Sometimes the Answer is “No”

I seem to have this nasty habit of falling off the radar. Life just gets so busy and we’re in the middle of a lot of uncertainty, and I get worried that I’ll be too negative and no one will want to read anymore, so I end up piling up in my chair and playing on Facebook instead.

But in all the uncertainty, there’s at least one thing that’s become clear over the last several months: barring a complete and utter miracle, we will not have a biological child. The endometriosis and PCOS have just made my insides too hostile of a place to be able to create and sustain life. How shitty does that sound? My own body is too hostile to foster life.

All of the weight loss, surgery, shots, drugs, more shots, all for naught. All of the awkward scheduling, waking at 5 a.m. to take my temp, and peeing on sticks and managing to keep from getting any on my hand. All of the “taking it easy” for two weeks after the ovulation trigger shot, all of the progesterone cream, all of the pain, the six months of Lupron hell. All of it for naught. All of the prayers, tears, anticipation. All for naught.

I named the first egg after the Lupron was over. Called it “Peanut.” That’s what my grandpa called me when I was a baby. I begged God to let “Peanut” get to where s/he needed to go and to spring to life. I was certain that it would happen, that God would come through, because it always seemed that He had before…sometimes, literally, JUST in time, but in time nonetheless. I never named another one.

There’s no “in time” this time. No more treatments. We’re not doing IVF; we don’t like it on a theological level (no judgment to you if you did it or are considering it, though). We do still feel that we’re called to be parents, but we know that it will not happen biologically.

Sometimes, dreams die all at once…a tragic accident takes a loved one…you’re abruptly laid off from your job…a freak act of nature destroys your home.

Sometimes, though, they die slowly, over time, little by little, each month, each single pink line, marking the passage of time and highlighting a hostile body.

There will be a new dream, yes; I know that. But sometimes you need a little time to grieve the one that’s dying today.

The Lupron Diaries: Reflections on Mother’s Day

The Lupron Diaries (1)

Another Mother’s Day has come and gone.  It’s funny…there’s only been a couple of Mother’s Days that weren’t awkward for me since Joey and I got married.  I feel like we got a pass for the first couple of years since we were just married (and one of those we spent in Texas, so we didn’t have the added baggage of everyone we knew asking us when we were going to start a family).  By the time we moved back, though, the expectation was already there (from church folks, not our parents), that we’d be starting a family.

I had a colossal chip on my shoulder about it for most of those years; we didn’t know if we even wanted kids, and here I was having to field questions every Mother’s Day…or gently correct folks who wished me a Happy Mother’s Day because they just assumed that all women of childbearing age are mothers.  I fiercely defended my “motherhood” of my kitty, Shelli (and still do to some degree since she struggles so badly with anxiety, which requires a lot of care).  I’d answer women who asked me when we were going to have kids with, “I don’t know if we even want them!” (mentally adding, “so THERE!” afterward), watching their utter confusion at a Christian woman who may not want to “be fruitful and multiply.”

Two years ago was the first time in a long time that Mother’s Day wasn’t awkward for me; we’d just started trying, and while I wasn’t a mom yet, I felt like it was going to happen any time.  I remember sitting in the choir, not being able to stand up with the women who were already moms, but thinking to myself that surely I would be able to next year.

And then came a year of unsuccessful trying and a failed round of fertility meds.  Last year was just too raw.  I skipped church and we had a lazy day around the house.  I didn’t want to deal with the sadness and embarrassment.  Sure, this was my thirteenth childless Mother’s Day, but this was only the second one where I really wanted to be a mother, and the first one where I had to deal with the fact that my body was failing me.  We celebrated our own mothers, but stayed away from other folks who might ask me uncomfortable questions otherwise.

We skipped church again this year.  I don’t blame them for the big deal that they make on Mother’s Day.  Moms should be celebrated and fussed over; motherhood is a noble calling, and women who must make sacrifices every day for their children’s sake deserve a day where they are publicly honored.  But it’s awkward for me at church, especially now that our journey is public.  I don’t want the pity from people who know.  I don’t want to have to sit down while just about every other woman my age stands.  So I didn’t.  We celebrated our mothers on Friday and Saturday, and on Mother’s Day, we headed out to Brevard, NC, for a six mile hike in the mountains.

And it was glorious.  We did the Pink Beds Loop Trail; although it’s listed as “moderate,” I’d definitely call it an easy hike, save for the sheer distance of it.  I mis-read the commentary on HikeWNC’s website, so we didn’t make it all the way out the Barrett Branch Trail to the waterfall, but we will definitely add that in the next time we go.

I’ll post a separate review of the hike in the event that anyone wants to see the pics and read about that without wading through my infertility ramblings:)

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