Fresh New Cycle and Fertility Clinic Frustrations

So yesterday I started my first period since the D&C. It took 26 days for it to begin, and so far it’s been pain-free.

Yesterday the bleeding was light, and today it has been heavy but without cramping. Most of my periods prior to TTC have been pain free, and it wasn’t until starting all of the fertility drugs that I started to have more painful periods. So, so far, this feels cleansing.
I am excited to see how my BBT looks for this upcoming cycle, because my post D&C BBT was wonky. I had some egg white cervical mucus for two days, which indicates that I maybe ovulated, but my luteal phase was only 6 days, and there was not a distinctive temperature shift. My body temperature was also really low, which was weird. This cycle has already started off 0.5 degrees Celsius warmer.

On the weekend we celebrated Canadian Thanksgiving with my in-laws at the cottage. We started the process of closing the cottage for the winter, bringing in the dock, clearing out the fridge. The whole family stayed overnight, and we got to spend a lot of time with our niece and nephew.

One afternoon, I was playing with our 8 year old niece, when she pulled out this book:

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I asked if she wanted to read it to me (to practice her reading out loud), but she didn’t. She wanted me to read it to her. I took a breath, braced myself, and started reading. She cuddled into me, and at one point, I started to well up with tears. The words seemed to hit a chord, and I thought that I could not continue. I took another deep breath, put on a smile, and continued on without her even noticing.

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That night, I couldn’t sleep. I started reading Ann-Marie MacDonald’s new book, Adult Onset, which really was not a good thing for me to begin, given that there are a lot of flashbacks to the main character’s mother’s multiple miscarriages/stillbirths. In bed, I started crying, then fully weeping, while DW pulled me into her chest. I didn’t sleep at all Thanksgiving night.

In other news, I’ve started the process of cleaning out our garden. The weather has been warmer than expected, so the soil is easier to work. Today, I pulled up all of our rainbow carrots, beets, and harvested some brussel sprouts.

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I roasted some with maple syrup, and they were delicious.

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Lastly, I wanted to share my frustration with our fertility clinic. I emailed my primary nurse almost two weeks ago about getting the immune blood panel done, then emailed her again a few days ago, and then called and left a voicemail today, and she still hasn’t gotten back to me. DWS emailed her at the same time two weeks ago, and she got a reply. I’m not sure why, but it seems like she is avoiding me. It is super frustrating for me because I’m anticipating my next cycle to be in about 4 weeks, and want the immune results to come back before we transfer the last embryo. Yes, we plan to transfer the last embryo probably sometime in December. I just want to rule out any issues with staying pregnant, so that we maximize our chances with this last embryo. I don’t know why our nurse won’t get back to me with a yes or no from the RE. It is super frustrating.

Anyways, new cycle, new beginnings.

Being Gentle with One’s Self

Bare feet on grass. Hands massaging moist soil. Sun warming your skin. Cool fresh air filling your lungs. Do you feel connected to the earth?

Today, I do.

I had another terrible sleep last night, after weeks of terrible sleeps. I even moved myself to the guest room because I worried that my tossing and turning would wake DW. It turns out we both has bad sleeps last night.

I have a love-hate relationship with mornings. I love the sense of renewal, a new day, and that this day can be completely different from the last. However, I have never been a morning person. I have struggled to fall asleep most of my life. I remember being in kindergarten and staying up to watch the Johnny Carson show because I couldn’t sleep. Even back then, I had so many worries.

But today has been a little different. Still tired and slow moving, but way more connected.

Most mornings I make the same breakfast of scrambled eggs and some sautéed veggies or gluten-free bread. I have a cup of green tea. I take my supplements. I take my breakfast to the living room and sit in the big comfy chair, cross-legged, in front of the front bay window that looks out at our maple tree and the street. I eat my breakfast while getting caught up on the blogs that I follow, and the YouTube channels that I subscribe to. After breakfast, I get changed and take the dogs to the conservation lands for a easy hike. When I get home, I make myself something to eat, and either do some housework or run some errands in the city. If I have time, I go to the gym and try to burn off some of my anxiety. I try to get all of this done before DW gets home so that the rest of the day is for me to spend with her. Our activities are varied, depending on what work she has to do to prepare for the next work day, and also what our dinner situation is. Most nights we eat dinner at home, and try to prepare it together. After dinner we watch a show or two, and then head to bed. In bed is when I think about all of the awful TTC stuff, and overanalyze my “infertility”. This has created a nasty cycle for me, where I am not sleeping properly, and go about my days on auto-pilot. This task-driven routine is comforting, because it’s been all about survival while waiting to TTC again, but what I’m noticing is that I have not built in time to deal with shit, which is why my bedtimes have become so stressful.

