Earlier this week Hubby & I woke up at an ungodly hour. My mom was flying out to the Philippines and needed a ride to the airport. It being an international flight, she needed to be at the airport at least 3 hours before take-off.
Her flight was at 7:00 am.
Needless to say, Hubby & I got little sleep the night before.
With Hubby staying curbside, I was able to help check my Mom in at the airport and say a proper good-bye before she headed into the security line.
What she said to me in those moments have stuck with me this past week and have made me realize that, as much as I think I’m okay, I’m still not quite okay.
On the way home from the airport, I cried. Cried, because I was already missing my Mom who would be gone for six whole weeks. Cried, because I knew that it was time to make another appointment … one I haven’t had in about six months now.
Cried, because as much of an adult I (supposedly) am, there are still some days that I just want to be a child again and want Mom to tell me that everything is going to be alright.
Things will be alright, I know. Even though they’re not right now. I know this because I have the love and support of a wonderful husband and … even though we don’t get along all the time … my mom.
I miss you, Mom. Hope you’re having a blast in the Philippines.
I have two kids at home. They rely on me to feed them and keep them warm and love them unconditionally.
So what if they have fur and walk on all fours?
Yep, my kiddos are my dog and my cat. Two adorable pets that we adopted. One beagle-shepherd mix (Kozzy) who’s absolutely adorable, but not necessarily the sharpest tool in the shed. And one black cat (Yami) who likes to think she’s the brightest crayon in the box.
The two of them, though not the kind of kids I thought I’d have, are my children.
I’m so thankful to have them in my life.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t include my third furbaby, Rain. Especially since it was Thanksgiving weekend when we had to let her go. Not a day goes by that I don’t miss her …
When I was little, I would typically spend “sick days” at home with my Dad. Mom would work the day shift, while Dad would work the off shift. Such was the life of a dual-income family.
During those sick days, I’d typically be relegated to my bedroom to sleep off the illness that would’ve plagued me for a day or two. And if I was lucky, I would be allowed to lie on the family room couch and watch daytime TV.
The thing I remember most about those sick days was the soup my Dad would make for my lunch. He’d make this chicken noodle soup that I absolutely loved. And I knew I’d be feeling better if I’d ask for a second bowl.
It was a soup that only my Dad could replicate, much to my Mom’s chagrin. Eventually it became known as “Daddy Soup,” and I’d always request it whenever I got sick.
It was comfort food for me; the warmth of the broth soothing my sore throat. The chicken bits providing nourishment for an otherwise lackluster appetite. The egg added that made the it taste like egg drop soup with chicken and noodles … The “secret ingredient” that made Dad’s soup unique. All of it just reminded me of home. And of being cared for as a child.
I think about this soup at times when I miss my Dad the most. And I know it’s because I’m missing the comfort of my childhood when things seemed so much simpler.
Nowadays life seems much more complicated; so much more complex. While I know that’s just part of normal life, having this memory helps remind me that I was loved by my Dad and that I am still loved by those people who reach out to me … Especially during this particularly difficult time in my life.
I’ll just refer to these reminders as “Daddy Soup for my soul.”
Like the snow in Metro Detroit, I’ve been in and out of everyday life. And like the snow, my mind should be ever present during this particular month, since it’s supposed to be the month of new beginnings; of making resolutions to change things.
But like the snow, I’ve only surfaced in bits in pieces whenever life seems to be most inconvenient.
This depression sucks.
No. I mean literally. It sucks the life and energy out of me. And throw in a (un)healthy dose of anxiety with it … well it just makes life all the more interesting.
I’m trying my best to move past this depression; doing all that I can physically and clinically do, but the weight of this sadness seems to be omnipresent.
Thank God for an understanding Husband; one who has stood by me through thick and thin. He’s been there through the low-hanging, non-anxiety moments and all the way through the high-octane drama-fueled moments. Sometimes I wonder – scratch that – I always wonder how I’ve managed to find my soulmate and my best friend who still loves me despite all the baggage I carry.
If anything, Hubby (and the furkids – although the fur-dog has been on my last nerve lately … ) is the reason why I keep getting out of bed every morning.
