Saturday, December 31, 2011

Just Be Patient

"Just be patient and give it over to God" is what my MIL said to me yesterday. We were talking and she asked me about a recent doctor's appointment. I tried to explain the process we go through each month and how ovaries don't necessarily alternate months and that I have a scan each month to see which ovary will be productive, etc. This led to a more in-depth discussion of how hard this has been. She told me she can see how it weighs on Husband, and it clearly makes us sad, but that we, meaning me, should not "shut them out."This was her way of telling me she is hurt about us not being there for Christmas. Then she tells me I have to be patient and give it over to God. I asked her, what do you do when you feel betrayed by God? "Just pray."At this point, I'm feeling justified not discussing it with her. This is not helpful advice, she can't relate and though she validated my feelings by acknowledging the ectopic was a real loss, she can't really comfort me. No one can. She said she knows it will all be alright and work out. If we want to go another route, another clinic, etc.

So I'm sitting there on the couch crying and Wife is in her room nearby, so I know she can hear us talking, but when she comes out of her room she doesn't say a word. Doesn't ask why I'm crying or if I'm okay, etc. I know, it sounds like I need to be the center of attention, but that's not what I want. It's strange to me that a woman, who is supposed to have intuition and empathy, never notices anything.

After the conversation with the MIL I decided to let it go. I'm not going to be angry at Brat and Wife for having a baby, for not being really warm or loving to her, for having pawned their dog off to grandparents as soon as they had the baby (which I assume they will do with their baby when they have a second one) for her feeding the baby in bed and sleeping with the baby while Brat has to sleep on the couch, for the baby being the ONLY thing they talk about and that anyone focuses on etc. I did feel lighter after the discussion, despite feeling irritated. The rest of the day went well.

This morning I'm feeling agitated. Wife can't eat dairy because it upsets the baby's stomach, which is common. But she really freaks out about EVERYTHING, things with powdered milk or butter. "Oh, I can't eat that" and "That's not okay to eat" so everyone notices. It's annoying. Then I was stupid and acted like a brat. We just ended breakfast and someone made a cocktail and said "Hey, we gotta celebrate the last day of the year." The conversation led to me once again, putting my self-pity foot in my mouth. FIL said "you gotta have bad years to have good years" and I made a stupid comment "not everyone has bad years."  Then of course he goes on and on about how it's just perspective, blah blah blah. I felt embarrassed that I said that and showed my ass. I know everyone has hard times, but sometimes I get petty and feeling sorry for myself and I say stupid things. It felt like FIL got annoyed with me and that makes me feel awful.

As I write this, Wife and Auntie are sitting near me with the baby telling stories over and over and over again about birth, labor, etc. I have to just let it go.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

The End of a Blissful Week, Part 2

A little more about the end of our blissful week:
Today Husband's parents came, which is great. I love my in-laws and was looking forward to hanging out and partying with them. But of course, Brat and Wife were only a few hours behind. We assumed they wouldn't be here until tomorrow, but sure enough, they roll in, baby fussing and the car all full of bags and the miscellaneous shit people now a days think they need for their baby. Not that either of them actually carried anything up from the garage-no Husband and his mom brought everything up. Brat was too busy on the phone to do anything.

It's just difficult to be near them. Period. But I try and I fake it and I listen to Brat's wife while she talks about, again, everyone they know is having their second child. Their friends, are not our friends, I don't give a shit about who is having babies. I look her straight in the eye and she still has no recognition about what she is doing. Then she talks to me about some of the kids she has worked for whose families have let them die or have to make the decision (she is a pediatric home health nurse). I'm looking her in the eyes, staring, a terrible expression on my face and she still doesn't shut up. "How do you make that decisions, to let your child die?"  She went on and on about it. I finally get up and get wine and take a breath. She's a nurse, she should understand the whole ectopic pregnancy. We had to take injection which killed the tissue of our fetus. Now of course, I know this is completely different than having a terminally ill child. I understand having to make that kind of a choice for a child you have known and loved for years is FAR more difficult, painful, life changing, than ours. Big deal, we were pregnant for a few weeks, then had to end it because it would not have been a viable fetus. Yet, it's similar enough, that I feel she should have some tact and not share. Don't belabor the point of dying babies and children...I get it. Let it be.

We have wanted a child for so long and with no major fertility issues, it still eludes us. None of them understand. She has her baby, which Husband's mother takes care of and she has little to do with. She doesn't get it. She has no sympathy. I resent her for having a baby first. She has made no changes to her life. Expects everyone else to pick up for her and they do. It's gut wrenching to see Husband's parents with their baby. When you want something so badly, when every part of you is aching for a child and you are denied, month after month, it kills you to see others enjoying it with no concept of sacrifice or pain. To never have acknowledged your loss and your unmet desire is inexcusable to me.

Before Brat and Wife arrived, I told my mother-in-law that I really appreciated her understanding about us missing Christmas. She was kind and said that they missed us, she couldn't lie about that, but that they are always there for us if we need them. She said if I needed to just hang out with her, go shopping or just sit, she would do it. I believe her, I feel it would be too difficult for her to be around me, in my grief or frustration after getting to spend entire days with her precious granddaughter. I don't think she can handle it. Plus, it's difficult for me to not include Brat and Wife when I bitch about the situation and she doesn't want to hear that.

Last night I went to bed sobbing. Husband held me and was very kind. I just kept thinking "why are we so unworthy?"

The End of a Blissful Week

They are arriving early. On their way as I write this. We had six blissful days at the beach, away from the family and with no stress. It was the best Christmas I've had since, well, since I was a young kid and all I needed was the magic of Santa Claus. But now they are going to ruin it. We thought we had one more night before Brat and Wife showed up with everyone's little princess. I want to throw up.

I told myself all week that this will be a good weekend. I will not get caught up in the drama of my own grief and envy. I won't sit there sulking in bitterness and listing off my grudges against them. For awhile I actually believed I could do it. That was until the grandparents showed up and I saw that car seat base in the backseat while helping them unload. How can one small thing cause so much pain. It's just a piece of plastic, it's ridiculous.

There won't be one second of time where everyone isn't focused on the baby. It's so frustrating.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Hidden Away

Husband and I would be six months pregnant right now if we had not lost our pregnancy. This has been a very hard year for us, one major disappointment after another, so we decided to spend the holidays alone, away from family and the typical obligations. This has been the best Christmas ever. We're at the beach, there is no one around except the locals and we are enjoying our time. Husband feels a little guilty that he missed the holiday with his family, which I understand. He is very close with his family and only spent one holiday away from them.While he felt as overwhelmed, frustrated and heartbroken as I did this year, he would not have hidden away during the holidays as we have if were not for me. I needed it and have been grateful he agreed.

Yesterday we took our pooch down to the beach itself-it was a gorgeous day, sunny and clear with little wind. Just as we got past the dunes and onto the sand I said to him "We would be six months pregnant right now." He grabbed my hand and said "I think about that all the time."

That is a very heavy statement. It's heavy because you never expect a man to think about it all as much as you do, you tend to forget at you are the one taking pills, injections, peeing on sticks every morning, that he has lost as much as you have.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Keeping Time

When we were kids we kept time on based on our school schedule. Time was more about months than actual hours, September was the beginning of school, full of promise and excitement (if you were a nerd like me), December was Christmas break, March was spring break, then June brought that blessed three month respite from the classroom. You graduate from high school and go on to college and things are similar, but there is more of an emphasis on the breaks between quarters or semesters. You finish school and start working, time becomes attached to your 8-5 M-F week. There are no more big breaks, no more study weeks before finals, no more attending classes in barely passable lounge wear. Then you start to try to conceive and time changes. It is marked by specific days, created by scientists and doctors, who have not one bit of empathy or concern for you and your eggs.

