Fertility treatments, Love, Pregnancy, Volatile bodies

A New life

I gave birth to a most beautiful baby boy a short while ago. He’s healthy and everything I could’ve ever hoped for. The pregnancy was hard on me and I was put to bed rest for the last months so that he wouldn’t come too early. The labour was over 24 hours long all together but I still pushed him to the world myself. I got to feel it too because of the medication wearing off right before. There were a couple of scares during the labour and it almost went to a c-section because his heartbeat was too low. I am thankful beyond any thanking to the medical team, the midwives and the doctors who helped me give birth to a healthy child. All the fear and pain were worth it when I first got to hold him. All the years of sadness and worry were worth it.

I can’t believe that he’s real, he’s here and he’s mine. When I breastfeed him in my arms I can’t help but wonder in amazement that we created him. There’s parts of me there, parts of Wonderboy. I thought I wouldn’t get to see myself in him; I was prepared to have a child who wouldn’t be genetically mine. It was hard to get used to the idea during pregnancy, but it isn’t’ anymore. He’s himself, so tiny, so frail, so wonderful and curious about the world.

It’s only been a little while since the baby was born but we’ve already started to look for the thing that brought us both so much joy when we had very little of it. First sexual experiences after the biggest change in a woman’s life and body have been scary and yet I’ve been supported by Wonderboy through all this. Finally it doesn’t have to be a place to hide in from all the grief, it can be a place of discovery again.

I wanted to come back here and tell everyone who might still be reading and wondering what happened to us. We got everything we want now. This story really has a happy ending.

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Love, Passing Woman, Pregnancy, Volatile bodies

A Miracle

I’m pregnant. I’m almost four months along now and starting to believe it. By starting to I mean that I don’t check the toilet paper for blood every time I go, just every other time. Also, I’m becoming huge. Surprisingly none of this has been a problem for Wonderboy. You should see him. He’s so happy all the time it’s impossible to remember what he used to be like. And he can’t go more than a couple of minutes without groping my huge boobs. I’ve already upgraded a cup and I fear I’ll have to upgrade my winter coat and every clothing I have in no more than a month.

I am happy. It’s been so much easier to negotiate sexual things even though I’ve barely been able to share any with Wonderboy in these passed months. There’s such a sense of fulfillment. It’s not only in my body, although it most definitely is in my body, it’s also in our relationship and in my relationship with the world at large. I’ve fulfilled this potential I had, this demand I faced within myself. Sex can finally be lifted out of the hole of having anything to do with infertility and it can start to be itself again. It has surprised me how much happiness the news brings to people close to me, even people I don’t know that well. Especially women. They don’t know about our struggles but yet they tear up, want to hug me and make sure I’m okay. This makes me believe even more that there’s something deeply engraved in us, that it wasn’t just me with the pain, that it’s in us (most of us anyway). The desire to be fulfilled and fulfill the potential like this as a miracle worker.

It’s quite disillusioning, being pregnant. Seeing that little critter spasm inside my uterus didn’t exactly bond me with it. Nor did the fact that I learned that it doesn’t have brains yet and that’s why it moves like that or that it’s entrails aren’t even inside its body. Still, everything is like it’s supposed to be. It’s healthy, it’s growing, it’s going to be our child. And seeing it was important. It made the fact real that it’s a another person, not just my ever changing body.

I’m guessing you’d like to know what happened? How did we conceive finally after almost four years?

Our money was running out. We’d had to move onto a private clinic because of the treatments I needed. This was the third IVF at the clinic, our fifth all together. I’d had to stop taking the hormones that helped me produce more and more viable eggs, because they gave me pretty severe cardiac dysrhythmia. In the end I also started to suffer from breathing problems during the treatments. My throat kept closing up and sometimes I would wake up startled and try to catch my breath sitting down. It was pretty clear that my body wasn’t handling the treatments well anymore and it was endangering my health.

After the first try after the help of the hormones, with the starting pregnancy with the twins that twindled so early on, on fourth to sixth week like all the eight other pregnancies, we decided that it wasn’t worth putting my health at risk. What was wrong even the doctor couldn’t guess. The embryos were perfect. My uterus, the hormones, everything was perfect. Except the result. We decided that we would make one last attempt and then settle in on the donor program to get eggs from someone else.

