They are soooooo delicious Friday, May 22 2009 

feet

Last night I returned home from a visit with a friend. One of her babies took the time to munch on my sandals. It was adorable, and it made my ovaries cry a little. Oh wait, that was the Brave.lle. I really hope that soon I have the chance to prove I’m the kind of mom who laughs when her kid eats shoes.

ps-forgive the cell phone photo, I’m lazy

This blog is a secret for a reason Friday, Apr 3 2009 

Happy hour gone wrong:

It started with an innocent confession:

Me (tipsy at happy hour this evening) : I saw  an adorable baby on my commute today, and I wanted to steal her. (but I can’t post about it for fear that if a baby ever goes missing in my metro area the FBI will show up at my door asking questions of the infertile-of-a-certain-age-and-her-new-beautiful-child-of-questionable-parentage)

Friend: Do you really want a baby or just like the idea of a baby because they are quite a lot of work (let me be generous and mention that she is 5 years younger than me, and while supportive in theory, is proving to me by the minute that SHE DOESN’T GET IT)

Me: I know how much work a child is, and my interest in having one doesn’t discount the effort involved (it isn’t like you can tell me it’s hard and I will change my mind-Follistim injections, repeated blood draws, and vaginal ultrasounds for two weeks plus are hard, but that isn’t the issue. I feel like  Premature Ovarian Failure pretty much means my minutes are sliding away like a giant hourglass over my fucking head. Even if this isn’t an ideal time to have a child, I can’t ignore the biological reality of my eggs and their GIANT CLOCK.)

Friend: Well , you know if you need my eggs, that would be cool.

What the fuck do I say to this after 3 glasses of wine? The good girl in me wants to say thanks and march her directly to the clinic for  ovarian stimulation and retrieval before she sobers up and realizes the injections, discomfort, medical procedures, and risks  involved (but I’d freeze the embryos because I haven’t come to terms with donor eggs yet-I’m totally struggling, and for those of you who have wrestled with donor eggs, I’d be grateful for advice as I feel like I’m in denial.  A post on this issue is forthcoming-I realize I’m being trite, I don’t mean to trivialize the decision)

The pissed off infertile wants to give her a lecture on the intricacies of being barren. I’ve been through this before with well meaning friends. Sitting here in my happy hour state I can think of 3-4 friends plus my sister that have offered their eggs out-right. I believe my sister. Of the others, I think 1 (of the remaining))/3-4would probably step up, but even she might have regrets. To be honest, it is very possible that I’d be overwhelmed with offers if I let it be known that I needed donor eggs  (my friends are amazing, and I’m probably underestimating them, but I’m totally emotional about this, and I’m most likely underestimating their willingness to consider donation), but that isn’t the issue. Frankly, I’m fucking sick of fucking defending that  I  want children. I know this isn’t a new subject in the infertile blog world, and I think that’s why I’ve tried to avoid it until now, but I’m tipsy from happy hour and done with listening, nodding, and protecting the feelings of my would-be-feel-good-offering-without-thinking-it-through-donor-wannabes.

I want a baby. Why should I have to defend my reasoning? People have babies because they crave  a teeny mini-me through which to live their hopes and dreams. They get pregnant by accident. They have children because they think they are supposed to. Why do we have to justify our reasons? Like most couples that give family building a thought, we have a mix of selfish and altruistic justifications.

Dear Friend: Thank you for you offer, but please don’t make offers of such a personal nature that you can’t live up to. This is a very personal and sensitive situation. I know you mean well, but I’d rather have your true support and genuine comfort than an offer you will regret when sober. I love you, but you don’t get it.  Sometimes a well played, “I’m sorry it is so hard. Is there anything I can do to support you?” Is the best gift.

PS: Congrats  on the baby, Friend M. Your daughter is beautiful. I admit I’m deeply jealous but even more thrilled for you. I can’t wait until I have the chance to spend the afternoon with her and her brothers. I promise not to steal her….I think:)

I don’t go to therapy to find out if I’m a freak Tuesday, Mar 31 2009 

Dar Williams, you have a song for everything.

I fired my therapist. Or we broke up. It feels a little like both. It’s cliche, but she wasn’t meeting my needs, and I think we have different goals in life. It’s been over a month since I’ve seen her, and I think I’m doing pretty well, but I mean that in the way that someone a little nuts means it when she manages to hold it together.

I think we might have spent almost as much time discussing our therapist-client relationship as we did talking about my other relationship complications, and the last thing I need is another relationship to deconstruct in a 50 minute hour.

