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Monthly Archives: August 2008

Empty

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I’m feeling quite empty these days.  The IVF didn’t work – no baby for us right now.  And empty is the best way I can describe what it feels like – it works on many levels.  We are still picking up the pieces, finding out where we go now, and trying to learn how to be us again.  I feel very selfish right now and have been told by others who have gone down this road before me that its okay to turn inward for a while.  So we are letting ourselves sort of drift away into some simple indulgences and not worrying about our productivity level (as is our normal protocol).  Any day that we can get up and do something and think about something besides treatments and failure and babies is a triumph right now. 

In the midst of this oppressive fog of treatments we decided to come up for air and get away for a weekend.  Lake Michigan and its beaches are only about 5.5 hours away from our house so we packed up the beach umbrella and the flip flops and headed out.  It was the best decision we’ve made – getting away physically can do so much to clear your mind.  Our weather was heavenly and the change of scenery with a relatively short drive was refreshing.

A boat coming in to dock at twilight in South Haven, MI

 

A view of South Haven at twilight from the end of a pier.

 

Inner workings of the DeKlomp Wooden Shoe Factory in Holland, MI.  I couldn’t have made up a better name.

 

Custom-fitted shoes for Randy.  They’re more comfortable than they look…..roomy…

 

Had to buy giant jaw-breaker…..couldn’t resist.  Reminded me of a trip to the Oregon coast when I was 9 and I spent every free minute in the car trying to conquer a candy just like this.  [editor’s note: this jaw-breaker was conquered after about a week of diligent work]

 

Sand, waves, sun….who says we’re not at the ocean.

 

The town of Saugatuck was our favorite and we hope to go back in the fall.  We rode the chain ferry so we could get to the walking path that would take us to the beach.  The chain ferry is a boat which a teenage employee has to hand turn a chain crank to move the ferry from one side of the Kalamazoo River to the other.  Upon first impressions of our “captains” we were worried we might not make it.

Looking up from my seat on the ferry.

 

Once on the other side of the river we were met with this staircase.  Unfortunately its really hard to get a picture that accurately reflects the shock value of seeing the steps in person.  Only about 1/12 of the entire structure is visible here.  Its 280 steps straight up. 

 

After the stairway to heaven you have to go back down the other side of the hill via a gigantic sand dune to get to the beach.  This was our first glimpse of the water of Oval beach – you can see it just above the trees – the turquoise triangle in the distance.

The sands on the dune were very soft and sinky.  Most of the time during our 15 minute descent my sandaled feet sunk until they were burried up to mid-calf with each step.  This was okay until close to the end when we lost our tree cover and the sand was approximately the temperature of molten lava.  And the dune turned uphill.   

 

Finally, the beach.  We really felt like we’d accomplished something by this point and I think we appreciated the views much more than if we’d driven there.  But we appreciated the snack bar even more because we were THIRSTY.

 

And a couple of pictures to prove that I was actually there too….

 

Thanks to everyone who’s supported us and continues to do so throughout our long and frustrating journey toward parenthood.  And thanks for letting us be a little selfish for a while.

What IVF Looks Like

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In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) has invaded our lives and become the prime focus of everything for the time being.  I sleep, eat, and breathe it yet at the same time I marvel at how little its interrupted my life.  Both exciting and angst-ridden, the medical procedure leaves a large footprint both in my sub-consious and  my day-to-day.  IVF is something everyone’s heard of but until you go through it you are likely not to have ever really seen it.  Here is a glimpse of what it looks like from this end. 

IVF looks like a dizzying array of viles, syringes, band-aids, alchohol swabs, etc.  It looks overwhelmiing on the first day but mundane, simple, by the 10th.

 

IVF looks like a slap in the face.  I have to do what to get a baby?  On darker, more synical days I feel like the world is against me.  Even the cap of one of my viles of medicine seems to have it out for me.  Maybe its just translating the message nature is trying to send me through this whole infertility snaffou.

 

IVF looks like new self confidence.  Can you pick these up and shove them into your abdomen without batting an eyelash?  I can!  Add this to the list of skills I never thought I’d develop.  Daily injections were one of the major detracting factors in the decision to do IVF, but its turned out to be something I almost look forward to.  The rush I get from doing something I’d always thought I’d be too scared to do coupled with the sense of accomplishment – feeling like I’m helping the process along – has made it a very gratifying part of the process.  Infertility tends to undermine, eat away self confidence.  This has helped build some of that deficit back up.

 

IVF looks like a long walk through the woods after a discouraging doctor’s visit.  Staring at the green, talking for hours, trying to come to terms with the what-ifs, the worst-case-scenarios, the possibilities of confirming all my fears about the process.  An uneven path that causes me to loose my footing and, when I know I’m going to fall, literally think oh no! my eggs! right before Randy reaches out and catches me.  A long walk that once again confirms and strengthens our deep friendship – the one thing that will see us through to the other side of this, no matter what. 

Hopefully, in the end, IVF will look like a baby.  But I don’t dare hope yet.  So in the mean time, I’ll just be happy with my new injecting skill.  Maybe I should become a flobotomist….