Traditions anyone???

I wish all of you a very merry Christmas! I have decided to take the day off from sadness, bitterness and all general negativity. I hope that all of your hearts are overflowing with the Christmas spirit! Also, Congrats to all of you out there announcing your pregnancy success stories today! I’m so happy for you all!

Ok so, My hubby and I have been searching for “childless traditions” lately. Both holiday traditions and year round ones. Ya know, frequent or seasonal traditions or habits or rituals that the hubby and I can do together, just the 2 of us. Gingerbread cookies don’t have a special place in our lives so that’s out. I’m not very creative or romantic so finding new ideas has been challenging. However, I think we found one this morning. Tom and Jerry cartoons on Christmas morn! PC(nickname my best friend gave my hubby years ago) has always loved cartoons! The peace, love and comfort we both felt this morning was such a wonderful escape from everyday struggles and stress. I think we will make a habit of this and maybe not just on Christmas morning. So now I’m reaching out to you guys…

Challenge: Comment below and share some of your childless traditions/habits/rituals you share with your honey! I could use some suggestions and it’s heart-warming to hear other’s love stories.

Thank you to all! Merry Christmas!

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Pregnant for years???

This is probably going to be another TMI (too much info) kinda blog. Ever heard the phrase “Sh*t or get off the pot”? If mother nature received email, that would be my subject line to her!!  I feel like “I have been pregnant for years!” Yes I know, that sounds ridiculous so let me explain.  My diagnosis has gone from possible cancer in the beginning (turned out not to be the case) to PCOS to endometriosis and so on.  I may not know what is wrong yet but I know how it feels!

A) For about 7 years straight I vomited EVERY morning before work! I had to get up earlier than usual to give myself enough time to brush my teeth 2 or 3 times instead of just once. I would brush then get sick, so I brush again, then get sick again. I just kept brushing until there was nothing left to give. I do not mean to insinuate that this sickness only happened in the mornings. Mostly mornings but the rest of the day was NOT immune to the problem. My poor hubby. I can’t tell you how many times we went out for a nice evening but had to rush home right after dinner because mine “wasn’t settling well”. Unfortunately I can say I DO know what “morning sickness” is like.

B) Then there is the bloating. Nuf said.

C) Oh and the cravings! Random cravings like peanut butter. I have told  people for years that I’m allergic to peanut butter because all my adult life it has made me horribly ill with a complimentary migraine. Why does it sound so good lately? Ugh, ok so maybe it isn’t all bloating after all. :/

D) The mood swings aren’t fun either. In the past I was diagnosed with bi polar. Yay me!!! This is yet ANOTHER diagnosis that my current doctor isn’t so sure about anymore. So not only am I dealing with constant hormonal changes but they might be manic or depressive episodes on top of that? Kidding right? Nope. I wish I were. I am slowly trying to get answers but that takes time. Meanwhile I am left racing for the TV remote when Sarah Mclachlan and her dad-gum SPCA commercials come on late at night when I can’t sleep. Those poor animals, and have you ever really listened to the lyrics of that song??? If not, forget I mentioned it!! Seriously!

I’m probably skipping a “symptom” or 2 but let’s move right on to the physical pain, shall we??? I will not ever claim I know what child-birth feels like. I will however, tell you how freakin’ aggravating it is to feel the kind of pain I do every month (off and on for 2 weeks or so) and get NOTHING out of it! Sounds crazy but geez, at least pregnant women can psych themselves thru the pain by reminding themselves of the gift they will receive when it’s all over. Me? Nopers! I feel like there is a very DULL ice pick inside my tummy slashing me from the belly button down to the south freakin pole! Each cramp will gradually gain in intensity until it peaks, then it slowly subsides and goes away. As if nothing ever happened. Sneaky little smurf!!  And if that’s not enough, mother nature throws in the lower back pain. I swear it’s on the verge of crumbling into a million pieces at any given time. Want me to sweeten the pot? I also have scoliosis (approx 40%), spina bifida occulta and a bulging disk (between L4 and L5 I believe) WTH?? Moving on. What about the blood work, did I mention I HATE needles? The sonograms without a heartbeat. The internal sonograms (not as physically painful as emotionally). The meds, side effects…

