Monday, December 31, 2012

see ya later, 2012!

I tend to find myself not wanting to have fun lately.  I know that sounds crazy, but feeling down and out is almost more comfortable for me these days.  The effort that it takes to put a smile on my face seems daunting.  I've felt this way before (after every failed cycle), so I know that it will come to an end.  Smiling will eventually become more comfortable to me than frowning.  This weekend was a start.  I actually had fun.  Of course my heart still ached (I fear that the heartache may never go away), but as I said... it was at least a start. 
*Afternoon nap with my two favorites*(post)Christmas party with friends*Our first substantial snow storm*Chocolate chip cookie dough cupcakes*My sweet, precious Belle*

With that, I'm ready for 2012 to be O-V-E-R.  This year officially has been the worst year of my life.  I'm still in awe that I endured two IUI's and FOUR IVF's in a matter of twelve months!  I took thousands of milligrams of Clomid, injected myself with countless drugs, endlessly bruised my stomach and perhaps will forever have a sore rear end from the PIO injections.  I had more doctor appointments this year than I've had in my entire life.  Vaginal ultrasounds became normal.  Blood draws?  Needles?  Forget being scared of those things... in a sick and twisted way, I almost feel lonely without them. 

But... I somehow moved forward each month after getting bad news.  And although I feel so incredibly weakened by my infertility, I am somewhat in awe that I've made it to this point.  After twelve months of heartache and pain, I'm still fighting for my miracle baby.  2012 made me shed more tears than anyone should ever have to due to the longing and desire to bring a baby into the world.  But 2012 did not waver my faith and hope to do just that.  I still believe that I will be a Mommy.  That I will make Nick a Daddy.  That our miracle baby is just being really, really stubborn.

So... see ya later, 2012 (or, as they say en francais, a plus tard!).  Good riddance to you!  My only resolution for the new year is to keep moving forward.  To have the strength to keep fighting through all the pain of infertility.  To finally bring my miracle baby into the world.  To beat infertility.  And to bring true happiness back into my (and my husband's) life.

Happy New Year!
**Praying for all of my friends that this blog has connected me to... Praying that 2013 will be all of our year**

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Christmas 2012

This is what our Christmas looked like this year (lucky for you (actually for me) I didn't capture any pictures of my (many) tears and swollen eyes):
Nick and I were on the same page this year with our ornament gifts.  We both chose ornaments that represent our most favorite vacation ever (our trip to California this past August).  Surprisingly, Nick declared that I won this year.  My ornament to Nick is the one on the right - a Shutterfly picture cube, Nick's ornament to me is the one on the left - a tourist couple that says "Aubrey & Nick California PCH Aug 2012".  I'm glad that I de-Scrooged myself enough this year to put a small tree up so that we could make this our sixth annual ornament giving night. 
We are fortunate and very blessed to have been able to spend this very painful Christmas with our families, who love and support us more than anyone else.  We pray that this will have been our last Christmas as just a family of two (and that maybe, with a lot of luck, our ornaments will be baby-related next year!).

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Post-Christmas Conversations and a Vow

Today is my first day back at work since Christmas.  I took yesterday off (as did most of my office) and I so wish that I could have stayed home today to dodge the post-Christmas conversations that are surrounding me by my co-workers, many of whom are parents (lucky shits). 

If I have to hear one more conversation starting with "what was the big gift this year in your house?!", I'm going to blurt out that it's great that your son/daughter got just the iPod touch or Kindle Fire or bike or Barbie dream house that they wanted... and that MY big gift was my period.  Seriously.  AF graced me with her unwanted presence on Christmas Eve.  How cruel is that (first Thanksgiving, now Christmas)?!  While children awoke in the middle of the night thinking that perhaps they heard Rudolph prancing on their roof, I awoke to cramps like I've never had before (Seriously.  They woke me up from a dead sleep.).  And to thoughts accompanying those gut-wrenching pains that my two should-have-been miracle babies were literally being flushed out of my uterus. 

Now, I get that just because I'm miserable, it doesn't mean that everyone else has to be miserable, too.  But it's just really hard dealing with this kind of a loss and then being surrounded by conversations highlighting just how much more fun and special children make Christmas. 

