Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Ghosts and Fairy Tales

It's Tuesday and my period is now, officially, a week late.

Not "oooh you could be pregnant!" late but "you took your last progesterone pill how long ago??" late.

I am a bloated seamonster of a life raft.  If you were capsized off the shore of Malibu with 7 of your friends, I could easily seat all of you on my monstrous body and dog paddle you to safety.

If it doesn't arrive soon, when it does come out I will be able to fully reenact the elevator scene from the Shining using only my vagina. The role of sad, twitchy, horrified, tormented Danny will be played by my husband.


My favorite character on True Blood is a medium.  I've been re-watching my DVDs in preparation for it's return on Sunday, and just saw a whole mess of episodes involving ghosts.

It's funny - no matter who you are or what your beliefs are, you are undoubtedly an expert in the rules of theoretical ghost.

Many-a-time we have all smugly shook our heads at a ghost in a movie or in a book, and thought "dude, you're not the same person anymore, and you're holding on because of a problem that no longer matters and that you can't do anything about. If you just let go you'd be way less hostile and see that there are good things in store for you - everybody knows that, ya Jerk."

So lately I've been wondering at what point in my infertility am I officially a ghost that's holding onto a life that just doesn't exist.

In many ways, I am absolutely already a ghost of the person I once was. There was a time where Knocked up was funny, and not a freaking Greek tragedy.  There was a time when I thought that ultimately, always, the universe's scale would eventually tip in favor of fair. There was a time I wasn't in a total panic that I would hit a certain age, and my personal tragedies would be something so obvious and tangible as being childless that I would constantly have to explain it.  Or at least be aware of floating, unspoken questions.

When I'm being optimistic and determined to plod forward, I don't know if I'm being a woman with an admirable amount of humor and hope, or if I'm some haggard looking, depraved, see-through version of myself that's holding onto something that just doesn't want me and missing out on the things that do.

I've never been one for fairy tales, but my body is starting to feel like the troll under the bridge between Childless and Mother.  No matter what attitude, medication or comedy I bring to it, it is dissatisfied and won't let me cross.  There is obviously, at some point, some intangible shift that happens.  One minute I'm a tap-dancing example of hope on that bridge, but at some point I'll be a petulant child who's wasting time, unable to back away from rejection with some of her dignity intact.  

At what point does hope become blind stubbornness?  Does giving up on a fairy tale happy ending show grace and maturity, or the soul of a quitter?

I'm assuming sometimes there's a point where you have to look the troll in the eye and say, "screw you, if the other side of the bridge doesn't want me, I'm going to rock the shit out of this side".  I wish there was a way to not feel guilty about contemplating that point, like I will inadvertently curse myself like a fabled witch just for thinking it.  I wish there was some way to know when that point is, and to assure myself that it's not coming soon.

I genuinely don't know what or where the difference is between being a woman who is determined to right a wrong in her life, and being a stubborn ghost mourning a life that just doesn't exist, fighting the inevitable and missing out on the possibilities in the process.  Or maybe it's me, being reborn into my life when I give up the ghost of a life that will never happen.


Okay, so I'm a little uncharacteristically gloomy due to hormones. Just because it happens to coincide with my grandparents 69th wedding anniversary, it occurred to me that today it's been a year since my last egg retrieval. I have been listening to far too much Velvet Underground and John Lennon's "God" on repeat for any sane person.

On the upside, I tickle myself?

I was running out the door to go to an appointment, and a religious solicitor caught me by my car.  By my car.  I said "I am in a hurry.  Also, I just believe in me...  Well, Yoko and me."

They were not so tickled.


  1. Oh Stork! You have such a way with words. I have no advice or even comment, really, but I just wanted to say thank you. THANK you for putting into words the hell that it is, a very specific kind of hell, that it is for us infertiles as we go through life watching others cross the bridge and not knowing when or if or how, precisely, to give up the ghost. Personally, and I know I said I wasn't going to give terrible advice but, personally, I can't help but feel like you got a lot of time on your side, girl. You are YOUNG (especially compared to me :) ), so I just can't help but, as an outsider, really want you to keep going because it really seems your odds are good. Plus, just can't wait to hear the Stork take on OBs and leaky boobs and swollen ankles and all the fun preggo stuff!!!

  2. You are very funny but also a very deep insightful soul. I love the analogy of the ghost, I often wonder if someone with a higher understanding than me just sees a crazy woman (ME!!) spinning her wheels going absolutely nowhere, waiting to see when i wake up and realize that there's a different path waiting for me... How to know when enough is enough, how to figure out if keep trying will make me stronger or plain stupid... Anyway, I'm glad you are trying one more time, I hope that protein makes all the difference in the world and this is it for you, I hope AF comes soon and all that bloating goes away, I hope there is not much more struggle in store for you and I get to see your preggo belly VERY soon!!!