So here were are. I'm 35 years old. No baby. 20 people I personally know have given birth in the last year or will give it next year. I remain the ONLY childless woman in a 1,500 mile radius.

Here is how I now keep time:

Day 1-miserable day when my period starts
Day 5- start taking Clomid
Day 10,11 or 12- follicle scan to see which of my ovaries will drop an egg. If it's the right, we don't try since it's blocked after the ectopic during our first, and only, pregnancy.
Day 13, 14- positive OPK test
Day 15,16- IUI
Day 27-spotting if I'll start my period
Day 29-full on period if we're not pregnant

Today is day 29. Yep, my period came, as usual. Have you ever thought you have cried all the tears your body could possibly make? It's amazing how tears are never ending.

My husband finally agreed that we won't spend time with family this year during Christmas. Thanksgiving was miserable enough. We are sick of everyone else's babies. Even those we love, we're just tired of them. This is such a painful, demeaning and cruel process, and the holiday is stressful enough, we just need to hide away. Months ago I tried to talk him into traveling somewhere for the holiday because I knew we wouldn't be pregnant. Being pregnant is the only thing that would make the holiday bearable, so obviously, we wouldn't be allowed that. But he hates to fly and refused. At least if we had planned a fabulous vacation no one would ask why we aren't hanging out with our exhausting and unsympathetic families.

Even better is that if, if, we do another fucking IUI this month, it will likely fall on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day. I always get a positive OPK test on Friday or Saturday which means the IUI is the following day. Who doesn't want to spend their Christmas full of false hope at the stupid hospital, knees up while a nurse inserts a plastic tube carrying the precious and amazing sperm from your spouse? Happy fucking Christmas everybody.

This has officially been one of the worst years of our lives. I joked months ago that if we actually made it through this very painful year, we should have a party themed "We Survived The Shitstorm that was 2011." Then we realized that our guest list would consist of new parents and family. Everyone would have to leave by 7pm to put their babies to bed. Fuck me.

Today I lamented that there is no here I can call and say "let's meet for a drink." No girlfriend I can rely on to meet me at a fancy new bar or a crappy dive bar and just relax and talk some shit.

My mom told me her thirties were her best years. Great. If this decade is any marker for the rest of my life, I am seriously screwed.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Lucky Bitch

“Lucky bitch, you stupid cunt” is what I would like to write on Brat's wife's shower card. Drunk and angry, I'm wrapping a gift for her fucking shower. Three weeks after we found out our pregnancy was just an ectopic pregnancy. Just three weeks after our first shots to dissolve the very life we have been praying and working for for over a year. No card, no email, no text message to ask how we are, how I am. No sign of recognition for our loss, just a pathetic look when we accidentally ran into them. That’s the best you can do?

I’m always angry or always hurt. The pain is just below my skin. Runs below the bruises from all the IV attempts, from the blood draws every few days, just below this thin skin is a woman who is constantly on the verge of losing sanity. A pain that cuts with a breath, the sight of a beautiful baby in the arms of a happy new mother, a pregnant woman crossing the street, a young couple looking at car seats at Target. We had two weeks of that. Two measly weeks of the joy that cannot be described in words here. Husband was a father for two entire weeks, kissing my belly each day, planning changes to the house, discussing nursery themes. Then it was stolen.

What do you know about that? Why would you care about someone like me? You get all you want, even at the expense of the people who care for you. You are selfish and self-centered and unable to love. Fuck you and the fact that your stupid reproductive organs function as they should. You don’t deserve this blessing and I wish I could tell you this to your face. Your very existence is an insult to those of us who actually give a shit about others, who LOVE others, feel their pain, pray for their joy and feel grateful for their love and friendship. These are all things you’ve never experienced. You fucking cunt.

Here is your shower gift, which you don’t really care about. There is nothing within you that is grateful for what you receive, nor appreciates the sacrifice some may make in order to buy you a gift. You are spoiled, self-interested and cold. What does he see in you? Congratulations on your new accessory, because that is what this baby is. Just like your big house, your expensive car, your jewelry. You don’t deserve your little girl and I know it and hate you.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Had to go to the lab this morning to have a follow up blood test to Monday's strange results. I have had major PMS symptoms this week: sore breasts, irritability, quick to tears. This morning while I waited for the phlebotomist to finish with the woman ahead of me, I had to listen to them discuss pregnancy and babies. Tears welled up, I had to talk myself into staying calm and not dissolving into sobs. When he finally got to me, he was abrupt and I knew right away he would be rough. Sure enough, it was a painful prick and bled after for quite awhile. As soon as I got to the car I started hyperventilating and crying. It's just so painful to hear others talk about their pregnancy. It's ridiculous for me to feel this way.

Now I'm waiting at the dentist. Great day!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Chemical Pregnancy

Today I called the fertility nurse to report a negative pregnancy test, but no real period. Just spotting since Thursday. She wanted me to come in for a blood serum test because it's possible I am pregnant with spotting, especially since I had tender breasts. I left work mid-morning to have my blood drawn, hoping, hoping, hoping that I was really pregnant and that the blood test would finally be accurate. Wrong.

I waited until 4:00 to call her to find out the results, got the voice mail. She called back after 5:00 to explain my number was "strange." Anything below a 5 is a negative test result. A positive one is 25+. My number was 17. The nurse explained that they would expect to see a number in the hundreds if I was pregnant at this point. That "strange" number 17 may indicate a chemical pregnancy which is when the egg gets fertilized, starts dividing and triggers all the pregnancy chemicals in your body to increase, but then stops dividing. It could mean that we were pregnant, but it failed. Because of the strange number, I have to be tested again on Wednesday, and as a result, I can't start the Clomid tonight. Now I realize that I forgot to ask her if that means no IUI this month or just no Clomid.

There is nothing wrong with either of us. We should be able to conceive. Knowing we were possibly pregnant does not make me feel better about the fact that we are not pregnant now.

Brat's wife's baby shower is in August and I really needed to be pregnant by then. I needed it for me, so I could know we were going to have a baby, so when those nosey old ladies asked "when are you going to start a family" I could just smile and shrug, knowing I already had. It's not that I need to tell anyone, I just need to know it's happening for me, my peace of mind.

Husband just called after looking at some cars. He made the mistake of explaining that the one he really likes is similar in size to the one Brat and Wife have. I flipped out, "I don't want ANYTHING like what they have! I hate them!"

Seriously, grow up!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Of Course Not

Day 28, still barely spotting, negative pregnancy test. I'm furious with God. Another way to shit on Husband and I. I've already made my angry, self-pity fury exclamations about poor people procreating and everyone I know here is able to have babies but us, so I won't make them again even though I'm drowning in them. My first glass of wine in two weeks, I'm tempted to take vodka shots. Prayer doesn't work, even my friends who knew about this who said they would pray for us- it didn't work. My one friend who claimed God speaks to her- told her she was pregnant immediately after the act- even her prayers didn't work for us.

I will have to start taking Clomid again Monday. Another wasted $20 and five days. Still haven't received the bill from the first IUI, so who knows how much that will cost. Right now I feel it's not worth it. If they haven't found anything wrong with us, and we did an IUI, how can we not be pregnant? Why are Husband and I literally prevented from having the things in life we want most (aside from one another): our careers have been a wash, baby making a failure, even our car search has not worked out.

Another month of this bullshit. I have zero hope and feel no reason to try and believe it will ever happen. I hate you fucking bitches who end up pregnant: "It was a surprise" or "We didn't try long." Fuck you.

Friday, June 24, 2011


We had our first IUI on Sunday, June 12th, the morning of our godson's baptism. We felt good about it, I haven't been drinking, I've continued my prenatal vitamins, have been exercising, etc. We followed up the IUI with regular ol' intercourse and have felt very hopeful. Until last night.

