Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Anger...it's a Four Letter Word

I sit down on my bed. Tears form in my eyes and I shake my head as if to clear the last three minutes from my memory. Like that will reverse time and I can still be the same person from three minutes ago. But it doesn't.  I am still holding the negative pregnancy test. The box of tampons I had to pull from the closet are sitting at the edge of the bed where I put them. I can't go back in time.

They come now, the tears. I can't stop them. I can't hold them back any longer. My body has failed me. Again.

Trey is downstairs.  I can't tell him yet. I need just a few minutes to grieve by myself. I need a few minutes to lose my strength, to be a mess before I can tell him.  I can give him those few minutes that I couldn't give myself. I can let him hope just a few minutes longer.

Two weeks later and it's fall.  My favorite season. Or it was. I'm not sure that I have favorites now. I have work and I have shots and I have medicine and I have tests and I have more tests and I have tears. None of those are my favorites.

I snapped at Trey today. There was no reason. No reason at all.  I felt bad afterward and I apologized and cried (there is a lot of crying on my part in this house nowadays). I told him I was sorry because when he married him he didn't know he was signing up for this. He didn't know his wife would turn into this monster...and that it will only get worse. I am not the same woman he married. And I apologized for that.

There haven't been a lot of good days lately. A lot of heartache and heart break. A lot of anger, mostly towards myself though I occasionally do yell some choice words to unsuspecting drivers.

I feel anger towards the people I see who have babies. Or small children. Or really any size children. I want to ask them how hard they had to work to have those babies and if they deserve them. But that's not fair. To them or to me.

I am angry at family members who didn't react how I hoped they would, or who didn't react at all.  I am angry at (ex) friends who don't think before they speak and say hurtful things, whether on purpose or not. But mostly, I am angry at myself. And that's not fair, either.

This is not an easy journey. It's not even a hard journey. It's an impossible journey. It's a journey that you can't imagine yourself taking until you are already in it-whether you want to or not. All of us on this path have no idea what the end will be like. We climb painful and difficult hurdles only to wonder "Is it going to get worse?" "Can I survive worse?" We take devastating blows and yet still get up to face the next impossible task. We are beaten up. We are tired. We lose hope. We lose reason. We lose a lot. It's an overwhelmingly emotional journey.

But we're not done. Not yet. We still have a lot of options, which means there's a lot of room for more heart break and more sadness, but there's also a lot of room for happiness...and maybe still a little bit of hope.

Next steps for us:
Hysterosalpingogram (HSG) and a last round of taking the Letrozole/Ovidrel

If you're reading this and you're on the same journey, but not yet ready to talk about it, I would highly recommend checking out RESOLVE: the National Infertility Association (www. resolve.org) and liking their Facebook page. There is a lot of information on their website and many locations have peer support groups.

If you're a family member/friend of someone suffering through infertility I recommend these two articles:
Family and Friends PDF
Infertility Etiquette

Thursday, September 8, 2016

You are not a Failure

Today has been difficult. Not the most difficult day I've had so far on this journey, but definitely not the easiest. Truthfully, I don't know that I could classify any day thus far as "easy" but you know what I mean.

You are not a Failure. Yes, I am capitalizing the "F" on purpose. It is a proper noun to me now. At least once a day these words have to go through my head; I have to say to myself that I am not a Failure, because otherwise those dark, failure-like feelings will stick. You are not a Failure.

It's hard, though, to think of myself as not a Failure. Some days I think in the dictionary, were one to look up the word "failure," my picture would be there. Right next to the word. And you wouldn't need a lengthy, wordy description, because it would just be me.

My body has failed. One of the many preprogrammed things it is supposed to do, it doesn't. Not without some poking and prodding and maybe an injection or two-sometimes. The millions of years, eggs are released from ovaries, descend into the Fallopian tubes, become fertilized and implant in the uterus. Sounds like four easy things to do and yet I've failed them all.  And if my history is correct I've been failing them for years before I even knew. I was a Failure before I knew to call myself one.

The thing about infertility (and yes, that IS what we're talking about here) is that it doesn't just affect one person. There's a reason that couples say "WE are infertile." or "WE are having trouble becoming pregnant." Yes, in this case, I am the only one with the problem but consider this: if my husband ended up with someone else, he may not be experiencing any of this, right? Therefore, WE are infertile.

