Sunday, June 28, 2015

A little bit of random

Since Father's Day I've been feeling a bit down in the dumps.  I haven't been sleeping well (again) so I know that is part of it,  The weather has rainy and dreary too so that's probably part of it too.  Otherwise I don't really know the cause.  I'm sure I'll snap out of it soon though.  It's weird...I'll go through a really good stretch and then boom, out of nowhere comes a down phase.  Ugh.


I went back to the dentist to get my fillings and did't get any family planning advice.  I did get asked if there was any chance I was pregnant, but I understand that since they did need to give me novocaine.  It took about an hour and then I got to go to work.  My half-numb face and slurred speech were fun in my afternoon meetings.  It's good that I can laugh at myself.


The Supreme Court of the United States came down with a ruling on Friday that effectively legalized same sex marriage and overturned all state bans or constitutional amendments preventing it.  I am pro equality and pro civil rights and this was long overdue, in my opinion.  A very happy day indeed!

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Well that came out of nowhere....

I handled Mother's day pretty well, both the lead up to it and the actual day.  Father's day, apparently not so much.  It all started earlier this week when I went to watch a news clip and this gem was the commercial before the clip.  I watched about two seconds before realizing what it was and closing that window, but the damage was done.  TV commercials, news coverage, all of it.  It hit me hard.  I cried myself to sleep last night.*

Hubs?  He was fine with it.  Excited, actually.  Why?  Because there were father's day sales on tools.  He said something along the lines of "it's not like they make you show up with your kids to prove you're a father, so I'm taking advantage of their stupidity to get some good deals."  He didn't actually buy anything because nothing he wanted/needed was on sale, but I did like his attitude.

Our infertility is my fault**.  My body is broken.  He's fine.  Great, actually.  We can't have kids because of me.  Guilt.  Shame.  Not being good enough.  Ugly feelings.  If he were with any other woman he would have had kids.

And the stupid commercial...I'll never get to surprise him.  I'll never get to tell him that he's going to be a dad.  I'll never get to see the look on his face.  It sucks.

I think that mother's day wasn't quite as hard for me since I've accepted that I can't have kids.  But father's day was much harder because I haven't accepted that hubs can't have kids because of me.  Sounds weird, but that's what I came up with.

Hubs is a saint.  He's told me more than once that he'd prefer to spend the rest of his life with me and no kids as opposed to with someone else and a litter of kids.  And I know he means it.  I just wish I could get over this mental hurdle.  He is.

But I know everything will be ok.  On the weekends when we don't usually have a schedule and can sleep in for a bit, we lay in bed, not quite asleep, but not awake either and just cuddle.  I wouldn't want to be anyplace else.  I know he wouldn't want to be anyplace else other.  It's in those quiet moments that I know I'm not alone in this.  It's in those moments I know where he'll always be there.  Sometimes words aren't needed.  He would have been a great dad, but an amazing husband is a pretty great consolation prize.

*Damn period
**In my heart I know that there is no blame to be assigned, that it's just a random, crappy thing that happened.  I know it's not my fault, but sometimes it feels that way.  Right now is one of those times.


My heart is in Charleston tonight.  Nine families lost loved ones on Thursday because of hatred.   Because some asshole decided to go and kill a bunch of people because he didn't like the color of their skin.  After they welcomed him with open arms.  I just don't understand.  This madness has got to stop.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Family planning advice from the dentist?

I went to the dentist today to have my teeth cleaned.  I have one cavity and one filling that's chipped and needs replaced.  I like the practice I go to, it's a father and son who are both dentists and a small staff.  The hygienist who cleans my teeth is really great.  Well actually she's a bit annoying but we talk about dogs and she asks me about my job and such.  She talks about her kids, but just in a conversational, in passing sort of way, not in a way that bothers me.  She's never asked me if we have kids.  The first couple of times I went to the office I saw the son dentist (who is my age and has like four kids), and on about the third visit, a couple of weeks after we got the infertility diagnosis, he casually asked how the kids were.  That didn't go well.  I figured they put a "for the love of god don't ask her about kids" sort of note in my file.  Apparently not.

Today I saw the dad dentist who I've seen a couple of times (I have bad teeth....) after the hygienist was done with the cleaning.  Everything was going fine until he asked if I had any kids.  I said "No.  We can't have kids."  Rather than taking the hint and changing the topic, he suggested that my husband and I look into natural family planning because it helped him and his wife to avoid pregnancy when they wanted to and get pregnant when they wanted to.  To which I replied that I was really glad that it worked for them and then asked the hygienist something about her dog.

