Sunday, February 7, 2010


Boy I hate that I have to put a disclaimer here--after all, my blog, my words, my opinions, should be A-OK--but we all know that isn't always the case. Sigh. So after what B went through earlier this week I'll put this disclaimer: I know that my troubles aren't necessarily any worse than anyone else's or that many people have it much worse. That is nearly always the case if you get right down to it..sure, there is one person out there who has it the absolute worst in the entire planet but...I doubt they're blogging about it :) So there you go. I do not need any drive-by STFUs.

This has been a tough week. Tough. On so many fronts, on so many levels.

My Dad is not good. At all. I call and he gets on the phone (unwillingly) and I might get two words from him. Two words. Either he's cognitively slipping that fast or he is so depressed that he cannot even respond to his own daughter. I cry every day over this, either in my office with the door shut after my lunch-break phone call or in the evening with Mr. LC after my drive-home phone call or all by myself in the shower when it just gets to be too much. He could live like this for years. Trapped in a body that has ultimately betrayed him, trapped in a brain that has suffered a traumatic and devastating injury. There is nothing about this that is fair or just or right and every day--sometimes every hour--I think about this, think about how I can help, reaching out to other health professionals for their opinions, reading articles about stroke, researching and researching and nothing helps. I just feel more helpless, more lost.

I guess I finally know how my parents have felt all these years watching Mr. LC and I hurting so much. Watching what we had planned for our lives slip away, bit by bit, as it was taken from us. Watching us get hopeful about a treatment and thinking we'd finally break free of our nightmare and then watching us get crushed all over again. Watching us navigate amongst friends and families who blissfully move through life having babies and babies and babies while we sit on the sidelines clinging to each other, hoping for a simple chance at what they have. My parents could only watch and want to help so desperately but had nothing--nothing at all to offer other than love.

I have always said that IF causes a heartache that you didn't even know can exist until you go through it. This is the same. I can't fix my broken father just like my parents can't fix the broken LCs.

On the IF front things are no better. I can't fix us. I have read and researched and read and researched and poured so much of my life into this and I am exhausted.

This week has been very hard. We have big decisions to make. Time looms. No one can make these for us and it is just hard. That's all.

Mr. LC's car is teetering on the edge. It's a 1995 model. When I think about the 20K check I wrote last month to pay for our twelve hours of two-line bliss I think about his car. His need for something else. Only we don't have a choice, do we? Those of us stuck in the trenches. We can't just choose to have car payments or vacations or building large retirement funds over building our families--we don't have that option. Some how, we have to figure out how to pay for chances that cost more than most people could save in a year but we do it, don't we? Choiceless, we do it.

We are choiceless in so many things.

My heart is heavy this week. So heavy. I can't even get into it all here, my safe place.

Instead, I will be grateful for certain things. Grateful for going to the movies with two of our favorite people and then going out for a late night meal to pick apart said movie (Avatar ya'll--once someone said "Dances With Wolves" only with aliens, well....). Grateful for my pets and my husband who never judge me, only listen and snuggle with me and catch my tears when they fall. Grateful for hobbies, and exercise, and two legs that work--that automatically run when I tell them to run and do yoga poses when I tell them to do yoga poses--my body may not work the way it is supposed reproductively, but I am at least grateful that it moves because in those moments of running hard, of breathing hard, of sinking deeper into a yoga pose, of feeling lactic acid searing through my calves I know that I am alive, that this is not a dressed rehearsal, and that somehow, I have got to get out of this place.

With that, I'll leave you with a distraction, pure and simple. Dark chocolate brownies with a raspberry ganache and a cream cheese frosting piping. Cut into the shape of hearts, because even when your heart is broken, it is good to bake.


  1. I am so sorry about your dad - that has to be heartbreaking. I am also sorry that you had to put that disclaimer in your post at the beginning...this is your blog, your words.

