Running away

I find that running away from your problems is one of the healthiest things you can do — or at least for me it is. I keep talking about how hard this winter was, and yet here I am…. staring at an August calendar. Where did the summer go?

I dug deep down in my dresser until I found my favorite pair of running shorts, a pair  of lime green socks, and my running top. I put on the clothes, hoping to immediately be transformed in to this rock-star running-like Goddess… Ready to feel the energy pulse through me, like Rocky before a match– Eye of the Tiger secretly playing in my fictitious background theme song— but to my humble surprise, there was no feeling of awesomeness. No feeling of immortal power…no ‘Adriannnnnn!’….just an overly tight sports bra, and shorts that use to fit, accentuating a very frumpy spare tire.

What… the Hell.

 

It’s been busy this year already. We got back from Europe in the second week of July, and had to hit the ground running. I kissed my husband goodbye and ‘until next weekend’, while I stood in my back yard wondering….’How am I doing to do this’? The weeds had over grown my yard, the trees needed to be trimmed, the gutters needed to be cleaned out, the dog shit needed picked up, my bank account was completely empty since we decided to ‘live it up’ in Europe.

It’s the kind of overwhelming feeling,  where it truly gets harder to breath, and all you want to do is lay down and take a nap. I didn’t know where to start. So I decided to do something I had been longing to do since last year — run away from my problems.

I needed to breath (heavily), i needed to feel pain in my sides, and sweat down my back — I’d take anything than the anxiety that was consuming me.

There is something very therapeutic about a trail run. The nature, the air, the mental stamina to not trip (or have a heart attack). It was hard… and I hated myself every tenth of mile I struggled, I hated myself for giving up last year. I  did so well. I was up to 5 miles last year, I ran 4 races, with a decent mile pace.

Now… now I’m a pathetic blob on the trail, to winded to even swear out loud. But I’m getting there. I’m not giving up. I signed up for a race at the end of August, so that I have a reason to train and push myself.

I love my thoughts on the trail though. On the days I don’t feel like I’m dying, I actually think. I think about Fall, and pumpkins. I think about how I am going to tackle my yard work, and pay off my student loans…I think about how damn good I want to look in a fall sweater this year– so damn it keep running!

I feel small, yet a part of something so much bigger when I’m out there. I hope that I can tackle this race in three weeks. It’s going to be hard.. very hard….but maybe if I keep a list of my problems, I can see how fast I can run away from them.

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I’m not sorry

Does anyone else get the feeling that they are always apologizing? 

Apologizing for your appearance, or your schedule. Apologizing to friends because your personal life has been a priority? apologizing to your neighbors because you let the weeds in your beds get out of control? Apologizing to the car next to you, because your breaks are obnoxiously loud (Yes… I did this today…. yes, I need to get them fixed)

I find that I apologize far to much, over things I’m not sorry for, as if, it helps people resent me less. It’s not even that I say “I’m sorry” all the time, but I notice, I try and put a negative tone to things, to not make them sound so great. 

For instance, my husband and I went to Europe this past June. It was amazing how little support we got for it (not that we needed support). People at work asked if i was going anywhere during my two weeks off and I would say “Just visiting family”, and it was so much better received  then “Going to Germany to see my dad, and then to the south of France for a weekend for my cousins wedding”. 

People hate happy people. No one remembers that I couldn’t have kids, so rather that sit around and play out the life of 3 children in my head on the weekends, I’m taking my life by the horns and riding it! 

His sister in law is disgusted with us. I booked a secret cruise to the Bahamas over Memorial Day, I didn’t tell the husband about it, until the last minute. you should have seen the excitement on his face. We live apart, so when we get the change to spend 4 solid days of romance and tropical weather — we take it. Why should I feel apologetic for it? His sister in law truly asked “So…what’s the deal with all these trips?” as if i was supposed to have a reason to spend time with my husband. When opportunities come up, we take them….because we don’t have kids, and we have vacation time built up. Reason enough for me!

