will just cause me more stress than I need right now. I want to believe that they had good intentions but as I’ve learned the IVF industry has a douche canoe around every turn. 

So what happens now? Well our only option of achieving a human of our own is IVF. Each month that ticks by my egg reserve drops, so we need to move quickly. Quick like little bunnies! We already know that we are not going to retrieve a huge number of eggs. At this point we will take what we can get and ICIS will be used to make sure only one swimmer fertilizes the egg. I just pray the our embryos will make it to blast and that will we have one or two to transfer. In my heart of hearts I know my body, she is weary and she can only handle one cycle, we’ve got one shot at this and there will be no do overs. One shot to make CoraLeigh or Oliver a reality. 

Summer. I want a summer. Sophia and Jack need their auntie this summer so IVF is on the back burner until August. In July I am sitting down with a perinatal physician to go over lovenox protocol, when to start it and when to stop it and what dose it should be. We will also be discussing if it is safe for me to carry more than one baby. Once the protocol is determined we will begin the really fun IVF meds and start growing eggs that with a little luck will become embryos.

My rainbow baby is just one embryo away and I cannot wait to have a baby that we can keep. 

{Baby E} My baby, you will always be 

Two years ago today it was Mother’s Day and I found myself sitting on the bathroom floor starring at a plus sign in disbelief. For years I was told that getting pregnant would be a small feat and one I’d most likely never achieve. Yet there I was sitting on the brown tile floor starring down a test with a plus sign. In that moment the impossible became possible and I was going to be a mom again. 

Having lost a child before I was skeptical, nervous, and scared that something would go wrong again. I was excited, but not to excited. I didn’t want to get attached to this little one until I saw the flicker on the 6 week ultrasound. A flicker is all I needed to see to reassure that this one was real and that I was going to be a mom again. I counted down the days until our perinatal appointment. Jay was excited and nervous, he had started to look at baby gear online and we had picked out names. We were going to have a baby. 

All it took was one swoosh of an ultrasound wand to dash our hopes and dreams. An empty sac showed on the screen. I was 8 weeks and some odd days, we should have seen a yolk, a fetal pole, and that elusive flicker of a heart beat. Instead we saw a cold empty sac. We were quickly sent down the hall to meet with the doctor, she kept on saying “let’s give it another week.” I knew deep down that this baby wasn’t meant to be ours and I didn’t want to entertain another ultrasound. 

My gut was right. A few weeks later we had another ultrasound and just like before the sac was empty. A surgical consult was scheduled and a plan was made to ensure that the horror show of the 2010 D&C did not occur again. A girl’s uterus and cervix can only be punctured so many times. The procedure was completed on 07/07/2015 and the pathology reports revealed that the little empty sac was more than a sac. I had a partial molar pregnancy, our baby had to many chromosomes, two sperm fertilized one egg, and Baby E, just wasn’t meant to be ours. 

It’s been two years since I saw that plus sign, my rainbow it eludes me. I have tracked my cycles like a boss, peed on more sticks than I can count and have seen zero plus signs. In October I put my big girl pants on and sat down with a reproductive endocrinologist, secondary infertility is the label I received. She walked me through our options and explained which ones were safe for me. Its been a journey, we’ve had 3 failed medicated IUIs and now our only hope is mini-IVF. 

There are days where I want to throw in the towel and call it. But this tiny voice reminds me “you are already a mother to angels, you can do this one more time.” Fertility treatments are exhausting, you have ultrasounds, meds to take, IUIs to schedule, injections and so on. It’s literally a second job. For now we are taking a break and on the 22nd we have a consult with a new clinic and I am praying that they will 1. Approve me for mini-IVF and that 2. This will be my time to catch that rainbow. I have faith that my turn is coming, it’s just taking awhile for that darn bottle to point to me. One day, we will get our take home baby. 

In the mean time I rest easy knowing that my babies are together in heaven just like they would be on earth. Lucia went first and Baby E followed 5 years later. They will always be apart of me, they are the reason I walk this earth with a broken heart and they are my strength for a better day,  a day where I too will get a take home baby. 

{Infertile Me} Three steps closer, Three steps back 

For three months I have tried and failed to get pregnant. My life has been consumed by Femera tablets, ovidrel injections, ultrasounds, IUIs, and progesterone. I’ve taken and done all of those things and I am no closer to motherhood than when I started. It is still eluding me. No matter how much money I throw at it or how much effort I put in the one thing I want most in life isn’t yet mine to have. 