Took a pregnancy test yesterday morning, it was negative. Fine, it was only day 27, still early. The app on my iPhone was telling me I'd start my period on day 27 but it has often been off a few days. All day at work yesterday it felt as though I was going to start any moment, and sure enough right before bed last night, spotting.

I started crying, but kept telling myself  "it could just be spotting." Husband wanted to hold me, but it was easier for me not to cry if I didn't make eye contact and kept my distance. He was crushed, but acted strong for me. This morning he ate his breakfast out in the garden and was very quiet. Told me that he doesn't want to hear me say "But it could just be spotting." He's done feeling hopeful for this cycle.

We were sure it would happen this month. The fact that the IUI was on our godson's baptism day, and it was his parents who introduced Husband and I so it had to mean something, right? I even went up during mass to receive a blessing, I have been saying my prayer to St. Jirard:
"O good Saint Gerard, powerful intercessor before God and Wonderworker of our day, I call upon thee and seek thy aid. Thou who on earth didst always fulfill God’s designs, help me to do the holy Will of God. Beseech the Master of Life, from Whom all paternity proceedeth, to render me fruitful in offspring, that I may raise up children to God in this life and heirs to the Kingdom of His Glory in the world to come. Amen."

What else could I have done? My body hasn't been telling me anything-I'm not feeling different, no indication yet if I am pregnant. It's strange to me that even in the face of negative pregnancy tests, I haven't freaked out, as I normally would, so I believed that was my mind's way of telling me that I was pregnant. Don't freak out because you are, it just isn't showing up yet.

Each time I use the restroom today I'm checking and praying there is only a little blood. Please, God, let this just be implantation spotting, please let me pregnant. This is the right time, please don't make us go through this another month. Please let me give Husband a child of his own. Please allow me this natural and rightful process as a woman to conceive, grow and give birth to our baby. Please don't make me an outcast from all these women around me who have conceived already and share in something that I yet cannot. Please do not add this to my list of miseries, resentments and insecurities. Please let us be pregnant now and have a healthy baby of our own. Please.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

I'm an Idiot

Good Sunday morning. I'm a fucking moron. Somehow I thought I was supposed to take my first clomid pills on day 1 of my period, but I was wrong. Had a sneaking suspicion this morning that I had taken the pills on the wrong day. Sure enough I read over the paperwork today and it says clearly "take on days 5-9"- ugh! So I made a frantic call to fertility nurse who is of course out for the weekend, explaining my error, rambling on about what an idiot I am and asking for instructions. "Did I totally blow it for this cycle? Do I get more pills? What do I do?!"

I'm sure it had nothing to do with the wine I drank last night, or the general sense of constant chaos and emotional upheaval. I swear the nurse told me to take them on day 1, regardless it's my fault for not paying attention to the stupid prescription label !!!!

No wonder we haven't conceived, it's God's way of preventing me from spawning and spreading my idiocy.

UPDATE: The weekend fertility nurse called me back Sunday. She was very nice and said that while she had never heard of anyone taking clomid the first day of their period, she was sure the regular nurse (Luanna) would have. She told me to not take anymore, to call Luanna on Tuesday morning and she would most likely just have me get one more dose of pills and have me take them as planned, on days 5-9. I was relieved, though still embarrassed and worried I messed up this month. Clearly, I need to calm down and focus on what I'm doing.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Late Start

This week stinks. I’ve never been more full of hope that we were pregnant than this week. This was of course dashed to bits when I took a pregnancy test the evening of the first day I should have started my period. I am rarely a later starter. The following day I was in the waiting room of the fertility clinic waiting for my appointment to sign the consent form for the first IUI session. And so it begins…

My appointment was scheduled for 4:15 pm, I arrived in the waiting room after checking in at 4:11. Surrounded by pregnant women and their uncommunicative husbands/boyfriends/partners, I flipped through the news on my cell phone, pretending to read articles about Libya and Russia trying to negotiate Ghaddafi’s departure, while I secretly was resenting those rotund women and their damn luck at conceiving. Sizing then up from the corner of my eye, judging their lives, their hair, their outfits. I wondered if the husbands/boyfriends/partners wanted babies or if they were dragged along, surprised or forced into having one. I prefer that. I don’t want to think of anyone but us being excited to have a baby.

Meantime, I had checked my email and finally received a response from the doctor regarding the pelvic ultrasound I had two weeks ago. I had to send two emails to receie a response, and even then it took her four days to respond the second email. The doctor reported that only two fingertip sized fibroids appeared on the ultrasound, and they were too small to impede conception. This is good news, except here we are again, learning that nothing is wrong with us, it’s just not happening. Mixed bag emotionally. She stated the next step it a hysterosalpingogram to find out if my tubes are blocked, or just start right in with the IUIs. Since I was already sitting in the waiting room waiting to sign a consent form for the IUI, a hysterosalpingogram was not going to be the next step.

I waited for 45 minutes as those pregnant women disappeared into the doctor’s office, then left the clinic. Patience is not something I excel at, but I didn’t want to be rude, these people have our fertility in their hands. Finally I stepped into the nurse’s station and explained that I had an appointment nearly an hour ago and was wondering if I’d be seen. The one nurse clearly didn’t listen to me, instructed me to go sit in the waiting room and wait to be called. Exasperated, one short breath away from turning into The Hulk,  I addressed the other nurse and said again, that my appointment was at 4:15, it was now 5:00. That nurse acknowledged me, asked who my appointment was with and then informed the fertility nurse I was still waiting to be seen. I heard that fertility nurse exclaim “Oh! I totally forgot about her! Oh no!” Yep. Of course she forgot about me. Fucking bitch. I’m just out here dying to get started on treatment so I CAN HAVE A BABY…no rush, nothing important going on out here.

She was nice and I forgave her immediately. I know she was busy and at least she didn’t make me come back later. The first time I sat in her office I broke down sobbing, this time I was calm and full of questions. We discussed the process for the IUI and when to start taking Clomid-which would make me ovulate double time, therefore improving the chances of conceiving during the IUI process. She told me I start taking the pills on the first day of my period. I asked what happens if I don’t actually have a period this month since I was already 1-3 days later than normal? She proceeded to explain to me what the first day of a period is, I listened, irritated, wanting to slap her to make her actually listen to my question. “Yes, Luanna, I know what the first day of a period is, but I’m late this month, and I’m asking you what do I do if all I have is spotting?” Again, she explained to me that the first day of a period is when there is red blood flow, not spotting. “Luanna, I know about periods. I’m asking you what do I do if I don’t have a period this month?” This went round and round three times before she finally listened and answered my question with “It will happen. You will have flow.” Sigh.

So here is the process for IUI:
I start taking two Clomid pills per day on the first day of my period, and do so for five days. On day 11 of my cycle I begin taking OPK. When I get the smiley face on the OPK indicating Lh surge, I call the fertility pager to set up a time that very day to have Husband’s semen inserted into my uterus. After the appointment is set, Husband has to produce semen into a cup which I will take with me to the appointment. I’m to carry it in a bag, close to my body (under a jacket zipped up) to keep the swimmers warm, but not too hot. The lab tech will then take the swimmers, “clean them,” spin them, do their magic to make them ready to attack my eggs, I will lay down and someone will use a long, thin tube inserted into my uterus to “inject” the swimmers. Now the swimmers will be closer to my eggs, bypassing what is apparently a highly toxic vaginal/cervical environment, and hopefully we will conceive.

The best part of the week was starting my period three days later than normal. Today is day 30 of my cycle, and I didn’t start my period until this afternoon. Sad on one hand not to be pregnant, happy to know that I can start taking Clomid and in 11-17 days we will go in for the IUI and hopefully be pregnant a few days after that. If not, I will be crushed. 

