Friday, January 22, 2010

On My Soap Box

In our society it is believed that medical intervention is needed for a 
baby to be born. That woman must be monitored and given drugs to 
speed things up or slow things down. There is a general mistrust
of birth and of the woman doing it. I believe the exact opposite, I 
am a birthing advocate, I believe in birth and I believe it is a natural
process and I believe every woman is built to do it. Not only do I feel 
this way, but its my job to feel this way. In fact, for years I have been 
saying this sentence in my prenatal classes:

"you instinctively knew how to make this baby and you will instinctively
know how to birth this baby!"

Ha! how silly was I? can you just imagine my surprise when my 
"instincts" to make a baby failed me? Can you imagine what this 
could do to the belief in your body and how it can give birth? I mean, 
If I can not trust my body to make a baby, can I trust my body to 
deliver one?

Over the last few years as a doula I have heard many "rhymes" 
spouted off by OB's to let woman know they "needed" medical
intervention for their birth. "40 at 40" is one that comes to mind, 
meaning if a woman is 40 when she she is pregnant, she will be 
induced at 40 weeks. There is no medical indication of this, but it is 
a cute rhyme. I mean, what if mom and baby are healthy at 40 weeks? 
should age really matter? 

The latest rhyme I heard was just yesterday "Intervention going in, 
intervention going out!". I nearly crawled out of my skin, I have been
repeating those words in my head for the last 24 hours. Is that what 
we as IF woman are to listen to? How could we possibly go into a 
birth with that repeating in our minds? 

So, even though my body has let me down, do I believe this rhyme?
absolutely not! how would it even be possible to study this as a 
medical fact when 90% of woman are using intervention to deliver
their babies, IF or not! It's just a rhyme, a cute rhyme, but JUST 
a rhyme. 

Yes, its hard to trust our bodies when they let us down, but eventually
we need to trust again. Even after losses and interventions and IUI's 
and IVF ext...... Eventually our body DOES take over, it accepts
the pregnancy and begins to grow fingers and toes and eyes and 
ears. Can you believe it? your body does all this work, instinctively!

It is possible for a woman who has gone through assisted reproduction 
to have the birth that they hope for (whatever that may be), I know 
this because I have seen it with my own eyes. I have seen these little 
miracle babies enter the world in a calm gentle manner and I have 
seen trust begin to rebuild in a woman's body and heart. For those
of you reading this blog right now who are pregnant and hoping 
for the birth of their dreams, it is possible! It's more then possible
you can do it!

Thats it, I'll get down off my soap box now!!

Monday, January 18, 2010


This evening I received my 3rd pregnancy announcement in 
1 week, this time from a friend I have had for 20 years. She knows
about our struggles but STILL decided to let me know about 
her "happy news" over facebook! They just got married in August, 
and she's 3 months along, which means she probably tried one or 
two times. I have cried pretty consistently since that e-mail, and
now after a few glasses of wine I am seriously considering facebook 

Another Pregnancy Announcement at the MIL's

As if my week wasn't bad enough, our sunday dinner at the MIL's 
started with "you know, your cousin Angela is pregnant, 3 months, 
they were married a year after you, what is taking so long?"

I really should have responses to these announcements stored up 
in my brain, but I don't. I just smile and nod even though deep down I 
want to YELL "I know you really want MORE grandbabies, but for the
love of all that is holy, LEAVE ME ALONE" which would no doubt 
come out sounding more like a blubbering mess of tears and snorts. 
I was dreading the day that this particular couple shared the news 
but truth be told, I knew it was coming. In fact, every time I go to the 
MIL's house I get to hear about another lovely wife who is about to 
bless her MIL with a grandbaby. I really love my mother in law, she 
is a really sweet lady, but I'm starting to resent going over for dinner. 

On the way home that night (after a few tears) I told my DH that 
it is time to tell them that we are having issues. He's agreed to tell 
his mother the next time she calls, but he is worried that she will 
end up blaming me. I know this will probably be the result, but to 
be honest I would rather her silent blame then her public questions. 

I am more worried that they will continue with the questions and
the announcements even though they know were having a hard time.
I really am not so sure how I will react if that was to happen, but I 
don't think it would end well. I guess I will have to cross that bridge 
when we get there but for now I feel confident in this decision. 

Friday, January 15, 2010

Seeing through the Haze

Yesterday was both my grandpa's funeral and the start of AF, not 
really a great day for me. Not only was I feeling lonely out here while
my family gathered to remember my grandpa, but I was also bent
over in pain. I should not have been surprised by AF's arrival, she 
actually comes on time every month, but something inside me thought, 
ok, its been enough heartache, I will be blessed with good news.

Do you want to hear something morbid? I probably shouldn't be 
admitting this, but if I can't say this to you, who could I say it to? Part
of me thought that I would become pregnant once my grandfather died. 
I had a feeling that my body was waiting for his spirit. Strange? yes
I know, but dealing with infertility issues tends to make one crazy!

