Fertility Vacation 2.0 // Not This Time

Can this be it?  Are we really not suppose to have kids?  This process has shaken me to my core. I feel defeated. This time I know how cruel IVF can be.  It’s no distant stranger.  I’m not in shock, I’m just worn and hurt.  Who would have guessed we would be sitting here.

I was so naive and I took so much for granted.  I thought the hard part would be finding someone I wanted to live my life with.  Mike is home, I’m certain of him.  He keeps me safe. 

But now I want that magical feeling of cuddling a cute baby on the couch.  It’s funny, I am not a "couch" person.  I’m not even a "house" person.  I’m a "lets go somewhere" kind of person.  But babies are fun to sit on the couch with.  I’ve loved having my nephew here and as much as I loved taking him places, he taught me that the couch is a playground of it's own. 

These have been my first few days without him since he moved up to Northern California.  We packed up his dishes, clothes, toys, books...everything.  I’m mourning our life with him.  Suddenly without notice, my whole family moved while I was in Europe.  And now we are mourning our IVF dreams as well. 

Today is not my favorite day.

And yet still I can’t give up.  Sometimes it scares me.  Maybe all of these signs are saying give up and yet, I can’t.  Not yet anyway.  I still imagine that picture of little Mike in the bathtub as a kid.  The image that changed all my beliefs.  I want a child with Mike.  I’m still so open to what that will look like in the world of IVF, surrogacy, or adoption. 

First, I need to see what grieving will look like this time.  Even in my heartbroken, defeated state, I know that we will get up again.  Despite this being one of the worst, saddest days ever, I refuse to imagine our lives without a kid to love.  Often I really wish I could.

To our friends and family: we are beyond grateful for all of the love and support we have received. We never would have been strong enough to try this again without you. Thank you to the ends of the earth. 


Fertility Vacation 2.0 // FET (Frozen Embryo Transfer)

I’ve been pretty sleepy since the Frozen Embryo Transfer. It’s been a lot of slow movement and rest. I’m so grateful Vanessa is here. I am so strong and steady because of her.

This girl is my soul sister. I met her by chance and a couple of days later we were on a road trip to Napa. She is a beautiful gypsy and from that fateful week, I’ve always wanted to protect her and keep her in my pocket. To me, she is fearless, open and wild. I’m sure she is terrified often, but she pushes through and changes states every year I’ve known her, and most recently, countries. Her address is always in flux.

Recently, she moved home in between Prague six months ago and Prague now. She has seen her mom take her last breath and said yes to a man who loves her. The last six months have felt like someone continually ripping off a bandaid, and yet less than two weeks after saying goodbye to Mama Luna, Vanessa got on a plane to spend 10 days with me in Prague so I wouldn’t be alone.

Everyday we walk around taking pictures, sitting in cafes and at the movie theater. Vanessa reminds me to be brave and just being in her company makes me feel like more is possible.

She was in the room with me for the FET procedure. It’s very clinical, but all of a sudden we saw the embryos on the screen and we both started crying. Maybe I’m pregnant.

Mike has been inundated with text messages of baby names and general excitement in the middle of the night. It’s been hard for him to be at home while I’ve been gone for a month going through this. He’s my hero.

He’s been shooting non stop and working 9-5 to pay for all of this. Some people have sex after a night out and get pregnant, and some people have three days off in a month. Mike has stepped up and fought for us to get pregnant.

I’m excited to have a partner like Mike. We’ve been through so much together and now, we are stronger. I admire Mike and trust him to fight for us.

While our paths to IVF 2.0 have been so different, his support has been unwavering.

I am so thankful for Mike, Maryanne, Betsy, Vanessa and all of our friends at home cheering me on.


Fertility Vacation 2.0 // Tomorrow & Maybes

Tomorrow is the big day. Beautiful pregnant women are flooding the streets around me and kids are everywhere we go. It’s often drizzling outside, but the trees are alight with color. I can’t believe this sudden change in me. I feel 180 degrees different.

Light on my feet, spinning around and turning my face to the sun on a grey day. What if it works? What if we get pregnant?

Maybe everything is going to be okay.

I wonder what maternity clothes are like, can you wear your real clothes or will you just stretch them out? I wonder if the baby will be silly or like to laugh or be a grumpy cat. Either way I’m excited to capture our life. Maybe Mike and I will get a cool van and go on road trips and show the baby the national parks and how beautiful the world is. Maybe.

I wonder if the baby will like to travel and if he/she/they will like to visit Gaidin.  I wonder if I’ll get a mom car and if my hair will be messier - is that possible? I would love the chance to discover all of these things.

So many maybe’s.