I’ve had a lot happen in my life. Some great things, and some not so wonderful. I’ve been given a lot of great opportunities, and i know that i am lucky for them. I also know, that i am open minded and flexible, therefore, more ‘opportunities’ come to me. 

My mom died 6 days before Christmas when I was 14 years old. 5 months later my dad was relocated to Germany. He didn’t (nor did we) have much use for Christmas any more, so to avoid the holiday all together, my dad would take us skiing 2 hours south of where we lived. The resort happen to be in the Austrian Alps, so when people learn that I’ve “skied the Alps” their perception of me turns into something far from the truth, and not so flattering. “spoiled” 

I recently told one of the ladies at my office, that I was offered a volunteer position at one of the Chicago Museums — and i was SUPER excited, because i don’t have kids, and i get to work with the scouts and school kids doing science experiments! as soon as I told her, she honestly asked, “Does your family come from money?”. What in the hell is that suppose to even mean?! so i replied, “I’m sorry?” , “Money… does your family come from it? You just sound like you had a very rich childhood”. I responded, “Lynn… we are talking about volunteering on Saturdays….what in the Hell does that have to do with money?”, “well it just sounds to me, that you do all these crazy things, you just got back from Europe, and when you talk, you just seem so cultured and educated”. I’m sorry? should I apologize for coming off  as a well rounded, educated and cultured 28 year old? Should I explain that I was forced to move abroad ( thought it was pretty fuckin’ sweet!) and I’m super nerdy, and that my parents weren’t wealthy, especially after 2 years of Chemotherapy and a funeral?

I’m just tired of being sorry. We told his parents that we were going to plan to go back to Europe in April, and they were less than pleased. They didn’t understand why we needed to go back, a year after we were just there.  Maybe i should have rephrased, “We are going to go visit my dad in April, a year after i saw him last”. Makes a difference right? But why do I need to? Why do i need to explain every choice I make, as if to help lessen the resentment I get form others. 

I’m not apologizing unless I truly mean it. I want to enjoy the time i have with my Family, my husband, my dad, and this life! I’m going to take those lemons life gave me dammit, and I’m going to make the best damn lemonade! 

Here is a list of things I’ve been chastised for, where I felt the need to apologize when really… I wasn’t sorry at all!

I’m not sorry for:

  • Traveling
  • Being in a ridiculously happy marriage
  • Not going through invasive infertility treatments
  • Owning Pit bulls
  • Not wearing makeup
  • missing workouts
  • not being a Christian
  • for loving Science and Archaeology
  • being a “tree-hugger” and recycling
  • trying to be mostly vegetarian, but enjoying the occasional  hamburger with pickles
  • living in Chicago — although I love the country — this is a great city!!!
  • being educated and bilingual 
  • financially conservative and socially liberal
  • my brakes squealing (actually no, they were obnoxiously loud, and I really was sorry for the painful sound!)

I love my life. We all make choices, and i am making a choice to live happily. I’m not just reading an inspirational quote about life, but I’m choosing to live my life like the inspirational quotes I read. I’m not going to apologize for not forcing myself to seek infertility treatments. I’m not going to apologize for booking secret romantic getaways whenever the opportunity (and cheap group-on Deals) arise.  

Why do we feel the need to?

The weekend of the Baby

This weekend has brought many answers and clarity that I’ve waited for a while to bring. My best friend had some interviews this weekend in my area, and was coming up for the weekend. She brought her baby (who I’ll call JP) along, and needed someone to watch him while she was in the interviews. 

When she told me she was coming up for the weekend – I was SO excited. I was thinking girls weekend in the city. I was thinking wine bars, and Taste’s and live music, and staying up until 2 am catching up. Then the day before she came, she told me she was bring JP along too. I must say, i was a bit disheartened. I was in need of a girls weekend. But that’s okay. I was in the room when JP was being born, I went to see him when he was a month old, now that he is 6 months old, it was nice to see him again! I agreed to watch him during the day — it was the first time I’ve actually played “mom”. I haven’t babysat since I was 10, and I’m never really around children because we move so much. So part of me was a bit excited. My husband though, was nervous that I was going to be a train wreck, and go straight to the bank and take out a loan for IVF after  holding JP all day. To my surprise, it was not so much the case. 