Even though I’ve written the occasional post about the grief I’ve been experiencing, I know I’m not usually so outright with my depression. But it has been suggested to me that I start writing more about it, because this seems to be the only outlet where I can openly talk about my struggles.
And although this blog is (and always will be) about living child-free after infertility, I thought that this was my little corner of the universe where I can tell you about my life, both good and bad. So here’s where I lay it out on the line:
I’m still grieving over the death of my father. Between my two parents, it’s become apparent to me over the past year and a half that I truly was a “Daddy’s Girl.” I thrived in the moments when my Dad would play around with me and tease me. And there were the silly jokes the two of us would play on each other that only the two of us would get. And I miss those things horribly.
In the same aspect, I realize how much different my relationship with my Mom has always been; particularly now that my Dad had passed. I’ve always known that we never had that “Mother-Daughter” bond that is constantly seen in movies and TV shows; we’re just two very different people. And without Dad being there as a buffer, this relationship has only intensified … and not always in a positive way.
Even though it’s been over a year since deciding to move back to Detroit, not a day goes by that I don’t miss living in Chicago. I miss the city and the atmosphere. I miss the late night trips to Dim Sum or Korean BBQ with my cousins. I miss walking.
But what I miss the most is that Chicago represented a new life for me. A life where Hubby & I carved out a place for ourselves; where the two of us really started focusing on us as a “Family of Two.” And while I love my hometown and take pride in telling people that I’m from Detroit, I miss that part of our lives where we were just far enough from “home” where Hubby & I could be our own family.
And finally … even though Hubby & I have decided that child-free living after infertility is our life, there are still those days where I worry about our future and what other things in our lives we can contribute to the greater good of our world. Will all I have to show at the end of my life is that I’ve worked hard for a living? That I loved my family and friends to the best capacity that I could? What about my legacy? What will I leave behind? And will I have made a difference in someone’s life? I know now that having kids won’t necessarily “satisfy” or provide answers to all of those questions, but having lost my Dad … and knowing the person he was … this is something that weighs heavily on mind.
I could probably go on with more “issues” that seem to run endlessly through my anxiety-ridden head, but these are the ones that are constantly in my stream of consciousness. These are the things that keep me from doing the things I would normally enjoy doing.
Or taking pictures.
Or simply watching TV.
But I’m trying … at least I’ll try to work on the writing bit.
And maybe Mother Nature will be kind enough to work on a mild winter for the rest of us.
It’s Thursday night. And even though I had the evening I had for myself (knowing that Hubby had prior obligations that kept him from staying in tonight), I find myself with nothing to do.
I had planned on knitting all evening, but didn’t feel motivated to do so. I had also planned on cleaning out the closet and dressers to donate more clothes to the Salvation Army; which I only partially finished. Then I tried my hand at playing some online games and didn’t quite feel myself get into the rhythm, so I just gave up. There’s nothing on TV and no new movies to watch on cable.
So here I sit with my laptop on and a blank page beckoning me to type some meaningful words into sentences and sentences into paragraphs. Yet I don’t know exactly what to say. Well, except maybe this:
It’s been a difficult year.
And yet as much as I’m trying to move forward with my life, I somehow can’t seem to take anything bigger than baby steps.
I struggle to remember if it was this hard to “get over” my failed IVF — the loss of a total of three “would-be” babies — as it is to “get over” the death of my father. The lines are so blurred these days. But I do know I’m in the same place that I was close to five years ago when I pretty much gave up hope of ever having biological children of my own.
Oh yes, I’m in that deep dark space below. And it sucks.
I’m not sure if these feelings are magnified because of an upcoming anniversary date this Saturday or not. What I do know is that this restless, unsettled feeling is very unnerving. And I wish it would just go away. But somehow I just know that it’s only going to get worse before it gets better.
So if you got a moment … and I truly don’t mean to be such a pity-party right now … but if you can spare a few seconds, could you say a quick prayer or a positive thought my way just so I can make it through the next few days? Because I could really use some bloggie love right about now.
A year ago on the 28th of November, Hubby & I drove back to our Chicago apartment after spending a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend with our family. Upon arriving home we found our 20-year old cat, Rain lying right by her empty water container. She was meowing weakly, but incessantly, letting us know that she was not feeling well.