Fertility Vacation 2.0 // RTT Therapy - Releasing Childhood Fears

In 48 hours we will transfer the embryos and I want to be in the best place possible. Our dreams could come true. Maybe two days from now something beautiful will happen. During RTT therapy last night, I delved into my subconscious beliefs that I had created as a child about how the world isn’t a safe place for babies, and babies somehow hurt their moms during pregnancy.

One of my memories was of my little brother coming home from the hospital. My mom seemed tired and she was heavier and just wanted to sit on the couch. Little me thought the baby hurt my mom. I didn’t like the baby at first. It was clear that everyone else did and that my mixed feelings were wrong. I didn’t know why people weren’t more mad at the baby for hurting my mom. The baby was also supposed to be a girl and it felt like a lie - I felt so betrayed that the baby came home as a boy. My head was spinning, 6-year-old me was confused.

The reality was that my mom had a wonderful pregnancy. I always had this fear of being pregnant and never knew why. I feel like in my conscious mind now, everything has been cleared. I feel like my chances for IVF just exploded into the sky.

I can exhale and keep going to this happy, creative space in my mind that is expansive, playful and fun. Finally.

Now have a secret smile. I feel really, really excited try in two days. What if it happens?a


Fertility Vacation 2.0 // Portugal in Real Life

Last night my brother called me. It’s been a long story, but the call ended in tears with me alone, several floors up, crying on my bed in the sad, wailing kind of way that a mom mourns her child. In between my crying out, I happened to look out the window of my Airbnb at an old beautiful apartment and realized how similar the view looked to my hypnotized past self. I was a similar age and feeling a devastating pain.

I guess this moment unfolded again, or maybe I was seeing my future self instead of my past. I’m not sure, but it looked and felt the same. I was actually supposed to be in Lisbon last week, but ended up going to Croatia.

My nephew is moving to San Jose. We are super close and he usually lives at my house (his grandma lives with us) at least 40% of the time and now he’s leaving. Suddenly. So the tears were because my brother said that when Gaidin says his prayers at night, my mom taught him to say the names of the people who love him, and that he had been saying my name closer to the top than usual .Grandma, Auntie, Uncle Mike…..I couldn’t help but think this time next year Gaidin will be four and he won’t really remember me the same way as someone who is in his everyday life and my heart shattered.

Gaidin and I have some kind of strange connection. I love him fiercely and have always advocated for him. I have always felt like he could be locked in his own mind the way that I can. Maybe it’s because we both have a language delay and attention issues or have a fascination with water and light or prefer to sing over talking. Maybe it’s because Mike calls us Clumsy 1 and Clumsy 2 or that we have no real regard for the personal space of people we like.

I hope in San Jose he finds someone in his life who understands that the need for play, exercise and diet can look a little different for kids who can get in lost themselves. I’m working to embrace my new role as the cool aunt you just see a few times a year, but who loves the heck out of you.


Fertility Vacation 2.0 // Hypnosis

During one my hypnosis sessions I was asked to visit one of my past lives. What I saw was myself back in time maybe 100 years ago, living in a coastal city in Portugal. I live alone. I do chores and kind of go through the motions and my life seems sad and lonely. My past self offers some advice. Alone is not better. It just seems safer, but in the long run, you are alone. I imagined her sadness and the loss of not being able to connect with other people to be stuck alone in your own head. I also had this other flash from a movie or the idea of the sound a mother makes when they lose their child - a wailing, a total heartbreak. A horrible sound.

We realized I had a fear of a child leaving or dying. I’m glad we had a chance to work on this because I want to let this fear go. I have loved and lost people in my life, but I know that it is worth it. I know I’ll be a better, healthier person with a healthier relationship with this concept.

There was enough of a theme in my life that my subconscious grabbed a hold of it and made pregnancy feel risky.

I am not sure how you reassure your self conscious, but I’m working on it.

When I was in Portugal I think I was imagining Lisbon. I haven’t been there before, but I was several floors up and there were windows and I could see other buildings and cobblestone roads. It had a certain visual.


Fertility Vacation 2.0 // My Last Dollar

Once I got out of the Airbnb in Prague and looked around at the familiar painted houses in Vinohrady it hit me. What the fuck am I doing here? A bit of shock, horror and a small fleeting moment where my mind rejected the whole idea.

The highest part of me is 100% certain I want to be a mom. That’s my intuition and knowing. I’m also bombarded and occasionally run down with moments were my inner being says no. Are those moments true? Am I following my right path?

Despite the image of holding my baby in his or her pajamas, there is a lot of guilt involved in being “all in” in this process.

I’m an adventurer and up for the best life has to offer, but I’m not irresponsible. This year I’m all in. All the debt, all the months of stepping out of my life and responsibilities, the time away from my husband, and my sanity - all in.

I’m not usually a gambler.

Though there was this one time that I spent my last dollar….

