Monday, May 20, 2013


It is yet another Monday.

For some reason the Jenny of yesterday hated the Jenny of today, and came up with the brilliant idea that Mr. T and I should do a very intense dance class and immediately follow that up with a yoga class.  So I spent the better part of my day sweating, mumbling "this bitch is crazy" to Mr. T, and fully committing myself to the belief that exercise isn't worth it without at least the potential of an orgasm.  Yoga is new age for 'try to get your head up your own ass by any means necessary' in case you were wondering.

It's exactly what I needed and I'm totes gonna do it again Wednesday.  (Last night may or may not have ended with me finishing the Amanda Knox memoir, and hurling it across the room shouting "I just don't know!!" Jenny needed to unwind.)

Right now all I'd have to do is look at you and all your chis would be aligned or vibrate or whatever they're supposed to do.  I am wildly powerful. Trying to stick your head up your own ass ironically makes you feel like you've unstuck your head from up your ass.

Towards the end of class as we were breathing, the teacher talked about how strengthening your spirit is just as important as strengthening your body if not more so, and that spiritual potency comes with age and practice.  It was on topic with some things that have been going on in my mind, lately.  Some dark things.

Now, if you're religious or are sensitive in the G-O-D department, you can skip this post, I won't be offended.  I have a feeling to some it may seem like I'm about to get all blasphemous up in here. Let's end it on a high note before I start vomiting out my slightly dark thought process.  I give you a Panda seeking spiritual enlightenment through yoga, see you in a couple of days.


We good?

As I have admitted on here before, I am an agnostic heathen without an interest in religion... okay well that's not entirely true, I'm fascinated by religion.  Religion is just not going to be something that's apart of my own personal spiritual life.

I don't want to generalize anybody here, I have obviously met religious people who are open-minded and wonderful, and completely blow my mind.  From my own personal experience with religious people, however, the awesome ones are the minority.  That's not to say that the rest are bad or anything.. it's just usually even if they get you in with kindness, at some point whether it be loudly or with a whisper and a wink, they basically say 'oh, but we're better than this group of people over here... those people are sick'. No me gusta.

I have, on more than one occasion, had to explain to a person selling religion at my front door that after this life, as is true with any after party, I'm following the gays.  Better cocktails, better music, exquisitely decorated and usually free of judgmental assholes.  (I like my judgment catty and fun, not discriminatory).

When I went looking for my birthfather in my teenage years, I found that he had found Jesus in prison and was super religious.  We're talking women can't wear pants or cut their hair, speaking in tongues, tap dancing and snake juice religious.  Naturally he took one look at me and pretty much assumed I was the devil incarnate.  (I'm happy to report that he has mellowed out since then).

So for me, agnostic means I believe in something, I just don't presume to know the details.

When someone says to me "I know there is a G-d", I think... awesome, I wish I had that kind of confidence, I'm strangely comforted that some people do.

When someone says to me "I know there is a G-d... but he has these tiny rules, see.  He loves you, but if you cut your hair too short, get a tattoo, kiss someone of the same sex, step on a crack in the sidewalk or eat the wrong kind of cheese on a Tuesday He's gonna have to damn you to hell", I think... wait, you talked to Him/Her/It?  Directly?  Is He speaking to you now?  Should I call someone? And what's the point of that love bit if we all know that as a human being I'm clearly going to fuck up a bunch of those tiny rules...

And if you ask the latter type of person why they believe these things, they usually point to some form of very old book.  And I can't help but think (pardon me for saying these things 'out loud') if the only book to survive 1,000 years from now is Twas the Night Before Christmas, I would hate to think that people are running around thinking that they must sleep in kerchiefs and have window sashes.

I like to believe in something, some universal force.  Mother nature, collective consciousness, old man on cloud, I don't presume to know.

I tend to think of it more as mother nature/universal force, but for clarity's sake let's call it G-d.  I believe in G-d.  What I don't believe in for a second is man's ability to interpret Him.

That being said, in regards to infertility I'm really having issues even attempting to interpret G-d/Mother Nature/The Universe. We're having a little bit of a tiff, me and It.

 (Source. Love.)

