Our Journey

2002 Uterine Fibroid Surgery #1

2003 1st consult with an RE, you know, just in case

2003 Got Married (at 37 (me) & 34 (DH) years old)

2003/2004 Naturally conceived pregnancies BFPs #1, #2, & #3 and miscarriages #1, #2, #3

2005 Uterine Fibroid Surgery #2

2005 IVF #1, BFN #1

2005 IUIs #1 and #2, just because, BFN #2 & #3

2005 FET from IVF #1, BFN #4

2006 Exploratory surgery to remove scar tissue from fibroid sugery #2

2006 IVF #2 (w PGD), BFP #4

2006 Emergency cerclage for IC @ 16w6d (5 months + 1 week of complete bed rest at home ensues)

2007 Our son is born @ 38w by scheduled c-section

2007 IVF #3 for baby #2, BFN #5

2007 IVF #4, BFP #5, miscarriage #4

2008 IVF #5, BFP #6, miscarriage #5

2008 IVF #6, BFP #7, miscarriage #6

2008 DE IVF #7, BFN #6

2009 DEFET #8, cancelled, embryos don't thaw

2010 Decide to adopt domestically

12.17.10 Profile is live with our agency

November 2011 Consult with RE re: donated embryo cycle

Early January 2012 Cleared to proceed with deFET

January 2012 Freeze our profile

1.20.12 deFET begins
2.12.12 eSET of one compacted morula
2.22.12 BFN

3.23.12 deFET #2 begins
4.14.12 transfer 3 embryos (1-8 cell, 1-5 cell, 1-4 cell)
4.22.12 + HPT
4.24.12 Beta #1 = 48.4
4.26.12 Beta #2 = 125.7
4.30.12 Beta #3 = 777.8
5.11.12 1st U/S - Singleton!
7.12.12 It's a Boy!
12.26.12 C-section: Baby G is born, 9#5oz, 20.5"

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Ghosts

I’ve experienced too much death in my four decades of life. Most tragically (and immediately life altering) was that of my brother, when I was eleven, in an accident we were both in together. It is an experience deserved of the memoir I plan to start when my employment ends in a months time. I am categorically, undoubtedly, and awe-inspiringly who I am because of that fateful day. I learned the most valuable life lesson and that is to live each day to the fullest, always letting your loved ones know how much they mean to you.

My beloved Grandpa, who doled out much heeded wisdom that I draw upon to this day, died next. He was in his early 60s and his hard-lived life caught up with him too soon. I was his favorite grandchild (not that one is supposed to have a favorite and certainly the favorite isn’t supposed to know) and we were cosmically connected. So much alike were we, even though I was adopted into this family. I miss him dearly but feel still connected to him.

My Uncle, somewhat aloof and certainly socially challenged, but a brilliant lawyer, was next. Cut down by a massive heart attack in his 40s. I was his favorite niece (again, not something he should have had nor shared, but a spot I relished). He rounded out what I lovingly thought of as my Three Wise Men and throughout my life I prayed for their guidance and protection often. I still eat ice cream right out of the carton because of him.

I developed a very close relationship to a childhood friend’s mother. She was my surrogate mom, teaching me great things about life. She taught me unconditional love, exposed me to gay people (and this was in the 80s just as the AIDS epidemic was surfacing), taught me about boys, showed me the good life (she ate well, drank well, shopped well, and because she was single, loved well). I lost my virginity in her house. She was diagnosed with colon cancer at 56 and was dead in 10 months. She was courageous and optimistic and full of grace right to the end. She did not want to die, did not want to let go. I worked with her daughter to put together her funeral and I read “This is My Wish For You” by Charles Snell. It was the rawest I have ever felt, standing up there, surrounded by the profound sadness of her passing and grieving loved ones, missing her.

I had both a male and female mentor during my early career. It was a luxury to grow up professionally and personally under their collective tutelage. The female earned her way to becoming our company’s first female president. She was known as the ‘velvet hammer’. She was very tough, wicked smart, and took no bullshit. Most people feared her. But she was abundantly insightful, generous beyond measure, and if she recognized one of your achievements you were giddy with delight as she did so infrequently and only if you stood out. She taught me how to sell, how to hire and fire, how to build successful teams, how to get them to produce for me, how to earn a lot of money, how to treat myself for my hard work, and that, above all, relationships were THE most important thing. She was diagnosed with breast cancer at 37 and died at 43. I truly owe my success as an executive and leader to her. I saved the notes she wrote me through the years and covet the last gift I received from her which was for my wedding. She knew and loved the man I married and it meant so much to me that she called me, in her weakened state, on the day I was having my wedding up-do run through. How could I have known that would be the last time we would ever speak. In that conversation she told me to find balance, that working tirelessly and endlessly was not the goal, and to always stay true to myself. I still can barely express what her death meant to me but she lives on through me in both how I work and how I love.

Finally, my grandmother, matriarch of our family died most recently (five years ago) after a long and storied life, at 90. Oh, how I wish she lived to know that I finally got pregnant and the joy she would have had in knowing my son. She raised my siblings and me while both my parents worked. My memories of that time growing up, while few and far between, are always warm and secure and happy and filled with food (an eating child was a happy child). ‘Never give up’, she taught me.

As I ponder the next chapter of my life and the many questions I am struggling with, it struck me just how much I learned about living through dying: never take things for granted; live each day fully and with intention; share your love with your loved ones; relationships are THE most important thing; never settle; love deeply; don’t have regrets; never give up; good things come from hard work; you’ll learn more through failure than you ever will through success; when you’re wrong say you’re wrong; be generous; do good and good will be done to you.

I miss them, each in a profound and defining way. But I am blessed to have had each in my life, however briefly, to teach me something about myself and my life ahead. So, on this night with eyes wet from crying and a heart made smaller by the pieces each lovingly took with them, I send I love yous to them through the universe and pray as I have throughout the years for their collective guidance to know what to do.

2 comments to Ghosts

  • […] coming on for months. I think it began with the loss of one of the friendships described in this post. Add to that being so demoralized by what happened with my employer in conjunction with raising a […]

  • Tireegal

    What a wonderful beautiful post. Those people sound like amazing nurturers and mentors. I hope you have some people in your life still ( as well as all those wonderful memories) who provide similar qualities:)

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