Bravery Not Included

Bravery, strength, blah blah blah. Doesn’t feel like it to me. Just another attempt to be a parent that we are on, this time with a different set of paperwork and an equal amount of money. Stay busy, stay distracted, stay alive – maybe if I don’t do that I won’t have to feel. 

I’ve never been a big drinker. I’ve never bought a giant bag of chips with exception of when I threw a few parties years ago. I don’t like french fries and I don’t smoke I abhor the smell of weed. I usually am sick after I eat a cheeseburger because me and beef don’t have the strongest of relationships. But ice cream? That shit’s in my bloodstream. And I’ve​ fallen off the wagon all hell broke loose six weeks ago. The worst times are nights when my husband is not around and I am full of thoughts… When my thoughts collide and twist and turn and beg me to just cover them up with some peanut butter and chocolate soy milk ice cream, or some strawberry mochi, or occasionally some full-on dairy chocolate chocolate chip Haagen-Dazs. So I don’t have to feel anything anymore. So I can disappear. Infertility showed me most who I was closest to in my life were not the people I thought they were… And I came out of these two years with almost none of the people I went into the journey with. 

“Food addiction is way binary; you either eat way too much or way too less. but it’s not about food. It’s about the body that eats food—the body that is filled w/ too many stories, and either should die from neglect or drown in obesity…it’s about the body being not a sacred place, but a cast off, a place of shame, of memories that haunt and bedevil and try to maim. Food addictions are about having no home, about wanting off this planet sooner rather than later, but slow death is preferred b/c somewhere there is hope that something better is possible—or simply instead despair has won and ennui overcomes all initiative, even that of ending one’s own very life. As someone who knew way too well wrote: “I wanted to take up the least amount of space as possible.”

~ from inside ptsd: the addiction episode

I had written the above yesterday and this morning I read this post from blogger Long Term IVF which inspired me to keep sharing. I too have a lot of fucking anger and heartache inside of me, and that’s why I honestly can’t reply to some of those “you go girl” comments because to me it feels like some look at this like a seventh round of DEIVF, which it’s not. I’m 6 weeks out from the fail of round 6, and 6 weeks and 1 day out from the news that our 2 year wait for a match from Ethiopia had also been in vain. I’m grieving like a mofo and while I try to focus (and blog about) other things, it’s still there. I take the random sneak peek at blogs I used to follow and see others finally getting their BFP and I fall apart….or worse, go straight to the store and pick up a pint of frozen to numb me. I watch too much Netflix as whiley back is starting to heal, my plantar fasciitis has returned to my right heel, as if my body has to maintain a certain level of fuckuppedness – if not one thing, then another. 

And while my husband embraces my curves, I know this chunkiness is not me. I don’t recognize this version of me, with this sixty pound layer of heartache on me that has accumulated since this journey from hell has begun. I have actually considered gastric sleeve surgery as now my dear is that I will eat myself into Oblivion and die like my father did at the young age of 62. 
And then I remember our debt, as we’ve got this $18K credit card balance I’m trying to pay off from the first two payments to the adoption agency ($17K more will be due once we get a match). And I say “I” because while my husband works, his company doesn’t pay a living wage and my business makes me the primary breadwinner. So me and my Bag Lady Syndrome are feeling the pressure. All unnecessary expenses are off the table. No more acupuncture, no more therapy (our therapist doesn’t take insurance yet), no nothing til this debt gets paid, as I am in that waiting period with prospective clients to sign new contracts. I’ve always ultimately been successful and it’s been a great year thus far, but as I tell my husband, my work is like selling Jaguars. It’s either really good or really quiet, and when you’ve made good money only to turn it all over to IVF doctors like it’s Monopoly money (instead of saving for retirement)? Every expenditure is magnified.

 I carry this physical and financial weight on my back and I am so fucking tired. I look at myself in the mirror and I hear my mother’s voice telling someone else how fat her youngest daughter has gotten (how do I know she does this when I stopped speaking to her after she literally ignored our miscarriage last summer? Well, when my older sister gained weight she talked shit about her, she called my brother’s curvy wife a “hippo”, and just last summer expressed her disdain for my sister’s girlfriend’s androgynous look. Not to mention how she fucked me up as a child insulting my father’s ​weight, leading me to think he was a defective person because of his weight).

But just because I bring these things up doesn’t mean that I’m wandering around like some wounded victim who can’t hold her chin up. Yes, I’m dealing with some serious shit. But whatever. You got to walk through it in order to get past it, and you got to do it in a way that works for you. 

The other day someone had the balls to try to compare my situation to Charlotte in Sex and the City, even using the scene where she gets miraculously pregnant because her doctor told her that when people adopt that’s usually when they end up getting pregnant. Well as anybody in this infertility community knows about me, I fucking blew my top. Because on top of using that analogy this person also went into an extended cheerleader / counseling session, telling me what I needed to do. Now while I am totally grossed out by Tom Cruise, does anybody remember that scene in Jerry Maguire where Kelly Preston’s character says “you are NOT a loser!” and he’s like “who said anything about me being a loser?”. That flashed across my mental screen when this person was writing all this – a person who wasn’t even a follower of my blog. Oh yeah and then she said that my miscarriage was still a birth. Yeah ladies you can imagine the steam blowing out of my ears to read that shit.