Now here is where I mention the “other” pains I have felt for several years now. 1) The heart wrenching “congrats” you muster up for yet another pregnancy announcement!!! The agony of knowing some of these women I am congratulating didn’t plan these pregnancies, they were accidents! What? Accidents? Not to mention, MORE than one of these preggos… I USED TO CHANGE THEIR FRIGGIN DIAPERS!!! I am close to these women, I love them dearly. But it doesn’t make it hurt any less. I wish it did. 2) Turning on the tv/radio  to hear about children getting hurt/killed DAILY. Sometimes by their own parents. The news is not allowed in my house and it may never be allowed again. That is pain. 3) All of the “reserved for preggos/with child” parking spots. Ok, not the same kind of pain as the first 2 but still makes my tummy hurt so it counts.  4) Not wanting to share your feelings or thoughts or negativity with family and friends. I don’t think I have one adult friend who doesn’t have a child/ren. My point? Birthday parties, holidays, school programs and such year round! And don’t even get me started on Christmas! My hubby and I are buying for a minimum of 13 kiddos this  Christmas, AND THAT’S JUST CLOSE FAMILY! That doesn’t include our distant relatives, my students (when I was teaching) and all of our friend’s kids. By the time we are finished buying for the kids we can hardly afford to buy gifts for any of the adults or for each other! Maybe I am selfish in complaining about this part. I won’t stop buying for the children! Totally not what I’m saying, my point is, this hurts too. 5) The sudden sympathetic phone call from a loved one when they hear of another pregnancy and know I might be sad. Thanks but the call doesn’t make me less sad. It just reminds me that everyone knows I’m sad. Not fun. 6) Baby showers. Doubt I need to elaborate on this one. 7) The sadness in my hubbies eyes when he holds our newborn great nephews in his arms. Yes I said great nephews, great=we are too old for this (and they are too young to be parents) and nephewS=plural! He doesn’t confide in me much regarding this topic but after 18 yrs, I know when he is sad. 8) Knowing he won’t cry because he knows that seeing a grown man cry is devastating to me. (especially one I love).

So I could probably go on and on about this subject. I’m not too sure what the lesson here should be. I don’t think I am the only woman who has felt this way. All of this “pain” makes me wonder. If it hurts this bad before pregnancy, how would it feel during and after a pregnancy. I’m no spring chicken anymore. I guess I’m at the point where I just wanna get “off the pot” already. I don’t wanna be pregnant any longer.

I didn’t choose the DINK life, the DINK life chose me!

Yes, I am aware of how incredibly cheesy that title is. But it is the truth. I figure now would be a good time to give a little background about myself and explain why my life is “dink-ish”. If you haven’t already noticed from previous blogs, I am not considered a shy person. I see no reason to hold a lot back, respectfully of course. Now that we got that out-of-the-way here is part of my story…

My hubby and I have been together for almost 18 years, March 2014. In the beginning I told him I never wanted children. He was ok with that, altho I think he secretly hoped I would change my mind. We really didn’t talk about it much thru our relationship tho. I always worked with children as a teacher/caregiver so we talked (ok, I talked) about kids daily, just not about having our own. I focused on school and work and so did he. Well about 8 years ago I started feeling what I thought to be that little clock thing women talk about. We decided to begin “trying”. My medical history had always been very unique but I saw my gyn regularly and had no reason to think our lives would take the path it has. As it turns out, there was reason to be concerned about my health. I was forced to find a new gyn when my current one relocated. This is when I found out gyn #1 was kinda clueless. Very disappointing news because I had really liked and trusted her. Anyhow, turns out I had probably never ovulated in my life, like EVER! Gyn #2 ordered several tests, ya know, the blood work, ultrasounds and so on. She referred me to an endocrinologist after a PCOS diagnosis. I was confused. Very confused. The endo started me on this medicinal treatment plan. She warned me that the side effects might be less than pleasant at first but this med would accomplish several things, including lower cholesterol, combat the insulin resistance and maybe weight loss. I am not sure that is did any of those things in the 8 months I took it but I can tell you what it DID do.