This was the Christmas that I was supposed to share the news of my pregnancy with my family.  This was supposed to be the Christmas that I would remember forever.  Instead, this Christmas is over, and it's the one that I want no memory of... I'm having a hard time letting it go though, because I'm not over this cycle yet.  The pain is still right there in the forefront of my mind.  It's so fresh.  My heart aches.  My eyes are swollen from tears that are shed every night.  I don't know what our next step is right now... we don't meet with my doctor for another week.  SEVEN days.  I don't know that I will make it... I need a plan.  Something to focus on.  Something to help me to move forward.

As I sit in my office trying desperately not to overhear my co-workers' conversation about what time their kids woke up to see if Santa came... I'm vowing to myself, that if I am ever so lucky to be able to partake in such a conversation that I'll do so quietly, with the understanding that someone next door might be crying inside, yearning for exactly what everyone else around them seems to have.  I vow that I'll never forget just how I felt this Christmas.

Sorry, Belle!

Dear Belle,

One of the very few things that makes me smile in the midst of dealing with infertility is plopping you down in a basket so that you can't get out.  I'm so mean.  But you're so cute.  And I love you so much.  Because you make me smile, even though my heart is so very, very sad.
Please forgive me.  I'll give you an extra cookie when I get home today!

Love, Mumma

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas

Somehow we made it through Christmas with at least a few smiles. While our hearts are still heavy and very broken, we are grateful for our time spent together and with our family today.

I hope that this Christmas brought joy, love and at least some peace to each and every one of my friends dealing with the heart aches of infertility.

Aubrey, Nick & Belle

Monday, December 24, 2012

Perfect cycle... Until the end.

I once read that dealing with infertility can, in many ways, be similar to grieving the loss of a loved one.  Except that, with infertility, the grieving doesn't really end (in many cases, such as mine).  Rather, you grieve your loss and then just as you rebuild your hope, faith and strength, the same (well, different - but the same) loss occurs again, and you're back to grieving. 

My acupuncturist also told me that the stress related to infertility has been proven to be similar to the stress of someone who's experiencing PTSD or to someone that's been diagnosed with cancer.  I know that it's difficult (and probably not even fair) to compare the feelings of loss, stress and heart ache to someone who is dealing (or who has dealt) with other very serious, very sad and very difficult illnesses and diseases, but my point here is that infertility is hard.  What I've been dealing with (and what I know so many of you out there have been dealing with) over the past couple of years, sometimes quite literally, knocks me off my feet.  Today, I feel like all of the air has been sucked out of my lungs.  Right now, it's difficult for me to find my breath and to keep moving forward.  Because, let's face it, I'm not really moving forward... I'm in the same exact spot that I was in two years ago.

This cycle should have been different.  Everything was perfect (well, everything up until my BETA on Friday):

My doctor just so happened to be the doctor on call the day of my Egg Retrieval (a Saturday).

My doctor was able to retrieve SEVEN eggs (this is the most eggs I've ever had).


It was confirmed that I would be having a DAY FIVE transfer.  My doctor just so happened to be the doctor on call the day of my Egg Transfer (we transferred two perfect blastocysts that were both already hatching)!

We got the report that FOUR of our embryos made it to freeze - we have FOUR frozen snow babies (perhaps the only silver lining in all of this)

That's pretty much where the "perfection" ends.  I ended up POAS on Thursday evening, the night before my BETA.  That's when reality first hit that I wasn't (that I'm not) pregnant.  I received confirmation that my HPT was correct the next day. 

As mentioned in my last post, we now have a lot of decisions to make.  We have four frozen embryos and are meeting with my doctor on January 3rd to discuss that process and whatever it entails.  We also have CCRM lingering, now in the front, of our minds. 

I'm doing my best to make it through Christmas.  The honest truth is that I can't wait until it's over.  I can't wait to go to bed on New Year's Eve knowing that 2012 will forever be a memory that I will be happy to forget.

It's still hard to express my feelings about this "perfect" cycle - the hurt, anger, despair, sadness, heart ache and pain are much too fresh right now. 

I don't know how to move forward... but I guess, somehow, I just am.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Another Negative

I'm not entirely sure how to even begin this post, so I'm just going to blurt it out. 

IVF #4 failed.

I'm angry.  I'm sad.  I'm heart broken.  I don't understand why.  I feel like my body has failed me... again.

Life is hard.  This is hard.  It doesn't get easier. 

Christmas is two days away and I feel so much pain.  I'm not sure how I will be able to enjoy myself over the next couple of days.  As families come together to celebrate Christmas with laughter, love and giving, I will be grieving the loss of my two precious embryos that were supposed to be our miracle babies. 