  2. I'm so sorry that your dad is not getting better. That is heartbreaking. However this is your blog, your safe place and you should be able to write about what you feel and are going through and only those that can give support should, the others should stop reading. I have learned so much from reading your blog about how to be strong and not let adversity get the better of you and for that I thank you. YOu and Mr. LC are strong, loving people and I know things will get better, I just don't know when.

    PS- those brownies look amazing! Maybe you can write a baking cookbook?

  3. You know how you write at the top that there are always people
    who have it worse then you? well, this is true...but let me just
    say (without trying to cause offense) you have got it pretty bad
    right now. I just cannot imagine having to deal with what you have
    had to deal with, I just cant think of how unfair it is. I just
    hope that with this extreme low, and extreme HIGH is just
    around the corner for you!

  4. Oh, I am so sorry. I can't imagine the pain you must be feeling over your dad's situation. I wish I had words that could help. Just know I'm thinking of you. I just don't understand why life has to be so hard and so unfair. I really don't get it.

  5. That place you're in with your dad is so difficult, esp on top of everything else. I know that frustration, the impossibility of wrapping one's head around the sadness. My mom died six months after being diagnosed with stage IV pancreatic cancer. She was 61 and my very best friend. And all I could think during those six months and since (it's been 4 years) is that unless someone has been through it, the pain is hard to understand. Like so many other things. People try, but they just can't access that very intimate, sad place. I'm sorry about your dad. Sorry that you are dealing with all this. Rebecca

  6. I just don't even have anything worthy of saying. (((HUGS)))

  7. Dude, I don't even know where to begin. The heartache you're enduring with your dad, is just so unfair. (understatement of the century) My heart hurts for you and your family.

    Hope you have a lovely evening with Mr LC and your friends.


  8. Oh dear, my heart breaks for you. I can relate to your feelings of sadness with your father. My mother has suffered two small strokes in the past year and has had complications. Things have somewhat stabilized now, but she can't walk up the stairs anymore. You will get through this. Your parents want to see you happy. Baby or no baby.

    I know it feels like the world is crashing down. We are here for you. You're in my thoughts.


  9. My heart broke for you reading about your dad. I am so sorry! I wish I had the right words... Just know I am thinking about you!

    On the race route, the first link is the one to reference. The other two are the north half and south half of the full marathon course. I'm not sure why they are making it so confusing! I hope to see you but understand if you guys are out of town. If that is the case, have fun in SA and I'll let you know when we get up there again. I'm sure we will sometime in the next few months!

    Lastly, if you are there save me one of those brownies for the finish line!! Yum!!

  10. My heart is so heavy for you. You have and contine to endure so much. I am thinking of you always. Keep posting, keep being honest about your feelings.

  11. Ughh, can Mrs. LC PLEASSSSSEEEE catch a break?!?! I'm so sorry that life is treating you so cruely. Sending lots of hugs.

  12. I think that those anonymous haters must TRULY have it "worse off"... Can you imagine being so full of hate and bitterness that you just cruise the internet reading blogs and leaving nasty comments?
    After all you've been through, and all that you're still dealing with, to be able to get up and choose to be positive, to invest your time in meaningful ways and to reach out and offer support to other women... That is what makes you "better" and not "worse".

    That being said, I CAN say that I know where you're coming from with the stroke pain. It was terrible watching my mom struggle and become so unable to do anything. I know I spent many private and not-so-private moments sobbing and lamenting over that. It's tough, and sometimes I still feel sorrow over what I have lost with my mom.
    I wish I had something supportive or intelligent to say about where the IF has left you. I still swear, if I get the winning lottery ticket you'll be a beneficiary of any large windfall!!

  13. Screw the disclaimer and write whatever it is you need to write. If it is one thing I refuse to do it is to apologize for my feelings regardless of who doesn't agree with them. Write whatever you need to write and screw those who can't get/support it.

