We lost Rudy in early March 2010. Patrick took it VERY hard. I felt as though we had lost a child. The last month was horrible, watching him get weaker and weaker, his stomach visibly growing with masses. At the end, the vet we took him to to end his suffering said that he had cancer on every organ except for his spleen. In three months he had gone from nothing visible to looking like he was pregnant he was so infected. It was rough.
In April we got the twins. Two crazy, lovable, fluffy Australian Shepard puppies born on Valentines Day. We weren't planning on getting another dog so soon, much less two, but the moment we saw these two monsters there was no leaving without them. Patrick had been so depressed and the puppies helped heal a lot of the pain we were both feeling. They could never replace Rudy, but I truly felt he had led us to them.
Patrick had sold his business in March and had been working with a Marketing company since November, so in May I decided that it was time for me to make a career change of my own and leave the salon I had been working at for four years and rent my own suite so I could be my own boss. I had been unhappy where I was for a while but we hadn't had the stability for me to make a change. Now that I had the opportunity, I was going to jump in with both feet.
With everything being so hectic in the first half of the year, we had strayed from our TTC path. I stopped charting, testing, everything. I randomly tried a couple more rounds of Clomid (I just called in the refill to the pharmacy and the Dr's office would approve it without ever speaking to me or asking to see me) but I wasn't invested in the cycles and barely even tried to take it at the right time. People would tell me, "Oh, this is when you're going to get pregnant, now that you're not trying." I knew better. My cycle was all over the place. I would have had better luck predicting the Apocalypse than trying to figure out when my next period would come. Stressed played a big part, I know. Starting at the new salon was a great move for me, but stressful none the less. Having two rambunctious puppies was stressful, especially when they started becoming very fearful of strangers (they never had a negative experience with one, it just tends to be a breed quirk among herding breeds). Patrick and I were fighting a lot, each one worse than the last. I felt like our marriage was crumbling. I knew he was depressed after Rudy's death, but I didn't know what to do about it and, honestly, I was a step away from falling into the depression pit as well.
I became hyper-aware of all the hardships we had faced over the past two years. The lawsuit against the insurance company still hadn't gone anywhere, they were just ignoring our lawyer, I felt as though every time we tried to catch up financially, there was something else that needed more than we could afford to spend. Rudy's illness and death was just another weight added to our load of crap to deal with. With every fight, unexpected bill, and added hardship, I felt myself edging closer and closer to pit.
Then, one day just after my birthday in September, I decided I had had enough. I would take control of my life and work harder to bring positives to it. I called Patrick and told him there were going to be chances. No longer would I sleep until the last possible minute before I HAD to get up. No longer would I fill my body with junk, oblivious to what I was putting in my mouth. No longer would I let our marriage fail. I was going to get up early, take the dogs for a walk, do yoga, work out. I was going to buy fresh groceries once a week, learn to cook, eat healthy. And he was going to do all those things with me. We would reclaim our intimacy, strengthen our trust, and work together to better ourselves. These were things I had control over and I was going to take it. I bought the book Making Babies: A Proven Three Month Program for Maximum Fertility, using it as the basis for our healthy-living program.
I happened to start our new healthy lifestyle on the first day of my cycle. I followed everything to the tee. And one month later, I started my period. I had NEVER had a normal cycle without medication. Something had to be working! Everything the book said made perfect sense, and I had just seen that it actually did work. I HIGHLY recommend this book to anyone trying to conceive.
Everything was going great. Making those changes had changed my whole outlook. I actually had hope for positive things.
A week later, my positive momentum crashed and burned. Patrick and I got into a hellacious fight. I moved out, back to my parents. I wasn't ready to call it quits, but I needed to separate myself from the chaos that was my home-life before I went crazy. Patrick needed the wake-up call that things HAD to change, and I needed to see that he was taking this seriously.
A month of being at home, and Patrick was making dramatic changes. In December, we went on a vacation with friends that had been planned since June. It was the first time we had spent a lot of time together since I moved out. I was shocked at how far he had come and how determined he was to prove to me that things would be better. I moved back home as soon as we got back, more determined than ever to make 2011 OUR year.