Part of me wants to give up and throw the towel into the pile. I tried and it didn’t work. Then deep down I hear a little voice that says “keep going AJ, keep goin.” I listen to the little voice only to have my heart broken. By now I’ve seen and heard so many negatives that it no longer phases me. I am numb to the words “I’m sorry” and to a pregnancy test with no plus or second line.  If I ever see a positive I will probably throw thing on the floor like I did when I found out I was pregnant with baby E. 

It’s been almost two years since my last pregnancy and 7 since my first. The experts say my body is alright and they could not find any reason for me not to get pregnant. I’ve got good eggs and my hormones are good, it’s just unexplained infertility. There is no reason why I shouldn’t be able to get pregnant on my own. Yet here I am walking in the land of infertility wondering when my turn will come.

Lord knows everyone around my is getting pregnant. Even the weather lady on KARE11 is pregnant, I don’t know her but I can tell you she is having a girl, they announced it on Easter. It’s hard to live in a world where pregnant woman swish on by without a care in the world all glowing and happy. I wonder if they struggled, if it was an oops, or maybe they planned it perfectly. I’ll never know their story unless I ask. I am to polite to ask so that won’t happen.

Right now I am down but I am not out. Because of my insurance I have to switch to what they call a Center of Excellence Clinic. Part of me is hopping that they will find something that the other clinic didn’t find. All I want really is a reason, a reason on why it takes me forever and a day to get pregnant. This new clinic specializes in mini-IVF, I am hoping that they will agree that I am a good candidate and that they will let me try it. Hey IUI didn’t work out so why not try mini-IVF. Why not full blown IVF? Well because it’s not for cool kids like me and it’s expensive as fuck. Mini-IVF costs less per cycle and has comparable success rates to big kid IVF. 

I am taking a break. The month of May is sacred to me. May 13th is Lucia’s 7th angel birthday and May 11th marks two years since I found out that I was pregnant with Baby E. My babies they will always be. Deep breaths, me time, and joy will fill the month of May. I need to restore my soul and get mentally prepared for my appointment at CCRM minneapolis. 

Meeting a new reproductive endroconlogist is scary because you have no idea what they are going to say or what there ideas of treatment are. I am going into this appointment knowing I want mini-IVF, I want a science baby, a better chance at motherhood. If it doesn’t work at least I can take a seat on the bench knowing I gave it everything that I had. That I didn’t fail, because we only fail when we never try. 

{Go Red} A Chance at Motherhood is Why I Go Red 

Looking up at my children. The blue balloon is in honor of Lucia and the purple balloon is for Baby E. My babies they will always be

I am the mother of two babies. My babies do not walk this earth, instead they paint the colors of the sunrise. Lucia would be 7 years old and Baby E would have just turned one. I would have my hands full. My arms are not filled with children, instead they are filled with hope. When you are the mother of angles a part of your broken heart lies in heaven. It’s a hard job and it’s one you don’t get to choose, it chooses you instead. 

I didn’t choose to have a pulmonary embolism or a stroke, it chose me and I’ve never looked back. 6 months after it chose me I found out I was pregnant. Like really pregnant, whoops “I was pregnant and I didn’t know it.” I lovingly called the baby little bear. It was a boy, a boy who died quietly in my womb. He was safe, he was loved, he will always be my first. Lucia, my baby you will always be. 

After a baby dies you have this strong desire to get pregnant again. To rewrite history and prove to yourself that you can carry a baby to term. To prove that God found you worthy of motherhood. But what happens when you are told “it’s not wise for someone with your history to get pregnant……” You get angry, you cry, and then you slowly come to terms with it. You pray that science will catch up with you and that this cruel joke will be over and you will have your rainbow.

Five years after my stroke my rainbow came. Again doctors said “you will be high risk. We need to watch you closely, blah, blah, and blah.” We got excited, that excitement just like before dwindled when an empty sac appeared. Our baby, my rainbow was not meant to be mine. Baby E wasn’t meant to be ours. My rainbow slipped through my fingers and renewed my desire for motherhood. Baby E, my baby you will always be. 

