Sunday, September 23, 2007

Risotto Therapy

First, on the fertility front -- I am rapidly approaching CD1 (not even venturing to think there is even a remote possibility that I am pregnant this cycle -- that would be too cruel a twist of fate). I have had spotting consistently now for 9 straight days. It's kind of alarming -- I told my doctor a while back how I would frequently have spotting not quite early enough to be ovulation, and not quite late enough to be implantation -- he brushed me off. Now I've had this for 9 days and if it weren't for the fact that the past two weeks have been the most emotional of my life (am I kidding myself to think that my mental state is affecting my cycle?), I'd be pounding on his door demanding an explanation. My husband kindly offered to stop his self-flaggelation (I am of course speaking metaphorically) long enough to take me to Urgent Care, but I politely declined. So much for my new Type B personality.

Having a desperate need for an outlet over the past two weeks, I decided to try my hand at homemade risotto. I absolutely love to cook, but I can honestly say that, to date, nothing has been so therapeutic or offered me as much peace as my risotto experiment. It is not only a comfort food to eat, but to actually prepare. Now, if you've ever made risotto before, you know the amount of attention it requires -- you can't just passively put it on the stove and leave it. There are certain steps involved -- you need to saute the onion, saute the risotto, add the white wine (or vermouth -- I've discovered that it's much more resourceful to save the wine for drinking) until it is absorbed, and then gradually add several cups of chicken stock, a ladle-ful at a time, until each is absorbed by the rice. It is a very slow process, requiring a lot of patience (which I typically don't have), but the delightful smells that fill the kitchen (particularly at the moment of adding the white wine or vermouth) and the ritual of the preparation, have an extremely calming effect. Over the past couple of weeks I have made every possible variation -- risotto alla milanese, risotto with green apple and gorgonzola, spicy risotto with red snapper, chicken and basil risotto, risotto with proscuitto and sun-dried tomatoes, and risotto with spicy Italian sausage. I am obsessed.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

The Silver Lining

Before I say anything else...I've only been here for a few weeks, in my little corner of the Internet, pouring my heart out into what I thought was an apparently readerless blog (thank you, Ms Heathen, for putting it so succinctly). A few of you peeked out from behind the curtain, letting me know that you were there, and I felt a wonderful (yet slightly strange) sense of community. Then Monday happened. I didn't really know what to do or where to turn, but my instinct led me here. I cannot even begin to tell you how much your support means to me. I never expected it, least of all from (and here's the word that seems almost blasphemy to use) strangers. (As a side note, I want you to know that I have spent time over the past several days reading all of your blogs -- you are truly a remarkable group of women and I feel honored to be a part of this community). You have all made me feel connected where I would have felt so lost, and I thank you for that from the bottom of my heart. Thank you for reading, thank you for indulging me (I guess one doesn't really expect a post like that in a blog about infertility), and thank you for being there.

I think I need to be careful what I wish for. My husband was never a communicator. He was always the "manly" man -- beer and football, didn't like to talk about his feelings, didn't like to share, etc. I always wished something would happen to serve that cathartic purpose of tearing down his walls and allow him to completely open up with me. I didn't expect it to be this.

The past week has been really hard. Looking back, it's hard to believe that it was me -- I'm certainly not strong enough to go through that and be sitting here five days later posting an Internet blog about the experience. In the past five days, we have been to a marriage counselor, several sessions of individual therapy, and spent countless hours on our own talking about what happened, our entire relationship and marriage, and everything else you could possibly imagine. The lines of communication are not only open, but flooded. We have learned more about each other in the past five days than in three years. I am exhausted.

My husband is also not living with me right now. Our marriage counselor calmly suggested that I was not ready for him to come home after I told him I could not be in the same room with him for more than two hours without wanting to throw something really heavy at his head. (My apologies to all of you out there who thought I was handling this with dignity and grace.) We have since decided that we are moving towards him coming back, as a start, with certain rules in place. We will then see where it takes us. I have decided that I am not ready to throw in the towel today. It might be tomorrow, but not today. He doesn't know that yet, and I have no plans of telling him at this very moment (I am honestly not trying to punish him -- he is working so hard, I do not want to take his incentive away). We will see where the cards fall.

