Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Some Rambling on Crafts

I make things for the people in my life.  Most of them are crochet items.  My mom taught me how to crochet when I was 8.  She taught me many things when I was young, how to sew, clean our wool from our sheep and rabbits and spin it into yarn (yes, I grew up in Wyoming and we had lots of animals), how to weave rugs on a loom, and needlework.  My mother is the best, she can create anything.  Crocheting stuck with me the most.  It is handy to take anywhere with me.  It also doesn’t make me feel guilty (as in the time wasted) when I spend time watching TV or movies since I am also making something.

I recently picked out some yarn for a knitting pattern I wanted to try out for a baby blanket for my expecting SIL.  For the most part making baby items doesn’t bother me, unless I am making something out of materials or a pattern that I had purchased with my own children in mind.  Those items are hard to make.  Sometimes I wondered why I tortured myself, making the items I had in mind for my own children that I never got to have.  I have come to the conclusion it was sort of a cleansing/healing process I had to go through.  Why keep bags of yarn never made into anything?  I guess those bags of materials and dreams that were lurking in my craft room had to go.  They were just lurking in there with no use.

Back to the yarn I purchased for SIL’s baby to come.  M’s family was up here visiting the other weekend, and all the girls went to the craft store.  I was looking at some craft items when M’s mom said they needed to go look at baby fabric for a car seat cover she was making for SIL’s new baby.  We all walk over to the fabric department and as we approach the baby fabric section I start to feel the anxiety rising in my chest so I slow my steps.  The rest of the group runs over to their favorite baby fabric and starts exclaiming over the items they like most.  I don’t stop.  I keep walking and find myself in the yarn department.  I can breathe again now that I am in the yarn area.  For some reason I found this area to be safe, even with the pastel baby colored yarn.  This gets me wondering.  How come I could, two weeks earlier, go into a store, pick out yarn for a baby blanket, purchase it, with not a hint of anxiety or bad emotions when I could just now not stand to be anywhere near the baby fabric?  I pushed this thought to the back of my head and start looking at the different yarns this store had to distract me.  After what I figure had been a good amount of time I wander back to the rest of the group and see that MIL and SIL are still debating over fabric, so I wander to a different area of the store until they finish.  After that the rest of the shopping trip was pretty uneventful.

Later in the week I fished out that thought of why the fabric section bothered me so bad from the back of my mind.  I don’t think it bothers me when I go and buy stuff to make for other people.  It’s what I have done for years.  I don’t mind making baby items for people in my life (now, in the past yes).  Mostly now it might just bring some wistful feelings, but that is about it.  I think the fabric section bothered me because it was multiple members of M’s family planning and helping to pick something out for the new baby.  M’s mother is a very talented seamstress (people pay for her sewing abilities) and I always had a vision of the things that she would make for our children and the things we would plan together.  I’m still not sure how to put in words what I was feeling…maybe left out or excluded in a way, resentful and jealous, sad and lonely?  Why do so many emotions crowd in at the same time?  One emotion at a time is easy to deal with, but thow the big ball of them at me at once and it makes it impossible to walk into those rows of bolts that contain the happy baby fabric.

Monday, March 19, 2012

The question you can’t escape

M asked me to go to the Dr with him after work.  Honestly, this visit is way past due.  M gets really bad ingrown toe nails.  This particular one he has caused his toe to split from the infection this weekend.  It’s really a very gross thing.

So we go to insta-care since we know we can’t get into the podiatrist on such notice and know we will see a new Dr.  The nurse puts M’s toe in a warm tub to soak while we wait for the Dr.  In walks Dr and the following conversation happens…

Dr: Eww, that’s a gross toe

                (haha, it’s bad if the first thing the Dr comments on is how gross the toe looks)

M:  Yep, that’s why I am here.

Dr: How long has that toe nail been ingrown?

M: A few days…

Me: Um, more than a few days.

Dr:  Ah yes, I would say more than a few days.

                The Dr starts gathering stuff up

Dr: So, do you two have any kids.

                (M looks at me, I refuse to answer. I wonder why we are getting the kids question when we are in here for a pussy, swollen, ingrown, infected, and disgusting toe.  Where is the connection between gross toe and kids?)

M:  No

Dr:  Oh…are you married?

M: Yes.

Dr: Oh, how long have you been married?

