Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Por Fin!

(Translation: Finally!)

I never thought I would say this, but today I was really happy when my lady days finally arrived. IVF failed at the beginning of January... I haven't been a normal female since. It was worrisome. My mind was running wild...

What if I used all of my eggs despite that great pre-IVF eggs reserve report?

What if the fibroids are back?

What if...they are back...and they are...cancerous?!

What if I have to have a hysterectomy next week because the cancer is so bad?

What if I lose all my hair (yes, I'm that vain)? And it spreads throughout my body? And I die within a year? And Mr. Thompson buries me in Utah despite my wishes? Or somebody doesn't move Colton like they are supposed to?...

You catch my drift. I was worried because although I've been irregular my whole stinkin' entire life (even when I was 18 years old and 115 lbs, thank you PCOS), I've never been this irregular.

But as of today, it's behind me. And guess what? There are no fibroids, I don't have cancer and I won't be losing my hair except by choice.

And that's that.

********************************************

On a brighter note, my mister is pretty amazing. He is the only man that I know who can pull $10,000 from a secret retirement "rainy day" account to pay off a mistake. This was after I emptied the known accounts on four flippin' (failed) IVF cycles.

So all things considered I do, hereby, solemnly promise to never again complain about Mr. Thompson's miser/thrifty ways.

Ever.

Signed and dated - I promise. I'll start writing things in the checkbook, will stop sneaking things on i.Tunes and will quit complaining when he goes shopping to Cost.co without me in an effort to save $200.

...And with that we are now officially broke. Debt-free but broke.

And that's that.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

April Showers Bring...

Babies.

And apparently lots of them.

I got on FB tonight and I swear that the first five posts that I saw were pictures of friends who just had bambinos.  Further down I saw two pregnancy posts.   Five minutes later I got a text from my pregnant sister-in-law.

Meanwhile....back on the Thompson Ranch, I'm on Cycle Day...who the hell knows.  I haven't had any girl excitement since the end of January/beginning of February, which is never good. 

And no - I'm not pregnant.  Let's just get that question out of the way. 

I think I just used up all of my eggs on the last IVF cycle.

You know, the one that unexpectedly cost $10,198.67 and didn't work.  That one.  I'm appealing the denied insurance claim but since that could take the next 100 years, I have to go ahead and pay the bill.  Needless to say, Mr. Thompson is less than thrilled.

Less.  Than.  Exclamation. Point.

My strategy not to disclose the "complication" until I had it figured out totally backfired when he went and got the mail.  Yup - he didn't say one word for a full 24 hours after he opened up that lil' surprise. 

Usually he yells but this time he was deathly silent.

Honestly, I never thought I would say this... but I think that his silence was much worse than his usually hoopla.  He is always vocal and always animated.  In 7 years of marriage I've never had to guess what he is thinking. 

But not this time.  He didn't speak.  Anything.  One minute we were talking...then he went to get the mail...and when he came he was a mute.  Phone rang - he let it go to voicemail.  Alarm went off the next morning - he rolled over and went back to sleep.  I couldn't tell what he was thinking.  He wasn't exactly mad... yet he wasn't exactly sad.  He was...

I still don't know. 

When I came home the next day, he sat me down and handed me the bill.  He calmly listed to the story and then calmly told me to figure it out.  And that was that. 

I'm still scratching my head. 

Which is why I better keep him off of FB so it doesn't add insult to injury.  I can't risk the silence.

Happy Spring y'all. 

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

On Being Brave

I made it through last week surprisingly well. 

I delivered my 5 little burial gowns to the Bereavement Specialist at the hospital on Wednesday, without incident.  The staff there are amazing and so good to me, but I'll confess...it never gets easier to walk through those hospital doors. 

This year's donation:  5 hats, 5 gowns

My pals at Russ are really good about finding me these special horses.  If you haven't read the incredible story behind it, click here.  Thanks to my sister's persistence (and a really great corporate manager), Russ gathers these limited edition "Colton" horses up and sends them to me.

Free.

