problems and panic attacks.

My doctor says to try three months of Femara, and if I’m not pregnant and my periods aren’t back to normal I should be evaluated for Asherman’s. I filled a regular tampon last night, but no bleeding this morning. Jesus, the only thing I had going for me was an overly enthusiastic uterus that would implant anything, chromosomes be damned. Now I am scared of a potential problem that means the show might be over — I cannot pay for removal of adhesions (uterine adhesions are like scar tissue that stick the walls of the uterus together, caused by endometrial trauma, usually a D&C). I’ve read that if you’ve had three D&Cs, your chances of scarring are 32%…I’ve had three D&Cs and a D&E to manage my losses. I wish I had tried the drugs to induce miscarriage but I was so traumatized by my one natural miscarriage — it was both physically and emotionally painful, and I had such a desire not to repeat anything like it, so stupidly I opted for D&C after D&C.

Needless to say, I’m in a panic. I struggle to draw breath. I’m not ready to be forced to stop trying. And I don’t want to suffer through another two months of Femara if I do have adhesions and don’t have a chance of conceiving.

Maybe I’ll be lucky and my periods will normalize. I’ve always experienced heavier bleeding a couple of cycles after a procedure, now I’m just spitting little bursts of bleeding.

I’ll start my letrozole tomorrow. Why the fuck not?


Oh, great, if I do get pregnant I’m at risk for incompetent cervix because of all the surgeries. This is why I don’t like to Google. Fuck everyone.


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.

reflections in my thirty-ninth year

I have so much to say, and no one to say it to. Rather, when I do have opportunity for conversation, I fritter it away by speaking of nothing bit trivialities. I have no real clear memories of what I talked about during my last therapy session. When Geoff gets home from work, I am already sleepy and only address the mundane. And on the rare occasion I have to speak to anyone else, I can barely choke out basic pleasantries.

So when I am alone, I write and I feel like I will die if I stop. I am capable of better writing, but there is no time. The compulsion to dance my fingertips over my keyboard or phone never lets up, but I fail to make meaningful connections with the words tumbling over the unread pages of prose. I think this is some sort of psychological phenomenon; I looked it up once, there was a word. The more time I spend writing, the more isolated I become. I could venture out into the world, exchange basic small talk with a cashier or barista or someone, feel I’m a participant of the most minor sort in my community. But I remain locked inside with my neuroses, tears on my cheeks from the loneliness. I cannot break free. I imagine a sane person would not understand, but I am bats.

I am waiting, always waiting. In between paragraphs, I check my bbt chart, wondering furiously if this is the month that will bring a modicum of freedom. To me, pregnancy breaks me out of my self-inflicted imprisonment but it’s only for short spurts of time. I know a BFP means basically nothing because of my history of RPL, my new inability to carry past the ninth week. I know I’ve probably used up all my chances by now and will face middle age childless and grieving.

But the motions are so familiar, the hope has yet to be extinguished. I indulge in self-pity, my poor tragic soul. I take my temperature, I take my pills, I dip test strips into Dixie cups of urine. I count days, and so many days have passed, slowly at first and then all at once. My Prince Charming has been by my side the whole time, but I wait for someone to rescue me.

And here I sit, long hair in hopeless tangles, beauty fading from the harshness of life, and I already have so many regrets…


I am 7dpo, waiting to see if I feel “normal” today. In my past cycles of letrozole, the moodiness and depression faded on precisely 7dpo so hopefully history will repeat itself. I slept well last night, resisted the urge to take my basal body temperature and thus eliminating the chance that I’ll spend the day poring over my chart. I think I’m off to a decent start.


I am suddenly desperately unhappy. Guess the moods are still an issue. My boobs still don’t hurt like they have in past Femara cycles…it’s 7dpo, shouldn’t progesterone be peaking? Unless I have my ovulation date wrong, which is entirely possible.

Infertility is the worst thing ever, even worse than schizophrenia and bipolar at the same time. And to stack RPL on top of all of that…god help me, I am so alone. I know this cycle’s a bust, trust me, I always know — I’ve been doing this for 3 years. My lining is fucked, I just know it and I possibly am full of adhesions. Maybe I’ll be sullen and grey for the rest of my luteal phase, or maybe my mood will shift violently again. Who fucking cares. Not the universe, that’s for sure.