There are many things wrong with and awkward about this interaction, but I'm choosing not to focus on those.  I'm sort of used to unsolicited fertility advice at this point.  The thing is that I'm used to unsolicited advice from women and not men.  Usually when men ask if we have kids and I say no the conversation moves on.  They don't usually offer family planning advice.  It was odd.  I'm sure there was no malice intended and he just wanted to share something that worked for him and his wife but that's just the thing.  So many assumptions were made with no consideration whatsoever about the impact of his words or how they would be received.

I was having a good day today so I was able to shake it off but on a different day it might not have been so easy.


I got my period today.  My first official post-IUD period.  I got the IUD on March 17th, spotted for 71 consecutive days (yes, I counted) which included a month of medication to make it stop, had a week off, started spotting again for a week, and woke up today to my period.  I hope this means that things are normalized and even more I'm hoping the bleeding will actually stop this time.  I was thinking about periods and realized that three months of near continuous bleeding is merely an annoyance compared to my non-IUD periods (a friend was flabbergasted when I told her that).  Also, starting my period today explains my lack of sleep over the past couple of days.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Hair and confidence

I've always had super straight hair that's been nearly impossible to do anything with.  It's never held a curl or a perm, much to my disdain as an 80s child who really wanted big bangs!  To that end, I've also always had some serious curly hair envy.  So imagine my surprise when I noticed my hair started to get a bit of a wave to it last fall.  It wasn't super noticeable unless my hair was wet/damp, but it was definitely there, but then fall turned to winter and since I live in a winter weather climate, it's not advisable to run around with wet hair when it's cold.  So I sort of forgot about it.  Then this spring, once the school year was over and I had the flexibility in my schedule to let my hair air dry, I noticed it again.  Over the weekend I got about five inches of hair cut of and low and behold as soon as that extra weight came off there was definitely a noticeable wave.  So I decided to embrace it, and I really like it.  I just put some curl cream in it, scrunch it a little bit, and let it air dry.  It looks a little bit messy, but it's fun.  I went to work today for the first time with my newfound wavy hair and got so many complements.  So I think I'll keep it, at least for a little while.

This hairstyle also has the added advantage of not using a blow dryer.  Considering our temperatures and humidity have been abnormally high over the past week, this is more than welcome.

Why is my hair turning wavy?  I have no idea!  I'm blaming it on peri-menopause.  Why?  Because why not.  Seriously though, I wish I knew why my hair is turning wavy, because I would market it and become rich!

This whole hair thing has made me realize that I'm starting to get my confidence and sense of adventure back.  The last couple of years have been mainly about playing it safe and closing myself off in order to protect myself.  I didn't realize how much I missed this part of me and I'm glad that it seems to be coming back.

Friday, June 12, 2015


Yesterday was my birthday.  My 34th birthday to be exact.  I've never been big on celebrating birthdays, particularly the last couple of years since they served as a painful reminder of what I didn't have.  But 34 is different.  Gone are the birthdays of thinking, wishing, hoping, that I'll have a baby or at least be pregnant by my next birthday.  That's not going to happen.  So my wish for my 34th year is health and happiness, new experiences, and growing as a person. It's going to be an awesome year!

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Ever Upward Review

A couple of weeks ago I discovered Ever Upward, a blog written by Justine Brooks Froelker.  Justine also wrote a book by the same title.  It can be purchased on Amazon (Kindle or paperback) or directly from her website.  I was initially going to buy the Kindle edition but when ended up purchasing directly since part of the proceeds are donated to charity, and charity is always something I can get behind.  Plus, it's signed, and it's always cool to see someone else's handwriting!  The book arrived on Monday, which was pretty perfect timing because I finished reading the Ever Upward blog on Sunday evening.  The plan was to save the book for later in the week, but I ended up reading the entire book on Monday night (thank you, insomnia!).

With the exception of a whole lot of heartbreak along the way and the end result being the same, my story and Justine's story aren't that similar.  But that's ok!  Heartbreak is heartbreak.  Hard is hard.  It's not healthy or worthwhile to compare, but it is important to own our stories without shame.  I think that stories of other survivors are so important.  Justine puts her story out there almost as if to say "I did this and you can too!"