M: 10 years

Dr: Oh…

                (you can insert a awkward silence here)

The Dr then numbs M’s toe and leaves for 20 minutes for the numbing to work.  I tell M that it bothers me that the kid question is always the first question that people ask us when they meet us.  M tells me it isn’t a big deal.  We live in “Utah/Mormonville” and the majority of people our age have kids.  I say that I know, but that I still find the question annoying.  I ask M what he thinks it would be like to actually be able to move a conversation past the kids question without it being awkward.  M starts cracking jokes about the funny things we could say and situations that we would find funny.  That’s why I love this guy so much.  He can make anything humorous and cheer me up.  Although, we have found that other people find infertility/childless jokes to not be as funny as we find them, so we keep them to ourselves!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

My Weekend

I had a great weekend.  M had family in town visiting so I took Friday off work and we went ice skating with his nephew and some other family members.  M’s little niece was up here. She is almost 2 and prior to this visit has been very shy with us.  She has come out of her shell more and it was wonderful to play with her and see her little personality.  Friday and the majority of Saturday were spent with family and Saturday night we got together with our friends to celebrate St. Patty’s and a friend’s birthday.  I am so grateful to have so many people in my life that bring me such happiness.

Up till recently I felt like emotionally I was stuck in the summer of 2010.  This was when our IVF failed, adoption didn’t look like an open door to us, and we had decided to step onto a new path in our lives.  I started this blog a little over a month ago, which I know isn’t very much time, but I feel emotionally I am starting to step forward from the summer of 2010.  There have been some steps forward and some steps back, but I feel like there is finally movement.  I think that feeling like I have someone that listens and doesn’t judge my emotions help me so much.  I enjoy reading about other’s experiences and looking back through their old posts and learning of their journeys.

This weekend as M’s family talked to me about their lives and what they are doing day to day, I had a little bit of a urge to tell them about my private blog.  Since this is what takes up my free time instead of my craft projects now, but I didn’t.  I think I will keep this private for longer.  I need to be able to be honest with myself and write what I am feeling.  M knows of my little blog, and will read some of my posts over my shoulder as I write them.  I think I will just keep this blog between him and me for now.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Post-It Notes and Texting

This is the form of communication that my house has resorted to this week. I am texting my husband because he gets home when I am asleep, and he is asleep when I leave for work.  Post-it notes to baby sister because she is on my father’s Stone Age cell phone plan and does not have a texting plan…really?  I guess that is what happens when I am on day shift, M is on swing shift, and baby sister is on graveyards.

I left a total of 5 post-it notes for baby sister just now.  Regarding her car M has done some work on, her trip to WY for our father’s birthday this weekend, things I need her to take to WY to return to my parents, and our father’s birthday present.  Seriously, 5 of them to communicate with herJ

This is odd…how do people live like this?  I feel like my 12 year old cat that HATES change.  He is so funny.  We can’t move furniture in our house without upsetting him.  I guess I understand how my cat feels this week!  Change…blah!
One more day of this craziness left.  I am trying to take Friday off work because M’s family is in town to celebrate his Grandma’s birthday.  This involves taking the cutest nephew ever ice skating.  Which for some reason the ice skating rink in town is only open on Friday’s from 11:30 to 1:30, what a weird time for public ice skating.  Am I the only person in this town that works during this time?  What a weird week, but I am doing good and finding the humor in what I thought would be a anxiety riddled week.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Swing Shift

M told me at the end of last week that his new work (he has been there for about a month) asked him to lead a crew to work swing shift this week to have their bottle neck machines run nonstop for 2 shifts where they normally only have 1 shift.  I felt the anxiety rising from my chest into my throat.  I pause…this is what flashes through my head, the bleak year of 2010.


Early 2010.  M and I were feeling desperate.  We were approaching our 7th year of ttc with no pregnancies.  My Dr told me that she didn’t think another IUI would work.  She referred us to the big city and the hospital where they could do IVFs.  M and I had talked about the “what ifs”…and he was not in favor of doing IVF, but I couldn’t let it go.  M didn’t think it would work.  We had researched it.  We knew the financial cost.  He said he just didn’t feel like it would work.  He asked me why I wanted to do it so bad.  I told him if we don’t do it I will spend my life wondering what the result would be if we had done it.  Would we win the lottery and finally get our child we wanted so bad, or would it leave us with empty arms.  He agreed we could make a consult appointment.