Babies are always at the back of my mind. I have names picked out and plans laid out. Jay and I tried for a year with no luck. Who knew a rainbow was so hard to catch. So I started down the path of fertility screening. I am now on a first name basis with the ultrasound wand, needles, and x-ray machine. I am fertile like myrtle who lives down the lane, yet my body can’t get intune. They say the nuvaring is most likely to blame, but we will never know for sure. In the past I was told “fertility meds are not for you.” Which makes sense since it’s recommended that I never use birthcontrol again. Hello blood clot creating hormones! Until now……….Science! 

Science! Finally caught up with me. Medical research is a beautiful thing and now I can has a baby too! In October we tried a combo of Femera and Ovidrel with no luck. In February we are going to the next level, Femera and ovidrel with IUI. I can has an IUI too! Motherhood was a thing I could never touch, it eluded me and now I have her in my crosshairs. Because of medical research it’s within my reach.

My pregnancy (when it happens) will be different too. Back in the day doctors believed in large doses and starting lovenox early. Today we will still be starting as soon as I get a plus sign, but the dose will grow along with my pregnancy. We will start with a shit ton of monitoring and a small dose of lovenox until we build up to the higher dose when I am 7 months along (that’s if my body needs it). There is still a chance that our baby could be born lovenox dependent and that I could have a clot, but for me the risk is worth the reward. 

Because of research and medical technology I will be able to have a healthy pregnancy too. Not all survivors get a chance at motherhood. In a lot of cases the risk is far greater than the reward. My heart breaks for them. I know the ache they feel and I know what it’s like to look up and wonder “why me?” All it takes is one look at a baby bump to make you feel less than. The baby isle and shower invites are a reminder of your inability to have children. They are a reminder of what was taken from you. We did not choose this road, the road chose us and we have to walk it until our time runs out. 

I once belonged to that club, then I got lucky. Science and technology caught up with me. Because of research Femera was found to aide in ovulation by decreasing the estrogen levels without increasing progesterone. The Progesterone in the nuvaring is what caused my blood clot. The likelihood of a blood clot event on Femera is low and I don’t know about you but, I like low. I am a survivor, a survivor who is standing on the cusp of motherhood. 

In my heart I know that this time I will bring a baby home. Heaven has two pieces of my heart and it’s time for a third to live on this earth. One thing I am certain about is that the doctors will learn from my fertility treatments and pregnancy and that information will help other women like me bring home a healthy baby. That right there makes all of this worth it. 

I go Red for the survivors who will never get to be mothers. 

{2016} Life Found Its Way In 

2016 was about learning to let go of my single girl shoes so that I could walk comfortably in my relationship shoes. I no longer buy groceries for one, I actually buy vegetables and things that I have no intention of eating but I know Jay will. It’s about yelling “Cully stop trying to hump your brother (Dexter the bitchy cat) while making dinner for two. Doing laundry for two, watching Netflix while eating Chinese, and walking out to a light house because why not. Sharing thoughts and feelings before you drift off to sleep only to be awakened by the snorasours who is inhabiting the left side of the bed. Coming home to surprises and finding the kitchen to be spotless when you open the door after a long day. It’s the little things in relationships that matter. The little things are what allow us as humans to smoosh two big lives into one life. 

2016 was the year the “mass engine failure” light popped up on the 2002 Prius dash board. The Prius barely made it to the shop. I was hopeful that my trusty sidekick could be fixed. I wanted it to be fixed because I am simply not me without a Prius to drive. Then the call came “its in the hybrid system and it will be expensive to fix.” Those words broke my heart. I called my dad about twenty times that day, we weighed out the options and he said “maybe it’s time for a new one?” I gasped at those words. A new one! A new one! I want mine, I haven’t hit my 300,000 mile goal yet. We still have some road trips left! My dad replied “it’s time.” Capital one sent me an email earlier in the week saying I was approved  for an auto loan. Though I’ve never had a car loan in my life or such a big responsibility. I window shopped online. I need a Prius, not a new one, but a new to me Prius. A used one. As luck would have it a 2013 seaglass pearl Prius popped up. The shade was just a tad darker than my original Prius. It was meant to be mine, I bought her, and she is amazing. 

What happened to the old one you ask? It sat at the shop for almost a month when I decided to throw in the towel and have them impound it. The title was in the ex-husbands name and well I wasn’t going to get the fine and fees so I didn’t care. But then my phone rang, the mechanic, his name is Fred asked if he could have it. Knowing I would get practically nothing for a trade in or resale, I handed him the keys. I gave him my beloved well dented old Prius for free. Fred is smart and good at what he does, he breathed life into my old Prius and got it running again. I wave at it every time I drive by the shop and see it in the parking lot. Seriously people I do! It’s like seeing an old friend. 

