Sensory reminders

I think I’m OK.  Really.

Yesterday’s news hit hard, but I’m surviving like I’ve done countless times before.

But, to be brutally honest, I’m not quite sure how to fill the page right now.  Yesterday’s tears have been replaced by a flurry of thoughts, questions, and decisions.  First and foremost – what’s next.  Another cycle?  The same protocol or different?  Is it time to return to the big guns (and even bigger price tag) of the reproductive immunologist, or march along blindly to the orders of Dr. Soulpatch’s assembly line?  Do we need another break?  Should I care that resuming a cycle immediately will derail me from the brewfest I’m so looking forward to?  Is it time to accept child-free as our resolution (for either the short or the long term)?

I don’t have the answers, but what I do have are a lot of visual, aural, and tactile cues that those answers need to be formulated.  Oh, hell, all five senses are concurrently triggering my sense of urgency.

The Sights of Failure

Those visual reminders of my empty womb are both the most prevalent and most sneaky.  Take, for example, exhibit A:

Exhibit A: Bruised and battered

Exhibit A: Bruised and battered

Each time I undress this abdomen engages me in a gnarly staring contest.  I’ve stopped the Lovenox, but the bruises remain.  They are a brilliant purple, green, and yellow rainbow of fuck-you-ness shining through the day and night.

Then there is, exhibit B:

Exhibit B: Not-shot time

Exhibit B: Not-shot time

Since I began my PIO, HCG, and Lovenox injections I have been relying on a daily alarm.  While the HCG and PIO are a bit more forgiving, the Lovenox had to be taken at as close to exactly the same time of the day as possible.  Thus the reason I’ve done shots in multiple public restrooms – the latest while we were out to dinner with Mr. But IF’s relatives the day of the Walk of Hope.  Existing in the stupor I’ve been living in since yesterday’s call, I forgot to disable the alarm.  Fun reminder of the shots I’m not taking to support the pregnancy I don’t have.

The Sounds of Failure

Exhibit B could have filled both categories, but I’ve got others.  Plenty and plenty of others.

For example, there are,

  • Exhibit C: the sound of my across the street neighbor’s newborn crying moments after I broached the “What now?” question with Mr. But IF; and,
  • Exhibit D: the sounds of Twitter, blog, Facebook, and e-mail notifications signaling all of your love and support after my news.  In other news, I hella love you all

The Taste of Failure

This is my favorite by far.  Since the news I’ve had,

  • Exhibit E: Coffee, coffee, and a side of more coffee… perfect timing, I might add, as the news coincided with a two-day, mandatory faculty retreat;
  • Exhibit F: All the food, all the time.  I can blame the PIO, I can blame the sadness, I can eat all the things; and,
  • Exhibit G: Sweet, sweet beer I’ve missed you.  We have a standing Monday night get together at our house, so yesterday Mr. But IF asked via GChat if I wanted to cancel.  I replied: “No.  I want the twenty liters of beer.  Stat!”  Mission fucking accomplished!

The Smell of Failure

So, this may get into TMI territory, but what the fuck is an IF blog for if not making people a little uncomfortable?

So, here’s another question for you, do you know what Crinone* smells like?  Especially once deposited to its final destination?  Without further ado,

  • Exhibit H: My smelly cottage cheese hoo.

And, while you are all busy being thankful that I don’t have a picture to accompany that one, then there is:

Exhibit I: The scent of love and lost moments

Exhibit I: The scent of love and lost moments

Yesterday was our 7th wedding anniversary, and the aroma of these flowers evokes profound joy and sorrow in equal measure each time I pass by.  Joy that I have a man in my life that means the world to me, and sorrow that I can’t give one of the greatest joys of life to him.  Happy to know that, as the card says, he’s “glad you’re my wife,” and disappointment that another relationship milestone has been marred by IF.

* In other news – worst damn website EVER.  Daily dose of hope my ass.  More like daily dose of “plastic applicators see my vagina more than my husband does.”

The Feel of Failure

And, we’re not talking emotional here.  That’s been fully covered in, hell, every. single. post. ever written for this blog.  Let’s limit to the physical.  So, there is,

  • Exhibit J: The hard lumps all over my ass from the PIO;
  • Exhibit K: The sting of the (please God final!) blood draw I’ll have to endure tomorrow to confirm my barren-ness; and,
  • Finally, Exhibit L: The pre-menstrual cramping I woke to this morning.  Despite nearly 4 years of this trying to get knocked up thing, I still have a hard time remembering that negative pregnancy tests (and miscarriages, for that matter) are shortly followed by the severe pain that is my endometriosis-fueled vaginal blood bath.  So, when I woke up this morning to a crampy tugging sensation I knee jerked to, “OMG, twinges!  I must be pregnant!” only to remember that I’m an idiot and my (not remotely) monthly visitor was on her way.  Injury to fucking insult I tell you!

That last one is the one that’s really pushing the urgency.  We need to know what is next within 2 or 3 days of the start of bleeding.  Birth control or baseline?

But, how can you make such an important decision when all senses are on high alert and bombarding you with triggers?  For all the waiting that we do in the land of IF, I could do with a little more wiggle room at this stage of the game.  A moment to breathe before committing to a month of pills, probes, and pokes, or a month of hurry up, worry, and wait.

6 thoughts on “Sensory reminders

  1. I distinctly remember going on a rampage after each of my failures and throwing out each and every reminder of failure I could find – only to be reminded that some signs of failure were impossible to rid myself of. I hate that for anyone else who has to be there as well.

  2. This post is amazing. There are so many mundane, tiny, (or not so tiny), niggling reminders around that can just blindside you. I’m so sorry this wasn’t it for you. Sending you strength as you decide on the ‘what next’.

  3. Oh, no! I am so so sorry to hear that the cycle wasn’t successful. And I’m also sorry for my giddy comment on your “housekeeping” blog. I assumed…and I shouldn’t have. Ugh. I literally feel sick to my stomach…really embarrassed.

    When I’m trying to catch up on a blog, I never know if it’s safest to start at the most recent post or the post that came after the last one I read. It’s always hard to know because with infertility, things change a lot from day to day. This time, I made the wrong call. So sorry.

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