Friday, June 29, 2007

Pics from our trip

I took 144 pictures on our trip!!! Needless to say, I will only post a few of my favs. Hope you all enjoy.

This is a pic of the sign in front of my parents farm - all of us kids bought this for our parents for Christmas a few years ago.

This is a pic of me and my oldest Nephew. He just graduated from High School (This is after a LONG day in the field, please excuse how tired we both look)

This is my handsome hubby on the combine. This was his first harvest!

This is me in the wheat field (of course holding a piece of wheat)

Dorothy has returned from OZ

I am back from Kansas and I had a WONDERFUL time! This was the most enjoyable trip back home that I can remember. It was great seeing all of my brothers and sisters and my nieces and nephews. I just had a ball.

I was able to sit back and enjoy the slower pace of life. The country life. I miss it so much. I don't know if I would ever want to move back there, but I definately want to move to the outskirts. Out of the hussle and bustle. Somewhere where I can walk out my back door and not stare at a brick wall and the top of my neighbors house. I want to move to a place where people don't hide behind the fences in their backyard and where they actually know their neighbors.

So many things happened on this trip, it is hard to include it all in one blog entry. We flew into Denver, CO and then drove 6 hours to my parents farm. Driving through the country brought back so many memories from my childhood. I had no idea how much I missed that part of the country until I got there. People say hi to you when you walk past them. They say excuse me when they bump into you. They wave at you when they drive past you (and not the middle finger wave either) It is just a completely different way of life there.

The farm that my parents live on has been in my family for 3 generations now. My grandparents built it and raised each of their kids in it. My dad is the youngest, so when he got old enough, he bought the house from my grandparents and raised all 6 of us in it. And it is still there, it will always be home, no matter what. I took some pics that I will post when I have time to actually download my camera.

Being around my sisters and all of my nieces and nephews relit that "must have a baby" flame in me. It made me a little sad actually to hear my sister say "well when I am done having kids I...." I so wish I could just plan to have a kid and then bam! Have a kid. What it would be like to be able to know exactly how far apart your kids will be in age and be able to plan your life around when you want to have kids.

I am not as bitter about it now though, which is nice. I think I have found a little bit of peace as I research all of our options and try to figure out what the heck we are going to do.
We are researching IVF in Europe, Africa and the U.S. We are also looking into adoption. I am waiting for a call back from our Dr. to let me know when the next IVF orientation is. I just feel like I need to be doing something, cause doing nothing is just wasting time. Valuable time that we just don't have.

I will try to write more this weekend and also post some pics from our trip!

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Epiphanies, smileys and needs.

I want to start off by sincerely thanking Serenity for her post today. It really helped me put into perspective what I have been trying to say for so long but haven't been able to.

I have often wondered why Infertility has changed every aspect of my life. Why I have lost so many friends because of it, why I feel like a completely different person now than I was 2 and a half years ago. Here it is:

I am hurt, more hurt than I have ever been in my entire life but I am stuck in some sick, twisted game of "pretend"
Most of the time I put on my happy face and pretend like I am just fine. Nothing is bothering me. I am strong. I won't let infertility bring me down. The problem with that is it is very dishonest and unhealthy. There is no level of my being that is "ok" with my infertility. I can't wrap my head around the fact that my body is broken. Don't tell me it isn't broken, cause it is just that. Broken.
I would consider myself a fairly intelligent individual. I am intelligent enough to know that my friends do not want to see my "real" feelings and emotions about infertility all of the time. It is uncomfortable and even the ones that have stuck by me so far have probably had their moments of "I really wish we could talk about something else." They are completely entitled to that.
So...I pretend when they are around and then fall apart when they leave. Leaving my husband to pick up my pieces.
It is kind of a damned if you do, damned if you don't situation. If I show my true feelings and emotions about infertility, I lose friends, make people uncomfortable, and ultimately alienate myself from almost everyone I know in real life.
If I pretend to be ok, I am lying to myself, shaming myself and not handling the situation in a very healthy manner.

There has to be some sort of happy medium right? I mean GOOD friends are supposed to be there for me when I am down. But at what point do friends get a "clearance" card to back away and not feel bad about it because they just can't handle being around me (and my infertility) anymore?