Sophia turned four and Jack turned one. Being an auntie is a gift. I get to watch this two Little’s grow into tiny humans with heart and guts. Also Sophia loves riding in auntie’s new car, mainly because she thinks it talks. She doesn’t realize the voice she hears is Siri being projected through the speakers to tell me where to go. One day she will figure it out and my car will loose its magic. 

Jay and I took the kids to the county fair and watched their faces light up as we walked around looking at animals while noshing  on funnel cake and hot dogs. Sophia found her brave shoes at the fair. She and I road down the big slide. As we climbed up steeper and steeper she said “auntie I don’t think I can do this.” I said, we are going to do this tongeher Sophia. She happily sat on my lap as we raced down the slide. When we hit the bottom she immediately wanted to go again and we did. 

Kids have been on my mind a lot this year. We tried with no luck. In the fall I finally put my big girl pants on and sat down with a reproductive enocrnologist. We made a plan. Our plan didn’t work and now we move on to level two. I am still trying to wrap my head around sperm washing and inter uterine injection. I picture the nurses picking up the little sperm to wash their bellies and putting them back in a tub. I know this isn’t exactly what happens, it’s science. In away I’ll kind of be like the Virgin Mary, I’ll get pregnant without bumping the uglies. Stay tuned for further updates in 2017. I think 2017 is totally going to be my year. I can feel it in my soul. Fingers crossed! 

In 2016 I found my travel shoes again. In the spring I took my Dad to Southwestern Iowa and Omaha Nebraska. We spent the weekend looking at World War I era planes and touring distilleries. Jay and I returned to Wisconsin Dells and took a trip to the north shore in September. My mom for years has been bugging me to take her to Madison County Iowa. We went in October and spent the weekend touring the covered bridges and drove down to Omaha for a day. In December I took a work trip to Ohio and Kentucky. It felt good to travel again, to explore, and tick of miles on the new to me Prius. 

2016 had a little red in it to. In February I was invited to walk in the Hearts For Fashion Show at the Mall of America during the Go Red Expo. I didn’t trip and I owned that run way! Well I feel apart a little inside when I looked over to see the misty eyes of my parents and Jay. Sherri was there too! Did I ever mention that I have the worlds greatest best friend!? Truly I do! Every survivor needs a confidant in life and she is mine. We’ve been friends for almost 10 years. The show was fun and I had a blast walking in it. Sharing my story allows me to heal. 

2016 is the year my life actually felt like a life. I have a career that I love and I admit I think riding the bus to work is fun. I have a boss who appreciates me. I’ve changed zip codes. I’ve settled into relationshiphood and our home in the burbs. Though my crap is still hap hazardly stacked in the garage, I’ll unpack one day. Motherhood is no longer a mystical thing, but an actual tangible thing that is within my reach. It’s just going to take a little work. Life feels good, I have the life that was always waiting for me and I am never looking back. 

{Engaged Life} Boxes in a new zip code

Life moves on. 

My zip code has moved too. I hung up my single uptown girl shoes, only to put on a comfortable pair of committed relationship shoes. It took almost 6 years but I have finally found my zen, my happy, and that happy is a townhome in the suburbs. I know, I know I said I would never go back.  But hey when the man you love lives in the burbs you go to the damn burbs. 

My things are hap hazordly stacked in the garage. Trust me, I am slowly working on unpacking my shit and making the townhouse a home. Right now our home is in disarray, but in a good disorganized way. One that lets you know that two lives have smashed into one big life. Cullen is no longer an only child he has two brothers, an orange bitchy cat named Dexter and a gray cat named Stiffy. For the most part they get along.

At night I make dinner for two instead of one. I feed three animals instead of one. Everyday I get to come home to my best friend. I get a little giddy when I hear the garage door open and Jay comes bouncing through the door. His face lights up when he sees me cooking away he tries to get in a hug, but I brush him off. You can’t break your woman’s focus while she’s cooking. Breaking focus equals burnt food and no one likes burnt food. To me the key  to a good relationship is eating dinner together every night and we do just that while watching Super Girl on Netflix. So yes I can say that we are a couple who Netflix and chill. 

