Weathering the Storm

“And once the storm is over, you won’t remember how you made it through, how you managed to survive. You won’t even be sure whether the storm is really over. But one thing is certain. When you come out of the storm, you won’t be the same person who walked in. That’s what this storm’s all about.”
~Haruki Murakami

 

It’s always difficult for me to remain upbeat in the face of overwhelming adversity.

I’ve had a pretty difficult week.

Mark and I had a great time vacationing in Pennsylvania last week, and I was looking forward to coming home and enjoying three restful days off before going back to work. Things did not really go as planned.

  • The day we came home, I started to experience some discomfort in my back teeth. While not pleasant, it also wasn’t overly painful.
  • We came back from vacation and walked straight into a swelteringly hot house, to discover that our AC was broken.
  • The next morning I woke up to discover that my period had started, and our fifth IUI had been a failure. My tooth pain had also substantially worsened. Eating was now a bit more painful.
  • Our friend who was coming to look at our AC got held up elsewhere, and wouldn’t be able to come by until the next afternoon. We had a second hot night sleeping in the bonus room in front of our tiny window unit AC.
  • Thursday, my tooth pain was almost unbearable. I called my endodontist and made an appointment for a root canal that I was hoping to put off a bit longer (because I just got one a few weeks ago and we really don’t have the money for another one right away).
  • We discovered that IVF is pretty much our only hope to conceive a child.
  • Our friend came and looked at our AC and it was more broken than he could repair. We called a repair company, and they agreed to come in the morning.
  • The next morning, my tooth pain was worse, and accompanied by jaw, head, neck, and face pain. I went to urgent care.
  • I have a “massive sinus infection” that has spread into my ears, also giving me an ear infection. I’ve apparently been sick for quite a while and just didn’t realize it because I get chronic sinus infections. Sometimes, I just don’t realize I’m sick until it’s too late.

I still had one day off work, so I decided to come home and rest.

Hey good news: our AC was fixed while I was at the doctor’s.

Bad news: It was not cheep…really really or cheep.

I woke Saturday, and knew immediately that I couldn’t go to work. Despite being on antibiotics for over 24 hours, I was worse and not better. I called in sick…missing an unplanned day off of work in the face of mounting unexpected expenses.

My puppy took good care of me, giving me snuggles all day.


I woke up finally feeling a bit better Sunday and even thought I’d be able to work. However, my tooth throbbing was still pretty bad, as was my ear ache. I took my antibiotics on an empty stomach (not having much of an appetite with the tooth pain) and that turned out to be a big mistake. The strong antibiotics made me sick and I forced down some yogurt and sliced turkey. After I ate, I was dizzy (thanks earache) and had a slamming head ache.

So, I called in sick to work…again. I used some of my paid time off this time, which I hate to do, since I try to keep it for emergencies. I didn’t really have much of a choice. Mark and I are already stressed about money and the cost from the AC, the root canal, and upcoming IVF.

I was finally able to go back to work on Monday and Tuesday, but it was a difficult couple of days. I have never been more excited that I was when I left work Tuesday and headed to the dentist.

The root canal was probably the highlight of my week, because once he numbed me up, I finally had relief from the awful throbbing ache. Tooth pain in no joke, guys. Because of the severity of the decay, and the infection, he put me on pain killers. I went home, managed to get some food down (and a milkshake) and slept for most of the night.

Wednesday, I was finally feeling a bit better, and my husband and I decided to take advantage of that by going on a date. We went to breakfast and checked out Guardians of the Galaxy. It was awesome, and after the week we had, I think we both needed the distraction.

It was a tough week, but I got through it. I’m glad I had two days off right in the middle of the week, but I have no grand illusions that the next few days will be any easier. Mother’s Day is coming, and even knowing that breaks my heart. It isn’t an easy day for me, no matter how much I try to put on a brave face.