Another great part of this week is being with Husband's family which is wonderful, because Brat and Wife aren't here. But they may be coming over tomorrow. Just what I want the day after I start my fertility treatment, Clomid is a hormone afterall, sit there and listen to her complain about how tired she is, how she hates gaining weight (Easter was all about how glad she was she hadn't gained weight....can you hear the tick, tick, tick of my rage bomb?), and talk about baby names. My strategy is to not drink too much to prevent puking my absolutely hatred on the, but just enough to keep me from being miserable and crying. Poor Husband. 

Monday, May 23, 2011

The Rule of Three

I was chatting online today with a coworker about upcoming plans to go out of town for a wedding next week. As I typed out the sentence "This will be wedding one of three for the year. These things usually happen in threes: weddings, babies, divorces,"I suddenly went into panic mode. There are already three babies for this year! If there are already three, then that means we won't have one!

After several minutes of barely maintaining, and managing to keep my short breaths just long enough to not quite qualify as hyperventilating-one does not want to alarm others in the office of their absurd emotional issues after all-I realized this is okay. You see last year, there were only two babies, which meant there is an extra one which could be used this year. Phew! Then I remembered that another friend is due in September. Shit. That makes four babies in this year, using the remaining one from the previous year.

Seriously, I am a reasonably intelligent woman. I can cook a meal, count to 100, pay my bills on time, drive without crashing into others, but this stupid thought took hold of me. I really felt, well, that's it, then. Nothing is going to happen this year. F that. No more OPKs, no more tracking my cycle and when we have intercourse. Yes, sex has officially become intercourse. It's too scheduled and expected to be love making or sex. Sigh.

Just as I began writing this post, it dawned on me that we wouldn't give birth this year, anyway. It's too late, but that doesn't mean we won't get pregnant. Oh, wait! That's right! So it is still a possibility...yes, Anastasia, there could still be a stork in the near future for you!

I sit here and count out the months on my fingers, if we got pregnant in May, we could have the baby in February or March. That would be lovely, a baby born the same month as Husband, or my older sister whom I love dearly. The fantasies of planning the birth, the nursery, how big I would be in September at my friend's wedding which I am a bridesmaid in...all these wonderful and fun images pop into my head. It's hard not to entertain them, they are too enticing. There is trouble in allowing these fantasies to play out too long though. I tend to hold onto them, redirecting every little step in each one, the joy is nearly tangible, re-imagining nursery colors, what it will be like to tell everyone we're pregnant, to finally know we aren't TTC (trying to conceive) anymore, but have actually achieved conception! These thoughts become chains when it's clear each month that I am in fact not pregnant again.

Two days until I'm supposed to start my period. I don't feel any different than I do every month, but I'm hoping this time we're pregnant. I'd love for Husband and I to have one of the three babies for next year.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Just Maybe

I got the smiley face on the OPK test this morning. For the first time since last fall I've ovulated two months in a row. I wasn't even going to take an OPK today because I was feeling so low about everything, and it is two days past the typical day I get the Lh surge. Yesterday was a hard day emotionally, for no particular reason. Coming out of the restroom at work yesterday I experienced something strange. Impulsively, I almost reached out to touch the pregnant belly of a woman in the hope it would bring me good luck. In a flash, a nearly involuntary muscle spasm nearly forced my arm to reach out toward her. Thank goodness I was able to restrain myself, I'm sure she would have thought I was attacking her. 

I continue to wonder if our trouble conceiving is the punishment for some choices I've made in my life, things I've done that have hurt others. I always thought it would come in the form of never finding love, never being married to the "right man," or of being diagnosed with cancer and either having my spouse leave, or of dying young. It never occurred to me it may manifest in the form of infertility. This fear has increased since the test results showed that Husband's swimmers were healthy. It's one thing to feel that you are being appropriately punished as a single person, but when you are experiencing a hardship that effects someone you love, then it's cruel. Perhaps that's what make it punishment. 

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Wonderful Infertility Blog

I just came across this blog tonight, "Hannah Wept, Sarah Laughed." The "What If" video made me bawl my eyes out, I still haven't finished it. The author, Keiko Zoll, writes a poignant, smart and humorous blog. Please check out the video if nothing else.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Ship It Up Your Ass

I hate Brat. He just texted Husband to ask if he can have baby items shipped to our house instead of theirs to save on sales tax. REALLY?!

Now, I admit that Brat was never part of the conversations I had with his wife regarding trying to have a baby, so I cannot really blame him for his selfishness and insensitivity. I assumed that like I often do with Husband, Wife would share the conversations, and Brat would know how hard things have been. Clearly, she did not. This is something I am somewhat grateful for though-it means that either she was too drunk to remember or didn't pay attention because it didn't involve her. That means she doesn't remember me expressing my fears and frustrations about trying unsuccessfully to conceive.

This is happening on the tail end of a terrible week/end that resulted in me having an utter breakdown and Husband and I having the worst fight of our entire relationship. Last week I had a crisis of career, of life, of marriage, of reality. Wednesday morning we had a huge fight which stemmed oddly enough from bin Laden's death followed by the fact that Brat and Wife announced they are having a girl. Bin Laden's death reinforced the fact that I am not working my "dream" job-intelligence. Not that I would have been involved in the bin Laden situation, but it was a reminder that the job I'm doing now will never lead to a result as powerful or important as that. It re-ignited my career discontent, which then made me very angry. Then of course came the news of Baby Girl which was fitting. That was the final tip on my sanity scale and I went off the deep-end.

I don't remember what set off the argument Wednesday morning but it was full of resentment and anger. Husband did eventually make a good point, which was that I need to accept where I am. He was right. So I tried acceptance on for the day, and it made me both lighter and sadder. While at work I wrote the following:
Acceptance feels like defeat. Facing the truth and giving in hurts worse than the disappointment and anger I'm used to. So I accept defeat. Accept that my life is NOTHING that I wanted, and every decision has led to a worse situation. Accept nothing I wanted has happened as I wanted or imagined, and may in fact never happen at all. Now I have to figure out how to kill the resentment that threatens daily to undo it all. That crowds my mind and tightens around my throat. 
It's dramatic, I know, but it's how I was feeling. The rest of the week at work was great and I managed to stay positive.

Home life hasn't been great lately, and it's mostly my fault. Husband and I have been back home for almost one full year, and we're still struggling with all the same shit, except I have a job. The longer we're here and things are not improving (we're not pregnant, he's not working, I have no friends locally who even remotely understand what we're going through, etc.), the harder it is for me to not freak out. Disappointment, frustration, depression, anguish continue to build and I just don't know what to do anymore.

All week we tried to schedule Mother's Day activities with our mothers. My mother-in-law said that Husband had to work it out with Brat. Husband texted and called several times, but Brat never responded. Finally, Saturday afternoon Husband's dad said Brat and Wife would be going over there for breakfast. Husband said great, we'll come by in the evening for dinner then. We both aren't ready to see them after their very exciting news, that and because Brat couldn't be bothered to respond to Husband's calls and texts. I was so relieved we wouldn't have to spend the day with them.

Sunday we spent the afternoon with Husband's mother and father. We had a great time until the end. I had too much to drink and finally said something to my mother-in-law about Baby Girl. She was conspicuously not mentioned with the exception that the in-laws wanted the back room cleaned out to turn it into a nursery. The back room has served as storage for both Brat and Husband. As we were leaving I grabbed the last load of our items from that back-room-nursery-to-be and said to my mother-in-law "At least you can be happy you're having a granddaughter" and her response was strange, "Yes, I will keep it close to my heart." For some reason, that upset me. She's still not showing her true joy about it, and that is insulting. I don't want to hear about Baby Girl every second of the day, but c'mon, this is their first grandchild and they aren't even talking about it. Why is she holding back? It makes me very uncomfortable, it's almost worse that she doesn't talk about it.

