Monday 12 January 2009

Finding a vein

Sometimes you just can't stop yourself from looking, can you?.

It could be a nurse puncturing your skin with a needle, or a movie where a bone gets visibly broken, or a discovery channel operation where you see flesh being sliced open.

The result is the same. You quickly shut your eyes, inhale sharply, your stomach physically hurts, and you wish you hadn't made yourself look.

You vow not to the next time, but you do anyway. Again and again.

Welcome to the world of trying to conceive.

The needles are standing watching your neighbour's kids as they chat amongst themselves bundled up against the cold, only eyes, noses, and fingers visible under masses of padding. The reality is you don't have that.

The broken bone is where you daydream of five, or ten, or fifteen years from now and all the fun times that you envisage being a part of it. The reality is that five, ten, or fifteen years from now you could be in the same situation as you are now.

The incision is forgetting the previous twenty two disappointments and facing the twenty third attempt, still talking the talk, still doing what needs to be done. The reality is that the facts speak for themselves, with so many failures behind, the likelihood of this one working is tiny.

Everything is double edged now, this far in you know what there is to gain. On one hand you want, and feel you deserve, the moment of comfort or bliss where you allow yourself to imagine a positive outcome, daydream for a minute of being on the other side of all this. It's exhilarating, just like that split second where you dare to watch the nurse take your arm.

The other hand is the harsh reality, that what you daydream isn't reality at all, and now, it might never be. It's an unthinkable, unimaginable, unwanted image, but before you know it, it's in your head, you've seen it.

The result is the same. You quickly shut your eyes, inhale sharply, your stomach physically hurts, and you wish you hadn't made yourself look.

The nurse has pierced your skin, you can only hope she's found her vein, and you don't have to think about all this again.

At least until the next time.


Anonymous said...

Just keep thinking about that other side. I think that's a kick-ass plan of attack.

Jason Roth said...

And you'll keep doing it, because you deserve the inevitable outcome.

Badness Jones said...

I'm sure that you've heard every platitude and every "oh - but I know someone who...." story that you ever want to. I've been lurking here for awhile, and haven't been able to think of anything helpful to say, but if another set of crossed fingers will help, you've got it.

IrishNYC said...

I used to get woozy at the thought of having to have blood taken. Then I met the RE. Blood 3 or 4 times a week for 6 months? You get to be a pro at it. I'm now fascinated by it and love to watch the needle go in. Remember that childbirth hurts worse and the needles are just a means to get to it.

Anonymous said...

Heartbreaking, but perfect, analogy. For the love of Mike, Universe, give this man a kid, would you?!?!

samcrea said...

Have you not been to Australia yet?

Anonymous said...

While reading this, my sharp intake of breath was after realizing I have no freakin' clue how much pain this causes you and ET. I'm so sorry if I ever said "I know how you feel" because, holy crap, I really don't.

Angie [A Whole Lot of Nothing] said...

Are you doing drugs? Just say no. They're bad for you.

Maybe I should go back and read more than just the title.

Liz said...

For fuck's sake Xbox. Its a Monday, I don't need anything else to bring me down. I'll be slitting that vein soon.

Anonymous said...

I've got my fingers crossed for a last minute miracle. I refuse to uncross them for anyone.

Bluestreak said...

I saw a good friend of mine over the holidays and we were talking about having kids, questioning when's the right time, etc and she brought up the fact that it was really stupid of us to assume that at any given moment we can say, "Ok, time to have kids now" and be able to do it. I thought of you and for some weird reason I fear I will find myself in your situation when my husband and I get our asses out of our heads and decide to start a family. I don't know why I think that, maybe it's ungrateful of me to think it, but I just feel like it would follow suit with how things are going in my life and how many things up to now have been...dissapointing. I can't possibly know how you feel and what it is to want to have kids and not be able to. I do know what it is to want something so bad it hurts and for it to seem, and possibly really be so far out of reach. It's so defeating.

