Tuesday, June 1, 2010

and sometimes...

In a long and occasionally hostile email exchange regarding most of our future plans, I finally told my DH that I felt as though I had been trying to conceive a child alone for well over a year. I know this pattern was started by me shutting him out. I've realized more and more lately that that's a mistake, and I've worked to take down the barriers I created to our having input into this process together, but I never actually gave him the message that I wanted him to participate. I just figured it was obvious.

So last night I told him that I wanted us to get the SA done, not because it will be likely to make a difference in treatment, but because it has high symbolic value - him getting concretely involved in the process. It would mean something to me for that reason (yes, I know that that's silly). I want him to come to my appointments if he is not at work when they are scheduled. I want to talk to him before and after any RE appointment so that we make decisions about treatment together. I want to have my chart someplace mutually available so that both of us know where I am in my cycle every day. (I know this will result very rapidly in me keeping the chart much more responsibly, because he is guaranteed to point out that his reading it won't accomplish much unless I start writing stuff on it. This rather mundane observation makes clear to me how much more accountability I need in even the smallest things in my life.) And if he doesn't understand what I'm telling him or what my treatment means, I want him to learn.

(Yes, I know that all this is coming from someone who claims to be done with treatment. I am not formally done, of course, though I refuse to go back on tamoxifen, so while I am running out the last few treatment options, I want him to participate. Especially because the decision to quit, when it happens, should be a mutual one. And, frankly, hope is sort of un-killable. I've had so many good effects from the doubled dose of thyroid in just a few weeks. In so many ways, I feel like the person I was five years ago - like a young person. I still have a lot of depression and inertia to slog through, but I'm feeling as though that may even become possible. And this past cycle, I had a CM pattern almost as normal as before my HSG last year. I thought I was back to normal! I then started the world's faintest pink/red spotting at CD21, two days ago, which has not turned into a new cycle - which has never happened to me before. So, it's not perfect, but I can't help thinking that the right medication at this point could really make a difference. I feel tempted to make some inane argument like, "Well, we've been ttc for ages, but it's not like we've really had a chance until now." My doctor would probably agree with this. As an IF veteran, though, I know I should be slapped just for thinking it.)

And a funny thing happened as I was sniffling to myself on my couch typing him a less-hostile email asking him to participate more. He called from Budapest, though he really needed to be asleep, to tell me that he loved me, and we should actually talk about this rather than emailing, and he wanted to get more involved, and would be happy to do all of those things.

Oh, yeah, and he also mentioned that he has several job leads he's working on. And that another degree is probably not practical right now, and he really needs to think about whether he wants one. And that he might genuinely be interested in working as a lawyer, and we should think about it.

Sometimes life is not so horrible.

So, I've decided...obviously he and I need to have a talk when we get home about all of these things, because we'll accomplish more in person. In the meantime, I'm going to pursue professional help for myself. I will try to persuade him to do the same (it sounds like I'm making progress on convincing him), but even if I can't, I want to go for my own purposes. I have put this off for too long. My coping skills are just too fragile. I should be healthier than this. I wanted a spiritual director and that would probably have been preferable in a lot of ways, but I am maybe the least famous or important Catholic in my diocese, and for better or worse, it appears that the time and energy of diocesan priests around here is preferentially allocated in favor of those who have more worldly clout. So, if I have to pay someone by the fifty-minute hour to listen to me, fine.

And in other matters...well, there are several more months until he has more definite information about his next job. There's no reason not to continue shopping for houses throughout that period, but since the tax credit opportunity has been and gone, there's also no reason I need to despair over the fact that this week, I don't see a home that seems ideal for us. After he knows where he'll be situated, I think he'll be a lot more interested in talking about long term plans and where we'd like to live. I am becoming less charmed by our cute little rental and the many creatures who inhabit it with me every day, so I think we'll both be quite ready to move by then. I'd like to have a real guest room before then, but...one thing at a time.

And, for my part, I have some responsibilities regarding what to do with my newfound energy. I need to set real limits on the amount of time I spend on the internet. It's sapping my ability to accomplish anything. I need to get done some of the items that have been hanging over my head - pest extermination (shudder), mending, mold remediation, planting herbs for the summer, going through some more of our boxes and throwing out stuff we've not used in years. And I need to put some actual effort into my planned new hobbies. I have been planning to take up painting again (did some in high school and college) and make some pictures for blank walls in our house, and my office. By the time my DH gets back, I'd like to have a watercolor done. I think that's a manageable goal.

I also need to write that law review article I've been telling myself I'd write for so long. It's the first, and therefore pathologically avoided, step in the path I know I need to take for long-term career purposes. I can't deny that part of the reason I feel lost is because there's only one promising avenue for career development I can think of right now - and I am avoiding it.

Since turning my life back to a healthy and balanced one will actually be a sum of a lot of little changes, I am going to keep a running list here - maybe updated weekly or monthly - of positive things I'm doing, and things I still need to do. Starting tomorrow - this post is long enough!


  1. I'm excited for the changes you're making! You said one thing in particular that struck me... "Hope is un-killable"...SO TRUE!! I have yet to figure out how to "give up" on this whole fertility thing, although I really wish I could.

    I'm actually surprised your husband hasn't had an SA done yet. My docs wouldn't proceed with any testing until that was done since it's the easiest and least invasive of all fertility tests.

    Overall, I know what you mean about feeling like this journey is a solitary one. I know my husband wants kids but the topic doesn't arise unless I bring it up, he doesn't ask questions and I have yet to get him to emote about the whole thing, save for some frustration at my endless focus on it.

    GOOD LUCK...I'm excited to take cues from your journey and employ them in our own :)

  2. I am so glad that there has been some change and you are feeling better about things. This all sounds very very promising!

  3. Oh, this is such a great post! Don't long-distance email exchanges like that just make you want to reach out and give him a hug?

  4. I'm so glad things seem to be turning around. Sounds like you had a good e-mail exchange with your husband and things are getting on track. This actually is quite a relief to me; your situation was weighing on me because I could see how heavy a burden it was on your shoulders.

  5. I'm so glad to hear that you are having and will be continuing to have a good discussion with your husband on your mutual future plans and goals. The counseling sounds like a great move forward; is there a chance that you could get a Catholic therapist?

    I'm glad your thyroid medication has improved how you feel. I hope that trend continues. Good luck on the law review article. It's so great to hear that things seem to be looking up.

  6. I second the comments above - it is great to hear that you had a great heart to heart - well, as possible as that is over e-mail with your DH. It sounds like you have been going through a rough time lately and you will be in my prayers! Do we get to see more Austria pics? The 1st set were great! God Bless!

  7. thats great that your thyroid medication is making you feel better.
    I'm glad that you had such a good talk with your hubby. It is so important to open the lines of communication, because like I tell my dh, I'm not a mind reader! lol.
    I agree with mrsblondies, a Catholic therapist would be a great idea if you can find one.
    Good luck :)