another day

April 7, 2015 — the day we said goodbye to Molly. Three years past, and I haven’t moved on. It’s commonly thought that the way you go forward from a termination for medical reasons is that you get pregnant and have a healthy baby, and that hasn’t happened for us. Three years of mourning and it still feels like yesterday. I remember so vividly feeling Geoff’s tears run down my legs as he rested his head in my lap and we played You Are My Sunshine on a music box set on my slightly bulging belly and listened to her heartbeat one last time on my at-home doppler. I can still feel that wrenching feeling in my heart and it is physically painful so I wrap my little cat up in my arms and pull him in close.

The only thing that comforted me after the procedure was the thought that things just had to get better. That didn’t happen either. I’ve endured terrible hardships since then, so many that I can’t help but feel cursed and spat upon. I’ve had enough miscarriages that I don’t even remember those anniversaries anymore, although those four spirit babies will never be forgotten, as briefly as their light once shined inside me. Geoff and I will celebrate them all on the 7th. We’ll make cake and we will remember.

The distance between me and my loved ones has become so vast, almost infinite. I talk to my own mother on the telephone and feel like I’m shouting across a chasm with the wind whistling through it. I cry often. I never go out.

I have to close this chapter of my life soon. I woke up this morning feeling inexplicably cheerful and grounded but as the day wears on I feel myself sinking again. I’ve ceased feeling guilty for my past indiscretions, feeling that I have to have paid the price by now. Three years of unimaginable suffering. I’ve suffered enough.

*******

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game over?

I forgot my afternoon meds yesterday. This is the second time I’ve missed a dose in a week. I can’t eat, although I slept well on Femara last night…I’ve been wearing the same clothes for a week, my green track shorts (not that I’m celebrating St. Patrick’s day, my track shorts just happen to be green), pink t shirt, Fair isle socks and Geoff’s silly Ska-tellite sweatshirt (I hate ska, but the sweatshirt smells like Geoff). Brushing my teeth is a Herculean effort, my face only rinsed once a day while my pricey cleansers and serums sit on the bathroom counter forgotten. I look old, and it upsets me but I don’t care enough to combat the fine lines and furrows, the bags under my eyes. I’m becoming concerned that my anxiety and depression are interfering with my ability to take care of myself.

No more bleeding, though my uterus feels full and crampy. It’s like my cervix is sealed — I knew a woman that went through the same, but she had decent insurance and was able to fly to Boston and have her adhesions removed by Dr. Isaacson, a specialist. Sometimes I fucking can’t stand people with real insurance. I figure at some point, I will have to file for medical bankruptcy. So it goes.

I hate myself right now. I hate the disabilities that push me to the fringes of society and the infertility and loss that alienate me even more. I feel forgotten by my community, by every friend I’ve ever made. I’m truly at the edge now, and I don’t trust anyone who has never stared directly into the red eyes of childlessness.

I’m not sure how I’ll live through the pain of being basically sterilized. I don’t know if I’ll be able to live through this. No one cares, it’s just me and Geoff, who tries desperately to pull me out of my anger and sorrow. I’m inconsolable having been stripped so completely of hope so quickly…my eyes are glazed, there is a lump where my heart was. I’m too tired to consider escaping this life, and just wish I could get hit by a train unexpectedly or something quick like that, although I did once meet a woman who jumped in front of a train and survived and I certainly don’t want something like that to happen to me.

My OB is kind, but I don’t think she’ll be able to help me. Likewise, my psychiatrist is kind though incompetent, so I don’t think she’d be much help either. As usual, no one can help me and most won’t take the time to even try. I hate the universe.

******

Whoever out there who still believes suffering is rewarded is smoking something, and I’m not talking about tobacco or marijuana. The anguish of the last three years is still so fresh and raw that sometimes I find myself doubled over in pain. The best part of the day is the part when I knock myself out with antipsychotics. Do I keep taking the Femara when every instinct tells me my cervix is blocked? Do I put myself through the suffering…two more pointless Femara cycles, then going through testing I’m sure will leave me devastated? I have to admit, the thought of never returning to my doctor’s office again fills me with a sense of relief…as does not incurring more medical bills.