  3. This is such a great post. You have an awesome way of putting your feelings/thoughts into a post. This is something that I'm sure so many people contemplate. It is so hard to know when to stop and ignore those "what if one more time" thoughts. I am continuing to send you so many thoughts for this next cycle and sending vibes to AF to get this SHOW on the road! P.S. I cracked up about your comment to the solicitor. I would have loved to see his face!

  4. I hope the darn witch shows up soon! FX!

    I can relate to how you're feeling. I often felt like a crazy person from continuing to try and staying hopeful. I sometimes wondered if I was just delusional thinking it would actually happen. I had to sacrifice a lot along the way, as well. You put it into words so eloquently!

    Sometimes being a little crazy helps get things done! I see you as a strong, passionate woman who goes after what she wants. You guys have gotten to the bottom things with your persistence. I really do feel optimistic and oh so hopeful for you! I'll be sending all my positive vibes your way!! xoxo

  5. I think the point is different for every person and it is somewhere that balances the pain of not trying anymore with the pain of continuing on with the struggle. There's so many costs involved in trying emotional, financial, but there's so many costs in not trying too.

    I don't think you are even close to too old. There's lots of anecdotal stories out there of women in their 40's, 50's and even beyond if you want to keep trying that long.

    I love your blog because you are so honest and you paint such a vivid picture of the struggles you face. And I hope the troll will back the fuck off soon and let you get to Mother.

  6. The ghost analogy is perfect. I love reading here!

  7. "Does giving up on a fairy tale happy ending show grace and maturity, or the soul of a quitter?" That is the million dollar question. I hear of women trying for 7-10 years and I just think I could never do that. I am so confused on how long I'm willing to try and so exhausted of just thinking about it, that I've basically decided to just leave it in my husband's hands. I'm willing to try as long as he is I guess, and if the day comes that he says he's ready to stop treatment I will be too.

    I hope AF shows for you soon. I had the same thing happen recently after taking Provera. Come to find out, you can actually ovulate after your last Provera pill, so that's why they say it can take two weeks for AF to come after stopping pills. I think that's what happened with me, because I had regular post-0 symptoms like sore bbs, and then it took 13 days for AF to show.

  8. Yikes, sweetness. Kinda gloomy this post. :( Sorry to hear your are so down! I don't have any words of wisdom and I can't say I know how you feel, but I am sending you hugs and some uplifting vibes anyway!

  9. Where's the line? I'm guessing we've all wrestled with this one. Even when you draw a line...things can change and make you want to re-draw it. We'd said done as soon as our frozens are exhausted...but I find myself looking up info on an IVF refund funding program and it gets me thinking....

    "Or maybe it's me, being reborn into my life when I give up the ghost of a life that will never happen." I hope that this is it. It isn't just quitting one thing...but beginning anew towards something else or by a totally different method.

  10. Thank you I needed that. Thank you!

  11. I've felt that dilemma before. It's not an easy question to answer, and I think it changes day to day sometimes.

  12. I don't know how you know when enough is enough. I thought about that so often. I often thought maybe we should just stop all this nonsense and travel the world instead.
    I have so much hope for you for your next IVF. You are getting fancy-schmancy protein additives! It's gonna work and we will have playdates!
    Sorry you are having such a crappy, hormonal day (week?) and I hope AF shows up soon to put you out of your misery.

  13. I've been meaning to comment to this...and now I have some time. I know this feeling all so well. I would feel this way often when were going through the IVFs and the IUI'S. Each month I felt diferent. But I tell don't give up Jenny. I would play the lottery on you that this next one is going to work for you guys. I know it hard not get down on yourself, and want to give up. I totally get that. But you my friend going to give infertilty a bigFU, and get what's coming to you. You will end up on the other side of the bridge...you will!!!!

    Oh and ps I plan on being the Long Island medium for Halloween this year.....I love that crazy lying bitch!!!

  14. It's interesting with infertility especially because it can be soooo drawn out, and you can end up being a ghost or an entirely different person without actually realizing it because it happens so slowly. I think a lot of infertiles who become pregnant don't understand just how deep their pain was at the time until they're a safe distance away from it. Basically, it's just hard to know what the fuck is going on in the moment, especially when the moment lasts so fricking long.

    That said, I feel like you're SOOO CLOSE to making this happen! Those elevator doors will burst open any second now and Danny can just deal with it.

  15. This was an awesome post! I'm sorry you're feeling stuck, both with the current "cycle" (if one can call it that) and with the long-term puzzle of what to do and when to stop.

    On the upside... you haven't lost your sense of humor, which is a good thing for us ;)