May have to tattoo this on my forehead!

tax

 

The past few days have been more stressful than usual. My anger is at it’s peak. I feel as though I spend my whole life explaining myself to people. “Sorry ______, I’m not going to be able to make it to the party”. That’s prompts the “Oh, why not?” My brain is saying “because I just don’t f-ing wanna!!!” People say they understand but they never will. I did realize that it is my responsibility to inform them. They will never know how it feels unless I tell them. My best friend helped me realize this just the other day. Her is how the conversation went…

  • Me: Telling her about a conversation I had with a relative and I said the words “Even going to the grocery store will never be the same for me!! The bank, the department store (especially the ones with a kids section) or even just driving sown the damn highway watching an adult driver text, going 80 mph with 3 kiddos in the back. Nothing will ever be the same.
  • Her: Wow….. Why can’t you go to the grocery store??? (very confused tone at this point)
  • Me: How do you think it makes me feel when I am walking down the aisle, I see a woman with a baby in her cart and she is yelling at the child and slapping their hands off of the shelves. In most people’s eyes she is probably not doing a darn thing wrong, but in mine, she is breaking my heart. Or How about when I even park?? My HEB has more than one “with child” parking spot AND several more for “expecting mothers”. No matter how bad my back is hurting or how hot my hot flashes are in TX, I have to walk further than they do. Is that right? It probably is to a normal person. But it doesn’t feel right to me! Let’s fast forward to checkout. Everyone has witnessed the person playing with their Iphone while paying with their food stamps!! Hello!!!!!! Can you even imagine how devastated I feel when that person has children with them. Usually it is more than one, whining and crying, getting ZERO attention, and (like I witnessed last week) only wearing a diaper! Don’t get me wrong, I grew up as poor as it comes. I used food stamps back in the day as a teenager when they were actual paper coupons you had to count (like real money) and rip out of the booklet while the line behind you waited patiently. Needing help is not the problem. The “claim” you need help as you have a new smartphone, children, and drive away in your shiny SUV is the problem.
  • Her: Oh. -silence- I had no idea going grocery shopping was like that for you.

We were friends well before my IF journey began. I’ve cried on the phone with her, she was one of the first people I told….. It just doesn’t sink in for them until you spell it out! I didn’t  expect everyone to understand this diagnosis and to adjust accordingly to this journey. But I realize now, even though they know what this diagnosis means for us, they don’t know the extent of its effects!!! That is my job. To tell them.

PC’s family and I are having issues at the moment since the whole Easter fiasco. I’m not sure how to get things back to the way they were. Maybe the way things were doesn’t work anymore. I have some decisions to make. I am supposed to help out my SIL next week. She is having surgery and I was going to stay at her house and care for her three kids while she is in the hospital. I was up for it a month ago. Now, I want to cancel. I’m not comfortable with it for several reasons. In addition to that, there are FOUR kid’s birthday parties in the family between now and the beginning of June! Four. How am I supposed to do that much kid shopping and partying in 2 months?  Plus, I’m sure it won’t be long before they start planning the baby shower for the damn surprise announcement I got on Easter Sunday.

Sometimes I wonder how much more of this I can take.

Much Love…..

I hope your Easter was better than mine.

grief

 

I think Easter Sunday was when I realized the true meaning of this picture. I am beginning to believe this grief we feel will never go away. The trick is to learn how to handle this grief and how to channel it towards a fulfilling life. This post is about how I came to this lightbulb moment.

So as I said before PC’s  family asked that everyone bring a dozen eggs for the egg hunt. I was not happy at all about this request! We did not bring eggs but I think I was the only one thinking about it. No one at the party even noticed we only had potato salad in our hands upon arrival. (Yes I am aware I sometimes turn things into a bigger deal than they really are.) However, about an hour into the party I realized WHY we got away with not bringing our share of eggs and why I wasn’t just imagining things when I felt like everyone was staring at me…Did you guess it already? Yup, you got it.  ANOTHER PREGNANCY ANNOUNCEMENT! The only people in the house FULL of family who didn’t already know about it were PC and I. Our niece (and by “niece”  I mean our nephew’s baby momma) is nine weeks. To learn more about the obstacles blocking my path to a congratulations for her, please refer to the list below.