I bought my little cat a cat tree. It was the biggest purchase I’ve made in a long time…I think of the things I could buy if I didn’t have to spend on just supplements alone. I’ve been wanting a weighted blanket. Hmmm.

end of the rope

I am underwater, senses dulled and utterly alone. I am aware of nothing but the bitter bite of cold that sinks into the bone and fills my lungs as I try to draw breath and suddenly all is light and beauty. And then I am awake, glad to feel Geoff’s presence by my side and feel the heat emanating from his sleeping form. I feel the weight of my little cat, posed perfectly between us, and for a second my heart is full of love for my husband and our sweet pet but finally the bad feelings rush through my blood and there is nothing but the sting of grief and pain.

I am committed to at least one more cycle with Femara, understanding that it’s a foolhardy choice. I cannot go on indefinitely, stumbling through the inevitable darkness it brings and keeping my head held high in defiance of Fate. As much as I long to hold my own child, I will not kill myself trying when I have Geoff’s love to honor and cherish. I feel his hope slipping as well — I think he’s lost as much faith in my body as I have. He’s still here, at least, although he could easily leave for a woman, perhaps much younger, with ovaries of gold and platinum and a womb that is perhaps not twisted with theorized destructive scar tissue. I am stymied as to why he stays with a sick woman when he has so much to offer a woman more deserving, someone who, perhaps, is not a professional mental patient and has far more to contribute to the grand love affair of which he is capable.

I walk around feeling like there is a knife piercing my heart.

I just returned from my therapy, where I did not utter a word about my disdain for the House Intelligence Committee, the firing of Rex Tillerson, the appointing a torturer to run the CIA. I spoke only of my anger at the things that have happened to me, how deep it cuts, how much I am struggling with it and how cold my loved ones have become. Of how the mornings are okay, but as the day slips by I sink deeper into hopelessness and despair. And finally, about how bitterness is eroding the good parts of me, leaving me as cold as those I condemn.

There is smoke in the air and I think, something is burning but of course it is not, it is just what therapists used to refer to as an overly active imagination but is now diagnosed as psychosis. I turn my attentions elsewhere and the panic recedes.

******

empathy

Waking early to a chilly morning, rolling over to see if Geoff is there with me and I pause to contemplate his solid form before nudging him. I remember being roused during the night with my little cat standing on my head, a single soft front paw covering each of my closed eyes, yelling his name, and then Geoff gently pulling him off of me. As I rolled around to get comfortable again, I heard my husband’s soft voice telling me to go back to sleep.

“I’ll watch over you,” he said, stroking my hair as I drifted off again.

I wonder if there is, like, a quota of how much love you can receive from fellow humans and if Geoff alone fills mine because certainly no one else responds to me with anything more than callousness. I find myself starving for empathy and at the same time feeling guilty that maybe I am not offering enough myself. I think of the friends I’ve lost to suicide and drug overdoses (not much difference in my eyes) and I think of the people I’ve met in recovery that I did not know well but succumbed to that fate as well. Without disregarding individual responsibility at all, I see losing somebody who had a chance (and everyone does) to suicide as a failure of community of sorts. I know that is controversial — I once informed a close friend of a suicide in our recovery community and he responded by shaking his head.

“Some must die so others can live,” he stated flatly before changing the subject. I was flabbergasted by the coldness, and never forgave him, really — I still interacted with him and went to his house for visits but that singular dismissive comment was filed away and never forgotten. How can you not feel a sense of personal failure when someone you know takes their own life? Because nobody has to die at all.

But am I any better? Who have I reached out to lately?

I’ve been reading informally about the concepts of empathy and cruelty, because I once was a self-obsessed addict who treated people horribly and now I am here perhaps being punished for it, writing all day because I have a tremendous compulsion to have somebody, anybody, express some desire to understand what it is like to be a mentally ill infertile woman who has said goodbye to four much loved babies. It reeks of self-indulgence and I am acutely aware of that; at the same time, my efforts have been met (IRL) with nothing but disaffected indifference and although not suicidal I have experienced such an uncaring response from so-called loved ones that I can clearly see why some poor souls choose to check out permanently. And my trials and tribulations are, basically, first world problems (although the friend that accused me of having “rich girl problems” can straight up go to hell), nothing like the extreme hell some have lived through and died of.