My friend got off the plane a changed women. There was no girly chit-chat. There was no “How have things been?!”. it was business. it was baby. it was sad. 

It seemed as though, since she was the one with the baby, that trumped anything that came out of my mouth. All my ideas were second, because she was a mom, and therefor anything we did must be JP friendly too. The entire ride from the airport to the house was all about JP, and the woes in her life. 

I stayed home from work that day, so she could go to her interviews and I watched JP. Her husband called me and asked if I was getting baby fever yet (kind of cruel to ask, if you ask me), and oddly enough — I wasn’t. That baby was a lot of work, but so are a lot of things, my husband for instance – but I still love him! I had absolutely no feelings of attachment to this child. I even strapped him into one of those baby-wearing shenanigans so I could have both my hands free while I got caught up on e-mails, house chores ect. We even took a nap together (babies are seriously exhausting) and I thought that I might feel that bond — because who wouldn’t with a precious little infant napping on your chest while you drift off? Me. Not a single feeling of joy. What in the hell is wrong with me? He was adorable, and I played with him, I fed him, sang to him, changed him, and at the end of the day, I still felt nothing. I tried making myself believe he was mine for the day, so that I could truly feel what it would be like – and all I felt was tired and more alone than I had ever been. I felt like I missed my husband more, because I gave all this attention to this child. I missed my dogs, since they were in the backyard all day. I missed my quite-coffee-pinterest time — by mostly I missed my husband. 

JP’s mom came home, and we went out to dinner, and I was surprised how unenjoyable it was. she didn’t talk much. She took a LOT of pictures of JP while at dinner, and spent the rest of the night sucked into facebook. What happened? Is this modern-day parenting? 

Then the next day, she asks me what I planned on doing with my ‘situation’. I tried explaining that I believe my biological clock has passed. That the times trying for a baby, made my life a living hell, and if something isn’t broke — then why fix it? I told her that nothing felt missing in my life, and that we were actually very happy with our lives. We enjoy the dogs, and moving and traveling, and coffee, and uninterrupted adult time. We enjoy smelling the cool fall air in the morning, and decided to drive to the Mississippi and rent a cabin for a night. I told her “I think we are just going to keep on keeping on, you know?” 

No. She didn’t. She told me “There is always adoption”. HEY, all my infertility friends, did you know that if you can’t have your own children, you could adopt?! Why do people bring that up, as if we never considered having children any other way that vaginally?  What they don’t consider is the heartbreak of the process along with the expenses and time needed and invested into it. She didn’t understand that we were fine. I told her in a couple years (like 10), if we feel the need to have children, then we would consider that, but right now, we are doing okay. 

She kept trying to find a solution for me to have children, as if, it couldn’t be possible for me to be okay, with just the two of us. Can’t it? 

My friend had changed. She seemed angry and pissed off at the world. She had distanced herself from real life, and only communicates through facebook. Nothing seemed good enough for her, and it acts like the world owes her. 

It’s not that I don’t like children. It’s not one of ‘those’ situations. I want to volunteer at orphanages, and work directly with children — it’s just that that maternal/parenting instinct is gone…..

So why do I feel so guilty for feeling so okay?

 

 

 

Why not me?

So strange to be back. To be back reading my old bloggers posts. Bloggers who wanted so badly to be parents, and who are in their final weeks of pregnancy, and those who are on another month of trying.

I don’t know whats come over me – but I am so conflicted my stomach actually turns. Maybe because last week was my birthday. Another year older. We were actually in Europe for my birthday. The hubs and I traveled, drank, laughed and loved in pure bliss the whole trip.
My best friend called a couple weeks ago to announce that she is, regrettably pregnant. She never wanted to have children, it just accidentally happened one night with her boyfriend. Although I felt NO envy, I still had a pang of “Why not me?” go through my soul.

