Blowing out the Candles

Yes. So today’s the day. The day I turn a big whopping thirty-six. Woo-hoo. (Uhm, yeah … that was a sarcastic woo-hoo, if you didn’t catch on.)

It’s 9 am this Sunday morning and I’m back at home from vacation, after arriving from the airport at about 10 pm last night. Did I mention how much I missed sleeping in my own bed? As much as I love traveling and exploring new places, I do enjoy coming back home and climbing into my cool, soft, comfortable bed. Nothing says “I’m home” more than that … Okay, so I lie. No matter where we’re at, being with Hubby is always going to be home. Must be the Cancerian in me.

Anyway, I decided today that there is no way in H*LL that I’m going to catch up with reading over two weeks worth of G**gle Reader posts. SO … I’ve made the decision to just clear any new ones off my list for now. I promise to be much better at reading and commenting this year … but right now I just don’t want to be overwhelmed and stressed over something like that. At least I can control THAT stressor.

Speaking of stress, I mentioned in a previous post that I’d tell you exacty how high my blood pressure (BP) got at my Doc appt on the Friday before I left on vaca. It was as high as 180/100. Yep. You read that right. And the scary thing … that’s not the highest I’ve ever been. The first time I was diagnosed with hypertension (HTN) was after the last laparoscopy I had in October of 2002. I was feeling dizzy at work that following Monday after surgery and one of the many nurses at work decided to take my BP which was 180/110. So I drove my butt to my primary doc at the time (and got a d*mn speeding ticket along the way … grrr), and was promptly started on the lowest dose of hypertensive medications possible. They didn’t want to put me on anything stronger at the time, as I was still trying to get pregnant.

Flash forward five years. My HTN has been “controlled” through a variety of different BP meds. Because since I’m not actively trying to get pregnant at this time, we’ve decided to try a little stronger medication. My baseline BP has been running in the 140’s/80’s. But nope. Not that Friday before vacation. Of course, it could have been that I was affected by white coat syndrome. But the truth is, it’s probably because of all the weeks months of stress I’ve been experiencing in my life.

A-hem … let’s recap what has happened in the past 7 months, since the beginning of the year. Hubby’s grandmother passed away (bad stress). Found out good friend in Portland, OR is expecting (bad stress, but gotten over it over time). And within that same week, found out SIL was also expecting (bad stress … and the jury is out still on how I’m dealing with it). Dad had a heart attack and subsequently hospitalized for three weeks after complications from surgery (bad stress). And have been going with him to follow-up appointments (expected stress) to make sure he follows up on his health (bad stress). But since he’s “master of his own body,” I’ve all but told him it’s up to him how he wants to keep up his health (good stress). I’ve taken part in a work-improvement group (good stress) and initially have gotten negative criticism from my peers (bad stress) but have since improved as we continue to roll out changes (good stress) and work towards our end-of-July deadline (bad stress). I’ve seen pictures of my high school friend’s new baby … whose middle name is that of a Red Wings player, just like his older brother (actually … good stress. I’m happy for her!). And I’ve been to Chicago a couple times to visit with Dr. Bro, Dr. SIL and the cat-nieces and dog-nephews (good stress). And I’ve just recently been on vacation in Calgary and Canmore / Banff National Park (good stress) with my parents (mixed stress). Except on the morning we flew out, Hubby & I had to drive back and forth from the airport to pick up our passports that I thought we left from home (bad stress). And now I turn 36, knowing full well I’m on the downhill slope of my already screwed up reproductive years (bad stress).

So there you have it. I’m stressed. But then the question I always ask myself is … Is this any worse than anybody else’s level of stress? And why should I be sitting here b*tching about being stressed when there are probably so many more people out there with much more stress in their lives (uh … cancer or unemployment, for example)? Am I being such a frickin’ sorry a$$ for feeling so stressed and letting my health be affected by it?

Seriously people. I’m not just being rhetorical here. I really wanna know.

On a separate, but somewhat related note … while in Calgary, we visited with my younger cousin (M) and her hubby (D) who just recently had their first baby (J) last September. M & D have been married now for at least 5 years (I’m so forgetful with these things) and they are the absolute greatest couple together, so I can’t be anything but completely happy for the two of them that they have this incredibly beautiful son who … even at close to 10-months … has this incredible personality. And to watch M & D with their parenting style … I couldn’t be more proud of the two of them, knowing how much they’ve grown since last spending this much quality time with them.

But as I was already expecting (d*mn infertility!), the hour ride back to Canmore from Calgary and the day afterwards was tough. It’s that desire to have what M & D have; the wonderful baby, the teamwork and … most importantly, the happiness that they have with taking care of J.

Let me be clear here (for those non-IF readers), I don’t consider the desire to have what M & D have is jealousy. Because to be jealous infers that I’m envious of what the two of them have and that I wish that the two of them could experience even a fraction of what I’m feeling with my IF. No way would I EVER wish that on them; they are truly a couple that deserves to have this happiness in their life.