I think I mentioned that I was reading a book called The Science of Evil by Simon Baron-Cohen, which I’ve read before. I’m not too far into it this time, because reading about the outrageously cruel acts of say, the Nazi regime during the Holocaust, causes me more misery than I can cope with right now. In describing cruelty, or evil (the author uses the term “empathy erosion”) Baron-Cohen discusses the theory that humans are capable of moral depravity to others because they cease seeing them as human — “dehumanization” is the favored term there. However, I recently read an article The New Yorker posted on Facebook that I can’t cite properly but that proposed that this commonly held tenet was fallacious.*

Baron-Cohen, in the very beginning of the book, tells a story told by a concentration camp survivor of a prisoner that was to be hanged. The Nazi guard made his own best friend tie the noose, and ordered him to put it over the doomed man’s head. The man in question’s hands were shaking so violently that he could not get the noose over his beloved friend’s head, so in a gesture of amazing selflessness and bravery, the friend took his hands, kissed them, and pulled the noose around his own neck. Angry, the guard kicked the chair away and the friend perished having not allowed his friend to be forced to kill him.

I grow shaken and wobbly myself reading shit like that. The guard, in my eyes, was not “dehumanizing” either man. He was punishing them precisely because they were human. “Dehumanization” is like, a word that gives the guard far more credit than he deserves. I pull my little cat (now forgiven for his late night transgressions) closer as I mull this over. Of course, I know I am incapable of such egregious acts of evil but how can I ensure that my capacity for empathy is never again eroded the way it was when I was addicted? Because now with RPL, I still feel like I’m in that cycle of addiction. And I confess to having little patience for the petty problems of others as I grieve my lost babies and consider a life denied of children. I have even withdrawn from my recovery community, feeling that I have no cares for those who struggle to get to the point of abstinence while I’ve already accomplished that and received jack shit for my efforts.

I admit I am full of anger and hate. I don’t want to become cruel, but I do find myself on occasion making snide little comments to people and rolling my eyes at their problems when I feel they have not suffered as much as I have. Am I deranged with selfishness?

I am crying and confused. I think of my mother with her pat answer of, “well, I don’t want to talk about that, I’ve never been through it,” that she gives me every time I bring up my losses. The friend I texted after the unspecified triggery event I’ve referred to this past weekend who texted back, “I don’t have time to read that now *insert sad face emoji*” after I’d agreed to read her fucking book and make notes on it for no reason other than I wish her success at her writing. You can’t read a few lines of text? Here I am, getting bitter again. How do I save my soul?

I’m staring down (not at) another bfn at 11dpo, feeling period-crampy and sad and lost in the aftermath of Saturday’s forgotten bedtime meds (not just the Geodon, but the day’s Paxil and Trileptal as well). I feel the anger and I’m hating my body and the world and all the hate is scary and isolating AF. I remember my daydream about having a child and how wonderful it was to hold my Molly, and my mom was there acting gentle and tender like she did when I was a child, and I wonder why it is that love so seamlessly turns to hate…

******

And for all my talk of striving for empathy, I find myself cloaked in bitterness at anyone who is still hopeful with no caveats, angry at myself for indulging in my own hopes this past weekend even though my fantasies were wrought by pharmaceutical factors…

How dare I dream of holding a living baby in my arms when I know from hard experience I cannot influence my shitty chromosomes to align in any sort of cohesive manner, my embryos testing again and again for devastating trisomies while everyone I know, fertile or not so much, pulls it off so effortlessly?

I feel rage and the hurt that comes with it pulsing through me again. I feel utterly abandoned and alone. I am reminded of the scene in Bram Stoker’s Dracula when Dracula renounces God in anger after discovering his beloved wife dead from suicide, and the chapel starts bleeding; I imagine I am bleeding as well, always bleeding, month after month as my hatred swells. My psychiatrist cannot help me with these mood swings while I insist on taking Femara. And I know someone is pregnant, right now, and her baby won’t die like mine do and nobody fucking understands, nobody fucking cares.

