Monday, December 10, 2007

Privacy and Courage

I've wanted to do a blog for a long time but have lacked the courage to start. I've written a post here and there on some BBs and on Myspace. I also have a website that used to have quite a lot of my personality out in the open but I chickened out and replaced it with something much more mundane. There is always the fear that this information may get me into trouble.

The fear is valid. I was once written up at work for the content on my website. I had a "Moon of the Month" page where I displayed photographs of people's bare bottoms. Each month, some friends and I would choose a new bare bottom to receive the honor of "Moon of the Month." I was even working on a Flash file to show the different phases of the moon for that month using the bottom that won. Well, someone I worked with heard about it or saw it (I know I didn't tell her about it and I didn't discuss this at work or use work equipment or time with development) and she got offended. She was in HR so she had the CFO write me up for it. Yes, the CFO. Pretty crazy, huh?

Anyway, since I realized that for some stupid reason my personal life affects my business life, I've tried to have a somewhat conservative outward appearance while trying to keep my real self hidden or reserved for those close to me. Sadly, I now feel like most of my friends today don't really know me. I am delighted to still be in contact with my friends from Utah, who I feel really do know me. Of course, there is always my family, and they seem to know me well. Most of them, anyway. There are still some fantasies or misconceptions even among those who love me most. Many people don't even call me by any names that I associate with myself. By the way, I do not like being called Liz. I never have. It's just not me. I tried Lis since I am Elisabeth (notice the S), but that wasn't me, either. I am Lizzy or Elisabeth. I am not Beth. I am not Liz. Although, lots of people seem to think I'm Liz. It just makes me sad. These are people that are supposed to love me, but they don't even know me.

I'm so tired of the facade. I'm also very weary from bearing so many burdens alone. Okay, so I don't bear my burdens completely alone. I have a wonderful husband who has taken on much of the weight of these burdens. I am also still a very open person, even considering my above confession. I do share a lot of information, but I still feel extremely reserved.

I've decided to come out of the closet here. I don't know who will see this and I will choose to share this blog discreetly in the beginning. I'm not sure how comfortable I am with sharing the forthcoming information with everyone, although the cat has been let out of the bag with our local friends.

We are preparing for our first IVF cycle next month. Yup, I said it. That's the big secret. It's not so big of a secret, I suppose. I told a couple of friends, who told their husbands, who asked my husband about it in front of other friends' husbands, who went home and told their wives, and so on and so forth. So now everyone knows.

I probably shouldn't be afraid to let people share in this news. I know we need all the support we can get. It's a very frightening prospect. I never thought I'd do IVF. It took me a lot of time to come to terms with it in every way (morally, spiritually, emotionally, physically, financially, you name it). I know for some people IVF is just a choice but for me and many others, IVF is a really big deal! I'm scared, to say the least.

So I created this blog in an effort to help just let it all out. There has been so much more going on in my life and in the lives of my loved ones that I just can't keep it all bottled up any longer. There was the devastating fire, there were all of the losses over the last couple of years, there are illnesses, there are also unspeakable things, even for here - my place for divulging secrets. On top of all of that, we have been dealing with infertility, which might not seem so tragic to some, but it's quite tragic to me. This is our crisis and we need love and support, just like anyone else in crisis.

We are wayyyyyy beyond the point where we need advice like: "just wait and see, it will happen," "maybe you're not having enough sex" (come on, I can't believe you still think babies come from sex - babies are made in a doctor's office with the woman lying on a table with her legs in stirrups), "maybe if you stop trying so hard," "just stop thinking about it," "you're too stressed about it," "try Clomid," "I have a friend who got pregnant by..." "this is what worked for me..." "get drunk and do it in the back seat of your parent's car..." You name it, we've heard it and we have tried everything except IVF. Okay, we haven't tried the parent's car thing, but if you think it would help...

So, we are committed to this upcoming IVF. I'm afraid to tell many people because I'm so afraid of judgment. This is a time when I just need love and understanding. I firmly believe that we are not going against Heavenly Father's plan in this. I believe this may be part of His plan. He has guided us to this every step of the way. I believe that if it works, it will be His hand helping us. If it doesn't work, then at some point we need to figure out what His plan is for us and try to go toward that end. However, IVF is definitely part of the path we need to take. I don't know how many tries we have the stamina for (or $$), we'll just take it one step at a time.

We've already taken the first steps. We've been on a waiting list for over 6 months for this. We never thought we'd make it to actually doing it. We really hoped that one of our umpteen IUIs would work (okay, there were only 10 but only 5 of those were with the fancy meds). IVF was our backup plan. Well, here we are at plan Z. Okay, maybe not Z. I'm trying really hard not to see this as the end of the road, but rather, the beginning of a different road.

Our consultation was in August and we really didn't think we'd make it to December and still need IVF. Here we are, going for it. It's all paid for and planned. I've even started taking the birth control pills prior to the cycle. Yes, birth control pills. You need to take birth control pills or some other form of suppression prior to IVF. Oh what a bitter pill, indeed!

I will stop taking the bcp on January 1. A new year full of new hopes and new possibilities! At least, that's what I'm trying to think. I'm in a phase right now trying to build up my hopes again and think positively. The last few weeks were my purging phase where at one point I had lost all hope and hit rock bottom. I had to go there so that I can get to where I need to be in January.

Tomorrow I'm getting a nerve block. It's to numb the nerves in my arm that cause me a lot of pain. RSD is not easy. I get nerve blocks to help get me through the winter. It's not easy living without sleeves. The alternative reason I need this nerve block is because I'm having minor surgery on Wednesday and it's bound to aggravate the RSD unless I get the block. It is very minor but I'm still nervous. However, I am more nervous about this nerve block. If you really are interested, look up Stellate Ganglion Block. That's what I get 2-3 times each winter. I get them without any anesthesia, though. Fun stuff.

I'm scared to death and don't want to go to bed. For tomorrow, when I wake up, it won't be long before I have to face the needle followed by the paralysis. The worst part is, I can't sing for about 8 hours after the shot because my larynx is paralyzed along with my arm and the side of my face. The nasty effects will wear off by tomorrow night and my pain will be decreased enough to wear sleeves for awhile. At least we can hope. There are no guarantees.

Still, I'm terrified.