We got a puppy and infertility still managed to make its presence known.

For a few months I’ve been wanting a new dog. I wasn’t set on a puppy specifically but just another being in our house. I started to look into rescues because I actually didn’t want to go through the puppy stage again. Our 7 year old dachshund had just hit half her life span and I was starting to get super reflective about what had transpired in the last 7 years.

7 years ago we both had bought cars with the thought of family. We had made sure that one was going to be a small car and another with the potential of lots of storage, a carseat and a stroller. We are now 4 and 6 months away of from paying off both cars. 

7 years ago I had just finished my post graduate degree from a college, my how time flies.

7 years ago I got a union job and the first thing I look up with their mat leave bonuses. I am probably about to leave this union job and have had such a hard time quitting. I finally understand it has to do with letting go of this thought and this bonus.

7 years ago I was 32 and still very much under that 35 mark of the peak of fertility. At age 35 your fertility goes south and your chances to natural are even more reduced.

7 years ago I remember that day when I wondered where I will be in 7 years. I am still searching. Still wondering. Still trying to find me. I thought I would have had this shit figured out by now. I am only two years away from 40 and somehow that 60 years is not as far away as it was before. I am more aware than ever that in 5 years from now my husband will be 50 and we would have been married for 19 years. At 19 years people have teenagers.

Hubby was against having a second dog. I knew that this would be a good thing and had been applying gentle relentless pressure for 6 months. He had every reason why we shouldn’t do it and I in my head I agreed with him on every point but never said I agreed out loud because then it would be game over. No second dog. I had to tread lightly.

Finally, a family member’s dog had puppies. Toy poodles. Not the ideal dog for our lifestyle but the thought of giving this puppy to a family that we didn’t know killed me and hubby as well. I also saw that my 7 year old dog was slowing down and was really showing signs of one child syndrome. Sleeping a lot and just getting needy. This was it. We were going to take this toy poodle. There were 5 in that were born and we took the male and the second to largest one.

The decision really came down to hubby deciding right before we were leaving to pick up the puppy. We had the privilege of seeing the puppies grow up from the moment they were born. Whenever hubby pick up our puppy the smile on his face just made me melt and the amount of joy the puppy brought him was really noticeable. Logically, it was crazy taking a second. How would we ever do canoe trips? A toy poodle in a canoe trip thats crazy, a hawk would eat him. Poodles get more dirty and they require grooming. The conversations we had about taking the second dog sounded like the decision to have a second child or not (minus the hawk part). More responsibility, more distraction more time, more coordination.

Its funny because even like with a second child we did zero prep for the second dog. With the first one I think I read three books and watch a ton of Youtube videos on how to train a dog. I knew everything there was to know about training a dog. I had bought all the toys and everything. I just see the parallels in so many ways. The first dog go so much attention and the second we are so chill and not stressed about now that he is with us.

I think I promised everything from the moon and back to have this puppy come home to us. I knew we needed new life in our house to bring more joy. I also didn’t want the dog sold, I wanted him to stay in the family.

We picked up the puppy on a Friday when he was 10 weeks old and over the weekend took respite in all his little things. We didn’t leave the house. It was like coming home from the hospital and just gazing at this tiny creature.

Finally, I did the announcement of course on social media. First on Instagram, because thats safe. Nobody I really know sees it there and then on Facebook. So far its received about 80 “likes” and almost the same amount of comments of congratulations.

This is what I wrote:

After months of debating if we should have another, we are happy to announce the arrival of our new baby boy 👦. Welcoming to our pack is Misio (said: Meesho aka Teddy). 

Mom and Dad are doing great and are well on their way to toilet training Misio outside three days post coming home. 

What an exciting way to start the year!

He is a Toy Poodle 🐩 from mother in laws doggie. 

All puppies have gone to the closest family and none were sold.#yourbeautyblooming

After that I sat down on my kitchen floored and cried. I think I realized in that moment what that post and puppy represented. I unknowingly was filling a hole. I didn’t realize it until this stupid social media announcement. Its how people announce the birth of their new baby. The one month mark, the two month mark etc. They said, “mom and dad are doing great”. This could be the closest I could ever get to announcing the expansion of my family, instead of two legs its four.

Is it another distraction? Possibly. We have not resolved what we are going to do next with fertility. I can’t imagine being 50 and not having one child. I just can’t. It scares the living day light out of me. Its just not possible and its just so unjust and so unfair. This whole baby making affair is supposed to be free. The puppy was free.

Bear at 10 weeks old

The triggers are starting to pop up for me more and more. Even watching a stupid comedy with Robin Williams where a family goes on an RV trip together to bond was a trigger.

We are looking to do a year long trip in an RV and looking at the options and possibilities. I’m watching these you tubers who are full time RVers go and live full time in an RV with their family.

While its true family life is messy and not pink with roses but life isn’t supposed to be all beautiful. Life is messy and complicated.