I am a yoga teacher, and Yogi's generally believe that when a body dies
the soul still lives on. If this soul has not yet been 'enlightened' it is 
reborn in another body to try again, or get a little bit closer. For some
reason I thought 'I' would be chosen to nurture the soul of my 
grandfather back to health. 

Some people believe that the souls who lived in bodies that suffered 
from a long illness, need strong and healthy body's to help them gain 
strength. I have even heard it said that babies will grow in a healthy 
woman to gain strength before moving on to their new family. I know 
it all sounds kinda insane, but I like to believe things like this, and I 
believed it this month until yesterday when AF arrived on the day of 
my grandpas funeral. 

I was raised a Catholic girl, and I am for the most part quite religious
or at least spiritual. Maybe I was not 'chosen' to nurture the suffered
soul of my grandfather, but I will continue to take comfort in the idea
that he is living it up in Heaven with my grandma.

Sorry for the confused post, I just don't know what I believe anymore,
heaven? lost souls? enlightenment? I just want to be happy, and right 
now, no matter how much 'good karma' I throw out there, it comes back 
with a left/right punch to the gut. I do know that Yogi's and Catholics 
alike believe you should never expect anything in return for good deeds,
you must just trust that if you do good you will be rewarded with a good 
life. But When?

*P.S. I am being overly dramatic, I know this, I'm just feeling blue. My 
life is good, I have so much, but some days its hard to see though 
the haze. 

Monday, January 11, 2010

Ode to my Grandpa

Last night I lost my grandpa, he died of lung cancer after fighting 
for two years. I am happy that his pain is now gone and that he will 
find his way to my grandmother, but I am sad for myself and my family.
I did not expect to feel this way, after all I new it was coming, but I can't
help but wish he could stay with us. 

My grandpa had a hard life, he married my grandmother when 
she was only 14 years old and they had finished having their 5 children
by the time she was in her early 20's. Of course I'll never really know
what happened, my guess is the stress of being a mother to 5 children 
at such a young age was too much for my grandma. She eventually 
became ill and spent the rest of her years in and out of the hospital. 
My grandfather remained devoted to her for nearly 40 more years, 
he fed her, bathed her, and tried his best to keep the family together. 

8 years ago my grandmother died, grandpa was there with her until
her dying breath. I wondered if he would be happy now that he no 
longer needed to take care of her, if he would be happy to live his 
own life. When I asked him about this he simply said "my life IS 
to take care of her, that is what I am meant to do."

Grandpa, of course, continued on with a smile on his face, he trusted
without a doubt that god had a plan for him and before long he would
be back with his wife. Years went by but he never lost hope, he even
watched as his brothers and sisters passed and he became the last
in that generation of our family to be alive. Still he smiled, still he 
knew he would see them all again. 

That day did come, that day was yesterday, and I know without a 
that after 8 long years of waiting my grandma and grandpa are 
together again, in a way they could not be while they were here. 
I will always try to remember the strength he had in these years, 
is absolute trust in something bigger then us. He never lost hope or 
the smile on his face, he has taught me and all of his grandchildren 
that strength, hope, patience and laughter will not only get us to 
where we want to be but will allow us to enjoy the journey. 

I am sad because I will never see him again, sad because he will never
see my children, but if there is anything I have learned from him it is 
that I will see him again one day. Until then I must live and love and 
trust that I will get to where I want to be. 

Friday, January 8, 2010

Crying in the Car....again!

For some reason my car seems to be the best place to cry, I don't know
if it's because there is a steady stream of sad music blastin' in my 
speakers or if it's because the areas I tend to drive in are crawling with
mommies and their high end strollers. I swear only mothers and babies
live in the area I work, I think there is actually stating that they must 
pack up and leave when their baby turns 3. 

Anyway, I got distracted from the real reason I am writing this post, 
I wanted to talk about the news I received yesterday. It all started with 
my new motorola speaker phone that allows me to drive and talk 
hands free. I was so excited about this new phone and after waiting 
all week, someone finally called. Excited I pressed the button to test out 
my new toy and began to talk. So there I was, talking away when I 
realized my friend on the other end did not seem so happy. 

"I have something to tell you" she said as she sobbed

"ok girly, I'm here for you, what is it?" I said, not really understanding 
what was happening, but I was understandably worried for her. 

"I don't really want to say anything because I know what your going
through and I don't want you to get upset................."

She continued on for a while, her voice filling the car, but I was no 
longer listening, I knew what she had to say. She was pregnant again, 
her older child just over a year old. Because I was on this stupid speaker 
phone I tried my best to keep it together. I did not want her to know 
I had also begun to cry. 

"oh, oh sweety, it's ok, your allowed to be pregnant, if your happy
I'm happy for you" I said as fast as I could but she was inconsolable,
she knew her news was hurting me and she was just beside herself. 

After a bit of talking she started to feel better about her news, she
said she was actually having a hard time feeling happy about her 
pregnancy because she was so worried to tell me. When we hanging up I 
continued to cry, now with a little more volume. I was not exactly sure 
why I was crying, was I sad because yet again I was lapped? or was I 
sad because I had stolen a very special moment away from my friend. 
I mean, she has every right to be happy, didn't she? that should have 
been a great day for her, but instead she was filled with dread because 
of the stress I had put on her. 

