It’s almost more than I can bare…

We had to say goodbye to another fur baby within 48 hours of my Luna pup.

Our house is super quiet. A maddening quiet. The silence is painful.

Rue came into our lives 6 years ago.

Let me back up.

Jesse, when he moved in with me, had an old lady pup named Shelby. She was the third dog in my family (in addition to my two weims). She was old and he had already been told by a vet before he moved back to OK that she was sick and she probably wouldn’t make it another year. But we were hopeful and while she laid around quite a bit, whenever table scraps were available she had no problems being the first to snag them.

But, the summer after Jesse moved in, Shelby really started to slow down. Then, Jesse took a weekend guys trip to the lake and his fur baby, Shelby, decided that it would be a good weekend to go. She stopped eating completely. She secluded herself outside and it took everything in me to coerce her back in and to hold off until he returned.

Jesse came back on Sunday and on Monday, after a long night of watching her struggle, I skipped school and went with him to the vet. It was time.

It was the first time I ever saw Jesse cry. And it was so hard. There is something about a strong man weeping that breaks me apart. He was almost inconsolable.

But time heals all wounds. He has a tattoo of her paw print over his heart. She was his first “ride or die” and while my two crazy ass dogs were around, they were just that. MY crazy ass dogs. HIS dog was gone and his heart hurt. (Blended families are tough y’all… even with Furry babies!)

We got Ellie 6 months or so later. She was supposed to be our dog together, but she is a total Daddy’s Girl (She allows me to pet her occasionally when he’s not around πŸ™„).

So, once again we were a 3 dog family. (our engagement photos on the front porch of our steps. Shiner, on the left, is less than thrilled to be posing. Luna’s ready for a nap. And Ellie’s just sitting there like a good girl- showing off.)

Then, a year after having to put Shelby down, he and his guy friends were at the lake again. He had taken Ellie with him because she would just whine and pout if she had to stay with me.

But, as the guys were hanging out at the lake, a red dog came sauntering up and just plopped down right next to Jesse like she belonged there all along and had finally found him. The personality and looks were strikingly similar to Shelby- so much so that Jesse was almost taken aback.

When he moved, she followed.

When he went inside, she laid down by the back door and waited for him to return.

There were 4 or 5 other guys there and she didn’t give two shits about any of them, she only had eyes for Jesse (you can imagine how put out Ellie must have felt πŸ˜‚).

Speaking of Ellie. This random red dog taught our new pup how to swim and fetch and snip at heels (they are both Heelers)- outside of having to share Jesse, they got along really well.

Jesse and I chatted about how she might belong to someone nearby so he should just leave her out that night.

He did, but the next morning- there she was. Waiting for him.

And the next morning after that.

The day they left, Jesse texted: “I’m going to leave her. But I’m going to call back in two days- if she’s still here- I HAVE to come get her.”

I agreed but made him swear up and down that he couldn’t use the whole “we have 4 dogs- we don’t have room for babies” as an excuse. πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

Two days later- we drove back out to the lake and snagged our Red girl. The 4th pup in our family.

We had just finished reading Hunger Games and our favorite character was Rue. It sounded enough like “red” that we figured whatever this lady’s name was previously she’d quickly adapt. And she did.

We had the vet check her out and got her current on shots. The vet guesstimated that she was 6-8 years old when we got her (no spring chicken, but man- fast as lightening chasing a tennis ball!).

Our fur family was complete.

Here’s a shitty picture of us at the dog park (pre kids). Anyone who has owned a weim knows that they’re crazy and you can see their crazy blurs here. We would take them nightly after being stuck inside all day while we both worked. They were our babies. Ellie and Rue (on the rock with me) loved to play hard but would also be calm occasionally.

Here’s one of just the girls on the deck we built at our old house in OK.

I think they are waiting for me to throw the ball.

In June of 2016 we lost Old Man Shiner. He was 13 years old.

Then, two days ago I lost my baby girl, Luna. My Luna-tic, my Silly Goose Goose.

And last night. After a year of nose bleeds and snoring, poor Rue started bleeding from her nose and mouth. We couldn’t get it to stop. She wouldn’t eat or drink for two days. I kept hoping it would slow and she’d be fine because losing another family member just wasn’t fathomable but it was time, again, so say goodbye to a dear, dear friend.

****

I fear making my son’s lunch tonight because who will eat the crusts of his sandwich?

I fear waking up in the morning, who will race to the back door to be let out? Who will bark until I return with food for their bowl?