So far, I’ve been trying to deal with stress through physical activity, and blogging. Unfortunately, I’m finding that most of my blogging is happening when I’m sweating away on a piece of cardio equipment, desperately trying to distract myself. This means that I’m only giving myself 30 minutes every other day to process our losses, and even then, I’m not doing it well.

Things have been so rough for me emotionally lately. I crave social interaction, but it is so limited because everyone works during the day, and any other time, I want to spend with DW who is so busy all of the time. She is taking the last part of her Principals Qualification course, and is at school until 10pm at least once a week, sometimes two, until Christmas. Some of my friends don’t know we’ve been TTC, and I would have to get them caught up on it. The rest of my friends have moved out of the Toronto area because it’s so damn expensive around here. But I have you, blogger friends don’t I? And let me tell you, you have all been such a huge support to me, but- don’t take this the wrong way- you are not enough.

Today was my first session with a counsellor/therapist. I drove a good 40 kms to her home, which is where she practices out of. It is a beautiful log house set far back from country roads, with big windows and very high ceilings. I was in awe of her home, and took some pictures to show DW, as it is exactly what my dream house looks like. The decor was mostly preserved wood pieces and beautiful antique door knobs/handles. I closed my eyes while sitting in her waiting room, and felt the sun coming through the windows, warming my skin. I took a deep breath and caught the faint scent of lavender in the air. Waiting for my appointment was very relaxing.

I felt only a little uncomfortable at my first meeting with her. She pauses a long time, which I’m sure is a technique to give me room to speak. I’m not used to taking up so much “speaking realty”. I’m usually more comfortable listening to other people. I’m sure that she caught on to this, as the exchange ended up being 60/40, with me sharing a little more than her.

I was worried that we would not be a good fit, as she is a family and marriage counsellor, and I’m not really seeking marriage counselling. I wasn’t sure what her exposure to the LGBTQ community was, or if she had any experience with fertility or pregnancy loss.

I was caught a bit off guard by the first thing she said to me after welcoming me into her home. She told me that I “didn’t look like a Dorothea”, which I thought was kind of a weird thing to say to someone you had just met.

The second thing she asked was what I was hoping to get out of the counselling sessions with her, and I told her about the pregnancy losses, as well as my unbelievable stresses at work. She then asked me how I came to find her through my friends who were clients of hers- how exactly did they decide that we would be a good fit? My friends, who are also a lesbian couple, see her monthly, and recommended her because she “tells it as it is”, and is a “very good therapist”. I asked why she seemed so concerned about our “fit”, and whether she didn’t feel comfortable counselling me because I wasn’t there for marriage counselling. And that is when it all changed.

She was asking because she too, had struggled to get pregnant. Ten years of losses and her doctors told her that she was never going to become a biological mother. Then at the age of 45, she started seeing a Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) doctor, worked through some of her emotional and psychological issues, and found out that she was unexpectedly pregnant during a hurricane on the east coast. She was very familiar with pregnancy loss and the devastating effects of it- physically, emotionally, and psychologically. When I described my work conditions, she shook her head and said, “that is an impossible situation. They have set you up to fail”, which is exactly what DW has said about my timetable. My therapist, it seems, used to be a teacher as well. We, in fact, were a perfect match.

A lot of amazing things came out of our first session. As soon as I left her place, I wanted to blog about it because I was so scared that these revelations would fade, and they are so valuable to me:

Our babies choose us.

So far, perhaps because of the nature of IVF, I’ve been approaching it like we choose our baby. For example, we chose to use my eggs because they are six years younger, we chose the sperm donor based on certain criteria that were important to us. Instead, we need to project our unconditional love out into the world, where our baby will know that whoever he or she is, we will love them.