I've picked up a few things from different religions that I like or make sense to me.  My best friend in elementary school took me to synagogue with her sometimes, and I adopted the idea that you shouldn't write out G-O-D on something if you ever plan on throwing it away.  My family is Roman Catholic-ish, and I take a St. Christopher with me when I travel.  My college sweetheart was a liberal Muslim, and I learned from him that fasting can sometimes lead to clarity (mostly fainting, but sometimes clarity).  I've had an inexplicable connection to St. Michael my whole life - he pops up everywhere - I love the idea that an Angel can also be a badass who is kind of warlike. I like a lot of Buddhist teachings, and reincarnation is one of those things I could see as being True.

I also used to be one of those obnoxious people that thought 'everything happens for a reason'.  I'd say a little prayer in my head every night, thanking the universe for all the great things it's given me, and reasoning that It (whatever It is) has never let me down unless It really, really had to.  I even held onto that belief when my Dad died which was a really, really hard thing to do.

And now that's all kind of dead inside of me, it just seems like unbelievably naive optimism. Now I'm mostly feeling superstitious and pissed.

Superstitious because I have lost all feeling in terms of hope and faith in things, and am mostly just in fear that if I don't have that I will be struck down with even more issues.

People tell me to believe, to have hope.  I did that, I did.. and somedays I still do.  But often times I find myself just exhausted.  I'm waving the good ole hope flag mostly because I'm afraid if I don't that I'll be even more screwed.  But I am fucking hope in a perfunctory, don't-want-to-hurt-her-feelings fashion.  The passion has gone.

I understand there are people who have it way worse than I do in the family-creating department, I do I do I do, and I know I'm being a whiner here... but if the lesson I'm supposed to be learning here is that building a family doesn't always happen easily, that it takes a long time, is sometimes a curved path?  Sweet baby Jesus, I GET IT.

I'm adopted.  I've had the experience of looking up birthparents, one was great one was awful.  My Dad died when I was 21 and it crushed me.  I've had every possible response to a sibling a person can have.  I've been trying to have a baby for 4 years, I've done fertility drugs, IVF, had an early miscarriage.  As far as touring the 'non-traditional' family side of life, I know I haven't had as thorough a tour as some, but damnit it's been thorough.

And even though I'm still nervous that even thinking these things (much less writing them) is going to result in me being struck down by lightning, I don't really feel like I'm learning anything new, at this point, from not having children.

Meeting new people, seeing new perspectives, learning about the comradery that happens with shared tragedy, yes.  Still learning.  The actual human experience of not being able to have a family?  I'm maxed out.

If there's supposed to be some lesson here, it's been done.  It's as if the Universe has asked me to listen to "Thriller" 9,000 times in a row.  The first 1,000 I was intrigued, the 2nd thousand I still managed to find new things about it... Now that I'm hitting 10,000 I'm no longer finding anything new, I understand each component of it and the collective whole of it as best as I'm ever going to. The song is stuck in my head, I'm ready to move on, now I'm just being Thriller-raped.

And if this whole experience is supposed to strengthen my relationship with Hope, well.. No.  I had her, she died, I revived her.  I had her, she died, I revived her.  Each time I revived her she came back looking more haggard and less of herself as she was before, and now she's just a vegetable.  I keep waiting for her to twitch a finger, blink, give me some sign that I'm holding on for a reason and I find it incredibly hard to believe in her without some reassurance.  Don't get me wrong, sometimes I can find the little finger twitch in my vegetable-like Hope (I happened to be seeing possibly the only Doctor who knew about our protein deficiency!  That counts for something, right?).  Hope is my own personal Terry Schiavo.  I don't want to be the dick to pull the plug but at what point are you the dick for not letting go?

By letting go I don't mean giving up on having a family. I am, after all, just a few months away from sci-fi IVF 2.0.  There is a chance that we will have normal fertilization this time around, and there's even a chance that I'll end up pregnant.  Some days I feel hopeful about that and some days I don't.  I'm mostly trying to stay as realistic about it as possible - no hopes up, but no doom & gloom, either.

By letting go I mean letting go of the idea that I have to feel good about it all the time, that optimism equals reward.  Letting go of the idea that if on some days, like today, if I can't muster the tiniest bit of a hope-boner for my future that I'm somehow going to be struck down.  Letting go of the idea that the people who don't get a happy ending are the ones that didn't believe in it strongly enough.