  1.  I could see the fear/uncertainty/sadness/whatever else in her eyes as she told me. She didn’t look me in the eyes at all and she didn’t actually come out and say the words. She showed me a  sonogram on her phone and jokingly said something to the effect of “Ha, I just realized you and PC are the only ones I haven’t told yet”.
  2.  If you noticed in that last paragraph I referred to her as “our nephew’s baby momma”. I am NOT referring to this new pregnancy! They already have a baby! Yes, this baby is celebrating his first birthday this summer! I swear I just blogged about this girl not long ago expressing how I felt about going to her baby shower. LESS than 12 months after delivering a child she is 9 weeks pregnant with #2!
  3.  I know “undeserving” is a very judgmental word. That being said, this girl is just that in my IF eyes.  Completely UNDESERVING of this opportunity. I refuse to apologize for feeling this way.
  4.  This was another accidental pregnancy. Just like her first one was.
  5.  Contraceptives are free in millions of clinics across the freakin’ country! She is young but not too young to understand how to prevent this from happening again. Why would you NOT prevent  another baby you and your boyfriend can not afford? That makes this a choice not an accident! And Why oh why, does this girl (of all the girls in the world) get a choice and I don’t??????
  6. They ALL knew about it before Sunday! PC and I were literally the only ones who hadn’t been told yet. I feel like an idiot! I could have collected the pity and sympathy from the air around me, bottled it up, and sold it to my sister who would probably die without that stuff in her life! I knew the mood was weird in the room during the party. I thought maybe they were upset about us not contributing to the eggs and no one wanted to confront me about it. I’m kinda wishing that woulda been the problem. How many times did they discuss this amongst themselves before Easter? Did they all know she was going to spring it on me like that? Pity now has a scent to me. It smells like bbq chicken, deviled eggs and peeps.
  7.  Did she have to pull her phone out and tell me in front of everyone???? No it wasn’t literally everyone but I sure felt like I had an audience. You didn’t consider…I don’t know…I’m just throwing this out there….but…….somehow telling me/us in private??????  In addition to that, she didn’t tell PC and I at the same time. I was standing next to PC when she finally told him later. I was lucky enough to hear/see it TWICE! Immediately after her telling PC, the much anticipated egg hunt began! With this new info fresh in my head, without a reasonable amount of time to digest this, I had to paint a smile on my face and participate in (or at least watch) this annual children’s activity. I know I didn’t HAVE to but one of my nephews wanted my help finding one with coins in it and come on… I couldn’t deny his request just because my heart was breaking. I knew I could cry later…
  8.  Later became sooner. We learned this info in the middle of the party. The middle turned into the end for me. We left shortly after the hunt. Not only were my hot flashes making me miserable (very humid Texas day) but my throat and face were beginning to hurt from straining to hold in the tears and pure anger!  I have been known to shed tears when I get really angry.
  9. And last but not least, the obvious…..My own IF. I don’t get a choice in this matter and she does…

So that sums up the beginning of my Easter Sunday. It has been a while since I have added a silver lining to one of my bitch-fest posts (I apologize for that) so I feel obligated to share this one due to the sheer pleasure I get from recognizing a silver lining after that emotional party. I will try to make this short…

From the party we drove to my dad’s. My dad and I haven’t always gotten along, to say the least. We don’t have what most people call a normal relationship. When we arrived I greeted everyone and then went out back to the “pit” where my dad was. He could tell I had been crying but didn’t say anything until he tried to pull away from our hug and I didn’t! He didn’t ask a single question. He knew I would share on my own terms, if at all. Apparently the reasons didn’t really matter to him, that could wait until after this hug, when I felt better. In fact, we never got around to discussing those reasons. Him and I have yet to have one conversation about my IF and I just didn’t think last night was the right time for either of us to start that process. My dad hasn’t comforted me like this since I was about 5 yrs old! Now, I am about 5′ 1″ and my dad is about 6’3″! A long embrace is usually uncomfortable, he’s obviously bending down and I’m trying to meet him halfway by standing on my tip toes. I didn’t notice the height difference this time, not even for a second. I finished crying with my face dug into his bbq scented shirt while he rested his head on mine. And If that wasn’t enough, He said the right things, WITHOUT an ounce of sarcasm. That is our “go to” reaction in awkward/uncomfortable/confusing situations. (usually border-lining on inappropriate). That was almost as meaningful to me as the hug itself! Somehow without using any words at all, he knew I just needed to cry for a minute. The only downside to this bonding moment was the fact that I realized immediately how he was acting like a “real” parent and that made me cry more. LOL  Recently He has been slowly coming to terms with his mom’s early onset of Alzheimer’s.  He now realizes she is not just having a “senior moment” or just tired. I think this has contributed to his increased parental  efforts during this past year. I guess it’s my turn to not focus on the “reasons”. I am just grateful for his efforts.