And I don’t want to feel this way. I hate it; I am desperately unhappy. I don’t know what to do.

*I found the article

end of cycle blues

Scruffy keeps poking his little face in through a dirty window, smiling serenely, a sage and somewhat Zen expression on his mud-smeared face. I pull the shade; I don’t want to even fucking deal with him this morning as my heart is filled with black, my thoughts dark and toxic, and my mind spinning out on the futility of continuing this venture. I hear him knocking his horn on the glass, demanding and incessant, but my spirit has hardened against him.

9dpo and he’s supposed to be doing his thing but this cycle has been so messed up I just want to put it behind me. My period is due in five days, and I just am praying for steady flow. If I can feel more confident that my uterus is functional, it will be a load off my mind and I’ll sigh with relief even in the absence of empirical evidence that things are, in fact, copacetic in there.

There are no indications that things will work this cycle, so I’m trying to let it go. How long have I been doing this, going at it the ol’ fashioned way due to constraints of finances and mental health, no hope of any doctor being able to actually help me? I know the bfn is coming and by now the sting is unbearable and I’m filled with the dread of hopelessness.

I can’t keep going too much longer…three years of my life is long enough to sacrifice to a doomed project, and it will probably take a couple more years of grieving before I can find my niche in the world again. If I ever do. Yesterday’s triggery event and my emotionally violent reaction to it begs the question: will I ever fit into society again? I seem to require a great deal of accommodations to function around friends and family, and there’s no way a normal person would indulge me because bottom line is that they just don’t get it.

If I had a healthy baby, would the world take me back? I’m pretty sure it would, but I don’t think I’ll ever know for sure.

******

The Interwebs has been infiltrated with unicorns today. I hope Scruffy is not out there causing mischief. Clomid or Femara are not magic bullets but I guess everyone’s thinks they’ll work automatically the first cycle. I was just grateful to have survived my first cycle. But no, I’m being bitter — I must admit I’m sort of expecting to get knocked up again, all fatalism aside.

Not this cycle, though. This cycle was my penance for last pregnancy’s hope, you remember, when Scruffy went on a meth binge and was bouncing off every wall in town. I’ll have to watch God knows how many unicorns get bfps and feel all sorts of pain and horror and lose at least a couple more friends (yesterday’s unspecified triggery incident comes to mind) before I can possibly get another chance. That’s how it goes; I’ve been here before. Predetermined amount of suffering, worn down to absolute hopelessness … only then do I see a second line, first a squinter on a Wondfo, then confirmed on FRER. And then the initial ultrasounds that inevitably display death. Have I really done this 3 times since my tfmr, the horribly traumatic event that was supposed to be the nadir of my blessed life with my beloved Geoff?

Fuck everyone, fuck rainbows. And that “forty is still young!” my OB’s medical assistant tacked on to her last message to me — I’ve been having chromosomal losses since I was thirty-fucking-six.

******

I am so so tired of feeling like shit. I’m not sure what to do. Give up ttc? Stop taking Femara? I’m not sure either of these things would actually provide relief; instead, I feel they’d just usher in a different type of hell. That letdown feeling of utter despair upon waking and remembering how shitty life is has become so familiar, the hours of feeling so uncomfortable in my own skin I go through every day, the random bursts of tearful sorrow and grief, the flashbacks and panic attacks that plague me several times a week…all I want is to escape this misery.

8dpo with ptsd

8dpo: I seem to really be back to normal, meaning that I barely slept and I didn’t cry over a super triggery post on Facebook that left a good friend unfollowed this morning. I’m cranky, but it’s regular cranky and not Femara-induced rage. Scruffy is nowhere to be found; he must be off on a bender somewhere and I don’t even care because at least it is finally quiet in my head.

I don’t understand how infertile women can finally get pregnant, and then just have a happy pregnancy that leads to a healthy child. All the times I really believed this was finally my time, that the Universe had finally granted me a pass, only to hear “sorry, no heartbeat”, often from insensitive medical personnel who just wanted to get rid of me and get on with their day’s work with happier patients and circumstances…

It’s fucking as unfair as shit.