We all know that there are women with unboundless optimism who don't end up having babies, and women who are totally pessimistic and/or asshats who end up having a bakers dozen.

There's just no rhyme or reason to it.  All hope might do is maybe make the situation a little more livable, but it doesn't change the outcome.  So why do I feel guilty when I'm not feeling it, or like some unseen diety is going to say "yup, that's the test - you had to have it everyday for four years.  I'm sorry to say you failed, no baby for you".

I am hope-impotent.  Sometimes I can get it up and functioning, but there's no longer a logical reason for when and/or if that happens, and I'm gonna need some Hope Viagra.  Mostly I'm just sick of feeling guilty about said impotence.

I like to think that sometimes.. at least in movies, the girl with blind hope ends up being disappointed and the girl that has lost hope ends up being surprised.  Right? Hope makes the situation livable but it's not necessarily the cure 100% of the time.  There's no law that says the Universe rewards you for constantly having blind optimism about things.Where does this guilt even come from, the guilt that if I don't believe strong enough all the time I'm going to be struck down?

I'm agnostic!  Yet somehow, when the thought creeps into my mind "this is a bunch of horseshit, there's no reason in the world for this" I'm still afraid I'm going to be cursed because of it.

The only thing that I do confidently believe is that if there is a Higher Being, He/She/It is not a thought nazi that is going to punish me everytime a little bit of sadness, humanity or crisis of hope/faith sneaks in.  If there is a Higher Being that temporarily puts you in tough positions, I'm confident it's not with the expectation that you handle it perfectly all the time.  It's about enduring, not perfection, and I'm enduring as best as I can.

I feel dirty and awful when I'm feeling hopeless, doubtful, tired.  I feel stupid and naive when I'm feeling full of hope and optimism.  Damned if I do, damned if I don't.

Of course I'd probably feel better if I felt confident in my happy ending all the time.  I will continue to feel that way as much as possible.  But it doesn't help me to, when I'm not feeling it, throw a giant heap of guilt on top of it.

So I'll be brave, ladies.  I'll say it.  Sometimes I just can't get it up.  Sometimes I am so exhausted that all the tinkerbell-clapping and how-to sex guides in the world aren't going to get it up.

All I can keep reminding myself is that I am very lucky, in a lot of areas, and that it's okay to have days where I feel hopeless just like there are days where I'm full of hope.  I'm lucky that I have a marriage where I can easily say to Bub without flinching "I pick you over kids, hands down", and it doesn't take away from that if I'm sometimes bitter to be in the position to have to say that in the first place.

Somedays I'm stoked and excited about all this, convinced it's going to work.  Others I just feel shitty to be in this position in the first place. I think that's okay, and I suppose I have to work on whatever stupid guilt I feel about not feeling roses and sunshine all the time... Like there's some very judgmental man on a cloud from the stone ages docking me every time I'm not full of optimistic glitter and sparkle.

I think that's enough blaspheming for the day.


  1. Yeah religion is a strange topic. I was raised by atheist, so I don't quite understand it all or believe it. My husband went to church every Sunday with his family. He and his brothers are all agnostic now. Even his father admitted that he doesn't really believe, but goes out of routine. I understand people wanting something to believe in, that I understand, but don't push your views on me. I've had at least five women come up to me and say "bless your baby".....huh?? I don't ever no what to say, so I just say thank you.....but I find it very strange for stranger to come up to me and say that.

    I felt the same way when we were going though everything. I did want to give up, because I truly believed it was not going to happen. I had many visions of it happening, but in my mind I just felt like no..not going to happen. I too feel the same way about my husband. Without him I never would he be made it though it all. He would always remind me how lucky we were,,for all we had, the love we had, and friendship we had. It wasn't the end of the world if it didn't happen. Life would go on, tomorrow would happen, and so would the next day. It's such a emotionally roller coaster. One day your okay with it all and the next you can see it just crumbling apart. Every single bit of it sucks, I wish I could say it gets easier. It just blows the big one!!!!

    1. It DOES blow the big one. Good Gawd it does.

      Yeah, sometimes I think "you're being terrible, don't think If think When"... And then other times I just as easily think it's unwise for me to not consider what my life will look like if it doesn't happen. (And then immediately get after myself, you know 'well don't think that because it WON'T happen if you think that' and round & round it goes...)