Silver lining = Bonding moment with daddy.

Oh my sweet word, speaking of the devil!!! My dad just called to ask why I was upset yesterday! Unbelievable! We just spoke earlier when he called to let me know he broke down and called his sister to explain their mom’s condition. He wanted me to call my aunt and finish explaining things because he says he “lost it” while on the phone with her. Ok, now I’m getting worried about my dad! This is all so much NOT like him for millions of reasons. Why are these kinds of things happening to me so much lately. These weird, creepy, coincidental (if you see it that way, I call them signs/confirmations)…At this point I don;t even remember if I blogged about the numerous confirmations PC and I noticed while on vacation. If not, stay tuned for that. Okie dokie, well, if you’re still reading this, I thank you and I apologize for the excessive punctuations. Time for a hot bath and a good book. My brain is tired…

Much love, everyone, much love.

 

 

I have no eggs to bring!

Here I sit in my living room, laptop in hand (or lap rather) and I am having one of those “can’t quite pinpoint how I’m feeling” moments. Tonight’s music selection is Metallica. Not a strange choice for me considering my broad range of interest in music. I have many things on my mind tonight. I will list them now…

  • My mom’s health, mortality, over all life. I won’t go into all details but this woman has had one hec of a crazy life. Not enough happy memories to tell about and failing health. Thankfully she does not have a terminal illness in the most common sense. She has many ailments both mental and physical that will slowly, painfully and eventually claim her life. She recently asked me to begin drawing up Power of Attorney paperwork and such. Makes my mind wander a lot and just typing about it is bringing me to tears. I think about all of the sad events she has experienced in her life and in comparison how freaking amazing my life is!!!! Then the guilt sets in. I feel guilty for allowing IF to effect me the way it has. The emotions, the new outlook on life… I have so much to be thankful for! Then again, I am a fixer and I can’t fix this. I can’t “fix” her quality of life, her regrets, her dreams, her nightmares….I can’t. That makes me feel __________. (I’m currently trying to fill in that blank).
  • Easter. I mentioned in my last blog PC’s family is having their Easter party. Now I hear in addition to bringing a food item (which is normal) they also want everyone to bring a dozen eggs for the kid’s Easter egg hunt. I will not be participating in this activity! I will not apologize for this either. I am not comfortable bringing YOUR children’s easter eggs for you! The “family egg hunt” is for momma’s (PC’s mom) benefit. I think it’s a fine idea. She will enjoy watching her grandkids hunt their Easter eggs this year. And why shouldn’t she? But Why do I have to help you provide these eggs???? Maybe I am over reacting here but I don’t give a darn anymore about over reacting! I just can’t seem to provide a reasonable explanation for my feelings about this. Why does it bother me soooooooooo much that they asked everyone to bring eggs? I know I don’t owe anyone an explanation but it feels like such a big deal to me. Then PC tells me this evening that he feels bad because the egg request doesn’t bother him at all. I explained to him that it’s ok for him to feel differently. I told him these are just my feelings, not laws from the good book! My feelings are not valid because they are “right” or even reasonable. I am not saying they are doing something wrong by asking this of us. That is the reason I haven’t raised hell with the whole family over this. Because to them this is a simple request, it’s a family function that the whole family is participating in. And I’m sure there are thousands of families that celebrate just like this. I don’t expect anyone to understand my personal feelings. I will find a polite way to inform them PC and I won’t have eggs with us but the potato salad is taken care of. Damn hormones!!!
  • I also mentioned I will be combining my 2 lives, the IF and the normal me. I have decided to no longer keep this IF such a secret. I am no less important because of my circumstances. Facebook is a huge part in most people’s lives and if I didn’t have so much “out of town” family and friends I probably wouldn’t even have one. I posted one picture last week or so about IF. It wasn’t subtle at all but I haven’t mentioned IF again yet. Baby steps. I’m sure many were wondering if it is just a random picture I found on the net or if it refers to me. No one commented. I got many likes though, so I know some of my friends noticed the change in subject. I don’t usually post personal stuff. Most of my posts are random facts or song lyrics so I’m sure the change in content was noticed. Luckily I didn’t have to do any explaining….
  • Yesterday I met with an old high school friend. She has 3 children and is pregnant with #4 right now. She wanted my opinions on a bible based curriculum I used to teach and wanted me to sort of assess her 4 almost 5 year old. I showed up supplies in hand! I was ready for the challenge. I needed to get an idea of his learning style, even though he is a little young for that kind of assessment. I brought several things with me. One bag was “teacher” stuff for me to use and the other bag was full of various things she could keep. That was a huge step for me. I quit teaching almost 2 years ago and haven’t given away one thing! (one corner of my bedroom is full of teacher stuff!!) I just hadn’t decided if I would teach again and didn’t want to part with any of it in case I could use it in the future. Use it for my next job or to home school my own child. Ugh, to home school my own child… yeah, that’s painful for me to say due to the latest decision to not ttc anymore. There’s my next problem. Why is that so painful? I decided to stop ttc! That was a choice we made. If it’s so painful why don’t we just change our decision. I wish it were that black and white.  Gray is my new favorite color apparently.

