Nov 29, 2017

Grief Comes in Like a Wrecking Ball

Man oh man, you guys. Grief. What a shit show.

One day I'm partying and laughing with friends, and the next day I'm curled up in the fetal position crying so hard I think I popped an eyeball vessel.

The holidays are no joke this year.

I am so, so happy to be surrounded by upbeat and receptive people.
You have no idea how grateful I am to see this tribe of friends that have been in our lives for 20+ years. They show up to our events year after year and we all get to watch each other's lives unfold.

It's amazing and I am truly humbled that we get to share each other's ups and downs.

And then, after a completely fulfilling weekend, I find myself breathing heavy as I cry into my pillow...saddened by the thought that I should have a four-month old.
Flash backs of the day of our miscarriage are still fresh in my mind.
I still feel every pain, every tug, every emotion that occurred in those quick minutes where I watched our baby die in the palm of my hand.

I remember Mark, hysterical, throwing up in the garbage.
The numbness. The emptiness.

Gosh I wanted and still want that baby so badly I could just punch through a brick wall with my bare hands if it meant I could have him back.

Life isn't all that fair, sometimes.

I can't believe I get the "luxury" of getting over this phase in my life.
I can't believe it didn't work.

The grief is just so overwhelming sometimes.
It usually rears it's ugly head as I'm trying to fall asleep.
When it's just me and my thoughts.

I will be sobbing next to Mark, while he sleeps peacefully.
Finally he will stir enough to hear the chaos and roll over to me, gripping me tightly, trying to force me to calm down.

But it needs to come out.
All the ugliness and loudness and gasping for air.
It needs to come out so I can move forward.

My therapist said I need to work towards giving him a name, something to call him by.
But I honestly have never come up with anything worthy enough.

He's always just Baby.
The baby I was supposed to spend our first holidays together with this year.

It's a weird time, right now.
Thanksgiving came and went, and it was all the same yet completely not.
We announced to our families on Thanksgiving and all our friends the day after at our annual Shrimp Boil Friendsgiving last year.
And now I have nothing to show for that celebration.

We all carried on in the most upbeat fashions, myself included.
We laughed and drank and played games and enjoyed each other, and yet...sometimes I catch people...stuttering...that tiny, quick...awkward silence.

Because I know they know...they remember too.
I don't know what to say anymore than the next person.

That's the stumbling, bumbling, raw emotions that people try so desperately to hide most of the time.
That's why I talk about it.
Because it never quite goes away.
The grief.
And when it does show up, it comes in like a wrecking ball.
But as quickly as it rolls in, it disappears and you feel normal again.

Keep moving forward, my friends, as I plan to do the same.
Nov 22, 2017

Spark in Life

Some first and lasts this week; I started my Orangetheory membership in a neighboring town. I took my final antibiotic, officially ridding me of this two week virus. I decorated for Christmas. I donated my treadmill. I unsubscribed from the fertility clinic's newsletters.

And most importantly...I am starting to feel that spark again.
Not just between Mark and me, pervs...I mean with my LIFE.

Not one to sit still for too long, I kept asking Mark what exactly it was that I did with "all my free time" before it was consumed with babies.

His response? 

I worked.

If I wasn't working, I was traveling to and from the office. (3.5 hours round trip, yo)
If I wasn't physically at the office, I was answering phone calls and emails about work.
If I wasn't doing any of the above..I was bitching about work.


I keep forgetting how hard my 20's were....fighting tooth and nail to get ahead with my career, waking up at 4am and getting home at 8pm (or later) most days,  trying to establish myself, to figure out what the Hell I'm actually good at, steer clear of recessions and job losses and unemployment, and make decent money in the process.

So when I finally landed in a job that I was actually praised and rewarded for all this prior hard work, with a much easier commute and more sanity....I decided to fill all my free time with babies.

Of course....what woman with a ticking biological clock wouldn't??

Just like every other thing I so desperately wanted in life...I worked my ass of to make a baby for five solid years. And although we failed miserably, it wasn't all in stride.

I am realizing there were many lessons to be learned in that chapter of our lives.

