Fuck Cancer

April 18, 2014

So…lemme get this straight…

I attempt to create a tiny human and someone I love gets cancer? Those are the rules we are playing by these days?

I’m gonna add that to my list of things you should have told me YESTERDAY. Or, ya’know, well before I started on this path.

Seriously, how is that fair play?

I mean, I sort of understood that Pops was at risk. He had already had cancer. Twice. And he had lived a full life.

But my friend? In her 30s? OK, so yeah, she had also already had cancer. But that was YEARS ago. She beat it. Or so we thought.

I know in my head that my actions had nothing to do with it. And this is not about me. But this is my space and I am feeling…ALL THE FEELINGS.

Not pregnant. The End.

#KitKaper, the surrogacy edition has now concluded.

I usually do not allow myself to hope much. Nor do I set expectations very high. If I set them at all. It’s so much easier to not be disappointed in someone or something if you never expected anything in the first place.

But recently I allowed myself to hope. I set expectations. I had thought it was something of a breakthrough that I was allowing myself to feel positively again after so long. I deluded myself into thinking it was HEALTHY.

I am a dumbass.

These lessons were hard-taught the first time around.

And even harder the second time around.

And yet, somehow, I picked myself up for a third round. And when I got knocked down that time it didn’t hurt quite as much. Perhaps because I saw that one coming. Or because I didn’t really expect anything different. Or maybe I never stood all the way up so my fall was shorter.

But this time. This time I should have known better.

I deluded myself with thoughts of “It’s FINALLY my turn.” Finally all that karma will find its way back to me.

Yeah. No. It’s not my turn. And karma appears to be just as directionally challenged as my embryos.

My past life must have been really horrible.

I fell like such a fool. And I feel like an asshat. Not only did I allow myself to hope, but I roped in all of you, too. Countless people (OK maybe not countless, let’s be real here, maybe 100, possibly even 200) were rooting for us and hoping for us. And now those people are let down too.

Because of me.

I suck. And I’m sorry.

Really, I feel HORRIBLE for putting everyone through this. The whole caper aspect of this might have been a truly bad idea. I like to put out good karma vibes, not shitty ones. My bad. I fucked up.

You may now return to your regularly scheduled, undoubtedly more inspiring, regular programming.

Many many many many thanks to BadAss B for trying. It’s not her fault. I know she’s feeling sad too and probably beating herself up a bit so if you follow her on twitter please send some love her way too. She is awesome and deserves some support.

Holy Triggers Batman

April 7, 2014

What a truly bizarre two week wait.

I expected some of this. But not all of it.

I know how I felt during my FET.  It was WAY WORSE than I imagined it would be (even though I didn’t write about it all until later).  I thought that this time, since it’s not my body, it would be easier. And it is. At least in the fact that I’m not worried for my physical self. I thought I might be worried for B’s physical self.  But I’m not. Not yet, anyway.

What is happening is that I’m reliving the 2ww from my IVF. My first injectibles cycle.  The one I postponed because Pops was in the hospital.  And then he landed in the ER at 4dp3dt. Which was yesterday for this surro FET cycle. He recovered fairly quickly from that ER visit.  Thankfully, he was at home doing fairly well by the time I landed in the hospital a month later.

And of course his cancer came back while I was still recovering from that pregnancy. And then he died.  And then I was cleared for FET.

And now my almost 16 year old hyperthyroid renally challenged kitty seems to be boycotting both food and the litterbox.

So.

The two week wait.  Pregnancy.

They STILL equate – in my brain – to death and dying. Even when it’s not my body.

So yeah.  This is tons of fun.

NOT.

It is a truly bizarre thought process.  My headshrinker says it’s completely normal. Memories are stored chronologically and when you access one you tend to get all the ones around it. Particularly if they are traumatic. So apparently I am not a raging lunatic for equating pregnancy (or even potential pregnancy) with death.

A negative beta will end it most likely as that will be a different outcome from the past. 