My heart aches and my mind wonders how I will make it through this... again.

I will post details of this cycle in the days to come, but for now, my husband and I are holding each other tight.  And we are still praying... for strength, comfort and for our hope and faith to soon be renewed.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Blessed is she who Believes ~ Luke 1:45

A very, very dear friend sent me a text message yesterday morning that lifted my spirits in a way that I can't quite explain.  It was one of the first things I laid my eyes on - as I blow dried my hair, I looked down and saw these inspiring words:

"And blessed is she who believed
that there would be a fulfillment
of the things that were spoken to her
from the Lord."
Luke 1:45

I pray that God knows, that even in the midst of my fear, worry, anxiety and my depression, that I still do Believe.  I Believe that I will be a Mom (someday, somehow).  And I Believe this because I Believe that God wants me to be a Mom.  I pray that, although my belief is sometimes overshadowed by my worry and doubt, that I will be Blessed (someday, somehow) by becoming a Mother.

For my loving friend who sent me this reminder: thank you.  Thank you for sharing with me (and with God), in my Belief.  Love you!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Her Royal Highness...

A picture of the diva-dog herself...
I truly believe that my little Belle is an angel sent to me from God.  I believe that God knew exactly what I'd be going through at this point in my life and that He knew I'd need this little face to greet me each day when I come home to put a smile on my face (some days, her little face is the only thing that puts a smile on my face).  I also believe that God knew how badly I'd want a baby in my life, so he made Belle really human-like.  For example, this little diva will not lay on the couch (or on our bed) unless there is a blanket underneath her to snuggle up on.  If there's no blanket, then she'll make-do with a pillow to rest her sweet little head on.  If there's no blanket or no pillow, then she'll restlessly walk in circles around you until you assist her royal highness.

Oh B, I love you to pieces!  xxooxxoo

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Christmas In Year's Past

As mentioned in this post, my husband and I started an ornament gift giving tradition back in 2007, our first year of living together.  As mentioned, we've Nick has since turned our tradition into a healthy little competition.  Admittedly, my husband has definitely "won" for the past few years.  I'm always excited to see what he'll think of year after year... he is so clever and thoughtful (two of the many reasons why I love him so much!!)!

Anyway, a new blog friend (hi, Erika!) suggested that I share our ornaments from years past with my blog readers.  So without further adieu, here is a peek at what Christmas has looked like for us over the past five years (Nick's ornament to me will be on the top and mine to him will be on the bottom)...

Christmas, 2007
Ok, so we I didn't start our first year of ornament giving off so hot... Nick got me an ornament of a yorkshire terrier (because I had been whining about wanting a dog for a good three years at that point - and I love little yorkies... Belle's half yorkie).  Sadly though, sometime over the course of five years, both ears have broken off. 

I got Nick two ornaments that year.  Truthfully, I have NO idea why I bought him the Santa ornmanet holding a rolling pin!  I think I just liked it for some reason.  That, and I totally slacked in trying to find an ornament for him, so I just grabbed the first one I saw while shopping at the Williams Sonoma outlet (waiting last minute like this is so un-like me... you would have thought that my mind was already consumed with infertility back then!).  I remember after having bought this first ornament, that I was at CVS during work one day when I saw this Red Sox ornament.  2007 was one of the years that the Boston Red Sox won the World Series, so I bought this ornament for Nick as well.

Outcome:  Nick wins!  I clearly had my head up my you-know-where in 2007! 

Christmas 2008
Nick proposed to me in 2008.  We were engaged on December 22, 2008, which was also the night that we swapped our ornament gifts.  I had been hoping that my ornament that year would actually be a ring... but he kept me in suspense for a little longer that night.  Instead, I opened a little paw frame ornament (for a dog that I didn't even have yet!) that Nick picked up at Walgreen's - his mind was on more important things (ummm, PROPOSING!!!) that year!

That same year, we also bought our first house!  We were still living in our apartment at the time that we swapped our ornament gifts, but closed on our house on New Year's Eve day that year.  I chose to gift Nick the house ornament with our names in the windows.

Outcome:  This is a hard one because Nick got a whole heck of a lot of points for proposing to me in 2008!!  Ornament-wise, though, I think I win, but... that sparkly ring (!!!)... I'll call it a draw!

Christmas 2009

Christmas 2009 was just a little over a month away from our wedding (February 6, 2010), hence my too-long hair that was desperately in need of a cut! 