1) So So So nauseous 24/7

2) Random, explosive, urgent bouts of bubble guts, as my cousin calls it. Better know as diarrhea. And when I say random I mean…I’m was tempted to call the Container Store Headquarters and thank them for putting a restroom (with a lock) in their stores and ask they (potties) be moved to the front of the store! That is a sad and funny story, maybe another blog on just these side effects…

3) Hot flashes. Aren’t I too young for these???????? Live in my shower!

4) Random vomiting. Fortunately for everyone around me I had more of a  “warning” before this symptom arrived. 

Moving on, those are just some of the side effects that convinced me I should stop swallowing these pills from hell and think about things. Here is where things got even more complicated for my little brain. Do I really want kids? If so do I want them bad enough to take that med again? Adoption is not what my hubby really wants, so even tho it’s not off the table, it’s not part of our plan yet. I can not afford a surrogate. Now what? I had so many questions and no answers. And finally, why would I start feeling this clock if I can’t have kids? I should have just stuck to my plan, no kids! But wait, there’s more!!! This is when I find out that I may NOT have PCOS. It might be endometriosis. What? They say all the symptoms fit but a surgical procedure is the only way to confirm it. You have to be kidding me! So why did I go thru all that hell for so long? Why would I get treatment for something if there was another possibility? Very frustrating. Needless to say it all got a little overwhelming, and now my hubby and I are just “leaving it in GOD’s hands”. No meds, no temps, no calendar. Just taking life day by day. I would like to just get a hysterectomy. My only fear is that my choice to just not have kids, is an emotionally induced one right now. My hormones are so out of whack I’m not sure how I dress myself everyday! LOL. Then there is the guilt. Not giving my hubby a child, my family or myself. But what if that is my destiny. Maybe I am destined to help others with their kids instead of having my own. I have been a teacher, babysitter, nanny, aunt, big sis and good friend on the phone when they don’t know how to handle any given situation.  I did not grow up in a very religious home but what if that is HIS plan for me? I’m great at all of those things. I have been called “The Child Whisperer” several times! Not just by family but by my students parents and my co workers and supervisors. Maybe just maybe, this is a “Don’t fix it if it ain’t broke” kinda situation.

Either way this is how I came to know the DINK-ish life. And I call it “dink-sh” because of the darned yo-yo effect all of this has had on me and my hubby. I want kids, I don’t want kids, no medical reason why I can’t, too many reason to list why I can’t…Even tho these medical difficulties created overwhelming emotions and somehow still do, I think my hubby and I have embraced the dink life well. We are starting to see all the benefits also. And now I’m back to not wanting kiddos. My current goal is to get ahold of these horrible symptoms, hopefully find the culprit/s, and find some solutions.  In my up-coming blogs I will cover some of the symptoms I have experienced over the years, ya never know maybe there is a dr on this site, not only for the share factor but also to explore the emotional side effects that most women do not truly understand unless they are going thru it too.

B-b-but I don’t wanna!

Occasionally I am just not in the mood to talk about my medical problems especially my infertility. So what is the other optional response I can deliver when I am asked why I do not have kids? Well If you have read my last few blogs you know my answer. If not, thanks for joining, better late than never… 😉  Anyhow, the first option is to tell them I have infertility problems. But as I said sometimes I just don’t want to go there. So option #2… “I don’t want kids”.  Well here is a list of reactions I get when I dare utter those words…Another list of what not to say.

1) “You don’t think that is selfish?”

Hmmm, selfish? You can’t be serious! Can you elaborate on that please? All I can say is I would rather be selfish now, without a child, meaning I’m not hurting anyone, than to be selfish with kids! Probably wouldn’t go so well FOR THE REST OF MY LIFE!

2) “Don’t your parents want grandchildren?”