  2. If only the ones who believe strong enough are the ones to get a happy ending, then I'm totally fucked. I'm weirdly jealous of people who are religious when the bad times come...they can point to an all-powerful being and rest easy in the idea that they can't control anything, and they just have to put it in God's hands. But they also have to try to reconcile in their minds why bad things are happening to them at all, if they've been good people and followed the rules. It's much easier for me (although sadly, not as comforting) to just think that there's no rhyme or reason to anything and that sometimes, shit just happens. I wish it didn't, but there it is.

    1. Yeah I suppose what makes me feel.. sad for myself (gross) is that I used to be able to look at things and think 'there's a reason for this!' and now I just.. can't. Sometimes shit just happens. Infuriating.

  3. "We all know that there are women with unboundless optimism who don't end up having babies, and women who are totally pessimistic and/or asshats who end up having a bakers dozen."

    Good point! I can vouch that doing yoga, meditating, listen to my cheesy ass Circle + Bloom CD's, give gratitude, and praying till I'm blue in the face has not worked in the past almost 2 years. I have seen plenty of other women who do none of this, who aren't religious or even spiritual for that matter, who get their take home baby. At this point I'm exhausted and pissed off that none of my bring-me-a-baby spiritual voodoo has worked. In the end, I want to be able to say I gave it my all, but I'm at the point now where I wanna say, "This is what I've given and that's all you get God! You either help me or you don't OR maybe you don't really exist!" At this point, I'm becoming too exhausted to care if there is a God or not.

    And I totally feel you on the hipocrisy. I listen to sermons from Joel Osteen (because he rocks!) from time to time but I have not set foot in a church since my wedding day, because I can't handle the fake factor.

    1. Iiiii am immediately going to have to look up who Joel Osteen is...

      I'm with you, I have done a lot of baby spiritual voodoo and it's fallen on deaf ears.. And then sometimes I think "why am I trying to appease someone who clearly apparently thinks I shouldn't be having children.. which would make them wrong". It's insane the thoughts that go on in my head sometimes. Agreed - I'm too exhausted at this point. Show me something positive in this department that gives me a little faith, please. Otherwise it's like repeatedly trying to go after someone who's just not that into me.

  4. No judgement here. But I can relate. At the end of our 4 year journey for our first child, I was done. I mean d.o.n.e. I had already buried our future offspring in my heart and started moving on. Hope had already left the building a long long time ago. If the years of infertility hadn't done it, the repeat miscarriages put the final nails in her damn coffin. We were one of the lucky ones, and our last cycle worked. It wasn't easy from there on out, but he survived. I didn't expect it to happen, or for him to survive. I spent the entire first trimester preparing for what I assumed would be another inevitable loss. Some women find strength in hope. I found more peace when she left me. There's nothing to feel guilty about, it's all relative. At the end of the day, I think we each have to do what we have to do. If being optimistic and hopeful gets you by, then do it (my husband was the latter). But if preparing for the worst, accepting that it might not happen, and letting hope go is what you need to do to protect yourself- there's nothing wrong with that.

    As for religion... at one point my sister told me that she knew if I just accepted God into my life, I'd have a baby and stop miscarrying. Yeah. Let that sink in. While there may have been a greater power at work, and I know we got very lucky given my issues, a large part of our success lies in having found the right treatment after all the years. I often joke and say "I believe in science," but I'm spiritualist, or agnostic. I believe that there are some things I can't explain, but I know that if I hadn't had the right treatments or the right doctors my son wouldn't be here. He is a miracle of science.

    I could go on and on about my stance on religion, but could fill a book lol. I avoid talking about it on my blog because it's a tricky subject, so I do have to commend you for talking about it.

    1. I cannot BELIEVE your sister said that to you! Because clearly... the only women who get pregnant are Gawdly women. (??????) Yicky poopoo.

      I'm with you - in the spiritualist or agnostic category. Definitely things I can't explain.. and having said that I won't try to explain them, lol.

      It is a tricky tricky subject.. Thanks for the commendations I'm letting my balls hang out.

    2. "Some women find strength in hope. I found more peace when she left me."

      Yes. This. Exactly.

