Wednesday, December 30, 2015

A few odds and ends

  •  I overheard a conversation at a coffee shop where three middle aged women were talking about grandkids.  Apparently one has "a real bitch" of a daughter in law because she "hasn't given her any grandkids yet" after three years of marriage.  I practically bit my tongue off and maxed out my shut-up filter to not stand up to that vile woman on behalf of her daughter-in-law.  Because 1) her son and daughter-in-law's reproductive plans are none of her business and 2) how does she know that they aren't already trying and having trouble.
  • Being that my shut-up filter was already maxed out, I was in no mood to listen politely to the pro-life coalition (or some crap like that) lady when she approached my table with religious literature and started her speech.  So we had a nice conversation about women's rights and how if she wanted to use her religion as a guide for medical decisions for herself, that's fine, but she shouldn't use it as a justification to judge other people for their choices.  I did most of the talking and by the time I was done with her she didn't know whether she was coming or going.  The look on her face really was priceless and I think that she realized that whatever speech she had prepared or "facts" on her flyer were not likely to convince me to switch over to her position.  
  • My dog had to have a tooth pulled on Monday.  I was a nervous wreck the whole time I knew that he was in surgery.  It's ridiculous how stressed out that I was about the whole thing.  He's doing great now, other than having an upset stomach from his antibiotic, which is making my already terrible sleep even worse.
  • My sister hasn't mentioned the whole gender reveal thing again.  Maybe she realized her poor timing. Unlikely, but one can hope.
  • On a related note, I only have seven weeks (plus or minus a bit) left of having at least one pregnant sister.  To say that it's been a long 20 (and counting) months is an understatement.  
  • Our weather has been unseasonably warm which means that my seasonal allergies, which I usually get a respite from during the winter, have lingered longer than usual.  I'm beginning to wonder what it feels like to not be congested.  Thankfully it's supposed to get colder this weekend.  
  • I finally decided that after nearly four years of living in this city that I needed to find a GP.  After wading through the insurance website's list of doctors that were accepting new patients (which was not user friendly) I found one that met my criteria and scheduled an appointment.  My appointment is next Wednesday.  I have no idea why this appointment is causing me anxiety.  Probably because the last time I tried to find a new GP to start the infertility referral process, I walked in and she was visibly pregnant, which made a conversation about trouble getting pregnant super awkward.

Sunday, December 27, 2015


I never did truly get in the Christmas spirit, but it turned out to be a nice, quiet Christmas anyway, which was exactly what we wanted and needed.  If nothing else, it was a great excuse to cook an awesome meal and share a bottle of wine.  Plus, any day involving presents, the Die Hard movies (my favorite Christmas movies), and spending a whole day with hubs and few distractions can't be completely bad.

There was a minor kick to the uterus when my sister decided that she would do a gender reveal as her gift to the family (when did gender reveals become such a big deal anyway?).  But thankfully I found out via text and didn't have to fake excitement over the phone.  To be clear, I am really excited for her, I just would have preferred to not be reminded of her pregnancy on Christmas day. 

Christmas 2015 won't go down in the record books as amazing.  Nor will it go down as terrible.  But hey, after the last few Christmases being really tough, I'll take it.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

A melancholy Christmas Eve

I want to write something profound or memorable, but I've got nothing.  Nothing I seem to write says what I want it to say.

It's Christmas Eve (at least for another hour or so).  This year I am embracing my melancholy feelings.  I decided that it's unfair to myself to try to force myself to feel cheerful, fall short, and then beat myself up for it.  Even more important than acknowledging that this is how I feel is acknowledging that it's ok to feel this way.  These simple acknowledgements bring me peace, and that's a good thing.

So my Christmas wish for all of you is for peace in your life.  For contentment.  For satisfaction.  I hope that everyone has a good holiday tomorrow and that it isn't hard.  Tomorrow is just one day....we can all get through it. 

Monday, December 21, 2015


Yesterday concluded a whirlwind four weeks in which we attended four family gatherings (three out of state), drove over 1000 miles, concluded the busiest semester that I've ever had, and managed to stay (mostly) sane.  I'm incredibly thankful that we have the ability and means to travel to our families and that hubs and I both have jobs that we love.  But the truth is, we're exhausted and glad that all of our holiday travels are behind us.

I recently wrote about not feeling very Christmassy, and that's still true, but now that all of the busyness of the holiday season is behind us, I can start to focus on spending meaningful quality time with hubs, and doing Christmas our style, the way that we want, on nobody's schedule but our own.  Maybe the Christmas spirit will make an appearance soon?  There's still a few days.....

