It didn’t work. The first attempt at IVF yielded no positive pregnancy test. I couldn’t breathe. I wanted my baby. I wanted our baby.
Our baby wasn’t growing in my womb. The nurse said “I’m sorry”. I said “Its’ okay.” It wasn’t okay. I should’ve been pregnant. I cried.
I cursed God. I was angry. I was in hell.
Why couldn’t God allow me to get pregnant? Didn’t he know that I wanted a baby? I felt barren and unfit. Unfit to carry a baby.
I withdrew from my marriage. I pushed my feelings inside and threw myself into my work. I needed something to take my mind off not having a baby and I needed to see value in this barren life.
The fertility doctor kept calling to talk to me. I wouldn’t do it. I refused to do it. My husband said “Kee, you need to call the doctor back before he recommends therapy.” Hell, he should have. He did. I was hurting.
After a few weeks of feeling like a failure as a woman because I couldn’t conceive I called the doctor back. He wasn’t available. Oh well. I really didn’t want to talk anyway. He called me right back. He apologized for being in with a patient. He said “I’m sorry.” I shrugged my shoulders and said “I know. It’s part of the process. I knew that there was a probability that it wouldn’t work.” He said, “I think you should do it again. I know that I can get you pregnant.”
I sighed. I couldn’t go through this again. My hair was falling out from the drugs. The bruising on my body. The emotional hell of not hearing that I’m pregnant. I wasn’t ready to be disappointed anymore. I needed to breathe.
“Maybe” I replied.
We hung up. I told my husband what he said. He didn’t respond. I asked him what he thought about it. He said “I think you should do it again. He said that he can get us pregnant.” I walked away.
Silence loomed in our house because I felt alone. My body had betrayed me and my husband believed that somehow it was us getting pregnant. It wasn’t. It was me. It was me going through the blood draws, egg retrievals, shots and pills. You can’t understand my pain.
My pain was enveloping me like a thick smoke. I was suffocating. Suffocating in my marriage and in my desire to give him something that I couldn’t give. My womb was broken. I was broken. I was cracking the hell up.
I turned down the volume on the radio. I had a headache. The stress of my situation was weighing on my spirit and I couldn’t take it. I sighed “Two more weeks.”
Two more weeks until I was free to move away. Move to another place far away from this mess of a life that I had managed to create here. My job was transferring. Bigger raise. Bigger opportunity. Bigger city.
The promotion spoke volumes about my professional career. My love life on the other hand wasn’t as finalized. I had been dating a man for the last six months. I don’t know if you could really call it dating. It was more of a relationship of convenience. We hooked up when we were available.
He was a Virgo. Moody as hell. Fine, but definitely not a long term option. He didn’t seem to care when I told him about the job offer and move to Chicago. He just grunted “Good for you.” I guess I knew where we stood in those three words. They spoke volumes.
I couldn’t wait to get out of D.C.. So many memories, both good and bad, but Chicago was a new city. Time for a bigger change. I had already connected with some of my sorority sisters and they couldn’t wait for my arrival. I could just imagine the jazz clubs, the deep dish pizza and the winters. I was ready.
I looked around my apartment and tried to finish packing up my life. No real attachments. My walls held the standard black art and my shelves contained the acceptable amount of English and Russian literature to show that I was educated. I had no personal photos of men that I dated or my family. I was too busy.
Always working. Always striving. I was the most accomplished in my family. That in itself spoke volumes.
I grew up dirt poor in Frog Jump, Tennessee. Not much to see, but the minute I graduated, I packed my bags and headed to Atlanta, Georgia. I was a southern girl at heart. I attended a prestigious HBCU, graduated with honors and got a job in NYC. After a few years working my way up the corporate ladder, off to the nation’s capital I ventured to work on my MBA at Johns Hopkins and work in finance.
I just knew that I would find love here. I did. Derek was his name. He was tall, sexy and educated to boot. He was my first real love. He showed me the world. I gave him my all. Including my womb where he planted his seed. We were having a baby. It was unexpected, but I knew that Derek would be excited.
We had talked about children, marriage and a future after we had both established ourselves professionally. We were going to be a power couple. Until the baby. Until the night I told Derek that I was carrying our future. He looked at me with so much power that I knew that he would gather me up in his arms and kiss me.
But, I felt the force of his fist across my eye. The venom and anger in which he hit me with his fists and his words spoke volumes. “You whore!” he screamed. “You know that I am not where I’m supposed to be. You trapped me you slut!”
I laid there as he continued to hit me and kick me. I couldn’t fight back. He was too big. I tried. I cried. I tried to protect my belly.
My neighbor called the police. They broke in. They saved me.
I was another statistic. Another battered woman. My degrees didn’t matter. My job status. My race.
I lost more than my baby that night. I lost a piece of my soul. The quietness of my womb spoke volumes as I lay in my hospital bed.