Nick gifted me with an ornament that replicated the order that which our stockings hung on our mantle in 2009 (such great attention to detail... a man of my own heart!).  It was our first Christmas with Belle, so I think I had been stressing about where to buy her stocking for a couple of weeks (oh, the days when my sources of stress were regarding my dog's Chistmas stocking!). 

I gave Nick an ornament of our wedding venue.  The Hawthorne Hotel is a historic hotel in downtown Salem, MA and it is simply beautiful.  About a month later, the night before our wedding, Nick had left me with a gift to open... lo and behold, he had also bought this ornament for me (and he actually already had it on the night that we swapped our ornaments!) - great minds, I guess!

Outcome:  I think I win!  Afterall, this is one of my most favorite ornaments on our tree!

Christmas 2010
Note my dark hair in this picture... This was just a little after we had decided to start trying to expand our family.  Clearly, I thought it was going to happen quickly and that when it did, I wouldn't want to be hassled with having to highlight my hair every six weeks.  In recent pictures of me, you'll notice that I've gone back to the blonde...

Anyway, 2010 is the year that I started to slip with my ornament giving (I blame this on the beginning of infertility!).  This was also the year that Nick really, in my opinion, stepped up his game!  Our tradition doesn't just include swapping ornament gifts, but we make a night out of it.  We always order Chinese food for dinner and then cozy up on the couch for an evening of movies.  Hence, my husband's clever and thoughtful ornament idea that year... a Chinese food take-out box!

I, on the other hand, made an ornament with Belle's pawprint for Nick... I made him two, but only hang one of them each year on our tree.

Outcome:  Nick win's.  Again, the beginning of infertility on the brain for me.

Christmas 2011
Christmas 2011 was just after our first IUI... We found out that first cycle failed right after Christmas on December 28, 2011.

Last year, we went on our first camping/hiking trip together (in our ten years togther we had never gone camping, crazy, huh?) and this was the inspiration for Nick's ornament to me. 

I had a golf bag ornament customized to say "hit em' straight!" (it's hard to see in this picture, but the phrase is on the bottom of the ornament).  Nick demands that I say this to him pretty much every time he plays a round.

Outcome:  Nick wins.  Mine isn't too bad, but his is more special, I think.  Plus, infertility was (is) still on the brain!

So there you have it!  Five years of Christmas in year's past.  I'll be sure to post an update of our 2012 ornament gift giving night as soon as we mark it on the calendar

Friday, December 7, 2012

i love daddy

Waaaaay back when, when we first decided that we were ready to start trying to get pregnant, I bought this little onesie for my husband.  This is the only baby item that I have in my house.  It's been stuffed in the way back of my underwear/socks drawer for over two years now.  And, the other day as I was rummaging through that drawer trying to find a specific pair of socks, I caught a glimpse of it... and was immediately brought back to the time in my life when I bought this teeny tiny piece of clothing...
I was so excited that my husband was finally ready for our family to expand.  At the time, my only thoughts were how I would tell him and our families the good news (that I was sure I would have soon).  I had plans of wrapping this little onesie up and giving it to him the day that I got a positive response on a pee stick (which, I'm still convinced is impossible!).  But sadly, you all know how this turned out... Months after buying this precious little onesie, I stuffed it away so that it would be out of my sight and reach... my dream quickly started to slip away from me.

After one of my failed IUI's or IVF's (I can't even remember which one it was), I was sobbing in bed for, what felt like, hours.  I remember, amidst my tears, getting up and and grabbing the onesie to show to my husband.  I told him that even though he's already seen it, that I will still give it to him one day.  But the thing is, I just never thought that today, it still wouldn't be in his possession (or that our baby wouldn't have already outgrown it!) and that it'd still be stuffed in the way back of my drawer.

Anyway, as I took the onesie out and held it close to me, I was overcome with so much guilt.  I know I always say that "this is one of the hardest things about infertility", but this - the guilt - really is one of the hardest parts in all of this.  I'm the reason we don't have a baby.  I'm the reason why I haven't been able to gift this little onesie to my husband yet.  And while there are many, many, times that I'll hug him and apologize for all of this, he is always so quick to respond in the most genuine way telling me to stop it and that we're in this together.  I know that's true - there isn't anyone else in this world that I could imagine going through this difficult, painful and heartbreaking time with - I'm beyond lucky and grateful to have my husband by my side.  But, it doesn't take away the guilt that I feel deep down, every single day. 

