These past few days have been strange. You know that thing where you feel like you are watching yourself from outside of your body? Yea, that. Since Friday I’ve felt sort of up, down, and all around.
I think I’m actually doing a decent job managing the TWW anxiety. I’m just trucking on with my normal life with minor modifications, herbal tea instead of coffee, a butt shot after dinner, and a compulsion to eat all the things because the PIO and HCG booster combo have turned me into a bottomless pit. Otherwise, life as usual.
One of the (very few) positive upshots of my cycle having been delayed three months, is that I’ve known for ages now what the protocol would be and what that would mean for my mental stability. It was decided early on I’d start post-O HCG boosters, so the moment that decision was made I was starting to prepare myself for the fact that there would be no definite D-Day, no moment to circle on my calendar in big red marker, at which we would know with absolute certainty that I am or am not pregnant. So, yes, my first beta is on Monday, and, yes, I’m sure I’ll worry about the result, but ultimately I know it is very unlikely that that first beta will say much of anything. Barring the unlikely scenario that my beta comes back abysmally un-pregnant despite 4 HCG boosters over the past two weeks, all Monday will give us is a starting point. It will be at least another week of blood draws before we know whether that starting point is the start of a few days or start of 9 months.
Honestly, I thought that this new booster head game would break me. But, it’s largely done the opposite. I’m not really living my life to a TTC wristwatch because I don’t know when I’ll get answers. The timeline’s been removed from my life. And, that’s oddly liberating. Now, don’t get me wrong, each time my purse grazes my bruised and lumpy PIO butt, each time I decline alcohol at social events, each time I do my daily Crinone suppository, I do get the reminder that these are heady days. Sitting at 9dpo implantation should have just happened, and I could actually be somewhat pregnant right now. But, on we go with life as usual.
Though, not entirely life as usual. I had actually mentally sketched out most of this portion of the post this past weekend, but something Mr. But IF said made me step away and cease writing it. Rather than delve deep, I’m just going to skim the surface.
The weekend was hard. Sunday was hard. Father’s Day was hard.
A few week’s ago Mr. But IF G-chatted me the following:
random, but for some reason this year the father’s day stuff is getting to me like it hasn’t in the past
I pick on Mr. But IF sometimes for appearing more detached and less emotional about our infertility than I am. I complain that he hasn’t raised the same amount I did for the Walk of Hope, I get cranky when he forgets and offers me coffee and beer, I roll my eyes when he doesn’t remember every doctor’s appointment. But, you’ll notice, all my triggers are tangible things. Fundraising, food, and appointments. There’s a simple reason for this. If pressed to think of examples of ways in which he’s emotionally checked out from this process, I’d be hard pressed to find any. I’ve never once had reason to doubt his mental connection to this struggle. I’ve seen the tears, I’ve heard the anger, I’ve witnessed the pain. But, like many men, Mr. But IF may show his sadness, but he rarely speaks it. Put simply, the Father’s Day comment caught me off guard.
When we talked about it later, the first thing he did was apologize for saying it. As I said my own, “I’m so sorry,” he replied, “The last thing I want to do is make you feel worse.” But here’s the thing, hearing my spouse speak of his pain doesn’t make me feel anything but a little surprised. Startled because it’s not normal for him to initiate such conversations, but certainly not sadder (or even happier). My pain is my pain and it is always here, just as I’m sure his is always there, so in no way does acknowledging a personal trigger or igniting a conversation change that pain. I’ve been at my saturation point for a while now, so while there are peaks and valleys on the emotional line graph of my life, nothing anyone can do or say will change the unit of measure or enlarge the overall plot field. And, I hope in reading this (if not in face-to-face conversation), Mr. But If accepts that.