I’m sure they do want grandchildren. With all due respect to my parents, I don’t care! Unless they are willing to raise, pay for, clothe, teach, house (and so on) them, it’s not really their choice now is it? No one should live their lives based on what others want for them. They can be satisfied with their grand-fur-babies…

3) “You don’t know what you’re missing. You’ll never know the happiness of being a parent”

I will also never know what it’s like to be a rock star, finally get the chance to meet Michael Jackson or have a penis but I think I will survive!! How about you call me when that cute little bundle of joy turns 15, hates you for a different reason every day, spends all their time with friends, or gives you a mini heart attack regularly when they learn to drive! By the way if I don’t answer that call just leave me a message. It’s probably because my hubby and I are on an exclusive remote beach, that we visit several times a year! And I hate to break it to the world but “happiness” is NOT reserved for parents only! (unlike that one open parking spot at the grocery store…grrrr)

4) “What if you will regret it?”

The way I see it is…I would rather not have kids and regret that than have them and regret THAT! And here’s an apple for you to chew on, Google the words ” I regret having…” You won’t even have to finish that sentence. I have personally witnessed soooo many women, young and old, who regret having children. I have also been employed at a local children’s shelter (where the police take children who have been taken away from their parents but have nowhere to go). This means I have wiped away the tears, modeled appropriate behaviour, cooked, cleaned, and too much more to list, for those children that were a regret! Most rewarding job I EVER had.

Today’s lesson? If someone tells you they don’t want children I think it is only fair that you respect that decision without judgement just as they are respecting your’s if have them. What I have failed to mention here is that there is a third “optional response” to the I don’t have kids convo – ” I DON’T NEED ANOTHER PERSON IN THE ROOM TO SEE ME CRY DURING THE LION KING!!” Hehe..true story.

What not to say…

So in my previous post I babbled on about the uncomfortable small talk I wish I could avoid at every function/gathering. I am referring to the gatherings that include more than just your close friends and family. Where you are forced to introduce yourself and make polite conversation… (Cue the butterflies and anxiety) When word gets out my hubby and I do not have children, it instantly becomes the topic of conversation. In my experience most people assume it’s because of infertility issues. As I said before I have 2 choices here. I can either allow them to think that is the case (which IS in fact my reality, but the assumption is somewhat insulting) or I can let them know I do not want kids (which is also true, seeing as I never really wanted children until I realized I couldn’t have them!). Either way it is hard for anyone to know how to politely handle the conversation but here are a few things I do NOT enjoy hearing when I go with the first option (admitting my health probs)…

1) “I know how you feel. It took us ____ months to get pregnant”

Months? Oh bless your heart, call me when if you try for ANOTHER and months turns into years, you inconsiderate moron! So many things wrong with this I’m not sure where to start. Obviously (well not that obvious or it wouldn’t still be something I hear) there is NO way you know how I feel. Even if you are going through the exact same thing I am, every woman is different as well as our journeys. I try to be understanding because I know many women, and men alike, are not familiar with infertility or have a misunderstanding about it. So hey, 2 months might have been a struggle for them. Knowing that however, usually doesn’t soften my response much.

2) “If you don’t think about it, it will happen. Maybe you are trying too hard”

In most cases this response is followed by the very popular, annoying, helpful in no way story about the sister’s co-worker’s neighbor who got pregnant as soon as she adopted. While I can appreciate this story EVERY time I hear it, it sucks!!! Don’t get me wrong, I know there are some medical explanations for this sort of thing happening and I am so happy for the families that experience this but let’s get real here. I have several medical conditions that prevent me from conceiving! “Trying” is the only way it will happen for me! And how can I stop thinking about it? Seriously? The medications, side effects from meds, needles, dr appointments, blood work, ultrasound both INTERNAL AND EXTERNAL, and more…How is one supposed to just not think about it. This comment insinuates that I am doing something wrong here and if I fix it, I will conceive. At the risk of sounding like a hormonal and bitter victim…THIS IS NOT MY FAULT!

3) “You will be pregnant within a year, I just know it”

Wow, so how long have you been a psychic? Do you help the police with your ability? Can you give me the winning lottery numbers too? I would really appreciate that…. As much as I would love to believe they are correct, I have heard this one for years. At this point I usually offer some sort of deal about meeting up in a year to see if they are right. My only conditions are if they are right, they get a hug. If they are wrong, I get to smack them as hard as I can. Let’s just say, I don’t know any true psychics.