I’m going to spend the rest of the day cleaning the house, making a nice budget friendly meal plan, shopping, and doing a bit of meal prep. Date day aside, we really have to tighten up our finances. IVF is really far out of our price range, but since we are not giving up, we just have to figure it out.

Have a great Thursday!

~Sam

 

 

This is Us

“Surely the whole point of writing your own life story is to be as honest as you possibly can, revealing everything about yourself that is most private and probably most interesting for that very reason.”
~Judith Krantz 

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I made this little blog public on my Facebook page today, which I guess means there is no more need for anonymity.

I am overwhelmed with the response I received from sharing our story (which I had up until now kept mostly private)

This is what I posted, with a link to the blog below it:

My husband and I started trying to get pregnant about two and a half years ago, maybe a little less. Throughout that process, I have carried the weight of our infertility (mostly) alone. I didn’t even share an inkling of our struggle until May of this year, and even then, began to do so very slowly…and somewhat cryptically.

At first, I was trying to keep everything under wraps so that people wouldn’t constantly ask me if I was pregnant (something that is very painful for someone who is struggling with infertility). Eventually however, I realized that I was ashamed of myself. I was ashamed that I couldn’t do something that every woman should be able to do. I felt broken, useless, and incredibly depressed.

Since going public with my infertility, I have had a few people come to me, thank me, and offer their support of our trials. This has made me realize that infertility, while very common, is still incredibly taboo. People don’t talk about it…and they should.

A few months ago, in the middle of my second IUI cycle, I started a blog. I did this anonymously, so that I could find a bit of a support system. It turns out that knowing I wasn’t alone…knowing that so many other people ache with the pain of not being able to conceive, was incredibly helpful.

So I have decided to go public with our story. I have decided to share the details of our struggle, and share the details that I published in my infertility blog.

I must warn you, that some of what you may read here is incredibly raw. I write when I am feeling hopeful, but more often, when I feel that all is lost. Please do not try to reassure me with false hope or promises that no one can guarantee. Writing has always been my therapy, and it is no surprise that it is in this as well.

If you share my story, or even if you don’t, please don’t hesitate to come to me. Ask questions, offer your support, share your own journey if you would like. I am tired of living in the darkness, and I would welcome the chance to have you walk beside me in the light.

Most of our process so far has been outlined on this site, though I do still have about two posts until we are current.

Thank you, to those of you who have reached out so far and supported us. I hope to help raise awareness to infertility by sharing our struggles, and help to show others that they are not alone.

So..I guess now it’s time to share “me.” Or “us” rather.

My name is Samantha and my amazing husband is named Mark. We have been married since August of 2012, and together since February of 2008. I’ll update my “about” section in due time, but for now I figured I could at least put faces to the names.

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This is us…

I have a million wedding photos, and engagement photos, and other professional photos that I could have shared, but for this first time I just wanted to show us…being us. This candid photo, snapped by a friend on a trip to Big Bear Mountain, has always done a pretty good job of telling the story of our life together. This photo is happiness.

Thank you for joining me on this journey. I look forward to opening up and sharing more about our lives as we continue this saga.

~Sam

So Much Love in Such a Small Body

“The only creatures that are evolved enough to convey pure love are dogs and infants.”
~Johnny Depp

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I mentioned in my Halloween post that I have been trying to keep myself occupied, as my husband and I try to traverse the tortuous labyrinth that is infertility. I am proud to say that I am doing a pretty good job in this endeavor.

My mood has been elevated lately, and all of this keeping myself busy has actually led to a few moments of pure joy. At a work event this week, I held a friend’s baby for the first time. This was long overdue, as the little man is approaching 6 months old (I think), but there was just never the right opportunity before. He was always either strapped to mom, sleeping, fussy, or straight up upset with life.

The moment that I did finally hold him filled me with so much happiness. He was in his father’s arms, and we were chatting. I was making faces at the baby, and he was smiling and grabbing at my glasses. After a few minutes he started reaching for me, so much so that he was making his little body almost parallel in his father’s arms. I asked if I could hold him, and he said yes before I took the baby. His mother was sitting behind me, and as I put him in my arms she erupted in a coo of, “aw.”