This piece is inspired by the Daily Post. The word prompt of the day was volume.
You have to check out http://www.lynzrealcooking.com if you haven’t already done so. Whew! Her personal stories will have you ready to buy the rights to her life story and sell it to Hollywood. Not to mention her beautiful food recipes and photos. Check her out!
Outside temperatures in Riyadh dipped down, making life inside the villa bearable. The door stood ajar and the brown plastic window remained cracked, both bringing a much needed breeze but also giving another point of entry for lizards and cockroaches. After six weeks in Saudi, life had improved dramatically but it still seemed we were living a make shift existence, one that I assumed had been left behind in Seattle. See See and Foof ran around the villa playing made up games, bed pads were stacked to make forts and reinforced with pillows and blankets. The older boys attended Arabic school, struggling with the language and behavior of both students and teachers. I walked down the street to pick them up at the end of each day, listening to stories that fueled my frustration and posed the question, “why had we come to this place?” Contractions came and went as I…
Munch had his doctor’s visit last week for his annual check up. I actually had the school forms and camp forms ready to give to the pediatrician so I was excited that I was on point with the tasks that were still outstanding. Now, I had already had a rough day because he was supposed to be with his dad last week, but his dad was hospitalized (another story) so I became a full-time mommy with a full-time mommy schedule. That was hard!
So, that day was rough for me because I was off work, had a funeral, took my car in for an estimate (another story) and then we had the doctor’s visit. My girlfriend’s daughter watched munch while I went to the funeral and I headed over to get him so that we could continue with the day’s errands. When we get to the doctor’s office, I was actually 30 minutes early. They said, “No problem, we can take him back now.” What? For real? Bonus!
They do the standard measurements, height, weight, etc and then the doctor comes in. Now, I love his pediatrician. She is so wonderful. I remembered that she held my premature baby in one hand when she first met him, now he’s 7 and not so tiny. Which brings me to my point of these dang mommy blues.
After she did the examination of munch, completed the paperwork, she said, “Mom, he’s in the 95th percentile in weight. He’s getting too big. He put on 15 pounds since his last yearly check-up and we need to figure out how to slow it down.” What? He grew 3 inches. Are you serious? I said, “I bake everything, we get second portions of vegetables only. Yes, I do fast food when we have a late soccer practice, but not everyday. I don’t understand how this could happen? I keep him active with Tae Kwan Do, swimming and soccer.” She asked, “What about the sugars?” Huh?
I sat there like an idiot starting at her. She went on to explain that it could be the amount of sugar he’s digesting. I NEVER read the labels about sugar content. I sighed in exasperation and said, “This is hard. I never thought about the sugar content.” She told me to not be so hard on myself, but to ditch the syrup for breakfast on the waffles and only give him water and 3 glasses of skim milk a day. No more orange juice, apple juice or Gatorade. Water and skim milk. Ugh!
This parenting thing is hard. How am I supposed to remember everything? How can I read, research and apply techniques only to find out that they don’t work? I was so disturbed and distressed that I literally nodded and said, “Okay, I will make the adjustments.” Munch just sat there looking at me.
I said ,”Munch, we need to increase your water, cut your sugars and no more Gatorade or orange juice.” He looked at me and said, “Uh, okay mommy.” But, guess what happened? The next morning as I awoke to fix him breakfast and added syrup to his pancakes and poured him a glass of orange juice he said, “Mommy, I thought we need to cut my sugars. No more syrup or orange juice.” I replied, “After, we’ve exhausted what I bought then no more. I only added a teaspoon of syrup to your pancakes and you are drinking water for the rest of the day.” Dang child! He listens to everything.
Back to the drawing board. Now, it’s time to read the labels because I don’t want my child to suffer any health problems because I can’t seem to get it together and read the dang labels. I need to regroup and meal plan while reducing his sugar intake. More water, no juice in the household and we will incorporate bike riding into a weekly activity. I mean he has a bike that he doesn’t even know how to ride.
So, yesterday I had a hysterosonogram and biopsy to find out what’s been going on with me. At almost 40, things seem like they are beginning to breakdown. In an earlier post I explained how my doctor had recommended this procedure without talking to me. All on email. Ah, the joys of modern technology! Well, I agreed and let me tell you what happened.
I arrived at their swanky Silver Spring location and sat waiting about 20 minutes before I was taken to the back. This annoyed the heck out of me because I was told to arrive 15 minutes prior to my appointment. Why arrive early to have to wait and not be seen earlier? Physician politics I tell you. I’m sitting in the waiting room with three pregnant women who are looking at me as though I’m knocked up and not married. Nope, that’s not me! I’m just the curvy nerd reading the latest issue of Time.