I fear making breakfast, who will eat the strawberry tops I cut off?

I fear going to bed, who will I trip on to get to my spot?

I fear blow drying my hair in the morning, who will sit between my legs enjoying the warm air?

I fear the silence.

I fear the emptiness.

This house is now three souls less than when we moved here.

My heart hurts.

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Saying Goodbye…

She was my first furry baby girl (second pup we added to the family). Her ears were like velvet and the top of her head is the softest thing that ever existed. And her smooth belly had the power to calm any storm if you stopped to stroke it.

She was silver and a touch crazy (what weim isn’t?!) so we named her Luna. And her puppy dog eyes were such a powerful blue.

****

I posted previously about how late last year she had developed a tumor and how it was inoperable. But she was eating and drinking and still occasionally playful (by old dog standards).

Yesterday morning that ended. She was lethargic and while she still ate, she was shivering and just looked sick. Her eyes were red and her ears, her soft, velvety ears, were bright red. She was running a fever.

It was time. Whatever the tumor was and it’s size was starting to have physical effect.

We made the appointment and two hours later my house is a new level of empty and my heart hurts in ways that I can’t put into words.

On the drive home from the vet’s office I was thinking about how, as children, we want nothing more than to grow up and be an adult. But adulting sucks. It puts you in a position to make very hard decisions. Very sad decisions. And as adults we suffer some of the most horrific heartache. Lately that’s all I feel… heartache.

I am not suicidal… I feel the need to state that clearly. I know that I have a beautiful family sleeping in this quiet house and that they need me. But this heartache makes me hurt in ways that make me want it to stop.

The number of events that have caused me to ugly cry in the last 6 months is too many. When’s it gunna give?

Well damn.

We spoke to the IP’s this morning. They really are amazing people and I want nothing but the best for them, but I’m sad.

And the sadness is for a couple of reasons.

  1. I got dumped and that never feels good. AND I can totally see it from their perspective. If my doctor who has studied reproductive stuff for a career told me to switch surrogates I would follow their instruction. I mean, what they hell do I know?! This is what they do for a living.
  2. And I am pretty sure my journey as a surrogate just ended. THAT is what really makes me want to cry. Which I need to explain in more detail.

Jesse and I, back before we knew ALL the absolute shit that comes with surrogacy (I mean, let’s face it- this has been one shitty path- a great match, amazing IP’s, but the rest of it is just a totally fucking failure. I mean two failures really), thought that this would be over and done in about a year or a little over. We thought, ever so naively, that we’d get pregnant, have a breeze pregnancy, hand a precious gift to the new parents, and skip off into the sunset.

We “knew” that it could be hard and trying but, like so many other people at the start of a journey, thought that it would all work out and that it would all be fine. BUT it wasn’t.

Twice it wasn’t fine.

The hassle of finding childcare for a 3-4 day transfer trip- TWICE

The totally jacked up hormones (which were not too terrible really but now that I’ve regulated some, I know it was messing with my sex drive and that probably sucks for a husband [my keeper pregnancies had the opposite effect]) and shots in the ass- TWICE

Not to mention 2 weeks of no intercourse pre transfer and then 5 weeks of ZERO ORGASM also probably really absolutely sucked- TWICE

Then there’s the utter heartbreak and devastation and the aftermath of my total sadness that my husband had to deal with TWICE

AND the fact that ALL of that happened and now it’s over just fucking sucks ass. Fuck you end of 2017.

So, for the last year, this dream I’ve been fostering and building and cherishing and protecting and working to come to fruition has just ended. And I guess I’m just processing that.

I think a big part of me wants to try again. But is that the part of me that just doesn’t like failing? Is it really the responsible thing to do? For me? For my family? For our future?

My husband doesn’t think it is. At all. He didn’t even want to try again but was willing to from my insistence and with the qualification that it was only IF the IP’s wanted one more try. But they don’t.

And he has completely logical reasons to back up why he is done:

  • It’s a stress on our marriage (which is already tough with two kids)
  • It is an added stress on our sex life (again- TWO young kids)
  • It is restrictive (see above two and add on travel restrictions, food restrictions, exercise restrictions, and life restrictions- he’s tired of being so limited)
  • It’s dangerous (which is something we shrugged off going in to this, but the other day I passed some clots which were residual from the D&C and it scared the absolute shit out of us both. I think that was the final nail in the coffin for Jesse).
  • It’s not worth it financially, if something terrible were to go wrong (and apparently with my luck, that seems all the more likely)

There were more, but I stopped taking notes because, in true Jesse fashion, his logic trumps my emotional desire to be pregnant again so I have ZERO leverage.