And for some reason when I started this cycle, I expected the Femara to work like it did before, but now I’m all wtf was I thinking? laughing, shaking my head and turning up X-ray Spex as loud as I can without attracting property management. The lawn mower guy is here, giving me a bit more leeway for volume.

Oh, good, the triggery situation just got way worse, because of course I made it worse by getting triggered. Am I going to be fucked up for the rest of my life? I text Geoff, who instructs me to take my temazepam. I wonder if it will work, if it’ll work for the rest of eternity as I sit damaged in my living room with only emptiness in my uterus and cracks in my heart. I feel like calling my psychiatrist and screaming at her to fix me, but that usually ends up with me incorrectly diagnosed with “atypical manic disorder”, which is this thing my psychiatrist apparently made up just for me when I yell at her. My therapist looked it up once in the book of ICD codes, but all it had was “atypical measles”.

My little cat tries to snuggle up, completely unaware that I’m sort of upset with him for smashing my favorite serving dish during the night. Oh, well. I hold out my hand and he snuffles at it, edging in so he’s resting on my belly. Is this all there is for me?

And the depression is real and tangible and I know it’s not the Femara and I’m just fucked.

*******

2.17 PM, and I’ve forgiven my little cat for smashing my dish and lay here wrapped around his warm little body as he makes contented grunting noises and leans all his weight into me. I feel anchored, secure. I know he’ll be with me here until his dinner time and there is nowhere I need to go.

It’s been a difficult day. I think of the past three years, have I really been pregnant four times and lost four babies? Did I really drive all my friends away, probably forever since I don’t think the flashbacks are ever going to stop? My therapist scoffs at trauma therapy and EMDR and Transcranial magnetic therapy — is she wrong about all of it? (Tbh, these things do sound pretty silly to me, but what if they work?).

I can’t emerge from this chrysalis of grief. I need to nourish my body, rest my mind. I’m listening to X-ray Spex on repeat and I wonder if I should put on The Rachaels or Low or something nice, lie back, put my phone away. I idly wonder if my fruit of the month will arrive today (my aunt gave me a membership to a fruit of the month club for Christmas and last month the oranges were so delicious), saving me the trouble of thinking up something healthy to eat. I really didn’t sleep much last night.

I wonder if I’ll ever feel at peace again.

it’s only me.

I saw Molly in a dream last night. There she was, mussed up black hair but always at an angle where I could not see her face. I imagine she looked more like Geoff — his identical twin brother’s kids look astonishingly like Geoff and his brother, but I can’t help wishing for a baby that reflects my own East Asian heritage. Since I’m adopted, there is no one in my life that looks at all like me (ignoring those folk who claim I look “just like” any Asian person they happen to know).

I think if I knew what Molly looked like, my heart would be more at peace. Even if I just saw her face in a dream. Then again, maybe knowing would make me more fucked up than I am now.

I want to go to sleep and never wake up. I’m not talking about suicide; I just want to sleep because the waking hours are so hard and when I’m awake there is no chance of seeing the loved ones that have left this world for the next. If there is a next. After Molly died, I forced myself to believe in an afterlife because I could not bear the thought of never seeing her, never feeling her presence again. I want to see everyone I’ve lost: Molly, my three miscarriage babies, my little sister Meg, my grandparents, the friends I’ve lost to addiction, and all the wonderful animals who have passed through my life. But now, three years after my tfmr, I think I believe there is just oblivion. No God or heaven, no reincarnation. Loneliness. Forever. So I’d rather dream than die.

Of course if there is a hell, I’m probably screwed.

I don’t know how I can feel so lonely when my husband is such a perfect companion for me. I miss having friends, but the friends I always meet are usually batshit nuts that cause me no end of grief and oftentimes a whole lot of hurt. I wish I’d had one friend that stuck around after Molly died, but no one can deal with the sad person I’ve become. There’s me, there’s Geoff, and my loyal little cat that I just love so much it’s silly.* I live in terror that they’ll leave as well. I’ve never been like this before. I used to be so confident and brave.

