Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Two vacations and a funeral

I've been away from this blog for a long time. Much longer than I'd planned.

It's been insanely busy with my new promotion, but while true, that's obviously not the whole explanation for my absence. It's also that it is hard to know what to write as we've struggled and struggled to find the next path. Somehow this space hasn't felt like the right place to continue to hash it out and come to any peace with it. I keep imagining that people are sick of hearing about our fears and misgivings at this point,  our uncertainty about what to do, what specific steps to take, how to get from the "here" of seemingly endless infertility to the "there" of a life with children.

I think we've finally settled on a direction - found something that makes sense intellectually and that feels right (whatever that means at this stage of the journey). I promise to blog about it shortly. It deserves its own post...or maybe several posts.

In the meantime, though, wanted to share a bit about our summer. It's been a beautiful one and a rough one marked by grief.

First, we took a vacation. It was meant to be one of those compensatory vacations that theoretically "make up" for the fact that we can't have children. One of those "we could NEVER go on this vacation with a small child" vacations. Just to make it extra edgy, we camped. In a tent. In the middle of the wilds of our destination... Here's a little video clip to give you a clue about where we were...

Unfortunately, though, a couple of days into this vacation, we received terrible news. Will's father died. He had been ill for some time but stable. Somehow in the middle of the night that Monday night, he became disconnected from his oxygen supply and he passed away.

We received this news late the next day, the evening of our second day, via satellite phone, in our camp (which was comprised of just us, our driver, a cook, and a camp helper). I've never felt so far away in all my life. We then proceeded to try to return from our vacation. Two chartered flights, one intercountry flight into a more developed country, and one transcontinental flight later, we were home, double jetlagged (having never recovered from the first jetlag), and sad beyond belief. On the upside, we already had time off arranged and so could devote ourselves to Will's mother and spend a lot of time with his siblings and nephews.

We've been coping with this loss for much of the latter part of the summer. This plus the fact that somehow Will and I now have jobs that are truly out of control in terms of our responsibilities (and also fortunately in terms of their sense of reward and meaning). Will is hanging in there and we've both tried to step up and be a help to his mom as she transitions to a life alone after 50 years of marriage. We knew this day was coming but it was not expected so soon. It is really so sad to be without Will's father. We're both glad, however, that he is no longer suffering.

As the summer started to fade toward fall, we decided a couple of weeks ago to try again for a vacation. We desperately needed one, actually, and still had the summer slow down going on that affects all of NYC and NYC academia in particular. So we took a long weekend over Labor Day and we went here:

The second trip was lovely. SUPER relaxing and very stimulating all at the same time. And not as far away as we'd always thought! Wish we'd had longer (we only took 3 days off of work), but it was definitely still worth it.

So that's where we've been physically, what we've been dealing with emotionally,  and a promise of forward movement to come on the fertility front.

More on that to come. Soon.


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  1. Oh, Will and Mo, I am so truly sorry to hear about Will's father. Such a loss for both of you I'm sure.

    The vacations sound well-deserved - my guesses are Kenya and Morocco. I hope both had the chance to slow down and heal. And I'm eager to hear what the next path is.

  2. Sounds like an eventful summer. I'm so sorry to hear about Will's dad.

    It's good to have you back...and I'm looking forward to hearing about what's next.

  3. Nice to see a post from you but I am sorry it didn't contain better news. :(

  4. I'm so sorry for your family's loss.

    Good to "see" you again! I'm looking forward to your next post.

  5. Mo, I'm so sorry to hear about Will's dad and for your family's loss.

    It's great to hear from you, though, and don't ever feel like you have to not talk about certain things on your own blog!!!

    Glad you had the 2nd vacation even if it was short.

    hey, South Africa is very cheap and GORGEOUS at the moment :)

  6. Sorry to hear about your father-in-law. That must of been stressful trying to get back to the states.
    Traveling is good for the soul. Love the elephants! Looking forward to more updates.

  7. Nice to hear from you Mo...hugs to both of you on the news of Will's father's passing.

  8. I am really sorry to hear about your father in law. You are thoughtful to put so much consideration on Will's mother.

  9. Nice to hear from you again! So sorry for the loss of your FIL.
    Where was the second vacation to? Glad you got a break, and looking forward to hearing where you think you'll go next. Sounds like you've come to peace with the new path.

  10. I'm so sorry to hear about Will's father and will be sending P&PT ya'lls way. My grandfather passed away 3 weeks ago this coming Saturday and he was the closest thing to a father I ever had. It's a pain I've never felt before. Glad you got your 2nd vacation, looks like a wonderful time.

  11. Mo -- I'm very sorry about the loss of your father-in-law. I hope that Will and his family are doing ok.

    I'm glad to have you back. You've been missed.

  12. I am so sorry to hear about the sudden passing of Will's father. I can only imagine how upsetting the news was to get especially when you were so far away. My condolences to you both.

    You've been on my mind and I've popped over here to see if I missed anything. Silly as it sounds, I watch Guiliana & Bill (who decided to cycle at CCRM) and this weeks episode included their meeting with Dr. Schoolcraft). It all made me think of you and I'm so glad to hear from you, no matter what path you've elected to go down to build your family.