      If you want living proof that someone can still have good things happen to them without hope, just think of me. By the time I got pregnant, I had given up on my body. I had accepted that it was just not going to happen - EVER - but I would still go through the final motions (one last medicated round with TI, one kick at the IVF can) just to say that I gave it my all before moving on. Before the giving up, I struggled with the hope monster, and all it did was add to my misery and self-hatred. There was an incredible amount of peace that came with saying, "Fuck it. I'm done. I'm giving up."

      I'm also more of a spiritual agnostic rather than a religious person. But even the spiritual side of me has a really tough time believing that there's a reason for everything. I tend to think that life is completely random and nonsensical. I don't even try to figure it out anymore.

  5. Oh, and you can add me to FB if you want :) Is there an email I can send my link or email too?

    1. Yes! Email me at stupid stork 4 at gmail dot com.

    2. Yay Stork! I'm emailing you too! I want to be FB friends!

  6. Hope and I had a big fat ugly breakup before this last cycle. I gave her back all her crap and changed the locks. I just saw this as the last shot and it was what it was. Sounds like you're getting to a similar spot. It's not a bad spot. I think it's the beginning of acceptance. And acceptance doesn't have to mean stopping treatment, it just means coming to terms with your lot (I guess).

    As far as religion goes, I've obviously been dented and dinged. I mean, I'm a Catholic who did several rounds of IVF. You can't be a practicing Catholic pursuing ART and not have your faith shaken. Ultimately I just don't think I'm God's little puppet. I don't think s/he's up there throwing roadblocks my way and I don't think my life journey was predestined. I don't think I can say a prayer or two and have it "fixed" either. I think I can pray for strength and guidance, but a better ute? Not so much. What do you have to rack up some Jesus points and earn it? I don't think so. I'm glad we were all given so many different gifts so that doctors could learn how to knock me up and I could have the free will to decide that I wanted to pursue a biological family despite the opinions of old white dudes who don't even procreate.

    The end. You are brave for talking about this on your blog. Wowza.

    1. YESSS. One of the many things that makes me not want to have anything to do with organized religion, personally, is that apparently no one thinks that G-d and Science can co-exist. That to me is batshit. I don't understand why people can't look at it as He/She/It giving us some tools to deal with things, or why they can't think of science as a healthy curiosity/need to understand G-ds design.

      Thanks... I'm being brave. I'm awaiting the villagers with pitchforks and battering rams. ;)

  7. You can have all the hope and faith in the world and be the most dedicated religious person next to the Pope and Mother Theresa and still end up with a shitty ending. Or you can be a crack whore on the corner who doesn't believe in anything other than your pimp won't give you your fix if you don't pay up and end up with spontaneous triplets. I get that for some it's easier for them to believe everything happens for a reason. I'm kind of one of those people. Not that I believe God is punishing me or I did something wrong, but more like my timing was off. When I had my confirmed early miscarriage, I had to believe there was a reason. To me, that reason is Raegan. Had I had that baby then, would I have the joy that is my daughter now?

    I read this book called "Spirit Babies" by Walter Makichen. It gave me a completely different perspective on miscarriage and infertility. Around the same time I read a blog post or forum post about a woman who spoke with a Native American Spiritual Leader and was told about it's all in the babies's time, not necessarily in "our" time. This is what I hold to when I lost my baby, and what I think of when I lose a patient at work. I have to believe there is a reason....

    I'm not super religious and struggling with infertility definitely took a toll on my faith, but I do believe in something. I go along with the Catholics because that is the religion I am most familiar with as I was raised Catholic. Even my parents who are much more faithful than I am, don't go along with all of The Church's IVF as they supported my husband and I 100% in moving forward with treatment.

    Religion is a tough topic and I think some people take it to extremes. I respect those who have something to believe in or those who know they don't believe in anything. We each have to do what gets us through the day. With or without religion, hope is a fickle bitch. I believe you once wrote a beautiful post about that "bitch" and how she comes and goes as she pleases. But holding to that thread, however tiny it may be is good thing. And everyone has a good days and bad're allowed to kick that bitch out when you need to and call her back if and when you need her.

    No matter what, I'm hoping and praying to whatever is out there for you because you are such an amazing person and you will be a fantastic mom. So regardless of your beliefs, I'm holding to mine in hopes for you :)

    MUAH!!! <3 you honey!