Coming out of that haze...I am starting to look around more clearly at everything we have worked for and all the rewards we have reaped and all the opportunities still staring us down.

We fucking did it. 

We moved out of a town that wasn't meant for us.
We moved into our forever home that we're in love with.
We became financially stable with good credit!
We climbed those damn ladders and someone is FINALLY allowing me grace to spread my wings and make a difference with my career.

And I have free time. And down time.

I can do whatever the Hell I want with it.

It's like a new lease on life, really.  I am starting to feel like this:

I am starting to take everything I have learned in my 20's and mix it into everything I have learned through infertility, to apply a more leveled approach to each day.

Before infertility, I was a very go go go person. I had extreme FOMO even though I desperately craved down and alone time. And I never gave myself that sort of self care, so basically I would party all the time, and then any down time was forced upon me from some sort of massive illness, recovery, rinse and repeat.


And with infertility, well...I slowed down so much I hardly did...anything.
Sure, I appreciated sun rises and meditation and the simpler things in life. But at the same time, I always felt stuck. 

Like...Heaven forbid I work out for fear that I would harm my ever-failing fertility.
Or please don't be too social because then you have to keep explaining all this science to the crowd.
Don't participate in too many events because HELLO....IVF DEBT.
Just keep waiting and wishing and hoping, right?

That's all we have when we're in the droves of infertility.
It was all consuming. 
But I'm here to tell you that when you're on the other side, whether it's with a baby or not, you start to realize that a lot of what makes you YOU will eventually start showing itself again.

And it's fabulous.

All of my time is MINE again. 

I feel really weirdly powerful right now because I get to be as crazy and as spirited or quiet and reserved...all of what makes me....ME...again. I missed that bitch.

I forgot how much fun I am.

Not to toot my own horn too much but you should definitely invite me to your next get-together. I love mixing and mingling and working a crowd and making people laugh. I am hot mess most of the time and shamelessly honest. Those two qualities are fun to see in action.

I love....loving things. 

I love all the fun Christmas decor that's in all the stores these days.

I love growing closer to my friends and meeting new tribe members.

I love getting dressed up to go out.

I love that my husband stills slaps my ass and calls me his smokin' hot wife.

I love my pets TO DEATH. And they deserve more of my attention.

I love fitness and working out and feeling awesome in my own skin.

I love quiet nights in and the security and warmth that comes within the walls of our home.

I love Netflix and good tv shows.

I love good winter-time crockpot dinners and wine with friends while we dance to gangster rap. If you haven't been over in the last two years, don't worry, I am working to change all that.

I love that I have the designer's eye to change things around whenever and however the Hell I want. 

So...I'm getting there. 

I am forever grateful for all the disaster that happened the last few years with IVF and infertility. 
I truly mean that. 

Every shitty event that has ever happened in my life has been looked back on with lessons learned even though they were fucking trying at the time.

It taught me so much more than the fact that I have old-ass eggs. I learned to weave the quiet moments in with the super outrageous ones, and I think this new chapter is going to include a nice balance of the two. 

Those of you still on your own paths to motherhood....I am right here, rooting for you.
I promise.
And you bet your ass I'm still hoping for my own miracle. I still believe it could be possible...but this life sure as Hell can't wait around to find out. 

That's not how it works, anyways. 

Happy Thanksgiving folks. Hug your loved ones tight! XO

(ps, Happy 500th blog post to me!)
Nov 17, 2017

You Purge

I'm no longer filling my precious free time with all the jumbled thoughts about IVF, babies, mom stuff, pregnancy, maternity leave, post-partum issues, daycare, child-proofing, body after baby, shots schedules, cycles...and so many of the other minute and relatively useless thoughts that scamper through my mind every waking second.

I realized I had all this newly found free time (at least, in my head) and nothing to fill it with.
And it's making me stabby.

But do I NEED to fill it? Should I constantly feel busy? Is there a way around this chaos?
What do people in my situation do? Should I wait? Jump in? 

What is this new normal...who am I? What am I to do with myself?


I haven't quite figured that out yet...mostly because I can't really focus on all that philosophical crap just yet.

