Thursday, February 28, 2013

Due date #2

Today is my due date for my second. For my little girl.

I woke up with a tear streaked face and a wet pillow.

There is so much good in my life right now and I'm so thankful for all of it. But the sting of what today is, what it should have been, runs straight into my heart. I wish that I could have met her today. I know she would have been so beautiful.

At midnight last night I found an email sitting in my inbox from my sweet T. She is facing down the same black day, the loss of her son, in just two more days. Her words were written for me, but I know the pain is hers as well. Her words tore into my heart and I was left sobbing. For my grief. For hers. For my daughter and her son. For the unknown in what lies ahead- for both of us. I've never felt so connected to someone where I knew my pain and joy were so intimately understood.

Trisha's husband, J, made this illustration for me at his wife's request. I am so touched. I will keep it close to my heart and look to it when I need strength.

May the breeze blow gently and the light continue to shine.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Who the heck knows what CD I'm on and I don't care

How's that for a break in titling scheme?

This is my 100th post. Never did I think that this blog would survive one hundred entries. I also never dreamed that it would see me through 3 miscarriages and a divorce. But it did. And you know what? It's ok. I'm not broken. I'm battle scarred and bruised, but those are wounds that can heal.

I am also much stronger than I ever imagined.

The last few weeks I have been feeling a steady shift. I am calm and carefree. I'm meeting peoples eyes as I walk by them on the street and smiling. That light that I haven't been able to see for so many years is shining bright. I see it now. And it fills me with so much (dare I say it) ... hope.

I walked into Cindy's office yesterday. She said, "Tutti, what's going on with you?! You are... twinkling!'

She's right. I am.

I'm driving to my new home across country with a very good friend of mine (this one actually). It's going to be an epic road trip filled with girlie adventure, Rt. 66 memorabilia, and a drooling dog. My friend has taken it on as her new life's mission to put together the most amazing playlist for us to listen to while driving the open road. It's like a soundtrack to a movie that hasn't been filmed yet. Every morning she emails me a  'teaser' to listen to. I look forward to these and turn the volume up with reckless abandon while trying to imagine where we'll be next time its played: stopped at the edge of the crater of the Grand Canyon at sunset? Driving through the desert of the Navajo reservation? Watching the the skyline of NYC emerge on the horizon?

I've come to realize that for the last few years, my life has been... silent. I've only heard the white noise of stress and grief buzzing in the background. But now, the music is back on. It's pumping. It makes me feel so much. The 'play' button has been pressed. And now all I want to do is dance.


I'm going to take a small break from blogging. I plan to return once I move and get settled into my new home. It may be as long as a few weeks, maybe even months. As selfish as I feel saying it, I just have to concentrate on me right now.

I hate that I left you all so suddenly. It upsets me not knowing where you are- celebrating, waiting, mourning? I'm so, so sorry. It's not because I want to; I hope you all know that. Each one of you and your stories are very important to me. I carry you guys with me everywhere I go. I continue to hope for all of you.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Cycle 23, CD 2

I wish that I had been able to chronicle the events of the last month so that maybe someday I could look back on it and reflect, maybe allow for some extra processing, and not keep you guys in the lurch. But it has just been too intense. I simultaneously feel like each day goes by in blink and like each day is a long battle that has no end.

At some point I owe you all an explanation of what happened. Why my marriage failed. What went so horribly wrong. But right now I'm still too close to it. It's still too raw. The betrayal and anger are coloring my world too vividly right now. I need distance and a bit of perspective to be able to dissect it better. Please bare with me for a bit.

Logistically things are moving forward very quickly. I have filed the preliminary divorce paperwork. Mike has signed. Our home went on the market two weeks ago. By some miracle, we are already in escrow. If things continue to work as they should, my home will be occupied by its new owners within the next few weeks. The cogs are in motion.

A friend asked me a simple question the other day, "How are things going over there?" I used humor in an analogy. I told her that if a priest came to my door, he would immediately douse it in holy water because the evil energy is so palpable. I think a hefty dose of garlic might be in order too- you know, just in case. Sometimes you need to laugh in the face of pain. In a normal divorce (is there such a thing?) one or both people move out immediately. But due to finances, neither of us were able to do that. We have been, and continue to, live under the same roof. It is a hell I don't wish on anyone. My days are lived in dread of  hearing that front door lock un-hitch and seeing Mike walk in.

I used to think this was the man I would live my life with forever. Love unconditionally. Be the father of my children. But now he has morphed into the man that makes my stomach lurch and feel the raw emotion of hatred. How is that even possible?

Last Sunday I went to breakfast with a good girlfriend of mine. We were supposed to go shopping but got too caught up in our migas and Bloody Marys on the beach. I had wanted to get some new Converse sneakers for the long road trip back east (my new landing spot), but it didn't happen. Toes in the sand, a bit of numbing alcohol, and the warm sun on our faces seemed too good to rip away from. No regrets; we had a wonderful, healing afternoon together. So much better than retail therapy.

But tonight as I stepped out to walk the dog, I was surprised to find a package on my doorstep. It wasn't something I ordered, but it had my name on it. Confused, I gingerly pried it open. The box contained a brand new pair of bright red Converse. I was immediately hit by a sense of overwhelming... love... friendship... compassion... understanding.

Kind of like the symbolic socks that Cristy sent me after my last miscarriage, I immediately knew that these were more than just new bad-ass new sneakers. These were a modern version of my own ruby reds. And they are going to take me home.

All I need to do now, is click my heels.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Cycle 22, CD 6

I was so taken aback by the outpouring of love and support after my last post. Saying thank you seems painfully trite. To be honest, I was terrified to write about the dissolution of my marriage. It is topic that typically elicits much judgement.