Would it be weird to go down on my antidepressant because it’s making me too hopeful? I’ve written a lot about how dangerous hope is. I don’t want to be crushed at the end of every cycle — even today, long before my period’s due, Scruffy came prancing in, shaking his rainbow mane. It just never works out when he gets too fancy. I think steady depression would be preferable to rollercoaster ups and downs.

I asked Geoff and he totally ignored me. Hmmph.


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.


just some crazed ramblings

I am angry and oversensitive; rage and hurt swirl in my gut. I feel like shattering glass and I think I might have ovulated. My hormones are a mess. It’s only CD 13.

I lay here lonely as usual, last night’s dreams still haunting me. I wish I could move past dreams of the girls that bullied me in high school, but at thirty-nine, I’m still a little resentful. They torment me in my sleep and I wake up bitter. These were close friends (albeit close friends that made sure I knew how ugly I was at every opportunity) that disappeared entirely when I got my mental health diagnosis — I guess I went from quirky and impulsive to bat fucking shit nuts at the exact instant I first pronounced the term, “schizoaffective”. It still hurts despite the passing of decades. When I dream of them, they are always angry at me. I’m not in a good space right now.

I’m curled up with my little cat hoping my temazepam will soften the blow. These are most likely the vivid dreams I get when progesterone floods my system. Happens every month on letrozole. I wish it didn’t make me so cranky.

If I did smash a dish, Geoff would get mad at me, so I refrain, remembering the stern lecture I received when once out of frustration I threw my phone. I really think it’d make me feel a tiny bit better but not if it drives my husband away from me. Before Geoff, it wasn’t unusual for me to throw things around when I was feeling irritable but I suppose it’s time to get over that.

I’m scattered, I apologize. I don’t know how it’s possible for me to still miss the babies I had for such brief periods of time. My therapist’s words still sting, her accusation that perhaps I’m romanticizing pregnancy…I’m sure she’s pushing me to look into fostering because she doesn’t want to see me have another loss. She really wants me to try and reintegrate myself into society (meh). I know she does care about me from behind her spectacles and professionalism, but today I’m so far gone in the aftermath and know in my gut she’ll never understand. I’ve given up expecting her to, because when I try to explain she does tend to get on board with trying.

Endeavoring to avoid infertility forums. So many insensitive idiots and one particular thoughtless post a couple a days ago filled me with rage — I have not succeeded in letting it go, even though this particular poster has gone AWOL. If I’m obsessing this much on this one little thing, it’s time to step back from everything and focus on self-care.

And out there in the cold cruel world, women are blissfully pregnant, giving birth, holding their sweet babies and here I sit alone hating my life…


I am at this point triggered by everything. I keep contact with friends who are pregnant or have babies that would never trigger me, and I’m appreciative of that. However, if someone sets me off after learning what I’ve been through, there is not room in my heart for forgiveness. I harden to them. If anyone has ever experienced the whole flashback/panic attack combo like I do, they’d think twice before saying shit to me. I hope I’m not like this forever; I do not enjoy being a bitter betty. But that’s where I stand right now.



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.


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?


the lunatic infertile attempts to de-compartmentalize

It’s a chilly morning and a rushing sense of desolation hit me the second I opened my eyes. I am on my trusty vintage mid-century couch with longings for a few minutes of oblivion. I mark “depression” on my mood chart, and consider asking my shrink for another increase in my Paxil dose. I pop a temazepam, try to relax with my little cat but fear of the future outweighs the delicious hazy feelings that hit a few minutes later. I figure I’ll spend the day working on my book (yes, I’m writing a book), trying not to let myself be sucked into infertility forums. I really should work on my typewriter, a pain in the ass to write on but devoid of the distractions built into my trusty laptop. I don’t know, maybe I’ll push myself into some sort of mindset that allows productivity. But as the tranquilizer sets in, I have my doubts.

