bad blogging in bullets

    • Sorry for the lack of updates. A number of things have happened, but nothing major, or at least I still feel as stuck as I have in the past months.
    • I had two major deadlines in December, and H was sick (preschool colds and other ailments combined with an aversion of doctors offices) so I decided to put off serious relationship discussions until after Christmas. But mentally I pulled away. I had already, but this didn’t help.
    • I had not worn my wedding ring in months. H apparently never noticed (go figure). But his mother did. Sigh. So we had some serious discussions on Dec 22 and 23. Wonderful timing, though I guess it never is a good time. We decided to try and work this out – to be perfectly honest, I still don’t have too much hope, and I’m mainly doing this for SB, and to feel like I really tried. I did not want to ruin the first Christmas she might remember – and of course splitting up a day before would have been really hard for me, too.
    • He is at the same time convinced we can and should work this out, and dismissive towards the issues I raise, like fair share of childcare and housework. And I can’t figure out how to make him understand that this is really important to me.
    • He is making some effort though, at least on the chore front.
    • I mentioned the idea of therapy again, several times. And he dismissed every time, and said that, if I saw or had this many problems, then perhaps I should go by myself. And then he completely freaked out when I actually looked up some therapists and made an appointment with one. (Which is still to come, next week.)
    • One aspect I would really like to talk about with the therapist – and that I find hard to discuss with friends, especially those that know both of us – is that, while I really want a better distribution of chores, the change in my feelings that has happened over time might be more difficult. In that, even if we become equal partners around the house and SB, I’m not sure this will change my feelings back to how they were, years ago. It doesn’t help that I still can’t pinpoint what exactly happened, or when things started to go wrong, although I am thinking long and hard about it.
    • It is awfully painful to tell someone you used to love, and promised to love until death parts you, that… actually… I think a few friends, who have been there themselves, have tried to tell me how awfully hard this is, but it might be the sort of thing one doesn’t understand without being there. At least I didn’t. I don’t want to hurt him (though I realize that this is impossible).
    • We don’t do fun things together anymore, and I’m not getting the impression that H is willing to adjust his hobbies (of which there are many) to find something that I would also enjoy. (For background, in our early years I tried out several of the things he likes, but none were really mine, so this stopped. In the last years I’ve basically only been working and taking care of SB – my only “hobby”, if one can call it that, are language classes for our current country. I went to two yoga classes in December, first since SB was born, and it was so nice. So I’m trying to turn that into a regular thing.)
    • I’m sad with the overall situation, but do not see an easy way out. There might not be. But I’m tired of being sad. In some ways it’s better now that we are at least talking about that there is a problem, but it’s still hard and awkward and sometimes painful. And completely unclear in terms of where this is going. My two younger brothers are getting married this year, and I feel like I’m on the opposite end of the spectrum, which again just reminds me of my sadness. And probably makes me feel old (which doesn’t help either).
    • The holiday break, and life in general, also had/have nice parts, it’s not all gloom and doom as this post makes it sound. But it’s already long and chaotic enough, and this was the stuff I needed to write about… next time, perhaps.



Despite good intentions, I have not become a better blogger. In part because life is full, with a little monkey and a great job and, finally, some nice weather.
In part it is because thing I feel like I’d need to write about is so complicated, and something I did not see coming. At all.
As I may or may not have mentioned, we bought a house earlier this year. The entire process was stressful for a number of reasons. H has long had issues with making decisions on purchases, going back and forth over all the possible pros and cons, both before and after making an “official” decision. No matter if it’s a pizza, a computer, or a house. And to some extent this is necessary, especially in this order of magnitude. But it’s also wearing. Especially once the contract had been signed and all wait periods had passed, it just really didn’t make sense to discuss why this may have been the wrong choice after all. I mainly tried to wait it out, hoping that, once we moved, he’d see the advantages and settle in. We’ve moved a few times already, and it always took him a while to adjust.
But he’s still complaining. Not just about the house, about all sorts of things, about how he thought he’d be more successful professionally at this age, etc. I’m tired of all the complaining. I’m not at the professional level where I was hoping to be either, but I love my job, I have a wonderful child, and live in a good and safe place. He seems unable to focus on the good in his life, and it’s been like this for years. Perhaps my patience for the endless complaints has worn thin.
The other issue I’m struggling with is that he doesn’t seem to make our family life a priority. He’ll sit on the couch with his laptop instead of playing with his daughter or help set the table. When I point this out, he’ll have some excuse like “I’m tired” – because I clearly had 12 hours of sleep and spent the day at a spa.
We don’t do much for fun together anymore. I asked a friend to watch SB and planned a dinner for our anniversary, and it took a long time to convince him that we should actually go out just the two of us. Then finally he changed plans and we only had a very rushed dinner before going to the movies. And while I really liked Wonder Woman, it would have been good to sit and talk.

