reality

must.

stay.

busy.

there is a void that needs to be filled. fertility treatments were pretty much my second job, and now that i’ve been fired, so to speak, i have this void. it’s not called wow-i-have-all-this-free-time, you know, now that i’m not constantly at doctors appointments. ultrasounds. lab tests. stabbing myself. free time is still spent on school. and laundry. and life. it’s called i-can’t-deal-with-this-reality-right-now.

the reality right now is that i can’t successfully bring home a baby without IVF. and the sickening twist is that i can’t successfully complete an IVF cycle. oh and that i can’t afford to ever do another one ever again. let’s not forget that.

so where does that leave me? depressed. what do i do? avoid. clearly i’m not ready to broach THE talk. the one where we say out loud that we won’t be having another child unless flying pigs drop money straight out of the sky into my lap and simultaneously magically plant an embryo in my ute. that talk is coming, i’m sure. but not yet. let me live in my void, removed from reality. but what do i do now, right this minute, in this void?

the obvious choice is to find something new to obsess about. duh.

when i lost my first baby i was glued to the couch for days. literally, my ass could not peel itself away from the cushions and kleenex boxes. like any normal person i spent ungodly amounts of hours watching Extreme Couponing. don’t deny it, you watched that show. you know those wackadoos, barreling into the Piggly Wiggly with 5 shopping carts in tow, and coming out spending $7 on 218236 cases of gatorade. i was seriously impressed by their hauls. not that i ever wanted enough gatorade to hydrate an NFL team, but i thought “pshh, i can do that.” 1 week, 1 binder and a garage full of “stockpile” later, i was a couponer extraordinaire. i poured myself into those little paper cuttings. i spent days organizing those squares by type. re-organizing by expiration date. clipping. sorting. scanning the circulars. more clipping. it was my life. not because it was the best way to spend my days, but it kept me from diving off the deep end into the abyss. though he’ll never admit it, i’m fairly certain poor husband thought i was certifiably nuts. and i was, to a degree… a frugal psycho. depression will do that to you. but i speak the truth people, obsessing about something was exactly what i needed. couponing saved me. it stopped me from spiraling into the nothingness. and for that, i am eternally grateful. (sidenote: yes, i still coupon, in case you’re wondering. but not nearly at the olympic level in my younger days.)

so what do i do now? well, i already coupon. need something else. i know, instead of hoarding away that money for infertility treatments that will never be fruitful, i’ll finally invest it into this house. the one that still has boxes left unpacked. don’t judge, it’s only been 2 years.

i decided to tackle a simple and tangible project so i could feel the reward of putting work into something and actually SEEING results (ahem, IVF, are you listening?). time to refinish my nightstand. years of wear and tear on this piece have taken their toll. and plus also stay busy, you know.

since i didn’t plan on blogging my DIY psychosis, here is some random pic of my nightstand off the internet. now imagine the top is peeling. and discolored. and basically looks terrible.

ethanallen

rustoleum refinishing kit. check. sander. check. amazing husband to do all the manual labor. check. one weekend later.

hello gorgeous.

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now what do i do. that was too simple. i know… i’ll make an upholstered headboard. i’ve wanted one of these things since we bought the bed of our dreams (Sleep Number. get one. like, 5 minutes ago. best thing you’ll ever do.) it has looked so sad you guys, this fabulous bed with nothing but empty gray wall above it. well crap, if i’m going to make a headboard i’d better paint the room first. aaaand hello psycho, there you are.

paint. check. tiny manual laborer to “help” me. check.

let’s do this.IMG_9567

i love this purple. so soothing. a few DIY internet videos later and i picked the easiest to make settled on a contemporary headboard style, gathered my supplies and forced husband to love this project as much as i did. plywood. check. fabric. check. batting, glue, nails, scotchgard, yadda yadda. check check check. $78 poorer, a few days later and only one smashed finger…

BOOM. eat your heart out pottery barn.

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okay, that only took a week. now what.

well…, i have an entire room upstairs collecting boxes. and dust. and it stays quiet and empty. rarely do i even enter that room. and i haven’t been able to bring myself to DO anything with it because, well, it’s supposed to be a nursery. but you never decorate a nursery for a baby you wish to have. everyone knows that. that’s bad luck. so it has sat there, at the top of my stairs, taunting me. another constant reminder of what isn’t going to happen.

but not sure if i’m ready to tackle that room. that reality.

i can. and yet, i can’t.

i can feel the rigidity of the keyboard beneath my fingertips. with each keystroke the letters push back against me. i can see my keystrokes turn into words, morph into wandering thoughts on the bright screen before my eyes. floating in and out, these thoughts that linger in my mind, i can hear them become my voice. what do we do now?

and yet i can’t speak. i don’t know what to do now.

because to voice it aloud means acknowledging that it happened.

what happened.  it’s over.

the road. i’m at the end of it. i am facing a block wall. i long for a crossroad instead. i wish for a rock and a hard place. anything but a block wall. this wall has no window, no secret crevasse to aid in my escape. the reality of it slaps me in the face. i can’t believe it.

next door, i can hear a newborn crying, its nanny seemingly oblivious to its plight. not more than 10 feet between us, it is taking every ounce of my strength to plant my feet firmly on the floor instead of leaping the fence and rescuing that poor little one. i can feel my heart sinking with every cry. in my head i am screaming “please just hold that baby already, it just wants to be held and loved, let me hold that baby, i will love it, please.”

and i can’t. i can’t hold that baby. i can’t hold any babies. my body literally will not carry a baby anymore. it can try, sure. but in the end, it just can’t. this is the reality. this is my block wall.

i can hear my thoughts becoming my voice, in my head, growing louder and more jarring. there is still time. you’re still ‘young.’  when you feel like giving up, remember why you started.

i can’t. i can’t remember why i started. as if i CHOSE this path, i had free will and chose infertility. i’ll let you in on a dirty little secret. i always feel like giving up.

i can remember WHEN i started. but not why. so when does it end. the punishment. what do i do now. all i know is trying. all i can remember of this path is work. years of sacrifice. pain. pick yourself up and trudge on. for years. i can’t remember why. why do i want to keep doing this to myself. to us. when does it end. today? i can begin to see that as more of a reality than ever before.

and i can see amazing son. my honest-to-god living miracle. i see him for the gift he truly is. and in all his rough and tumble demeanor, every so often he reaches up to me and surprises me. i think he is going for my face and instinctively flinch. but he stops short and instead cradles my locket in his hand. he looks at it, studies the birthstones within, and asks me “are these my brothers?” and i can’t hold it together. i can only cry. and tell him the truth.IMG_9436

yes, my sweet boy, those are your brothers.

i can’t give you real ones. just these representations of love lost. hopes and dreams that will never be. i can’t hold myself together. not in that moment. not now. it’s over.