Monday, May 7, 2012

One Lovely Blog

I started this blog in February as a way to chronicle my feelings and experiences with infertility. I received a renewed energy in dealing with this personal struggle, and I thought to myself, "If I can help just one person, somewhere, deal with the pain of this trial, then I will have succeeded." Little did I know that  that one person might just be me. 

Seriously Not Pregnant was posted on LFCA just weeks after I started writing, and with it came a host of new online friends. One of those has been Ann at The Infertile Optimist. The name of her blog says it all. I love that even though infertility is a hardship and warrants venting and tears, she is realistic and hopeful throughout her daily experiences. Optimism doesn't mean constant happiness, but it does mean that you choose to find hope in this mortal life. Ann--thank you for your kindness and for thinking of me  when you saw this award.

Here are the steps to follow after receiving this award:
  • Share who gave it to you with a link back to their blog. (See above)
  • Write down seven random facts about yourself.
  • Give this award to fifteen other bloggers.
  • Let them know they've won.
  • Pop the award on your blog.

Seven Random Facts about me:

1. I used to hate pancakes--so much so that I would leave my apartment when my college roommates had "Pancake Night" every Sunday evening. Once I married Mr. M., I finally had good pancakes (he is a great cook), and surprise! I like them now. 

2. After I got married, I lost nearly 30 pounds on Weight Watchers. Over the last two years, however, I have gained part of that back. Nothing like stress to contribute to weight gain. Ha! 

3. I have never had alcohol, tobacco, tea, coffee, or any drugs, and I don't drink caffeine. The most exciting thing I have taken was Percocet when I had surgery, and that made me have crazy dreams, so I stopped taking it. 

4. Speaking of surgery, I had an appendectomy when I was almost 23. I stopped taking birth control pills shortly thereafter. Randomly, I quite enjoyed having surgery, as it gave me a chance to sleep and have someone take care of me. 

5. If I could travel anywhere, it would be to Italy. Someday I'll make it outside of the U.S.

6. The first time I went to Disneyland, I was also 23. I handed my over my ticket, walked into the park, and before I even went through the main gate, I cried. Mr. M. got it on camera because it was so ridiculous. I was just so stinkin' happy. Five minutes later I saw Minnie Mouse and lost it all over again. 

7. I generally do not watch horse movies. They make me break out in hives. The horses, not the movies, that is.

I would like to give this award to the following bloggers:

---Mrs. M.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

The Update

Holy moly, folks. It has been insane the last few weeks. Work. Grad school. Illness. Mr. M. leaving. A dear friend dying. I have very much neglected this blog (and all of yours, again) because life just got way too busy for anything extra.

So, to bring you a little up-to-speed, let's talk about Mr. M. He left the state over a week ago to return west and finish his degree. He has one class left to graduate, and he is doing it! I am so proud of him. I also asked him to guest post for this blog, so I'm hoping he pulls through for me. I will be joining him in a few weeks, but I miss him terribly in the meantime.

I also had a dear friend pass away this weekend from cancer. I knew the end was nearing, but it still came as a heartbreak when it actually happened. I will be flying across the country to attend the funeral and help the family for awhile before I finally join Mr. M. Thankfully, I have understanding professors who are allowing me to take my finals early in order to do this.

So, I need to finish my assistantship, schoolwork, finals, and packing for my months-long excursion across the U.S. before next Tuesday. So, I might be neglectful for just a little longer.

In the meantime, know this: Mother's Day is also my 6-year anniversary, but I will be spending it with a family who just lost their own mother, while battling with my own grief of loosing a special lady in my life and not being able to be a mother myself (all while missing my husband).


What a doozie.

Thank goodness I'm on some anti-depressants right now, & thanks for hanging with me through my slacker-ishness.

---Mrs. M.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Infertiles & Their Pets

My childhood cat. Oh, how I miss him, even if I did have to use an inhaler to be around him
 (my step-father got him in the divorce.)

The last couple of weeks have been insane. This semester of grad school is winding down (only 1 month to go), and with it comes the slew of final papers, projects, and presentations. On top of that, I started a new medication last month, and I have been crazy tired and forgetful. Hence, the blog has taken a backseat the last few weeks (and therefore, reading your blog(s), too).

...which leads me to the subject of pets (random, I know). I know many people have pets, especially when they don't have any children. I personally don't have any pets right now, but part of me really wants something to cuddle when I get home from work. I have come to the conclusion, though, that I would not be a good pet owner right now. Limited time, resources, and space lead me to believe that I wouldn't be able to give a pet the attention and space it would deserve.