  13. What a summer. So sorry for Will's loss. I am so glad to hear from you--was thinking about you a few weeks back and wondering what the next update would bring. Big adventures for sure.....

  14. I am so sorry for your loss, glad that you are able to get through it together.
    thank you so much for all your comments and support on my blog. I would love to speak with you a little more about CCRM, it ironically sounds like we have seen all the same RE's :) much love and thanks to you

  15. I am so sorry for your family's loss, Mo & Will.

    I also am sorry that you feel that your blog isn't a safe space to say what you need to say. I would respectfully disagree. I think that we all have the option not to stop by if we don't feel up to the soul crushing unfairness of it all, unlike you and Will, unfortunately. Please don't let some idea of what you should or shouldn't say stop you from using your blog. I think that your willingness to be candid about the level of ongoing suckatude that you sometimes face (with such grace!) is a level of 'realness' that is appreciated. I'm not saying that you should blog if you don't feel it, but I am saying that you should use the space because it's yours and someone else's ideas of what you 'should' be talking about should be damned.

    I am also very interested in your next blog post and I am so very glad that you've found a way forward for yourselves that feels right. Virtual hugs from here!

  16. So glad you are back to the sorry Will lost his father. I know how hard that can be...even after a long illness. My thoughts are with you.

    Sounds like a good labor day are adventerous for sure.


  17. I'm so sorry to hear about Will's dad. My condolences to both of you, and the rest of his family.

    Looking forward to hearing what you've decided upon with regard to your next steps.

  18. I'm sorry for your loss.

    This is your blog and you should use it in whatever way is most beneficial/satisfying for you.

    The last photo looks like Marrakech to me - I was there 2 years ago. :) The first vacation sounds like it would have been great - hopefully you'll get another chance to do it, although maybe not for a long time. ;)

  19. MO! I miss you! Been meaning to email.

    So sorry about Will's father. It's horrible to be so far away when you get news like that. Sounds like you two have been a good team dealing with this loss. Sucks that you've become experts at loss.

    Glad to hear the new job is rewarding, even though it's overwhelming. I so want to hear about your new plan of action. I'm not sick of hearing about your "fears and misgivings," but after some of the comments you've received, I don't blame you for not doing your processing here. Please remember, those comments were a tiny minority. The rest of us are cheering you on and hoping so hard for your success. I long to see you with your son or daughter in your arms, and a look of contentment on your face.

    Much love!

  20. Don't hate me, I know infertility is a problem with no easy solution, but I've been reading a lot of blogs lately and came across this one: just wanted to pass it on.

  21. I'm so sorry for your loss. Glad to see you back.

  22. Sooo sorry to hear of your loss.

    Keep blogging when you feel like- you've got lots of people thinking about you guys and sending positive, supportive thoughts on your journey.

  23. Oh, I'm so sorry to hear about Will's father. What a difficult summer. Really glad that you were at least able to take another break together and regroup.

  24. Oh im so sorry about Wills dad.

  25. So sorry to hear of your grief filled summer. And so glad to have your voice again.

  26. Oh no, I'm so sorry to hear about Will's dad, and the circumstances -- how very difficult.

    I had figured you might be "stuck" in terms of deciding/acting, so it's great to hear you have a plan in the works. I look forward to learning more -- but honestly, I always enjoy your writing, no matter where you've been in this difficult process.

  27. I am so sorry for your family's loss.

    And, no, we don't get sick of hearing you try to decide what is best for your family. By all means, you should use your space to "talk" it out.

    I am so very excited to hear your future plans.

  28. Welcome back Mo! Looking forward to your always insightful posts.

  29. Mo -
    I just read through your blog and am amazed and awed by your strength and perseverance. A lesser woman would have bowed out long ago.

    I am a fellow New Yorker, about your age, who has been trying to have a baby for two years. I just completed two utterly miserable IVFs, where I produced a total of 5 eggs. Our RE at C.ornell (where I'm guessing you are at) told us that our only hope is donor eggs - devastating. N.YU then told us we had a 5 - 10% chance of success with our own eggs, but would be willing to cycle us if we understood the odds. Unlike you, I've never managed to get pregnant - not even a chemical.

    We are now trying to cycle at C.CRM with Dr S, who paints no more rosy a picture but I figure I might as well go to the best of the best at this point.

    I know that despite this there's a very good chance we'll end up having to make a decision about donor eggs after all. I've had many of the same doubts and fears about DE as you, and my husband is even less sure.

    So to make a long story short, I am inspired and moved by reading your story, and will be cheering you on as it unfolds. Can't wait to hear what your plan is - I'm so glad you have been able to come to some kind of decision on a way forward.
    - Newbie (

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  31. Glad to hear from you as I've been thinking about you. So sorry about Will's father. The video you posted was amazing. Wow. Anyway, thank you for the update, and I'm looking forward to your future posts. Heather

  32. Dear Mo (and Will), welcome home. I missed your voice, but I am sorry there is some sadness in it. I am so sorry to hear about Will's dad. I'm excited to learn about your new jobs, thoughts on a new path. We too are stuck between the here and a "there" that includes kids so I am all ears. And on that note, I am emailing you...


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