Okay, now back to the previously scheduled blog session …

As I was saying, it was quite a difficult couple days after that visit. My mind kept going back to all the disapoinments I have with myself and with my infertility. I kept kicking myself down for not moving any more forward with the adoption process which then made me feel like I am such a wimp for being so afraid to take the next step. Which then made me just so … sad.

Sad because during that visit, I also saw how much my parents love babies. How great my Dad is in getting babies (and any kid, really) to play with him. How my Mom tried to sit patiently until J came up her, but in the end went up to him because she couldn’t wait to hold him. And seeing the look in their faces. Seeing how happy they were to be holding a baby. No, they didn’t have to tell me what I already knew. I saw it in their faces how much they really wish they had a grandchild of their own. And. That. Just about. Killed. Me.

Sometimes I wish I didn’t have to feel these things. And sometimes I wish I wasn’t so attuned to other people’s feelings. I truly wish I could go back in time and change some events that may have affected my reproductive health (eat better, exercise more, see an IF specialist sooner, etc). And I absolutely wish I could give my Husband our biological child.

So on this birthday … you know what I’ll be wishing for. Better health. More emotional strength. And a grandchild to give my parents who gave ME life on this day.

17 Replies to “Blowing out the Candles”

  1. “you know what I’ll be wishing for. Better health. More emotional strength. And a grandchild to give my parents who gave ME life on this day.”

    happy birthday, and i certainly wish all of the above for you. and in a hurry!

  2. Happy birthday!! I can relate to just about everything in this post — the grandparent guilt, & even the high bp. I started getting high readings about a year ago (mostly hovering in the 130/85-140/90 range, but it’s been higher on occasion), & it’s a concern for me because it runs on both sides of my family — my paternal grandmother had very high bp & died suddenly at age 68. No meds (yet) but I’ve been trying to cut back on salt, walk more & lose some weight (easier said than done). Oh yeah, & that stress thing too (also easier said than done…!). I went for allergy testing on Friday & got 150/100. 🙁 Just wanted to let you know you’re not the only one.

  3. Happy birthday Emily! I am also wishing you all the things you want.
    Uh, don’t feel guilty for being stressed about things that aren’t cancer or unemployment. Because then you’ll stress over whether you should be stressing!
    And man, do I feel you on the grandparent thing. My mother goes gaga for baby clothes at garage sales buying things for her housekeeper’s son. I mean, seriously, my mom alone has outfitted this kid for almost two years. Sigh.

  4. Happiest of birthday wishes to you today – my friend. I know those feelings all too well. I was just wondering the other day – When did I become infertile? What day was it exactly?

    I hope we can see each other when you visit San Diego! Duane and I would love to meet you guys for dinner!

    Chat soon – Kara

  5. Happy Birthday Emily. I am sorry for all that you have gone through in the past several years and recent months. I hope you can get your mojo back so you can be happy and truly enjoy life. Each and every day of life is a gift and it should be cherished, treasured and lived to the fullest. It can all be over in a second, so enjoy it while you have it. Do what you need to do in order to be happy in life – whether it’s counseling, or letting go of certain dreams so you can move onto new dreams. Be happy, and happy 36th! You are a youngin!

  6. Happy birthday, Em. I’m wishing the same thing for you.

    And woo-hoo to awesome Cancer’s! My birthday is next week and yeah, Cancer’s rock.

    (obviously not the disease).

  7. wishing you a very happy birthday emily! I know how hard it can be to add another notch, but I hope you find ways to celebrate and enjoy!

  8. Happy birthday! And yes, I can relate to most of your post, especially the stressors of life. While I’m thinking now that mine don’t really compare to yours, I still stress about a lot of things in life.

    Try not to stress about the past, though. I’m starting to realize that all the taking care of ourselves, might not have changed anything – and that’s been one of my stresses too.

    And I know how you feel about J and his parents. You don’t feel jealous of their happiness. You just know that there is no reason why you shouldn’t be able to be that happy too.

    Many happy returns!

  9. Happy belated Birthday! I really hope you had a good day. Don’t kick yourself for all the “what if I had dones”.

    Wishing you nothing but health and happiness in the coming year!!


    I wish you an incredible and productive year. 36 is a good number (3 is half of 6, it’s also a square number 6×6, and all kinds of other mathematical happinesses). I just have a feeling this is going to be a good year for you.

    Yes. I am a total weirdo, but at least I’m a well-wishing weirdo!

  11. Sorry that I’ve been missing in action on commenting lately. But I did want to take a moment and wish you a happy belated birthday and I hope you’re doing okay…Hugs to you!!!!

  12. belated happy birthday to you…I’m in the same spot you are…was gone 10 days and am now looking at an unwieldy amount of blog posts. clearly we all have a lot to say…

    wishing that all your birthday wishes come true!

  13. I hope you can create some very relaxing stress-free time for yourself, in return for all the stress that you can’t avoid! Happy Birthday!

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