We are building a life together. A life with two cats, one of which is bitchy and a muppet like dog at our side. One day we hope to be parents to a two legged child. Fertility is a mystery, you either have it or you don’t. One thing I do have is Jay and I wouldn’t want to go through this journey with anyone else. Jay knows what I’ve been through and that men have the smaller part in fertility. I’ve been poked, probed, scanned and prodded, while he just gave a sample. The odds are against us, yet we have hope that deep within the blueprints lies a room called parenthood. We know that rainbows are hard to catch, but watching him/her grow will be worth it.

In Jay I found home. He can make me laugh at the drop of a hat, then again we all know I crack my own self up. We have a running joke of hiding a light saber on eachother’s side of the bed. Most nights I make it through without cracking up until he finds it. Plus there are running stories of Dexter and Stiffy’s adventures behind Walgreens. Laughter makes a home. Jay reminds me to not be so serious and to live life to the fullest and to take chances. Life is different, different in a good way. I’ve found my human, my grove, I’ve change my zip code and I’m never looking back.

{Road Trip} Wisconsin Point 

I have a long standing love affair with Lake Superior. For me it’s not just a lake, it’s a part of my soul and the story of how my family began. My extremely great grandfather Basile Hudane Beaulieu was a voyager who sailed the Great Lakes and landed on the shores of what we now call Minnesota. He being a frechmen did not speak the Annishenabe language, yet somehow they understood each other and he fell in love with Chief Skywoman. An that is how one side of my story began.

As a child I walked her shores collecting sea glass and rocks. She drew me in like an old friend each crashing wave comforted my soul. As an adult on my drive up north, I get giddy knowing that as each mile ticks by I am getting closer and closer to her shore. When my blue eyes meet her, my worries melt away and I feel at peace. Superior has this affect on people, she is powerful and calming in one full breath.

For Jay’s birthday I took him on a mini road trip to the north shore. I took him to my old college haunts The Anchor Bar, the S.S. Meteor, the UW-Superior Campus, and Wisconsin Point.  He listened to me chatter as the memories of college came flowing back. I explained how we use to walk to the mall to see movies, the grocery store to get snacks and beer and the other things that we did. Ahh college was the best time! My fondest memories are of the bon fires we would have out on Wisconsin point, those were good times to be had. 

When we pulled up Jay was instantly drawn to the light house and for some odd reason we decided it was a good idea to walk out there. Walking out to the light is no easy task. There is no walk way, you just jump from bolder to bolder and hope for the best. On our way out to the lighthouse we encountered a snake and to many spiderwebs to count. 

One might think “oh that looks like an easy feat.” Trust me it is not. It takes a lot of effort and balance to get from rock to rock and it’s about a mile each way. Jay and I high fived as we hit the light house steps for we had made it and in that moment we didn’t think about our return journey back. 

The light house has not been used in years and she has seen her share of storms. Most of the windows have been bricked over and some pricks are filling the broken windows with beer cans and other trash. Little graffiti was seen but you could tell that this little light had seen her hay day. 

It was starting to get late and we did not want to get stuck at the light so Jay and I decided to make our way back to shore. When we reached land Jay declared that if he had a bucket list the lighthouse  would have been a bucket list item. He loved Wisconsin Point as much as I do and asked that we return next year. I said of course, nothing can keep this girl from Superior. For she has a long standing love affair with her deep blue waters. 

{Divorced Life} Standing On The Other Side 

I watched the days tick closer and closer to June 27, to most it’s a regular day, but for me it signifies the beginning. Six years ago today I walked out of my lovely home nestled on a quiet street in Woodbury with my best friend at my side and I never looked back. 

The last words Scott spoke to me were “you’ll never make it on your own. No one will want you.” Those words sunk in deep like a knife cutting through my flesh, those words became a challenge. A challenge to become the woman he never deserved to call his wife. I was broken, yet I dug deep and put one foot in front of the other and walked out with my clothes and kitchen things. Cause ya know a girl has to be able to cook and needs clothes, nothing else in that house mattered to me. 

I will say this, the hardest part of leaving was walking away from Nylan. I helped raise that little boy for 5 years and he was my heart and soul. Nylan will always be apart of me, he will always be my step son. No matter where life takes me, Nylan will always be in my heart. Step parents have no rights, when you divorce you are expected to walk away from a child that you saw as your own flesh and blood. Nylan is a bright funny kid that I miss with all of my heart. I have to believe that one day he will stumble upon this here blog and he will see that I never stopped loving him. 

