And now it’s raining…

I got an email today that made me cry. Not happy joyous tears but tears of anger, loathing, pity, self-pity, rage….

One of my consumer cousins is pregnant again; you may remember her from such posts as Therapy in a Blog and Done with Takers. She’s the social media guru. I don’t know if this is the same boy as was present in Therapy, because I no longer make any attempt to remember the names of the date mates; too much effort for no reward.

It’s been a long time since I cried at a pregnancy announcement, but I; and I hate myself for saying this, I have nothing positive for her in my heart anymore.

Meanwhile, my friend, the grandfather of 14; asked me when we will have our next one. You tell me; you seem to be closer to Gd and have a better handle on this fertility thing. For all of me, I can’t see it.

And so maybe a good cry is justified after all.

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Blessed and Blessings

Recently had a playdate with a girlfriend who has 11 month triplets and a baby. It’s been a fair while since we’ve had a chance to talk, and this is my first time seeing the baby.  We were talking about early parenting things and labor and delivery and she was telling me how she handled early postpartum care and early childbirth care while in the hospital and how it differed for each pregnancy.

I said that I had a hard time being separated from my little one; after seven years of trying, including miscarriages, I never wanted her out of my sight and barely out of my arms. They wanted to keep her in the creche under the heat lamps, and I allowed it, for brief periods, but in general, if she needed warming, I offered to skin-to-skin to warm her with my body heat.

She was quiet a long moment and then said, “I never thought….you know, people tell me all the time, how difficult it must be to have so many little ones, and it is, but….I forget how blessed I am. And just, how lucky.”

Yes.  Yes and yes. and a thousand times yes.

I replied, “Everything has it’s advantages and disadvantages.  No life is ever perfect and sometimes all we can do is try to be our best selves and appreciate what everyone else is going through as well.”

But I admit, I’m feeling relieved that, even if it was just for a moment, in that moment, she understood how difficult infertility is and how much infertility changes your perspective on parenting.

Writing this post has actually triggered another realization for me. We’ve fielded lots of questions about date nights and making time for us as a couple before, and I never realized why it doesn’t bother me that we don’t do that.  (although it does annoy me that people always ask about it, like its their business) I’m realizing that like those moments in hospital, we had many long periods of time without our baby.  We, as a couple, had many long years of being a couple and doing dates nights and couple time.  Now is our time to be a family for awhile.  And so far, it hadn’t gotten old.  People ask us for babysitter recommendations, but we don’t use babysitters.  We just take the little one with us when we go places.  And we’re grateful to be able to do that.  It’s hard to articulate that to people when they ask.  And most of them don’t get it, because they’re so damn grateful to be away from their kids.  And I know that not all infertile couples feel the same way we do about it, nor should they be required to, but I know, for us, being with our child makes everything better.  It makes us feel more complete. And maybe that is because we waited so much longer and worked so much harder to be able to do that.

Unexpected Calls

Was at lunch with a group of friends and one of the people who recently lost a relative unexpectedly said as an introduction to the topic, “I hope you never get a call like that.”  And i thought, “I already have.” and I wondered who among us, at our lunch, also had.  And how myopic of my friend to not realize we all get calls like that.

Nobody WANTS that call, that’s certain sure, but…I hope you never get a call like that?  I do as well, but I’ve gotten many different calls that are pretty close to like that or exactly like that.  I’m sorry I have to tell you this, but…

  • A minor surgery has developed into major complications and there was nothing we could do.  We tried everything we could think of.
  • Your baby has stopped growing.  Your body should start miscarrying soon.
  • Come home.  We need you here now.  […but I am home. Just not where you are home]
  • It’s cancer.  We don’t know how bad yet.
  • He had a seizure under water.  Maybe 8 minutes?  The doctors are doing everything they can, but he’s not breathing on his own.  It’s not looking good.
  • We’ve decided to stop treatment.
  • It was a stroke.  Luckily your cousin went over there.  They think she might have been dead for three days.
  • []’s dead. There was a fire.

Those are just some of the calls that I’ve received and I don’t consider myself particularly old or particularly unlucky.  We all get the call.  And it always hurts.  And we’re never able to do enough, to be enough.  No one gets out alive.  And the path to death is inevitably painful and paved with such calls.  But in the spirit of my friend Liz, I will end this with a positive.  I’m blessed to be in a position to receive these calls.  Blessed to have ever had what time I did with the people I love.  How much bleaker would my life have been if I’d never known these people.  Never shared my life with them, for whatever time we had.