It’s only 9.15 AM, and there’s a long day to get through. I have a sinking feeling in my heart, and my moods are wild. I would be thrilled if someone reached out to me today, but it never happens.

* I’m talking IRL friends. I have many wonderful friends online, but it’s not the same.

******

I obviously am too damaged to keep basal body temping. I am obsessing over my stupid chart, and a tiny little temp drop today has lead to depression and misery. I can barely move. From the kitchen, I hear the sounds of my little cat opening cupboards and rummaging around inside but I don’t get up.

These Femara mood swings are terrible. I’m 6dpo, and in the past the Femara-awfulness has dissipated precisely at 7dpo, but it’s affecting me differently this time around. I ovulated, so it worked but at the same time I wonder if it didn’t. I ovulate on my own anyway. All I know is the moods are debilitating to me, in that they decrease my ability to function and even think logically. I don’t know how normal people handle this shit, go to work, etc. I am out of control of my behavior. Fingers crossed thst tomorrow I’ll feel like myself.

My RE wrote back finally and said they didn’t get my messages. I sent them again, but no word. I feel disproportionately stressed at even interacting with any doctors, walking into any medical facility. I try to save up my temazepam for occasions when interaction is unavoidable.

How did everything go so wrong? If I get pregnant again, I’ll surely lose another baby. My fortieth birthday looms ahead — shit, my birthdays have traumatized me every year since I started ttc.

Here is the chart causing me angst:

I just know my temps will start trending down, and I haven’t the strength to watch it.

******

Hoo boy, are my IF forums triggery lately. I don’t abide unexpected BFP announcements well. I don’t abide veiled allusions to betas well either. Yes, I will hold a grudge. Yes, it will cause me all sorts of grief.

Could really use a friend. My heart is broken all over again.

******

Please God, let me feel better tomorrow. Is it futile? I’m really struggling this tww, convinced of failure. I’m having knife thoughts, which I haven’t had in the decades. I need a rest, I need a kind word or two. Toxic, desperate…I can’t stop panicking when I remember seeing Molly in my dream. I want to turn back the clock, spend just five more minutes with her. Still four hours to go before Geoff is home. I can’t call my mother, as she tends to be insensitive at best, and my dad always goes on about “fake news” and I cannot deal with that today. I am starting to wonder if the Paxil is making things worse.

I wish I had good news on occasion to share with you all. I wish I weren’t always so lonely and mopey. I wish I wasn’t like this at all.

monotony

Same thing every damn day. Me, on the couch snuggling with my little cat; husband off trying to get in an hour and a half of the social contact I make so difficult (I am a pathological introvert who is not doing well, and he is healthy and gregarious but loyal to a fault and doesn’t like to leave me when I’m not feeling good). I am in a foul mood, depressed and irritable and it just won’t lift. I suspect it’s the Femara wreaking havoc on my hormones, although not actually producing ovulation — but my usually-clear complexion is covered in acne, I found a hair on my chin the other day, and my uterus has been tingling as it does when I’m expecting my period or about to miscarry. My cycle is fucked, which may be contributing to my grouchiness; or, I could be reacting badly to the bump in Paxil. Or, I could be embarking on some sort of mixed mood episode, though my symptoms aren’t florid enough for me to alert my care providers.

I mean, okay, I had my usual CM pattern that coincided with a positive OPK but no sustained temp rise. Will I have another LH surge, or do I have a follicle that for some reason didn’t release the egg so I’ll get a cyst? Was my CD 1 really CD 1?

I’m tired of being always beholden to my moods and ovaries. The voices chatter in the background, and the content of what they tell me reflect my mood state. They laugh at my infertility, suggest I hurt myself. If you hear voices like I do, the number one rule to living with them is to not listen to what they say to you (number two rule is to not talk back to them in public). Easier said than done, but medicated me can keep them in the background and, say, not go running of to a new city without telling anyone where I’m going, not cut stars and hearts into my skin, not start shit with the cops. I’ve been living with auditory hallucinations all my life and they break through my antipsychotic (Geodon). I can’t imagine a life without them, but I’ve adapted to them pretty thoroughly.

