Na Com Leav … wha?!

Okay, for those of you that aren’t aware … Sunday the 25th was the start of “National Comment Leaving Month” or NaComLeavMo … and yes, that’s what that little graphic with the party hat to the right of this post is for.

For those of you who haven’t read Mel’s post, NaComLeavMo is the month where we are encouraged to step out of our “lurker” mode and actually comment on other people’s blogs. And in return, leave a comment on the blog of someone that commented on yours. The idea is to open up discussion amongst all of us in IF / MC blogland and beyond.

Today being day three of this month, I’m finding it hard to just “stumble” onto a fellow blogger on Mel’s list without having to do a lot of back-reading before I feel I can … a-hem … “intelligently” respond. (Oh, who am I kidding … right?!) And then I stumbled on Rachel‘s latest blog post, who thought it might be a great idea to do a quick recap of ourselves and our story so that other’s might not have to be “clicking around” so much.

So Rachel … I’m taking your lead and doing the same thing. (By the way, my favorite ice cream flavor is Jamocha Almond Fudge from BR … or Coffee Coffee Buzz Buzz from B & J!!)

Told you I was an Island Girl at Heart

Hmm … where to begin …

Three things are a big part of who I am in life. I’m Asian, I’m Catholic (although of questionable degree), and I’m Infertile. Yep … that’s right Infertile with a capital “I”. But let’s start off with the Asian bit first.

I’m a second-generation Filipino American; meaning my parents were born in the Philippines while my brother (aka “Dr. Bro”) and I were born here. While I know many other people can relate to having parents that were born in another country … being of Asian descent, it’s a little harder to “blend” in, if you catch my drift. I’m always going to look different than most people in a room. Or I’m always going to be lumped in or mistaken for another “nationality” (whether it be any pick of Asian countries or Native American or even Guatemalan … Not. Kidding. You.) But the biggest part of being Filipino American is that you are literally torn between a very traditional culture where authority is never questioned and the American culture where everything and anything can be challenged and questioned … and it’s encouraged. How does a strong-willed, stubborn female learn to live with these clashes in culture and belief? Well … peruse through my older entries and you might find a few.

As for the Catholic part of me … I don’t want you to think that I’m super-spiritual or anything. Because, in reality … I’m not. But, having been through 12 years of Catholic School … how can religion not play a part in my every day life? Even though it’s mostly about feeling guilty. You know … the “I’m not a Mom yet because I must have not prayed enough” or “I must have done something horribly wrong for God to punish me by not gracing me with child.” That kind of guilt. And no … I’m not (as) angry at God for where I am in life. Truth be told … I know that I’ve been “given” certain gifts from up above (my Hubby being the biggest gift of all); I just honestly have to have faith … not only in God, but in myself as to know when I am strong enough to do the right things in my life. And that’s the part of my Catholicism and spirituality that I can most relate to. Trust me … it’s taken me being 18 years of being out of high school to figure that one out.

I’m Infertile. Oh yeah … this is the main reason I started this blog. There had to be a way for this Catholic Filipino-American to let out all the repressed emotions I’ve let build up over the past ten years. Yep. That’s right. Ten. Long. Years. In brief, I married my high school/college sweetheart two years after graduating from college. We started TTC just over a year after that with (obviously) no success. After another year of “giving it more time,” I finally approached my OB-Gyn who put me on almost a year of Clomid. Yeah … the nurse in me should have questioned that … but the Filipino in me respected authority (see what I mean?). After that didn’t work, it was on to a laparotomy to clear out some nasty endometriosis followed by six months of evil pharmaceutical devil incarnate Lupron therapy. Then followed about 7 months of medicated cycles and the first episode of deep depression along with a 4 month “break” from treatment. And then the big guns … IVF. A one-time cycle that failed and brought about another episode of deep depression, followed closely by repression. Until one fateful day in November 2006 when my SIL (who just remarried 5 months prior and already has a middle-school age child from her first marriage) announced she was pregnant. As if that didn’t devastate me enough, Liam was born prematurely and with some “imperfections” which just made me feel like my feelings of jealousy and anger caused ill-will to this innocent child. And so … in the midst of my SIL’s pregnancy with Liam and his unfortunate passing 4 months later, I started this blog. And it has helped me deal with these emotions in ways that I didn’t think possible. And the fact that I’ve found such wonderful support out here in blogland … it just means the world to me. I just wish I would have found it sooner!

So those are the biggest things I can share with you in this one lengthy post. Hope you decide to stick around and read on. And then you can follow along with what happens in the next stage of my Mommyhood dream. I’m hoping to gather that source of faith and strength to fumble through the adoption process … as one failed IVF was enough for me emotionally and financially. Oh and you can see what other evil and emotionally ridden things I do as I finish up another six months of Lupron therapy for that bitch of a friend I call endometriosis. Oh … and did I mention my SIL is pregnant again … and due in early September?

Goodness … if you’ve stuck around reading this entry to the end … you might as well just add me to your Google Reader! 🙂

(Oh and hey … while you’re at it, check out my other blog!)

