Friday, February 15, 2008

One year ago today...

52 Fridays ago I discovered the tiny uterus I'd gone about life with for over 27 years, yet never knew about. 52 Fridays ago, my whole paradigm shifted. It's overwhelming to think that something that I have carried with me for my entire life in my body could possibly have been oblivious to me and upon its revelation have had such power over my emotions.

I wondered the other day why I must go through the endless monthly cycles of PMS and inconvenience if I may never get to cash in on the one benefit of having a uterus. And the reason we all have one in the first place. It's not fair. Why do I feel cheated, tricked and betrayed by my very own body? Sure, my body will gladly prepare each month for a baby, but forget about it actually following through to allow life to take root and grow. Why is there such a disconnect here? It's like an endless dress rehearsal for a show that never takes place.

I know of a woman who just had her first ultrasound after years of infertility. She explained how is was so good to see her baby, that it was small, but that it was THERE -- that she has seen way too many pictures of her empty uterus. The comment resonated with me and instantly brought me back to the days of endless ultrasounds of my own empty uterus. Each time alone in the ultrasound room, waiting on the tech to come in, I'd look across the room at the ultrasound pictures of pregnant uteruses on the wall and daydream about that being me. Me looking at my name at the top of a screen or picture of my uterus with a baby in it -- with life in it -- and something other than uninterrupted black and white fuzz. Anything other than empty, hollow, barren nothingness. Is it even possible that my womb could house life? At this point, it's hard to believe it ever will.

One year ago today, on this Friday, I knew sorrow and pain at a whole new level. It was more than I ever thought I could bare. Even though I had gone through a whole year of infertility already, somehow the year since finding out about the UU has been such a roller coaster of its own. I've known hope, disappointment, sorrow, pain, disbelief, frustration, helplessness and anger. Somehow in the cloud and haze of it all though, I've known grace too. I have experienced times of great peace and joy admist unspeakable pain. I have wrestled and cursed at and screamed and shunned the God I love but struggle to know. How could he allow such pain to sift through His hands? Twelve years ago, when my mom abandoned us and I became the mother to my three younger siblings at the age of 16, I struggled to understand God's purpose in it all. Where was He? But there were glimpses of grace and there was joy ahead. Twelve years later, I still don't have any more answers than the day my mom left. There have been no apologies or reconciliations on her end. There is no pretty bow. Things are actually probably worse. But I am at peace and I'm not bitter and I am okay and there was joy and there is joy in my life. I know that the same God who sustained me in those dark nights when I grasped for Him and couldn't sense him and placed each star in the sky also has a plan in all of this heartache. I know from past experience that while I may never have answers, apologies, a mom, or a baby of my own there IS joy ahead and enough strength and grace to take another step and even better, live a fulfilled, joyful life despite unthinkable pain.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008


I am a reflector by nature. I remember people's birthdays and significant dates. I will often look back on the anniversary of that day or time and reflect and experience the emotions -- even years later. The day my mom left, the day I met my husband, my husband winning his first film festival, the day I found out about my uterus...

The thing about reflecting, though, is that as I look back, it causes me to look forward. I realized recently that had my first IUI worked, I'd be giving birth this month. I remember May 31. I remember the doctor telling me that "February was a great month to have a birthday" and I remember the unabashed hope I had that day. As I put my vacuum away in the guest room last night, I thought about how if it had worked, that room would be a nursery. I might be rocking my baby right now. I would be going to the park this spring with a stroller.

But here I am. I still have a flat stomach. I have no cravings. I've not been sick. My body still resembles someone who's never been pregnant, never had a baby. I still fit into my jeans. I don't have stretch marks. I'm not trying to breastfeed. There are no late nights. No crying baby. My arms are still empty.

A couple of weeks ago at a scrapbook get together, a woman was due in February and I couldn't help but think that that would have been me. Her swollen abdomen in contrast to my flat stomach was a painful reminder of what might have or could have been and mostly just what was supposed to be. What my body can't do or won't do. What others so easily can. She was the ultimate picture of femininity. I was the defective version.

I'm not sure why it's different than any other month. But I think it's mostly because it was at that point I started treatment and was so full of hope.

Oh well. Maybe February's not such a great month to have a birthday after all.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Tag, I'm it!

I thought this would be fun. Thanks for tagging me, Sara. I figured I'd just do the 6 or 7 quirks/habits/interesting things about me and not worry about tagging anyone else. Hope that's okay!

So, without further adieu, here are seven things about me!

1. Nestle Toll House break and bake cookies. I'm talking the bar, not the roll. There is a difference. I LOVE chocolate chip cookies, but not just any. I love Nestle Toll house straight from the oven with cold milk. I used to have these every night for desert, but have cut back to only every once in a while. It's kind of a joke at work. Everyone knows how much I love chocolate chip cookies. And don't even get me started on Cookie Cakes...mmmm. My first word was "cookie". No lie.

2. Whenever I'm finished using my curling iron or flat iron I check to make sure it's off a million times -- even though one of them turns off automatically. I am so afraid I am going to burn my house down!

3. I have to have Avon brand chapstick with me at all times. My husband got me started on it, and now I can't live without it! I am not much of a lipstick person, more of a chapstick, lip gloss kind of girl.

4. As far as fetishes go, I love Coach bags and Seven jeans. Love them.

5. I am obsessed about keeping the baseboards in my house clean. I am in the process of touching them up with paint right now. I know it's strange, but if they are dirty, I feel like my whole house looks dirty.

6. I love TV. It's how I unwind. I love LOST, Friday Night Lights, House, American Idol, Oprah, etc., etc.

7. And one more, since Sara got seven. ;-) I love Chick-fil-a fountain cokes. They have the perfect mixture and the Styrofoam cup helps the ice not to melt. It's the perfect coke!!