Anyway, when I was visiting my best friend several months ago, the topic of pets came up. One of our other close friends has a dog (and recently, after some infertility problems, became pregnant). Another woman in the conversation then stated:
"Why do people without kids think they need to get pets? It's stupid."

I was a little taken aback by the statement. I don't think she understands the need to have something to come home to. Not everyone is a pet person. In fact, I never really thought I would want pets, but I do. Really badly. I want to know that someone is depending on me. That someone loves me and cares for me. That I need them just as they need me. I don't have those precious little kids yet, but I totally understand why others have pets, infertile or not.

Darn those pet allergies!

---Mrs. M.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Why I Choose To Be Anonymous


Don't worry, folks...these pics are super old.

To me, some of the best blogs are ones that give great insight into the author's life. I love seeing pictures of bloggers and hearing about their weekends. Putting names with faces makes things more realistic for me.

When I started this blog a few months ago, I wanted so much to be transparent. Finally, I was going to share with the world who I was and what I really go through on a daily basis living with infertility. I thought that if I could help just one person get through a few bad days, I would have succeeded.

The time came, and I decided that I would be somewhat anonymous on my blog. Of course, I use snippets of my own pictures and call myself Mrs. M., (which I suppose could be traced back to me if someone REALLY wanted to stalk me), but I don't show my face or use my full name. It is difficult to keep things descriptive, yet vague enough that should someone I know stumble across this blog, they won't realize it is me.

So why am I anonymous?

1. My family. I have not officially told my mother or Mr. M.'s parents that we are dealing with infertility. They may assume as much, but I have never told them. I have done this for specific purposes. I don't want unsolicited advice, nosey questions, or forced conversations on the topic. I also don't want this news spread around to the whole world just yet (which would probably happen if some of them knew). I also don't think some of the parties involved here would be supportive and/or understanding of this struggle. For example, Mr. M. is one of 7 children, and my mother got pregnant on her honeymoon and never had morning sickness for any of her 3 pregnancies. Infertility doesn't really cross my mother's mind.

2. My friends. Only a select few know that we are dealing with infertility, and even some of those people aren't supportive. I don't want it to take over my friendships.

3. My privacy. Does everyone I know in real life really need to know what it is I am doing with my husband in order to make a baby? Really?

4. The crazies. If everyone knew that I had an infertility blog and wrote about the crazy things people do and say, they wouldn't be so crazy. They would edit themselves. Then I wouldn't be able to give an authentic depiction of what really goes on when one is dealing with infertility.

I do have a family blog, which I suppose I could direct readers to. As long as my family blog isn't connected to this one, I might be ok. I don't know, though.

So, what do you think? Why are you anonymous (or not anonymous)? Am I just paranoid?

---Mrs. M.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Starting A Family

Mr. M. and me at our wedding reception almost 6 years ago.

One particular Saturday in February, I was feeling especially distraught about the infertility Mr. M and I have experienced. I had a church meeting to attend that evening, and was able to pull myself together enough to meet Mr. M. there. The meeting wasn't bad, especially since it was a meeting just for adults (no children to further my anguish).

After the session was over, I remained in my seat and overheard a conversation between an elderly man and a young couple.

At one point, the older gentleman asked the couple: "Have you started a family yet?" The couple responded with a laugh and comment about their "two dogs." I think it was a little awkward for them, even though they were gracious about it.

I told Mr. M. about this and how I don't like when people ask me about "starting a family." He said it was a dumb question because we started our family 6 years ago when we got married. That was the start of our family. The two of us.

That, to me, was the perfect response.

---Mrs. M.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

If I Yawn One More Time...

I am currently in graduate school. After this semester, I have one independent study class to complete in order to finish my master's degree. I plan to do this final course over the summer and officially graduate in June or July. It would seem that I am in the final, home stretch, but I'm not. After the degree is finished, I still need to complete a certification, which requires: 3 additional courses, a portfolio, a practicum, and a national exam. This should take me another year.

This week I am feeling quite overwhelmed (and hence, quite absent from the blogging world). Two weeks ago, I decided to try the low-dose anti-depressant that Dr. C. prescribed for me. It was a battle. The prescription sat on my counter for a few weeks before I finally decided to give it a try. I must say that my depression has subsided a bit (though it might be a little too early to tell), but I am feeling extremely tired. I yawn like crazy. It is quite ridiculous. It is the kind of yawning that makes me wonder how on earth my jaw is still in place, because it totally takes over my body. I had to tell my teacher tonight about the side effect for fear that she would think I was disinterested in her class. It's a good thing I don't make noise when I yawn. That would be a nightmare.