To be frank, because after all part of what we worked on in therapy was my assertiveness, she was cold and, I suspect, a little judgmental. I spent more time qualifying my statements out of worry that she’d latch on to a small piece of the story rather than understand my whole point than I did spilling my deepest fears and darkest secrets.  I’m sure I’m at fault too, mostly for caring so much what she thinks about me, but isn’t that part of why I was there in the first place-to gain some self-confidence and not care what people think? Instead, she made me feel misunderstood and like more of a mess than I thought I was when I walked in.

I realized that it wasn’t me, it was her when I noticed that I always felt worse on my walk back to the office after therapy than I felt while walking (up hill, no less) to therapy, and after weeks and weeks of this I could no longer blame it on my excitement for the pizza that  I always grabbed to eat on my way there  ( it was a lunch time appointment). It was as if  I said, “My big toe hurts, ”

and she replied, “Wow, your toe looks awful, and actually your foot is kind of oddly shaped, oh…and now that I’m paying attention I should probably point out that your skeleton is deformed.”

and what I really needed was, “Oh, you poor courageous thing! That looks like it’s really sore. I’m so proud of you for finishing the marathon.”

So, I’m at a crossroads of sorts. I need to decide if it’s worth it to try to find a new therapist.

On the pro side of the equation: I’ve got issues, I really appreciate what a good-fit therapist can do to help me, I have been fighting some situational depression, my medical issues are depressing, several areas in my life are not functioning  how I want them to, and I would appreciate a professional’s assistance

Cons: There are few insurance-approved therapists in my area, and I’ve had really bad luck with the ones I tried (part of why I stayed with this one when I wasn’t thrilled was because she was competent unlike a few others), I’m not sure I have the energy to try to find another therapist, I’m even less sure I have the energy required to explain my complicated “issues”, scheduling-I don’t even have time to post and read blogs-time is precious

So, Dear Barren Spontaneous Habitual Aborters and Assorted Other Versions of Infertiles, what are your therapy thoughts? Experiences? Should I coast solo for a while? Get back in the ring? (What’s with all of my sporting analogies?) Is it worth the effort to keep looking for a good fit?

Opposite day Friday, Mar 20 2009 

Have you heard about these women that didn’t know they were pregnant until they went into labor?  Seriously? I didn’t watch the entire special since I’ve got better things to do like Fa.ceb.ook and on demand Big Love episodes, but the part I saw made me want to punch someone.

I suppose it is possible. They claim they didn’t gain weight or gained only a little. Still, I’ve never seen a pregnant woman that wasn’t clearly pregnant by the end. Did they get dressed in the dark? Do they not own a mirror?

Some of them didn’t get their periods very often to begin with or had light bleeding off and on throughout their silent gestating, but COME ON! A few women  didn’t get regular periods and thought that meant they couldn’t get pregnant.  One woman had an ovary surgically removed and assumed this meant she couldn’t get pregnant. Did that particular brainiac   think the other ovary would give up out of grief from the loss of its mate? Is this what years of abstinence only sex ed has  done to our youth?

I know why they are having symptomless pregnancies, because I’m having their pregnancy symptoms while not actually pregnant. It works out to an even amount of pregnancy symptoms and pregnant people in the world, and yet again I get to take one for the team. They get the baby. I get the nausea, huge, sore boobs, fatigue, and emotional distress. What. The. F.uck. My RE suggests that I need to back off my estrogen if I want to cut these symptoms, but then I’ll get hot flashes, insomnia, and other low estrogen side effects. I’m quite the little estrogen Goldilocks.

Something tells me I won’t be symptom free if I ever manage to get knocked up. Only clueless dumb-f.ucks get all the luck.

The Wind Beneath My Wings Sunday, Jan 4 2009 

Thanks to Jendeis at Sell Crazy Someplace Else for the award!

red-cape-award

I’m not going to rely solely on this post, which will soon be buried by more rambling and complaining, to inform all of the internets  of my hero status. No sirree! I’m starting a TROPHY WALL, and I encourage you to do the same.  Your trophy wall on you blog can be a place to list all of your awards, shout outs, and interesting bits. Consider it a little shrine for your web-esteem.

I’m bestowing hero status on:

Birds and Squirrels -I just found her blog, and she, like me, is Highly Inappropriate. I’m a big fan of sarcasm in the face of diversity. I also wish her well in her 2ww

Not a Clown Car – For the name of her blog and also to show support for her next rotation through the stirrups.

::::: Passing along the Red Cape Award :::::

On your blog, copy and paste the award, these rules, a link back to the person who selected you, and a link to this post: Red Cape Award SuperCrew. This is a running list of awardees.