An Unfair Rant on the Subject of Things that Unfair

One of my friends recently had twins.  I say friend, but she’s not really my friend.  We diverged a long time ago.  We’re distant acquaintances for whom I once did a favor.  Not like a “give a kidney” level favor.  The level of favor I would do any acquaintance or friend. I clarify lest you think I feel like I’m owed something for this favor.  I’m not.  For me, this favor was the level of “helping a little old lady across the street,” when I was going across the street anyway, and helping her in no way caused me any stress or inconvenience. But as a result of the favor, we became friends of a sort.
Through our friendship, I’ve come to know her and realize, she’s not a person I would generally like to spend time with.  I think she’s narrow-minded and hateful, authoritarian-submissive; what’s the lovely phrase, “often wrong, but never in doubt?”  It’s an uneasy friendship.  I try my best to live and let live, but I’m not a general fan of the way she lives.
Which is why it’s killing me that she just had two more children.  I don’t want her raising children.  Not only am I jealous that she has more kids and I don’t, but I just don’t want her pushing more of her ideologies out into the world.  If her children don’t grow up to be horrible like her, it would be a divine miracle; which both she and I can agree COULD happen.  But it’s unlikely.  I feel sorry for children, particularly women, being raised in the type of environment my friends feels is correct. I hope I’m wrong about the way she will raise them.  I was reading about a world in which treason is punishable by exposure and starvation in the main public square.  And a plot to accuse the prime minister’s son of treason so the Prime Minister would be forced to watch his son endure the punishment.  I’m suddenly reminded of this.  If we remain friends, perhaps, like this Prime Minister, I will be watching as these children endure exposure and starvation of a non-literal source; watching the erosion of their souls over time.
I try never to say that some people don’t deserve to have children.  But my heart cries out at my barrenness in a world where this person is given her heart in abundance.

Resentful Part 2

And now the inevitable consequence.  My monthlies are arrived.  I didn’t have major PSM, although I was tired and shouty last night, which is probably now a bit more understandable now than it was last night, when all three of the people residing in my home were taken aback by it.

Now I have the inevitable nausea, listlessness, depression, anger, resentment, etc.

One of my girlfriends this morning pointed out how nicely regular my cycle is, maybe I should consider returning to my RE for another stab at an IUI.  I guess I never told her what happened last night.  I did.  Now she’s annoyed with them, and I’m crying about it again.  I’m also still annoyed with them.  She thinks I should litigate.  I’m not going to.  I just walked away.  Or some might say I gave up.  Never dealt with the resentment or anger or all those emotions.  I just walked sadly walked away from my dream.  Although I didn’t.  I did fight more, just not with them.  But it doesn’t matter in the end.

Because none of my efforts were rewarded.  People would probably say that’s my fault too. I put the effort into the wrong places.  I didn’t do the things I should have done.  I didn’t do what they would have done.  Whatever.  After constant relentless judgement, you get used to it.  Things are always supposed to be that way right?  I do something and everybody in the world disagrees and second-guesses my choices.  It’s never the right thing.  I can never be the right thing.  Even complaining about it is the wrong thing to do.

Resentful

I hate my ovulation time.  I know that’s paradoxically weird, but I never get pregnant when I have sex during this time period (or any other time period), and I’m so sick of the hyper sensitive nipples.  I’m tired of the pain whenever my breasts touch anything or anything or anyone touches them.  In particular, my darling child is constantly  touching me, and whenever that touch strays near my nipples, it’s owie.  I try not to flip out, but after the eleventh of time of saying, “please avoid that area, it’s super sensitive right now.” I freak out and just scream, “Stop touching me!”

Okay maybe it’s not quite bad.  Or maybe it’s worse.  I don’t really know.  I just know that it’s frustrating to suffer like this for no payoff.  If I thought I could get pregnant, I’d be like, “woohoo!  Sensitive nipples.  Let’s have sex and make a baby!”  But instead of it’s just another reminder that I get all the suffering of the childbearing woman with none of the benefits.

I had a nightmare last night too. And I woke up several times during the night.  So you see, it really is just like being pregnant.  😦

Gender Identity

Another post without a home, so I’m putting it here.
Last year, my child’s best friend was a boy in her class; Ivan. Ivan was, like my kid, a child who definitely knew how to dance to his own drum beat.  My kid wanted him to do karate with her, but he wasn’t into physical activity like that.  He preferred art and creative crafting; things my kid also enjoyed, so they shared those activities.  We did a lot of things together last year.

This year, he was in a different class, so we didn’t see the family as much, although, periodically.  I did try to get together with them to do things, but it’s a busy year and time escapes.  But Friday was the last day of school and it was a half day.  So my family took the little one out to lunch at the buffet place we used to go when she was in preschool.  Next door to the buffet is an ice cream parlor.  As we were walking to our cars to go back to home and work, my child spotted some friends of her from school; Allison, a girl she had dance class with in preschool, and the younger siblings of her friend Ivan, their nanny, and an older girl I didn’t immediately recognize, but my child seemed to know immediately.
The little one asked to be able to hang out with her friends, so I talked Katie Nana and Allison’s grandmother, while the kids played, ate ice cream, and generally acted like they’d not seen each other in 15 years, instead of having seen each other a few hours before at school.  After a few moments of wondering, it occurs to me that the girl I don’t recognize is actually the same person who was my child’s best friend last year.  Because it’s the only thing that makes sense.  Who else could this older girl, who is such good friends with the two other older children be?
The big kids walk to to the park with Allison’s grandmother and Katie Nana thanks for me for not making a big deal about Melissa (who used to be Ivan). She explains that Melissa has been exploring her gender identity for awhile, including saying things like, “When I’m a girl,” and “When I grow up to be a girl…” and this year decided to grow her hair out and wear clothing that expressed her personal style, and to change names and be referred to as she.  Most of the kids at school, including, apparently mine, were cool with it.  And it actually is an improvement over last year, when Ivan was teased for playing more with the girls than the boys.  School and camp have both been accommodating and supportive, although Melissa’s mother wishes that Melissa would have selected a name from the list of girl names that they were considering before she was born instead of going all maverick and selecting a name that the mother doesn’t love.

It’s an amazing thing to live in a time and a place where people can just be embraced for who they are.