We need to memorialize and set our angel embabies free in a meaningful ceremony to make room for the baby that wants to be here. We need to invite him/her in.

We have not yet said goodbye to our angel babies. I seem to be holding onto them so tight, which may be contributing to my anxiety because I’m dwelling on the past. I need to let them go before we can welcome the new embaby in. I was thinking that DW and I should make a bird feeder out of 6 pieces of wood, to symbolize each of our angel babies. Their memory will feed and nourish the birds we draw so much joy from watching, and all of the babies that they and their babies will have in the future.

Each loss had a greater purpose or lesson.
I hope that I learn what they are, so that I can be at peace with this aspect of our losses.

We need to let go of our expectations because they make our baby feel unwelcome.
We had a name picked out, if our first pregnancy was a girl. It was a feminized version of my grandfather’s name, and he was the person that I felt closest to in my family. He passed away in 2010, and I still haven’t fully gotten over it, as him and my grandmother are the only two people in this world that I felt truly loved me. For each subsequent pregnancy, we carried this name with us, as well as the idea that maybe the embryo was a girl. It’s not that I wouldn’t be happy with a boy (I’d be happy with a baby, period), but when we would talk to our bellies, we always imagined this spirit baby in there, and she is a girl with the feminized version of my grandpa’s name. I know this sounds absurd, but we need to let go of it, and just be open to the baby being whoever he/she is. His/her name and all of those other insignificant details will come after.

Spirit baby you are so wanted and loved, whoever you are. Mama et Maman can’t wait for you to come home. Please come home.

Pleasant Surprises

The dogs and I went for our regular daily hike through the conservation lands today.

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The day started out rainy, but then the clouds cleared and the sun came shining through. We tried a different path today, which is usually very wet and full of puddles, which Juno loves to lay in. Today, the path wasn’t very muddy, and she chose not to get dirty by splashing in the puddles.

I rewarded her by heading to a little creek that collects in a small pond. We call this spot “Memorial Creek” because of the plaque nailed into a tree that memorializes a loved family dog. The plaque is older than our dogs, and makes this place seem so sacred to me.

On our trek there, something red caught my eye… raspberry canes! My TCM doctor says that I should eat some raspberries daily, to help tonify my kidney and liver, which are deficient. How serendipitous! So I picked a handful of the ripest raspberries, cradled them in my hand, and walked down the hill to Memorial Creek.

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There I sat at a rickety picnic table and watched as the dogs played in the water and chased squirrels.

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All of a sudden, Juno emerged from the bush, something squeaking in her mouth! I was worried that she had caught a small animal, and was relieved when I saw that it was just a pink squeaky toy she must have found in the woods nearby.

She squeaked it several times before asking politely if I’d play fetch with her.

She asked once,

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and again. She asked several times, really. That is, until the squeaky toy lost its squeaker!

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Then we headed back on the trail.

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A day of beautiful surprises!

Futile?

4 IUI’s —> BFN
IVF —> 1st FET (surrogate DW, 2 excellent quality blastocysts) —> BFP but HCG fails to double
—> 2nd FET (surrogate DW, 2 excellent quality blastocysts) —> BFP but HCG fails to double
—> 3rd FET (my uterus, 1 excellent quality and 1 good quality blastocyst) —> BFP but no heartbeat seen

Is it my eggs? Is it the sperm? Is it the clinic? Is it DW’s uterus/immune system + bad luck during my transfer?

Having invested so much time and enough money to buy a nice car already, are we foolish to keep trying?

Do we bother with the last excellent quality blastocyst? Or do we start fresh and do a whole new round of IVF?

We are running out of time and hope.

Do we just come to terms with being childless, and hope that over time we approach it with less bitterness and more appreciation of freedom?

I am just having a really hard time understanding how we could possibly have a good outcome with stats like this.

Sorry for the negativity. I’m just trying to process it all, and I’m struggling to find hope among all of the shitty hands that we have been dealt.