As I said, I had a much longer post on this lone topic prepared, but I’ve scrapped it. I don’t really need to belabor the fact that hearing the happy voices of our neighbors celebrating three generations of fathers in a backyard BBQ on Saturday stung my soul or waking up to the sounds of prop planes swooping overhead in conjunction with the village’s Father’s Day Planes and Pancakes breakfast resulted in instant tears. And not only do I not need to drag on about those triggers, I absolutely shouldn’t. I shed my tears on Mother’s Day, on Christmas, at family gatherings, on anniversaries – Mr. But IF deserves his own day of sadness, his own day of grief, his own day to hide from the world. In frustration he said, “Don’t I get a day to be sad?” and it immediately made me realize that in expressing my sadness I’ve partially boxed out his. The loudest and most persistent voice in the room should’t always win the battle. I’ve got to find a way to let him eek out his own space to deal. And, I’ll start with Father’s Day.
The All Around
Throughout the goods and the bads one thing has remained constant. We’re busy. Blissfully busy. Distractedly busy.
We’ve carved out our summer into a million weekly rituals:
- Monday night “Beer and Buffy” at our house with whatever assortment of friends wants to attend.
- Tuesday day of rest and laundry.
- Wednesday night trivia.
- Thursday night game night at a colleague’s house.
- Friday night happy hour.
- Saturday Farmer’s Market.
I never considered myself a social or outgoing person, but having these distractions has been a tremendous blessing. Sure, I had to have Mr. But IF give me my butt shot while our friends were eating on our back patio last night, but we’ve learned to roll with the punches. And I’m getting good at making a mean mock-tail. Now, if only the waitress at trivia would stop loudly proclaiming each week, “Wait! You aren’t drinking AGAIN?”
This week promises to be particularly busy as we look forward to traveling 6.5 hours to the Walk of Hope this weekend. I’m sure I’ll post much more on this later, but suffice it to say things got a lot more complicated in the past few days. We used to live much closer to the Walk, so attended last year. The combination of the amazingly positive experience we had last year, with the knowledge that a trip back this summer would provide a handy chance to visit with old friends and family, lured us back again this year despite now living over 6 hours away. So, we signed up, we raised funds, we exceeded our fundraising goal. Rock on.
But, as I’ve discussed before, since I uprooted us and moved us several states away from our home of the past 8 years last summer, Mr. But IF has had a lot of difficulty finding work. I moved us to the middle of nowhere with a promise from HR that spousal hiring was “totally what we do,” and have watched my husband struggle mightily with trying to find a permanent position. He’s currently working two jobs – a full-time temp job that ends June 30 and a permanent part-time job where they can only pay him for 9 hours/week. The combo of two jobs leaves him working this Friday until 7pm. No work, no pay, and with a recent bathroom renovation to pay for and having only been at the 9hr/wk job for a couple weeks, he’s not willing to take the time off. And, I get it. I really do.
What I wish I didn’t have to get is the fact that that means we have to somehow sleep, drive 6.5 hours, and get to the Walk between 7pm Friday night and 8am Saturday. The best plan we could come up with? Yea, we’re leaving here at 1am on Friday and going straight from our driveway to the National Harbor. For those of you that will be at the Walk, I apologize in advance for my tousled hair, bad breath, and overall appearance of having slept in a car. You’ll have to forgive me, but I will have, err, been sleeping in my car. Sadly, this is not remotely the craziest thing we have ever done in the name of IF, so it’s all good. In fact, what an exciting adventure!
We get to relax after that, though. Time with family and friends including a newly engaged dear friend who I can’t wait to pamper with gifts and girl talk. Exploring our nation’s capital (always one of our favorite past times). And, yes, walking alongside some of the most awesome people in America. Totally worth the drive!
Before I sign off for the day I’d be remiss not to mention that a RESOLVE supporter has agreed to match all new donations up to $5,000 to this weekend’s Walk of Hope made between yesterday (June 17) and Friday (June 21). As I’ve said countless times before, I believe strongly in the mission of this organization, so I’d love to see a new fundraising record reached on Saturday. If you have even a dollar to spare, please consider donating. You can either donate to the Walk directly or send me a message to ask for the link to my personal fundraising page and contribute to my team. Thanks in advance!