Sunday, April 25, 2010

Rain, rain go away

It's raining outside
Mommy's going insane
The bugs have their noses
pressed on the window pane

We play cars, and trucks, and then with our train
We color, watch Barney,
then make paper airplanes

We're teething, we're fighting
tantrums, screaming on the floor
One just shut his brother between the two doors

It's raining outside
Mom thinks how much more can I take
before I lose my mind and I fall down or break

Afternoon comes
we fight - we don't want to nap
We'd rather push each other
and fight for Mom's lap

Finally quiet
asleep in our bed
Mommy may even be able to rest her own head

The peace and the quiet
Mom can hear the clock ticking on the wall
Even with all of the chaos
She wouldn't trade one moment at all

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Project IF

What if my spouse and I don't make it? What if we can't survive the crushing mountain of stress that infertility, pregnancy loss, and all things associated with them, places on us?

I've been haunted by this thought for so many years.

My husband and I have been friends since 1983, together as a couple since 1998, been married since 2001, and began trying to conceive in January 2002. In the beginning of our infertility journey we were happy, mostly worry free people. We were confident that we'd one day be parents. We set off on the journey together; a team; hand in hand.

Then somehow we got lost along the way. Not hard to do when you are in a constant sea of medical appointments, tests, injections, hormones, being poked and prodded, asked embarrassing questions, having humiliating and sometimes painful procedures, figuring out where money for all this is going to come from, loans, borrowing from retirement funds, trying to resolve yourself to the fact that this is going to take way longer than you anticipated. While month after month passed, and turned into year after year, it began to take its toll on our emotional health. Then the tidal wave came - success from IVF #3, only to experience no heartbeat at our 12 week appointment. Crushed, devastated, no other words to explain it. And, we were out of money. Yet the responses you get from people in real life are that you can just try again. No one really has any idea about the experience. Infertility is isolating, humiliating, embarrassing, stressful, chaotic.

This is where the changes in personality come in - enter hateful, jealous, resentful me. Enter the me that doesn't give a crap about anyone or anything, except herself. Not.even.her.husband.

And this is where we must not have been hanging on to each other's hands tight enough. Hell, I wasn't really hanging on at all. Honestly I don't know how it all affected J because looking back I wasn't really paying attention to him . I had become so focused, so obsessed with the outcome of having children, that he nearly ceased to exist, except for the times when we needed to have sex on demand. J could have walked out, a different person replacing him, and I probably would not have noticed a thing. I just wanted to resolve this all - where the hell were my babies?!

I wanted resolve so I could get on with my life but while I was searching for resolve my life with my spouse was slipping away.

Once I "recovered" from the miscarriage I threw myself into the world of infertility again. Finding more money, researching every procedure out there, find whatever way possible to have children.
Somewhere between the time of our miscarriage (2006) and the time our twins were born (2008) J developed a drug problem. A serious drug problem. You may think I'm crazy here but I didn't ever see it. I was blind to the fact -blind to everything he did. If it didn't have to do with me getting pregnant, staying pregnant, having babies -I didn't see it at all. Now he's so deep into it I'm not sure he'll ever get out. And, our marriage, well, that doesn't even exist anymore. On paper sure, but not really, it's gone, and I'm not sure we can find a way to get it back. Sad, we've lost a near 30 year relationship.

I consider myself a fairly strong person - I can handle a lot. When the stress of infertility hit me, I went to counseling, joined online support groups, read books on the subject to gain knowledge of how to deal with it all, started blogging. These were my outlets, ways to keep my sanity. J didn't do any of things things.

Now here's my theory: I believe that he internalized it - and now I think there's a possibility that his drug problem may stem partly from his inability to handle the stress from our journey. His hurt over all of it, of not being able to have children the normal way, of what it all did to our relationship, is made better by the numbing effects of drug use. Are there other factors involved? Sure - a predisposition to addictive personality, prior experimentation with drugs, whatever. But the thought remains - if we didn't go through infertility, if we didn't lose our first baby, if we had had our children the "normal" way, if it hadn't taken so long, if I hadn't gotten lost along the way, would J be in the position he's in today? Would our marriage be in the position its in today?

I'll never really know that answers to these questions. Time does not go backwards, infertility was and will always be our reality, and we will never know if things had been different if things would be different today.

I also have to wonder through all of this, what if it wouldn't be different? What if no matter what was different in the past J still ended up where he is today; and our marriage ended up shattered? What if in order to have my two beautiful children I had to walk this road?

What if, because of all that I've been through which has changed me and made me grow as a person, my children can grow up to be happy, confident, successful, loved men?

For information on helping to understand infertility check out

For information on National Infertility Awareness Week, April 25-May 1, 2010, visit

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

This is how big we've gotten

Is the circus in town?

Wow. That's all I can say when I look at how long it has been since I last posted.
There's probably not anyone even still out there paying attention.

I can tell you that since the last post the bugs have celebrated their 1st birthday, learned to walk and run, learned to talk (a lot), had a second Halloween where Mommy just couldn't get it together enough to dress them up, celebrated Thanksgiving where they could actually eat Turkey and mashed potatoes (and loved it), marveled at a Christmas tree with lots of lights and balls on it often too tempting not to touch, figured out how to plot against Mommy, celebrated another Easter where Mommy just couldn't get it together enough to take them to visit the Easter Bunny (have I mentioned that having twins is HARD) and learned to not be afraid to walk on grass. They've done much more that that - those are my highlights. Alex is up to 27 pounds and Landon is 23 1/2 pounds. I thought it was tough when they were first born but pushing the stroller is really a workout now.
Since the last post J has come and gone, and come and gone, and is gone again. This time most likely for the long term. It's too hard for the bugs and I to have to deal with his issues. Life is much more peaceful with him not living in our house. However, where he's at now, he can't even see the boys, and won't be able to for some time. I've told them that Daddy has a boo boo that need to get better before he can come home. So, they think he's off at some doctor somewhere and he'll be back when the boo boo is better. Sad thing is Mommy's not sure if Daddy's boo boo will ever be better.

My life has been like a three ring circus this past year. I juggle single motherhood, a crazy job where I often feel like I am drowning, and dealing with a marriage that is falling apart - one that I didn't want to fall apart and I've tried holding on but am losing my grip. The balls are all up in the air - red, blue, green, yellow. And, to top it off I'm walking on the tight rope while doing the juggling. I do my best not to drop any of the balls and keep my balance. But every day I fear that I won't be able to do it. And, I'm afraid of what will happen then.