Limbo

Wow, I haven’t posted in a while. I’ve been cooking up a storm, adapting new recipes, and washing lots of dishes. Yesterday I made my first gluten-free (GF) turkey meatloaf, and today I made GF turkey meatballs, and tomato sauce with produce from our garden. I plan to serve it for dinner on shredded spaghetti squash (also from our garden). Props go to DW for growing me all of these amazingly gorgeous organic vegetables and herbs!

Time seems to be moving at a very strange pace for me. Being home every day means that my sense of time is dictated by my daily chores, appointments, and the return of DW from work. I have been running errands, hiking on the conservation lands with the dogs, preparing elaborate dinners, and probably not cleaning as much as I should be. We have been relaxing at the cottage on weekends, so my routine is kind of messed up in this way too.

Obviously, in many ways I’m glad that I’m not at work. I suffered from an alarming level of anxiety from being dealt a ridiculously unfair schedule, a lack of support from the people that are supposed to be supporting me, as well as doing my best (and failing) at trying to provide meaningful learning moments for kids that are the most challenging in the district. I was not eating. I was not sleeping. I had fleeting thoughts of self-harm. My family doctor insisted that I take a break from all of it to regroup and grieve our loss. I am currently about one third through my leave of absence, and I am terrified of going back.

I feel like I’m just beginning to heal physically. I’m still spotting daily, and I definitely notice my athletic limitations compared to pre-pregnancy: lower cardiovascular endurance, core strength is gone, and my strength has severely decreased. I have been lifting weights again every other day for the past week and a half, and my energy and motivation has been lacking. Pre-pregnancy, working out has always been a treat and a stress-reliever, but now I feel like I’m dragging my heels and my body just won’t do what I want it to do.

Interestingly, my eyesight has significantly changed as well. I had an eye exam two days ago, and my vision, which has been stable since 2007, has gotten worse by almost 2 diopters in both eyes! I suspect that all of the pregnancy hormones have messed up my body in many ways that I am unaware of.

Emotionally, I am really struggling. Part of me wishes that I was back at work (I really enjoy my career- just not at this particular school and schedule), as I miss the kids, routine, and socializing with my colleagues. In particular, I miss the first two schools that I was at. The kids were amazing, and the staff made me feel like family. Even the administration were very personable and supportive. However, my past two schools have been really difficult- due to the administration (lack of support and disciplining of students), and the particular classes that I have been assigned (the classes that nobody wants because it involves teaching the most difficult content to the most poorly behaved students). Unfortunately, being in a union (don’t get me wrong, I am so appreciative of unions) so much of where you teach and what you teach is dependent on seniority, and being a relatively new teacher in a school board that is shrinking, I am at the bottom of the food chain. So the most experienced teachers can choose to teach the easiest students and their first choice of subject, and the new teachers with the least experience get what nobody else wants. Not to mention that I get paid half what they get paid, and end up working extra hours at home prepping every night.Makes sense right? Ugh.

Look at me. Three weeks off from work and I’m still bitching about it. Now and again I have to remind myself that I am so lucky to have job security and benefits, and an (unpaid) summer off.

In happier news, I came home to a gift today:

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A friend of mine sent it with their condolences on our loss, and for a moment I was so touched but also so frustrated that miscarriages are often such a hush-hush secret. I know they are common, but given the lengths that we have gone to make a baby, our repeated losses seem even more tragic. For example, we can’t just have sex a ton more times and get pregnant (though- this should not dissuade anyone from trying this strategy ;)). We apparently can’t even get an IUI to work. Very frustrating.

In the meantime, I will wait for DW to get home before diving into these:

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I saw a new Doctor of Traditional Chinese Medicine this week. He lectures annually for the acupuncture program that I used to teach for. He is a fertility specialist, and until now, I haven’t been able to see him because he only treats on weekdays (teacher schedule). The appointment went well. He is very thorough and has a three-phase plan for me. The first phase is getting my natural period to come and flush out all of the stagnation in my uterus (and what energetically remains of the pregnancy). Then, we work on building my yin, which is quite depleted in me, and what likely causes my long follicular phases (eggs need more time to mature because my yin is too weak). Lastly, we will work on lengthening my luteal phase, which is super short. He says that even if I were getting pregnant naturally, my luteal phase is so short that proper implantation can’t even occur. Sometimes, regulating the follicular phase also fixes the luteal phase as well. He’s got me on some herbs right now, which are in the form of high potency granules. While I’m very proficient at acupuncture and general TCM principles, I was not trained in the healing properties of herbs, which can have incredible synergy with the acupuncture treatments. I am glad he is healing me through the use of both. He suggests that I sit this next cycle out, and try again the following cycle. So essentially, I’m in limbo for another 9 or so weeks.