Husband's family knows nothing about us seeing a fertility specialist. Mother-in-law only knows that we had been trying to conceive, but I have shared nothing with her in detail, and haven't even mentioned it in months.

Anyway, blame it on the wine, or on me slipping off my constant tightrope walk of sanity, her response set me off. I unloaded on Husband. Hours later when the fight was over, and we were both completely exhausted, with nothing resolved, we agreed that we have to start focusing on us and stop being so bitter and resentful of others.

It's been all of 15 hours since we came to that conclusion and I'm back to being bitter and resentful of Brat. That text he sent Husband wanting to ship baby stuff here was all it took. I already ran through a list of things I'd like to do when that baby stuff arrives here- beat it to hell and claim that's how it was delivered, burn it, give it away to someone in need and tell Brat that it never arrived. Those fantasies give me a little thrill, so does wanting to tell him to ship those items up his tight ass.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Insert This Camera Like a Tampon

Yesterday we had a pelvic ultrasound. This is one step in the process leading up to intra-uterine insemination (IUI). I was told to arrive with a full bladder, which I did. The very nice and funny ultrasound technician, Kim, informed me that first she would do a regular ultrasound, I would pull my pants down just a bit for her to have access to my tummy, after that, she would leave the room, let me undress from the waist down and we would do an internal ultrasound. I laughed thinking of course this will be more invasive than I thought. She smiled and said "They never tell women about that part, can't figure out why."

It was cool to see my uterus and ovaries up on the television screen as she performed the regular ultrasound. She explained what everything was, even though it didn't always help us really identify what she was talking about. Kim pointed out my uterus, which looks nothing like the drawings they show you, it was just a black oval which was dwarfed by my ever-growing bladder, and then my ovaries which were more dark ovals. She was even able to see the lining of my uterus, though it looked like everything else on the screen to both Husband and I. She made her measurements of all my lady parts and then explained that I needed to empty my bladder and when I returned, she would step out of the room and allow me to undress and get settled on the bed, with my bottom on top of a pelvis-tilting pillow which would allow for maximum visual access to my ovaries. Gratefully, I used the restroom and returned to find the pelvis-tilting pillow in place, and a sheet waiting to cover my lower half.

When Kim returned, she showed us the internal camera she would be using, covered in what was essentially a condom, and the tip was slathered with lubricant.  She handed it to me and instructed me to "insert the camera like you would a tampon." Now after all of the annual exams and cervical pre-cancer procedures I've had done over the years, I was not concerned with inserting a camera in the shape of a 16 inch long penis. It was more strange that Kim would be moving it around once I inserted it. Guess it's obvious here that I haven't used many dildos in my time-otherwise I would be perfectly comfortable with someone else directing a large phallic item, with their hand, that was inserted into my vagina.

It was painless initially. She found the right ovary (now my favorite of the two), it was easy to spot and there were 29 follicles, that was great to see. Then she had to dig around for a good shot of the left ovary, and that was increasingly uncomfortable. That damn ovary was hiding behind my uterus, I guess it's "shy." That ovary only had 15 follicles and she didn't have much to say about it. She finished up by measuring the blood flow and listening to the blood flow in each ovary.

Sadly she is not a physician and was therefore not allowed to discuss any findings. A physician would look at it, confer with my doctor, and then I will find out the results. Of course my doctor is on vacation for the next week (how dare she?!) so I will have to wait forever to find out if there is anything wrong. Hopefully not. Husband and I were just relieved to see that 1. I had two ovaries, 2. I had a uterus, and 3. there were no monsters hiding in my uterus which had been snatching up his very capable swimmers and preventing them from inseminating my eggs.

They should do this ultrasound for all women at a younger age so everyone can be educated on what our bodies look like. It seems that the world of medicine does not want women to be empowered with that knowledge.

Today is day 10 of my cycle and I took my first OPK for the month. It was negative, but that's alright. Hopefully I will ovulate this month and we will conceive. In the meantime, I'm going to have another mimosa.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Ovulation Elation!

Finally! A positive ovulation test today! Here's what's been happening:

Last month according to the OPK (ovulation predictor test kit) I never ovulated. I peed on those damn sticks for seven days, all while traveling in California and staying at other people's homes. It's like being on your period-you never want anyone to know, you don't want to leave any evidence around. Our first day at Husband's cousin home we hadn't had enough time to find a drugstore so we could buy more OPKs. That night Cousin took us the grocery store to grab items for dinner-I snuck away to find some tests with the intention of going through the line, paying for them, hiding them in my purse and then returning to the guys who were still shopping. Of course, this store didn't carry them. Concerned with maintaining privacy, I tried to come up with a reason to go the drugstore. Defeated, I asked Cousin if he would stop at a drugstore on the way home. "Why, what do you need?" Uhhhhh...."Just some stuff." Luckily he let it drop. He probably assumed I needed tampons, but that was better than having to explain that we are trying to conceive, and may be using your guest bed to get freaky in.

Anyway, because I had not ovulated my doctor had me go in for a blood test to test my progesterone levels which would indicate if an egg was released. I was supposed to go in on day 21, but got my days mixed up and went in on day 20. The results from day 20 showed ovulation had occurred, but when I went back on the correct day, the results showed a much lower number. Both test results caused me to panic-if I had in fact ovulated, Husband and I may not have had sex at the right time since I had no idea it had occurred.

I emailed my doctor:
I just reviewed the progesterone test results and have a few questions. The early test taken on March 29th (day 20 of my cycle) indicates an ovulatory cycle, but the one taken on March 31st (day 22 of my cycle) shows a much lower number. 

All of my home ovulation predictor test kits were negative this month. Is it possible to still ovulate without those showing the Lh surge? Was the result on the early test skewed because it was before day 22? If I did ovulate, what is the approximate window it could have happened? I'm trying to figure out if the last time we had intercourse would have possibly happened during the ovulation window. 

My doctor's response literally said good question, the date of expected ovulation is a guess (A GUESS???!!!!) and she couldn't be certain I had in fact released an egg, nor could she explain why the OPKs may not have detected the Lh surge.

So here we are, with a positive ovulation test and trying for a baby. Next month if I am not pregnant, we will start taking Clomid which will induce my ovaries to both release eggs. We do that for two cycles, then we try it with Clomid and Intrauterine Insemination (IUI). But we have to keep our Clomid use to a minimum, or it starts menopause. Lovely.

Summary: Doctor's don't really know anything. My body seems to be on its own schedule. I hate traveling and peeing on OPKs. None of this matters if we conceive.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Cooking with Grandma

I did not get to know my grandmother very well. She always seemed more like a monument to appreciate than a person to interact with. It wasn't until I met Husband that I actually began to spend time with her, and started to build a relationship with her. The disconnect is partially because of my insecurity and fear, and partially because of my mother.

When she passed last year, my mom and her siblings asked all of us grandkids what we wanted. Honestly, it's a horrific process to pick through someone's belongings and decide what you want. As if these material goods really have a piece of her in them. It makes one feel like a vulture picking at the remains, scavenging for a tasty morsel. I'm still embarrassed that my older sister and I actually looked through things to choose, and that I actually wanted something of hers. My rationalization is that the items I wanted are of no monetary value.

Most of my memories with Grandma were playing go-fish at the breakfast bar and hanging out in the kitchen. The main high points of her kitchen were the avocado green 70's era cookie jar filled with Archway molasses cookies and the awesome mix of cereal she always kept in the cupboards above the stove. Beyond that however, were a few little items that I believed were iconic and necessary for a good mother's kitchen: brightly colored Pyrex mixing bowls, aluminum loaf pans and the Boonton melamine cereal bowls that we ate cereal out of, and Granddad had his ice cream and peaches in every afternoon.