After this announcement of the puppy, I felt so incredibly emotionally raw. Thankfully it was my day off and a drowned myself in mindless Netflix videos. It just hit me hard, again. That trauma part of brain took over and stayed there for a day like a cloud.

I think if money wasn’t a factor I don’t think I could do a pregnancy because it would be too much for me emotionally. If money wasn’t a factor I would do IVF again and surrogacy. I just wish it wasn’t that complicated.

So there you have it. A simply social media post about us getting a new puppy, which is a really joyful event sucked me back to infertility. Its an awful thing because it fucking never goes away. I don’t think about this, but its always beneath the surface.

I am really happy that we have another dog and he will bring us so much joy, I just need to navigate this part all over again.

The day we brought Bear home.

#toypoodle #infertility #socialmediapost #7yearitch #seconddog

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Having kids is irrational. They do not make us happier.

Mothering and workI often read Penelope Trunk. She is an interesting writer and often has an interesting point of view. I wanted to share her latest post as it’s a bit controversial but as women, we really need, to be honest with ourselves as to what do we really want. Supposedly we can have it all and are encouraged to “Lean in”, but ask any women who have two kids under the age of 5, a job and is still married, ask her how is she balancing her life even beyond the early years. It again goes back to my post “My friend Patricia. I’m sorry”. and her choice to stay home. Staring down the gun of an embryo transfer, I do question, why am I doing this? Why is it that as a woman I would like to be a mother? Fertility is such a funny thing, it makes you really think about your choices because they are right there in your face.

The question of what is a mother, does that always equate a mother and child? Can a woman equally have a strong relationship like this in a different form? I don’t know, because I have been on the other side, and the funny thing is, once you are on the other side, you can’t go back!

For three years, I took part of taking care of over 80 kids under that age 5, in an early childhood center, at times happy to have them go back home so I could take a break. I have worked with students since I can remember. I formed strong relationships and I know I have impacted their lives. I’ve learned lots about myself through my interactions with them. Is the term mother, just a reference to a mother and child or can it be towards another type of relationship? I mother my event clients. I coached them and take care of them, I house them and often feed them. I hear someone on the other side of this screen screaming at me, “it’s not the same thing”. No, it’s not, but honestly, let’s divide and conquer this mothering definition. As it stands, it means, “giving birth to”, “bringing up a child with care and affection”, a “woman in relation to her child or children”. A mother shouldn’t equate martyr.

Perhaps I’m on the side of this equation and I really don’t understand when I say, I want to be me first, then wife, then mother.  Is this balance even achievable? In another viewpoint, assuming you find mothering rewarding……

“the meaning of being a mother is virtually endless. A mother is a protector, disciplinarian, and friend. A mother is a selfless, loving human who must sacrifice many of their wants and needs for the wants and needs of their children. A mother works hard to make sure their child is equipped with the knowledge, skills, and abilities to make it as a competent human being. Being a mother is perhaps the hardest, most rewarding job a woman will ever experience”

I do believe that I (women) need to make a choice between that big ass career and a family. I don’t think it’s actually possible to be fully 100% engaged in both.  Anne-Marie Slaughter, writer of a well-known Atlantic article about this, “routinely got reactions from other women her age or older that ranged from disappointed (“It’s such a pity that you had to leave Washington”) to condescending (“I wouldn’t generalize from your experience. I’ve never had to compromise, and my kids turned out great”)”.

It’s time to stop fooling ourselves, says Anne, who left a position of power: the women who have managed to be both mothers and top professionals are superhuman, rich, or self-employed (although this requires being argued too). If we truly believe in equal opportunity for all women, something has to change, specifically how women who don’t have kids are valued more than those with a family.

This is why Penelope’s post make me think.

The post below is directly from her blog, I just couldn’t chop it up, it was too good. She just makes me things about things I don’t want to think about.

Continue reading “Having kids is irrational. They do not make us happier.”

IVF Part two – day of procedure

There are a few dates in during this fertility process I wont forget. I connect time with these dates, as everything else feels like a blur. 
  1. December 2014
    First monitored cycle by the clinic that was without any drugs
  2. August 2015
    The British Colombia canoe trip that changed my life and my job
  3. September 2015
    The new job and me falling apart and crying for three days
  4. Spring 2016
    Declaring and surrending to the fact that I want to ask for help from the clinic
  5. Aug. 2016
    First IUI that got cancelled and a full committment to the clinic
  6. October 25 2016
    I get granted a medical leave from work and I’m free from the constraints of asking for time off. I feel elated and so eternally grateful to Mrs. M for seeing that I needed this leave to just focus completely on my health
  7. December 19, 2016
    The day of the IVF
  8. January 9th, the day of the follow up after IVF

This date I won’t forget, December 19.

It’s a Monday and right before Christmas. I wake up and I’m in pain because the amount of fluid and large follicles in my ovaries is immense. This morning I have 25 follicles. That means TWENTY-FIVE eggs when usually women have just one mature egg. The majority of these eggs are mature.