To my doctors (positive) dismay I already had three donors lined up, because my little sister and my friends love me to death and I will never forget what they promised me and how they changed my life when they did. Everyone just wanted for us to have a child. Everyone wanted us to be happy.

But we still had that last chance. And since it was the last chance I begged the doctor, like I’d asked a number of times before, if we could try the cortisone treatment. I’ve had a lot of time to read in these 3,5 years and I’ve read a lot of research. If I had an immunological decease, like the celiac decease, my body could be attacking the embryo thinking it was a virus. And the only thing that would help with that is cortisone. They didn’t find any antibodies in my blood to suggest I had celiac decease, but our first doctor had put me on gluten free diet anyway. And it had helped. It changed my body shape because I lost so much weight. It changed my bodily functions, my activity levels, pretty much everything for better. But they couldn’t find the antibodies in my blood, so they wouldn’t put me on cortisone with the IVF treatment. The doctor finally caved. Since this is the last try, she said.

I started the cortisone straight away since the treatment was right around the corner. When we started with the injections I already felt the difference. It didn’t hurt. My ovaries didn’t burn, I couldn’t really feel anything while the eggs were growing but some mild discomfort. I knew straight away that this was it. I knew that we had found the answer and that this was what I was supposed to feel all those other times. Even the doctor was intrigued when I told her about the pains not being there this time.

We got fewer eggs than the last time and like last time none of them were considered ripe. The doctor had noticed that all our viable embryos had sprung from the raw eggs and from the ones they didn’t use ICSI for. So it turns out that Wonderboy’s sperm was actually doing its job best when it was left to fend for itself like it’s supposed to. So we chose to put them all on the petri dish and hope for the best since there weren’t many eggs to begin with. There were six when we left the clinic.

And when I went to see the doctor a couple of days later there was only one that had developed normally to eight cells. Only eight little cells put together! How could that ever grow into a child? Its inner workings weren’t perfect so they couldn’t do assisted hatching like we had talked, but they had added this embryo glue to help it attach. And in it went.

The excruciating pains started four days later when it was supposed to attach and I knew of course what was happening. But it was like all those eight other times. I was just more in pain than before and the pains didn’t subside. I spent the weekend under a duvet with a painkiller and a hot water bottle. After that I got used to waking up every night at 0.30 am and 3-4 am to pains that the painkillers I was allowed to take weren’t really combating very well. And I became pretty hopeful. Since the pains were continuous, they weren’t fading like before, they were getting more strength.

And then one thursday morning I did the pregnancy test. It was the fourteenth day after conceiving in the lab and I was due to take a blood test the 18th in the clinic. I had barely had time to put the stick down when it brightened with two crossing lines. No doubt, I was pregnant. But doubt there was… so much doubt and fear. Wonderboy wouldn’t believe it until we saw what the blood works would say. On monday I went to the clinic and later that day I called for the results. With the twins my hcg levels had tipped a bit to 6-8 hcg. I knew that it was supposed to be 280 by now and I was scared. But there was no need. It was over 800. I was most definitely pregnant.

I went to the first ultrasound on week 5 and we already saw the heartbeat. Then we went together at the end of 6th week and it had grown to twice its size. Everything was good. Everything was normal.

And every night I woke up twice to the excruciating pain that even my doctor was a bit concerned about. But I wasn’t. If I had felt pains the eight times we conceived before, it was only natural that this would hurt even more. Because this time it had worked.

I haven’t had a lot time to process this. I haven’t had a lot of time to be happy. I’ve been so sick, the pains have been at times unbelievable and I have suffered from near continuous migraine for the first time in my life. This is the first time I am able to write anything this long without puking or having to go into a dark room to lie down. This is the second week there has been some normal days. Yesterday was the start of the week 15 of the pregnancy, and it was the first day I didn’t suffer from anything until late at night.

It must be self-evident that I don’t care. I don’t care. We will probably only ever have this one child. And it will be so loved, it is so loved already. We have fought this battle together and we have conquered. Everything is better now. I didn’t think it would be, but it is. Everything is easier, well, except moving and maybe sex. And even that doesn’t matter so much anymore. We have had to learn to wait, to be patient, to tread lightly with sexy things. But we have had ample time to learn the skills to do that: negotiate, be frank and unassuming when it comes to sexual acts.

