Thursday, December 20, 2012

ramblings about faith

This is not some lovely, well thought out post.  Just the ramblings of someone with a brain full of unfinished thoughts.   I am naturally a very spiritual person and that colors the way I look at life and my experiences.  I love to pray and am so grateful I have that outlet to express my daily joys, happiness, sadness, frustrations, really almost anything.  Something that is becoming a deeper mystery to me as life goes on is faith.  How does it really work?  I believe that real faith is a belief in something bigger and grander than yourself that serves as an anchor in life.  For me, I believe in God and Jesus.  I love them, and have had some sweet experiences that have convinced me that they love me, and I have had even better experiences that have convinced me of how much they love others.   So that FAITH (the kind in capital letters) comes easy to me, and is not very mysterious.  The other kind of faith, faith to make things happen...I don't get it.  I may have the concept wrong altogether.  I already mentioned that in relation to my infertility and treatments I feel I have used every possible algorithm of faith, and I don't feel like the outcome has ever been contingent on my "positivity" or belief of outcomes, or prayers.  Incidentally,  I do not believe positivity is the same thing as faith and I hate when they are used interchangeably.   So seriously, what is my problem?  Why am I not able to strong-arm an outcome with my tremendous faith (AKA hope)?  One little thought I had was regarding the bible verse that says that faith the size of a mustard seed can move a mountain.  I feel like I have had mustard seed sized faith - so why can that move a mountain but not make me get pregnant?  The thought I had was that one does not have faith in her ability to move mountains, or part the red sea.  One just possesses faith in God - and he moves that mountain.   So maybe there really aren't two kinds of faith.  Maybe faith to have a baby isn't actually a real thing.  It is just a hope.  Maybe there is just one kind of faith, and my desire to force outcomes with what I am labeling "faith" is really a lack of it.   But then how do I reconcile that I have been taught to pray for every good thing I want.  And I believe I have even been told that this can affect outcomes.  I am so confused.   Really, really.
This faith confusion is exacerbated by the fact that we are also suffering because my husband works for    one really bad dude.  Cruel.  Dishonest.  Dastardly.  We have been praying/begging for a new job for almost two years now, and though I am trying so hard to be thankful for ANY employment, and also trying to practice patience, the cumulative affect of the infertility set-backs and the job drama that I am totally understating have caused me to really want some relief.  Now please.  Thanks.  Again, am I focusing too much of my efforts on an outcome?  Again, I feel we have tried so many different variations of "help us endure this better"  "help us get tougher"  "help things get better"  "help us get the H out".
I will say that when the chips are down, and I remember to pray for some relief, I have always gotten it.  Always.  For me that wonderful comfort is so real and so surprisingly immediate at times.  I am just so down and so tired of this and feel if the real key to my own relief is having some personal epiphany than I am in big trouble because my confused mind feels closer crazy than to some gem of truth that will magically deliver me from these problems.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

The Pain That Remains

Back again with so much to say and no idea where to begin.  I begin with the sadness that is eating me up.  I alternate between three things: wanting to die (don't really be alarmed) wanting to drive through the night to Seattle to anonymously smoke pot until I feel better, and pondering for hours on end what I am truly craving.  The vat of caramel corn I just made and killed wasn't it.  Why is it I must eat the whole thing before determining that wasn't it?

Here's the good news and why the food craziness is the only outlet I will use:  The Mule did indeed have a baby!  He is fifteen months old and does my soul so much crazy good it is dizzying.  I have to reluctantly declare that the peddled idea of a baby's healing magic (that I despised hearing) is indeed true.  I still maintain that it should be NO baby's responsibility to heal me, yet I have to admit that his magical little soul did just that.  Well sort of...

It was a shock to me that I really did take a live baby home.  I think so many years of bad trained me to not trust good.  It was hard to imagine a happy ending when I had no experience with things working out.  But they did (trumpets sounding) and holding our two week old in our bed, we both admitted how much we wanted another baby.  Right then.  So when my baby was 11 months old, I embarked on thawing his two embryo siblings.  I decided that since I now had banked one experience of fertility trials working out, why the heck not try the dangerous experiment of having joy, hope, faith, prayer, fasting, and more concerted positive thinking than I have ever before mustered?  I had it in me at the time, so I gave it all.  I even drew a poster of me with my two little embryos joining the family.  I hung it on the fridge. 

Only one survived the thaw.  One was implanted and (according to my HCG levels tested at nine and eleven days) sat around like stale bread on the counter until it was tossed out with my period.  Screw you positivity.  This loss was so hard to take because I had dangerously turned the embryos into my children.  They were from my baby's same batch!  They were his embryo twins.  Adding insult to injury was the incredible hope that we could pay the 5K or so for this procedure and poof!  - be the happy parents of three healthy kids, have a crazy few years and be done with the fertility induced state of stress and poverty that has gripped us for the last 9 years. 

We immediately jumped into another IVF.  This time my approach was that of a robot.  I had one exceptionally bad crying fit/meltdown when I went into the clinic to go over my plan of care, (it is just so freaking hard to even think of going through it all again) but after that, I was a lean, mean Arnold Schwarzenegger ala T3.  The compassionate robot.  Who knows why, but this time I stimulated really well, had great numbers at each stage, implanted two great looking five day blasts and had four good looking embryos to freeze.  All was well in the world.  And then I just didn't get pregnant.  It has been a week or two since this revelation.  I still maintain my robot composure on certain days, but Compassionate Robot is gone and Terminator the original lives in my body.  I want to drive into Target.  Right through the wall and past the Starbucks.  Sort of for the comic relief?  I don't want anyone to be hurt.  It just seems congruent with the circus inside me, so I dream that it would make me feel better. 

On to yet another embryo transfer.  Had yet another ugly cry meltdown when I went in for the plan of care yesterday.  I said to the nurse "I have had nine embryos put in me, and of those only one worked" and by the end of the sentence the emotional damn had broken.  It is so hard to think about and say, and it is so hard to describe to someone who hasn't been there why that is such a loaded sentence.  But those little embryos that hold so much hope for life die so quietly, taking so much of my money, so much of my heart, so much of my faith, and lately I fear, so much of my sanity and humanity.  I am the most scared when I wonder what of me remains.  

So about that healing I spoke is real.  It has allowed me to wander Costco and linger in the toy section without the acute pain that such things once caused... I enjoy buying baby shower gifts now... I find myself thinking of how fun it will be to go to Disneyland together someday.   I am no longer childless.  That is the wound that my baby healed, filling it in with the best joy I have experienced so far in life.  The infertility pain stays with me because I still am, and always will be a mule.