I was at a bar in Sydney on the ground level of a hostel. I bought a VB (Victoria Bitters) for $2 at happy hour. My friends were always spending their last dollar, and I thought they were nuts, but there also seemed to be freedom in it.

So I tried it. I sat there, in awe of myself drinking that beer. It was thrilling. Of course I knew I had groceries at home, my subway ticket and a direct deposit going into my account from my ad agency job in the morning, but from 6pm until the next day I was “skint”. I felt so rad.

That was over a decade ago, but just telling you about it makes me feel alive and a little indestructible.

When I walk into the clinic today, I’m going to hold on to the feeling of being that girl, sitting in a bar, drinking a beer she didn’t particularly like, feeling like she had the coolest secret ever. It felt like jumping off a cliff and landing in the sweetest blue water and coming up laughing, gasping for air with salt water running down my face.

I’ll choose to be her instead of the sad, broken poker player risking everything.


Fertility Vacation 2.0 // Visions

Here I am, taking hormones for IVF 2.0. Preparing my body for a frozen embryo transfer next week wondering what will happen. Will I get pregnant? Will I encounter a moment that my mind and body can’t handle? Will I know how to get unstuck? Will I ever be the Suzanne I recognize again? Betsy described a way to be hopeful to me that I visualized this way:

We were sitting on a bench in Croatia together, far away from our own lives looking at the late afternoon sun filtering through some trees, hitting the light waves of the Adriatic Sea.

My life has a couple of clouds in the sky, but I shouldn’t put those clouds over the sun. They are in the sky and a part of me for now, but soon enough they will have their place on the other side. They aren’t there to block out the light of who I most am.

What a gift to sit on a towel with someone who is a hero to me, fighting for her life, learning to take care of herself and finding out what she wants.


Fertility Vacation 2.0 // PTSD

This post makes so much sense to me. My friend Betsy whose husband died one night without warning while they were sleeping said she felt like a fraud to have PTSD since it's usually associated with people returning from war. It made me feel like I don't have to feel like a fraud for having post-IVF PTSD, and even though there are tons of hormones involved I guess this pain does belong to me. I'm hoping this realization will help me to get to the other side and the acknowledgement will give it permission to leave.

Maybe we will get pregnant and if not maybe this will help me recover sooner.


Fertility Vacation 2.0 // Duplicity

My heart skipped Fall. All of this traveling has confused my inner season clock. Like so many parts of me, I am searching for a true north that I can’t quite find.

I like Vienna. I like coffee houses. Is this beautiful city my hideaway? Walk, shoot, museums, eat, shoot, walk. I think it’s the right thing to be doing. I love to cheer myself up with everything that’s available to me.

For me, being happy is being grateful for what I have and pointed in the direction of what I’m looking for. If you are someone who is always using the silver lining as a north star, it’s easy to move your expectations a little to the left or right, but still forward.

Motherhood is a deal breaker. I don’t want to move right or left, I want the dream. I want the sunny day, a family with Mike. However we get there; adoption, surrogacy, IVF.

It makes me think of the quote, "how many roads must a man walk down before they call him a man?". How many times will I walk down this road?

Who will I be at the end of all of this?

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Fertility Vacation 2.0 // A Candle, a Wish or a Prayer

Good morning Santorini! Getting here was magical; a water taxi came to our boat’s dock at 3:45am and took us to the Venice airport. What a cool way to travel.

And now, we are sitting at a cafe in Santorini. It’s warm here and feels like vacation. There’s light greek music strumming in the background.

I took my first hormones today. I guess it’s really happening. I only want to drink coffee or take a nap so that I feel rested and in control.

It was an act of bravery to swallow those pills. I hope nine months from now we are holding a beautiful baby who looks like Mike Ofeldt. A baby who is so healthy and feels how much we love him or her; our carrot robot.  I hope we have twins, a boy and a girl.

I am so appreciative that we have the chance to make our dreams come true. I’m grateful that Mike is the man by my side.

It’s odd, but lately I’ve been having bouts of insecurity. It’s nothing that’s been said or done, but I had this terrible dream that Mike fell in love with one of our married friends with two daughters and they left both of us and got married. Since then, I had a couple of odd thoughts about what life would be like if he left.  

I guess I’m realizing it’s possible our dreams won’t come true. So maybe my brain is making the leap that other dreams can not come true as well, like growing old together.

I think it’s because the last few months have been hard. Not hard on us as a couple, but me as a person. I have felt a lot of anguish and like I’m constantly processing one emotion or another. I miss things being light. I miss my mind being light. I guess I miss the old me so maybe he does too. It’s taken a lot for me to get this healthy again and the reality is that our wildest dreams can come true or I’ll spend a few months digging myself out of a hole. It’s all going to happen so fast from here on out. Light a candle for us, make a wish, say a prayer.

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