Struggling, and My History Part I

Since the D&C on Thursday, my pregnancy hormones have plummeted. My body feels it, and so does my mind.

Physical Changes:
– boobs have shrunk down, and are less tender
– hair and skin is feeling oilier
– appetite is back in full force comfort eating
– falling asleep at bedtime is challenging
– cluster headaches stabbing through my right eye

Emotional Changes:
– less happy
– less content
– find myself stuck in destructive moments of dwelling jealousy, deep depression
– severe anxiety stemming from work-related triggers that in unable to shake

I’ve been baking and cooking up a storm, feeling guilty for not going into work these days while DW, who is also grieving, does. She is taking her final principal qualification course, which has her pulling 15 hour days at least once a week. She is doing this for us. Meanwhile, I’m making her gourmet lunches and snacks. Recently, I made chicken souvlaki from scratch, taking the care to give the chicken a nice long marinade. It was delicious. This weekend, she put in a request for oatmeal chocolate chip cookies, which of course I made gluten-free.

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This morning I baked up these Brazilian Cheese Balls:

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I haven’t been sleeping well over the past two nights. I can’t seem to fall asleep, with anxious worries about work, and some recent drama involving my undiagnosed bipolar personality disordered father.

Work has been carbon copying me on the comings and goings of my students, which are all pretty troubled youth. They also notified me that they are dumping almost a dozen students with a timetable conflict into my second semester credit recovery class, which is not an appropriate use of the period, and makes my life a living hell for second semester. They are always dancing the line of violating my contract, but unfortunately, approaching them about this will accomplish nothing except undeservingly getting me deeper into their bad books. My medically necessary leave of absence has already done a shit load of damage in this respect, which makes me anxious too because we (DW and I) have decided that I NEED to get out of this school, and accomplishing that requires a positive recommendation from the principal who has shamelessly made me his scapegoat. Each and every email that I get from work triggers a full-body-sick-to-my-stomach feeling of dread, and I get these emails on a daily basis during the work week. I am on a fucking medical leave people! Leave me the fuck alone. Technically, I am not expected to be checking or responding to their emails, but it all comes into my iPhone automatically. So yesterday, I took a positive step in detoxifying my life and REMOVED my work email from my iPhone. I will still have to check it on my computer once every two weeks or so, but it will be when I choose and not disrupting my life at their convenience.

Now my father is a very complicated problem. He disowned me back in July (for the second time) when I told him that we were trying to have a baby, and then just yesterday sent me a nasty mean-spirited email that haunted me all last night. I have not “come out” about him before, and I feel that I should do that soon.

[TRIGGER warning- do not read on if descriptions of physical violence is triggering for you.]

My father has done a lot of bad things, mostly to me, but also to my mother and sister. He was in his last year of dental school when he got my mother pregnant, and has always blamed my existence for “ruining his life” (his words, which I have heard so many times). Being a nice Christian couple, my parents got married when my mom was three months pregnant, and they were both 25. She moved in with his family (it’s a Chinese thing), and the “perfect family” image that his family portrayed so perfectly started to crumble. Almost every single one of my father’s siblings has an undiagnosed mental illness that is so very destructive to the people around them. Only one of them has been diagnosed, and she is treated so badly by everyone else. After all, they are all medical doctors (I’m not kidding, almost every single one), and have too much pride to come to terms with their issues.

So we lived with my grandparents, and I would say that they raised me until the age of 8, when my mother finally left my father. Contrary to what many people think of children suffering from the fracturing of the family unit, I was very relieved that she was finally leaving him. I had witnessed him physically assault her regularly, and once even thought that he had killed her when he pushed her through a glass shower door, knocking her unconscious. At 8 years old, I was aware that he was a very bad person and that we would be better off on our own.