So, there it is. As quickly as it started, it’s almost definitely over and I might just have to be okay with that.

But first, I want to cry about it.

Amazing Students & Amazing friends

I was anxious headed to work today. I wasn’t sure how I would feel… what my students might say… which co-workers know what… etc. What, if any of this, might set me off crying again.

I got to my room and it was straight down to business. I got things organized for the start of the day and while doing so my friend from across the hall, the one that decided to do surrogacy with me at the same time, came in to check on me.

I didn’t want to feel it, but it hit me like a ton of bricks. I couldn’t look her in the eye for fear of losing my shit. I wanted to scream at her. I wanted to tell her that it wasn’t fair. I wanted to tell her to get the fuck out of my room.

You see, she’s pregnant with surro-twins. She’s almost 13 weeks into her journey with her two intended fathers. She’s succeeding where I am failing (TWICE NOW) and a part of me is so irate about it.

And then, add on top of that rage and bitter jealousy the feeling of complete shit, dirty guilt for even thinking about being mad at her for something that is no more in her control than it is mine. I felt hot tears begin to well up in my eyes as I re-straightened my desks for the second time just to keep busy doing something so I could avoid her gaze.

Yuck. THIS ISN’T ME.

I confessed to my husband and felt a bit better, but I know that my friend knew something was wrong and I would need to talk to her before the shame of my bitterness would truly melt away.

Classes went on without a hitch. I told each of them how thankful and proud I was that they did what was needed to stay on track and then picked up where they left off going over the plan for the next two weeks and introducing their final project.

My 5th period, though, I was completely overwhelmed. Just as I was getting ready to get class started, a group of girls from the period walked in with a gift basket for me.

I immediately began to ugly cry as the whole class had pitched in to buy the stuff inside and were now lining up to give me hugs. Even now as I write this the tears are falling. I can’t believe they did this for me. I can’t even begin to express how thankful I am. I’m just dumbfounded.

I’m also SO thankful that I waited to read the cards until my lunch period as the notes they wrote inside made me cry all over again. And the gift cards!?!? As if the goodie basket weren’t enough, they got me a Starbucks gift card, dinner for my husband and me, and movie rentals “so I can take it easy.” It’s just… it’s too much. I’m so… I don’t even know. I’m just blown away.

THEN… as if I hadn’t cried enough, my next class did the same damn thing!

Flowers and chocolates and lotions and comfy socks and bath salts and body scrubs and anything a girl might need to relax and pamper herself. 😭😭😭

I couldn’t even spit out a “thank you” before ugly sobs took over my body. This class is also my advisory period and we have actually talked quite a bit about the surrogacy process (and many other life topics) and I’ve answered a LOT of questions with them since we get 30 extra minutes together a couple times a week. They are outstanding kids and I am so thrilled that I have had the pleasure of their company this year.

Once we were able to get things back on track, I was interrupted again. This time with another beautiful bouquet of flowers from the English department. The outpouring of love from my students and co-workers is…

its…

Well…

It has left me speechless. I don’t even know what to say except that I felt the love today and it means the absolute world to me.

PS- I talked to my surrogate friend and apologized profusely for my immaturity and bitterness. I tried to explain as best I could about being overcome with jealousy and tried to explain how irrational and stupid I know I was acting. She was so gracious. She, having experienced two miscarriages when having her babies, had felt the same thing with one of her friends. They had gotten pregnant together only she “got left behind” when she miscarried and she felt a similar jealous anger then. I can’t tell you all how much better that made me feel. All of this can be so isolating but reaching out to find connection has proven to be a life raft when I feel I’m drowning alone. I love this friend and appreciate her honesty and help.

TRANSFER DAY round 2 part I

So, yesterday morning I was a bit of a mess. Nervous to say the least. I never sleep well the night before travel, the “what ifs” get to me (what if I forget this, what if I don’t hear my alarm, what if I misplace my ID, etc.). But Saturday night there were a lot more what ifs to keep my poor tired mind racing. 

Anyway- as I mentioned in yesterday’s post, I slept like shit. So, first, I was tired. 

On the first leg of the trip I figured I might help myself get my mind off the hamster wheel if I read. And it worked. No more “what ifs” bouncing around in the ole cranium and I was able to dive into teacher mode. I decided to teach my AP seniors Cather In the Rye this year but I needed to brush up since it’s been over a decade since I had read it last. 