I know, I started out this blog talking about not being able to pinpoint how I was feeling and here we are 900 words later. I hope most of this made sense. As usual if you have made it to the end of this blog, I thank you.  Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a bowl of homemade matzoh ball soup waiting for me in the kitchen. I am very proud of this because I do not cook many kosher meals. My poppa would be so proud right now! Warm wishes for a liberating Passover filled with meaning, joy and renewal to all my Jewish family and friends!

Much Love…

 

Can’t we all be friends??

Skinny-Mirror

 

 

 

I have contemplated for a while, combining my 2 lives, the IF part of me and the rest of my normal self. I do not believe I could have done this before now, even if I wanted to. I think there is a grieving process that has to be experienced first. It’s not the same kind of “loss” as many women have sadly experienced but it is still a loss nonetheless. Maybe we need to grieve that loss before we commit to sharing our struggles with others. I needed to process the whole situation first. I have processed! I am ready  to take down some of this brick wall and admit to the world…

WE ARE NO LONGER TTC!!!!!.

HOLY HELL, Did I just say that? Whew, feels good to put it down in writing. This may not be a permanent decision (although I feel it it is) but for now I am happy with it!  Part of the process was to really feel like I am still a woman without children. I am a part of this society, worthy, good enough. I am strong, capable, smart, BEAUTIFUL  and more. None of that has anything to do with my choice to have or not have kids. If I don’t believe those words myself, then I can’t convince anyone else of those words either. Our society suggests there is a big difference between mothers and non mothers. I just don’t see it that way. I think we are all pretty much in the same boat. We want the same things in life we just get those things in different ways. I do not identify myself as an infertile women. I am a woman. I am also infertile, but that does not define me, just as being a mother should not define others. If you are happy with your choice to have children, I am happy for you. Motherhood shouldn’t be your only reason for happiness. In my opinion, happiness should happen first! Then those little miracles just make you HAPPIER… And what about those poor poor women who ARE fertile and are so selfish they still don’t want children?? <—– Please, please see that sarcasm! Really, selfish? Why is she selfish? Maybe she hasn’t found the right partner, maybe she can’t afford kids. Maybe her dreams never included children…. Either way, she is still a woman and very capable of GREAT things in this world! Yes, it makes me sad to not have the ability to bear a child. That was certainly part of my process. I wouldn’t be so angry if it were my choice! (I have always had trouble with authority tho, don’t tell me what I can or can not do!!!) Why does the world want to turn us against each other. So many labels and rules and nonsense. While the mother  envies my “freedom”, I might envy her “unconditional love”. As hard as people may work to split us into groups, the fact remains that we are really all in this together. If it takes a village to a raise a child then it isn’t it safe to say that those who reproduce and those who don’t do NOT live in separate villages? We are, in fact, next-door neighbours.