Warms my heart. Sorta like my Mr. Thompson. On Wednesday night he took me to the cemetery and made me fall a little bit deeper.  As we were standing there in the quiet peace, he grabbed my hand and asked if he could say a prayer.  What proceeded out of his mouth made me so extremely proud.  Although losing Colton has been one of the hardest things of my life... I can see glimmers of the purpose in how it has helped shape my mister into the amazing man that he is today.

You see, religion has always been a little hard for Mr. Thompson based upon his childhood.  His comes from a physically abusive home and, ironically, his dad served as a religious leader. Candidly speaking, I haven't seen one ounce of Christianity in the actions of his immediate family (yet).  Especially his mother, who let the abuse happen and in adulthood told him to "just get over it" when he questioned why she never left and instead let him step in and take the beatings for her, year after year. Oh, the ugliness of abuse.  Oh the nastiness of hypocrisy.

When I met Mr. Thompson, he had all but given up on the concept of a caring God. But we became friends and, underneath it, I think that it was my personal faith that probably attracted him most. I had quite the opposite childhood and family experience and although he lived agnostic at the time, he definitely had that spark and hoped for something better.  I did my best to show him a different path but will admit, finding faith wasn't without its challenges. I remember the days leading up to Colton's birth and in one of our scariest pre-loss moments Mr. Thompson saying out loud, "if we lose this baby there isn't a God, or certainly a God of love."

Five years later, as I watched my husband stand over a tiny grave pouring his heart out in simple prayer of faith, hope and peace, I couldn't help but marvel at a loving Heavenly Father and His plan. Although life's journey isn't always easy for any of us...

It reminds me that there are opportunities for bravery every day.

In all of us.



Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Chapter Six: Years of Empty Arms and Full Pockets

After almost seven years of infertility and five years after infant loss... here I am.  Still standing.

I'd love to say that it gets easier with time.  But it doesn't.  Not by a long shot.  As I followed an ambulance this morning with lights flashing to the 53rd South freeway exit... I was reminded of that.  There was once a similar ambulance that took me to the hospital waiting in the distance and it was there that I eventually laid in that maternity ward weeping as if my heart would surely break.

Because it did.

When discharge day finally came, the sadness grew as I was wheeled out among giddy families carrying flowers, balloons and babies, while I was left with a broken spirit, sad heart, and empty arms. I didn't think that I would survive the car ride home.

But I did.

And once I was able to get beyond just surviving from hour to hour, and then day to day..I eventually made it a year... then three... and now five.

At the worst of times, I saw discouragement, hopelessness and failure.  In the best of times, I saw myself content with the blessing that I have, comfortable in my relationships, growing more deeply in love, making the very best of what I had been given. 

Despite the setbacks, I still marvel at all I accomplished, all I have become in almost seven years of infertility and five years of loss.   How much I learned about myself and my faith and the Atonement to strengthen and make up the difference.

In seven years, I bought a house.  I raised a puppy.  I learned to play the bagpipes.  I got a new job.  I made a whole new set of friends.  I learned how to eat with chopsticks.  I grew to love sushi.  I applied for a prestigious leadership program, got accepted, and graduated.  I danced in front of a crowd.  I auditioned for a band.  I "roughed it" in a remote Indian hogan, hours from civilization.  I threw a legendary 80's party. I camped on the beach.  I got lost in a lava field.  I took the biggest, scariest risk of my professional career to change paths and do what I love.  I planted my first garden.  I fell more deeply in love, again and again and again.

After five years, I still carry some deep scars from infant loss.  My heart still breaks and my arms are still empty.  I grieve every day for the dream that I waited so long for, and something that I briefly tasted with the man that I so dearly love.  Sadness for a perfectly tiny little boy that fit in the palm of my hand, yet filled the gigantic hole in my heart.  It is a sadness that will always exist in the quietest corners of this mother's soul, of that I am sure. 

Yet at year five, I am happy.  Good things are behind me, good things are ahead of me.  Good things are right now.  Healing is real.  Progress is real.  Grief is a process.  Trials are relentless and fierce but miracles happen every day.

I know because despite loss and grief, I have collected pocketfuls of them.
 
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