What's ironic, is that in a time of complete desperation, pain and heartache, I've somehow found myself feeling a little closer to God than I have ever felt before.  Maybe it's because I've been clinging so tightly to my faith throughtout all of this...  In any case, though, I've been praying a whole heck of a lot.  Lots of prayers have been said for our miracle baby to finally join our family.  But, most of my prayers are for my husband not to have to bare this anymore.  Because he doesn't deserve it.  He deserves so much to be a daddy.  He deserves for me to give this onesie to him someday (hopefully soon).  I want it so badly for myself, but I want it even more for him.  I want to be rid of this guilt that I carry around with me.  I want to see our baby in this onesie... and I pray to God that He will give us that chance.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Them, too??

I'm not lying when I say that pregnancies are ev-er-y-where!

I went to CVS during work yesterday, for what else but more pre-natal vitamins (ugh!).  I swear my body has more folic acid in it than someone who has actually been pregnant for nine months... I've been taking the darn pills for two years!  Anyway, this is the first thing I saw as I stood in line to pay for my vitamins (that probably are a waste of money anyway)...
Seriously, Jessica?!  Share the wealth!  Come on... you JUST had a baby!  How unfair is that?!

Then I got home and as I sat down to eat dinner, I saw on Access Hollywood that the most perfect couple in the world are becoming even more perfect...
Yup, the adorably beautiful Royal couple are having a baby, too.  Duchess Katherine is preggers.  She already got to marry a Prince and now she gets to have a baby?!

So unfair... I married a Prince too and still no baby...
Nick really should be considered Royalty for having to deal with my royal-pain-in-the-butt attitude these days!

Monday, December 3, 2012


I really tried to enjoy myself and to enjoy my life this weekend - even with the absence of the only thing I want in the whole wide world.  And I think I succeeded, for the most part - even though my weekend ended with me telling my husband that I'm worried that there may be nothing else in our lives for us to be really, truly happy about without a baby. 

Anyway, we had a wedding on Saturday for my husband's best friend and the rehearsal dinner was on Thursday, so we decided to take Thursday and Friday off from work and spend a couple of days together.  The time off was much needed and we got a lot done... We did some outlet shopping on Thursday and crossed a lot of recipients off our Christmas shopping list.  When we got home, I decided to try to stop being such a Scrooge and I actually put up a small Christmas tree!  The weekend when I declared that we would not be putting up a tree, my husband obliged but then requested that we at least buy a small, four foot tree to showcase our "special ornaments"...

sidenote:  the year that my husband (then boyfriend) and I moved in together (yes, we lived in sin), we decided to start an annual tradition where we would buy special ornaments for eachother for our tree.  We've since stopped buying Christmas presents for one another and now just buy our ornaments.  My husband is very competitive about this and has even declared that for the past two years he's "won" the ornament present (he totally has "won" for the past few years - he always thinks of the BEST ornaments to buy!  He'll probably "win" again this year, too, because when my ornament for him arrived in the mail the other day, I was so disappointed with how it turned out...).  Anyway, since he takes so much pride in his ornament giving, I knew I had to take one for the team and put up the small, four foot tree...

... so, I said fine, he put the tree in the carriage at the store, bought it and brought it into the house where it sat in its box until Thursday, when I finally decided to try to actually enjoy this Christmas season.  And, wouldn't you know that I was actually happy once the tree was up and lit with all of our special ornaments from the past five years hanging from its branches.  It might be a small tree, but it's a special one, and it makes me feel happy and cozy when I'm laying on the couch (watching Miracle on 34th Street) to see the sparkling lights and beautiful ornaments - and my lights in the windows just makes it all that much more cozy!
My effort to try to be a happy person didn't stop there with our tree... I also partook in some Gingerbread House decorating with one of my nephews, who thought that this was just the most fun project ev-er!  Even though he just had to take a bite or two out of the roof gingerbread cookies, I think it turned out pretty good - and I'm glad that he at least had a good time with his miserable Aunt (who admittedly let him eat as much of the icing that his little heart desired!).
So, there you have it... I suppose I had a good weekend.  I'm glad my tree is up and I'm glad that I made my nephew smile.  I'm glad that I tried.  But, the honest truth is that trying to be happy doesn't actually make you happy.  At least, for me it doesn't... 

I'm praying for a Christmas miracle, for something that will truly make me happy, without having to try.
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