    1. Thank you lady! I shall take your hope and good vibes and whatever other kinds of positivity you can throw at me.

      I feel like I've heard of that book? At some point? I DO like to think that everyone ends up raising the spirit that they're supposed to raise, and that if you lose a pregnancy at some point you end up with the same spirit at some point, I really do. (And for some totally nutty probably self pitying reason I seem to have a harder time believing that for myself.. Ugh).

      Yeah I'm just.. I clearly believe in something enough to be mad at it. I'm just trying to talk myself into hoping that He/She/It doesn't beat up on me anymore in this particular arena just because I'm mad. (which is ludicrous, I know).

    2. I may have mentioned to stay far, far away from that book. My interpretation was that if you can't communicate with your "spirit baby" in some other-worldly way, if your personal and collective spiritual energy isn't right, you won't ever get pregnant. Basically, I'm not spiritual enough, so no baby for me. :(

      I love your hope-boner metaphor. It's spot on!

  8. Hope does nothing except make you feel slightly better about a shitty situation. I kinda feel the same way about faith. I was determined to find out what my problem was, fix it, and have a child. That worked. I had faith and hope that I was supposed to have 2 children - a girl and a boy. That was b.s. Once my problem became a matter of odds (which were against me), I no longer had the determination to achieve anything. I only had faith and hope that this would be the time that would work (natural or IVF - didn't matter. Still doesn't), and that hasn't happened. And since I'm almost 44, I'm almost 100% certain that it won't. But some days I still hope for a little miracle.

    I think that's the problem with all of this baby-making process - there are too many unknowns to rely on much other than hope and faith. But, I don't know - take heart? Sometimes determination works too? Much luck...

    1. Yeah.. I had hope that IVF would work (I mean... IVF is the thing that works, right?). Then I found out we only had one embryo - hope dwindling. That one embryo took! Hope building up. Then I miscarried that embryo. At which point I bitch slapped Hope right off a ledge.

      I'm just so afraid to get my hopes up for this next one. Because what if the added protein doesn't work? What if we don't even end up with one embryo this time? If I get my hopes up going in I will be beyond crushed if none of it works.

      At this point I just... want. I know what I want (I'd be perfectly happy just to have ONE baby, I would). We shall see, we shall seeeeee....

    2. Me again - I'd say that perhaps to reduce the scariness of the "what ifs" re IVF 2.0 you could come up with a clear list of next steps if it doesn't work? As per my approach below you could -if you have not already- list goal, all possible approaches for anyone, approaches you are comfortable with. I'd advise challenge yourself and your partner. Comfort zones are great for some but I've found they don't work for me especially in area of infertility- they were restrictive, halting suffocating and unhelpful. My sister is tied in by her comfort zone edges, and its working out terribly for her too....anyway won't rant on, just some fodder for your nodder :-)

  9. So I just wanted to comment that you're not alone in your thoughts. I've walked a different path, but it was and is still full of grief. That effer doesn't discriminate.

    I had similar thoughts and questions like - Am I part of the wrong religion? Does God favor Mormons? Should I convert? Kidding but only half way. If you want to read my thoughts in their entirety here's the link. And Christian is my son's name, just so you know I'm not trying to convert you or anything.

    You know where I ended up finding a lot of answers? Don't laugh...The Indigo Girls. I listened to Closer I Am To Fine and I swear it explained everything.

    "There's more than one answer to these questions
    pointing me in a crookid line.
    And the less I seek my source of some definitive,
    the closer I am to fine."

  10. It's funny. I guess I would describe myself as agnostic most of the time, I sort of want to believe that there is something bigger and better out there when life kicks you in the groin, but far too often I found that there isn't really a karmic justice to things. Some time life sucks, and it is just because rather than a brilliant well thought out plan i think that pain in the world is caused by vicious random events. Like tornadoes in Oklahoma.

    I never questioned that if I believed stronger or better that god would grant me what I wanted though. After all, having been raised catholic the people who believed the most, the priests, the nuns the pope, none of them had children. :) Why on earth embracing their beliefs give me mine?

    My husband and I tried for 13 months, with one miscarriage and then, suddenly when we were weeks away from our first treatment we got pregnant. But it certainly wasn't because we suddenly prayed properly one night.