A positive beta (or home pregnancy test) will likely keep the triggers coming for a few more weeks.  This is not about the outcome of this surro FET cycle.  I mean, it partly is but it’s about so much more.

I should have seen this coming.  I suppose I did to a certain extent. But it’s proving to be far more powerful than I anticipated.

At least I’m not having panic attacks. I am not literally terrified like I was last time.  I just can’t stop the emotions from coming. Instead of abject terror engulfing me I’m staring at a tidal wave of grief. Preferable, yes. But still quite large and consuming.
 
I miss my Dad. I want to talk to him. I want to cuddle my sick kitty but she won’t let me.
 
I will be OK.  I always am. But this is going to be rougher than I anticipated. But also, once again, reaffirms that those embryos are way better off with B right now.

“It ain’t what they call you, it’s what you answer to.”
― W.C. Fields

Recently Right Guy and I have been doing something that we never allowed ourselves to do before: talk baby names.

Previous pregnancies resulted in us knowing that we were on the same page with names in general terms – although that was not a huge surprise. We are both pretty solidly in the classic name camp. As with most things in our lives, I’m more liberal and open to alternate spellings and or new twists than he is but it’s nice to know we are starting the same book together even if not on the exact same page.

Which is why it came as a total shock to me that he pretty much hates my favorite girl name. Um…what?!

For no good reason. It’s not an ex-girlfriend’s name or anything like that. He just doesn’t like it. Hmpf.

But there’s another girl name pretty high on my list that he likes. It is a family name for both of us. It’s even spelled the same in both our families and this is a name with several conventional spellings and even more newer alternate spellings. So…if we have a girl I think she has a name. Although I’m also a big fan of the idea of meeting her first and making sure it works for her. I’m also a fan of arguing my case for the other name I like. We shall see…

We are a bit lost on boy names though. Trying to pick a classic yet not boring nor too popular boy name that doesn’t end in -er is kind of difficult.

Which pretty much guarantees us to get a boy.

But this is all extremely premature as there are no babies to name yet. But it’s exciting that we finally let ourselves start talking about it.

The Surro Gift Bag

April 2, 2014

Apparently it’s a tradition – for something that hasn’t been around long enough to have traditions – to give some sort of gift to your gestational carrier at transfer. When I first heard of this I didn’t like it. I mean, the woman is (hopefully) growing me a baby and I’m going to give her a gift basket? Um…no. So not comparable.

It just felt kind of wrong to me. Regardless of whether a gestational carrier is being paid for her services she’s not really doing it for the money. Or an edible arrangement. To me, it kind of just seemed like an insult to her. Even more so because B, in particular, is not a material girl. She doesn’t need or want lots of STUFF lying around.

Also…let’s be honest. I have issues with the whole buying a baby concept. Whether it be paying your RE, an adoption agency, a surrogacy agency, etc. Mixing money and babies is just never desirable (unless you’re morally corrupt).

But.

I have to give her sticks to pee on. I’m a POAS addict. Or rather, I WAS. And while she may not be quite the addict I used to be I’m pretty sure she will want to pee on all the things. Well, all the sticks anyway. Sticks that say Pregnant vs Not Pregnant. So I’ll just wrap up the 5000 sticks with a bow and call it good.

[No I didn't actually buy 5000 of them]

Wait. Transfer socks. Those are a thing. I never really did them but they are totally a thing so maybe I should get her some. [And after I did a tweep sent some more. <3]

And maybe a surro T shirt. I know she’s pretty psyched to do this and would totally wear something like this:

Its Complicated T shirt

Click on the image to see lots of other surro T-shirts. There are so many!

And maybe something to do on bedrest. Trashy mags?

Hhhmmmm. There are now several items accumulated. Perhaps they should go in…a bag. ???

But this is the Pacific Northwest and we’re a bit crunchy here (plastic grocery bags are banned in my city) so not a regular gift bag but a REUSABLE bag. Clearly that’s the way to go.