Anyway, sometimes I feel like commenting, "gBuck up little camper, it'll happen soon" and sometimes I feel pessimistic too about my own circumstances just want you to know that I get the feeling of defeat and know that it sucks big time.

Anonymous said...

I hate needles.

It took a nurse 17 tries to find it one last time I was in hospital.

I threw up twice.

She loved it.


Ms. Moon said...

All I can say is, I'm sorry you two are in so much pain. I truly am. I know others in similar situations and I will never know how it feels but it looks like hell from the outside.
Red, hot hell.

Anonymous said...

I think a few of us out here felt a sharp painful stab reading that.

I just wish I could wave a magic wand for you two. Really.

Anonymous said...

(from Mrs. LIAYF)

For us, it was like being the only starving people at an all-you-can-eat buffet (do they have those in England?). There we were, our emaciated ribs showing through our thread-bare shirts, and all around us people in party mode, stuffing it down, saying "Isn't life so delicious?" No, it wasn't.

Worse was when they would give the obnoxious advice, like "Don't worry, there's a plan for you." Or "Just relax." As if relaxing, or waiting for this ephemeral plan to take place would feed the all-consuming hunger in your soul.

I know it's no salve to your pain, but we went through 49 cycles (49 freakin' cycles!!!) and got Lukas. In the end, worth every minute of starvation.

Putz said...

i just barely watched that woman on discovery who runs the morge and gave us 5 examples of frequent death as she sees it...i am only doing this to take your mind off your you know uhaum errg probblem..anyway 5 was chemicals like bleach, or lye etc,, the 4th was infection of virus, bacteria, microbes, that goes through a cut in your body and form pusuls{ are you forgeting abour your errg, uhm problem?????}3 was alchol or withdrawl from alcoho, 2rd was cigarrwte smoking, and 1 was fattness...yep death

Mick said...

Wow, that's deep.

It's the fecking butterflies in my stomach that annoy me the most.

Death to butterflies.

Elaine at Matters of the Heart) said...

My heart breaks for the two of you, and I am not trying to be funny. I love that you find the humor in it all, I just really feel for the painful side of it.

Hoping this is the one.

Kori said...

If there is even a shred of justice in the universe, you two deserve it. If there is an iota of good karma somewhere in MY life, I want you to have it. What I want more than anything is for you to have to shut this blog down because you are no longer an infertility blogger but (gasp) a daddy blogger. But if you do that, better keep the other one going, too, because god knows I dont' read daddy bloggers!

Hilary (Maya Papaya) said...

My heart aches for you guys. I wish I could somehow magically make everything work out. You really and truly deserve better than this.

I've got all of Canada pulling for you.

xo Hil

Veronica Foale said...


Deb said...

A very apt analogy. Occasionally, you find someone capable of taking blood without causing so much as a pinch of pain. That always makes me surprisingly happy. I hope you get your surprise and your happy this month.

Jo Beaufoix said...

You are quite brilliant, did you know that?

Paddy in BA (Quickroute) said...

I ain't scared of much but needles terrify me and I have been known to faint at the sight of them - Blood I can handle

I Am Emily... said...

the world is full of so many miracles, thats why we all have hope for our own lives.

I just cant imagine being in the situation you're in, I feel so spoilt not being able to understand the pain and letdown.

frog ponds rock... said...

Fuck it let's go and get pissed..

C said...

I so understand how you must be feeling...We have numbed ourselves..when we see a child now, we laugh a sarcastic laugh...Yeah we have become ONE of them...the cynical infertiles..

Anonymous said...

I hope that the needle is very tiny, so the pain is minimal.

River said...

Don't lose hope Xbox. Please don't lose hope.

Martin said...

@that girl - that's the problem, you can't think about the good part of the other side, without catching a glimpse of the bad.
That's what smarts.

@iVegasFamily - 'Deserve', 'Inevitible', shame there's no substance to either of those words.

@Badness Jones - Thank you, it's appreciated.

@IrishNYC - Mot quite the point I was making, but thanks.

@prayingtodarwin - or at least leave on of their cages open once in a while, I can help myself.