Truth be told, I am embarrassed. Horrified. Grief stricken.

Part of me wonders what I did to deserve all this. The other part screams back, "Nothing! You did nothing to deserve this." I toggle back and forth every 5 minutes.

So yeah, the bucketfuls of love that came screaming through last week was something I needed very badly. Thank you.

Right now I'm overwhelmed by the logistics: packing, selling our condo, disentangling my life from someone that thought I would be with forever, filing divorce papers, work obligations, finances, contractors, moving, jury duty, being sick. It's all just, so much.

On top of all that there are the emotions. Some days I can ignore them, put my head down and plow forward. Other days, they overwhelm me. Growing up I always said I didn't believe in divorce. I told this to Mike over and over again prior to getting married. Not that I didn't think it was right for others, just not for me. I always thought that if two people loved each other enough, you could work through anything. What I didn't realize is that unless both people work at it, it is not possible.

Mike stopped working a long time ago.

This was not the easy decision.

But it is the right one.

I'm choosing love. Love for myself. My life. My future child.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Cycle 21, CD 23(ish)

When I came around to the idea of starting an infertility blog, I thought long and hard about what to name it. There is so much in a name. I remember sitting on the beach late one November evening, all by myself, mulling over our journey to grow our family. I breathed in the cold salt air. Filtered sand through my fingers. Dried my tears with the back of my sleeve when my face became wet. 

At one point, I thought how easy it would be to drown in those huge waves and sink to the bottom. And in my sullen mood, I realized that is how I felt. I felt like infertility had muted everything. That it was drowning me. All I wanted to do was come up for some air, but I was stuck holding my breath. It was an analogy that made sense to me. Hence, Submerged was born. 

Years ago, Mike and I took a vacation on a remote tropical island. We decided to hire a photographer to take some photos of us- to document our time there. We had already captured some beautiful images together when our photographer asked us if we would be open to taking a few shots in the water. Underwater even.

The photo in my header isn't just any photo. It is the exact moment when Mike and I slipped underwater together. I love how simple that photo is, just a tiny splash and we were gone. It seemed the perfect one to use for this space considering we were on this journey together. And so, the design of my blog was set.

The underwater view of that same photo captured us submerged in those remote waters. It has always been a favorite of mine. So ethereal. So soft. Muted but beautiful. [I'll post it here for now, but will remove it in a few weeks for the sake of anonymity]. 

I was content to stay down there, holding my breath and my husband close. I never would have guessed that this is exactly where we would remain. Suspended and suffocating. But we are mortals and eventually my lungs became too tight. I needed to breathe again. 

My last miscarriage, as painful as it was, opened my eyes. From beneath the watery surface, I finally saw that there was air, light, and warmth in the distance. I knew that if I didn't want to be pulled to the bottom, to become a relic on the ocean floor, I had to make the choice to swim against the tide. Except my husband let go of my hand somewhere along the way, and disappeared into the abyss.

I always thought that Mike and I would resurface together. That we would take that first painful and beautiful breath at the same time; filling our lungs with life and hope until we reached solid ground. Instead I find myself alone. I'm tired, scared, and don't know which direction is up any more, but I will fight to get to the surface with every ounce of strength I have left.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Cycle 21, CD 20(ish)

I'm so sorry for falling silent. It wasn't my intention. Life has been a bit... overwhelming lately. Something had to give. Unfortunately it was my blog writing and reading. So please accept my belated warm, holiday wishes and a genuine embrace for each and every one of you in this new year. I know we are all hoping for a better 2013. Because, well- 2012 can suck it.

To catch up a bit:

- Sometime in mid-December I reached my official 2 year mark. It's been two very long, hard years of trying to grow our family. 2011 was filled with uncertainty, apprehension, and 12 negative pee sticks. 2012 was something else entirely: 3 miscarriages and a whole heap of loss and pain. I know 2013 will bring a different story. I just don't know what that is yet. My expectations aren't deluded or high. I would just be content with some peace.

- I was surprised when my cycle returned so quickly after my D&C. I was impressed with my body's ability to recover (I started a new cycle a mere 2 weeks after surgery). Unfortunately it wasn't that easy. A short fourteen days after I got my first period, I got another. I don't blame my body though- I've been turned upside down too. Dr. D wasn't concerned, so I decided not to be either. I'm sick of worrying about things I can't control.

- You might remember, during my last pregnancy my therapist, Zsa-Zsa, lobbed a few bombs at me. It wasn't cool and knew that I couldn't trust her. But I also knew I was in crisis. Of anything I've ever been through in my life, waiting for that pregnancy to end, for my baby's heart to stop beating, was the single hardest thing I've ever experienced. The anxiety felt like it was being pumped through amplifiers as big as a house. I couldn't breath. I knew I needed professional help. After many failed attempts to find someone covered by my insurance, I turned to the Resolve website. There, I found, Cindy.

Cindy is, in a word, amazing. She specializes in infertility and couples therapy and she is exactly what I needed. I've seen a therapist on and off my entire life- but after meeting with her just once, I felt like it was my first time. My first time with a *real* therapist. She didn't just sit there listening to me vomit out my pain. No. She actually gave me tools to get through it. Things that I could use when I was home alone and felt the walls crumbling. Things that I could use while in my clinic waiting for my second D&C. Things that I'm still using to heal more everyday. She didn't make everything better, she didn't cure my pain, but she helped me survive it- and not let it consume me. I am so thankful for her.

- Trying for baby has been put on hold. I don't know for how long- but it's going to be some time. Healing and closure, in many different ways, has to happen first. More on that later when I can put my thoughts together better.

Much love to you all. I've missed you and hope to return to my regular schedule of writing and reading. This community is amazing and a source of great strength for me.