Why not me?

My husband and I still talk about the ‘maybe baby’ option. Now that all of our friends have children, we’ve seen them post all the baby pictures, the family picnics, and pictures of the last few years as their child has grown — and to be honest, through those picture we realized…. maybe we don’t want to be parents. My husband, after taking all these trips (we randomly went to the Caribbean over a long weekend a few months ago), that he doesn’t really want to have children. I… I thought I did once. I wanted them so badly, and now I don’t know. The only reason I toy with the option, is because I am afraid I will regret one day for not having them, or even worse– regret having them?

It’s just a very strange stage of our lives, and really, the idea of regret, or running out of time to decide, is what perplexes me. I have no more maternal instinct. I was in the airport, and saw a mother with children running around, and I admitted “Thank God that’s not us, eh?”

We went camping with some family, who all had children, and they (the parents), looked so tired and miserable. My husband and I cozied up, made s’mores, and slept outside in a tent – in peace. i admit,  I’m selfish because I love husband-wife time. I love romantic dates, random getaway trips, and doing whatever the hell we want on a Saturday. 

I really do love this life – will regret come? Or is it possible to continue loving being a childless family? We already have our destinations picked out for next year, and have even talked about buying a condo in Florida, so we have a place to go and stay while we Dive (scuba). 

 

So,  if I like my life so much, and I enjoy the child-free option, and pictures of my friends children don’t make me sad/jealous/motivated — why do I still have doubt?

Dawn’s first light

Life on the Rocks

Oh my poor blog! I feel like I have neglected it so. For months/years this blog was my lifeline to get me through the worst of times…now that I am going through the best of times, I feel like it fell to the waist side, and I sort of miss it. I don’t miss logging on  and having tear-soaked cheeks as I feverishly wrote down every pang going through me. No, things have changed since last year. Months have gone by since my last round of Chlomid. The doctor has been ringing, questions have been asked, and “ignore” has been pressed.

Life changesMy life has changed. As we get older, more and more does the once-dreaded question of “Do you have any kids” arises. I have no problems telling people that we do not. There is no pain, no anger, no distress– just a simple “We do not”. Who would have…

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Coming out day

It was all getting to much for me. You know that feeling… when you think you’ve made a decision, but there is something tugging so hard at you, that you can’t confidently say, that it was the right choice? Sleepless nights, lots of wine, and the inability to relax.

We haven’t told anyone really that we have infertility issues — his mom guessed, and my best friend knew, because we were both trying at the same time. But other than that,  we haven’t told anyone that we were trying or not trying. We are in a very happy marriage — in fact I can confidently say we are happier then most couples we know, but each day, it seems more and more of our unhappy couples and proudly displaying a “we’re expecting” announcement on their facebooks.  We can’t have it all, and my husband and I know that. We are lucky — we are lucky that we don’t feel like we have to have a child in order for our lives to be of purpose. We are lucky that we are in love and laugh all the time. We are lucky that we have good jobs that allows us to feed our ever increasing wanderlust habits.

We can’t have it all — so what do we sacrifice? We decided to make a list. A pro and con list to having children. I sat down after making fresh coffee with a pen and paper, and turned on Pandora. I wanted this to have my undivided attention. I looked at my husband and said, “Ok….Pros and Cons to having children…. go!” We came up with at least 30 cons in the first 3 minutes…. after seeing how slighted the list had become, I told him we really should start working on pros …. we sat and sat and sat. And then we looked at each other, smiles, and laughed. “I guess that makes our decision?” The decision to decline further infertility treatments. 4 years, 8 rounds of Chlomid, God only knows how many boxes of OPKs, and tons of chinese herbs in my cabinet was enough for me. My husband and I don’t believe in IUI or IVF, so when my Dr. said we should “look into the next steps”, we had to politely decline.