Last time I said I didn’t want him to hit me or strangle me at all. There was a pause, he was scared and uneasy, because he had noticed that my responses were different and didn’t know what he could do now. We cuddled and talked and then started again. And when his hand went gently on my throat when we were getting close it wasn’t enough for me. I pushed his hand to grip more tightly. Because he had listened to me and I had spoken to him, I could do that. I could ask for it.

There were some droplets of blood, and even though our nurse had said after the first ultrasound and my freaking out on some blood that it was perfectly normal, I asked that we’d not have intercourse again. The blood was too scary. It’s not worth it. I don’t know if we will or won’t, if I change my mind. But I know it will be different. It will all be different. And it will all be the same, too.

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BDSM, Love, What Women Really Want

It Gets Better

I’m sure this comes as a surprise to no one. I decided a long time ago that I wouldn’t be writing a farewell post, if I somehow found myself in a situation where I wanted to stop blogging. But here I am writing it.

I needed this so bad when I started out. I needed the outlet, a place to hash out things and the connection with other people who had gone trough something similar. And I just don’t anymore. I am really happy with who I am and what I desire.

I’ve met wonderful, intelligent people through blogging here. I’ve gotten advice in difficult situations, and I’ve been offered help and consolation that has made my life better. You have been invaluable to me while I fought my way through the dark underside of my desire.

I will always remember that. And I wouldn’t change a thing.

If it seems I’ve given up on anything I’ve brought up here, I haven’t. We have been experimenting with new things and found new ways to pleasure each other. All of this we’ve done even though I’ve been through hell with the infertility treatments. But I can say without a doubt that I wouldn’t be this happy, if we didn’t share a sexuality like this. Even the infertility would be harder to deal with without this outlet, this journey with Wonderboy.

I suspect that I will never be ready. We have so much to learn and so much to find. But I’ve learned that all that matters is that we are able to communicate with each other. That there doesn’t have to be a magic trick that would make everything right. I am so much in love and so happy with my Wonderboy. He did things to me today that I need, that he needs, things that make us love each other even more. I don’t have to get the approval of the world for this. The world doesn’t get to decide what I can and cannot enjoy in my healthy adult relationship.

But I still want to speak up so that there wouldn’t be little girls like the one I was. I want to show the world what I am made of, how wanting to be hurt and dominated can be healthy and make a person happy. And I want to show how any desire or sexuality a woman has can not be un-feminist. I want girls who are like me to grow up listening to their desires and not hiding them.

It does get better. I was so lost but now it’s almost hard to remember why this desire was so scary, embarrassing and wrong. It’s not. There are just a lot of people out there saying it is. It’s healthy and good for you, and trying to hide it can make you really unhappy, can leave scars that you really don’t need. I want to be one of the people saying it out loud. No one needs to go through with it alone.

Now, all that’s left to do here is to say goodbye.

I will leave this blog here and go into the world. That’s where I was meant to be all along.

I love you and I’ll miss you.

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Love, Male Lead Relationship stuff, Wonderboy

Radical Acceptance

It occurred to me today as I was making my way home from another part of the country. I sat on the bus, excited, my stomach fluttering with anxiety. I was looking forward to meeting Wonderboy again after just three days. And I was giddy as a school girl.

I don’t want to be tied down. I want to be tied together. 

That’s what I thought. It puts together what I’ve been feeling. How I’ve been feeling about this thing we do. It’s not so separate anymore. It’s not just sex or just anything. It’s a part of who I am. What is between us is love and a relationship that can fulfill us both in a way we need it to. I don’t really have any qualms with it anymore.

I expect to grow old with Wonderboy. I see it happening already, the receding hairline, the changes of skin, the aches and the problems we didn’t have even five years ago. With a sexual relationship like this, with a desire like this I see a way to the future as fulfilling, or even more, than now. There’s so much to explore and every step always takes a step or two back.

It’s never ready, there can never be perfect certainty. We change and the relationship must do so too. We have learned how to communicate, and this blog, all of the friends out there reading and commenting and writing experiences of your own have helped me learn to speak. But I’m not done learning and I doubt I ever will be. It’s exciting. I doubt that will ever change either.

I will always feel butterflies in my stomach when I make my way back home. Because it’s scary. Love. Not being ready. Having to learn everything all over again, every time. And that’s what makes all this worth it.