I am also having difficulty with my ability to focus, especially when doing my homework. Even reading is hard for me, and I love to read and usually don't mind reading a textbook. I have forgotten little things, too, and it is making life annoying right now. I am having a hard time remembering what day it even is.

I have a screwy appetite, too. I didn't even eat until 4:45pm today. Anything that requires effort is unappealing to eat---that means pulling the lid off of a yogurt. Too much effort. However, after getting home around 8:30pm tonight, I decided I was ready to eat something more.

It was a hard day. I slept until 11:30am and was late for work. I missed a meeting. Class was long. I screwed up some assessment test homework. I yawned a million times. But at least I can pick myself up off the ground.

And right now, Mr. M. just got home with a chocolate milkshake for me. He is the best.

---Mrs. M.

Monday, March 26, 2012


My half-sister just had her 11th baby on Friday. ELEVENTH. I'm not sure how that happens, but it did.

She didn't tell many people that she was pregnant again because she wanted to avoid unwanted comments. I understand this. Even when someone has 11 children, it is still an intimate decision between husband and wife. It isn't entirely the same, but I don't like it when people comment on my lack of children. However, it makes me wonder how my half-sister, with whom I share DNA, got such fertility genes, while I can't even manage to have one baby.

Anyway, I'm not too upset about it. She is much older than me (her oldest child is only 5 years younger than me) and lives in a different state, so we aren't super close.

One of her daughters (my half-niece) has been pregnant 4 times in the last 3 years. THIS bothers me. I think she is 20 years old.

How does this happen?

---Mrs. M.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Best Friend Say What?

Elle and Mr. Elle cutting their cake.

I have a best friend, and I'll call her Elle. Elle had a baby last spring--her first baby. Two weeks after the baby was born, I flew across the country to help her with him. We had a great time, and it was nice to see her and hold a tiny baby. That was almost a year ago.

In January, Mr. M. and I flew across the country to visit Elle and her family again. At one point, Elle and I were in the car together--alone, finally.

As we went through the Subway drive-thru (because apparently, Subway has a drive-thru out west), she brought up the subject of infertility (specifically mine and Mr. M.'s). As she handed her credit card through the window, she turned to me, and nonchalantly asked, "Are you even trying right now?"

At that moment, a flood of thoughts and emotions went through my mind. For Elle, "trying" to have a baby took one month. No waiting required. Not even one negative pregnancy test. Did she think that because I wasn't pregnant, I must not really be "trying?" I know that she isn't that naive, but the question caught me off guard.

All I could manage to dejectedly answer was, "Well, right now, I'm just trying to pay off my $2,000 blood work bill. When I'm done with that, I'll start saving for the next appointment."

And with that, the conversation was done. Not done because I put her in her place. Not done because she finally understood, but done because we got a distraction in the form of our ham-and-provolone-on-wheat subs and drove home.

Apparently, if I am not forking over thousands of dollars on a monthly basis, I'm not really "trying."

---Mrs. M.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Sleep Is A Good Thing

When my nephew was born, Mr. M and I went to visit my sister and help her with her newborn baby. When the baby cried during the night, I got up and helped her so that she could get some sleep, too. It was hard. Especially since I have traditionally not been an early riser. I like my sleep.

So today, I am grateful for sleep. I get it. People with little kids don't. Of course I would trade it for a kid, but I am grateful for it anyway. In fact, I need a nap right now. It has been a rough week!

---Mrs. M.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Girl Scout Cookies

Remember that weekend I had not so long ago? Well, what I didn't tell you was that I could tell it was going to be one of those weekends on Saturday at noon. How did I know?

I had some boxes of GS cookies waiting to be sensibly rationed over a long period of time. Just sitting there. In my pantry. I had even figured out the Weight Watchers points before opening the boxes. On Saturday afternoon, however, I opened a box. And I ate. And ate. And opened another box. And ate. 

The feeding frenzy did not stop until I went to bed on Sunday night. And GS cookies weren't the only thing I ate. I went to a buffet. I made more pizza. I baked some french fries. I drank lots of soda (I rarely do this. Really.). It was ridiculous. 