I know marriage is hard (Bunny had some great posts on this over the years). But I have no idea what happened. Or what I’m supposed to do. How to explain him that I’m so unhappy with the situation that divorce is a realistic option. How to say any of this without him getting very upset and thus eliminating the chances of actually having a conversation.

Sometimes I feel the only thing we have in common anymore is SB. And, much as we love her, that may not be enough to keep the relationship alive.

Infant in lap, embryos as carry-on

The last few weeks have been really busy, with interviews and job offers and big decisions to make. In the end we decided to go “back” to Europe. The “back” is in quotes as we haven’t actually lived in this country before, yet nevertheless some cultural aspects are probably going to be quite familiar. Plus distances to see our families will be much smaller – they’re all thrilled!
Besides trying to organize an international move and learn a new language, we also need to figure out what do with our frozen embryos. A and C and SB’s potential siblings. My understanding is that New Country’s public health system covers fertility treatments, so it most likely is cheaper (though not necessarily cheap) to send them there than to pay flights and transfer fees here. But – how do I find a good clinic from miles away? Will they accept them even though I’m not a patient yet? Our yearly storage fee here is coming up, so if possible it’d be nice to send them off before that comes up, but of course it’s more important that they will be properly received… if you happen to have any insights on the topic of international embryo shipping, I’d love to hear them.
Given my to-do list, blogging may be sparse – or soar as a means of procrastination. Either way I’m reading along and sending good thoughts when necessary.


Today a year ago, I lost my mucus plug in the morning. I freaked out, but the nurse tried to convince me that I needn’t come in (and perhaps they couldn’t have done anything anyway). A couple hours later, C’s water broke. Our poor little girl was all curled up on the ultrasound. It was heartbreaking – and the slim prospects of survival they were giving us for either of our twins didn’t make it any better. It was one of the worst days of my life.

This morning (my time zone), my brother’ girlfriend delivered their daughter, overdue and 9.5lbs, but healthy and alive. She is my dad’s first* living grandchild, and I wonder how he feels about it. He’s not one to talk about emotions but was clearly devastated by the loss of A&C. I’m happy for them, really, but I wonder how I’d have taken this without Strawberry Baby kicking me reassuringly.

* My MIL wrote an email about this baby being my dad’s first grandchild. H was very offended.


My brother called to tell me that his girlfriend is pregnant.

The fact that he called (we mostly just text) told me it was something important – good or bad. He really tried to do this in the kindest and most gentle way possible, and he knew this would not be easy for me to hear. But, as you probably know from experience, some news still sting even if transmitted ever so gently.

I was ok on the phone, congratulated them and wished them all the best, asked how his girlfriend was doing (pretty good) and whether they were planning to get married (yes, but later, once the baby is there). But of course this brought up all those ugly infertility feelings: they are younger than we are, they have been together for a fraction of the time we have! (because clearly it works this way) Maybe they weren’t even trying! Add to that the ugly loss feelings: she’s 9 weeks, and they assume they will have a baby in September. Even if I am pregnant now, I will worry about losing the baby until we have reached at least 26-28 weeks (not that it’s “safe” after that, I just haven’t been there, and the likely outcome is better than at 20w). Probably beyond that, too.

I finally burst into tears just before H came back home. We spent some quiet time missing A & C, and being hopeful for this cycle.

Of my three brothers, this is the one I am least close to. Not that we have big arguments or anything, we’re just different. I had told my two other brothers about the FET but not him, and didn’t feel like mentioning it yesterday. The others might have told him, it’s not a secret – but as he didn’t bring it up either I think he might not know.

And yet, there is some sort of silver lining when looking beyond the stings. I grew up in a big family and always enjoyed spending time with my cousins – and, as it looked like neither of my brothers was going to start a family soon, I was a bit sad to think that our children might not have this. Admittedly, much of this thinking was before we lost A & C, so now there is an extra layer of complicatedness. But as I’m really hoping to bring home a baby someday soon, I’d be happy if he or she had a cousin to play with.

breaking the silence – part 2

My aunt and uncle write a yearly newsletter that goes out to friends and family, usually with the Christmas cards and presents. Both of them, as well as their grown children, write about the main events of their year. It goes to many people – they are wonderful and have many friends as well as extended family on both sides.
Last year, they included how very sad they were when they heard about the loss of our twins. I cannot even begin to describe how much this means to me, such a public recognition of their lives and the depth of our loss.