23 Replies to “Na Com Leav … wha?!”

  1. Thanks. I’ve been reading for a few months, and it was great to have this.. . Sorry about the Lupron. It sounds like hell.

    And sorry about the Catholic guilt. I’m Anglican, we don’t do so much guilt, but oh God, we are all about the stiff upper lip and never, ever changing anything.

  2. what a great idea to give a catch up post to all of us new readers.
    all that lupron would make me an incredible hulk of rage!
    I have been through a lot of depression as well (thank you infertility) and constantly have guilt and jealousy issues. I feel like all of this wanting and yearning and not achieving just turns us inside out. It sucks the big one.
    oh & now I must go in search of coffee ice cream from B & J! I had NO idea it exhisted.


  3. Can’t wait to see you again on Sunday Emily! I’m Catholic too, went to Catholic school for 10 years, but for some reason the guilt didn’t get me. I guess I am downright lucky on that count.

    i love all of your pictures – so entertaining! See you Sunday!

  4. Great idea on the recap post…I’ve been reading your blog for a little while now, but now I know your story in full :). I’ve also found myself doing a LOT of blog reading in order to be able to comment properly.

    I struggle with the clash of cultures as well – submit to authority vs. I am in intelligent person who wants to question things…I’ve only just begun the treatments process, so I may be coming to you for advice about some of those things I question. : )

  5. Yeah, this is a really good idea so that people can get to know you quickly when they come over from NaCo-blahblahwhatever.

    And oh, yes. I didn’t grow up with the guilt thing, but my mom sure knew how to lay on the sense of shame… she got that from my great-grandfather who was a Baptist minister… Fun!

  6. *de-lurk*

    confession: I’ve been reading you for a few weeks now, after following the links from L&F thru to the Metro Detroit bloggers meet up. (I are one, too… and yet, WAY too nervous to put my hand up & be counted in that meeting…. maybe the next one).

    Anyway, so nice to read a fellow Detroiter, fellow endo sufferer, and fellow Lupron user!

  7. Great idea! We have been waiting for a referral of a bay girl from South Korea for about three weeks now – we were told to expect about a year. I have three bio boys thru extensive IVF treatments – we want to add to our family and I cannot emotionally or financially do the IF or the pg thing again.

  8. Great idea on the recap. Our old neighbor was also a second generation Filipino and struggled a great deal with clashing cultures. We talked about it often and she eventually moved away with her husband and son to put a little more space between her family. I miss her a ton, but am happy that she has a bit more freedom now.

    I am sorry for all you have been through and wish you the best in your journey. (Hugs)

  9. I love the idea of doing a recap. Now I feel like I know your story a little better. Thanks for sharing.

    BTW – GO WINGS!!

  10. Definitely a great idea to do the recap post for NCLM. I’ve definitely been doing a lot of reading to catch up before posting.

    I’m glad to hear that over time you’ve been able to find some of the positive aspects of Catholicism to use as a source of strength.
    Like Mrs. Spit, my own religious background has been low on guilt but high on stiff upper lips and refusal to change, but has thankfully served as a source of strength during tough times, and for that I am grateful.

  11. Great idea Emily, quick and easy way to get up to speed. Sorry you’ve had such a tough time with infertility over such a long time. Hope that life just improves for you every day.

    Thanks for dropping by and leaving me a comment. NCLM rocks!

  12. A prayerful life might help me to cope with the emotional problems, but I never was prayerful to begin with, and it just doesn’t feel right.
    I know several Catholic women who are having infertility problems, but they are so religious that IVF is out of the question. I’m glad I get to make that choice on my own.

  13. I hear you. I’m Eurasian-Ceylonese-Chinese and I SOOOO hear you.

    And I have endo and it’s really a bitch of a friend.

  14. You sure have been through the mill. Ten. Long. Years. That’s huge- and I can say that, having almost reached 5, which is only half the time (yes, I can do math!). I can see how it would also be extra tough having to deal with cultural questions into the mix, and even how those cultural aspects of your life shape the decisions or questions you raise for yourself and your treatment options as you go along. Complicated.

    I am glad you found my site, because now I have found yours. Thanks for such a useful recap – it is a great idea, whoever thought of it first! I am struggling to read enough posts during NCLM to feel I am able to make a personal comment, and this makes it a lot easier.

    Will be seeing you again. 🙂

  15. Hi! I’m returning your comment. And thanks for the recap! It makes it much easier on me 🙂

    I can definitely sympathize with the Catholic guilt. My Dad is culturally catholic, my mom is protestant, and my grandfather is jewish. Talk about guilt! Good luck on the adoption process!

  16. I’ve read your blog for a while now. I really love the way that you write. Totally real, (the catholic guilt cracked me up!) and raw. I can relate to a lot of what you say. Anyways, great writing.

  17. I cannot even imagine what you’ve been through, but it reallly does sound hard. I believe thet sometimes it’s time to let go and think that having your own children is not the only way in which you can be fertile…I think that maybe God made some parents unable to conceive so that those babies who don’t have a mother (or at least not one who loves them) can get the love they need.

    ¡¡Good luck!!

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