I can happily say, though, that I ate so many cookies (and other junk food), that I don't feel like eating at all right now. So, perhaps my depressive whirlwind of a weekend is out of my system. 

Why can't I overdo it on broccoli and green peas? Oh, yeah, because I don't LIKE those things.

Thank goodness those cookies only come around once a year.

---Mrs. M.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Dr. C.

Warning: I wrote this post a few hours after meeting with Dr. C. I was not feeling my best emotionally or physically that day, and I believe my thoughts were a little dramatic. I do think, however, it is valuable for me to post this. Sometimes in the throes of infertility, the intense emotions we express can get the better of us. In being true to myself and depicting the real feelings I experienced, I have decided to post it. It doesn't do anyone any good (especially myself) to portray dealing with infertility as always a positive and rational experience. 

Dr. C. is not my favorite person. He is a psychiatrist. He is not a psychologist. There is a difference. Psychiatrists are medical doctors who are able to prescribe medication. Psychologists have Ph.Ds in Psychology and are usually employed as counselors, therapists, etc. Dr. C. is most certainly a psychiatrist.

The first time I met with him, for an intake interview about the possibility of starting a low-dose anti-depressant, he seemed rather impersonal. In fact, he expected me to come up with the answers AND the questions to illicit those answers. He didn't do much to keep the interview going. It was a good day for me, so I decided to help him out by talking more and anticipating his questions.

This time, I was to meet with him for 15 minutes to tell him what I thought about the possibility of taking medication, since I was somewhere in the middle (between not needing medication and needing it---so helpful, right?). I sit down and Dr. C. doesn't say anything. He just stares at me with giant frog eyes.

So I stare back.

He then asks, rather awkwardly, "so....?" I finally tell him that I am apprehensive about taking the medication because I want to get pregnant and I should probably not be taking medication when pregnant (birth defects, etc.). He tells me there is no good evidence to show that there is a problem with taking medication while pregnant (...did you even read the side effects tab to that particular medication?). He states that millions of women have taken it while pregnant. I rebuttal with a "Millions of women who don't have a hard time getting pregnant." He then states, like I am the dumbest girl in the world, that that "isn't true, since infertility is such a common problem."

I give him the look of death.

It was at this point that I wanted to smack him, and smack him hard. He acts like this is no bid deal---that infertility is so common, and that being pregnant is the unusual case. Dr. C. is no Mr. Sensitivity. I start sobbing in the chair, telling him that I may finally have the opportunity to start fertility treatments again, and I don't want to jeopardize my chances with this medication.

It was the longest 10 minutes of my life, because there was no way I was going to keep up the conversation, by myself, for 15. At the end, as he is writing a script for the medication, he asks what fertility treatments I will be trying soon.

REALLY? You barely talk to me, make insensitive comments about my insecurities with your medication you haven't even personally told me about, and then want to know intimate, medical information not related to the medication you are prescribing for me?

The only thing I can think of that may redeem him in some small, small way would be if he was dealing with infertility, too. I did see him play with his wedding band when the topic of infertility was discussed. So, unless he was trying to get info from me about how to proceed with his own issue, I'm pretty sure I will loathe every time I have to see that man. I guess it doesn't matter whether he has infertility issues or not, though, since he can't seem to carry a conversation with a client for 15 minutes.

Thank goodness for psychologists. They have souls.

In hindsight, as I read this, I am a little embarrassed by my complaints. And especially that I implied psychiatrists don't have souls (hello, dramatic!). I know psychiatrists who are kind, lovely people. I also know psychologists who are mean-spirited and unaccepting. I won't make any excuses for Dr. C.'s lack of people skills, but I will say that I don't "loathe" him (just being with him). Either way, I think it is normal to have intense reactions towards emotionally charged situations. I am grateful I have the good sense to vent in less destructive ways.

UPDATE: I met with my psychologist/counselor (the pregnant one), and I relayed this experience to her. She told me that she knows Dr. C. doesn't have any children, and perhaps he felt infertility was "common" because he has experienced it, too. She definitely agrees about the social skills, though.

---Mrs. M.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

I Don't Have to Be Friends With Everyone

I am learning something important: I don't have to be friends with everyone.

I listened to a webinar this week about running counseling groups for girls in a K-12 setting. The presenter was Julia V. Taylor, and she stated that as girls get older, they don't learn how to socialize well with one another. In elementary school, it is sometimes customary to invite everyone from your class to your birthday party. However, as time passes, girls create closer friendships with others and not being invited to the birthday party or sleepover causes hurt feelings. Sometimes instead of talking about these feelings, girls talk about each other. We are expected to be nice, and sometimes this is difficult if we don't really like others (as we are expected to).