    I don't even know what to say about your dad. I feel so bad and I wish there was anything I could say or do that would make it better. It is an awful place to be in and much like infertility hard to understand until you are personally facing it. I'm here and I'm listening.

    As usual, your baking creation is making me salivate. (-;

  14. I am so sorry for what you are going through with your father. I am very close with my parents and have said many times that I cannot imagine the day "when". Your strength is so amazing to me. I know you are hurting but you are also so strong! Although most of the time I cannot understand why things happen the way the do, it seems the only thing we can do to get through it is to accept it ~ which you are doing very well. Keep your faith alive and know how many of us are cheering for you from the sidelines. Sending peace and hugs to you.

  15. Very pretty brownies. I too am a bit of a baker when down.

    Thanks for your lovely comment on my post. I am sorry you are having such a tough time at the moment. It hurts so much hey.

    Thinking of you and your dad


  16. The whole "pain olympics" thing drives me nuts because the way I see it is our blogs are our way of venting and I've never seen anyone write "my life is worse than everyone elses!" I think we all know that in some aspects of our lives we are better off than others BUT the point of having our own blog is to vent about our frustrations! You definitely have a reason(s) to vent, you are going through a shitty time and I'm just so sorry, I hate that your family is going through so much. We will keep you all in our thoughts and I seriously hope that something great comes along for you in one way or another.

  17. Vent all you want - you of all people have never written anything selfish or unreasonable, and the honesty of your emotional experiences is the reason your writing is so compelling. In terms of content, honesty can't be beat. I know, in terms of your actual experience it sucks ass, but that's the truth of it, so please don't let the possibility of some crankypants force you second-guess your feelings.

    Meanwhile, I know you'll keep doing whatever you can for your dad - in his heart he will always have your lifetime of love for him, and nothing will take that away, no matter what happens. I can't imagine how hard it is to watch him slipping.

    Have I mentioned that my wonderful stepmother is a Hospice Austin coordinator? She is a great resource for families dealing with this kind of stress, if you ever want to talk with her just email me.

  18. Oh, I'm just so so sorry to read that things are getting even more difficult with your Dad. I wish I knew what to say, but I know that there isn't anything.

    Except, maybe, can I have one of those delicious brownies?? Yumorama!!

  19. I'm so sorry your dad isn't doing better. And I'm so sorry you have to deal with this on top of everything else. Life just isn't fair. You are often in my thoughts and prayers.

    And yep, I'm driving a 10 year-old car. Could have paid cash for a nice one with the money we spent...err wasted...last year.

  20. Your father's condition sadly is something you cannot fix. Unfortunately you're right - it could be because he's either too frustrated by his inability to vocalise his thoughts, or simply that his thoughts are fading away. But it doesn't mean that you can't help, and I don't just mean in the physical sense.

    I can't begin to imagine being in your position, but I think this is what I would do:
    1) Buy a microphone - a skype headset would do.
    2) Buy an MP3 player.
    3) Record how you really feel. All the things that you'd love to tell him - all your wonderful memories of the happy times that you spent together. Hours of it. As much as you can remember. And go deep - the smells, the tastes, the weather on particular days - everything that sets the scene and painted the picture of the memory in your mind. Record it all, every tiny recollection.
    4) Send it to him (and explain to your mum how to operate it for him!)
    5) Keep doing it - keep sending more. Record a diary of what's happening in your life - anything and everything. Do it in the car on the way home from work. Record audio books for him - start with his favourite book and add new ones as you go.
    There's two possible outcomes:
    1) He's able to remember and shares those precious moments with you all over again and is reminded and comforted.
    2) He's not able to remember, but your voice - that soft lilt that he'll have looked forward to hearing every day of his life to that point - will in itself be a comfort.
    Whichever the actual outcome, you'll be glad you've told him how much you love him.

    Don't worry about the phone calls. It's going to sound weird, but I think it's a positive thing that he doesn't want to talk to you. I would take from that he's frustrated by his inability to vocalise how he feels, and doesn't want to cause you more hurt stressing over him. You're bound to come across as concerned and he won't want to accentuate that. By making the recording, he's still getting to hear from you, but there's no pressure to demonstrate his own incapacities.