April 2010.  We had our consult appointment.  We brought our files from our Dr. and we were told the odds.  We were told they thought given our situation that we had good odds.  We left the consult appointment very excited.  M was even excited and felt we should proceed, but we had to have a realistic conversation.  The new Dr had us excited.  We had to set a new boundary.  When do we call it quits?  When do we move on with our life and leave the hormones and the disappointment behind?  We mutually decided that we would do IVF, if it didn’t work and had embryos to freeze we would continue with our frozen embryos and do more IVFs, if we only had enough embryos for this one cycle that would be the end, if we didn’t end up with any embryos that would also be the end.  It was a tearful conversation (on my part) but it was the agreement we came up with after much conversation.

May 2010.  We traveled 5 hours to our newest niece’s baby blessing.  Of course Aunt Flow showed up.  I couldn’t hold my new niece in the church as a family member passed her to me.  I promptly set her in M's arms and looked away.  She was wrapped in a blessing blanket I had made.  I had the pattern and yarn for years.  I had been saving the materials.  I was hoping it would wrap my baby, but I had broken down and spent months crocheting it and gave it to M’s SIL.  It was all white, patterned in roses and lace.  The blanket was delicate and soft, it was definitely my best piece.  I called that day and made the arrangements to start IVF.

June 2010.  M lost his job.  We had money down on the IVF and the hormones were charged to my credit card set to arrive on my doorstep the same day he lost his job.  We had another long conversation.  I still had my job.  We decide to continue with the IVF.  M would get unemployment and plunge head first into job applications.

July 2010.  We are full steam ahead into appointments, ultra sounds, and needles. M gets a new job!  It’s a temporary job with a terrible pay cut, but there is nothing in his field with the current economy and he takes it willingly.  This job is on swing shift.  M and I have always worked the same shift up till now.  We had been able to spend the 9 years of our marriage up to this point with our evenings together.  The good news is that we could schedule all our IVF appointments in the big city early in the morning so that M can go with me.  I spend my solo evenings keeping myself busy and hopeful.  I don’t like that I am alone for the first time ever in the evenings, but I dream about the new life that we are creating and how in just months the loneliness will be a thing of the past.  But, IVF didn’t work.  We implanted one blast, and one not quite yet blast (I don’t remember the technical name for its stage), but no baby in the end and no embryos left to freeze.  I am truly alone.  My evenings after work are kind of spent in a daze.  I don’t eat.  I kind of just putter.  I even started a grease fire in my kitchen.  Don’t worry, I didn’t burn my house down, but my cabinets still bare the mark of that fire.  I just wasn’t paying attention.  I lay in bed awake until M comes home and I can tearfully fall asleep in his arms. 

Later in August 2010.  Baby sister moves in with us to attend the college in my town.  I was 14 years old when she was born, and she was just a little girl when I moved away.  I am excited to get to know her better, and I am not alone as much.  M also gets a new job, still crappy pay, but day shift, yay!  I am no longer alone.


Back to my conversation with M.  I smile at M and tell him ok.  I know this is good for his career at his new job.  Can’t let him know about the crazy that just ran through my head, I don’t want him to worry. 

Baby sister still lives with us, but is taking a semester off from school to work full time graveyard shift so she is sleeping evenings. So I am not really alone, I am home with a sleeping person!

I know that I am incredibly lucky to be able to spend all the time I do with my spouse, and this one week shouldn’t be that big of a deal.  M telling me that he was working on swing shift just caused a trigger in my mind that I wasn’t expecting, a flash back.  It was just that the last time M worked swing shift was the loneliest I have ever been in my life. 

I have myself very busy this week.  Tonight after work I met a friend at the gym for a killer workout, after that I took my sweaty self to some stores for some things I need.  I have planned to work on a few crochet and knit items that I haven’t had time to finish.  My reading list is so long, and I am currently trying to read 3 books at the same time…must finish those.  I am definitely not putting any sort of grease of any kind on the stove, haha…who need to cook anyways ;)  The goal is to push down this anxiety that showed up.  One day down already!

Saturday, March 10, 2012


I looked over my prior posts and realized that they are for the most part pretty lengthy.  Sorry…this one will be too…  I have some emotions, and an event that occurred last night that I need to get out of my head.