4) “It will happen when it is meant to happen”

The only reason I do not fly off the handle when I hear this one is because it is usually coming from their very supportive, positive, sincere, religious little hearts. I can’t blame anyone for trying to remind me that this is really all in HIS hands.  I think I have problems with this one because it’s the response that makes me the saddest. I do not for one second want to believe that I am not “meant” to have kids, even if they just mean not right now. This is depressing when you have heard this throughout your entire journey. For me that would mean that “right now” has come and gone repeatedly for the past 8 years! Will it ever be meant to be?Not a question I’m ready to get an answer to. Also depressing is the sheer number of women (and I use that term loosely) that ARE “meant” to have children. WARNING: This is probably where most people will get offended and if so all I can say is, thank you for reading my babbling thus far! There is a certain amount bitterness I feel when I think of how many women in this world have children and do not want  or deserve them! Aren’t ready for them or can’t afford them, need I go on? Many women that fall into any of the categories I just mentioned are amazing parents! If they can’t afford the baby they find a way! If they weren’t ready, that changed the second they looked into their infant’s eyes. I am not suggesting that my feelings are correct, moral, ethical, nice or even true! Call it hormonal, emotional, irrational, whatever you want to. But I can not deny my feelings and I refuse to apologize for them.

Very Important Side Note: I want to say that many of my loved ones have also been on the giving end of each of these responses and to them I want to say “I love you all so very much. I am very blessed to have such supportive family/friends around me. I wish I had the power to make this 0% uncomfortable for everyone involved but I don’t. Thank you for all of the kind words, sweet gestures, shared tears and genuine concern. My goal is to somehow, some day repay you all”

What answer were you expecting?

When in company involving strangers, the question “Do you have kids?” is very often a conversation starter. No big deal, It’s a perfectly common and sensible question. If the answer is yes, and it usually is in my experience, then you have so much you can talk about to pass the time. This is how it often goes for me….

Stranger – Nice to meet you. Blah, blah,blah… So do you and your husband have children?

Me: No, no kiddos. How about you and your hubby? Kids?

Stranger – Really? Why not? Oh, I’m so sorry. That is probably too personal of a question. Well, when the time is right, it will happen for you. Just be patient. I will pray for you and your husband.

Ok. Now let me just point out in case you missed it, they didn’t answer my question to them about kids. They were already feeling guilty because they brought up such a touchy subject. They had no way of knowing I have infertility problems. Due to my crazy unheard of answer (no kids) all they can do now is respond in a positive encouraging way in an attempt to pave over the awkward moment they unintentionally created with their simple small talk. The problem with that is I never said I have infertility problems.

So here is my question to others. Do I let them assume I have infertility problems? Is that an easier way out for me? For them? Why is infertility assumed? Is that the ONLY explanation as to why my husband and I don’t have children? Is it possible that we have decided not to have children? And if that was our decision, is there something wrong with that? Is there a law that states married couples must have children? I know, that was more than one question. This is a frustrating part of social “mingling” for me and my hubby. I have responded in several ways to the “why don’t you have kids” question. All truthful but at the same time my responses have been some what of an “experiment” if you will. And sometimes it just depends on my current mood. My next few blogs will take a look at some of my responses to that question and the crazy questions/reactions I so kindly get in return…(insert sarcasm here)

Can you be a teacher if you live a dink life?

Live a dink life, sure, but can you be a teacher living a dink life? Some parents may not care at all. However, I can guarantee some of them do. I have met many of them over the years. As a former teacher for about 18 years, This is just one subject I plan on blogging about in the future.

Hello all, my name is Anastasia. I am new to the world of blogging so please bare with me. My blogs will probably be random and confusing at times. I will do my best to make sense of my thoughts for you guys. Thank you to my followers. I look forward to getting to know you and please feel free to comment at any time with questions or suggestions. I am an open book on here. My hubby and I have been TTC for many years now and have lately been embracing the DINK life. The theme of my blog will reflect that most of the time. Infertility problems affect EVERY SINGLE  aspect of our lives and I plan on exploring that subject. 

Thanks again and happy blogging everyone!