When I was 2 years old, my father had an affair with my mother’s 19 year old sister. He flaunted it in her face, and even got her pregnant. He forced her to have the pregnancy aborted, and when my mother’s parents found out my aunt was pregnant, she got shipped off to Asia. My mother was too ashamed to tell them it was her husband who had gotten her sister pregnant. That aunt has always been weird with me.

The rest of his affairs were carried out in an equally flaunting manner. He would have sex in his office with his assistants, show me photos of his latest girlfriends, and leave evidence of his escapades all over his condo. I hated visiting him. His visits would consist of taking us swimming, then making us clean his condo (disgusting- think of all of the paraphernalia lying around).

He was never loving, kind, or dependable like I saw all of my friends’ fathers to be. When other kids wished for toys when they blew out their birthday candles, I always wished that my dad would just die. Or I would fantasize about having a different dad. Dreaming of smiles on my mom’s face, laughter, and living a life without fear.

I was so fearful. All the time. Because when we lived with my grandparents, I had their protection. My father still answered to his father, and my grandfather loved me. But when we moved out, he would come over and terrorize us. He would pull into our cul-de-sac in his Porsche and then enter the house in a bad mood. He’d then pick a fight over nothing with me or my mom, and then beat me or my mom. It was a sick beating too. Not just a punch or a slap, but a Muay Thai kick to my 8 year old quad, knocking me to the ground and then dragging me by my hair across the tiled foyer and then slamming my head against a wall. The worst part for me wasn’t the pain, but the fact that my mother would take my sister and leave me there alone with him. It was me or her. She’d rather save herself. Sometimes, I would hear his car rolling into the neighbourhood, call my mom for help, and she wouldn’t come save me because she herself was too scared to confront the monster that she married. Once, I tried to call the police, but he ripped the phone out of the wall, and I got the worst beating of my life, for “betraying him”. He always apologized after beating me up, saying that it was for my own good, and that god had anointed him, and that he was doing what god wanted him to do, because I was not honouring him.

The emotional abuse was worse than the physical abuse. It’s damage had staying power. He basically convinced me that I was worthless, a mistake, and that there were evil spirits in me. I was just a kid. I tried to cope by writing poetry secretly in a diary that I kept. My sister found my diary and showed it to him. For that, I was locked in my bedroom for 48 hours and had 4 “Christian pastors” exorcising me, until I finally gave them what they wanted… Me to admit that I was full of evil spirits, and to talk in tongues as a sign that the Holy Spirit had come in flush out the demons. I was 11, and then subsequently tried to kill myself soon afterward.

While I felt some fleeting moments of sympathy for my mother, I also felt incredibly angry at her. When her romantic relationship with my father was really bad, she would disappear- drive up to Whistler for a week, or fly to Asia for a month, leaving us with my grandparents, who were so loving and kind (thank goodness for them). But as a small child, all you really want is your mom, and I felt abandoned. When she finally stepped up and bought her own house, I thought it would be a new beginning for us, but she gave him a key to come and go as he liked. He had his own condo by then, but would stay at our house whenever he wanted, making it never safe for me. I walked on eggshells my entire life until the age of 17.

I survived high school primarily because I played every possible sport, joined jazz band, the acting troupe, and an Eco club that took me on weekend trips. I made it so that I never had to be at home. Money was tight because my mom was essentially raising us on her measly income, penny pinching because money only came from him when we “deserved it”, and in his mind, we never did. I ended up getting a job at the library, and saved everything so that I could leave the house after I graduated high school.

I busted my balls and graduated as valedictorian of my class, with a 97% average. I was offered full tuition scholarships to each university that I applied to, and in the end chose the one that also covered my room and board in residence. I was finally free.
It was difficult, as I used up my savings that first year, and worked two part-time teaching assistant jobs for the university for the duration of my degree. I actually really enjoyed the teaching portion of the job, but it was so time consuming that my grades dropped significantly during years 2 to 4, because I was trying to make ends meet. I didn’t qualify for student assistance because even though I got very little money from my family, my father’s income was too high.
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Wow, this post did not turn out at all how I had initially intended. But I guess I needed to put this out into the world so that it can be lifted a little off of my shoulders.