And thus my surro gift bag was born. Despite my original objections to it.

But now I have this big bag and not enough items to fill it. What else should go in it?

Chocolate. That one is kind of a no-brainer. Especially since just the FET meds gave her cravings. Imagine what cravings she’ll have if she gets pregnant! Cinnamon buns! I remember that she loves them and craved them when she was pregnant before.

Oh wait. Her husband is a baker. As in a professional baker. And kind of a chef as well. I can’t bake her anything and store bought won’t do either. Hhhhhhmmmm. What kind of food can I include for her that has a chance of being better than what her hubs makes? *light bulb*

What’s the one thing we can do at our house that they can’t do in their apartment? SMOKE MEAT. Right Guy. He loves to smoke things. Particularly pork.

image

Let’s see…now that we are adding in homemade bacon which is really for the whole family it seems silly to only put items for her in this bag. Her entire family is supporting her efforts in this arena and they should also be recognized for that. So hubs gets some beer and homemade hot sauce (the peppers were smoked), the wee one gets a toy to distract and a book about surrogacy. And the cat gets some treats, too. Because he oversees the shots.
image

image

You know what I’ve learned?

The gift bag is not about her. It’s about ME.

Once the contract was finished and she started meds, I HAD NOTHING TO DO. NOTHING. No shots, no appointments. It’s like the two week wait turned into a six week wait. And so thinking of and procuring all the gift bag items has been my distraction.

The New Math of Loss

March 30, 2014

You may recall that last Fall submissions were being taken for a book about miscarriage. I mentioned it here. After the movie Return To Zero came out they decided to do a book – an anthology of stories of love and loss to raise awareness.

Well that book, Three Minus One, is now out. My submission was not chosen to be in it. But someone I know on Twitter is in it. Both her Twitter and her blog are private so I won’t link here but I do want to give a big shout out to Lauren! So proud of you! Congrats!

Three Minus One book cover

I had hoped to be a part of this since I still struggle so much with my first pregnancy. But I don’t think the world at large is ready for the darkness that was the Zombabies. Nobody wants to hear about how hard it was to kill your much wanted babies over and over again. I’ve been thinking about them a lot lately as we get closer and closer to SurroFET. I worry that these last two embryos, the rejects of the crop, will not take. And then all my babes will be gone. And then I think about the first two. I think about how beautiful the RE said they were. I think about how hard they fought me to stay alive. And I hope their siblings are just as strong… but with a better sense of direction.

[Also, why are embryo GPSs still not a thing?!]

It’s never been Three Minus One for us. It’s been 2 + 6 -2 -1 -1 = 2. Soon we will find out the end of that equation. Will we be three? Or four? Or will the Six Return to Zero leaving us as two?

Well, March is almost over. Endometriosis Awareness Month is almost over and the EndoMarch came and went (but I didn’t).

In case you missed it, Casey put out a blogging challenge and it’s now time for me to wrap it up. But first, here are the previous posts:
Week One: Basic Info
Week Two: Getting Personal
Week Three: An Open Letter to Congress
Week Four: An Interview
Week Five – Goals
Week Six: Why Is This Important?
Week Seven: Spread The Word
Week Eight: Friends & Family

This post should combine Casey’s assignments for weeks 9 & 10. Except I don’t have much to say about them because I didn’t attend the EndoMarch. Which is also sort of why I didn’t post DURING weeks 9 & 10. OK, so maybe I have also been just a little busy with surrogacy stuff, too.

Since I did not attend the EndoMarch I can’t write about what I packed or what it was like to be there. But I CAN continue to spread awareness. But you know what they say, right?

A picture is worth 1000 words.

So how ’bout some VIDEO?

Here’s a short clip from my excision surgery last November.

WARNING: It’s only about 2 min long and is not too disgusting. At least compared to other parts of the video I have. But it DOES show blood and internal organs. If those things don’t make you queasy then take a peek.

So. Now you’re AWARE of what excision surgery looks likes.

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