cover girl, part I

I didn’t quite know what to give my godchild for Christmas. I was planning to get the book with the turtle with my firstborn’s name for myself, and decided she’d get one, too. It is a good book after all, and I don’t think she is too old for it.
Given my lack of energy beyond basic functioning, I didn’t have it yet a few days before Christmas. Thinking I’d try my luck, I went into a local bookstore and asked if they had it available. The nice shop assistant led me to a table with selected children’s books and gave me the paperback version, featuring the cover I knew from childhood. As I had wanted the hardcover copy, I looked back to the table. There was a stack next to it, very different in design. I wouldn’t have recognized it. “This new design is so beautiful”, the lady at checkout commented, “with C on the front”.


On the plane I asked for decaf with breakfast. Not that I’d slept much – it’s midnight “my time” when we arrive, but 9am locally. That situation seems to demand coffee. But last time I took this flight I was pregnant, and remembered that I really liked that decaf – in part because it was freshly brewed for me. When the flight attendant came back with my cup, I heard her mention a powdered coffee brand to her colleague. My recently developed coffee-snob-ego wanted to get miffed, but even when I smelled it I knew why I liked it: this was the kind of coffee I used to have with my mom on the porch after coming back from school. I have so many good memories of us sitting and talking and having (powder-based) coffee.


We went downtown, and H was taking pictures of me with the Christmas decoration in the background. He wanted to try another angle (he’s serious about this) and asked me to look more relaxed and to smile. “I can’t”, I said. “I’m sad.”. He apologized and hugged me, I cried some, and eventually we moved on, at least in the literal sense. This is how many of my days go – I’m okay most of the time, and then something triggers a reminder of our loss, and I become so sad again, for a little while.

of mothers and daughters

My mom died seven years ago today.

Long before we even started trying, I was sad my children wouldn’t get to meet her. She was a wonderful mom and would have been a great grandma. Perhaps, somewhere in the back of my mind, I worried I might leave my children too soon, like she had to leave me, leave us. But the thought that they might meet her first didn’t occur to me until it was almost too late.

long distance

Our plan for Christmas was to stay here and wait for the babies to be born. Even with a late February due date, a transatlantic flight did not seem like a good idea for this time. Now that everything turned out so differently from what we hoped, we’re back to the question of to stay or to go – or to go somewhere else entirely. And it is not easy.

After A and C were born, both H’s parents and my dad offered to come. We declined. We felt that we’d need time for just the two of us. Our apartment is small. Given the distance they’d stay for at least 2 weeks*, and that just seemed more than what we could handle.

But of course they need to grieve as well, and they want to comfort us. We’ve been talking and emailing, which I think has helped everyone, at least most of the time**.

We’ve thought about flying over for Christmas. It might help us process the experience some more, it might help them, and perhaps we could begin the new year with hope for new things to come. Not that we’ll ever forget A & C, but we would like to be hopeful again.

But then there is the high potential for more insensitive comments. On my side of the family, Christmas is a difficult time to begin with – our family cohesion has really suffered after my mom’s death, one of my siblings isn’t even coming home any more because of a quarrel with my dad’s wife, and this whole situation doesn’t lead to happiness under the tree.

We’ve thought about going to Hawaii instead. We certainly need a vacation, and one for just the two of us. But somehow this doesn’t feel right either. We worry we might not be able to enjoy it, between the loss of A & C and neglecting our families back in our home country. Plus, it’s much harder to look over other people’s big baby bellies in a bikini than it is when they’re underneath thick winter coats…

We could just stay here, of course. That would be a very lonely and sad Christmas. Which somehow feels the most appropriate – but it probably isn’t helpful when thinking about healing, about becoming hopeful again.

Now we actually bought flights – on somewhat inconvenient dates, but those were the least outrageous prices. When we made the decision we figured we’d be sad wherever we were, so we might as well try and make our families a bit happier. Yet, booking these flights released much more raw sadness than I expected – on the last trip (less than two months ago!) we were so confident that the next one would be with our babies. It is so hard to face the reality that this won’t be the case. And as soon as we had bought the tickets we doubted it had been the right decision. And we’re still in that undecided spot. Haven’t even told our families about the tickets. We don’t want to go, we don’t want to stay… the one thing we would want is, sadly, impossible.

* I imagine my dad might actually just stay for a few days, but the inviting one party and not the other would have led to jealousy and other complicated feelings that we didn’t want, either.
** MIL, who is devastated by our loss, has made a number of really insensitive comments – apparently it is not obvious that someone else’s pregnancy announcement is not what we need in the week after our babies’ death.