I messaged my RE about my spotty on-and-off period. I dread the response. Retained tissue from my D&C? Uterine adhesions? A healthy and enthused uterus was all I had going for me with my problems stemming from my shriveled and blackened ovaries, and as my fortieth birthday draws nigh, I’m afraid I’ll have new problems that will prove insurmountable. The thought of a damaged uterus is weighing so heavily on my mind that I fear if the nurse calls me back, I won’t answer the phone. And the thought of having to deal with another appointment right now sends a fresh wave of anxiety over my slightly sedated form.

I have a confession. Sometimes I feel like if I can’t get pregnant, a lifetime of twice daily benzodiazepines may not be the end of the world. But then I remember the joyous rush I feel when my uterus is trying to grow a baby and have to grudgingly admit that yes, I would prefer to be pregnant, even if it’s again short-lived. Those couple months before the agony of loss feels twenty million times better than the brief moments of a tranquilizer rush. I must not forget that, as my sobriety hinges on it.

I wonder briefly if my last two entries detailing the story of schizoaffective disorder in my life has frightened people away from my blog. I kind of have a lot going on and have trouble telling an integrated tale of both life as a permanent mental patient, and the hopeless cycle of infertility and pregnancy loss I have been living with for three years. I’m scared of judgment, of my friends speaking in hushed tones of how a sickie like me has no right having a child of her own, of the perceivable risk I’ve accepted of my passing my illness to any offspring. Let me tell you: life with a psychotic disorder is an arduous path, but at no point has my illness made life not worth living. And there are some marvelous treatment options these days that could help a potentially afflicted child lead a valuable life. And I, as a woman with a tiny potential of becoming a mom, am functional! I think motherhood is a realistic option for me and yes, it will be a challenge but I’m a fighter and I’m ready to tackle the difficult task of raising a child I likely won’t even have.

I think I may ask for that bump in Paxil after all. It seems to help quell both the anxiety and the depression, and my dose is still very low.

I’m expecting ovulation to be late this month. I’m wrestling with barely perceptible test lines on my trusty Wondfo opks at CD 11, so I’m freaking out that maybe I won’t ovulate at all. Miscarriages fill me with grief, and they usually fuck up my cycle for a couple months and I have no time for any bullshit.


Moodiness and depression…I’m now willing to accept that my current state of mind is induced by Femara. Nasty stuff these fertility meds are. I can’t help but wish Geoff were here to mollycoddle me through my misery, but I’m also glad to know that for five more hours, he won’t be subjected to my flights of mood and fancy. Still, I’m lonely here in my apartment as I procrastinate working on my stories and tackling the housework I’ve been neglecting. But…

…what, pray tell, is the evolutionary purpose of living decades longer than your own fertility?

My mind is a jumble. I’m having some combination of a midlife crisis and an existential one. Taking a shower before Geoff gets home seems akin to climbing Mt. Everest and I am baffled at the meager contents of my fridge.

I am completely neurotic, I decide. I can’t get anything done. I have therapy tomorrow so I have to brush the crazed tangle of my hair, or I risk being grilled about how I’m handling my ADLs (activities of daily living)…if there’s question about whether or not I can take care of myself, that warrants evaluation and I don’t wanna deal.

I brush my hair, contemplate doing another opk but my heart isn’t in it and I’ve had a couple cups of coffee.

I take my second Restoril and lie down.


agoraphobia after trauma + on the letrozole rollercoaster

“I’d like to see you work on getting out of the house more,” my therapist said to me yesterday.

I groaned inwardly. “After my termination, I tried to continue my life as normal,” I explained, “I walked around doing my errands like normal, but I was bawling my eyes out the whole time. I once sat down on the floor at the Goodwill and couldn’t stop crying. Since I had been public with Molly’s story, I never knew who was judging me and I felt it was important for everyone to see me with my head held high.”

I felt myself getting choked up, “But I still start crying when I go out into the world,” I said softly, “When you’re walking around sobbing, you become completely invisible to everyone you pass by. I can’t handle how lonely that makes me feel anymore.”

My therapist nodded, calm and with understanding, “How long has it been since you lost Molly?” she asked me.

I practically whispered, “Almost three years.”

She told me I may not be ready yet, but I had to prepare for the time when I was. I reminded her that I’d also had three miscarriages. She nodded; she, obviously, had not forgotten. I sighed with relief. It’s not time yet.