I haven’t posted for over a week.  I was having a blue week.  One where my mind was kind of tumbling all over the place…probably was wasting too many thoughts feeling sorry for myself.  Loribeth’s post on RecentReading on her blog The Road Less Travelled had me thinking a lot.  I was really disturbed by the article asking if people are over sharing their losses when they lose a pregnancy.  If you have read my blog you will know that I have never been pregnant, so I have never lost a pregnancy.  I don’t know why but I just kept thinking about pregnancies that were lost in my extended family and how those were treated.  I have a post about when my Grandma shared her stillbirth of her daughter with me.  My mom had a miscarriage after I was born and before my brother.  I have had an aunt and cousin lose their babies shortly after they were born for different reasons.  I would feel horrible if these family members were not allowed to grieve and talk about their losses.  But still, these thoughts stayed in my head and I kept thinking about it.
I was looking forward all week to Friday night.  We were planning an evening with friends and I was very excited to see everyone and have a good night.  The first event was to go to one of our favorite restaurants.  It’s a pizza joint in a building basement.  It’s dark and dingy but they make the best pizza and serve beer.  It’s the kind of joint where you can throw your peanut shells on the floor and be as loud as you want.  We stopped off to pick up a friend and went into his house.  Here is where the night changed.  As we walked in you could feel the tension in the air and people were arguing in the kitchen.  A different friend of mine was in the kitchen and was the source of the argument.  I am not very close to her, but I have known her for over 10 years.  This friend I know has been ttc to a couple of years.  They haven’t started on the road to fertility treatments that I know of yet, but I have shared some of my experiences with her.  She was arguing with another friend of ours who owns the house we were at.  He is older than us and has grown kids.  I was planning a fun night and didn’t want to be around people arguing so I said I was leaving and if anyone was coming with me they better get in the car.  Our car filled right up…I wasn’t the only one who didn’t want to be there:)
In the car they told me that the argument was about the young girl sitting next to me.  She is 21 and a sweet girl.  I haven’t gotten to know her very well before last night.  She hangs out with some of our younger friends.  We have been to dinner with her as part of the group a few times before.  She told me that she had a miscarriage 2 weeks ago.  It wasn’t a planned pregnancy, and has been having a ”on and off again” relationship with the father of her baby.  Even though the pregnancy wasn’t planned, or in an ideal situation she said it was one where she was excited and they had planned to raise the baby together even if their relationship didn’t work out.  They had picked out names.
This floored me.  It stunned me that she just came out and told me all this information.   The argument was because my friend (who I know is upset because of her ttc situation), found out about the young girl’s miscarriage and had told her how stupid she thought she was.  She said some mean and awful things to her telling her to be responsible and what she needed to do with her life.  She even went as far to tell her the miscarriage was a good thing.  Our friend whose house this happened at stuck up for the young girl and told my friend how she was in the wrong and so the argument ensued.
We got to the pizza place and made our order.  We sat in a dark corner and the young girl told me about her pregnancy and her miscarriage.  She told me about the hospital and what happened.  She told me with tears in her eyes how lonely it was since her mother lives across the country and couldn’t fly out to help her.  She told me about her school and her work and her life plans.  She told me how she hadn’t seen anyone since her miscarriage and was excited to go out and have fun tonight.  She was not expecting to be attacked about her situation or really to even talk about it.  I sat and listened.
I didn’t have to say much to her.  I think she just needed someone to listen to her.  I did let her that I thought she was strong and that it was a terrible thing she had to go through and I was truly sorry that someone lashed out on her like that.
More of my friends started showing up.  Our friend that was defending her in the argument showed up and I am proud to call him my friend.  He looked like her protector all night.  Making sure she was ok and making sure she was not alone.
It’s weird how coincidences work.  How Loribeth’s post had me thinking about pregnancy lost all week.  How if I hadn’t gone out last night I wouldn’t have gotten to know so much about this young girl and give her someone to listen.  How I saw the ugly side of my other friend and to know of the awful things she said. 
I’m still processing in my mind what occurred last night.  I think that’s why I decided to write about it.  I tend to get thoughts and situations stuck in my head and I dwell on things.  I can say that some of the things that were said about the young girl are things that I probably would have thought, but never said out loud.  More because it is hard to know of unplanned pregnancies that happen to young people that are not in a good situation to raise a child, especially if you are trying to get pregnant and not succeeding.  That evil green monster of jealousy causes these thoughts.  When we finally made it home last night I told M more about what the young girl said to me.  I told him that I think some of my wounds from our failure at having a child are starting to heal.  M told me that he thinks they are too.