Also, I have noticed recently just how ANTI SOCIAL I have become. I know most of us in this situation have experienced this part. How long is it supposed to last? PC’s family is planning an Easter party, egg hunting and all. I do not want to go!!!!! Not even for a second! I hardly feel bad about it too. I think PC does want to go and I’m fine with that. I just don’t want to join him. I can only blame part of this feeling on IF because PC and I will not be the only ones there without children. His sister’s BFF (whom i consider family) is not married and she has no children. I have no clue if this is by choice or circumstance. Another family friend whom we also consider family is a 30 year old gay man (looks like he is 21 yrs old!). He is also single and has no children. So we wouldn’t be completely alone. That should help, right? So why doesn’t it? None of that makes me feel like going. I feel guilty about this. Why don’t I want to be around these people? Has this IF changed me that much?? I don’t want it to change me. I used to be a pretty social person. Especially with this family. They are good people. Anyhow, I guess I will play it by ear and see how I feel as the date gets closer. So maybe I have felt anti social because of this processing I have been doing. Soul searching, if you will. So it has in fact changed me. All I can do now is embrace the change. As long as I am still kind to those around me, maybe change isn’t such a bad thing.

So I ask myself…. HOW?? How do I make this transition? Or combination? Or whatever you call it. How do I gracefully tell my friends/family I can’t have children and I’m ok with that!!???  It’s going to be tricky. I certainly don’t talk about it on facebook, where everyone seems to live these days. I also don’t want that pity I know is almost inevitable. I guess it’s not fair to expect my friends and family to just get over it immediately when it has taken me years to get to “this” point. (no where near “over it”). Am I ready for what might come? Can I handle the possible reactions to the IF? More importantly, can I handle the possible reactions to our decision to stop TTC??? I guess there is really only one way to find out.  The one feeling IF has left me with is this urge to fight! Not physically, although I would like to smack the crap out of several people these days. I mean, I feel like I have to be the voice. A voice. Not a singing voice anymore. I love to sing and will never stop but I mean a “voice”. I want to “fight” to be a part of today’s society. For every woman, with child or not, to feel accepted, appreciated and NEEDED! Society should not tell us “how” to be happy! Hmmm, another project to get started on.

Much love to all!

LegoLand – 0, Me – 1

I am happy to report that in less than 24 hours the website for the LegoLand Discovery Centers was updated. It now says right there on the home page that “Adults must be accompanied by a child”. The regional manager explained this policy was created to prevent adults from feeling “robbed” when leaving the center. The board felt there wasn’t ENOUGH material inside geared towards just adults for the guests to feel it fair to pay for a ticket. While I understand their concern for satisfaction, I still believe this is a matter of opinion and the decision to pay for a ticket and risk their satisfaction should be the guest’s not the business’. They could easily make it very clear right at the admissions desk (whether it be a sign or something else). Customers usually just want to be well informed. No one wants to feel deceived. Do I agree with this rule? Hell no! I may pursue this further at some point but for now I am grateful someone was willing to listen. My main concern was that their website offered all of the needed information to plan a trip EXCEPT this crazy policy. I am proud to have helped make a change, as little as it may seem to some.

Now that made me think deeper. Why was this so important to me? To get this policy on the webpage. I realized I am lacking purpose in my life. In a major way! Teaching was so rewarding for me. Without that, I think maybe I am somewhat lost. I know, I know, DUH, right? Of course I was aware I might drive myself crazy “without a job” but it’s not just having a job that I miss. I can get a job at any child care facility in my area. I’m not tooting my own horn here, it wouldn’t be because I am that good. It would be because the turnover rate for child care is so high, they are always in need of a warm body. Sad to say but most directors will hire almost anyone without a criminal record when in a pinch. I have seen it over and over again. I am now realizing the effects teaching was actually having on me. The confidence, purpose, pride, even the exercise!

So  here I sit trying to figure out what “my purpose” is. I love helping people. I love having a flexible schedule. I love children. I love music. I love a lot of things but how can I spend some time by combining a few? Well I don’t have an answer to that but I do have a few places to start. I am planning to start a peer led support group in my area through RESOLVE. I also want to get involved in the struggle to get insurance companies to cover infertility treatments. I am still researching this topic but it is soooooooooooooooooooooooooo upsetting to see what some insurance companies WILL cover! Makes me cry. It’s a fight worth fighting in my opinion! Anyhow, thank you all for your encouragement after my depressing experience with Legoland.

Much Love…