Still, I wonder if it’s too icy to walk around the block. I’m not sure I’m brave enough to do even that. My home is warm and safe; my little cat never makes the type of insensitive comment that drives me to immediately isolate from humanity. He has never told me God has a plan for me (it’s a pretty shitty ass plan!), that it will happen when it’s meant to (for some of us, it’s never meant to), that at least I know I can get pregnant (you start a sentence with the phrase, “at least…”, I get stabby), that I have to relax and not stress (babies are conceived and born in war zones). He never looks at me with pity when I think of my termination and subsequent miscarriages and says, “I’ll hold my kids a little closer tonight,” (a statement that’s really just cruel). He is silent and only appears to judge me if I’m sneakily scarfing down a whole sleeve of Chips Ahoy or something like that. He thinks I should know better.

No, my little cat offers nothing but affection and reassurance. Why would I want to go out?

I know the longer I isolate, the harder it will be to rejoin the world. During the thrilling initial phase of my last pregnancy, all of this simply went away. I braved holiday crowds to do Christmas shopping with Geoff. I went to restaurants like I used to; I talked to friends. And it was easy, and it felt so good, and then the baby died again.

I often wonder if the world will ever take me back, or if I’ll even allow myself to be reintegrated. I look in the mirror, at the remains of a younger woman that used to have men chasing her like little puppies trailing behind some guy with a chain of sausages in their hand. My beauty and desirability was so important to me then, but now I can barely be bothered to get cleaned up and dressed. Why did I squander those years, when I may have still had good eggs left? I’m disgusted by how shallow I was when I was younger.

I vow to take that walk around the block before the week is through. I won’t interact with anyone, just move my body a little and breathe air that’s not stale like it is in my closed-in apartment. Maybe I’ll go in the early morning, to avoid passersbys. I can’t let infertility and recurrent pregnancy loss ensnare me and make me sick again, although I feel helpless to resist. I have got to keep fighting, no matter how lost and scared I feel. A walk would be step one. Here goes.


I didn’t make it very far until the tears started flowing. It was pretty slippery out there too. Ah, well, the battle against agoraphobia will have to wait.


Two temazepam means I get about a two hour reprieve from the letrozole blues. I try to make the best of my time, get some of these churning emotions written out and thus given form so that they can solidify into something a little less messy. I feel tremendous weight pressing down on me; initially, I thought it was metaphorical but I realize now it’s Femara-induced depression, and the good old fashioned leaden paralysis I know so well. So, I’m back on the couch, glad that the weight feels like it’s an external force because that means I’m not mixing up Femara depression with any worsening symptoms of my own illness.

Scruffy is grumpy without his booze and cigs, but he’s awake and alert and ready to push on. In case you’re wondering about Scruffy the Unicorn, I’ll explain that he is a representation of my hopes for a baby. When he’s passed out, I feel shitty and alone. When I’m pregnant he smokes meth and his enthusiasm is both relentless and unrealistic, one might even say delusional. He can prance around all he wants — my odds of having a baby are still slim to none. But I am fond of Scruffy, and feel better when he’s around even if the hope he offers is a big fat lie.

I’m being so meticulous about my basal body temperature chart, but I’m scared that after this fucked up menstrual period I won’t ovulate. I feel like I’m wasting Femara, suffering the side effects for no reason. Geoff has been, um, an eager participant in timed intercourse so far this month, but it’s only CD 5-ish. There’s absolutely nothing worse than timing intercourse through my fertile days. In fact, just thinking about it is stirring up panic. This is a hard life, with no hope of pursuing more aggressive fertility treatments due to my low income via disability. I wish I were not schizoaffective and could have pursued a high paying career when I was far younger, but probably wouldn’t have done so even if my mental health were pristine. Maybe some day I’ll finish my book, and someone will publish it and I’ll be in sugar. Very unlikely though — my story demands a happy ending, and I don’t think I’ll get that. Whoa, Scruffy. Here’s a Xanax. You need to calm down.


I’ve been active on infertility forums again, despite having learned that this doesn’t go well for me. Yes, it’s nice to have company to my misery, but the fact is that everyone will get pregnant and have babies and leave me behind. Three years of this, and still I make silly attempts to bond with other women with a lot more money than I have, and thus more options for treatment and success.