In this time of waiting, of wondering how much longer, how much more pain, how much more Failure, and yes, how much more money, I wonder why.  Why is this my burden? Why am I broken? Why do we have to go through so much so that my husband can become a father? So that my parents can be grandparents? WHY is it me? Why me?

1 in 8, you know. 1 in 8 couples are facing infertility. ONE IN EIGHT. With those odds, chances are you know someone, probably you know two someones. Maybe they haven't come out of the shadows yet. Maybe they're not ready to be vulnerable and to have all of their sadness out in the air-where people can hurt you even more. And that's ok. I struggled for awhile to talk about our infertility. It wasn't until  a then-acquaintance of mine shared her story, right after I was diagnosed with PCOS perfect timing, eh? It wasn't until then that I was ready to share mine. I don't want anyone to ever feel like they are on this journey alone. No one is alone. It may feel like you are, for awhile at least, and some days are so crushing that you know you are the only person on the planet who knows what this is like. But no one is alone. You are not alone.

Today, I may have felt like a Failure for most of the day. Today, I may not have kept all of my positivity. Today, I am struggling. Today, I need you to hold my hand, to hold my head up because I am so exhausted I can't by myself. Today, I need you to let me lean on you. But tomorrow, tomorrow is a new day and you might need me to hold you up-and I will. I will hold you, I will comfort you. No one is alone on this journey. You are not alone. And you are not a Failure.

PS-to read about my friend's amazing journey check out her blog

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

State of Affairs

"Every day, women are winning battles that no one knows anything about." (paraphrased from a blog I follow).

How true this is. Cancer, infertility, loss-of any kind.

The thing about loss is that most of the time people talk about a person that they lost. We talk about the people we lose all the time. What we don't talk about, at least not very often, if the loss of the life we thought we would have.

When we lose that image, that future that we've built for ourselves it hurts. Not a lot, at first, not as much as we thought, because there is still hope. Hope makes a protective barrier around our hearts, our souls, for a time at least. And while we still have that barrier, that hope, we are still mostly ourselves.

At some point, and this is different for different people, that barrier begins to thin. After so long, after so long of trying to get our lives back on track, hope begins to dim. This sounds terrible, doesn't it? It sounds absolutely soul-crushing. And it is.

What happens to some people is that they let the hope. They let the barrier become permeated with darkness and despair. They think it is the end. That there is no more hope. And they're right-there may not be any more hope for the life they want. 

What should be done, what I hope happens to me, is that even if I lose that hope at the beginning, I want to be the kind of person who hopes for a different future. One that is not filled with despair. I hope that I can be the person who learns to live with the new pathway, the new kind of life that has been given, whether it was I had thought for myself or not. I hope I can be her.

Right now, I still have that first barrier. There is still hope. There is still hope that what I want most in the world, what my heart bleeds for, is still possible. I hope that I can keep that hope, longer than what my brain tells me I should.  I hope that, even if I lose the life I thought I would have, that I am able to accept and live graciously, the life that I am given. I hope that I can be happy with that.

But most of all,  I hope that I can be enough. Not enough for my family or friends, or even my husband. I hope to be enough for me.

"I’m not sorry you have learned to love yourself for your strength and courage. This journey is not easy, but you still get up every morning and find your inner strength even when it feels like there is none left."  (http://www.scarymommy.com/struggle-with-infertility-ttc/?utm_source=FB)

This quote has resonated with me ever since I read this article. This is the battle that I try to win every day. This is what I hope for. That I can love myself for my strength and courage. Some days this is harder to do. But each day, I will never give up. I will learn to be enough. I will learn to love ME. I will have strength. I will have courage. I will have hope. I will be enough. 

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

You thought I forgot about my blog...didn't you?

So...life happened and it's now the end of October. 

In the last seven months we have been pretty busy.  Not fun busy, just work/school/etc busy. 

Trey is in his last semester (FINALLY) of undergrad.  He got a job with a software company back in September and seems to enjoy it.  We will both be very, very glad when it is mid-December and he is done with the awfulness that has been these last several months. 

We went to the beach several times this past summer; took the dogs on one trip and then just Harley on the last trip.


We got a new dog.  I can't remember if I mentioned this back in March post.  But whatever. She's cute and sweet and I'm mentioning it again.

Her name is Briony (pronounced Bree-ah-nee) and she is a beautiful red-haired hound.  She is so sweet and she loves Harley so so much.  Harley was...quite grumpy with us when we brought Briony home.  She tolerates her more and more everyday and will, sometimes, instigate play with Briony. 