Not many 27 year old women find themselves sitting across form a divorce lawyer talking about property and bank accounts. Or talking about “um our baby died and he doesn’t want to be financially responsible for any of the bills…….” She asked me like all lawyers do “why are you getting a divorce? Have you tried counseling?” I looked at her and said ” I do not want to be married to a man who rather lie comfortably in the bed of a whore than with his wife. I do not want to be married to a man who chose to stay in Vegas after his wife uttered the words “our baby died.” He never put me first, I was always third best. So no counseling is not an option, divorce is my only way out.” An I did just that, I freed myself from someone who never wanted me. 

In ways I felt ashamed, it was hard for me to admit that I walked out of a mentally/emotionally abusive controlling relationship. I didn’t want people to think I was stupid, all women even the smarties can fall into controlling relationships. I had to work through a lot of shit, his voice on quiet nights seeped in reminding me that I wasn’t pretty and that I was to fat for someone to love. Little by little I was able to push his voice to the side. In the quiet moments I reminded myself that he no longer had power over me, I was free and I owed it to myself to do better. 

The best decision I have ever made is to trade my exhusband in for a muppet like dog. My IKEA filled apartment was lonely, I missed having someone to come home to and mostly a little four legged beast to cuddle. I called in sick to work (cough cough) and drove to Whipstaff Ranch to pick up what I hoped would be my trusty sidekick. Cullen, cullen rescued me that day. A mighty little muppet like dog rescued me, he was exactly what I needed. 

Slowly I began to move and grow in my new normal. Cullen was my constant, he was with me every step of the way and with one sniff he judged all of my dates. Dating was strange, my the game had changed since I last played. I adapted, signed up for dating sites and had fun going out for drinks and then coming home and watching lifetime movies with the dog. Don’t judge you know you get sucked into lifetime movies too! 

Life, it hasn’t been easy. I’ve hit more road blocks than smooth passages. Each one has taught me a lesson, a lesson that has made me stronger than I could ever imagine. Mostly it has taught me to be patient and to trust the journey.  That as long as I keep the wind at my back I will sail into safe harbor. I’ve stopped caring about other people’s opinions and stare down their judgy eyes, divorce means knowing when to get the fuck out and having the strength to leave. The decision to leave is the easy part, physically leaving is the hard part. 

“You will never make it on your own,” still cuts through me like a knife. Thou his opinion no longer matters I still feel like I need to prove him wrong. Six years, I have survived on my own for six fucking years! Like that is a feat in itself, knowing that my bills are paid and I get on the bus to a job that I love in my mind is wining. At the end of the month I have money left over to do things, fun things and I have become very thrifty.  In my eyes I’ve made it and that’s all that matters. 

“No one will want you.” He saw me as damaged goods. Sure a blood clot and stroke mess a girl up, but it doesn’t mean I am down and out for the count. Sure losing a child can scare men away, but it can bring me to someone who wants a family too. This girl isn’t damaged, he was wrong about that, I’m filled with awesome sauce! Whether I was ready or not, love crept in when I wasn’t looking, fate brought me two men that I adored. Charlie left  in the middle of our story. I can die knowing he loved me until his last breath. His leaving gave fate the chance to bring me Jay and his bitchy cat Dexter.  

An that is when the love came in. Jay just looks into my eyes and knows that my soul has seen to much and that I for some reason love him without question. He has my heart for his whole life and I have his. Together we have a baby in heaven. If you are counting, yes I have been pregnant twice and have two babies in heaven, I guess I am special. Anyways back to the mushy love story stuff. In Jay’s eyes I see the soul of a weary marine, he paid the price for my freedom and for that I am thankful, his eye tell a story of things I could never imagine, yet he is determined and never gives up, because he knows I will never give up on him. For now our children have four legs and fuzzy tails, he and I have faith that our rainbow will come and we will add another chapter to our love story. 

The exhusband was wrong, I made it and I found someone who loves me without question. Maybe he uttered those words because he knew deep deep down that without me, he would never make it. As far as I know he is still alive and has remarried, so I think that’s a sign that it’s time for me to stop living in the shadow of his words and to step into the sun where they will never again touch me. 