And it gets to me. Is loneliness really such a heavy burden to carry? I live in terror of other people’s positive pregnancy tests…I’m sure I’ve upset women with my own, but my babies die every time. And in the end, I end up lonelier and sadder and yes, full of rage.


cd fucking 1 bitches

My period finally came today, and this latest miscarriage has quietly resolved itself, just another blisteringly painful memory for me to file away in this horrible chapter of my life. In two days, I again jump recklessly onto the letrozole rollercoaster and oh, those dizzying highs and lows reminiscent of when my bipolar was untreated but somehow worse because they are loaded with meaning! I am struggling to take care of my body and mind, longing to be in some sort of self-inflicted altered state as I approach the fourteenth anniversary of my sobriety and resorting to too much coffee and failing at my planned discontinuation of my anxiety medication. I am a mess, but a determined mess. I will fucking pull myself together. Five more cycles…then I can fall apart. I imagine it may even be a relief.

I try to gaze into the future. My biggest fear is that I’m in for five months of bfns. No, my biggest fear is that I’ll get knocked up immediately, then lose the baby and my remaining time trying. My body is wracked with cramps and it makes distracting myself from my recalcitrant reproductive system impossible. I’m trying to read a book, The Science of Evil, strangely enough written by some relative of the guy that did that Borat movie (I’ve been isolated from pop culture for decades now, I know not of what I speak), but I am having a hard time thinking of people as cruel when I’ve learned so well that the Universe is the cruelest force imaginable, cold and unsympathetic as it punishes me over and over for the indiscretions of my youth. A privileged viewpoint, I’m sure, but it’s what I have.


My sleep is much improved since I switched my Paxil time to evening and increased my dose. I am enjoying these wonderful sleepy mornings, bursts of slumber punctuated with marvelous dreams. The other morning, I dreamed I was ten weeks pregnant, ecstatic because my last three pregnancies have ended in the ninth week. Unfortunately, I was also being detained in North Korea while an obstetrician lectured me that I could only eat wheat crackers from that point forward. She kept showing me the crackers, but all she had in her hands was uncooked shell shaped pasta, and I was confused and frightened until Geoff finally showed up to bring me home. I woke up and started crying when I remembered my reality.

In another one of these idle dreams, I had made a friend with all these outrageous medical problems. For example, she still had her own teeth, but they were removable like dentures. It felt so good to have someone to talk to, and we spent a lot of time at my childhood home while stopping various injustices from happening when we witnessed them from the big picture window in the living room, like suburban couch potato superheroes or something. She then told me she had to leave, and I got on my bike (I have not ridden a bicycle since I was a child) and was cruising around my old neighborhood like I really did before my sister took ill, running into unsupervised babies everywhere and finding it puzzling. I finally saw my old friend Leslie (Leslie now has two beautiful children and, I shit you not, recently won $15 million on a scratch ticket) and her parents up by our old elementary school, and I felt so light and free on my ten-speed and was so eager to greet these people I haven’t seen in so long. I then ran into my old friend Erin, who has since changed her name and sort of fallen off the map and we all returned to my home, where my mother and the friend with removable teeth had arranged a surprise party for me. Again, I woke up and cried remembering how lonely I am now…

I know other people’s dreams are so boring to read, so thanks for indulging me. I really did once have everything I could have possibly wanted and I’m not sure how events transpired to make me quite so wretched… I wonder if these happy dreams are unhealthy, because of how sad it makes me to remember them; or, maybe I should just be thankful for the moments of respite they offer.


My mom, in my earliest memories, was soft and kind. I remember walking the dog in the woods with her, and how she would point out all the different kinds of plants: the bittersweet with its bright autumn colors, the ferns with their curling leaves, and even the skunk cabbage. I remember her singing me to sleep while rubbing my little hands, and I remember the tenderness that disappeared when the first signs of my illness emerged from deep within.

I was prone to temper tantrums. I wouldn’t sleep. I didn’t respect her. I hated her, she wasn’t my real mother. We’d sit in various therapists’ offices, and the litany of accusations would go on for a fifty-minute hour. We both needed reassurance of each other’s love, and neither of us could provide them. You weren’t easy to live with, she told me recently. Neither was she. But I said nothing.

