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!


  1. Hang in there!! Dh & I haven't been apart very often during our marriage (& I've been away more than he has). I'll admit that, the few times he's been away & I've been alone, I haven't slept very well. :p

  2. It's hard when you're used to life being one way and it gets changed...especially when that change comes with a memory that isn't good. Sigh.

  3. I used to travel a lot for business. I'd be away a week, two weeks, and it didn't really bother either of us. But after our ectopics, and the grief of finding out we'd never have children, we stayed close. So the few times I have travelled without him have been surprisingly hard - I've been anxious, and have missed him. He's been the same. Infertility seems to expose us to our vulnerability. Even when rationally we know it's only a week or two. So I understand completely.

  4. Thanks, I know I may sound whiney…but it’s a comfort I haven’t had to deal without since a dark time in my life.