Sunday, November 22, 2009

Licensing Update

Our adoption licensing has completely stalled. I guess it takes a long time to do background checks in the two other states we have lived in. So still no homestudy in sight, which bugs me, but absolutely shouldn't seeing how if they called me to do it tomorrow, I would flip out. I am so not ready. I haven't installed my cabinet locks, my garage is a death hazard, and my shed is too. I bought the wrong size of fire extinguisher, I need new batteries in many of my smoke detectors, I need to hang an emergency phone number list somewhere, and I need to procure two twin bed frames, one twin mattress, two or three dressers. Argh. I am overwhelmed. I should post a picture of my one almost finished kid room. It feels like a mini triumph. Except for the fact that that now I am remembering that the quilt in there still needs to be tied or something, I still need a dresser for that room, and pee pads for everywhere. So the argh still stands.

An Impending Announcement

I am the second of daughter of four. My older sister has three kids. So far, neither of my two little sisters have had kids, but one is embarking on the pregnancy adventure. Having put a lot of thought into how this makes me feel, or will make me feel when she makes the happy announcement, I can honestly say I have no idea. Typically, family babies feel like a triumph. They are a win. I am assuming this will be the case this time too. I am really excited thinking of a new niece or nephew living so close by. But just in case, I cowardly emailed my sister, and I asked her that when she is ready to announce her good news, she let me know first since public announcements can be really hard on me. I feel all eyes go first to the happy pregnant person, and then immediately fall on me, the pathetic barren person, to see my reaction. So much pressure. If I am cued ahead of time I can totally pull it off. My nice sister totally understood. So nice.

Feeling Solid

I have no explanation for what has changed in my head over the past few months, but for the first time ever I am feeling so good and positive about doing IVF. IVF has been on the docket for three or four years now, and I really resented it. Though it was always "the next step" I stayed firmly planted where I was or even would take a few steps backwards from the dreaded next step. H and I had many ugly, painful arguments over it. And now I know that all my fear and backpeddling before was because deep down, I knew I couldn't handle the loss and still be a living, sane, human. One of those three was at risk.

So I don't know how things changed, but they have and I am so, so grateful. Magically I just arrived at a place where I know that if IVF works I will be excited and life will change, and it will be strange but great. And I also know that if IVF doesn't work I can go on living and be almost the same person I was before I tried. I say almost because I am sure if it fails, it will affect me in an unpredictible way - but only to a small extent. How do humans handle loss or failure when it isn't a conscious choice, when it is just thrown at them like it so often is? Is it easier, harder, or just different? Maybe the surprise element of most tragedy doesn't allow all the introspection I have had the luxury of. Maybe it has been my overthinking that made this so tough in the first place? Or maybe it is the reason that I finally feel I can walk into this and regardless of the outcome, know with certainly that I will still be me.

My cool twin

Apparently I am not impervious to jealousy after all. Rats.

Of course my jealousy can't be sane or rational. It is wierd and illogical - must be my M.O.

So this summer I attended my ten year anniversery and an old friend tells me about all the "cool" people now living in my city and that we should definitely get together. And I am all eager like a panting golden retriever watching it's master eat a juicy hamburger. Because I want friends like that dog wants the burger. He tells me that I would have a lot in common with this cool guy's wife "because you are a lot alike". That was probably too much flattery for me, because with no connection at all to "cool guy" except an enduring crush that began in fourth grade and amounted to nothing more than standing in the same room he was in a few times in high school, I still took it upon myself to hunt him down via the blog world. And of course I discovered that he is indeed still mysteriously cool and has indeed married a very cool wife. (Clearly WAY cool based on her masterful blogging of their cool life, the cool books she reads, her cool self deprecation, her cool taste in music, cool sense of humor. Aghh, cool you name it!) So yes, back to how right after in passing old friend says " are a lot alike" I jump all over him golden retriever style and say "Really! How so? How are we alike!" Old friend is cleary disturbed by my enthusiasm and tries to change the subject but I pull him back in demanding "So what do you think in we have in common? Why did you say that?" So yeah, that was in July and not one "cool" person has called. I can't fathom why not. So I am resigned to blogstalk again, and it had been awhile since I checked up on my cool doppleganger. So I just checked in.... And she is still cool, and just turned 30, AND SHE'S PREGNANT. And I'm jealous. Twins are supposed to get pregnant together. I can't believe she's done this to me.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Things that don't make me sad

Many infertile people hate being around pregnant people. Lucky for me, other people being pregnant does not bother me. Not at all. Especially people who have already had a baby or more. That seems really normal and natural to me. More power to you. I also don't even get bothered by seeing teenagers or skanks be pregnant. Evily, I sometimes even think "you better be a good mom or that kid might be mine anyway". ( -I am sure I will later regret writing and even thinking that one, but hey, full disclosure for now.)

I don't feel like another person getting pregnant decreases the baby supply or changes my chances for success.

I also have never for one nanosecond felt like I would not be a mother someday. For infertiles, motherhood is ultimately a choice not a physical ability.

Babies and children do not make me sad. If they are cute and sort of naughty, I find them entertaining. If they are not so cute and annoying they make me happy to be childless, so win win for me. I have never been around a kid or baby and wished they were mine, and I have actually had a few people insinuate this ABOUT THEIR OWN KIDS. Hey, rock on people. I am really glad that motherhood gives you healthy delusions about how awesome your kid is. I was raised by a mother who suffered from the blinders syndrome and it did wonders for my self esteem. It is a gift and creates great parents so I won't bag on it, but I will laugh at you and post about you on my blog for thinking your mini Zach Effron/Tchaikovsky baby will either A: make me sad and jealous or B: Heal me of all wounds or C: Cause me to start plotting my baby-heist.
I'll help you out: The correct answer is D: None of the above.