When IVF failed again, and I miscarried for the second time in a year, officially closing the journey to become parents, I can't say all the debt left with it. I wish it did...but I see that credit card balance laughing at me while I furiously wish it to go to Hell.

So now I am trying to turn off this switch in my brain; the one that I have been caressing for five long years, the one that would inevitably make me an awesome mom to a sweet babe or two. But it's not really a switch, it's more like the Hoover Dam and I am Clark Griswold trying to plug up the leaks with bubble gum.  I have no idea what I'm doing and no money to just up and change things and no plans and no nothing.

So you know what you do in this predicament?
I couldn't fathom adding anything new. I can hardly manage to think about holiday decor. I took down all my Halloween decorations before Halloween. I didn't want to look at any more...clutter.

Clutter is pissing me off. I realized I was stuffing little trinkets and baby items and things for the future all over our home, just in case, you know, I actually became a mom.  All this...stuff...was starting to accumulate and I had had enough. 

Because there is no future. 
I just have what I have now.
I have no plans.
I have no goal.

I just want a blank slate. TO THINK! So I dug in.

I started with the shelves of baby items. Clothes, toys, stuffed animals, blankets, pregnancy tests, empty pill bottles. I donated, sold them, or threw them out. 
All of it.
I want none of it in my house anymore as a constant sad reminder of this time that will never come.

I pulled dresses of their hangers that I held onto because I thought they would look good on me when I was pregnant.

Random draperies and table lamps and pillows and artwork and shoes and clothes that I am no longer interested in...all donated.
The majority of Halloween and Christmas decorations....gone.
I needed to pare everything down. I only wanted the items that made me smile.
I don't need anymore reminders about shitty times and sadness.
I have enough of that going on in my head, thank you very much.

Idle times are currently making me scroll back through social media feeds and bring grief to the forefront. The grief is welcome, but I am not one to let it consume me anymore.
We can sit together, but only for a bit, and then I have to move forward.

In the midst of this frantic purging, which is still likely ongoing for many weeks, I came down with a two week cold that literally knocked me on my ass. Apparently God didn't think I was being easy enough on myself, so he handled that for me.

For two solid weeks, all I have done is sleep, stare off into space, slump into work, and purge.

My body is resetting.
This dreaded illness seems to be the accumulation of the all the anxiety and adrenaline and worry and chaos of the last five years....all crashing down on my immune system at once.
When I was feeling better, I grabbed another garbage bag and loaded more items into the trunk of my car. 

If you're looking for a way to reinvent who you are, to find out what you truly like and what you want to live for....get rid of all the other bullshit.
It's crazy to think that I have already accumulated nearly 20 bags of items that were just taking up useless space in our home. Items that I'm sure Mark doesn't even realize are missing (men) but were making my skin crawl. 

And I'm not even one to hoard things in the first place!

But it feels good. Chipping away towards this new blank slate.
I feel like I am accomplishing something, while we wait to get back on top of our finances, get through the holidays and survive the one-year-anniversary of the loss of our baby. is fucking weird sometimes.
I could never have imagined this is where we would be, had you asked me five years ago.
No one ever talks about IVF not working.
It's supposed to be the golden standard, after all.

But we have a new life to create, and I plan to purge until I have enough space to fill that life up with so much more good.

Thanks for reading. XO
Nov 14, 2017

Our Forever Home up on Orchard Street

Hello, my lovely readers.
Forever Orchard is the new name for this blog.

(You can find me by typing in, or by being redirected from this blog's original url, which is

This new chapter of our lives will include all the in's and out's of life after IVF, in our 100 year old forever home, up on the hill at Orchard Street.

It will no longer be an outlet while I wait for a baby that will never come.
It will no longer be dedicated to IVF cycling, baby-making, baby-dreaming, or any of that.

This space will be a way to document all the other good stuff that we have pressed pause on, in the last few years.

Home renovations, future pets, travel, parties, our marriage, friends and family.
These are the things we look forward to celebrating and highlighting, moving forward.

I will be back to write soon enough, but in the mean time, know we are healing from grief and learning to navigate our new normal. It's weird....not being tied to IVF and baby-making, after doing so for five long years, but I have faith that the best is yet to come.

Thank you for continuing to follow along. XO