She devotes a good portion of the book to talking about shame.  Specifically that we don't have any reason to be ashamed.  That we aren't "less than" because we don't have kids.  She also spoke candidly about grief and how it impacted all areas of her life in a raw and honest way that I found to be relatable.  I also loved how she emphasized how we don't need to explain anything to anyone, that we never need to share more than we are comfortable with or justify any of our choices.

The whole book was infused with changes that Justine made in her life resulting in a healthier and happier her.  Some of those things I can really get behind and think I'll try to implement in my own life, such as a nighttime routine (because I think we can all agree that I need more sleep!) and monthly dates with my husband to cultivate a strong relationship.  Other things made my inner skeptic wary, but she is also quick to point out that the things she writes about are things that benefited her and that they weren't recommendations.  And they work for her, so I shouldn't discount things that I haven't tried.  :)

Justine talks openly about viewing herself as a parent and about her chosen children.  I absolutely love that she has children that mean so much to her in her life and has found ways to fulfill her parental desires.  Whenever I read a book like this, I always try to find some take aways for my own life, and this was one part of Ever Upward that I really struggled with.  I don't view myself as a parent.  I view myself as someone who wanted to be a parent really bad and who it didn't work out for.  And honestly, at least right now, being around the children of others ranges from uncomfortable to downright painful reminders of what I'll never have.  Maybe this will come with time and healing? I hope!  But her story does give me hope for this area of my life.

Ever Upward is a book about thriving after infertility.  It's a memoir, Justine telling her story, and was written from the heart.  It's one of the more authentic and brave books that I've read in quite a while.  It's an account of lessons learned urges the reader to become healthier, happier, and rediscover themselves.  It's an important and needed book.  All in all, I loved Ever Upward.  I can honestly see myself re-reading it a couple of times.


Hubs and I are very different and excel at different things.  As a result we both have different household responsibilities that play into our strengths.  For example, he's not allowed anywhere near the washing machine (expensive story that I can laugh, and anything that requires meticulous attention to detail is something that he handles.  He deals with all of our household finances, all I have to do is give him all receipts and tell him about any online purchases.  He's really good at this particular task to the extent that he checks all of our accounts on a near daily basis for accuracy.  He says it's being diligent, I say it's being OCD, but whatever.  It's a huge stress removed from my life so he can do it however he wishes.  So anyway, I ordered Ever Upward last Wednesday night after he went to bed and forgot to leave him a note telling him about the charge.  He left for work before I got out of bed on Thursday morning and he got home from work before I did.  When I got home I heard him on the phone so I tried to be quiet.  Then I overhear: "I'm calling to report a suspicious charge on my credit card in the amount of $17.99."  I nearly broke my ankle as I sprinted (and tripped) up the stairs to let him know that I bought a book and it was me that made the charge.  Then he had to explain to the fraud guy that it wasn't fraud that his wife just made a purchase and didn't bother to tell him (to which the fraud guy assured him that he's taken many similar phone calls of this nature).  Oops.  I think it's funny.....hubs, not so much.  Never a dull moment...

Sunday, June 7, 2015

The weekend

We did it.  We drove over to meet our new niece.  We also got to see her two big sisters, our niece born in February, and her big brother.  Five kids.  It all came down to scheduling.  It was either this weekend or not until the second weekend of July because we have weekend plans until then.

It wasn't hard.  There wasn't a sense of dread as we drove over.  There were no tears while we were there.  No one made any jerk comments.  It wasn't nearly as hard as it was when we survived meeting the niece born in February.

She's so tiny.  She has a ton of hair, to the point where her little sideburns curl into her ears.  The joke was that she has more hair than hubs (totally true!).  She has big feet and long fingers and toes.  I got to hold her a lot.  She seems to be a really content baby.  She doesn't really do much, but it is my understanding that babies of this age don't (I've never really been a baby person and thanks to infertility I never really had the occasion to learn).  Silly as this sounds I had a little moment when she opened her eyes and looked up at me and I saw her eye lashes-one of those "I'm never going to look into my own baby's eyes" sort of moments.

February niece is growing like a weed.  She turned four months old today.  She's a hoot!  A really happy baby.  Huge smile.  The most adorable laugh.  I can't believe how big she is.  I think she'll be sitting up by herself the next time we see her.

I took the cutest picture of hubs with one baby in each arm.  He might never get to be a dad, but he certainly rocks the uncle role.

At one point all five kids were congregated around me, all trying to sit on my lap.  Somebody snapped a picture.  I thought it was so cute that I put it on Facebook.  The best comment was: "Looks like you need a bigger lap!"  I loved that comment.