I have been going through all the stages -- grief, anger (okay, not anger -- try volcanic rage), depression, bargaining, and I have found a new one -- inappropriate humor. My mother was not amused when I told her we would still be following through with our IVF cycle in December -- I told her I didn't know where my husband and I would be with our relationship, but at least we wouldn't have to be in the same room to conceive a child. I thought about having to sign those consent forms for custody of the frozen embryos -- something I would not have thought twice about before all this happened, but now who knows what I will feel if and when that time comes?

I am feeling a lot of pressure to resolve issues quickly. In two weeks, we are supposed to be flying across the country to meet my birthmother for the first time, and to go to a friend's wedding -- both things I dread doing without him (although I could and would if I had to). Then there is our December cycle. I know I shouldn't be thinking about all of this right now. I feel guilty that I'm even talking about IVF when my husband is not even residing in the same house. I know we need to be putting our marriage first and working through this -- we need to figure out where we stand as a couple before we bring children into the picture, and all of that is still up in the air. If I could only find a way to put my biological clock on snooze until this is all over...

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Open Letter To The Woman Who Called Me At Work Monday

Your “apology” is not accepted. Your behavior – not only in sleeping with my husband two years ago, but in purposefully and deliberately researching where I work for the sole purpose of tracking me down two years later to inform me of the affair – is nothing short of disgusting. That you would even dare to assume I would be na├»ve enough to thank you for giving me that information, let alone treat your veiled “apology” as anything short of a malicious attempt to get back at my husband by destroying his marriage, is incredible to me. You are the most selfish person I have ever known.

My husband told me everything. He cried. He
sobbed. He answered every question I asked. He knew how important it was for me to know each and every detail and, as difficult as it was for him, he looked me in the eyes and told me the truth. He told me of meeting you on your business trip only a few weeks after he and I were engaged to be married. He told me how you went out for dinner and drinks and how you told him all about your abusive husband of the past 15 years. He told me how he listened, how he felt sorry for you, how at some point it became less of a business dinner and more of a date. He told me how you asked him to come back up to your room, you were afraid to be alone in a strange city. I don’t, by any means, hold him without fault, but it was a game for you – and I’m willing to bet this was not the first or the last time you have preyed on someone like my husband. Tell me, do you win by luring the man out of his happiness and into your own miserable world? Are you able to convince yourself that all men are horrible creatures, not just your own husband, when you get a man to cheat on his wife or girlfriend for you? Do you hate yourself that much?

It was somewhat comforting for me to learn that my husband has been suffering with crippling guilt over the past two years – he does deserve that. What he didn’t deserve was your blackmail – your telling him you would find me and call me immediately if your husband ever found out. Think about it –over the past two years my husband has sent you pictures of us, our wedding, our home, trying to convey to you how happy we were so you would leave him alone. What have you sent him? Pictures of your family, your children, with your husband cut out of the picture. Have you ever seen Fatal Attraction? Do you know how psychotic that is???

I can understand your husband’s rage when he found those photographs in your email account – he was probably suspicious of a different, more recent affair when he found those emails. I’m sure he questioned, how dare you bring your children into this?? I can fully understand your husband’s need to confront my husband – to acknowledge the affair was two years ago, but to demand that my husband never call or speak to you again. My husband agreed to stay away from your family and your husband agreed that you and he would stay away from ours. I applaud the way your husband handled the situation, and cannot even imagine what he must be going through – it must cut very deep to learn that your wife of 17 years has been chronically unfaithful. I don’t believe that your husband knows about the subsequent harassing phone calls you made to my husband at work, or to me at work, for that matter. Your statement to me on the phone when I asked why you were calling me, telling me that you were doing this for your husband, was disingenuous at best. After all, it’s been two years – why now?

It’s out in the open now, and you have no more leverage against my husband. He no longer has any reason to continue to correspond with you, now that I know everything and the threat of you telling is over. Stay away. I don’t know if our marriage will survive this, but that is my decision to make. It is empowering to know that we have only been married a little over a year and that we don’t have any children to stay together for – if we do stay together, it would be purely for the right reasons, and it will all come down to just us. We will be that much stronger as a couple – all in spite of you. If we don’t stay together, rest assured that it will not be due to your misguided act of vengeance.

