Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Not all Sunshines and Rainbows.

Not all posts are sunshines and rainbows...  Some people out there use words to describe me as: Strong. Couragous. Fearless. Open. Brave.  Hero.  Inspiring.  These words have always been words that have been floating around since the start of my journey.  At times I believe them, at others - I don't.  However, this week, I was surely the opposite of all those words. 

I was relaxing with Pat in our living room watching mindless television winding down on a Sunday evening.  Life was good.  We were just relaxing after enjoying a nice meal out together.  It was a simple end to a simple day.  I log into my computer to do my usual websurfing as Pat starts to study.  And then the unexpected hit me unlike anything I could have predicted.  A close friend of mine trying to get pregnant for 1 month had just announced her pregnancy on facebook.  As I read the words, my heart fell into my stomach. 1 month?!?!?!  Really?!  Life is too cruel.  This is beyond unfair.  I was in a completely mixed state of mind.  On one hand, I was ecstatic for my newlywed pals with such a grand announcement that is one of the happiest moments of their lives, but at the same moment, my insides were starting to tear apart.  On the other hand, I was just sad and having the world's biggest pity party.  My eyes filled with water as I stared at my computer.  Pat looked over and asked "Katie, are you ok?"  I couldn't get any words out of my mouth.  I shook my head and then started to sob.  Pat ran over to me on the other side of our sectional sofa and he just held me real tight until the pain stopped.  My insides were just in so much pain.  The pain was unbearable - nothing I have ever felt.  I couldn't even breathe...and then started to hyperventlate.  That's right, I was having my first panic attack with this IVF journey of ours. He started to rock me back and forth to try and soothe me as he was holding me as close as he could.  Nothing was working.  The pain was growing exponentially.  He closed my computer and just wanted to calm me down.  I lost all sense of my rationality.  I was a complete mess. I had officially lost control.  I was beyond help for 3 hours.

Soon after I went upstairs to just lie in bed by myself and just stare at the wall.  I just couldn't calm down.  I have no explanation for these feelings as they came completely out of left field.  My face was swollen.  I was hardly able to breathe.  Now I physically was in pain from how hard I was crying and struggling to breathe through all the hyperventaliating.  Pat told me he felt so helpless since there was nothing he could say or do to change this.  He was right.  There was nothing ANYBODY could do to change this.  4 hours later - it is now 1am.  My breathing is coming back to me.  Pat put a warm towel over my face to get the swelling down.  Now Pat and I are just emotionally and physically EXHAUSTED.  I started to say tell him that I am not a strong person.  People are wrong.  They don't see this side of me, I am weak, I am a coward, I even try closing my eyes to visualize myself outside of many of my situations in life convincing myself this is all just a giant nightmare I need to wake up from.  Who does that?!  ME!  How ridiculous.  If only others who think I am strong could see me at my weakest.  I am coward who is just looking for an escape.  So I told Pat - please don't tell me I am strong anymore, just look at me...this is the opposite of a strong person.  Nobody should look to me for support.  I am falling apart.  I am not a role model anybody should have.  I am just a giant coward who has lost her sanity.

Even with the evening's events, Pat grabbed my hand in response to me spill my honest thoughts he responded quietly, "You are the strongest person I have ever met in my entire life.  You ARE my hero.  I wish I could be 1/10th of the person you are.  You would put yourself in pain so just one person feels less pain.  You face scary situations and handle them like it was the norm.  Nothing scares you.  You have faced and beat cancer, one of the scariest diseases, and are now facing one of the most emotional battles and you still can smile through everything you have been through.  Your smile that lights up a room does not even begin to show what you have endured up until this point.  Plus you have helped hundreds of women out there.  Your heart is bigger than anything I have seen in the world.  You get emails daily from women who see that same spark in you that I do.  You inspire others and you inspire me everyday.  He then told me to look in the mirror and that he has no idea how lucky he got to marry such a strong, fearless woman and that he was proud to have me as his wife.  Then he used a saying from our yoga class. You just need to say neti neti neti.  Seriosuly!  .......and he was right.

Then I started to cry again, but now happy tears...he reminded me of everything we do have and the joy that is so close, yet so far.  I gradually started coming back to reality.  And that's how my Monday morning was started.  It was strange.  Once I saw the sun shining through my window following my alarm clock, I was OK because I know my turn is coming.  It was a strange epiphany.  I just have to wait for it.

As you can see, I am not made of steel, I am only human with a boatload of emotions.  My inner passion exaggerates these emotions at times.  Sometimes even out of my control.  It is hard because when dealing with our future family.  My emotions are ALWAYS at an all-time high, and I know that it is ok to be sad sometimes, I just have to do it in smaller doses. We are all only human and being sad sometimes is ok.  I think it is just part of the journey.  I am happy for my friend.  They deserve everything and more.  I just wish it was easier for us.   :)


  1. Courage is not never feeling fear, courage is acting in spite of fear. Strength is not never feeling pain, strength is acting in spite of the pain. There is an old martial arts saying: "Fall down seven, get up eight."

    ~Your friendly neighborhood acupuncturist.

  2. Oh Katie, I can remember the guilt and pain of those moments when a friend's pregnancy would hit me out of the blue. Being both delighted for a friend and terribly sad for oneself is so hard. I want to say that you are strong - but reading your post I realized there's a trap there, too. It is really hard to always be strong. After my stillbirth I went back to teaching yoga and everyone would talk about how "peaceful and positive" I was about moving forward after the loss. For the most part I was, because I had decided to accept it as part of my life's journey, but there were many days when I would sit in my car and cry before walking in to teach. Funny - it was neti, neti, neti that helped me then. I wasn't these thoughts and emotions - they were simply passing through me and I was experiencing them.

    My yoga teacher told me to cry every tear and let them flow through me rather than hold on to the pain, to use the tears to cleanse my spirit. So, maybe you had a cleanse on Sunday??? I hope you have a lovely week.

  3. Oh sweetie, I've been there. You are strong for the simple fact that you are able to say the truth, that it is not all sunshine & rainbows. I had a friend send me a txt about her 4th pregnancy while we were on vacation. She was scared bc this wasn't planned, not a lot of $, etc. I was calm in being there for her but my husband sat by my side the whole time waiting for me to crumble, which I did. He knew me better than I did. We are lucky to have the men we do. And yes, your time will come.

  4. This is me! I was just told I would need IVF (I'm 28 years old) and was super fake-happy when a friend told me she was pregnant. I had to get rid of facebook too because those "stand sideways" shots were making me crazy. I started a little blog of my own as a form of therapy but also to help others: http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_summary.asp?id=NJE444