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Fertility treatments, Love, Wonderboy

Tears

A lot of crying going on here today. I had to leave work straight when I got there, because the cramps were so painful I almost didn’t manage to get out of the bathroom. This is, I think, the first time that I’m setting this up like this within myself: why can’t I carry his child? Why can’t I give him a baby? Wonderboy’s been so unhappy this past few days that it has made me unhappy too. I’ve never seen him like this. And I can’t change a thing. And I’m hurting.

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Fertility treatments, Love, Wonderboy

Carrot Soap

Another one of those possibly pregnant weeks of my life has just ended. What a relief. My period was over a week late today, so I called the clinic. They don’t know yet, if they can still treat us before the summer holidays or not. We’ll have to wait and see when my next period will start. I hate that everything is decided by my body. You’ve all heard about the dichotomy between body and soul, mind and matter? Well, this so makes it official. How can I grow better follicles or bleed more quickly? I can’t. I can’t change the body I got and I can’t really help the hormones either.

They gave me this youth hormone, DHEA. It’s not even considered a real drug, if you live outside Europe, but here it’s a prescribed drug that I was fortunate enough to be given. Our doctor is trying to get better follicles out of me, if she can. I hope and then I despair. It’s hard to believe that it could happen, and still I mostly do.

It’s really hard to see my coworker’s rounding belly. Almost even harder, because I know they were in treatment too. It worked for them. So, we’re in a smaller and smaller minority. Will we soon be in the minority that gives up, childless? I hope not.

My little sister will be donating her follicles to my big sister in the Fall. It’s arranged and everything. There’s a small chance that she’d donate to us at the same time. That’s why I want to do this now. I don’t want to wait forever. I can’t.

It’s devastating to think the child wouldn’t be mine biologically. But when I dreamed about having children, when I made the plans, I was working under the mass illusion we have in our civilization that children pop up wanted or not and it’s almost impossible to stop that. So, obviously after a lifetime of laboring under that sort of illusion it’s hard to steer my mind in to a new kind of tomorrow. One were social parenting becomes as meaningful as biological. One where love isn’t only romantic, but also between siblings.

True love conquers all. Yeah, I’m beginning to see what they meant by that. If my sister and my husband can give us a child, I am forever in debt. To love.

I am crying again. But isn’t it beautiful? Can you imagine a better way to express your love? I know I can’t. I am so loved, and now I finally feel that I deserve it. And I will shine it all back to everyone. That’s the way love works.

This childless life is so hard, Wonderboy said yesterday. He was in the dark of the bedroom, alone, just lying in bed looking at the window with closed curtains. Everything is all sad. Nothing makes us happy. 

A lot makes us happy! Look, I made a funny face. Look, look here, I am caressing you, hugging you, tangling into you and kissing you and – oh sorry – crying in your ear.

When we don’t have any little babies just toddling around here, I answered and he looked even sadder, if possible.

He wants to have children with me. He is sad that we don’t have them. He’s scared that we won’t have them. It broke my heart a little bit. I want to give him babies. My body and soul are agreed on that. He even fantasized one day, out loud:

I could be a stay at home dad. I could take the babies into the park and play to them.

He has never talked like that before. He has never made plans or even been at all interested about the babies, just the trying. I can see it, now, in my mind and I can’t shake it off. My Wonderboy sitting near the sandbox with all the other mommies and with our Wonderchild. How lovingly he would take care of our child. He will be a great dad. And he will let me be who i am: very attached to my work, so worry passionate about it.

Doesn’t it break your heart too?

That’s why… I bought handmade soup today. Two different hues: avocado&olives and carrot. How could anyone stay unhappy, when they wash themselves with carrot soap? Obviously they can’t. I have the answer to everything. I am the master of this body. Which will soon, very soon, smell like a carrot.

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Fertility treatments, Love

Hope

When we got back home yesterday, I withdrew to take a shower. Maybe it’s because I was raised in a house where no one respected privacy and I never got to have a room for myself, but I always retreat to the shower when I’m really sad. Sure enough after a couple of minutes I started to cry. Not thinking about it seems not to be an option.