On a lighter note I am feeling smiley happy and Kate tagged everyone to play this little here is my Google results with smileys to make it a little more fun:

Nichole needs: all the prayer she can get (yeah no kidding. Is that the Lord telling me something or what? Angel

Nichole needs: to get hooked on some Twinkies (that is the LAST thing I need to do!)
Fat Woman 2
Nichole needs: to get over to Flckr and start posting some random pictures.
Nichole needs: to gain some weight ( I assume they are most definately talking about Nicole Richie and NOT ME!)
Fat Woman 4
Nichole needs: a loving family that can be patient with her
Aunt Niece Cousins Nephew Uncle Great-grandma Great-grandpa Grandma Mom Dad

Nichole needs: a spanking! (I SWEAR google said this. I did NOT make this up, although not a bad idea!) Shy Whistler

Nichole needs: more help than any of us! (Hmmm you may have a point there)
Lord Help Me
Nichole needs: to maintain contact with her younger sister.
Greatest Sister Ever
Nichole needs: to get outta the house
Camp Fire
Nichole needs: to RIP (mmmm gonna leave that one alone.


Hope you enjoyed my "needs" Have a great one!

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Vacation Time!

Only a few more days and I will be in Kansas with my family. I am thrilled! My parents are farmers and this is the first time Pace will have been able to be a part of wheat harvest. He has never been involved with anything like this before and I can't wait to see what he thinks of life on the farm.

Going home is a great vacation. It is wonderful to get away from home, but it is always wonderful to go back. I have a lot of history there. My parents raised all 6 of us kids in the same house my Grandparents built and raised my father and his brothers and sisters. You just don't find that kind of history in a house very often anymore.

Plus, I get to travel with my sister, my niece and nephew. My niece and I (she is 13) have become increasingly close over the last couple of years. It is an awesome experience to know that I am somebody she can come talk to/hang out with. I can't wait to see all of my other nieces and nephews. I haven't seen them since Christmas, and I won't see them this coming Christmas, so it will be a while before I am able to see them all again.

On the baby front, I am having a pretty good week actually. I have made myself take the time to appreciate the fact that we don't have kids right now. I think Pace and I are going to do more traveling. Take more trips do things now that we won't be able to do when we have kids. I suppose it is just a way to "make it ok" for now. There is nothing we can do right now on the baby front, so we are just going to make the best of what we have gotten.

Over the weekend, Pace and I caught wind that some very dear friends of his have been speaking unkindly behind our back about the whole infertility stuff. I don't have details on exactly what was said, and I didn't hear them say it first hand, but it hurts nonetheless. I have no doubt that these people begrudge us for our decision to have kids right now. They don't understand, and the fact is, they never will. Most of our friends already have kids or don't ever want to have kids, so their perspective is much different than Pace and I's.

It is saddening to see our "friend circle" diminish quickly before our eyes, but at the same time, it is uplifting and a relief. I have come to a very clear understanding recently that it is not about the quantity of friends you have but the quality of those you do have. So I am completely ok with not having many friends, as long as those that I do have are QUALITY friends.

I am not sure if friendships were harder as a teenager, or as an adult...but right now they are proving to be very difficult. It seems that the good friends I do have are either moving out of state or 30 years older than Pace and I. (which is not a bad thing, but we just don't always have that much in common with them)

On a lighter are the hair pictures I promised. I think I really like being a brunette. I have always been a blonde, and my family hasn't seen me with brown hair, so it will be interesting to see what they think this weekend.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Snarky Poo Smearing

I went on a women's retreat this weekend. Ok. It was actually a lot of working and not so much "retreating" It was nice being out with women, but exhausting as well. I really missed Pace. He is my best friend and he knows me on a level that no one else does. When I am not around him, I miss him terribly!

Yesterday we had my mother in law, (and sister in law), our friend James and his son over for a BBQ and some swimming. It was really fun. I actually got in the water with the kids and really enjoyed myself. I was the "retreat" I had been looking forward too all weekend.

I love my mother in law. Really I do. But if I have to sit and listen to her complain about how tough it is being a mom and how little patience she has with her daughter, and how her daughter is driving her absolutely crazy, I think I am going to have to throw up. I know that parenting is hard, especially single parenting and I really do admire all the sacrifices she has made for her daughter, but I really get tired of hearing all of the complaining. I got a little snarky with her yesterday which I should probably apologize for, but I really don't feel too convicted by it. She asked for it. She was talking to my husband and she made the comment "You have no idea about parenting, you don't know about kids." To which I replied quite snarkily "You know what honey, she is right, we know nothing. Maybe someday we will have a clue, but right now we are complete idiots when it comes to kids." She apologized for her comment.

I know, a little overboard, but you just have to understand the relationship dynamics and the family structure. She was not at all trying to be rude, but I wanted to make it a point that I did not appreciate her comment. I think I accomplished that.