We took both the dogs to the beach for July 4th.  Harley loves the beach.  She is just like me in that she just enjoys sitting on the sand and people watching. 

Briony also liked the beach, but she really was a handful.  She's still a puppy so she has dog ADHD and couldn't sit still and always wanted to be meeting that person or sniffing that dog.  She matches Trey's need to be doing something active, but because we couldn't take her off leash (both because of the leash laws and because she'd run) she ended up nearly dislocating Trey's shoulder a couple of times. 

We celebrated our  2 year anniversary a couple of weekends ago.  Naturally, it had rained so no Carter Mountain, and per tradition, Trey was sick.  And not just sniffles like at our wedding, I think he had the full-blown flu.  He is just now seeming to get over coughing and being congested. 

It has been quite busy at work this month; I'm not sure what's gotten into people.  Since all of you know what I do, I'm sure you'd rather I'd just move on to another subject and since I legally can't tell you anything interesting...I'll move on.

Something that I've been struggling with lately is being at that line of adulthood.  I feel like there are times when it's okay that I'm expected to do this or take care of that.  But then there are days where it seems like all I do is deal with the less-than-fun aspects of being an adult and don't have any of the rewards. 


I'll try and keep this thing updated.  The next several months and into the new year will be pretty busy, and I hope that I will have some news for you on what we've been up to.  But, you'll have to wait!

***So I realized when I got home that I left out several very important from the last several months. First, in April, one of Trey's cousins got married.  It was a really beautiful wedding on such a great day! In June, we bought a new car (a Honda CR-V) which I love love love.  And, Trey's younger sister, Hope, got married in August. I was a bridesmaid! It was really a fun day! (To keep with the theme of weddings, this coming May another cousin of Trey's is getting married!)***

Sunday, March 2, 2014


We had a pretty busy February this year!

I won't go on about skiing, except to mention that we went, because I dedicated a whole blogpost to that.

The next weekend I flew out to Seattle for the annual American Academy of Forensic Scientists (AAFS) where I was presenting on fatal dog bite cases in Virginia and where I was the chair of a special session by the Young Forensic Scientists Forum (YFSF). It was a very busy week.

My mother also came out for a few days since she had never been to Seattle and had just recently celebrated an important birthday.

While I was gone Trey developed some sort of illness that likely came from a little girl we had babysat earlier who had gotten pneumonia. I've mentioned before that Trey doesn't get sick like normal people and this was no exception.

While I was in Seattle, Richmond had beautiful spring weather. I was stuck in overcast and cold weather (though we did see the sun on several days).

That is a loooong trip over there; I'm glad it's another four years before I have to do that again.

During my extraordinarily long trip I thought a lot about my marriage to Trey and the roles of husband and wife that we play and how that has changed over the years. I need a bit to sort my thoughts out but I'll probably blog about that later this month.

Oh! I forgot. I had to work on Valentine's Day (y'know, 'cuz I'm full-time now!) and so we didn't make any plans or anything. Actually, our tradition on Valentine's Day is to do nothing. But when I came home from work Trey had made a delicious salad, some lamb shanks and chocolate pots de creme which were to die for! He really is a wonderful husband :)

They're calling for snow tomorrow, and I am just sick sick sick of snow and cold. It better get all the snow and cold out of its system because after this I'm going to start expecting warmer temperatures and sun.

Sunday, February 9, 2014


This past weekend Trey and I trekked into the mountains of Virginia for a weekend of skiing and hanging out with the Newells. Trey's parents, his sister and her family, and his cousin and her fiance were all there.

We had a HUGE house that had a decent size kitchen, a family room upstairs and a family room with entertainment center and some weird-looking billiards table downstairs. It was a really great weekend; we got to spend a lot of time with our nieces who are the most adorable and sweetest girls in the world. Trey and I had a conversation coming home that sounded something like this:

Trey: This weekend was a lot of fun.
Me: It really, really was. It was really nice to spend time with T and E.
Trey: Do you think they (his sister and brother-in-law) would notice if they were gone.
Me: T definitely...we could probably get away with smuggling E away.
Both of us laughing conspiratorially.