After the first flight I was halfway and my funk had morphed from anxiousness to straight up sadness. Poor Holden. 😒

But, I appreciated the change. I can handle sad. Anxiousness over a bunch of shit I am literally in no control over is stupid.  So I could say I felt better. I talked to Jesse (since he’s also read it) as we walked through the airport and it was nice to be focusing our conversation on something besides surrogacy for a bit. 

But then, on the second flight, I finished the book. And good heavens the sadness was overwhelming. I did not remember it being such a heavy story when I read it back in the day. I mean I knew it approached some tough subjects, but I just forgot how some of those subjects manifested themselves in the storyline. Anyway, I figured it was best not to break down sobbing sandwiched inbetween my husband and a complete stranger because the cry I felt boiling up was NOT going to be a pretty one. 

I held myself together mostly well. I had one stray tear I was not able to blink away but covered it up with a yawn- important to note, I needed to NOT alert my ever so observant husband because one look of concern, or one squeeze, or one “are you okay?” would have unleashed all the stress, anxiousness, and sadness that was damed up behind the wall I had carefully constructed to protect the stranger lady sitting far to close to my left on the damn plane. 

Instead, mentally, I needed to change the subject. So I grabbed the only other reading material on the plane and started reading whatever the Southwest plane magazine is titled. Guys. I didn’t see it coming! 

That fucking magazine. 

Inside, after you get past the 549 ads, but before you get to the articles (which were happy dog stories BTW), they have a bunch of customer satisfaction blurbs. Always positive stories about how someone was just “so pleased” with Southwest’s service or flight attendants, etc. I just got blind sided. 

The first blurb was about a guy who was moving his elderly mother to come live with him. She had dementia and when it came time to deplane, she had an episode and couldn’t figure out what to do. The guy panicked but this male flight attendant stepped right up and asked the mother is she would like to dance. From there he was able to get her out of her seat, down the aisle, and into the jetway where he waltzed her up the gate. 😒 so beautiful and sweet and friggin sad. So one of those pesky tears started creeping back up and I quickly wiped it away before my eagle eyed husband saw me. 

I kept reading. 

The next story was about a lady who’s daughter had married a marine but he was out of the country serving so the mom was “her person” when it came time for the delivery of the baby. The daughter went into early labor so this first time grandma was rushing to make it there in time. A flight attendant had heard her story so when they landed, she made an announcement and requested all the passenengers stay seated so this lady could rush off the plane and make it to her grand baby’s birth.  Everyone accommodated and as this soon-to-be grandmother rushed off, she was applauded. 

Yep- THAT’s the story that did me in. First one tear- again quickly wiped away. But then another stared falling from the other eye. Again, I quickly wiped it away too but now I was running the risk of alerting my husband who would inevitably ask me that stupid question that WILL break the damn and I’ll be a sniveling idiot who will probably somehow slobber on the poor lady next to me and then Southwest will have to deal with her complaint instead of her “I love this airline” story. 

As I sat trying to mentally get control, the tears- one by one kept welling up. All the pressure behind the dam was too much and finally saw a chance for escape. And as I kept trying to nonchalantly wipe those little fuckers away, my husband turned. Damn it. 

His forehead wrinkled, the look of concern grew stronger, and then he did it. He put his arm around my shoulder and drew me in for a hug all while asking me if I was okay. 

No. No im not okay. I just read a really sad book about teenage trials and then read the sappiest of stories, AND I’M TRYING TO HELP A FAMILY HAVE A BABY AND I SCREWED IT UP LAST TIME AND IM WORRIED I’LL DO IT AGAIN AND THE PRESSURE OF ALL THAT POTENTIAL DISAPOINTMENT IS RUINING MY MENTAL STRENGTH. 

But instead, I melted into my husband and tried to stifle the sobs into his shoulder so the lady next to me wouldn’t be as startled by the craziness she accidentally sat next to. 

Eventually the sobs eased and I sat back (with my now mascara stained face) and shrugged to my completely understanding husband, who, thankfully, knows that sometimes I just need to let it out. I always feel better afterwards. There’s no need to talk about anything and nothing is technically wrong… I just needed to cry. 

I did warn you guys about that a few days ago… I knew it was coming! 

We deplaned in CA, hopped in the rental, and had a beautifully relaxing afternoon following ZERO schedule and soaking up the ever so rare ability to be spontaneous.