Wonderboy had been doing the dishes. In the middle of my crying he knocked on the door and came to the bathroom, although I didn’t answer anything to his knock. I just wanted to be left alone. He was all normal and I felt my heart had been ripped out of my chest, once again. He wanted to kiss me and I wouldn’t. I know this is a way for him to seek some kind of emotional certainty, but I was angry at him for not letting me have a private moment, although he knew all the circumstances. He just couldn’t leave me alone, because he knew I was sad. He had to be there, making sure what was happening.

Not everything is something you can share. There’s also the very personal experience, the losing of a baby I had to face that he was not facing. I had stopped the progesterones on Saturday night because of the periods, and that makes my whole body and mind change so drastically. It’s hard to adapt to, and even harder when you’re hurting like hell, bleeding and know exactly what it means.

When I came out of the shower, I asked Wonderboy to stop playing the guitar. It felt like he was mocking me, and the sadness. He was able to do stuff he’d normally do and I wasn’t. I was, once again, the only one devastated by this. Wonderboy couldn’t have reacted in a better way. He chipperishly agreed to put the guitar away and asked me if I’d come and cuddle with him. As I couldn’t answer him anything and didn’t really feel like cuddling at all he asked me again a couple of times.

And so I gave in. I went to the bed, cold streams still running from my hair and I let him take me into his arms. I began to cry again.

You can cry as much as you need, Wonderboy said. He caressed me and held me really close. He kept trying to say little consoling things like how far we’d come, and how it could work the next time. All I could think about was that it hadn’t really worked this time either. The embryo should’ve been 8 cells, and it was only 4. It was the only one to make it. That doesn’t sound like a super outcome to me – unless it results in a pregnancy.

I felt unsure if I could hang on to the hope for another year of this. I was wondering should we really be trying the donator sperm on some of the eggs just to know what could happen.

When I asked Wondeboy how he felt, he answered, sad, but also hopeful. Maybe I could feel that way too if I wasn’t the one carrying this all in my body. Wonderboy did come out of the bathroom looking real worried. I had flushed the toilet, but I hadn’t checked it out after, and I had apparently lost so much blood that the water in the toilet was still rich with blood. Wondeboy came to hug me and kiss me.

My baby’s losing so much blood, he said to me and hugged me tighter. I guess it’s easy to be all hopeful and serene, if you don’t really have to face the blood and the pain and the reality of what’s happened. What we lost.

We didn’t really lose anything, he’d said a while earlier.

Yes, we did. We lost our baby, I said.

And then I cried again.

What will we do if nothing works? What will we do after next year?

I don’t know, he answered.

I don’t know either, I said.

We’ll have a break, he said.

A break? We won’t have a break! This has been nothing but breaks!

So, we will go get more treatments? he asked.

Did he really think we wouldn’t?

Well, we won’t get children, if we don’t, I answered.

Then we’ll have to start skimping on everything. It’s only a year away. It’s not a lot of time to save money.

This was the first time, I think, he took this seriously. I’ve been thinking about the years to come for a longer while now – he’s just been concentrating on the next time. The IVF’s will work, he still thinks. And they might. But they might not. I didn’t say anything about donors. I’ve had that talk many times already. But that’s what I’m considering, if next year won’t bring any change. I don’t want to, but I do. This is something I won’t take a break from. This is something I can’t compromise. So, there needs to be a way, if this doesn’t work.

I hope it works, though. I really do. But even the fantasies of our kids are slipping away. I have a hard time imagining myself as a mom. I have a hard time imagining myself as pregnant or with a child. And I have such a hard time sitting in the bus or waiting in line at the grocery store when other people’s kids wail and cry and laugh and talk. I have a hard time seeing pregnant women. Next week we’ll find out if my work mate’s 2.nd IVF treatment got her pregnant. I’m dreading it. Of course I hope happiness for them, but it would be so hard to handle, seeing her every day, knowing it isn’t me.

I hope it is me sometime.

This morning Wondeboy just dashed to work, not giving me a second glance or a hug as he usually does. We did cuddle for a while when we were still in bed, looked into each other’s defeated eyes and hugged tight. Maybe his sadness is different. Maybe he wants to – and can – escape it. I was left here alone, writing, before I have to go to work too. I also had to let our doctor know we didn’t succeed. They have to start filing papers to transfer us to where we live now. We have no idea how that’s going to work and how long it’ll take. I have no idea about anything. Just a little hope.

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