Anyhow what I’m trying to say is that I am processing on paper. I am venting when I need to vent, I am recognizing the beauty around me (which is why I do my Week in Pictures posts), and I’m working through my challenges. I’ll tell you what I decide to do, and I’ll tell you how I’m feeling and what I’m noticing about the world around me. 

Today the blogger infertility honesty had a really exceptionally kick ass post which also included a link to this TED Talk called “the lost tribe of childless women” which was exactly what the doctor ordered.

So my point to this blog? None really. Just writing as I always do. Nine years of this blog this fall…and on days like today, it feels like it might as well be ninety.

In the meantime, a little video courtesy of our backyard entertainment…

13 thoughts on “Bravery Not Included

  1. The ‘you are so strong’ comments never really help. Nobody wants to have to be this f’ing strong and it doesn’t feel like strength- more like survival. And what other option do we have? We have to keep moving forward and going through the motions. Even when our heart is broken, our moral is gone and the world looks bleak. I have blogged about wanting to be proud of the person I was through this hell and to try to find happiness amidst it. That is all great in theory and maybe for someone like me with an easier path but let’s be honest- when you have been handed the immense crap hand you have been handed, just surviving is all that is expected. I do appreciate you sharing and letting us in though.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. You write incredibly well. I could never know the torment you must be going through, but your words certainly were effective in giving me a small glimpse. I know nothing I say could make a difference to your situation, but perhaps just knowing that some guy down in South Africa has heard you, and he understands, will at least make you smile briefly.

    Warm regards from another human.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I don’t know if I can say anything that will make you feel better. I think you’ve been through a lot, a lot of things that you shouldn’t have had to go through, a lot of things that would kill lesser women. Keep on surviving. Keep on doing what you need to do to get through it.


  4. A close family member is on their third adoption from China and they’ve been thanked, admired, told how selfless they are, told how strong they are, and they’re just like, “Uh, we just want kids.” People always tell me that I am so strong and they can’t imagine what I’ve been through re: my pregnancy losses and it’s like, what other choice is there? Whether I have a total meltdown or put on a happy face, I get placated and no one is really there to help me pick up the pieces anyway but my husband. I feel like infertility and loss has really shown us who we are married to, and for me that was a good thing. (the only good thing.)

    Liked by 2 people

    1. you said it, girlfriend! and especially on the relationship thing – not only does infertility show us who our friends and family are, but it either proves or disproves who our partner is. I’m so grateful for my husband and so glad he wasn’t one of those dicks out there who acted like it was “some woman thing”. I remember being in the clinic and wondering, what the fuck are all these men sitting in the waiting room waiting for their wives instead of in there with her? sigh…

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I don’t blame you for blowing your top at the Charlotte comment. I loathe that crap. Reminds me of when someone said i would probably get pregnant anyway after failing IVF because “IVF kick-starts the body into being fertile, I know loads of women who got pregnant just after it” – hollow LOL. Also that rubbish you hear about miscarriage being a somehow positive thing – sick of that too (usually it’s mothers that make/made these comments to me).
    I can take or leave many things but ice cream is my no.1 weakness. If I buy a tub, there is no way the tub will last more than an hour. I had to ban HD Vanilla Pecan from the house because I would tear through a whole tub. At the moment I have a mad craving for coconut ice cream and I can feel myself getting chunkier and yes, it does bring me down. Sorry to hear you’re going through some hard times. You don’t need a point to blog (although I disagree that this post has no point!) because you write very expressively and I hope it makes you feel better to just get it down ‘on paper’ x

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I de-lurk to tell you that you’re the best. You’re a strong and beautiful woman. Fuck the 60 lbs, you’ll lose it when the time is right and your back is healed. I have no idea how you keep on keeping on but somehow you do. Sending you some good vibes from London.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. That baby is going to come!! As a mother of 2, miscarried more times then anyone should and a birthmother of 1, I know exactly what your feeling. If I could be a surrogate for anyone I would.
    There was a point to your blog you may have not seen it but I did. Keep smiling even when it hurts and give yourself the time to feel the hurt. xoxo


    1. While I know you mean well, I need to correct you right now. As a mother, you do not know “exactly” what I’m feeling. People who are on the other side and have children so often seem to like to tell the childless that they know exactly what they’re going through. The truth is, when you have children, particularly biological ones, you do not know what someone like me, who gave up a biological connection years ago and saw 6 rounds of IVF with donor eggs fail, is going through, along with a failed adoption. And I don’t need to “keep smiling even when it hurts” – I get to feel and express my grief however I want. It’s so irritating when people tell others how to feel and what to do, particularly when they’re not in the same situation – and especially when they have children.


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