@samcrea - Plan B.

@Bonnie B. - Checked my list, you're safe.

@Angie [A Whole Lot of Nothing] - maybe, yes.

@womb for improvement - I'm just bursting pimples.

@bsouth - There's that word, miracle. Bloody normal biology will do!

@Bluestreak - Well this has certainly taught me that no one can just decide 'it's time', if something is wrong, it's wrong and you're in trouble.
What I would say, is you can already start doing some basic things that might help flag if there could be issues.
Charting a few cycles for eg. Dry runs!

The buck-up sentiment is almost natural to want to give, but frankly, means nothing to the recipient.

@Maxi Cane - mention nurse & prick and you come running.

@Ms. Moon - Simply, it is.

@Tismee2 - You and me both.

@Mrs. LIAYF - 49 months is insane, I would have nothing left.
Hunger is a great analogy.

@Putz - nice try!

@Mick - Ha! read some of the archives, there's deeper and darker in there.
Butterflies yes, an almost constant anxiousness.

@Elaine - thank you, me too, despite it all.

@Kori - You & I both know karma & justice don't deliver jack.

@Hilary (Maya Papaya) - the French bits aussi?

@Veronica - Yes.

@Deb - It's not the act of drawing blood that causes the sick-in-the-stomachness, but rather, seeing it.
It's the simple thought of how badly it all could end.

@Jo Beaufoix - There is nothing brilliant here, just getting by in angry, bitter, or silly ways.

@Quickroute - I just can't watch, I have no problem with them otherwise.

@Tanya - We don't want a miracle though, just the same as every other person. Normality.

@frog ponds rock... - Too tired.

@Chhandita - I hate the way it has changed the way I react to things. horrible. - But, it's isnt.

@River - No choice I suppose...

Jane G said...

I know exactly what you mean. I just couldn't put it as eloquently as you.

Lyssa said...

It's preparation for being a parent. I can't tell you how many times I've watched the kids step too close to the edge and felt my stomach drop into my bowels.

Great message, as usual!

Jill said...

Awe cripes.... nothing more to say except cripes.

Thinking of you and wishing nothing but the best.

James (SeattleDad) said...

Ahhh, I remember it well. You get past it. Not fun, but you do.

Anonymous said...

Somebody once said to me, meaning to be comforting, 'You can't miss what you've never had.' I'm not entirely sure why her disembowelled corpse wasn't found buried beside your stork. It should have been.

Anyway. I still feel vaguely triumphant when I manage to enjoy watching or chatting with or cuddling someone else's small child. Hurray! I didn't cry all over them! I am so very mighty strong!

Because it sucks so much, seeing something so lovely and having it hurt so bad.

Sarah said...

I am EXTREMELY hormonal. Please warn me when you are going to do deep posts. OK? I dont like to cry. We've talked about this.

You are a strong man.
You WILL make it through all of this( you and ET together) and you will be stronger people for it. Not to mention phenomenal parents. (ack. was that really cliche? Sorry.)

big freakin hugs! Give one to your wife too would ya?

Anonymous said...

I feel exactly the same when it comes to Boo.

I know it is a completely different situation and I have children and I should just shut the f*ck up.

But. I dream of a future that I know is impossible. And then come down with a thud when reality hits.

And dude it sucks. For both of us.

Momo Fali said...

Unfortunately, I know this hurts a lot more than a damn needle. If only it was that easy.

Martin said...

@Jane G - Eloquent bitterness, nice.

@Lyssa Ireland Thomas - More preparation eh? wow, I'm truly qualified.

@Jill - Thanks.

@James Austin - No, not fun at all.

@nutsinmay - Can't miss what you never had, bollocks.

@Sarah - You can take as an advance warning from here on out that it's all moody and crappy.

@Kelley - That's it exactly.
Allowing your imagination to wonder, only to get yanked back by the reality that it's not going to be like that.

@Momo Fali - Never that easy.

Anonymous said...

This is lovely. Heartbreaking, but lovely.