    It is still early and cautious and I am not really allowing hope to rise up inside of me. I am terrified that this pregnancy won't last. But if it doesn't I still won't believe that it was because someone or something decided I needed more punishment in my life, or to learn a lesson in hubris, or to suffer for my craft.

  11. I have no original thoughts of my own, but want to relive my favorite parts of this awesome post. You are bloody brilliant. (I'm not British, but bloody seemed right there somehow...)

    "I am fucking hope in a perfunctory, don't-want-to-hurt-her-feelings fashion."

    "if the lesson I'm supposed to be learning here is that building a family doesn't always happen easily, that it takes a long time, is sometimes a curved path? Sweet baby Jesus, I GET IT."

    "Hope is my own personal Terry Schiavo. I don't want to be the dick to pull the plug but at what point are you the dick for not letting go?"

    "a hope-boner," "hope impotent," and "Hope Viagra"

    Another unoriginal thought comes in an excerpt from a poem by James Dillet Freeman. I've found it comforting at times when I don't feel like praying or hoping for our baby.

    When you need Me, I am there.
    Even if you deny Me, I am there.
    Even when you feel most alone, I am there.
    Even in your fears, I am there.
    Even in your pain, I am there.
    I am there when you pray and when you do not pray.

    [It's kind of long, and has a bunch of stuff that doesn't do much for me, but ends as follows]

    Though you fail to find Me, I do not fail you.
    Though your faith in Me is unsure, My faith in you never wavers,
    because I know you, because I love you.
    Beloved, I AM there.

    As you might have guessed by now, I am religious (and a scientist, but that's not especially pertinent here), but sometimes - like on Mothers' Day Sunday, when I didn't want to get lectured to by some new mom in all her newfound wisdom - I don't particularly feel like going to church, or praying, or hoping, or what have you.

    I happen to believe that God is still there in those moments, maybe more so than in my most zealous ones...And I don't think She/He (or I) should be the least bit offended if you disagree. :)

  12. Stork. You are Uh. May. Zing.

    Funny enough, you have described my own personal "religious" feelings to a t! Right down to traveling with a St. Christopher (I was raised Catholic) to talking to my hubs about buddhism to juice fasting for clarity. All the while being a hardcore scientist who left the Catholic church when I was 8 years old to live in a teepee that I had my dad build in the family room. (I had converted myself to Lakota Sioux and I could not be talked out of it.)

    But in other infertility/that-bitch-called-hope news...I killed her. I killed her dead with my tomahawk and never looked back at her bloody corpse. That was after 3.5 years of infertility, 17 friends with babies and one "best friend" couple who were the only ones in the world we decided to tell about our struggle, who responded by getting pregnant 30 seconds after that conversation because "based on you guyses story it seemed risky to wait." They had been married for exactly one month. That was when I turned to hope and sneered at her like Freddy Kruger. (She wasn't smart enough to run.)

    "I feel dirty and awful when I'm feeling hopeless, doubtful, tired. I feel stupid and naive when I'm feeling full of hope and optimism. Damned if I do, damned if I don't."

    Yes. Exactly. But hey, you made it longer than me, so you have more strength and resilience than you're giving yourself credit for. I think it's INSPIRING. So there. All of it, this post (every post!). Your courage to talk about everything. Your courage to say you're losing hope! And by the way, your description of being forced to listen to Thriller 10,000 times is so very buddhist! :) You're destroying your ego (which is not a bad thing!) I can't wait for sci-fi ivf2.0. We'll all be there with you, dragging our personal hope angels behind us in varying stages of dismemberment.

    1. Will comment properly tomorrow as I'm sick with flu and its early morning here in the UK. Just to say briefly you all have such literary skill, wit and dexterity. Really struck by yours as always stupid stork and yours "very specific" :-) tbc

    2. Am I replying to myself ---oh dear! Also just to add "very specific" is right, you are courageous for writing about so many contentious topics with such openness and honesty. It's refreshing and inspiring to read!

  13. Re: following the gays to the after-party -- preach! (Or, you know, don't preach, because that would be religious, but you get the point). Yeah, I'm a pretty full-on atheist, albeit one who slightly crouches every time I say that just in case lightening strikes me. I am also an atheist who has prayed when my mom had cancer, and the night before I peed on a stick for my first IVF. It's super pathetic. I'm always like, "Erm, hey God... so... I know I basically don't believe in you... but um... maybe you could do me this one favour if you DO exist?" And funnily enough, all those prayers have come true, and yet I still refuse to believe. (Crouching).