I sent Geoff off into the world so I could have some alone time, but now I’m eager for him to return. I’ve taken my temazepam and it’s kicked in much harder than usual and I have those delicious chills it gives me after about a half an hour after swallowing the pill. I want to curl up in his arms and feel the heat of his heart.

Even when I feel stabby and toxic, I still would rather not be alone.

weekend whatever

I am miserable with no sleep after recording a temp drop at 1am. I guess I didn’t ovulate, although my body feels like it did. Scruffy is hungover and grouchy and I feel vaguely sick to my stomach. Meanwhile, the weeks fly by and I creep closer to my fortieth birthday.

I had messaged my clinic last week asking what he thought of my last period, if I maybe had retained tissue or adhesions in my uterus, and never got a reply. I messaged again, asking if they had received the previous message. Radio silence. Fine. I feel like my spotty AF could have been due to hormones now, in light of my wacky ovulation issues. Then I think, I don’t have to do this anymore…I could stop all this nonsense now. But I know I won’t. I’ll just keep going.

I bumped my dosage of Paxil again by another 5 mg. I wonder if it will help. I feel immobilized again, my thoughts like molasses as they run from one area of the brain to another. I am exhausted, trying to stay awake as to not jeopardize tonight’s sleep, and I am so so tired of living.

******

And this is what makes me really crazy. My chart looks like this with no ovulation, but Scruffy is still dancing to Billy Idol’s Greatest Hits, a cigarette dangling from his lips and a frosty 40 oz. Olde English on the table in front of him (he has to use a straw). And I am sick of it; sick of these charts, sick of timing intercourse, sick of the life I’ve had since November of 2014 when we started trying.

spiraling

I am floating. My daily tranquilizer gives me about a 45 minute reprieve from the horrible moodiness from the letrozole I finished days ago. I am reminded of the days long ago when my mood swings were not controlled by medication. My last bout with Femara left me flat out depressed throughout my cycle; this go around is more reminiscent of uncontrolled rapid cycling bipolar.

I try to focus on positive things. I am, in general though certainly not at the moment, stable. Letrozole does not worsen my hallucinations or make me paranoid or anxious. I may at the moment be a little unsteady, but hopefully as the drug leaves my system I will feel comfortable in my skin again. Geoff is looking after me, and hasn’t complained about the piles of clothing I’ve scattered throughout my apartment, as I’m too drained and distracted to be much of a housekeeper. He cooks me meals as I sit on the couch fighting tears.

I crawl into bed every night exhausted, but not sleepy. The days are ridiculously long, and I grow weary of being awake. And I have been staring down childlessness for so long now…

I think I’ve started the process of giving up. I don’t want to, but in my heart it’s happening anyway. Geoff has brought up fostering. I’m not sure I’ll ever feel comfortable around other people’s kids again, and I’m pretty sure no one in their right mind would give charge of a child to a woman with schizoaffective. Yesterday, I found an old picture of Geoff, sitting in our tiny former apartment and smiling. We were so happy just to have each other — I wonder if I could ever get back to a place where just the two of us was enough for me. Maybe I’m too greedy in wanting more.

And the clock ticks, marking another moment of my declining fertility as I move inexorably towards middle age…

*****

I told my therapist I wanted to experience a full term pregnancy. She told me the last few months gestation was really uncomfortable and I shouldn’t romanticize it. I choked on bile. Because I want it anyway, I’d do anything to carry beyond nine weeks again, and I’m actually not being unrealistic. I’ve suffered so much in my attempts to bring a child into this world, surely I can handle the physical drawbacks of biology in the third tri. I feel as a mother of two bio kids, she’s speaking from a platform of privilege. And it kind of made me want to die. We talked about why this made me feel stabby. And she does try to understand, and she has been my biggest supporter. But I think she’s giving up on me as well…Geoff too, and probably everyone else as well…

******

Ewcm, super negative opk. CD 12. My predictable body is rebelling and I feel despair. Please let my next period be more normal.

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I can contract for safety, sure.