{Infertility} The Ugly Truth about Chasing Rainbows

When  a woman has a misscarriage or a still birth people often say “oh you can try again. You will have another one, don’t worry.” They do not realize that those words or even the thought of trying again cuts through her soul. She wanted THAT baby. She did not plan for a future baby, she had planned on brining THAT baby home. 

My journey to motherhood has had more potholes than smooth pavement. I watch friends fall pregnant on a whim. I for some reason do not have access to the baby water or whatever magical dust is flying around. Five years. Five years stood between Lucia and Baby E. Both my children were not planned, yet they were desperately wanted and now the desire to mother someone is strong.

Before Baby E I had made peace with the fact that I would never carry a child. Adoption, was going to be my best option. Doctors told me that my uterus was to broken to carry a child and mostly it was a risky endeavor. Girls with a history of blood clots and stroke, well it’s not recommended that you become pregnant. I felt cheated and robbed, one decision affected my whole fertile life. All my friends who went on the NuvaRing got babies, I got a blood clot. This was the hand I was delt and with time I learned to live with it. 

That is until a blue plus sign showed up. I was scared, no not scared, I was fucking terrified. I had been pregnant before and it didn’t turn out so well. I went home with empty arms. I was cautiously  getting attached to the group of cells I was carrying, the only thing that stood between me and my child was a viability scan. Every high risk pregnant woman dreads this scan. The scan is completed at 6/7weeks gestation, if there isn’t a heart beat, game over. Jay was excited for the ultrasound, as soon as an empty sac flashed on the screen, I knew in my heart it was over. God didn’t give me a second chance to be a mom. He brought me so close to motherhood, yet pushed me one step back. This rainbow was not meant to be ours. The chase was back on.

The world of baby making is not pretty. It’s pretty much a second job. There are charts to be charted, temps to be checked, sex dates on calendars, ovulation test to pee on and then there is the two week wait. The wait to see if all of your hard work (literally) and charting paid off. Month after month went by without a blue plus sign. Something in my gut said “lady you are a little off.” 

A year went by with no luck. Down the fertility rabbit hole we went, I’ve had more blood test and scans (the ultrasound wand and I are on a first name basis) than I can count. My body and I are not on good terms right now. My egg reserve is good, yet something is a miss. Luteal phase failure, progesterone and I are not on speaking terms. She is suppose to be my girl and rise to the baby maintaining occasion. Bitch is sitting in her seat exchanging gossip and not paying attention to her job at hand. Getting her to step up is tricky, yet she is my only hope. I need her otherwise I’ll never catch our rainbow.

Talking about infertility makes me feel like I failed as a woman. I’ve got one job and that is to birth babies. I think in away women judge each other. Having fertility help is like the new c-section vs vaginal birth debate.  Yes it’s true only a small percentage of the population needs fertility assistance, yet it doesn’t make me any different than fertile myrtle from down the lane. Maybe in away it makes me more of a woman because I have to endure a shit ton of testing and scans and needles to get my prize? Probably not, but I just want to throw that out there. 

The getting pregnant process doesn’t scare me. The pregnant part is what scares me. Carrying a child scares me. Not knowing what the next scan will show is what scares me. My therapist assures me that my fears are healthy and normal. That as time goes on they will ease. But for now in this moment they are very real and it’s scary. I desperately want to be a mom, yet 9 months of pregnancy terrifies me. Jay does his best to ease my fears and calms me down. He knows what I’ve gone through, it’s a lot for one soul to carry. Jay tells me that  I am strong and that I am capable of carrying our child, we just need to catch our damn rainbow and never let go, well when they are 18 will let go. 

There is a five year gap between Lucia and Baby E. Which is not normal, it’s not normal to have a five year gap or to loose two babies in a row. Which the term loose is still strange to me, I know where they are and they are not lost. The fore mentioned is the ugly truth of fertility. Some ladies have what it takes and then there are those of us who desperately want to be fertile. 

When someone asks me “do you have children?” I should be able to say “yes, but they died,” without fear of being judged or the awkward look of pity. Just like infertile women, women of dead babies get swept under the rug. It’s like we are societies dirty little secret, like we live in a fairytale land where every woman is fertile and every baby lives. 

Truth: that land does not exist and life, it’s ugly and hard. I learned this the hard way. Yet I like many women still hold onto a glimmer of hope that my next pregnancy will be successful and that it will result in a live birth. While you are doing summer things, I will be getting poked, prodded and scanned to make sure my lady bits are in working order, because this, this is going to be the year we catch our rainbow!