It may sound nuts, I admit it, but anything Husband and I make using Grandma's items, always turn out. The homemade bread, lemon pound cake, meatloaf, etc., salsa and salads we make in the colored Pyrex bowls, all turn out delicious. It makes me feel like she's here with me when I use the items from her kitchen. Even though we never cooked together, and it took me until my late 20s to really spend time with her, her presence is absolutely with me in the kitchen.

My Grandmother was nothing like I thought she was. Due to my mother's own insecurities and regrets, she unknowingly prevented my younger sister and I from forming any real attachment to Grandma. Whenever Grandma and Granddad would visit, which in my memory was only twice, Mom would be in a tizzy for days cleaning her already clean and tidy home, fussing and claiming that everything had to be just right for Grandma. Not only that, but there were alot of events that happened in our immediate family that we were told to keep secret, be sure Grandma and Granddad never learned of what happened. "Don't tell them I smoke" she said. "Don't tell them I bought a new car", or that "your stepdad left." In mom's actions she made us feel that nothing was good enough for Grandma, that Grandma was a judgmental and critical woman. It's the kind of impression that sticks with a young girl, and as I grew up and made enormous mistakes of my own, I assumed Grandma was judging me. It took me too long to realize that Grandma was never judgmental, and she loved all of us. She was in pain when we suffered, when we faltered. She was straight forward, honest, had an amazing sense of humor, but was very loving. Even though they claim wisdom comes with age, my resentment and bitterness grows as I discover more truth about life. Shameful as it is, I am still blaming my mother for my lack of a relationship with my Grandmother. No, it's not her fault that I didn't have a close relationship with Grandma, but it's her behavior around Grandma that prevented me from being comfortable with her.

Through cooking with Grandma's bowls and bakeware, I feel like I'm building a relationship with her, repairing all the crap my mom and I built up with Grandma over the years. This way I get to share a pure and honest experience with the memory of my grandma, the woman she really was.

On a related note, a woman at work has a tattoo on her foot- it is a flower with "Gram" scrolled above. It is her memorial for her grandmother. She was telling me how close she was with her grandmother, they communicated on a daily basis, etc. It really touched me. I want to be that kind of grandmother-the kind that is a friend and honored, respected matriarch. A grandmother that is close with her grandkids, who has a warm, welcoming home and heart, but who is strong and respected. What a wonderful role to have, and to me, is the very definition of success.

Sunday, April 10, 2011


I think its official. I've lost my mind to the so called biological clock. I have become that cliche. It's getting worse, and without me even trying. We are out and I see families with one three year old, then a two year old and a pregnant mom, I think how greedy they are. Ugh, when did I become so pathetic?! As if these families having more than one kid somehow has anything to do with us not having one. It's flat out ridiculous and ugly.

Tonight we visited with our friends who had their son two weeks ago. It was the first time we've seen them since their ordeal, and it was alright. They were actually interested in our life, and what we've been up to- the conversation was not just about their baby. We kept it brief, these are exhausted parents who simply needed a short visit and a hot meal made for them. It is easy to be with them because they have never been self-centered, and they are grateful for the blessing of their son, despite the fact his birth was nothing like they planned. Just like the parents of our godchild, they had planned a natural birth which turned into a c-section, only this time it was four weeks early. Luckily everyone is doing well, and learning to adjust to unplanned c-section.

This mom we visited today was my movie buddy. Now I've lost her to the baby, which has brought her closer to the parents of our godchild, and I feel even more isolated. Even if we get pregnant soon, the last thing I want is advice from all these women who got the privilege of having a child before we did. Who think they know what is right, good, and who are full of ideas to share, when all I want is to experience this joy alone with Husband. To have something private and wonderful that belongs to just us. Now, if it ever happens, it will not be just us. It will be infected with everyone else's experiences, their advice and commentary.

First Meeting, Rambling Post

Ahhhh, it's over. We had our first encounter with The Brat and Wife tonight since they told us they were pregnant. As I expected, it was uneventful, as it should be. There was no change in the  way those two behaved-they were not affectionate with one another, they were not joyful, they were not more smug than normal. We met a bunch of family for pizza tonight. We got to the restaurant at the same time as The Brat and Wife did. I walked right up and hugged them, asked how she was feeling, said congratulations to The Brat. Wife of course is sick. She is always sick. The sorority sister who drinks then throws up-that's her, still. Every time we are at the beach house together, she drinks then pukes all night, and complains in the morning. Now at 16 weeks, she is showing, because she is so thin, and has had cold after cold, which has now progressed to a sinus infection.

It was good that the four of us were together alone first. It gave me time to gauge the situation. I was very shocked that they were not more affectionate. I was pleased that they didn't bring up the pregnancy-I did, as is my way. I'd rather just rather face the issue head on, then wait until it gets brought up, with the heavy weight of it all. I inquired about nursery themes, morning sickness, names, hospital of delivery, etc. It was a natural conversation, much of which I was in charge of because despite her being a nurse, I knew more about it because of all the experience with friends and family I've had. Yes, that pleases me.

In summary-I'm relieved there was nothing awkward. She no longer makes statements such as "you just have to wait until I'm ready then we'll both have kids," she wasn't particularly excited or interested in discussing the baby. Again, the lack of affection between Brat and Wife surprised me. If it was Michael and I, I'd be upset if he wasn't holding my hand, gingerly and sweetly touching my swollen belly, kissing my cheek, etc. If we get the blessing of being pregnant, I don't think we'd be sickly sweet, but I believe it would be quite obvious that we were thrilled to be so. But that is just one more difference between us as couples.

I managed to keep my mouth shut about anything negative-until the end. While we were outside with my husband's mother waiting for the others to close their tabs, she mentioned The Brat and Wife's dog. This dog is an untrained, undisciplined, spoiled purse-dog, that shits and pisses on everything while biting everyone. My husband asked his mother what is going to happen to the dog and she replied that she'll probably end up with it. I responded "you can't have grandchildren at your house then if she's there." Husband's mother commented that dogs just know, have a way of knowing/understanding the children belong to their family, but this dog is a terror and there is no way our kids would ever be around that bitch. Husband's mother also said, "Well, we can't just throw her away."

Husband said to me yesterday that we need to stop being so bitter and envious and start appreciating what we have. He said that he had found the woman of his dreams, and at one point, that's all he ever wanted. It's all he really needs. The craziest thing is that he means this, how lucky am I? It's true that we are so fortunate to have found one another, and we really have a fantastic relationship. That alone should be enough. However, we always want more.

Unrelated to tonight- last night our friends came over with their baby, and it was a lovely visit.  Toward the end of night, and to my surprise, they asked us to be godparents to their baby. Instantly, before she even finished asking I was in tears.  Simply being asked to be their son's godparent is amazing. It was not something I expected- I am not Catholic, and my husband is not a practicing Catholic, though he was baptized as one. Our friend assured me that she wasn't concerned about the fact that we haven't been attending mass, she knew we would start soon. The next morning I spent some time looking at churches in the area trying to find the right one for Husband and I to join. The role of godparent is one that I take seriously, so I need to be educated in the church in order to best support the kid throughout his experience within the Catholic church.

Sitting here now I look forward to when our calendar is full of dates to see our nieces, nephews, god children and close friend's kids in school plays, graduations, holiday pageants and birthday parties. What a blessing to be included in all of their lives.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Holding onto Shame/Letting Go of Secrets

It comes in phases. 13 years later, it still creeps up on me, rattles around my mind, strides across my memory. Lately, it's lost its power. I can say the words without a racing heart, sweaty palms or fear of judgement. 13 years later, it's not as tangible as it once was. Breathe.

