Thursday, October 06, 2005

8 1/2 x 11

Yesterday evening, I got a reminder letter from my R.E. that my injection class was scheduled for next week. After I opened the letter, I sat on the couch numbly playing with the side of the torn envelope flap staring off into nothingness for a few minutes, and I realized my hands were shaking. I was afraid of 8 1/2 x 11 inches of plain white paper sprinkled with a random spattering of black ink. I picked it up, scornfully noticing that the letter was folded improperly, the creases wildly askew and loudly incongruous like my great grandmother's makeup when I was a wee girl. At first, the letters swam - and then, slowly I was able to make sense of what it said.

Simple, pointed, the letter told me the what, where, when, and how. And my heart trembled. My fingers shook as I read it a second time. I realized, I alone knew the "why."

Hot, stinging tears came pouring forth, tears that I couldn't decide if spurned by anger, fear, grief or by the feeling of release... of hope that this - this could finally be it. The weight of over two years of failed hopes came crashing down at once and I felt so confused, so disjointed from reality that I actually gasped just to make sure I was still remembering to breathe.

I've been struggling a lot in the last few days, about grieving the loss of innocence, about the loss of the chance of a surprise pregnancy or even just becoming pregnant by making love to my husband. You would think by now I would be o.k. with it, that I would have accepted it. But I still feel like less of a woman than the sixteen year old behind me in the grocery store rubbing her rotund belly. I still feel that I have utterly failed as a wife, as a woman. I still feel that this too, and every medical option after it will fail. Perhaps it's a coping mechanism, by setting my expectations low I am trying to cushion myself from the inevitable failure.

And part of what makes the pain so unbearable is that I know what it feels like to have a spontaneous, unplanned pregnancy. I know what it's like to have morning sickness. I know what it's like to tick days giddily off a calendar toward a due date. [Yes, I have been pregnant before - twice actually, seven years ago at 19 - you can read about it in my August 2004 archives - but please, your condemnation of me will not bring you closer to the pearly gates, so I don't need to hear it. I have found my own peace]. Michael and I have apparently been able to become pregnant, although for fleetingly brief moments - chemical sounds so clinical and harsh.

And part of me is so afraid to hope... so afraid to keep wasting our money on the unattainable that I seem to be self-destructing, botching my chances. My CA-125 test, necessary to rule out endo? Still not taken. I keep coming up with excuses as to why I can't make it to my injection class, which is still a week away. I thought back to the time (oh back in June last year I think) where I had a clomid prescription waiting on me at the pharmacy and drove to pick it up but never went in. I couldn't face the pressure of failure with assistance. It felt even more pitiful than when we failed on our own.

Part of me, the small rational part that is not the stereotypical redhead and who thinks calmly, knows that this is, statistically speaking, our greatest chance at genetic progeny. Then there is the other part of me, the diva with a penchant for the macabre and martinis who pushes her way clumsily - loudly - into the spotlight, melodramatically clasping the back of her hand to her furrowed brow who cries out beseechingly - "why us?"

I keep rationalizing that it won't work, so I should wait until after the new year so that I don't have to pay out the $1200 deductible again before insurance coverage kicks in.

I keep rationalizing that I don't want to deal with a failed cycle (or two) during the holidays.

I feel so raw, so vulnerable. I am afraid to hope, and yet - at the same time - I am afraid that if I give up that hope that I will have nothing left.

If you excise hollowness from a person, what remains?


At 3:03 AM, Anonymous thalia said...

I've felt this despair, too. The feeling of being broken is so hard to tolerate, or cope woth. But sweetie in the good moments you need to remind yourself that it's not true. You're an amaxing woman, just as grrl is, whose body can't carry a baby, or karen, or any of us, or even as katie holmes is, heaven help her. This is just a fucked up situation that we've been forced to endure. It isn't a comment on your womanhood, much as I know it feels that way right now.

At 7:01 AM, Blogger Larisa said...

Oh this stuff sucks. I want to have inspiring words of encouragement.

You aren't less of a woman, just as Thalia said. I hope you can muster the courage to make it to and through the injections class.

At 8:42 AM, Blogger Cricket said...

I am the same way, except to say I am 43 now and this strategy really hasn't worked over the last 7 years.

At 8:52 AM, Blogger Blue said...

Thinking of you.

At 9:20 AM, Blogger Vacant Uterus said...

I went over to read your Aug 2004 post. How very painful that must be for you; even the memories of a relationship like that must hurt. For what it's worth, I admire the way you've built your life now. You seem incredibly strong. I wish you the very best of luck with everything.

At 3:29 PM, Blogger Em said...

It's just an incredibly heart-wrenching journey. I have struggled with the less-than feelings and still do.I am still, in the back of my mind, expecting my nearly nien-week pregnancy to end. I too relate to what you wrote about in your August 2004 archive and I think, am close to making my peace with it but it has been, and will continue to be so hard.

At 7:22 PM, Blogger Toni said...

I wish I could say something that would make you feel better about this decision. The only thing I can say is that it's worth everything. Every shot - every drop of blood - every appointment - every stress. It's worth it in the end. Promise.

At 11:50 AM, Anonymous Lori said...

I found one of the hardest parts of this IF journey (which includes an early miscarriage) is the loss of innocence, joy and faith that my own body won't fail and betray me. On the hardest of days it all adds up to despair. I'm so sorry that you're feeling this way and struggling with the choices and options you have available to you. I have found during times where I've been afraid to hope, I've found comfort knowing that others had hope for us. If that brings you comfort, I (as well as many others I imagine) am hopeful for you.


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