Trauma Travel

Four Seasons Papagayo

Trauma travel (Verb): The act of taking a trip to a foreign country and/or a super awesome locale to lick your wounds after life delivers a major bitch slap. 

I wish I could say that I am the great pioneer of trauma travel but I’m pretty sure Elizabeth Gilbert beat me to it.  Her little novel called Eat, Pray, Love (you may have heard of it? I’ve only read it a million times) found its way to the New York Times best seller list and became a blockbuster hit.  So while I am not the founder of this awesome method of healing I sure am working on perfecting it.

When the universe decided to make me its human punching bag last week by delivering an epic failure for my first round of IVF my husband and I decided we are way overdue for some R&R. After pulling the plug on stimulation day 10 after only 3 out of my 12 follicles woke up from their snoozefest I thought I’d indulge my non-pregnant self with things that I would not be able to otherwise do if I were with child.

They include: ziplining, massages whilst laying on my stomach, surfing, drinking adult beverages out of coconuts and hanging out near an active volcano. They will all be accomplished by the end of this month in Costa Rica!

For me, nothing cures the life shat upon me feeling quite like my passport and a plane ticket to anywhere but here. At this point it is safe to say I am an expert trauma traveler.  In the last 15 years if I have needed to clear my head and readjust my sails I’ve hopped on a plane.

Out of the 35 countries I’ve visited a handful have been to lick my wounds. When I went through major breakups in my 20’s Norway, Germany, Italy, Thailand and the Philippines were all there to give me the warm hug and kick in the ass I needed.

When I was laid off from the advertising world when the recession hit I dashed off to Norway and England to plot and plan my next career move.

When I lost my son Blake I got on a plane to New York City a month and a half later (which did prove to be a bad idea when I uncontrollably sobbed for hours in Central Park) So I headed to Seattle a few months later and the trip breathed a bit of life back in to me.

In January my husband and I explored Colombia a few months after I miscarried at 9 weeks.

I’ve learned that life happens in between positive pregnancy tests. When we are “trying” I feel as if I am holding my breath underwater and when we aren’t I’m allowed to come up to the surface to breath again.   I have learned and continue to relearn to find the happy in the “in between”. I try to avoid the “if I get pregnant then I will be happy” mentality because my in between  is that infinity pool overlooking the ocean in the photo above. I’m going to soak up all life has to offer in the in between.

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IVF Theme Songs And High-Fives

The past four days like clockwork, every morning at 8:30 am and every evening at 7 pm my husband has stabbed me with the baby-making juice.  With the exception of one shot they’ve all ended with a high-five and a kiss for the painless procedure. I’m really proud of him. He’s got a gentle touch and I barely feel a thing. My belly is beginning to show signs of tenderness and I have a headache that won’t quit on my 10 ml Micro Lupron / 225 ui Follistim protocol but this little party in my ovaries is in full swing.

In my efforts to stay on the sunny side of this less than stellar situation I have decided to do two things:

1. Have a theme song

Yes! I have a theme song for making this IVF cycle my bitch and it’s Katy Perry’s Roar. If you need to pump yourself up before your shots I highly recommend.  Thankfully it’s overplayed and on the radio every 15 minutes right now. I picture my follicles roaring like lions. It’s absolutely ridiculous, but nobody ever said IVF has to be serious.

2. A  list of things that hurt more than my injections

The injections really haven’t been that bad, but in case I forget I’ve been developing a list of things that hurt WAY more than one of my shots. A few that have made my list include:

– paper cuts

– Eyebrow threading (this is really painful)

– Bikini wax

-canker sores

– stubbing my toe

– rolling my ankle in a pair of heels

– Cat scratches

– Feel free to let me know what other things I should add to my tally. 🙂

To be a champion fight one more round.

To be a champion fight one more round – James Corbett

I’ve never been in a boxing ring. And the only time I’ve ever thrown a punch was back in the Billy Bank’s era during the early 2000’s when kickboxing was trendy. Life has certainly made me its punching bag a time or two. I know what it feels like to get knocked down and come up swinging. I’ve picked myself up and dusted myself off more times than I’d care to count at 32-years-old and some of my hardest blows have been about pregnancy.

Two years ago today after 18 weeks of pregnancy I delivered my son stillborn for reasons that to this very day are still unknown. The doctors called it a fetal demise. I called it not being lucky enough to miscarry. I don’t know what was worse…learning that my son had no heartbeat during my first ultrasound, spending 18 hours in labor only to walk out of the hospital with my arms empty or the emotional trauma I experienced each night when I fell asleep and saw my son in my dreams. There he was a blond haired blue-eyed piece of perfection. The problem was horrible things would happen to him and I could not save him. He burned to death; he was stolen out of my car at the airport. I accidentally smothered him to death when I dumped out a basket of laundry. As I dug through the laundry I could feel his heart beating and I could not get to him fast enough…

In July 2012, a little over a year later, once I re-gained my courage to fight one more round, my husband and I found out we were pregnant. By September we knew it was a blighted ovum and I miscarried.

Most recently, after every test imaginable, we went through out first round of stimulated IUI to end up with an ectopic pregnancy.

These are my stories from the ring of reoccuring pregnancy loss and infertility . I fill my non pregnant moments with random adventures because one day very soon I will in fact be pregnant for the entire 10 months. Until then it’s on to round number four…ding…ding…ding!