We are losing more friends due to IF. To be honest with you. I don't give a shit. I am so sick and tired of reaching out to people, helping them out when they need help, letting them live with us for free and then when we need them the most, they smear poop in our face. I don't like poop in my face. Yet, since I was a young girl, I have consistently allowed people to smear poop in my face. Not anymore. It really is quite simple. You smear poop in my choose to be Eighty-sixed from my life. Period. I don't have time for your poo.

One more reason for me wanting to move out of state. I just want to start over in a place where we know absolutely nobody. People here suck. Smug-fertiles suck. Infertility sucks. and my attitude sucks.

Friday, June 15, 2007

New Hairdos and Tattoos

I guess you could call this a "pre" mid-life crisis cause I know myself well enough to know that the "BIG" mid-life crisis is looming in the distance ready to pounce.

Last night I had my hair done. I went brown ladies and gentlemen. I am a blonde by nature, but you know what...I just needed a change. So I am now a brunette with thick blond highlights. (I will post a picture soon, but I have to download my camera first) I love my new hairstyle. I have only been a brunette once before and that was in high school. I got a lot of compliments on it in high school, in fact, I am not sure why I ever went back to blonde. All well.

The second part of my "pre" mid life crisis is that I am contemplating a tattoo. Honestly, I have never been real fond of tattoos. I like them on other people, just not me. Well...maybe it is the anger and bitterness from infertility, but I feel it is time to get some ink.

I would love to have your opinion and input on what kind of tatoo to get. I definately want it to be based around infertility. Here are some ideas I have

*Lotus flower
*Goddess (Demeter)
*Rabbit**I really like the rabbit idea because that is my nickname from Pace too (long before we found out I have very few similarities to the rabbit) so I thought it would be cute, but I haven't found very many good pics of rabbits that I would want permanatly attached to my body.

So...I was thinking this. picture it. Nichole's lower back. 2007. A lily pad floating in crystal blue water with a beautiful sensual pixie sitting on it with a lotus flower holding her luxurious locks of hair out of her face. She holds a tiny rabbit in her hand and a dragonfly buzzes closely by.

Just a thought.

My family (mothers side) is Cherokee Indian, so I thought I would use a Cherokee fertility symbol, but again, I just haven't found anything I want to permanately attach to my body.

Please give me any suggestions you can think of. Pics, websites, etc.

I won't be blogging this weekend as I will be on a retreat for the Women's center I am a volunteer counselor at. I will be holding myself up in a posh Scottsdale resort all weekend.
Woo Woo!

Monday, June 11, 2007

Funky Monkey

There is no better way to describe my mood lately. Just. Funky.

I woke up Saturday morning a total basket case. Poor Pace. I don't know how he does it sometimes. He asked me to go to the bank to cash a check before the bank closed and I literally started bawling. Not just teared up...bawling. Sobbing. Snot all over my face. Gasping for air. (I'll show him, I bet he never asks me to go to the bank again) What the hell is wrong with me?

I guess I just felt totally and completely overwhelmed to the point where a simple, routine trip to the bank just sent me over the dang edge.

My mother in law has a two year old daughter. This pregnancy was not planned and was definitely a surprise to her, but I commend her for everything she does for her daughter. Most of the time, the fact that my 45 year old mother in law can accidently get pregnant doesn't bother me, but since my last failed cycle, it has been a very jagged pill for me to swallow. Let's face is hard for me to be around anyone that is pregnant...planned or unplanned and is also hard for me to be around young children...planned or unplanned. This weekend I decided I wanted to spend some time with my little sister in law. What a mistake. Not a mistake as in I didn't enjoy myself, not a mistake as in I regret spending time with her. In fact, just the opposite. Spending time with her this weekend made me want my own biological children that much more!

I had been doing a fairly good job of convincing myself that a life without kids was much better than a life with kids. No poopy diapers, not having to find a babysitter, less expensive, more money to spend on toys, less responsibility, more room in the house, less expensive, less stressful, no sleepless nights, no temper tantrums, less expensive (can you tell I am a little obsessed with finances). Then I spent a day with my little two year old sister in law and all of that hard work and convincing was just washed away.

I totally fell in love and that void and sense of loss and anger came rushing back to me. The hugs she gave me, the kisses, the new words she is learning, her "help" dusting and folding clothes, the way she loves on my dogs, the singing songs in the car, the way she dances, the way her face lights up in the bathtub, all of those things and much more reminded me of how much I wanted one of my own. She reminded me of my failures, my insecurities, and my inability to procreate. Damn it!