In my own life, I have felt that it is necessary for me to try to be friends with everyone. My philosophy is that "everyone needs a friend." I stand by that mantra. However, I don't always have to be that friend. 

There is a woman who I met at church (which is where I feel especially pressured to be friends with everyone) who I am having a difficult time liking. On paper, it seems like we could be great friends: same church, similar undergraduate experiences, artistic and musical interests, same values, both married. However, something is not clicking. At all. 

At first I thought it was her pregnancy. She was very pregnant and not even married for a full year yet. She flaunted it. She complained about it. She made a spectacle of herself and how "miserable" she was. Then she had the baby and I thought, "Great! She can stop, and we can be friends." Not so. She made comments about her "superhuman" qualities for giving birth without an epidural and complained about her baby (crying, not sleeping, having a faux-hawk at only 2 weeks old).

It was too much for me and I did the ultimate friend-cleansing ritual: I blocked her from my facebook feed (so significant, right?). I also stopped going to an activity that she helps to run because I can't take the baby-ness. Mr. M still goes, and that is fine with me. I just know where my emotional limits are.

I also still see her at church where I am friendly in every way, and I don't feel guilty. I feel relieved. I have wanted to be friends for 8 months, but mostly because my feelings for her were negative and I didn't want to feel that way. However, I now feel quite freed. She can be herself, and I can be myself, and it is OK. 

Goodbye, Baby-Flaunter. 

---Mrs. M.

Monday, March 12, 2012

A Rough Weekend

This past weekend started out well, with some homemade pizza and a movie on the couch on Friday evening. On Saturday, though, things got worse, and by Sunday, out of control.

I could feel myself loosing control of my emotions on Saturday afternoon, so Mr. M. took me out to dinner ar a local resort's restaurant. We then went to see a movie at a cheap theater, and I had a good time. When we got home, there was a message on the answering machine asking me to teach the lesson in church the next day. I got the message well after 9pm, and church starts at 9am. I immediately became so stressed it was ridiculous. Luckily, Mr. M. called the person back and discovered that the lesson was already taken care of. However, the night was then shot. All I could think about was how I don't have any kids (crazy process of thought, I know). I had thoughts like, "If I had kids, would she still be calling me at the last minute to do this? Does she call me because I must have a bunch of free time?" To be quite honest, this probably wasn't one of the reasons I got called (since I teach on the third Sunday of every month), but that's where my mind went.

This then escalated to how I don't want to go to Mr. M.'s family reunion this summer because I don't want to be around all my brothers and sisters-in-law who have kids (this, too, is a little irrational since I am normally looking forward to the reunion). I do get sad sometimes about being around all those people and not really fitting in. I just try to be the crazy, favorite aunt so that I am good for something. I've got the "crazy" part down, but I have a little competition from my other sister-in-law for "favorite."

Anyway, I guess it just makes me a little insane how much this can debilitate me. The key is to learn how to live with this and not let it upset me so much. I have a few other issues to work through, too, but I know I can only do one thing at a time.

Thanks for giving me the space to right my thoughts, even though they weren't super uplifting.

---Mrs. M.

Friday, March 9, 2012

You're So Young

I have been dealing with infertility for well over three years now. Because I am in my late twenties and also in graduate school, I often have people say to me, "You're so young! You have plenty of time for kids!"

I hate this.

I know that all around the world people get married much later in life than they used to. Women have careers and couples wait to have children much more than they did in the 50s. My grandmother got married at the age of 17--this rarely happens nowadays (and aren't we all rightfully aghast when it does happen?). However, I have been married for almost six years, and the last time I checked, infertility gets worse with age.

So the comment about me being "so young?"

Not. Helping.

Has anyone ever said this to you? How do you respond?

---Mrs. M.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

In This Economy

Cutting up that credit card. Penny-pinching in this economy is hard enough without incurring more debt
 (or children, according to some).

This past weekend, a friend from graduate school called to schedule a time to meet about an assignment. This woman is lovely. She has two kids of her own, and after an abusive marriage of 20+ years, she left her husband several months ago. Times are rough with her working 3 jobs and taking night classes. Right now, she is very stressed about her many responsibilities, and rightfully so. As we were talking, she expressed feeling overwhelmed about the prospect of buying a house. The conversation was about her the whole time (which I was fine with), until the following exchange:

Classmate: "I know you want kids, but in this economy....maybe you should be counting your blessings that you don't have any."