My aunt with IF said it best "I don't want your baby or a baby, I just want my baby."

....Or kid or teenager or elephant. Whatever. So long as its mine.

The Stress Lecture

Last year I went to lunch with some old girlfriends I hadn't seen in years. Catching up, I asked one about her sister. Turns out that sister was finally pregnant due to a successful round of IVF. Something in my friend's tone hinted at her annoyance with her sister so I asked her if they were getting along. The friend said "my sister is so negative she is hard to be around. I thought she would finally be excited about getting pregnant but she is being so wierd. She tried to keep the whole IVF thing secret, then she didn't even tell us she was pregnant until she was over four months along, she hasn't bought a single thing for the baby yet even though she is due in six weeks and she refused to even think of baby names." This stuck me as completely normal, and probably exactly how I would act in the situation and I said so. My friend went on to say that her sister even had extra frozen embryos leftover from this IVF that she will be able to use for the next round, but when the friend had said something about how great that was, her sister snapped back at her and said "There are only a few embryos and they are the worst ones, so don't get your hopes up." My friends response to her sister was a lecture on how stress affects every aspect of our systems and it is very likely that stress was largely affecting her ability to get pregnant. (Bet that went over well, I thought to myself while stifling an eye-roll). Everyone at lunch that day got to hear the entire replay of this fabulous lecture on stress and negativity as the underlying cause of infertility. I tried to block out the lecture, as it was only making me angry, and tried instead to focus on how to respond kindly, yet decisively to all the bull crap she was shoveling. This crazy lecture was coming from a friend who had suffered at least two miscarriages before having her first baby. I genuinely wanted to know if she thought her own negativity had caused her to lose two babies, but I decided not to stoop so low.
At the end of her diatribe I said, "You know, it is really hurtful when people tell me to relax and then I will get pregnant because it is a complete dismissal that I have an underlying medical problem. Most people would never tell a diabetic to relax and then they will start producing their own insulin. You are correct that stress does have strong effects on our bodies, and certainly isn't healthy, but telling someone going through infertility to 'not be so stressed' out is like telling Kermit the Frog to not be so green. I would imagine that rape and incest are about the worst, most stressful things that can happen to a woman, and yet they sometimes result in pregnancies. Women in war torn countries still continue to have babies, and I would also imagine that being poor is very stressful, and yet women on wellfare continue to have babies. I can't speak for your sister, but for me, it really hurts when someone gives me advice about controlling my stress, because what I hear is 'it is your fault that you haven't gotten pregnant'."
My lecture kicked the crap out of her lecture, and I did remain calm and composed throughout, so I felt great. I was also happy to speak up for a fellow infertile, because man, if anyone in my own family were that insensitive I would have crumbled and died by now. You know, from all the stress.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Look what I dun learned, ya'll

"Every bad thing that has ever happened to me has taught me compassion"

Love that quote. Think I would have maybe got something from Tolstoy? Hah. That little gem just came from Ellen while on the Oprah show, which I heard while laying on my couch, looking at all the piles of crap on my floor that I could be removing instead of laying around watching TV. But then I wouldn't have heard that little nugget.

Compassion rocks. Wish I had more of it. Wish I could get it without having to go through hard things.

Oh and I also wish I had a maid.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Movies, Movies Movies

I hate long flights, but I love watching tons of newly released movies, back to back. Yes it is good to read. But movies are truly my time-killing medium of choice. So despite the fact that I had two good books to read, I choose to forgo Catcher in the Rye and said hello to eight or so movies. (Sidenote: Transformers II was so bad it made time move slower and made my chair more uncomfortable.)

The last three movies I watched were:

Julie and Julia: I ADORE food and always dream of quitting my job to go to culinary school. However, I do not dream of working as a chef. Just going to culinary school, thereby making that move almost completely non-practical. Because of my love of all things food I had been anxiously awaiting the release of this movie. It did not disappoint. It did however, take me by surprise that Julia Child had wanted children and had been unable to have them. This was not a large part of the movie, only part of two brief scenes, but of course this was the primary theme of her life to me. Infertility completely shaped the person she became. I loved the depiction of her marriage in the movie. It seemed like she was married to a wonderful man and had a great marriage. I have a great marriage. I don't like to say this out loud too much because it sounds like bragging, and could be hurtful. I know enough wonderful people with terrible marriages to know that my marriage isn't so much a product of anything I have done, as it is a product of good luck. And I am very, very thankful for that stroke of luck.

Next was The Time Travellers Wife. *SPOILER ALERT* The lead character in this movie is determined to have a baby and experiences multiple miscarriages. Very sad part for me, but I handled OK. Later in the flight H watched the movie. I glanced over at him and saw that he was crying. Crying?! I have only seen H cry once in the ten years I have known him. I didn't want to make him feel embarrassed so I pretended not to see, and I checked out what could have made him cry. It was the part in the movie where they finally learn that the pregnancy will work and they will have a daughter. Man that tore me up. Full fledged ripping of my heart. I put my head down on my tray table and pretended to sleep, but really cried for a good long time. More determined than ever to try IFV. It is ssssssssssoooooo the least I can do for H.

After my sleep/cry meltdown I didn't want to risk another chick flick so I began watching UP. Are you kidding me!? Miscarriage and infertility in a Pixar?! Back to the tray table for meltdown number two. Didn't finish that movie. Don't get me wrong. I love when the sadness of infertility gets it's proper nod. It makes me feel not so alone. And just to prove that I don't need to be hospitalized or something, I will also justify my episodes by saying that I was on my period and hadn't slept in over 24 hours. I guess I should have told that to the stranger sitting next to me. That would have made me seem so much more stable.