Most of us grow up learning there are certain family secrets that we don't share with people outside our family.  Then there are the shameful bits that we don't discuss outside our immediate family, if at all. As we get older, we begin to collect our own secrets, our own shame, develop our own list of indiscretions. I have come to believe that the healing begins when you can refer to it as a bad choice. When you are no longer the victim, but a willful participant who can accept an appropriate amount of blame, and still recognize that while not a victim per se, we were not alone in the situation.  When it no longer makes you hang your head, no longer weighs on your shoulders, pops up in the middle of your day- that is when the secret, the shame loses its power.

Throughout the last 13 years I have battled with my secret. I tell some, then not others. I had nightmares, saw faces in a random crowd, feared confrontation: a bitch-slap in front of my in-laws, a drink thrown in my face while out with friends at a bar, worried about being side-swiped while driving through the town where much of it all happened. This is all very dramatic and unlikely to happen, but I still feared it.

I recognize that not everyone would understand. Most of us can't fully empathize unless we have been through a similar situation or know someone who has. That is human nature. It is easy to judge when you hear a story third-hand or without knowing all the facts. Regardless, I admit that my secret involves me being selfish, fearful, ugly and dishonest. The years immediately following my secret, I made a hundred terrible choices all in an effort to distance myself from the shame, to build up a wall to block it, to prove to everyone else that I wasn't that bad of a person. None of those hundred terrible choices made me feel the shame the original secret did. The funny thing is, if you talk to enough people, my secret is not shocking, it's not outrageous, not everyone thinks I'm doomed to spend eternity in hell, because many people have experienced something similar.

Also, I admit that at this point, it's not much of secret. Enough people know about it that it's becoming just an event in my past...and less of a shameful secret. I'm the girl who drinks too much and then spills all my dirty stories. I'm a drink and purge kind of girl-not vomiting, but confessing my deep, dark past to the people I feel connected with. It's a way of unburdening myself, and testing the friendship. It's the method I used when I met Husband. Right away I told him everything because if he wasn't willing to stick around, I wasn't interested in pursuing it. Laid it all out on the table, well, the bar. If he couldn't handle it then he was free to go without either of us having invested much time. Lucky for me, he stuck around.

This is a rambling post, but the point of it all is this: 1. We all have secrets that feel heavy to us, but in reality aren't that big. 2. Shame only exists if we allow it to, but it's a hard thing to shake. 3. Women carry the secrets, we carry the burden of our family secrets and our own. We hold the key to acceptance, forgiveness, absolution. Women hold the power in a family and that comes with responsibilities.

Recently I have discussed my secret, and while I believe it caused distance in one relationship, it went unnoticed, unjudged in two others. There is something lost for me because I am not the perfect, untouched, undamaged person that the relationship needed. It makes me angry and resentful, but also, I give up on trying because it's out of my hands. If I'm judged on a bad choice I made 13 years ago, then that person's affection/approval is not important to me. I recognize there is danger is sharing secrets because while you may feel unburdened, the other party might take on that burden because they don't know how to handle it. Yet if they care, they will find a way to make it unimportant because your relationship matters most.

Thank you to my friends for letting me share and not making me feel judged. Thank you to my friends, and my husband, who love me despite my bad choices in the past, who understand that those choices made me who I am now.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Stuffed Animals Make Everything Seem Alright

First, I'm proud of myself. We were supposed to have a meal with the family including the newly pregnant wife of the terribly spoiled and selfish sibling of my husband (hereafter the Brat and Wife). We had managed to talk ourselves into behaving correctly, believing we could accept it, when they refused to give a date for dinner. They are simply too busy, too rude, too selfish to say "this day works, this day doesn't" so at the last minute we end up going without them (hallelujah). I spent the day with my husband's mother, while he, his father and cousin went out looking at motorcycles. Knowing how weird she has been about the whole thing, I brought it up, wanting to get it out in the open. Previously I had thought she was acting strange about it because she knew how much we wanted a child, and that we had been trying for some time, etc. But no, she shared why she had been so awkward about the whole thing. The Brat is shocked, scared for himself, for the fact that his life will change and he will no longer be the center of attention. He won't be able to travel at the drop of a hat, can't spend every weekend with his frat brothers getting sloppy, while his wife does the same with her vapid, bulimic girlfriends. They didn't want to tell too many people, therefore they ruined my mother-in-law's joy.

She mentioned that the Wife was worried that I (along with her pregnant friend) would be upset. I didn't respond. Of course I'm upset- everything happens for them without effort. The worst part is, they aren't even grateful. But to prove just how "okay" I am with the whole thing, I took my mother-in-law to the toy store down the street and purchased the cutest stuffed animal I've seen to give to the Brat and Wife. So I listened and watched as my mother-in-law picked up and cooed over everything in the store. Was that painful to see, knowing it was for the Brat and Wife? Hell yes, but it was necessary. These are two high maintenance people who make more money and spend more money than most people I know on clothes and cars. Naturally I was worried about the gift-was it nice enough for them? My mother-in-law assured me it was all in my head and agreed to give the stuffed animal to them since the Brat works with them and they live very close to them. That was Saturday-it's Tuesday and we've heard nothing from them.

I know that you don't give a gift just for the reward, but c'mon. Between texts and Facebook, it doesn't take much effort to acknowledge a gift.

I'm still envisioning my oft-practiced speeches in responses to their careless remarks. Comments that I'll never be able to make because the Brat and Wife won't give me the opportunity, no matter how badly I want it. The chance to spew my frustration, disgust and anger at the people who seem to have all the luck, who get all the things I want without even trying, praying or wishing.

It's hard to say what's worse-that no one really acknowledges our struggle or that despite knowing it, they don't address it. I've got a bitter speech prepared, either way.

Thursday my husband and I have our first visit at the fertility clinic. There are alot of mixed emotions about this. I'll post more about that later.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Brought to You by The A**holes on My Drive Home

This is a quick rant on what has frustrated me on my drive home in the afternoons:
1. People smoking with kids in their cars
2. People smoking with kids in their cars, driving, while on their cell phone
3. Mothers pushing their kids in strollers, along a busy street while talking on their cell phones and not paying attention to traffic, swerving all over because they can't push straight while holding the phone to their ear.
4. When waiting at a stop sign to turn left, people driving on the road I wish to turn onto drive too fast for me to pull out in front of, then suddenly slow down when they see me waiting to turn. PICK A DAMN SPEED!!
5. Drivers driving below the speed limit, cutting people off, cutting bikes off...the list goes on.

I spend way too much energy screaming at people when they can't even hear me. They can probably see me though-a crazy looking, frizzy haired woman throwing her hands up and moving her mouth, turning red in anger. It's fun though!

I tried to find an image that would represent me while I'm driving, but this one really spoke to me. Anyone else feel like this sometimes?

Monday, January 24, 2011

Love Letter to My Ladies

I don’t know how it is for men, but for women, in general, it’s very important to have another female whom you trust and care about who is on the same page as you. There have been a few things that have happened where I needed my girlfriends to understand and be on my side. Even when they can’t fully relate to the situation, they are supportive and it makes the biggest difference.

I think that no matter how loving your relationship is with your boyfriend or husband, you still need your girls. Women understand the jealousy, the insecurity, the desires that we all have. I’m so grateful for my girls who make me feel like a normal human being, who love me no matter what crazy bent I may be on for the week or wild bitchy mood I may be in-they accept me for me, and give me what I need to get through whatever difficulty is happening in my life.

Women are challenging creatures. By no means do I believe that we are all honest, up front, our love/friendship is not always unconditional. But when you do make that connection to another woman who is as open as you, as real you, it’s fulfilling. It’s also lonely when you don’t have those women around you all the time. My women are in California, D.C., Maryland and Vienna. We don’t talk everyday, or even every week, but when we do talk, text or email, it’s as satisfying as being together in person. I know they mean it when they say they understand, I believe when they tell me the truth and that they love me.