After all of that (and some funky stomach bug accompanied by a fever) this weekend, I force myself out of bed this morning to go to work. At first I was very excited. The sky was overcast. It was only supposed to get up into the 90's today, good chance for some rain, the day was actually looking halfway decent.
I walk out my front door, the birds are chirping, the bees are peacefully buzzing around my yard, the lizards are happily scampering through the landscaping and then...
there she was...
Mrs. Eight months pregnant
walking right in front of my house
I tried to look away
I tried to ignore her
But then...
she said "Hello, good morning." in the sweetest, most sincere voice.
To which I wanted to reply with a rant of four letter, colorful obscenities and questions like "Why must you torture me? Can't you walk in front of my house AFTER I have left for work?
"Why must you be so nice and clearly make your presence known to me? Tons of people walk by my house every day to exercise, walk their dogs or take their kids on a bike ride....THEY don't talk to me. They don't even acknowledge my existence. Why can't you be like them. Ignore me. Pretend I am not here! Please I am begging you to STOP TORTURING ME!"
But I didn't. I simply said good morning, got in my car and cried for 10 minutes before pulling out of my driveway.
I finally manage to get to work and I am sharing my "funky stomach bug" symptoms with my friend (and co-worker - she knows EVERYTHING about our infertility) to which she replies "Oh...well did you take a pregnancy test? Cause that is exactly how I felt when I got pg."
To which I wanted to reply
"Thanks" I feel much better now. Please excuse me while I go cut myself."**

**Disclaimer: I do not cut myself. My use of the term was just a lame attempt at bitter sarcasm. Cutting is a very serious issue and if you or anyone you know are "cutters" please seek help (or have them seek help) immediately!

Sunday, June 03, 2007

June...empty, yet uplifting

It has been strikingly odd the past couple of days. I haven't worried about when I need to start my meds, when (if) my period is going to start, what cycle day I am on, if we have enough money to do another cycle. Nothing. It is actually an empty yet uplifting experience.

I kept myself busy this weekend so I didn't have to think about my infertility and our upcoming decisions. (To the best of my ability anyway...I will explain more in a sec.) Saturday morning Pace and I went to the women's center where I volunteer and did some physical labor (Pace did most of the physical labor, I supervised) Then we had dinner with his mom, watched a movie and went to bed. We got up this morning, changed the oil in my car, cleaned and vacuumed the inside, same with Pace's truck, organized all of the papers (crap) in our office, did laundry, went to dinner and then to the movies.

While sitting at dinner, there was a young girl (roughly 22 or 23) with an infant. Maybe two or three weeks old. Broke my heart. Here she was enjoying an outing and I was angry about it. Then I got angry at myself for being angry about it.

I remember the good 'ole days when I saw a baby and smiled. I remember seeing a pregnant woman and thinking to myself how cute she looked with her baby belly and smiling at her. I remember walking down the baby isle in every store I went to in order to get ideas for my future children and having so much hope and joy in my heart. I remember anxiously awaiting the phone call from my sister to tell me that her and her husband were expecting. I remember the day when I couldn't wait for my friends to have babies so I could throw them baby showers, enjoy the pregnancy with her, buy things for her baby, babysit for her.

Now all I feel is...anger and sadness. I cringe when I have to go in public, I get angry at pregnant women, I cry when I see babies, I take every route possible at the store to avoid the baby isle, my heart stops briefly when my sister calls and I hate checking the mail for the fear that there may be a baby shower invitation looming inside the box.

Will this ever go away? Will I ever be able to be the happy, relatively non-bitter person I once was?

I don't know.

To close out a relatively great weekend...we saw Shrek the Third. Great movie. I have loved all of the Shrek movies. It has kid humor in it, but enough adult humor to keep it interesting for the adults as well. While sitting in the theatre, waiting for the previews to start Pace turned to me and said "We are the only adult couple here without kids."
Cue the tears.
I know what he meant. He was making an observation about how kid like we still are, and that he thinks it is cute and enjoys the fact that we can enjoy kid movies together. We love animated movies, we love cartoons. We love Shrek! But the way my mind interpreted it was "You are the only childless loser sitting in a theatre filled with beautiful families. You should have seen something else. Why would you go to a kid movie when you don't have kids, YOU DON"T BELONG HERE!"
Cue the panic attack. Heart racing, palms sweating, quickened breath.

I was able to talk myself down. We watch kid movies because we are kids at heart. We enjoy the humor, they aren't filled with cuss words and violence, and hey...we needed a laugh. Which is exactly what we got.

Aside from the almost constant reference to babies and pregnancy in the movie, it was great. If I wasn't going through this infertility crap, I would give it 5 stars, but, I am. I am a different person than I was even a year ago and I am finally coming to realize (and will accept someday) that I will never be that person again.