For all my long ago fears of being forever institutionalized, the mental hospital does not, actually, want me at all. Maybe if I had a lot of money or at least decent insurance, doctors would suggest a long rest would do me well, but 1-South, an acute care facility at the local hospital here has one goal: to send you home and into the care of perhaps slightly less overbooked outpatient care providers. How many times have I laid in the Crisis Clinic twisting my wrists and ankles against four-point restraints, floridly psychotic and screaming that I wanted to die, only to be calmed with some shot (I think they use Haldol and Ativan), engaged in pleasantries with the nurses until I could nod my head earnestly and say, yes, I feel better, yes, I can contract for safety, and there I go, out the door and into a taxi and freedom…? No, you have to be really scary if they’re going to admit you, and you have to even fight for your right to a bed. Or, maybe your therapist or the CDMHP says you have to go in and calls and pulls strings and that sacred bed is granted easily, fast enough that you don’t change your mind out of sheer boredom from the interminable ER wait time but as soon as you show the tiniest improvement on meds, you are sent home clutching a handful of prescriptions, sayonara, you’ll be just fine. I’ve seen patients beg to stay in (perhaps they’re too scared to leave, or they have nowhere else to be, or they enjoy having their obligations suspended, I’ve seen it all…nope. Unless you are super sick, then you are transferred to Western State and nobody begs to stay there.

All this to say, I’m safe, I’m quite sure I’m safe, but I spent all afternoon thinking about dying. Yesterday I asked all of you, what is the evolutionary purpose of living decades longer than your own fertility? I know nowadays women live longer, and all sorts of scientific discoveries have extended the human lifespan — but, after a woman’s useless for reproduction what is her purpose for living?

I’m wording it all wrong. I’m not actually thinking of women everywhere, I’m thinking only of myself because I feel like my potential usefulness to the human race has long since faded. My own mother seems pleased that my silly tries at having offspring will soon be a thing of the past (my age allows her the privilege of assumption, I sure as fuck can’t talk to her about it). I cannot produce a new living human and my very abbreviated genetic line will end here and no one else seems to care but me.

And what now? Travel, everyone tells me, brushing aside my agoraphobic tendencies and lack of a reasonable income. I think of those who are childfree by choice, how their lives are so full of rewarding shit that they don’t have any desire for anything more…I envy their fearlessness as I sit here wondering neurotically if I’ll ever see my husband again or if some tragedy will befall him and I’ll have to become a solo drifter, oh, this fear haunts me all day when he’s not here.

I know this is letrozole messing with my mind but I cannot stop thinking in a passively suicidal manner. My medical traumas haunt me and while I used to be fearless, these days a flu shot brings tears to my eyes. The actual pain is not so much the problem; it just hurts my feelings that the nurse wants to inflict it on me. So suicide is not an option, but I wish fervently to be given a drug to help me sleep and never wake up again and also for it to happen unexpectedly so I am not afraid because crazy me is also fearful of fear.

I love anesthesia. Just saying. If I could spend the rest of my life under anesthetized, well, that seems grand. I’ve attempted to inflict this on myself in the past but coke, booze, opioids, whatever (and I will not mess with needles so heroin is out too)….those aren’t strong enough at all. Nothing short of propofol will do (say what you will about Michael Jackson, he was a man who was not fucking around when he wanted to check out for awhile). I don’t have access to surgical grade anesthesia so the path of addiction holds no appeal.

My mind spun out all afternoon, and now Geoff is home. I would never hurt myself as long as he’s around and breathing but today I cannot stop wondering what I’d look like if I died.

One last thought: if I were to kill myself, and for the hundredth time I won’t, but if I did theoretically, or someone just like me did, would they have to put a warning label on the bottles of Femara that obstetricians in the US apparently give out like candy? Maybe an RE would be a little more judicious, but mine certainly didn’t recommend I at least alert my shrink, although I wrote out all my psychotropics and answered honestly when he asked what I took them for. For that matter, my shrink had never heard of Femara, and just prescribed temazepam to potentially offset the moodiness. My psychiatric obstetrician didn’t flinch, either. Have women with mood disorders ever offed themselves on Femara, has anyone made a connection, has no one else in the world thought for a second, hmmmmm, maybe this is a bad idea?

Is whatever the hell I’m trying to prove with this slim possibility of getting pregnant even worth a day like today?