I don't know why it was so much easier this time.  Part of me feels a lot of guilt because of it.  But I'm going to try not to dwell on that and just go with it from this point forward, loving all of them as much as I can.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

I'm ok

Today was better than yesterday, yesterday was much better than Monday.  Monday night was just plain rough.  I was fine until I wasn't fine, and then it was ugly.  The previous post was written at the low point.

Appreciation does not begin to capture my gratitude for all of those who reached out to me in the comments of my last post and/or by email.  I am so thankful to be part of a community where people understand.  Seriously, thank you all!

My sister and niece came home from the hospital this afternoon.  Everyone is doing well.  I'm not sure when we will drive over and meet her.  Part of me wants to go over ASAP and hold her and kiss her and look into her beautiful eyes and tell her that I love her..  The other part of me wants to run in the opposite direction.

I look at pictures of my new niece and am absolutely captivated by this tiny human.  I'm surprised by this.  I couldn't look at pictures of my niece born in February without crying for several weeks.

She has huge feet and long, skinny toes and fingers.  She has my sister's nose.  Her daddy's cheeks.  Bright blue eyes.  Chubby legs.  She sent me a picture of my three month old and three day old nieces laying beside one another.  It's amazing how fast they grow and change.

I feel a little of the all too familiar gut punch of looking at a baby with a sense of wonder while processing that I'm never going to have my own baby to marvel over.  I know it will pass.  Maybe this is something I will feel always when I see a new baby?

Monday, June 1, 2015

I have (another) new niece

She was born around 2 this afternoon.  She has a head full of dark, curly hair.  Healthy.  Perfect.  Mom and dad and baby are doing great.  Her big sisters are enamored.

Me?  I'm feeling fragile.

I'm feeling all of the ugly feelings.

It's not fair.

Why does she get three and I get zero?


What did I do to deserve this?

It's not fucking fair.

How do three unplanned pregnancies happen?

Even though the logical part of my brain understands that fertility is completely random and her apparent surplus of fertility has absolutely no bearing whatsoever on my asshat ovaries and their inability to function as intended, right now it feels that way.  It feels like her success is laughing at my failure.

I get tonight to feel sorry for myself.  I get tonight to drink (a lot of) wine and cry.  Tomorrow is a new day.  I will be nicer to me.

On the bright side, I don't have anymore pregnant sisters (at least that I know of).

Tomorrow will be better.  So will the next day and the next day and the next day.

May reading

One of my resolutions for 2015 was to read at least two books (non work related) a month.  I've done pretty well so far: four books in January, almost two books and some comic books in February, two books in March, and two books in April.  Here is what I read in May:

The Abomination by Jonathan Holt.  This was a really good mystery novel!  It took place in and around Venice for the most part, but also briefly took place in Slovenia (home of Klara).  It has murder, war crimes, the US military, romance, and surprise, politics, suspense...all elements of a great mystery novel.  This isn't a difficult read, I read the whole thing in three days or so, but it was really engaging and made me not want to put it down.  Apparently The Abomination is part of a trilogy and I'd like to read the other two books at some point, though I'll probably wait until they are in the library or in paperback because I'm cheap.

TransAtlantic by Colum McCann.  I picked this one because the description on the jacket seemed right up my alley (historical fiction).  I'm honestly not sure why this book is rated so well on Amazon.  I think the author's intent was to weave a bunch of short stories together to tell a larger story of a whole family.  To me it just seemed to jump around a lot and had multiple characters and events that didn't really seem to go together and at times just felt like rambling.  I'm glad I stuck it out and finished the book, but it really wasn't good at all.

In Zanesville by Jo Ann Beard.  I'll be honest, I picked this book up for one reason, I'm very well acquainted with a small town called Zanesville.  As it turns out the book didn't take place in the town that I know and love, and it just went downhill from there.  This book didn't do it for me, though most of the reviews on Amazon see to be positive.

Descent by Tim Johnston.  This was another mystery/thriller book.  I loved the author's writing style.  He wrote in a why that I could really visualize the story, characters, and surroundings.  That being said, it felt like some parts were too long and not enough attention was paid to other parts.  All in all it was a good book, and it reeled me in and had me hooked early in the book.  If I were giving it stars, I'd probably give it 4/5.

I was able to read a bit more than usual this month thanks to taking two weeks off of work.  This month brought one book I loved, one that was ok, and two that I didn't really like.  If I count correctly, my 2015 book tally now stands at 13.75.  I'm pretty impressed that I've managed to keep it up.  :)