    The only reason people in this community say to not give up hope is because it helps give you the energy to keep going when EVERYTHING is pointing toward your goal not being achieved. It's a way to sort of say "fuck you" to logic, and actually, it does usually work. But I think hope can take many forms, including trying to ignore fertility stuff altogether and just move forward until you get to the next round of IVF or donor eggs or adoption or whatever.

  14. All I'm going to say is cute Panda picture and lol at the man with fetus.

  15. Love the panda picture! You know, I am a Christian. Not a great one, but a Christian. I swear like a sailor, go to church about once every few months, and believe fiercely in pro-choice and gay marriage. It is the judgmental comments from "Christians" that make be believe in these things even more. Because as hard as I (kind of) try, I can't bring myself to align with what a Christian should be, besides loving others. You are not alone in your thoughts. Infertility has crushed my relationship with God. I just don't have much of a desire for it lately. I am wishing you the absolute best of luck with IVF 2.0. Rock its fucking socks off.

  16. Hope left me after my 2nd IVF failed. It's so very hard to keep clinging to it when you are constantly let down. I will have hope for you for IVF 2.0 even if you can't have it for yourself. I want play dates with little Storks.

  17. Ok so I wrote a lengthy reply and lost it when my mum called me....:-(

    On hope : seems that hope is synonymous with faith in desired outcome and belief in desired outcome. I picked up hope when it worked for me and strangled it when it didn't. I think this is acceptable.Well meaning friends would say to me that I must never give up hope, but I see-in hindsight they had positive events and stability in their lives at the time which helped them to have hope for me. This contrasted to my despair.

    On god : I don't believe in a god who controls everything. I can't think of such a god causing some good people in the world misery and some other morally questionable people happiness. However I am comforted sometimes by the idea of a mother universe (who I addressed prayers to) who helps people out sometimes by prodding things in the right direction - " helps fate along".....

    Other times I can't even stomach the concept of fate when I look around. Even Karma seems insulting as a theory to people born into devastating situations. I struggle with the idea of an afterlife and reincarnation too.

    Most of the time I believe we each are born randomly and luck decides if we are born into love and/or opportunity or any other context. We then develop with the help (or hindrance in too many devastating cases) of those around us and develop a moral and believe system. The choices we make are a culmination of many factors from the situation we were born into to the friends we have. I guess I believe we make our own happiness and some people have an easier context to work from to achieve this.

    Sometimes I do see that positivity in a person attracts positive things to happen to her/him - but perhaps that's more because a positive person puts a positive spin on every outcome or situation which comes their way. I can take these people but only in small doses ....

    I am a realist (hubby would say a pessimist). Do I think hope and prayer brought my baby boy into my arms? No. I think it was courage, strength of mind, persistance and a willingness to do whatever it took to bring him into my arms. Not everyone would agree or has agreed with the route we took or the pace we took it at. I live my life by my own set of morals, values and upbringing, not by theirs (that would be weird even if it was viable).

    I will not therefore "hope and pray" your IVF 2.0 is a success (as I've done for myself and others to no avail) as I don't believe this will help it succeed to be honest. Instead I encourage you to have courage, make bold decisions, ask bigger deeper questions of yourself and others. Clearly set out your goal,look at all routes towards this goal ,then decide which you'd be comfortable pursuing. This approach - I have found successful.

  18. This post so perfectly describes the hope rollercoaster I am on right now. I actually try and stay hopeless... I feel like if I get my hopes up too high they will be dashed and I will jinx myself. But then everyone tells you "stay hopeful" "keep thinking positive" and so you feel like you won't be successful if you aren't positive about it. "If you build it they will come." Once in a while things start looking up, and you feel that warm fuzzy feeling in the pit of your stomach, and it rises and you glow and you smile and then it hits you... "Oh shit! You're gonna jinx it! STOP!" and you stuff it all back down again... ARGH! I feel like IF would be much easier to handle if it was back to back appointments and tests and shots and more tests. It's the quite moments we're forced to spend waiting in between all the tests and shots that are the hardest for me to handle.