After some BAK’s (Bad A** Kids) began running around the office and my “If you don’t sit your bad tail down I’m gonna whoop your momma’s butt look didn’t work” I began to flip my magazine in utter frustration. Thankfully, the young lady calls me to the back. She asked “Did they tell you to arrive with an empty bladder?” “Umm, nope. I received no instructions whatsoever!” She smiled, “Can you please empty your bladder in this bathroom and go into exam room #3?” “Sure. I just had a big gulp and my bladder is pretty full.” She looked mortified. I responded “Just kidding. See you in a minute.”
When I arrived in the sonogram room (aka exam room #3) I was told to disrobe below the waist, sit on the table and put the sheet around my lower half. No problem. I’m a pro at this. The nurse comes back in and begins her examination of my uterus, cervix and ovaries (including the follicles). Yep I could see it all on the flat screen in the corner of the room. (A lot had changed since I had my last sonogram). While it was uncomfortable it no way prepared me for the hysterosonogram and biopsy that happened next.
The infamous (okay I’m the only one calling him infamous) doctor walks in and says, “Hi Tikeetha, we talked extensively about the procedure I’m about to do. Are you ready?” I was in utter shock, “Umm, by extensively you mean you emailed me and I responded and we emailed back and forth? Doctor we never spoke. Email is not a conversation.” He said, “Oh, I do most of my correspondence by email now because every time I call a patient back they are never available and I’m always leaving a message.” I smiled and said, “A message telling me why you are recommending an invasive procedure is better than email. I’m not that old where I don’t answer my phone. You had me hating you and crafty snarky responses for my blog about how you treated me.” He said, “Please don’t bad mouth me to the world, I will put a note in your file to call you for invasive procedures. I’m sorry that you felt as though I ignored you. I didn’t mean it.”
I was relieved and opened my legs on the table and said, “Okay, now that we’ve got the apology out of the way, I’m ready.” He smiled and began to explain the procedure. The cold speculum dang near caused me to have a heart attack and then he put the tube in and pushed the fluid into my cervix and uterus to get a clear picture. I felt a painful clip and intense cramping. I was sitting there thinking I should have taken 2000 mg of Tylenol or a dose of crack to help with the intense pain. (Point of clarification: I don’t use drugs. Jokes only).
As I lay on that table wishing for a speedy death because I was in hell he was doing the biopsy saying that he wasn’t getting enough fluid. “Her uterus is too big” is what he told the nurse. I sat there in shock wondering what is too big? He told me to look up at the monitor and said, “Tikeetha, everything looks great. Your uterus is clear and beautiful. I don’t see any cause of concern. Get dressed and meet me in my office and we will discuss next steps.” “Okay” I mumbled as he removed the dang speculum and I felt even more cramping. He left the room and the nurse said, “Okay, get dressed and here’s a pad for the fluid that will drip all day and some spotting that may occur. Open the door when you’re ready and I will walk you to the doctor’s office.” “Okay” was all I could say.
I got off the table feeling like I was sucker punched. I got up and holding on to the table proceeded to get dressed and headed to the doctor’s office. I sat down and he said, “Everything looks good. Your uterus is big and clear. I will have the results of the biopsy in a few days, but I’m optimistic that everything will be fine.” I looked at him and said, “Doctor, you keep saying that my uterus is big, is this normal or abnormal? A genetic default or are you saying because I’m a plus size cutie that it’s normal that I have a big uterus?”
He looked at me and said, “Umm, no. Ahh, no. Well, it’s a big beautiful uterus!” WTH? He said, “Let me show you on these photos. You had a history of fibroids that were inside of your uterus. When fibroids grow they distort the uterine cavity. They were removed and the walls never contract back to size. But, your uterus is big, beautiful and healthy. It’s clear and they’re no fibroids so we have many options available. I will let you know the results of the biopsy when I get them. Is email okay?” “Yes, if you are not telling me bad news. Email will be fine. Other than that pick up the phone please!” He smiled and said, “I will.” I responded, “Okay, well thank you for explaining everything to me. I will keep on the current medication as suggested and contact you in a couple of months.”
As he was walking me out of the office he said, “Tikeetha, please don’t let me see any bad reviews on Yelp.” I laughed, “Sure, doc! I will make sure to bad mouth you on my blog, Twitter and Facebook page.” He turned redder than an apple. “Just kidding” I responded.
So, as I walked out of the office slowly holding my abdomen, I thought it pretty cool that I have a big beautiful uterus. Interesting and problematic sometimes being a woman, but I’m pretty good with the results. Women always have it rough and if you don’t believe it, just ask a doctor to perform a hysterosonogram on you and you will know it’s the truth.
I’m not worried about the results of the biopsy. I have faith. Faith in God, my doctors and the fact that I’m meant to annoy a few more people before I’m called home to glory. I had so much faith that I decided to treat myself to my rum brownies and cherry vanilla ice cream last night. Trust me, it helped with the pain.