Thursday, June 19, 2014

Grieving, Or Not

Losing my mother feels so different than losing my father six years ago.

It's strange to me, since I feel closer to my mom (though not exceptionally close) than I did to my dad. But everything is different.

First of all, I've been through the loss of a parent before. I think the first time around, it rocked my world view. This time, I had a better idea of what to expect, in terms of my own reactions.

Secondly, my world has changed. I'm a parent now. I wasn't really one to fall apart even back then, but I did withdraw from the world for a few months. This time around, I don't have that choice. I have Calliope, and I have to be fully present each and every day with her. (Well, okay, occasionally I'm a little less than fully emotionally present, but that's been rare.) Along with Calliope comes forced interactions with other people, like her nanny, her nanny share buddy, and nanny sharing buddy's mother, who has become a very close friend. So I've lost the ability to hole up like a recluse.

That's both a blessing and a curse. I'm engaged in the world... but I'm also not really doing the work of grieving. And then when you throw in the stress of TTC'ing... and lice... and worrying about Calliope's limp (non-existent today!) and her peeing all over the house (also much improved)... there's no energy left over for grieving.

So I just keep pushing it away.

I remember, when my dad died, reading something how you can think about grief as something you take down off the shelf for ten minutes, to roll around in your hands and touch it experimentally, and then you put it back up on the shelf for the next day. That made a lot of sense to me. Controlled sampling from small plates of grief.

But I can't figure out how to do that this time around. It feels so big and ignored that I don't know quite where to start.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

She's Okay

We went to the pediatrician today so, naturally, her limp was practically gone. She wouldn't stand balance on her right foot, even with assistance, but otherwise was barely favoring one leg over the other. It did seem like she was walking way more on the inside of her feet than I remember, but you know, I never focused on her gait so much before. And too, she was very aware we were watching her, and wouldn't walk normally.

Miracle of miracles, Calliope succeeded in peeing in a cup, so the doctor said her urine looked normal but sent it to the lab to be cultured to confirm that she doesn't have a urinary tract infection to explain the recent frequent accidents.

Happily, today there were no accidents except for her diaper being wet at nap time. She doesn't ordinarily even wear a diaper for naps (and was, briefly, dry at nights a few months back) but we are taking extra precautions nowadays.

In less happy news, I am definitely not pregnant.

Yesterday was really hard. I was awfully sad. I'm much better today.

See, these weren't IUIs. These were PGS tested (chromosomes counted), five day old blasts from my 35 year old eggs, harvested from the same cycle that resulted in Calliope's birth. So each one of these blasts had something like 70-80% odds. So for two cycles (each with one blast) to fail is impressive odds.

It never occurred to me that with nine frozen blasts, I would ever have to worry. But the RE at the lab assured me they have a 98% success rate in thawing blasts for PGS and then refreezing them. But I lost five blasts out of nine just in the thawing. Of the four remaining, three were chromosomally normal. I've used two. I have one left. And now I'm left wondering if these blasts really aren't healthy, after all that thawing and re-freezing, after all.

So I'm planning to do a fresh IVF cycle.

The good news is, well, first, I'm done waiting for an answer from this cycle. That's a blessed relief.

But the bigger piece of good news is that I've decided to let go of the illusion of control. The idea of not getting to experience this miraculous unfolding of a human being again is staggering. The idea of not providing a sibling to Calliope is sobering.

But that doesn't mean I can mentally insist that I magically conceive and carry a healthy child to term. I can hope, I can take lots of medications and undergo medical procedures... but at the end of the day, it's not up to me.

All I can do is decide, today, what I am willing to do. Today, I am willing to undergo IVF. So I will act accordingly. And at some point, I may decide that I've had enough. And then I can decide to stop and re-assess. I can look into donor eggs, or foster care, or adoption. Or I can decide to content myself with my one fabulous, practically perfect child who is here in the now, not stopping her own miraculous unfolding as I busy myself with imaginings of her sibling.

So that's my plan. Let go and let the universe.

She loved how her hair looked after a Ceta.phil lice treatment

I'm Struggling

It could be worse. Always. I'm okay, sort of. I'm holding on, mostly.

But yesterday I kept finding myself sniveling into a tissue. And I'm really not a crier.

Which brings me to the first issue at hand: PMS. As in, I'm not pregnant. I couldn't bear to take a pregnancy test yesterday, but I took three the preceding two days and they were all negative. I didn't exactly feel pregnant, but I had had some pelvic twinges, so I hadn't given up hope with the first BFN. But now I can't bear to see another one so I'm just holding out for my beta later this morning.

Calliope is coming with me for the beta, because after I'm done with that, we are going to see her doctor. Well, a different doctor in the practice, which at this moment, feels hard too. Because I sent her a tearful email yesterday and she actually texted me and then called me from her cell phone on her walk home from the subway. To be clear, I think she was much more concerned about me than about Calliope -- I guess my email sounded desperate? I didn't mean it too, just said I felt panicked for the following reasons.

Calliope has been limping for nearly two weeks now. I didn't think much of it at first. After a couple days, I checked for ingrown toenails and didn't find anything. A few days later, I palpated her entire foot and leg for any sign of tenderness. Nothing. A few days ago, I insisted she swap out her flip flops (with ankle strap) for her more supportive sandals. No change.

And then yesterday, it was noticeably worse. And suddenly, I panicked. Worrying about Lyme Disease, and neuromuscular disease.\

Fellow SMC "Beans" suggested transient synovitis. My pediatrician didn't think it was that but hopefully we will get some non-scary ideas today. But I'm scared.

Plus she's been having tons of pee accidents lately. Ten months after training. And seems totally shocked when they happen. Not like her.

Next challenge is lice. I discovered that I had them on Friday. My very close SMC friends downstairs have had them for a month, so I'm pretty positive I know where they came from. I think my friend didn't realize how small the eggs were, and kept missing some? And the olive oil treatment alone wasn't enough? I don't know. I did a good job of not being angry with her. But it was sure unfortunate. Because we had to stay home all weekend and comb and comb and comb. And douse our hair in two different treatments, one olive oil and one Ceta.phil.

Which was especially a bummer because we were supposed to visit Calliope's surrogate grandmother in CT, my mom's best friend. Who has suddenly become an important person in my liife.

Because, finally, my mom died. Almost three weeks ago. At home, peacefully. I was not there. I said my goodbyes several times, including the previous weekend. Calliope kissed her Grammy goodbye as well.

So this is why I have dirty dishes scattered around my kitchen. Every little thing felt just too damn hard.

Hoping for some good news today. For Calliope, at least.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Where, Oh Where, Have All My Posts Gone?

Long time passing.


Blogger hasn't been letting me post in a while. I've still been writing. But now to get all those posts back.