A new chapter in life

First off, breaking news: To the best of my knowledge, I am not pregnant. AF is still absent. For your news as it happens, turn to whattoexpect.blogspot.com.

I warned you this feel-goody, psychobabbly post was coming. As much as I am an absolute comments slut and live for your replies, this blog was primarily started as a way for me to get crap off my chest. If that means it tends toward tedium here and there, my apologies and thanks for your continued reading and kind thoughts. This is going to be a long post. Get a glass of wine first and use the potty.

I had some realizations last night. A bottle of merlot and a hot bath can aid in that effort. As heart wrenching as they were, I think I came to terms with a few things that will help me move forward while we’re waiting for the big issues to resolve.

For better or worse, here are the big issues in my life that will eventually resolve themselves:

1. Fertility
2. Aliyah
3. My dad’s cancer
4. And my work: this is to a lesser extent, but if the first three resolve, it will quickly become No. 1.

What I’ve noticed is that in the face of these three issues, I have stopped living my life. I get up each morning and do just what I need to get by while putting all of my emotion and energy into these issues. My life is a fragment of what it was two years ago. Let me explain a bit.

Two years ago, I was in relatively good shape (mind you, this isn’t a weight post, but a health post). I had started competing in triathlons, went back to school for a degree in exercise physiology and started working part time as a personal trainer in addition to my regular job and my own workouts. Yeah, I was in that good of shape and I had a boatload of energy — mind you, I still weighed 180, but that’s a lot less than the 220 I am now.

And yes it’s possible to do all of it in long sleeves, a skirt and with you hair covered. Need help with that, just let me know in the comments.

I began training for a half ironman triathlon: 1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike, 13.1 mile run (more commonly known as a half marathon run). And I was loving it. Had a great tan (yes, you can get tan too while you’re still covered).

Race day came and all was well. At mile 14 of the bike, I got hit by an SUV in the upper shoulder, which threw me 16 feet off the road. I landed three feet from a barb-wired fence. I got back up, the mechanics crew on the course fixed my bike a bit, and I kept riding.

I finished the other 42 miles. Let it never be said that I have a low tolerance for pain.

I could not begin or finish the half marathon. My knees were black and blue, I had bleeding at my left elbow, among just the general pain and swelling. My hubby finished his race (yeah, we trained together — very cute). When I went to put my bike up on top of our car, I couldn’t really lift my arm, but I figured I was just sore and tired.

We went back to our hotel. Slept it off. Drove home the next day. A day later the arm was still sore, so I went to the hospital.

This is the good part: I may never have a horrific delivery story to tell, so I’m relishing this for all it’s worth.

I had four broken ribs, my left shoulder was dislocated, my left wrist had a small fracture, I still had a chunk of rock in my elbow and both knees had bruising so bad the blood had to be drained.

Yeah, I finished another 42 miles on the bike with all that wrong. It was September 2005, and I haven’t gotten on my bike since. All my training stopped.

Because I realized how close I came to dying that day. And that changes things a bit.

From there, all efforts went to fertility and moving to make aliyah a better likelihood.

Let’s take a look at each one, shall we?

Fertility: First off, I’m not calling it infertility anymore. If it was true honest to goodness infertility, there would be no point in trying to treat it, right? I just don’t like the word. It feels like a scarlet letter to me, suspended by a cord between my ovaries, and I’m not using. it. anymore. What ass came up with that word to treat people who are trying to have a baby? That’s a bit crap if you ask me.

I have wanted to have a large family for as long as I can remember. Yes, my religion encourages it. No, that’s not why.

One of the most politically liberal men I have even known once said: “It is perfectly natural for a man to want to protect his family with a weapon, and it is equally as natural for a woman to want to be a mother.”

I’m not turning this into a political/religious clusterfuck of a Web page, but I heartily agree.

I want a lot of healthy babies and I want to stay at home and adore them as I raise them.

That said, it hasn’t happened the easy way, and the very things I have pushed aside to focus on fertility are now coming back to haunt me.

If we have IVF, there is a greater likelihood we will have twins. I need my body to be in the best shape it possibly can.

My mantras: I will exercise in moderation according to my doctor’s plans. I will improve my diet until it meets the requirements for healthy, moderate and sufficient to nurture a fetus. And I will not torture myself about the lapses that will come and go, nor will I overdo it. I will learn to keep house again. Laundry will be done on a regular basis. I will find the carpeting and keep it in plain sight.

And if our options exhaust themselves (or our funding does), I will make peace with this issue and consider it at a resolution point until I have other options for addressing it.

Aliyah (and my work): This issue will likely go one way or the other within a month, but the consternation it is causing now is unacceptable. I cannot put my life on hold on the pretense that work I do now will be in vain if we move. Hard work is rewarded. Enough said.

In the event we do not make aliyah, there are a few things we will have to address. My husband needs a professional job here, unlike the one he has now. I need a job that will provide income, benefits and a somewhat understanding schedule, given the yomim tovim I need off as well as the prospect of ongoing medical treatment and possibly bed rest and kiddos.

Here’s the kicker: I think I have worked long enough now that I deserve a job that will also in some way give me fulfillment, whether through intellectual stimulation or a sense of social justice. My current job is not this job.

My mantras: I will begin my job search. We will know about aliyah within a month, which is enough time to say I’ve accepted another offer if I get an interview. In addition, I will begin my overseas job search in earnest. I will look into retraining.

My dad’s cancer: I have lost all sense of balance in relation to this issue. My father has never been there for me. He isn’t now, and if he were to make a full recovery, I still don’t think he would be. His expectations of me in this situation are far less than those of my other family.

This is not a good situation and there is no bright side. I must balance my needs against those of my family to work for the greatest possible good. My father is dying. My brother, SIL, nephews and niece are not: they are the relationship I must save.

My mantras: I will make weekly calls to my father and brother to fit the role they have established as “daughter/sister.” I will not compromise my own health, sanity or other needs to assist my family in this time — they would not do the same for me. Indeed, really they’re not being the least bit supportive. I will attempt to visit my family after Pesach if it does not interfere with our IVF cycle. The cycle, my health and our needs and wishes will come first. I will not turn to them for emotional support as there is none to be had.

I think I’ve finished waxing poetic on this. There will likely be a few aftershocks coming down in the next few weeks. If you’ve made it this far, thanks again for reading.

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One response to “A new chapter in life

  1. your ironman story is absolutely amazing. you clearly have amazing strength and wherewithal — not to mention perseverance! you have a lot on your plate now, but it sounds as if you are taking the time to tackle them in ways that work best for you. i’ll be sending some good energy your way.

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