I only wish you everything you deserve.

Rebecca

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

A Break

I always said I wasn't going to make apologies for not writing for a while -- I will write when I have something to say. Unfortunately, I have so much to say right now, and I somehow can't find the words. I guess it's a bit of a personal tragedy, completely unrelated to the whole infertility thing, although in light of the situation I think we might be putting IVF on hold for a while. Only time will tell. Regardless, I will be back soon -- hopefully with words...

Saturday, September 8, 2007

It's All In The Timing

First, let me say, I don't think I have a single reader -- not a single one! I have told no one about this blog (at least not yet) -- it's kind of my guilty little pleasure. I have a number of other blogs that I do read regularly, and I have to admit I am a little jealous at the audience and support they have. At the end of the day, though, I like my little corner of the Internet -- I invite anyone who wishes to come and visit for a while, but I really enjoy not having the responsibility of having an audience. So, that being said, I will continue to write about what I want to write about -- enter at your own risk...

I recently decided to start meditating again. I bought a meditation program specifically designed for fertility, and I have yet to stay awake to listen to the whole thing. Still, it's a start (although the focus is on positive, not negative energy -- maybe I need to change the name of my blog). I've decided (as you could probably tell from my last entry) to transform my my "Type A" self into a "Type B." It's been a struggle -- but I think I at least hit the "A-" mark this week. The clincher was yesterday. I forgot to wear my watch to work, which is something I have not forgotten to do since, well, forever! It was hugely disturbing to me, not constantly knowing what time it was. Maybe it was my subconscious making that extra "Type B" effort for me? I managed to get through it, and I think I may forget to wear my watch on purpose for the rest of the weekend...

Today is the day my husband and I go to that fancy little hotel on the beach for our last ditch effort at conceiving naturally before IVF (I guess technically we would still have one more cycle after this, but the timing this time could not have worked out more perfectly). My chart is looking good, I ritualistically peed on a stick this morning and, again, the timing would be perfect. The only problem is, I have a nasty cold (which I think I caught from my DH), and the whole TTC thing is the last thing I want to do right now! It really is more romantic than it sounds, though -- my husband is voluntarily giving up a weekend of college football for this...

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Skinny Bitch, Big Pants

I've decided that, in honor of the upcoming Human Science Experiment (that's what it really is, isn't it?), I need to stop eating like I'm pregnant and drinking like I'm not.

I've gained a little over 30 pounds in a little over a year (since my June 2006 wedding). I think part of it was the emotional roller coaster I've been on, and part of it was the thinking that I'm going to be pregnant "soon," so it doesn't matter what I eat -- I will lose the weight after the pregnancy. Well, soon turned into not-so-soon, and I can no longer fit into my pants. (If I keep going at this rate, I'm going to be wearing maternity clothes before I even have a right to be wearing maternity clothes!)

So, I went to the mall yesterday, resigning myself to the fact that I need to buy some bigger pants. I stopped off at Barnes & Noble to see if they had any books on women's health -- particularly things I can do to get my body ready for IVF (everyone's always talking about this book and that book on the message boards -- I figured I needed to weigh in -- no pun intended).

Instead of finding any books on IVF, I found a book called Skinny Bitch by Kim Barnouin and Rory Freedman (two skinny bitches whom I am guessing have no medical training whatsoever). To quote a reviewer on amazon.com, it would not have sold nearly as well had it been called A Foul Mouthed Diatribe on Veganism. While I disagree with the message of the book (meat is bad, aspertame is evil, the USDA doesn't give a sh*t about our health), something about the style of the book really resonated with me. It basically came down to this -- I'm not in college anymore, my metabolism isn't what it used to be, and I need to stop eating crap -- period.

I decided that I need to get my body in the best shape it can possibly be in, in preparation for our December IVF cycle. I'm going to be healthy. I'm going to cut out the crap, the caffeine, the alcohol. When I am pregnant (knock on wood), I am going to allow myself a little more leeway (if the baby wants me to eat a box of Twinkies, who am I to argue?). I just figured this is the least I could do to increase my chances of success (after all, this is an investment). Who knows, maybe the big pants I just bought can double as maternity pants in the not-so-distant future...