The last time she was that vocal was when she had fractured her femur and was in a lot of pain. But that time, we knew that she was “fixable” and a large amount of cash later … she was healed and back to her usual self.
This time … well, this time we knew. We knew she was becoming diabetic. We knew that she was slowly going into renal failure. But we also knew that she was well past her life expectancy for a medium-haired, domestic runt of a cat.
So we did what we thought would be best for her. We took her to an emergency vet clinic, who confirmed that Rain had gone into acute renal failure. We were told her prognosis was bad. So sadly, Hubby & I made the decision to let her go peacefully.
And even though I was devastated by this event, I would later find out that Rain had inadvertently given me a gift. She gave me the gift of acceptance to know when to let go of the ones I love so that they can pass onto the next world.
And that gift proved to be valuable over the next week as I learned to accept the inevitable passing of my Dad.
Rain … I know that this past year I’ve spent mourning the loss of your Grandfather. But know that not a day goes by that I don’t miss the unconditional love you provided. You will … and always will be my first and favorite “furbaby.”
Hi! How was your Thanksgiving weekend, readers? And for my neighbors to the north, hope you were able to cash in on some of the US’s “Black Friday” deals … or do you even have any sales like that for the day after the US’s Thanksgiving holiday? Yes, I’m just being curious.
My Thanksgiving weekend was good: Got to spend time with Hubby’s family on Turkey Day. And on the weekend, managed to eek out a few great savings from Black Friday; both locally and at the “big box” shops. But the point is, I managed to check off a few people off my Christmas list.
More importantly, my favorite college football team managed to win the all-important “Biggest Rivalry in College Football” game. AND we got to watch the game at a bar & grill, hanging out with my two cousins.
These two girls — the youngest of my Dad’s nieces (and close to 20 years younger than me!) — have seriously been the support I’ve needed this past year while dealing with my Dad’s passing. Maybe it’s because, like me, Dad had played an important part in their lives; many times being the father-figure that they’ve needed. And as we talked throughout that day, I somehow managed to remember how much my Dad’s passing has affected them as well.
I forgot how my Dad would stick up for them if their mothers (my Dad’s sisters) gave them problems. I forgot how Dad would manage to sneak them some cash when he thought no one was looking. I forgot how much he loved to play with them, and as they got older, joke around with them. I forgot.
So to my two cousins, who miss my Dad as much as I miss him … know that I remember and that I’m forever grateful that you two always manage to check up on me when I need it most.
And Rain? Don’t worry, my darling kitty. I didn’t forget about today either. I can never forget the day that I lost my first and most favorite kitty in the world. Hope you’re up there keeping Dad company .…
Going through Infertility has brought me many things in my life; both good and bad. But seeing that today is Thanksgiving, I thought I’d share with you what I’m actually thankful that Infertility has given me. So here’s my list:
The Weight: With all those pills and shots taken over the years, I can thank IF for all that added weight gain. Of course, it’s also my un-doing that I refuse to eat any healthier or exercise any more than needed to get rid of my “not-so-pregnant” belly! On an upswing? Bigger boobs.
Speaking of shots … oh, those wonderful shots! I can thank IF for all the bruised areas on my thighs and abdomen I had when going through those medicated cycles. It’s not so much that I don’t know how to give a shot — I *am* a Registered Nut — I mean Nurse. It’s more the fact that I can proudly poke myself like a human pin cushion and not be scared about it anymore. In fact, if I had to do it again … Nah, nevermind.
Speaking of needles … I’d like to thank my body for producing enough blood so that those vampires — I mean Phlebotomists — can take all the vials of blood they need to run their tests. But I also want to thank those blood-suckers — I mean Phlebotomists — for being so kind and patients; especially when I was having a particularly rough day.
In fact, I’m thankful for all those health care workers (from the nurses, to the receptionist … even the Ultrasound tech) for being so wonderful. In the throes of IF, I may have shot imaginary daggers at your back or given you dirty looks when you weren’t looking … but reflecting back on those moments, you have all been so kind to me.