Check in on the SuperCrew post by leaving a link to your blog and a comment to let Kymberli of I’m a Smart One know that you were passed a Red Cape Award so she can add you to the list.

Select as many award recipients as you would like, link to their blogs (if they have one), and explain why you have chosen them.

Let them know that you have selected them for an award by commenting on one of their posts.

If you find that someone you want to nominate has already been selected by someone else, you can still honor them by posting a comment on their award post stating your reasons for wishing to grant them the award.

Conversations Monday, Dec 29 2008 

Picture it! The frozen northern tundra, a baby shower, two friends chatting while the infertile spontaneous aborter*  snuggles her due date twin’s new daughter.

Me: “I’m going to  need you to show me how to install your car seat in my car (so that I can steal your beautiful, cooing, chill baby)”

N: “OMG, does this mean you’re…!!!!!!!!” (said in front of a group of people)

Me: “NO!!!!!, not what I meant. Not pregnant!” (room suddenly silent) “Anyway, I was just asking so that I could steal your baby”

N: “Ha, ha.”

Part of me wasn’t really kidding

*What an awesomely wrong term for miscarriage.  It sound like an activity club. As with Barren, I’m going to embrace the description wholeheartedly .

What’s pink and blue and makes me cranky? Saturday, Dec 27 2008 

Two things are certain IF I attend your baby shower:

1. I will drink. I will call ahead and subtly inquire if there will be alcohol. If there won’t be, I’ll bring my own.

2. Your kitchen will be spotless. The drunk lady hiding from the baby talk will make herself useful.

I’m heading to my friend’s baby shower. I originally replied “maybe” because I didn’t know if I’d still be in town, but I am. I should have just made something up, but I was off my game when it came up the other night.

I’m late for the shower and I’m cranky.

I’m mad at the frozen northern tundra for not being more exciting and having lots of activities for me to pretend to be attending instead of this shower

I’m cranky at Honey Bee for not having his schedule such that I had an excuse to be out of here. I’m also missing him terribly and so sick of  spending this much time apart (especially around holidays)

I’m annoyed at my friends for not seeing through my vague RSVP and guessing that I might not want to come

I’m mad at my father for the little life lessons he won’t shut the fuck up about (not necessarily shower related, but I thought I’d throw it in there)

I’m mad at my miscarriage. Miscarriage, I HATE you

I’m pissed at my ovaries.

Mostly I’m disappointed at myself for not just saying no to the invite and taking care of  myself for once instead of worrying about what everyone will think

Body Over Mind? Wednesday, Dec 3 2008 

Thanks for the very kind (and practical) advice on the Thanksgiving post. I’m finally back home after my travels and holiday cheer. To follow up with the redux-

Wednesday night I started sniffling and sneezing. I feel like I’ve spent the last 3 months having a cold, dealing with allergies, or recovering from both. Coughing is a hobby. Phlegm is my accessory. Cranky, I gobbled my Sudafed and Mucinex, sprayed saline up my nose, choked on the saline and made gross noises (and I wonder why Honey Bee travels so much for work?). I hoped that a good sleep would put my immune system back on the right track…no such luck.

At 6 am on Thursday I’m shaken out of my achy sleep by my cell phone. A few weeks ago, knowing that my flight wasn’t until the afternoon on Thanksgiving, I offered to take the early morning call for the women’s organization where I volunteer. Unfortunately, I ended up at the hospital with a client in crisis. Always a difficult and emotional situation, it seemed particularly cruel that she would face this trauma on Thanksgiving.  Not to minimize my feelings about infertility, I’ve spent enough hours on the therapy couch to know better, but the work I do with this organization always makes me remember to count my blessings and wish peace for the clients we serve.

I grabbed a quick nap at home before packing and leaving for the airport all the while producing impressive amounts of snot, taking so much Sudafed I started to shake, and grumbling to myself about a sinus transplant.

The time with my friend and her family was a nice break. I called her on Thursday before I left to warn her of my plague. I promised to make an effort to not cough on anyone directly and to wash my hands repeatedly. My friend was pretty chill about the whole thing, and actually handed me the baby (5 months) quite a few times. I guess when you have a needy toddler, a house full of guests, a huge dinner to prepare, and a cranky dog, you’ll happily pass off the baby to anyone slightly competent that won’t drop her, knows how to diaper, and can make her giggle, even the virus-ridden likes of me.  While there were moments of jealousy and awe over her babies, I was so distracted by my virus that I think I did well. I ended up going to bed early a few times and drinking less than I might have otherwise, but baby C is my new all time favorite, and I want to steal her! It reaffirms that getting to the other side of infertility (hopefully I make it there) is worth all that I’m dealing with now.