Thank you ladies for your friendship. I hope you feel that you receive the same from me. 

Friday, January 21, 2011

Grace, Being Grateful, Acceptance

We got some news recently that was utterly heartbreaking. It’s taken us a few days to recover, and it required a lot of alcohol, crying and holding one another. These are the times when I question everything-and try very hard to hold God accountable and decide I won’t believe anymore. This never works because while I have no particular religion or faith, I do believe. I want to believe, but there are times when the constant shit-storm is too much for me and I doubt that anything/one is looking out for my husband and I.

When people around you appear to have very easy lives, or have little conflict or real distress (not imagined or self-created as many people do), and they receive something wonderful that you have been working for, or wishing for, it can be difficult to feel happy for them. The first response is “why not me?” It is especially challenging when they are not grateful. There is a difference between downplaying something positive to be modest or kind when you are sharing your good news with another, and simply being ungrateful. A lack of appreciation for the blessing they’ve been given is an insult to those who have desired the same thing. These are always the people who get what you want first, regardless of how hard or long you have been working for it. The universe or God or whatever you believe in is not fair, and in my life I have learned that there is no reason why some people have an easier time than others. I feel it is completely egotistical and self-centered to claim that some force or being looked into your little life and declared when something could happen. 

Envy is not pretty. I know that not everyone feels it and I admire people who are above it. It is definitely one of the worst parts of me. That being said, no matter how deep into my own self-pity I may dive, I never want the good things at the expense of another, or instead of the other person. There are certain parts of life that I just wish could belong to me first. To experience blessings without the unsolicited advice from everyone else who has achieved or received it before you. To have those experiences belong to you completely without others believing they had some part in it, or think they know better than you and constantly tell how you should handle this, go about this, etc. Frankly, there are some things that you want to be the first to share with family because once it happens, the experiences that follow are never as meaningful as the first.

One of the most painful aspects to the recent news we received is that we know they will be treated differently, better, placed on a pedestal, and in the face of our own challenges it makes it that much harder to embrace their exciting news. It has also prevented us from interacting with the family, as embarrassing as that is to admit. We just aren't ready to deal with it. 

Regardless, we have to find the grace to accept the reality and manage to silence the envy within us in order to be truly happy for the others and to free ourselves from resentment and anger. Their good luck has nothing to do with us and we have to move beyond ourselves and try to be grateful for what we have. 

Monday, January 17, 2011

Guys in Skinny Jeans

Okay, really, why are some guys wearing skinny jeans? If you want to dress like a lady, then wear a dress, not leggings. It's not manly, it's not strong, it doesn't make you  look like someone who is trustworthy or able to protect a women. I'm biased though because I like manly-men. A big, strong, solid man (like my sexy husband) is a major turn on. Skinny, wimpy, artistic types who don't wash their hair, who claim to be sensitive and loyal even though they'd sleep with any woman who paid attention to them if they weren't so self-loathing and unable to get an erection. This is the type that is prevalent in Portland.


There are of course men who just like to be fashionable and don't have these problems, but still, why? Why are you wearing these horrendous pants? It doesn't look good. And if you already have skinny legs, why would you highlight them with skinny jeans? It makes it look as though your feet exploded out of the bottom of the pants.

While searching for photos for this post, I found that there are ALOT of people who have commented on their blogs about this fashion trend. Makes me feel better for hating it. It's always nice to know you're not alone.

The Miller Lite ad below is about the skinny jean epidemic, and it's pretty funny. Some guys are just clueless. Fashion is for those who are built like pre-teen boys and those who are rich or bold enough to do what they want without caring what other people think. It's not for the rest of us, and I beg you, please spare us from this disgusting trend.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Nice 'stache

Tom Selleck. That's who came to mind when I saw the photos...of my upper the dentist.

Through my new job my husband and I were able to purchase decent dental insurance so we recently went to the dentist. It's been a long time since I've been and was very surprised by the technology they use now. The x-rays were done with an apparatus that was hooked directly into their computer, and they took actual photographs of my smile, teeth and the inside of my mouth with this tiny wand. I was impressed with the technology and the efficiency of it all. Until they put the photos of my mouth up on the computer screen in front of me. The photo they took of the outside of my mouth and smile included my upper lip, and it was horrifying!  I could not believe how gross it looked!

Admittedly, I do have hair on my upper lip and I do wax regularly. It's not very noticeable, except at certain angles, and that is the angle they took the photo of my smile.  Mortified is a good way to describe the feeling of seeing your own mustache enlarged on a computer screen for an entire office of dental professionals to look at. Gratefully, no one mentioned the forest on my lip and focused on my teeth and gums.

They should warn women about the photos so we can go to the salon and have our "Selleck" removed.


Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Amos Lee - Keep it Loose, Keep it Tight (Live @ Abbey Road)

I can't stop listening to Amos Lee, and this song in particular is lovely. His voice is beautiful. Enjoy!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Another Kind of Pink Slip

When the doctor said that she felt the lumps, and stated that I may have to have a mammogram, I thought, that’s weird, that’s something my mom gets. If I had one, I’d be the youngest woman in the waiting room (vanity, anyone?). So I spent the next few weeks vacillating between visions of chemotherapy, worrying how Husband would handle a cancer diagnosis, and laughing about the absurdity of it all.

After seeing the breast surgeon, who confirmed the lumps, she referred me for an ultrasound. My husband came with me to the ultrasound-something I had imagined we would be doing for the first view of our baby. A romantic, exciting, scary experience we would remember for the rest of our lives. He sat in a plastic chair behind me, watching the images of my breast on a flat (how appropriate) screen television. It was hugely disappointing to have this ultrasound experience be of my breast, and not of our future baby.

The technician remarked on my lumpy breasts(because that’s what every woman wants to hear), noting that she could feel the bumps beneath the grocery store scanner apparatus she pressed against my skin. Despite the lumps, she saw nothing particularly alarming and left us to go chat with the radiologist. Husband was uneasy during the ten minutes we waited for the results, I tried to joke about the hospital gown being sexy, and posed like a calendar girl on the stretcher.  Finally the radiologist came in the room- a tall, kind looking man, holding a pink piece of paper. He introduced himself, shook my hand and spoke directly to both Husband and I. “I’m happy to have good news, there is no sign of cancer.” Husband actually exhaled-as if he had been holding his breath. Then the doctor handed me the pink paper and said “mammograms begin at 40.” I laughed, thinking that’s a long way off, why is he mentioning this to me? Only older women have mammograms. Pshaw.

On the drive home I stared at that pink piece of paper, especially the line about mammograms starting a 40 and it hit me. That’s only a few years away. WTF? How am I old enough to even be thinking of having mammograms?! I’m still young, I’m still getting settled, I haven’t even had children yet. How can I be close to 40 when I still feel like I’m in my late 20s? How is it that all the images I had of myself at this age are not reality?

I know that life doesn’t always happen the way you want it to, and I understand everyone’s different beliefs about faith, destiny, God’s plan, etc., but when you feel like you haven’t figured out exactly what you want to be doing or where your life should be going, it’s difficult to believe there is a force with a plan for you. I constantly question what I’m here for, what am I supposed to be doing, what is my purpose? On the other hand, when you have those moments of clarity and peace (like when I met Husband) it’s easy to believe there is a plan for you, a space for you in this world.  My mother and father-in-law have a very strong belief/faith about their lives. I admire their optimism and ability to believe in something larger than themselves. After all this time together I keep hoping it will rub off on me. Well that, and my mother-in-law's cooking skills.

Rather than being fired, that pink piece of paper was like a pink slip of womanhood, telling me I was failing and it’s too late to change it.

On the other hand, it also told me that I didn’t have cancer, and as Martha Stewart says, “it’s a good thing.”