Our infertiity and infant loss journey began here...
In early February 2014, I was unexpectedly diagnosed with uterine cancer during preparations for our last frozen embryo transfer (FET). For now, the "daily dose" has changed to chemo pills but the journey continues on.
And I mean it. I love October. Every October. But especially this October.
Last week my baby sister and I celebrated our autumn birthdays by going to see our big brother in New England. It was the best seven days of my year...and quite possibly my life, thus far. We flew in for Game 5 of the Red Sox/Tampa match-up. But alas, the series ended at Game 4 so I spent Day 1 hooking up with work friends in Boston and exploring a possible relocation opportunity (we'll see - a lot to soak in). We ate a lot of clam chowda' (goal: one bowl a day) and hit the beach with our brother.
Day 2 had us hitting the road with the Mini-Lite Camper for the beginning of our epic vacation across New England. Destination: Hartford (Connecticut) Marathon. We drove south through Massachusetts/Rhode Island and I can't even tell you how amazing the colors were. Perfect timing for fall foliage. Once in CT, we parked the camper On Golden Pond and hit Hartford for our race registration. Late that night, there may, or may not, have been a midnight run to the nearest truck stop to purchase underwear because I may, or may not, have forgotten my petticoats. Oy vey.
Day 3, we woke up at 5:00am to get ready for our race. My brother ran the marathon (26.2!) and my sister, nephew and I ran the 5K. I know that it wasn't much, but it was my very first race and I was really excited. I really pushed myself and felt like a rock star. Although I'm not my brother who runs around England for fun (yes literally around, as in...along the coast, in a circle - the entire flippin' gazillion miles!). Nor do I complete a marathon a day for an entire week like him (yes, he really did that too. 26.2 miles a day for 7 days in a row - nuts!). But I did do my first 5K and I was SO proud of myself. It was epic!
Day 4, we headed north through Connecticut, Western Massachusetts and Vermont for more fall colors. Amazing!
Day 5 and 6, we cruised around northern New Hampshire and ate our way across Maine.
Day 7, we spent witching around Salem, Massachusetts.
Day 8, we hit the candle shop in true Yankee style in honor of for the 2014 Day of Remembrance and Hope, commemorating pregnancy and infant loss. I was glad to see so many candles lit and never had so much fun buying my own!
Best. Vacation. Ever.
It was the trip of a lifetime with my brother and sister and I came home refreshed, relaxed, and ready to go. Which (or is it "witch"?!) is saying a lot since today I turned 39...
It's been a while. 20 days. 49 days if you want to get technical because a video clip really doesn't count as a post, right?
It's been a busy summer and the last two months have exploded. Tornados. Fires. Floods. More fires. More floods. I'm an Emergency Services Director for a major non-profit and the western states (my playground) has certainly had its fair share. Oklahoma, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Utah, Idaho, Colorado... it's been busy and I'm tired. But that's really an excuse.
I just needed a break.
A few months ago I announced that we are preparing for another FET (Frozen Embryo Transfer). We have eight embryos on ice from our last IVF. It's nice to have options and despite all of the madness, I'm working on preparing myself as best I can. Mind - Body - Spirit.
I don't know the timing. I thought about October but I'm not there yet. Last December was truly magical...yet it came to a crashing end for New Years and I don't know if I want to do that again. Maybe I should plan January.
I don't know.
But I'm preparing. I'm running. I'm meditating. I'm eating better. I'm trying to find more work/life balance. I'm working to find the God's love in other ways. I'm continuing to heal from years of devastaion and disappointment that words can't even begin to describe. And I'm getting there.
These 49 days can perhaps be best described by an experience I had two nights ago on a drive back from Idaho. As I looked out the window during a beautiful sunset onto the passing desert landscape...tears slipped down my face as I felt something continue to settle. For so long I've kept pressing forward. It's been about the next cycle, the next IVF, the next FET, the next appointment, the next shot, the next ultrasound, the next doctor, the next month...
But as I pressed my forehead to the cold glass during that drive, I continued to think about and heal towards the reality that perhaps this elusive dream is exactly that. Elusive.
I'll be 39 this month. Mr. Thompson will be 45 in early spring. I think more than any other cycle, I go into this one with a different sense of reality. It's not pessimism - it's just reality. I will always hope for the best and keep pressing forward in faith, but I understand better than most the realities of what women like me face.
1 in 4 face miscarriage, infant loss or stillbirth.
1 in 8 face infertility.
I'm the One. Actually, in those terms - I'm the Two.
And while being that girl feels more like a One - Two - Punch!...things could definitely be worse.
I have a man that I simply adore. I have a big ol' Scottish family that's never tasted divorce (knock on wood) with two amazing parents, seven siblings, seven more in-laws, 26 nieces/nephews and a whole lot o' love. It bursts from the seams actually. I have an angel that is waiting for me. I have 15-year profession with something that gives me passion and fulfillment. I have a good, no, a great life.