In fact, there have been lots of kind folks out there that I should be thankful for. Many of them are you, as readers of my humble blog. I’ve “met” the most compassionate women out in the blogosphere that “get me” sometimes more than the people I know IRL (in real life). So to you … my readers and commenters, both past, present and future … I’m grateful that you’ve graced my life.
For those folks that I know IRL that have been willing to listen to my stories of Infertility … I can’t begin to tell you how much it means to me. For so long, I did not have anybody (but Hubby, of course) to listen to our “War Stories” … so for anyone IRL that has lent me their ears or provided me with the empathy I so desperately needed, I am forever in you debt.
I’m also indebted to Infertility for giving me back the gift of writing. It’s something I’ve always loved to do as a young kid, but something that I could never take on as a “career.” So I’m thankful for my tiny space in the Cyberworld where I can continue to write (as often or as seldom as I’d like) about my world; about my feelings. And about my thoughts, as crazy as they can be.
And to be honest, if it wasn’t for writing about my Infertility, I wouldn’t have been able to come to some sort of closure with my Infertility journey … even if it wasn’t the outcome I expected. So there. I’m thankful that writing about IF has opened up a new path to my “new” future.
Not only am I thankful for my blog and the ability to write … I will always be thankful for those IRL family and friends that read and acknowledge my blog. For the longest time, this blog was the only way that I could tell people about my Infertility so that I could “save face” in my culture. Knowing that I could still tell my story and yet not feel ostracized in the presence of my family and those Filipino family friends has been an absolute Godsend. It has given me strength in the midst of adversity.
But the most important thing I’m grateful that Infertility gave me is my relationship with my husband. Nothing more has tested our wedding vows more than Infertility has. It brings new meaning to the words “In sickness and in health” and “For better or worse.” I know many couples that can say the same thing and have gone through adversities (even those who had gone through other crises other than Infertility) that know exactly what I mean. My marriage is stronger because of Infertility and my love for Hubby has grown deeper than I ever thought it would. It’s thanks to Infertility that I know the meaning of unconditional love; one that will last through the test of time … with or without children in our lives.
So those are the things that I’m grateful that Infertility has given me. I’m sure I can come up with more things to be thankful about … and not necessarily good things, but I’m trying to stay on the positive side these days. So I think I’ll leave those parts out.
How about you, oh IF internet peeps? What are you thankful that Infertility has given you?
And for those non-IF folks … it is Thanksgiving, after all. Tell me what you’re thankful for.
A year ago today, I was traveling from Chicago to to have a “Wicked” cousin weekend. The three US cousins joined up with the three Canadian cousins on my Dad’s side to watch the musical “Wicked” at the Canon Theatre in Downtown Toronto.
While on the stretch of 401 that connects Windsor to Toronto, I received a phone call from Dr. Bro. “We’re in L&D,” he told me. “Dr. SIL will be delivering Baby Em tonight.”
It was a shock for everyone, since Baby Em was technically not due for another week. But due to pre-eclampsia, Baby Em would be born that night. So shortly before midnight, a year ago today, Emilia Grace … my first blood-related niece … was born.
Today, my Mom and I are in Dallas, celebrating Emilia’s first birthday. It’s been a wonderful day filled with love and laughter, and sounds of children’s excited little voices. We’ve also heard the sounds of Emilia’s little feet as she crosses the room, walking on her own for only the 6th day of her life.
I’ve had the chance to watch her “blow out” her candles and devour her birthday cake with such “finesse.” I’ve even had the chance to watch her “open” her gifts and be surprised with what she found. And it has been an absolute joy to be around her; surrounded by those who adore her unabashedly.
As the night winded down, Emilia’s family — her Mom & Dad, her Grammy & Great-Grammy, and her Lola & Auntie Em — found themselves around the coffee table, feet up and relaxing after such an activity-filled day. At one moment, we all sat quietly, relishing the serenity that descended unto the house. I, myself, felt content with the world; happy in the moment.
It was at that moment I knew that Lolo Medi had come to wish Emilia a Happy Birthday.
Happy 1st Birthday, Emilia Grace. You are loved and cherished by those who surround you.