Thursday, April 20, 2017

I miss

I love spring.  Everything wakes up.  Things start anew.  The sun comes out of hiding.  I start spending a lot of time outside.  My soul is recharged in so many ways.

But there are things about spring that amplify what I'm missing out on thanks to infertility.  Soccer, for example.

One of the things I most looked forward to about parenting was sharing our love of sports with our kids.  There are few things, in my opinion, cuter than a swarm of four and five year olds chasing after a soccer ball, everyone cheering when a goal is scored, no matter which team scores or whether or not it was in the correct goal.  The pure joy of sport.

Had things worked out differently, this is probably the first year that our kids would have been old enough to participate.

But we don't have kids.  So there will be no soccer games.

And I miss it.


Sunday, April 2, 2017

Sometimes I'm firing on all cyllinders

I have a warranty on my engagement and wedding rings that requires them to be inspected twice per year.  Yesterday I knew I'd be near the store, so I decided to pop in for the inspection and get it out of the way.  Not a big deal, usually in and out in under 10 minutes.

Upon entering the store, the following conversation ensued:

Me: Hi, I'm here for a warranty inspection on my rings.

I hand my rings to the saleswoman and she looks up the warranty information on the computer.

Salesperson 1: I'll get these inspected and back to you in a few minutes.

Meanwhile I'm just sort of wandering around the store (because what else is there to do in a small jewelry store?).  I see a second salesperson approaching me.

Salesperson 2: There's still time to order a custom mother's ring and have it here in time for Mother's Day!  You could pick out exactly what you want and take the paperwork home to your husband so he can order it.  Then the kids could surprise you with it on Mother's Day.

At this point, I'm thinking that it's April freaking first, like six weeks from Mother's Day.  What gives?  I decided to educate (with a little bit of snark thrown in for good measure).

Me: Actually, Mother's Day doesn't apply to me so I won't need a mother's ring.  Do you have any special promotions going on for National Infertility Awareness Week?  It's coming up soon and applies to me.

Salesperson 2 looks at me like I have three heads and was completely speechless.  I continue.

Me: Considering one in every seven couples struggles with infertility, it would be genius from a marketing standpoint.  Nothing says "it sucks that we're having trouble making a small human" quite like a diamond necklace.

Salesperson 2 is still speechless when Salesperson 1 returns with my rings.  I thank them both and leave the store.  I quite enjoyed the awkward silence.

Sales is difficult, I get that.  Their whole job is to sell things to people.  If they don't sell things they don't get their commission, they have bills to pay, and that's pretty darn motivating to sell things.  But it's not ok to assume that every thirty-something woman that wanders into a jewelry store is a mother. Maybe she is a mother.  Or maybe she is trying like hell to be one.  Or maybe she wants to be a mother so bad they can taste it, but hasn't found a suitable partner.  Or maybe she has already closed the door on motherhood and is moving on. Or maybe she lost a child. Or maybe she have no desire to be a mother.  I really hope that my response made her think twice before deploying the "mother's ring" sales strategy to the next thirty-something female who walked in.

Luckily I was in a good headspace on Saturday afternoon and my reaction was one of "are you kidding me" as opposed to her words being painful.  A few years ago I don't think I would have handled it so well (or with so much sarcasm).

Friday, March 31, 2017

There is no need to be condescending

Earlier this week I attended a retirement reception for a colleague.  I don't know the woman well, but the reception was right across the hall from my office, there was food, and I forgot to pack my lunch. It was a good time chatting with people that I don't see that often.

It was all fine and good until she started giving her speech.  She's retiring because her daughter is expecting her first grandchild and she wants to spend time with the baby.  Groan.  Ok.  Whatever. Good for her.  I wish her the best, I honestly do.  I thought I was a few years out from dealing with granzillas, so the irony is not lost on me.  But hey, at least she's retiring, so I won't have to be around the baby talk.

But the retirement reception just provided the setting for the part I want to write about.  I want to write about is what happened as people were mingling.  I found out that a colleague is leaving in May.  I knew that, while she loved her job, she also longed to be closer to family, and apparently she's found a position that will allow her to do something she's excited about and be closer to family.  She and her husband also have two kids under three, and I know that was part of the reason for the move too.  While I will miss her, I understand wanting to move closer to your support system.

But that brings me to a conversation with a different colleague who felt the need to tell me (twice) that raising young children is a really difficult phase of life.  I know it wasn't meant to be condescending, but it was.  I don't have kids, that's no secret, but I am a reasonably intelligent person who can look at a situation and understand the difficulty in it.  Not on a personal experience level, but still.  I've never climbed Mt. Everest either, and I'm quite confident that it's pretty darn difficult too.  I'm not going to lie, it hurt a little bit.  It sort of felt like I was in that all to familiar position of "less than."