This is it. This will be our happy little family of two (plus a couple of dogs). I am so in love with it all, that I can’t even imagine adding to it now. I don’t know where the infertile girl who thought her life was going to be over if she couldn’t bare children, went to… but I am damn glad she is gone. Life has so much more to offer! Maybe my hand wasn’t a Royal Flush, but I will take this straight flush and rejoice with it. Above all, I am blessed that I have such an incredible husband, who can see the positive in this!

We decided that we were going to come out and tell our friends and family, that after 4 very long and emotional years of dealing with infertility, we are making a stand and saying no more! We recently got our marriage back from the damage infertility’s worst months had caused, and I don’t want to give it up. I want to have sex and not worry about the position, or how long I need to lay there for. I want to be able to have sex standing up or over the couch (lol, tmi!) and not feeling like it was “a waste”. Infertility is so  stressful and mind warping, that I have had enough. I am tapping out.

Our family was actually very accepting and positive about the news we delivered today. Again, we are lucky. His mom wanted to tell me that IUI’s and IVF aren’t a big deal, and trying would mean we could have children, but we told them that is just something we don’t want to pursue. If it doesn’t happen naturally, then it is what it is. Or friends, of coarse, didn’t understand why I would do that to myself — especially since all of them are miserable and working on their 2nd or 3rd. “children bring so much joy!” one exclaimed — and I said “I’m sure they do…but so do a lot of other things… like sleeping in and traveling!”

The world is as you make it.

It was actually incredible, how once we told everyone, the weight of the past 4 years lifted right off our shoulders. My plans now, are  to work on taking the next couple of months, and untraining myself from what infertility taught me. I need to STOP checking my CM every time I pee (and I mean, EVERY TIME!) I’m going to stop feeling the need to lay there with my legs in the air after sex. I’m going to stop eating pineapple core when I think I’m ovulating, and I’m going to move on. It’s going to take a while, but I never thought I’d be able to overcome the dark side of infertility, and here I am.

I’m actually looking forward to this. I always imagined I’d get married, have kids, and be a stay at home mom…now that I wont be having kids(though we aren’t taking means to prevent them) … I have a whole new slate…an unforeseen and unplanned life ahead of me to discover and create….Will we live abroad? Will we own land in another country? Will I go back to school? What will it be…

Lets do this!

every little things gonna be alright

So a couple of months ago, 9 actually to be exact, my best friend told me she had conceived, and was planning a baby. 9 months ago I was crushed. I wasn’t the friend I should have been, because of infedtility jealousy… a vile emotion I wanted to get rid of more than having a baby.

Its hard for us to get those announcments. The last couple of months the hubs and i have been  teaching our selves to learn the new lifestyle we find ourselves in. I get the calla month ago that my bf will be induced.  Withouta single pang of jealousy I booked my flight to texas to give her the support she needs.

She’s been in labor for 4 hours. I’m doing what I can to help her, and I’m loving being here… but seeing the diapers and the baby blankets and the flowers,  it is now that I truly feel that this is not for me. No jealousy, no ill will, just complete understanding that I really was made for other things…and am thankful for I can finally, and honestly move on with my life.

 

Day 3 of Acceptance

I came across this blog, and it really resonated with me, so I HAD to share! So please, for those still trying and for those that are ready to move on, I really do encourage you to read this!

“With increasing trepidation, I realized my body wasn’t operating as advertised. Month after month, my self-esteem eroded. Hopeful at the beginning of each cycle, I’d regress with the bloody reminder of my failure. The primal urge to procreate grew stronger as the months slipped away, driving me to seek out any and all knowledge available – alternating between Eastern and (more expensive) Western medicine in a frenzied attempt to fix what was broken.”

 

“Today, birth announcements or photos of newly pregnant, aging celebrities in the supermarket checkout stand no longer evoke envy or anger. I’ve learned to appreciate my body, my life, and my relationships in a new light. Still there’s awkwardness when meeting people with children for the first time, who routinely inquire if we have any of our own (where to begin?) or when hanging out with friends who chat about the challenges of raising a family. For my part, I tread lightly in our newfound joy and our life lived without the limitations they face so as not to appear indifferent to their struggles and the demands on their time.”