As for the rest of the trip, I called the pregnant friend to tell her about my cold and told her I didn’t feel comfortable staying with her because I was really sick. I stayed with another friend at her mom’s house (it was just like 8th grade, 17 years later!). I also called the due date twin with my viral news and offered to visit at Christmas instead. By Sunday the death rattle was leaving my lungs, and I visited the pregnant one for an hour to see her new house (yes, a new husband, house, and baby on the way all in under 3 months this summer). We had a nice visit, but she wouldn’t stop going on and on about if they would have one more or two more after this baby….she already has 2 boys from a previous marriage. I’m happy that she’s so happy now and I realize that my barren womb makes me extra sensitive, but it grated on my nerves that she wouldn’t shut up about it. Once or twice is fine, but it felt like the never ending fertility speculation circus. Instead of getting all worked up and calling Honey Bee crying I put it in perspective, recognized she’s excited and doesn’t mean me any harm, and tried to let it go. It sort of worked:)

So, last week when I realized my baby trifecta and begged the universe to help me deal with it I didn’t mean “make me so sick I can’t do half the baby stuff and so tired I don’t care about the stuff I do end up doing,” but while it isn’t my first choice, I will say that a nasty plague is one option to getting through the hoildays with a minimum of baby stress. You’ll be so obsessed with your raw nose and stuffy head that you won’t notice your empty uterus as much.

And I’m feeling much better, thanks for asking!

Thanksgiving Wednesday, Nov 26 2008 

I, like many of you, am about to embark on a Thanksgiving sojourn to visit friends and family. My trip includes 2 cities. I’m spending the first part of the long weekend with my close friend and her husband, baby, toddler, and a house full of additional strays (both human and animal). Next, I’m driving to my home town to see my family and  staying with different friend , her family, and her baby bump (her 3rd). I will also be visiting my due date twin and her brand new daughter born earlier this month.

Until yesterday I failed to note the perfect storm of this baby trifecta. Yes, I made the plans. I even specifically asked to stay at the pregnant friend’s house since my dad’s guest room is taken, but the trip came together over a few weeks of calendar shifting and phone calls, and I forgot to notice the abundance of babies and pregnancy I’m about to inflict on myself.   I often see all of these people in my trips back home, but I  stay with my sister or dad, not the pregnant friend, and this is the first time I’ve been back since the due date twin baby was born. I did this to myself. Fuck

My game plan:

drink-in abundance and often

be helpful

try to genuinely enjoy myself

not beat myself up for acknowledging that it sucks to be barren, and I’m allowed to be jealous

drink

Any words of wisdom? Stories of comiseration? Drink recipes?

Same Emotions, Different Packaging Friday, Nov 7 2008 

As I wrote earlier, infertility is always there. Like a trusty sidekick it hops along behind me shouting, “Wait for me!” It cuddles up next to me when I hear a pregnancy or birth announcement from a friend, pass a cute baby on the street, or watch a pregnant stranger as she absently rubs her bump. It comes after me in my  dreams and clouds our plans for the future. it makes me second guess my body, my feminity, and my hopes.

With certain people or situations I have a better chance of leaving infertility panting and hobbling on the sidelines while I cruise ahead having a great time. I have a few friends that are nowhere near the baby-making stage. They are my age or younger. Two are single, one just got engaged. They seem to be my going out friends- in fact, I’m getting drinks and seeing a movie with one tonight. Especially since Honey Bee is so often away for work I find myself seeking out my girlfriends for company and activities probably more than most coupled people do.

With these women I don’t often bring up my infertility. On the outside we appear to be at different stages of our lives-me the more settled friend, looking to build a family; them the single women looking for love. And yet, I somehow feel closer to my two single friends traversing the dating scene* as all of our friends slowly pair off than I do to the newly married couples blindly timing their assumed conception dates to best fit their vacation schedules.

They are great women-talented, smart, educated, funny, and as it unfortunately needs to be noted in our culture-very attractive, and yet they haven’t found partners. They are doing all the right things: meeting new people, going on blind dates and set-ups by friends, signing up online, and even after following all of the conventional advice and putting forth so much effort they’re still single while others in our circle seem to effortlessly fall into comfortable partnerships. I know my two friends sometimes think I don’t know how they feel, but I do. Feelings can be mutual even if circumstances are different.

 

*not that it really matters, but for the record, let it be known that I struggled through my fair share of bad dates, match.com and other dating sites, and miserable set-ups (including one by an old hair stylist that lied about my age and set me up with a homophobe, but that’s a story for another post). You’d think I could get a break on the baby thing given how much I suffered while single.