On Saturday I went skiing. And I mean "I went skiing" in the very loosest of terms. First of all, those dang boots were very uncomfortable, I had to go up a size because it felt like my calves were about to explode. Secondly, skiing is WAY harder than it looks. I used to watch the Winter Olympics with such disdain thinking "How is this hard? Children could do this!!" I have a newfound amazement for all the things that winter athletes can perform with boards, boots, skiis and other things strapped to their feet.

I was able to stop whenever I wanted either by snowplowing or falling (the latter I mastered after three times).  I wasn't able to do ski school, but Trey has assured me that I will be doing that during the next ski season.

I DO know that I do NOT hate skiing with every fiber in my being. I really do want to get better. I really do want to go down a green hill.  Trey and his sister were confident in my ability to go up a ski lift and then down the mountain. I told them I was confident in my ability to throw up on the ski lift due to sheer terror and then to eventually get down the mountain, either by tumbling or sliding on my butt.

I told my eldest niece that I fell and she requested that I show her how I fell, so I did, in the kitchen. She stared at my in amazement and said "You FELL on your BOOTY???!!!"

Oh, and by the way, children CAN ski. Much better than me. And without poles.

Here are some pics from the weekend:

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

What the Newells did in 2013: A Recap

2013 was an okay year for us. Nothing overwhelmingly special happened but we did have some great times.

Trey started school at VCU in January and so far has completed three semesters and has a 4.0. I am so incredibly proud of him!

In February we celebrated our first Valentine's Day as a married couple. In true Trey-Lara fashion, we did absolutely nothing. (At this point after not doing anything for the past seven-ish Valentine's Days it would be weird if we all of a sudden started acknowledging them). I also went up to DC for a week-long conference.

In March we welcomed a new baby niece, Emily Alice and went up to Charlottesville for the Easter holiday.

In April Trey and I ran our first 5K together, the Color Me Rad 5K in Richmond. I was pretty proud of myself for finishing, but I don't think I'll do another run that involves powdery things being thrown at me.

In May we celebrated my birthday, woo hoo! Another year older. We also spent a week  in Atlantic Beach (NC) at Trey's parents' beach house. Even though it was not hot at all and it was quite windy, we had a great time. We also travelled to the western part of the state and went to a winery. It was quite a long drive and had I know that we probably wouldn't have gone.

In June I went up to Baltimore for a week long forensic anthropology class and...I don't think much else went on.

July we added over 2,000 miles onto my car by traveling from Virginia, to North Carolina, through Tennessee, to Arkansas for the 4th of July. We spent some time in TN with my mom's side of the family and celebrated the fourth by camping in cabins and canoeing down the Buffalo River in Arkansas. Trey thought it was a fantastic time. I am not an outdoorsy-let's camp by the side of the river-type girl so I found it just okay. But I hardly ever see these people from my dad's side of the family, so we grinned and beared the trek across half the country.

In August, we celebrated Harley's 5th birthday. She still acts like such a puppy I can't believe she's already five.

For Labor Day I went with my parents to the NC mountains and my father, who apparently enjoys tormenting his daughter, took some hairpin mountain curves too fast ensuring that I never allow him to drive in the mountains. Ever again.

In October we moved into a new house, one that is much bigger and has a separate place where Trey can do his woodworking and whatnot. We also celebrated our one year anniversary with a trip to San Francisco. It was SO much fun. The only thing I didn't like was that whatever the weather was reported to be was false. Very misleading as when I hear "70s" I wear shorts and a tshirt, but no, it got to 70 for 30 seconds SOMEWHERE in San Francisco (NOT where I was) and I froze to death all day. We did get nice San Francisco jackets and sweatshirts, though.

I had to work the Thanksgiving holiday so my family came up to stay with us. There was lots of yummy food and it was nice to see them.

Something else happened in November: I got hired full time at my job! I had been hoping for so long that it would happen and it did! Now we have health insurance, a retirement plant, and a bigger paycheck! We're starting to feel, sort of, more adult-like :)

Since I had to work Christmas Eve and Christmas, my family came up again and we celebrated and did the Christmasy things, just not on Christmas. (Which, as several people told me, since I don't have children it doesn't matter what I do on Christmas or when I celebrate it.  Pish.)

Trey's birthday was New Year's Eve and all he wanted to do was finish some project he has going on in his shop so he did that. We watched A Bit of Fry and Laurie on TV until midnight came and by that time we were already falling asleep on the couch. I guess we just aren't as young as we used to be :)

All in all, a pretty good year. I have a feeling, though, that 2014 is really going to be great.

Happy New Year, ya'll!!