Husband gets up before me and is buzzing around making coffee and tea. I’m feeling nervous but fully centred as well as I can’t believe this day has come. The morning in the house seems like a blur. I pet and hug the dog leaving her snuggled in the wraps of the duvet. I ask her soul to send her unconditional love towards her expanding family.

At 6am we I get into the car. I have hard time getting and walking.

As we drive towards the clinic…..

Every.

Single.

Bump.

Hurts. 

Agonizing pain

Husband is in full take care mode.

As we walk into the building, I see one of the ladies from the clinic in the foyer. She looks at me and I excitedly tell her its time for IVF. She was one of the ones that saw me when I cracked and was sobbing uncontrollably in the clinic in November after the failed IUI.

Instead of turning left as we get out of the elevator, we turn right, to the state of the art IVF centre. One of the only clinics in Toronto to have the IVF operating rooms and embryology lab in the same building.

I am feeling just fine and see Mama Doula  Acupuncture-ist *Saya. I’m so happy to see her because she knows her way around the operating room and space. I had met with her a few days before as I wanted to get acupuncture before the procedure, because its said to have a good outcome and relaxes the person. I get changed into the infamous blue gown and sit/lie down on my chair. Saya puts in the acupuncture needles in and I’m feeling relaxed.

Warning a bit graphic….
The nurses buzz in and out. One of them tries to put in the IV into one arm. Nothing. She tries again. Nothing. Still can’t get it in. At this point I can feel a bit of panic coming up as she tries to manoeuver the needle and find the vein. She walks over to the other arm, and I’m starting to get dizzy and feel like I’m about to black out. The nurse calls another nurse in and they both try. By this point, I’m like, please stop, this isn’t working. I have stars in front of my eyes and I feel a wash of coldness run through my body and I descend to panic attack mode.

Seeing me like this the nurses stop and Saya buzzes around me trying to comfort me. I’m shaking like a leaf from the experience. Digging into your vein with a needle is a disconcerting experience.

Finally I see my saviour. One of the vampire ladies. The Blood ladies. The one that take my blood every time I come to the clinic and do an ultrasound. She looks at me and the nurses explain what she is supposed to do. Finally with some pushing and prodding she finds the vein. My blood vessels collapsed after so much blood had been taken out of them over the last few weeks.

I was clearly shaken up and was so grateful again to have someone who is like a Doula be the in between person for us, the nurses and doctor. Mama Doula Saya not only takes care of me but Husband too who I can sense is a little lost as this too is all new for him.

I’m given  pain medication and sedatives into the IV.

I was then walked to the washroom and then the operating room where Dr. B. was waiting with the nurses. I lied down on the table, feet up in the stools and got ready. There was a monitor and Husband said he watched everything with fascination. I was supposed to be awake for the procedure but because of my trauma I just couldn’t do it and I was in a lot of pain with the over stuffed ovaries. Dr. B decided it was better to give me more medication and I no recollection of the procedure.

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Post IVF procedure.

That is not a bloody "PROCEDURE" its an OPERATION. Who ever called it a 
procedure lied!

When I woke up one hour later, I felt like a truck had run over me. I have no other way of describing it. I felt like I had been in some kind of car crash and hurt all over. I was also shaking. Mama Doula quickly found more blankets for me and gave me more acupunture needles.

I felt like I was in some kind of shock and quickly told Husband to take a picture because I need to remember this moment and show everyone what IVF actually looks like.

In the past, when I had heard someone say that they are doing IVF, I would turn to them and say, “good luck with that”. Fuck no. Its more than good luck. Its more holy moly you are brave. I may not have felt brave that morning, but after it was all done I was feeling damn brave. All of THIS for a child. The sacrificing starts now.

This is why it took me so long to have gotten to that space be able to do this. My soul knew I had to be ready to take this on as this procedure to so invasive.

After we went home, I just slept and then put castor oil on my stomach which had inflated and bloated. I was bloated for the next three days but had booked an acupuncture with my saviour Stephanie for two days after the procedure. Again, she saved me. What also saved me was the day after the IVF I went in to a friends retail store to do a work. This caused me to walk the whole day and be on my feet. At first I had thought this was crazy, but it actually turned out to be better to be moving than lying and sleeping.

The nurses orders were to eat lots of salt which included salty chips to take down the bloating which is why I sent Husband to the grocery store to get some chips and Cheetos.

That same day we got a phone call from The Clinic that said out of the 13 eggs removed, 7 had fertalized.

Funny moment

I don’t eat chips, my preference is chocolate. 

I sent Husband to the grocery store and ask him to get me Kettle chips, the regular ones. Husband calls from the store and says, “there are no regular chips in Kettle chips and proceeds to read all of the type they have.
At one point he says “Sea Salt”.
I say, “those are the regular ones”.
Husband says, “but it doesn’t say regular on the package!”. 


Sources:
*Saya is not her real name
1. http://www.advancedfertility.com/aspiration.htm