I have invested a lot of time into trying to undo the damage that my father has caused. I devoted myself to intensive therapy with psychiatrists and psychologists for almost 6 years, and continue to reflect on my emotional well-being and interactions with others. It wasn’t until I was 24 years old that I really felt like I was having meaningful healthy relationships with other people. Prior to that, I was promiscuous, inconsiderate, self-centred, and self-hating. I am very happy and comfortable with who I am, and have felt very stable in my sense of self for almost 10 years now.

So when my dad says he’s “disowning” me, it really bears no weight because I’m not the same scared little girl that he used as his punching bag. But when he continues to send really mean and nasty emails to me, I need to stop forgiving him, and resist the urge to give him even a whispering voice in my life.

Recovering at the Cottage

The night of the D&C, I followed up the Oxy and Tylenol with more Tylenol. The only kind that we had that wasn’t combined with caffeine was a children’s Tylenol, chewable grape flavour. I had cramps and some bleeding, but it only lasted for about 24 hours post D&C.

I felt well enough on Friday to bake these:

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And then Friday night we packed up the car and the dogs and headed to the cottage. The cottage is only about two hours away, and by about 9pm we were settling into the stillness and quiet of our little home on the lake. It was pitch dark, which is a delight when you’re so used to the never ending light pollution of the city, and there was a chill in the air, but it was clean and fresh.

DW fetched some wood from our wood shed, and started up the wood stove in the main room. We just sat there and stared for hours.

Last week I had read Sarah Waters’ Tipping the Velvet, a lesbian classic that for whatever reason, I never got around to reading until now. I was amazed by how racy it was! I have not read 50 Shades of Grey, but I imagine that the sex scenes in Tipping the Velvet might be comparable.

Friday night I started Emily St. John Mandel’s Station Eleven, which came highly recommended by Erin Morgenstern (who wrote one of my favourite books, The Night Circus), and let me tell you, I could not put this book down. I finished it by Saturday, ranting and raving to DW about how amazing it was, and how I wish I could join a book club just to have friends to revel in this book with me. Then I thought to myself, how amazing it would be to have a lesbian book and knitting club- especially right now with the seasons changing. Autumn and winter are high season for certain lesbian activities, such as candle burning, tea hoarding and drinking, knitting, reading, and the cooking of vegan comfort foods.

Anyways, back to the weekend. Other than reading, we finished another jigsaw puzzle:

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And roasted marshmallows in the fire:

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I thought very little of our pregnancy loss, which means that I might be moving on, I’m learning to exist with this experience being a part of me.

Coming Out

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I had inklings that I was gay during my early pre-school days, but the moment that I knew I was different from most other girls occurred in grade 3. The story itself is kind of interesting, but will take longer than I have to type right now.

I finally came out to my family when I was 17, and then to my friends when I was 18. Given how Pentecostal and judgemental my family is, I am surprised that I told them first. People shocked me- both good and bad, in how they responded to my declaration of self. Still, to this day (almost 15 years after coming out) I have moments of frustration with the insensitive things my family says.

I try to live authentically. I always have. It certainly hasn’t been the easiest way through life, but when I put my head down at night, I am comforted by the meaningfulness of my journey.

I feel the same about my self. I am a good person, and while I have faults, I am not afraid to admit when I am wrong, and am constantly trying to improve. I am also brave– not jump off a cliff into unknown waters brave, but even bravervisibly queer brave.

Waiting to Bleed

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10 am: Today will be the 10th day of my luteal phase. In all of my previous non-medicated cycles, I have started shedding my uterine lining on or before this day. The wife too, feels a bleed coming on soon. I hope that we are right. We had been very patient during this in-between time. I think that the numerous agonizing two-week-waits have served as some sort of training.

In the meantime we’ve been busy with work, doing summer-closing chores around the house and in the garden, cooking up heaps of homemade lunches for the week, and getting our sleep schedule back on track.

11 am: I found this beautiful art painted in menstrual blood:
http://www.vanessatiegs.com/creations/menstrala/

12 pm: Wife starts bleeding, then cramps begin.

9 pm: I feel cramps, then start spotting.

Within 12 hours? I’d say we’ve synced!

This is a first for us!! I’m hoping it’s a good sign.