She truly is a good friend, and I thank her endlessly for breaking the 
news in such a compassionate matter. I am sure I would be feeling
differently right now if she just came out and said "surprise, baby on 
board!!" but she didn't, she was kind and understanding. I'm really 
starting to think its NOT the pregnancy announcements that are 
making me upset, but the way they are announced. I am going to 
try in the future not to react so emotionally to pregnancy 
announcements so that friends are not terrified to tell me their
good news. My only hope is that in return, people follow my friends
lead and break it to us in a more understanding and respectful 

Wednesday, January 6, 2010


I just wanted to say a big congrats to all of the bloggers who 
have received some good news and/or babies over the last few weeks. 
Lately these blogs have been filled with happiness and a constant 
source of hope for me and many other bloggers, keep the stories 
comin' ladies!

I just wanted to add one more hopeful story, although it is not mine, I 
am sure mine will not be too far behind. Last night I attended a long, 
beautiful, amazing birth. I know my job is to attend long, beautiful, 
amazing births, but this one was extra special. This couple, like many
of us, were struggling with infertility and this baby was three years in 
the making. After many treatments and a failed IVF they decided to 
try one last time with the transfer of their one remaining frozen 
embryo. The odds were against them but they DID get pregnant with 
a natural IVF cycle, acupuncture and the transfer of one frozen embryo. 
Finally after years of waiting their little girl was born, I could never 
describe how wonderful this day was, but by the look on mommy & 
daddy's face it was clearly worth the wait. 

Anyway, I just wanted to share another success story and hopefully
add to the good cheer!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Cheers to 2010!

I have chosen to be optimistic about 2010, 'cause really, what choice 
do I have? DH and I really did nothing to ring in the New Year, the 
closest I got to a party was an overly packed spin class complete with 
disco balls and the Auld Lang Syne New Years anthem to finish it off. 
It actually was quite emotional, there were sweaty hugs all around. 

Why did we choose to do nothing? well, DH is feeling very much like
a social outcast since giving up alcohol in hopes for super strength
swimmers. He asked me very nicely if we could just stay in and I,
being so grateful for his dedication, was happy to oblige. Through 
the night he did his best to insure we had fun, he rented great movies, 
made sure we had snacks (including chocolate) and even brought out 
some non-alcoholic champagne at midnight. 

Was new years eve hard for me? a little, after the spin class I visited
a client and her one week old baby boy. I held the baby in my arms 
for the whole visit, giving mom a much needed break and myself the
worst type of heartache. Baby boy just laid there, completely chilled
out with this sweet little fingers and toes wiggling about. It would have 
been easier if the baby cried and screamed the whole visit, I could have
at least thought "oh god, thank god I don't have to hear that all day!"
To tell you the truth though, even a crying baby makes me want a baby 
these days. 

Even though I had spent New Years Eve was with my DH, I still felt a 
little lonely, like someone or something was missing. Of course we still 
had fun, we played games, watched movies and even did a little BDin' 
because lets face it, it was CD13 and that is much more important then
New Years Eve. By the time we went to bed it was 3am, I had only slept 
for one hour when a client called at let me know she was in labor. 
So, off I went to start the New Year in style, at North York General 
watching the birth of a very happy baby boy. Either this was a sign 
from god or a cruel joke, only time will tell!

Today I tried to do an overview of 2009 but gave up half way though, I 
will just let you know it was a tough year for us. We had only been 
married 6 months when we rang in 2009, so the year began with the 
end of our "honeymoon" period. Although we were together for 4 years 
before our wedding, it feels like reality didn't really sink in until 
2009. We learned that we really didn't see eye to eye on most major
marital debates, such as money, vacations, religion, education ext. 
During this time I was also starting to build up my own company and 
was working all the time for next to no monetary gains. Adding 
infertility into this mix was almost a little more then these two little
opposites could handle. 

2009 was definitely trying on our relationship but I am happy to report 
that by the time 2010 came around were beginning to think on the 
same page. It took lots of communication, compromise and patience to 
get us here, but I can now say that we are stronger going into 2010 then 
we have ever been. I am not sure if having this one common baby goal 
has brought us closer together, but whatever it is I am grateful for it. 
I feel like we are in more of a partnership now, ready for the challenges 
and decisions we will be up against while we continue our quest for 
baby #1.

Out of pure habit, I present to you my list of new years resolutions:
1. Have a baby (no big shock there)
2. Try to live in the moment, thinking about what I DO NOT have 
has robbed me of many "moments" that could have been in 2009
3. Go to spin class 4 times a week
4. Put hardwood down in my condo, then sell it
5. Buy a house
6. Continue to build skills for my company, mainly taking more 
hypnosis and business training
7. If still no baby bump by November 2nd (my 32nd b-day), start 
looking into adoption options......I know DH does not remember 
agreeing to this, but I never forget :)
8. Get a puppy

I think this is it, Happy New Year to all of you reading, I really wish
you the best in 2010 and I thank you for being here for me during 
2009, you helped me more then you will ever know!