    What's so tough is that that sense of 'bodily betrayal' that you mention for your Dad is exactly what we were left feeling with IVF when it wasn't working. That your body's doing its own thing and your brain is excluded from the process. J struggled (and still struggles) with the idea that she was powerless and it may simply have been a fluke that we had the twins.

    But with both situations, there's always a chance for externalities. For medical intervention. For us, it was IVIG. At least I think it was. It could just have been beating the odds for once. But we were almost empirically testing J's body - ruling out things with examinations and trying one thing different each IVF. For the IVIG one, it worked. Please, please, speak to someone at your clinic about it. It's not for everyone (it's medically unproven, and expensive), and you may choose to put the treatment behind you and tread a new path to happiness (as my brother and his wife have done - they are just in the final stages of the adoption of 4-year-old and 2-year-old sisters, but that's for a different post) but make that decision with *all* the options available and understood.

    Going back to what you can fix and what you can't, I'm going to break with my own atheistic beliefs and quote a famous prayer, just because it's perfect sense:

    "Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference between the two."

    I hope that you find peace with your own frustrations about the unfairness of what's happened to your father - he's lucky to have you.

    Thoughts, as ever, are with you.

  21. Wow, sometimes the scales just seem to be so unbalanced, don't they? You've certainly had more than your share of sadness, but you are a tough cookie (or brownie depending on the day)! You will never have to look back and say you didn't try to do everything you could for your dad or that you didn't do enough to make your own body cooperate and make a baby. My hope is that your family, your dad included, will have peace in all the days to come. Hang in there. We're rooting for you.

  22. Again, I feel that words are just so impossibly inaccurate. There are no words possible for the pain your father is experiencing; your family is experiencing; you and Mr. LC are experiencing.

    A few of us Bay Area IF bloggers met up for a potluck this weekend, and you came up a few times --- the theme was clear: We all love you so much and wish we could give you actual, real life, long, hard hugs. You're such a beautiful soul, and we wish so much for your heart to be healed.

    Thank you for being you. Thank you for being honest. (please don't ever feel the need for disclaimers) Thank you for your support, even at times when your own heart is breaking.

  23. I'm jealous of you in how productive you can be when you're emotionally struggling so much. You exercise like mad - that's WONDERFUL. And then you'll bake. You LIVE! When I'm in ANY funk, I retreat. I don't return calls to friends, I don't do the laundry, I don't do the groceries. I just sit and feel depressed and without an ounce of energy or desire to do a single thing.

    My heart is so sad for the situation with your dad. You can't imagine how much I relive my own situation with my mom - before she was diagnosed with the terminal cancer, when she fell six months prior and became incapable of taking even a single step. She struggled so much at her house using only her electric wheelchair to get around. I'd go on the weekends and do her groceries and cook a bit and take her to the doctor and clean and do her sheets. She was also trapped in a body that betrayed her from the time she was two, and I still ache over the unfairness of that.

  24. I hate not having choices too. I hate that your Dad is suffering and that it's bringing him down. I'm grateful for what I have too, but it doesn't wipe away the grief. The two can co-exist. Because I know that as miserable as I can feel right now, it could be worse.

  25. I'm thinking of you and your dad. I'm sorry he's not doing well, and that you're having a tough time. He may not be able to communicate with you in the same way, but all of your phone calls and visits are surely giving him comfort and a measure of strength.

    With regard to your last paragraph about distraction...I heart your baking skills! :-)

  26. Your blog post was breathtakingly beautiful...only good thoughts to you...


  27. I'm sorry that your Dad isn't doing well. Please the LC's the way forward.

  28. I'm so sorry about your dad. I can't imagine how you must be feeling. I always ask- when does it get better?

    Thinking of you...