“My husband and I continue to push forward, to shape and define a life outside the beaten path. We challenge each other to uncover new possibilities, to seek new adventures and discoveries that will enrich our understanding of the world and our place in it. That’s what we would have encouraged our children to do.”   Read More on Accepting Childlessness after Infertility 

 

 

 

 

2014 — The year of Acceptance

Another year down ladies. Another midnight kiss followed by a very tall glass of champagne, because, as like the previous years,  we don’t get to share the pregnancy-restrictions as our luckily sisters do. The bitterness, the anger, the sleepless nights, the Chlomid and progesterone pills. 2013 was a year of loosing hope. Loosing the idea of family. Loosing what I thought was ‘next’. We got married, we got the house and the dog, and then hit a road block — well not really a road block, you can get around those – this was more of a sink hole that washed out the road- never to be crossed again.

Just as with any kind of grief, infertility is no different, we still experience the 5 stages, whether we realize it or not.

  1. Denial
  2. Anger
  3. Bargaining
  4. Depression
  5. Acceptance.

At first I thought we weren’t getting pregnant because we just weren’t ‘timing it right’. Then I started counting and temping– after months I started getting pissed. Full of anger at friends posts who were sharing their happy news, of how they got it the “first time around”. What was wrong with me?. I went to the Dr. we talked, and I started pleading to anyone. I’m not religious but I said I would be if these first couple rounds of Chlomid would work.  I said I would raise my children in the church, if I could get pregnant by Christmas. I would be a better person if……

We are rounding year 4 of infertility. Exhausting, frustrating and depressing year four. I wasn’t worried about taking the infertility medication,  temping, or symptom spotting during the two-week wait, because there was no long any use. We weren’t going to get pregnant. I would see children and be sad because I would never know what it would be like to carry a human being in my belly for 9 whole months — to feel the flutters and acid-reflux an ‘active baby’ gives. I wouldn’t know what it’s like to pick out toys and wrap them before Christmas, and see my children eyes big and bright when they opened presents from Santa.

I am no longer mad, but more at a feeling of loss — how do you relearn what you thought was “next“. What happens when the “next” doesn’t happen. We stand here blinking at each other, in our happy marriage,  with our dog, our dual incomes and a three bedroom house in a good school zone. I drive an SUV because two years ago, we thought it would be the perfect vehicle for “the dogs and kids”. Infertility isn’t just about not being able to get pregnant. We have to relearn what adulthood is going to be like without children. To buy things without first question if it’s a good “family choice”. We have to learn what a couple does with just a dog. What does a couple do when their family ends at two?

In a couple days, we will be ringing in 2014 — for us, it will be the year of acceptance. I will learn to accept what is. I will not be full of anger, I will not barter, I will no longer be depressed. This is my life — my one and only life. I cannot/will not spend anymore time with the things I cannot change.

I am going to accept that my dog loves being the only “child” — I’m going to accept that we will always dine at a table for “two”, and our Saturdays will be sleeping in and coffee dates on the front porch.  I will relearn what it is to be a childless couple in today society.

I will accept the things I cannot change.

Happy 2014 

‘It would take more than a lifetime to see everything — it’s best we start early’

I had to share this blog with you. I was on the DINK website today, and I really do encourage my friends struggling with infertility to check it out. I think it is a fantastic way of enjoying life, after we got dealt the shitty cards of infertility.

We didn’t choose the DINK life, but rather it chose us, so we are going to ride the wave of change and enjoy every wake!

Check out these blogs from childless couples (who may or may not have chosen to have kids — infertility affects more of us than we realize — so find these couples as an inspiration on how we can live our lives going forward)

http://roundwego.com/ (this is such a beautiful blog of a couple who travel all round the world, volunteer and take pictures)

http://www.dinklife.com/topic/travel/10-best-couple-travel-bloggers

Cheers!