Me: Silence.

Classmate: "You know? this economy...count your blessings..."

Me: Silence. "Well, just keep doing your best, and you will make it. School can be rough."

Let it be known: I would rather have kids and be poor than not have kids and be rich. Right now, I neither have kids, nor am I rich. Talk about your hands being tied! I want kids. For me, I need to have money to pursue that route, as infertility treatments are ex-pen-sive! However, I have no money. Really. Mr. M. & I are in school, and he has been unemployed for well over a year (he JUST got a new job).

No Money = No Treatments = No Children.

I told Mr. M that the conversation was a little crazy to me because it wasn't as if I wanted to buy a brand new car "in this economy." I want to have children--I want a family. This is my future, not a means of transportation.

When I told Mr. M  this, he stated that "some people have it so backwards." He meant that some people think it is only good to have kids after finding massive financial security. Let me tell you--I will probably never have total financial security. As soon as I feel like I have a little money set aside for emergencies, an emergency happens--surgery, car repairs, travel to a funeral. There is never a "good financial time" to have a baby, because you will always find something else to spend your money on.

I get it, Classmate---you are stressed. You need to provide for your children. You need to be physically and emotionally present for them. It would be easier for you if you were a twenty-something college student with no children, but please do not mistake what would be easier for you with what would be easier for me. They are not the same, and that's ok.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Parking Rebel

Have you seen these parking signs? They have them at the grocery store where we get our prescriptions. The sign there also includes "new mothers" as those allowed to park in those exclusive spots (hey---what about new fathers?).

I don't like to be excluded from things because we can't get pregnant, so I break the "rules." Normally, I would not do something like this---I've never even been pulled over (yet). I am not a rule-breaker. I don't even cut in lines. Not even when a friend is "saving my spot." But last Friday, I did it. I parked in that spot. I was quite the rebel.

Then, while I was in the store, I saw a pregnant woman and then right after, a woman with a baby carrier in her cart. And you know what? I should have felt guilty. I should have committed to never do that again because there were people who needed that spot. Instead, though, the thought running through my mind was: "Ha-Ha, SUCKERS!"

I need some serious help.

Friday, March 2, 2012

25 Years

Sometimes I feel like this tree: alone and barren, while everything else glows around me. But I can still enjoy the sunset.

I heard a story six months ago about a man and woman who could not have children on their own. In fact, they couldn't have children at all. Finally, after 25 years of marriage, the couple adopted a two-year-old. Shortly thereafter, they adopted an infant. The story continued, stating that when the husband and wife are in public with their children, others often ask, "Are these your grandchildren?" Of course, the couple laughs and says, "Oh, no--these are our children."

When I first heard this story, I thought to myself, "25 years!? That is NOT a comforting story. I don't want to be mistaken for my child's grandmother!" When dealing with infertility, it is sometimes difficult to remain hopeful. I have tried to remain optimistic about my chances of having a baby, but in the throes of infertility, it can be hard. Hearing about a couple who had to wait until they were in their fifties to have children adds to my feeling of defeat.

In speaking with a church member about this story, he told me that he knew the man in the story personally while they were about 20 years old. He never knew that the man and his wife had struggled with infertility, but he told me that for them, it must have seemed like all hope was gone. But it wasn't. Their roles as parents in this life were delayed, but not lost.

I still don't think that this is a comforting story, but it is a story that puts some things in perspective, like patience. What did they do with their lives those long, 25 years? I am sure they experienced much sadness, but I believe they still went about doing good and leading fulfilling lives. I want to do that. What if I never do have a baby? What if I don't have the opportunity to adopt? I can't sit at home for the rest of my life, crying over what I "should have had" but never got. I think it is ok to be sad. And to experience grief and truly mourn the losses that come with infertility. But after awhile, I am going to have to choose to be happy--happy with the life I have been given, and happy with what I choose to do with it.

And I hope it doesn't take me 25 years to do just that.

---Mrs. M.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Comparing Myself: A Resolve

I call this my "Peter Pan Pose". . . 20 pounds ago.

Fact: I have gained 20 pounds since moving to the East Coast. 

Fact: I have dealt with way more stressors than I anticipated. It is kind of off the charts.

Fact: I spend too much time reading online celebrity gossip. 