She told me that as soon as I had the baby in my arms, his face lit up. He was apparently extremely happy that I took his hint, and picked him up. I held him for about ten minutes, as he nuzzled his little face into my neck, and sucked on my shoulder.

I definitely had to force back tears at one point, but the emotions I was feeling were overwhelmingly powerful, and varied by nature. I felt sad for my husband and I, who may never be able to conceive; I felt happy for these wonderful parents and their sweet little bundle of actual joy; and I felt so much love for this baby…and coming from this baby.

I confided in a close friend later how difficult and rewarding those moments with the little guy had been. I told him that ,”he (the baby) made me sad and amazingly happy tonight. So much love in such a small body.”

It is true, though. Babies need so much love, yes, but they are also capable of giving so much love. That is all they are. Just love. They are free from judgments, stereotypes, rivalry, and hatred. Babies are love.

I rediscovered a piece of myself that night. I was reminded of something that I thought I had lost, and this sweet little baby will never understand the impact he has had on my life.

I know my journey isn’t over yet. I still have hope. I know that now.

I am hope…

…and love. 🙂

~S

 

This is Halloween…Weekend

 “Something wicked this way comes.”
~William Shakespeare


Happy Halloween!

I hope you are all finding fun ways to get into to some (safe) trouble tonight.

I’m actually spending the evening in. I’m rocking my Halloween leggings, a fun shirt with a quote from Hocus Pocus, and watching the first episode of Westworld with my husband.

I got into enough trouble this weekend, and I was certainly feeling a bit wicked. Ol’ Willie Shakespeare would have been proud. 😉

My husband and I enjoyed an extended weekend (he had five days off, I had three) packed full of activities. On Friday, we joined my best friend and her boyfriend at one of our favorite theme parks. It was my best friend’s birthday, and her boyfriend’s first visit to the park.

Friday night, I had two out of town guests arrive to stay at out house. It turned into a total girls night full of drinking, laughing, and even a bit of crying as we stayed up well into the early morning. Between the three of us, we killed about five bottles of wine and two medium pizzas.

I think we all felt a little worse for the wear on Saturday, but I know how much I had really needed a night like that. These past few weeks have been so difficult, and full of so much pain, grief, and anger. It was nice to have a night with a couple of truly  inspiring women.

We had a nice breakfast Saturday, before taking in a convention for a few hours during the day. Afterwards, we all returned home to nap, before heading out to an after party for the convention. I was still feeling pretty rough, so I didn’t drink, but it was another late night. We made it home at around 2am.

Sunday we were up early for the final day of the convention. My husband and I had a blast parading around in some pretty amazing costumes. They were a huge hit at the convention, and we got stopped constantly to have our photos taken. Someone even just walked up to me and put her baby in my arms. I mean, she was cute as anything, but that was an absolute first for me.

The highlight of the weekend (who am I kidding, the highlight of my life so far) was meeting one of my all time favorite celebrities.

I am not easily star struck. I have actually met quite a few famous people (I used to live in Hollywood), but this guy was probably number one of my list of people to meet. I also have the hugest celebrity crush on him. I was a mess before and after meeting him. I was shaky, anxious, and a bit of a goober. I totally lost my cool.

But hey, he hugged me.

My heart. 😍

I am so grateful for all of the people that helped make my weekend so special: To my best friend and her boyfriend, the girls that came to stay with us, my co-workers who joined us at the convention. Life has been difficult lately, but staying busy this weekend (and having so much fun) was certainly an important part of my healing process.

It was back to work today, back to life.

I know I’m still struggling; still depressed and broken. I had four panics in the last week, so that alone tells me how much work I have to do.

But the last few days have been better, and that has made me feel so much better.

I hope you all enjoy your final October night. It’s beautiful here, and I hope it is wherever you are all as well.


Happy Halloween! 🎃

~S