The person who said it gets a bit of a pass.  She's normally quite sensitive and someone who I can count on to be an ally.  But it still hurt, and it's ok for me to acknowledge that.  Next time I hope I'm not caught off guard and can come up with a witty response.

It gets less hard as time passes, but there will always be curveballs.


Thursday, March 9, 2017

Struggle bus

With as much as I don't want to admit it, I've been struggling a bit.  As it turns out, my grandpa's death combined with the birthdays of three nieces and a nephew in a 3.5 week period is a lot to handle.  Or at least it was for me this year.  The anniversary of finding out we'd never have children (March 7th) stung a lot too.  Oh, and I had a random crying episode in a store today for the first time in a long time.

I try really hard to keep my shit together.  Or at least to appear like I have my shit together.  But right now I'm struggling.  I had been doing so well.  Right now I feel like I'm right back to where I was a year ago.

This is grief.  It's not pretty.  It's not always logical.  It always sucks.  But I always get through it.


Monday, February 20, 2017

Sigh

Sigh.

My nephew's first birthday was on Valentine's Day.  His birthday party was over the weekend.

I didn't go to the party.  But I did see pictures.  He was adorable.  The party looked like fun.

I didn't think it was going to bother me.  But it did.  And it still is.

In many ways it gets easier as time passes.  But in many ways the kids around me that I love are a reminder of what might have been.  Tonight it's the latter.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Ouch!

A person at work bounded into my office this morning and exclaimed "I have the best video to show you."  It's not that uncommon for this person to do something like this and we share a mutual love for dogs, so I assumed it was something dog related.

Nope.

The video was of her daughter's ultrasound.

Her daughter is an only child.  This will be her first grandchild.  She's excited.  It's special to see the baby and hear the heartbeat for the first time.  I get it.  She should be excited.

But damn.

I know she didn't mean to hurt me.  I know that she wouldn't have shown me if she thought it would.

I held it together until she left.  Then I had a little cry.  Then I went about the rest of my day.

I'm doing really well most of the time.  My good days outnumber the bad, probably 10 to 1, or maybe even a bit better.  But I can't do ultrasounds.  Especially not when ambushed with one.  Maybe it will always be this way and maybe it won't.  And that's ok.

Friday, February 3, 2017

Hodgepodge

I have so many things I want to write about, but right now I'm lacking in both cognitive capacity to put words on paper in a cohesive and coherent manner as well as the time to do so.

Lately, most of my writing time and energy has been devoted to writing or calling my elected officials to voice my concerns about, well, pretty much everything the president has done, is trying to do, or has plans to do.  I doubt it matters much, but it makes me feel like I'm doing something.

The reaction to my last post has been overwhelming.  While definitely not my most commented on post, in 2.5 years of blogging, it is the most viewed post that I've published.  I interpret that to mean that it struck a chord or at least made people think.  And I really hope that I didn't piss anybody off. Privilege is a hard thing to think about, acknowledge, and write about, and I'm thankful to have this space to do it (even if it isn't remotely related to my usual topics).

I'm also still in the midst of the wonky cycle that I mentioned earlier in January.  So, just in general, I'm still feeling pretty crappy, and am really close to surpassing my longest cycle record.  I'm still hitting it pretty hard at the gym, I'm down a few pounds, and I'm starting to see the physical changes in my appearance, which is both positive and motivating.

My nephew's first birthday and birthday party are rapidly approaching.  Much like her baby shower, my sister wants me to put my feelings aside and attend.  I've already thanked her for the invitation and declined, but she's having a hard time accepting my decision as final.  I got a bit blunt with her yesterday after she tried the guilt trip route, so hopefully that will put an end to it.  Even putting all of the difficult feelings about babies and birthday parties aside, it's not practical to go, because I have two nieces and two nephews who all have birthdays that fall in a span of 4 weeks.  It's not fair to just go to one or two parties and it's not possible to go to all four.

Finally, my grandpa passed away in his sleep on Wednesday morning.  I'm thankful that I got to make two trips to see him in January, and mostly I'm thankful that he's no longer suffering.  It's hard to watch someone slowly die, but at least he is at peace now.  It's a weird feeling to know that he's no longer here.  Thankfully the family seems to be mostly well behaved and is rallying around my grandma, so that's good.

I guess there's not much else that I can really say.  Despite everything I mentioned above, I'm actually doing pretty well.  Thanks for still reading along even though I haven't been doing a very good job at writing or commenting on your blogs lately.