Fact: I also spend too much time on facebook.

I saw a post on comparing yourself to others on A Blog About Love. Mara, the author, left a comment on the post that stated that "the things we envy usually would require a MAJOR helps so much to remember that & then decide if we still feel envious." So true. I wish I looked and sang like Carrie Underwood, but holy cow. She has tabloids, paparazzi, music industry managers, publicists, agents, trainers, and crazy, obsessed fans to deal with. I just have my crazy family.

Resolve: Stop comparing myself to others and embrace all that I've been blessed to have.

Fact: I'm still going to document my daily dealings with infertility, but I'm not going to wish away this life as much. I've got it good.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Facebook Oblivion

Last night, I came across this on my facebook newsfeed:

New Mother's Status:

I'm going to be really, really sad if I never make it back into my size 2 skinny jeans again.

After several supportive comments from others, New Mother writes this on the same thread:

Okay, so the size doesn't really matter. getting rid of the post-preggo chub does, though. it's hard when you've never been fat before! although.. I doubt I'd have long in them before being pregnant again anyway..

Oy. She obviously has never struggled with infertility OR her weight. She also clearly expects to be pregnant again soon. I guess getting pregnant the first time after 5 months of marriage will do that to you. 

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Baby Preferences

I was riding in the car with my sister. Her baby was contently riding in the back seat. My sister knows that Mr M and I have issues with fertility. She asks, out of nowhere, "So, I know we have probably talked about this before, but what are some baby names that you like?" I think that for many people, this might be a normal question, but it was not a good one to ask me, for two reasons: (1) I hold my baby names close to my heart. I feel like these names are going to go to someone special, and I don't want anyone stealing them, and (2) talking about baby names makes me really sad.I told her that I didn't really want to talk about it because it makes me sad.

She then asked if I would rather have a boy or a girl. I answered that I didn't care in the slightest. I suppose that this, too, might be a normal question to ask someone, but not a person who wants a baby--pretty much any baby--so badly. I told her that I know people expect me to want a girl, but I want anything (...and did she miss the first response that talking about things like that make me sad?).

My sister really wanted a boy. When she was pregnant, she remarked to me that, if it was a girl, she "could learn to be ok with that." I know she didn't mean to be insensitive, but that is probably one of the worst things to say to an infertile couple: you could learn to deal with it if your child wasn't your preferred this or that. I know people have hopes and dreams for their children. I have them. But I also have hopes and dreams just to have a child, to begin with.

Oh, the things people ask, and the things people say.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Even My Therapist is Pregnant

I have been struggling with depression. I know that much of it originates with my struggle with infertility. So, I have been meeting with a psychologist in order to make some goals and help me beat this.

Today she told me that she is pregnant.

Is this some kind of a joke? I mean, isn't it bad enough that my facebook is already cluttered with ultrasound pics and cranky, morning sickness statuses? Now my therapist/counselor/psychologist has to be pregnant, too?

Now, I am actually very grateful that she told me, since she wasn't going to tell her clients. However, since she knows I struggle with this, she figured it was better to let me know before I started to see the obvious, physical signs of pregnancy. She gave me the option of switching counselors as well. This was thoughtful.

I told her that it would probably be good for me and that I would stick with her for now, but the more I think about it, the more concerned I am. I don't know if I will have the gumption to tell her when pregnant people annoy me--and how it affects me. Today I did, but she still does not look pregnant. Will I be able to talk so openly when she is 7 months pregnant?

Sometimes I think I should only associate with post-menopausal women. That would solve some problems.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Acting the Part

The other night, Mr. M and I were watching Netflix. We tend to do that on the weekends. I told him to choose whatever he wanted to watch. His choice was High School Musical (most specifically HSM 2). It may sound like an odd choice, but we are the type of couple that would rather watch episodes of Hannah Montana than just about anything else. 

Shouldn't this be a good indication that we would be great parents? We spend perfectly good weekends at home watching family-friendly movies. I guess if you want the part, you have to act the part. 

Good move, Mr. M. Good move.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

A Grateful Mother

Last night, I attended a meeting in the community. The topic of the meeting was coping with stress--any kind of stress, and how it affects weight loss. The meeting was mostly women, and the conversation soon turned to children:

  • Random Woman: Sometimes, when I am stressed, I spend time with my kids. They are content to just play, and they aren't bothered by other problems. It helps me to spend time with them while they are so carefree.
  • Stressed Woman: What do you do when your children ARE the cause of your stress? 
  • Grateful Mother: I am struggling right now with my sixteen-month old, because he is right at the stage where he is becoming ornery---but I wouldn't trade it for the world! He is all I ever wanted, and his worst day is still my best day, because I have him. He is exactly what I have always dreamed of, and I cherish every day with him because some people have their children taken from them, and I am lucky to have him.
  • Stressed Woman: That's a good point. I never thought of it that way.