We talk often on the phone, and see each other three or four days a year. Since I started losing babies, there is a new hint of contempt in her tone when she speaks to me and I can’t shake the feeling that I disgust her. I can’t talk about that, I’ve never been through it, she says when I bring up my losses. I know she doesn’t want me to have a baby, and since my sister died there is no more softness in her manner; she is all hard edges and sharp angles in demeanor. All right, she has reason to be hard. And I don’t deserve to be soothed by her like I once was — I am a constant disappointment and she is bitter that I have taxed her resources over so many years.

She didn’t want me to get married. Just worry about yourself, she told me, maybe not realizing how badly I needed companionship. She now resents me for Geoff’s attentiveness towards me, rolling her eyes when he refills my coffee mug without me saying a word. Still, I think she’s become glad he’s part of us now, allowing her to abdicate any lingering sense of responsibility for my wellbeing.

My dad says we’re too alike, and I wonder if one day I’ll become hardened like she is. I spend a lot of time worrying that I already have.

I wouldn’t speak to my mother after my tfmr. I know she was relieved the pregnancy didn’t work out — when I told her I was pregnant, she just said, I don’t want you to get too excited. Too many things can go wrong.

Why would she say that? And why did she have to be right?

I’m concerned about the emotional effects of all these miscarriages, she keeps saying to me now. She’s rehearsed it, I can tell, she repeats it over and over, and hasn’t come up with anything further to say on the subject. Meanwhile, I feel like I’m dying. I thirst for kind words these days, and a simple, I’m sorry you’re going through this would be like a balm on my heart. But it’s too late for all that now. At seventy-two, she’s not going to change her attitude towards me. I long to sit next to her and cry while she rubs my hands like when I was a kid. But I’ve let her down far too many times, and now I’m old and superfluous to her busy life as a retiree.


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I think my depression has lifted a little. I still don’t feel very good, but it’s not as bad as last week. Amazing what an itty bitty dose increase of Paxil can do — I guess my doctors are right and I am very sensitive to medications. I feel a degree of hopefulness because I think my next cycle will start soon, and I can take my Femara. But hope can be poison. I can’t tell if I’m embarking on an amazingly foolish path that will leave me even more damaged than I already am. Getting pregnant with a chromosomally normal baby in the next five months is a pretty tall order, and I think maybe the Universe has given me all the chances it can afford.

It’s still hard to get off the couch. I took a brief walk earlier, too scared to venture too far out of the “comfort zone” I’ve established around my apartment. I’ve spent a great deal of time snuggling with my little cat, and argued with a woman I’d somehow offended on my infertility forums. I didn’t do anything wrong or mean, so it was especially infuriating, even more so that she continued harassing me after I said that I’m sick and I just lost my fourth baby so could she please stop private messaging me. Like, she was mad at me for the title of the forum, like I have any control over that. I seem to lose a little more faith in humanity everyday, and I figure it’s no wonder I’d rather hang with Wendall. We skipped out on visiting Don again this past weekend. I just get so depressed when I go over there, and making nice with his grandson is grueling (we have differing political worldviews and I’ve no patience for that shit).

I think I’ve become difficult to get along with, period. I’m oversensitive and raw and my emotions tend to bleed out every which way, leading me to feel constantly out of control, and it’s more than just my bipolar mood swing shit. I need to work on all this in therapy, but we get so easily sidetracked into general philosophy and politics. Ugh.

I’m the brief time I spent talking to the online therapist, she really got on me about being isolated. I don’t know what to do about this problem, where to meet new friends, how to reconnect with old ones when I’m a completely different person these days. At one point, I tried going to sit and drink coffee in a coffeshop, but just ended up crying the whole time until I finally became so flustered I left. My old friends avoid me as much as I avoid them, again because of the constant crying and the panic attacks. And I can’t sympathize with people who can’t deal with their own discomfort around someone that’s hurting as badly as I am. I just feel betrayed.

But at some point, life will have to go on. If I have a healthy baby, will the world take me back? The thing is, I think it would. But I also don’t think I’ll ever have that opportunity