As I sat in the middle of the exchange, I was so very grateful for the Grateful Mother sitting behind me. After the class, I thanked her for her comments about her baby. It is so refreshing to hear women talk about their little miracles that way, and I wanted to let her know. She told me that she had had two miscarriages, and that she remembered what a blessing her little boy was.

Thank you, Grateful Mother, for being grateful for the wonderful little baby you have. I am so glad you were in that meeting, and I hope I am just like you if I am ever blessed with the opportunity to have children of my own.

Sunday, February 19, 2012


If this is true, than we are going to have some pretty fantastic kids.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Bathroom Sign

Tonight was excellent.

Mr. M.'s parents are visiting for the weekend, so we decided to treat them to a little of the local fare (technically, they treated us). We ate at a country-style smorgasbord of local food, and then we treated them (this time, for real) to a date night at a downtown pottery cafe. We each selected a pre-made ceramic work, painted it with glaze, and left it there for the week or so it takes to be covered with a clear coat and fired in the kiln.

In the restroom hung this charming little sign. I suppose to others it may simply seem cute. Of course, I picked up on the wording immediately. It could have read: "Please accompany children to the restroom." This would imply that, should a child be in your care, you should accompany him or her to the restroom. However, the wording "Please accompany your child in the restroom" implies that I even have a child...and also that he or she is in a restroom somewhere.

I wasn't offended by the sign. How could I be? Some employee/owner created the sign in the hopes that parents would take their advice and help their small children in the bathroom. He or she probably did not think at all about how it would read to someone struggling to have a baby.  It is sometimes amazing the subtle things that creep into everyday life for me, reminding me that I am different than the majority of the population. However, I know I'm not alone, and neither are you. 

Friday, February 17, 2012

The Cook-Off

I am going to a Chili Cook-Off at church tonight. It is kind of a big deal, especially considering that the first-place winner last year received the grand prize of a whoopee cushion. Since the first time I made chili was six days ago, I'm feeling pretty confident that the whoopee cushion might just be mine this year (though I think I would rather have a whoopie pie).

Along with this cook-off is a service auction for the youth. Members of the church were contacted to provide services that could be auctioned off for their cause (scout camp & girls' camp). When Mr. M. emailed me about what we could donate, I came up with the oh-so-original idea of babysitting. That's right: babysitting. What else would a couple in their late twenties with no children offer?

I did consider other talents and services I had to auction, like doing dishes, or Mr. M.'s piano-playing skills, but I want to make sure that the youth actually get some bids on our entry. And what could be more valuable than babysitting to a room full of families with little kiddos?

Of course, I actually do enjoy babysitting. I do it on the side for some families in the community (and they pay me more per hour than my office job). But the whole fact that I can easily offer this service is kind of disheartening. Ideally, I would be the one bidding on the babysitting. If things worked out according to my plan, I would be clamoring to get the chili done while being interrupted by a screaming toddler and infant. Instead, I will be struggling to get chili done because (a) I'm a chili expert with only six days of experience, and (b) I bought Netflix last month.

I suppose either way you look at it, I'm still going to be struggling over the chili--and all for the sake of a whoopee cushion.

The Beginning of Longing

Christmas Break, December 2008

Perhaps it wasn't just one moment. Perhaps it really was a longing that lived inside of me forever, and then when it didn't happen, I noticed it. Kind of like how you don't realize how much you need electricity until it completely goes out while blow-drying your hair in preparation for a job interview in 20 minutes. Only this is much more serious. And much, much more painful. 

Over Christmas break 2008, I recall writing New Year's resolutions with Mr. M.'s family. I wrote my list and put it into a tin with everyone else's. However, when I got home, I added one final, most important resolution, a resolution I wanted to put in writing, but didn't wan't our families to know about: Plan for a baby.

I suppose I was successful. I did plan for a baby. We planned for a baby, and years later, we are still planning. Now the planning, however, is more of a longing. A longing which may have been placed in writing December 31, 2008 but it was present much earlier---and how much earlier, I may never know. Nor do I need to.