Last night when we got home I opened a bottle of wine, a gift from a friend, that I'd been saving for a special occasion (four consecutive weekends of family togetherness without a breakdown seemed pretty special), lit a fire, and enjoyed relaxing and being alone with my thoughts.  I've been going in high gear for so long that I desperately needed this quiet.  It was nice for a few minutes.  But sometimes when all is still, when I have a moment to stop and observe my surroundings,  to listen to the quiet, the thoughts I don't like to think and feelings I don't like to feel bubble up to the surface. 

Christmas is never going to be how I once imagined it, and I'm having a really hard time with that today.  Today my heart hurts for unrealized dreams and unmet expectations.  My heart aches for what will never be and I'm angry at the unfairness of it all.  My brain is stuck in the land of "what if?"  What if we'd done things differently?  Would the outcome have been different?

I know I sound like a broken record.

Is it healthy to go to this place?  Probably not.  Is it normal?  Probably.  Do I like it?  Hell no.  Why do I go here?  I don't know.

Today is hard.  Tomorrow will be better. 

Friday, December 18, 2015

An early Christmas present for Hubs

This post does not contain any spoilers about the new Star Wars movie.  People who spoil it for everyone else are jerks.  I am not a jerk.

Hubs is a huge Star Wars fan.  I am not.  Frankly, I find them boring.  But he was so excited about the new movie that I bought us IMAX 3D tickets for opening night and surprised him with them as an early Christmas present.  The showing was last night.  He was like a little kid.  He obsessed over which Star Wars t-shirt he was going to wear (yes, he owns more than one) and then picked out one for me to wear (Darth Vader in a Santa hat).  Once we got to the theater, two hours before movie time,  he totally geeked out in line talking to all of the people about the old movies, predictions for the new movie, etc.  I smiled and nodded politely as I had nothing to add to the conversation (many thanks to infertility for helping me refine this skill!).  The theater was packed and it was probably a good thing that we got there as early as we did or else we may not have been able to sit together.  There were people dressed up like jedis and storm troopers and other characters that I can't even pretend to know who they were or talk about them intellegently, which actually made me feel a bit better about hubs' Star Wars t-shirt collection, and the movie theater management had contests to win free crap.  Everyone was well behaved and the only kids in the theater were kids who were able to appreciate the movie in it's entirety without annoying everyone else, so that was nice too.  It was was actually a lot of fun to be a part of!

He loved the movie and can't wait to see it again.  I didn't hate the movie, which is about as high of praise as you're going to get from me about anything Star Wars related, and I would probably tolerate seeing it again.

Last night was honestly one of those "silver linings of infertility" sort of nights.  We were able to pre-order tickets without worrying about booking a babysitter.  We didn't have to worry about being home by a certain time.  Once we got home we didn't have to put anyone to bed.  We were responsible for ourselves and no one else.  I can't help but think that if we had kids, seeing Star Wars on opening night probably wouldn't have been an option for us.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

I'm not feeling very Christmassy

I'm not feeling very Christmassy this year.  There.  I said it.  I'm not a grinch by any stretch but I'm just not that into it this year.  Maybe it's because we've had an unseasonably warm December?  Our average daily high for the past week or so has been around 60F (15.5C), which means I haven't even been wearing a jacket.  Maybe it's because life has been really busy.  We've been on the road for various family obligations for three consecutive weekends, and have the fourth (and final!) this coming weekend, but at least it's not an overnight trip.  We didn't even get the chance to decorate our tree together this year because we've both been running around like crazy.  Maybe it's because work has been super busy (since August) and I'm just plain exhausted.  Thankfully after Thursday I will be off until January 5th, which is a very much needed break! 

Really I think it's because I had some romanticized notion of the perfect Christmas, and the perfect Christmas included a couple of kids.  But we're not going to have kids.  Ever.  We'll never surprise our kids with the perfect Christmas gift.  Or worry about where in the house that gifts would need to be hidden so that they won't find them before the big day.  I'll never get to teach my kids how to bake cookies and hubs will never get to play legos with them.

I'm not saying that Christmas with just me and hubs (and the dog) can't be awesome.  Or perfect.  It's just not the Christmas that I imagined for so many years. We're starting our own traditions, and they are fun, it's just different than I ever could have imagined.  Eventually we'd like to travel someplace warm (and adults only!) over the holidays but we've decided that this is off the table for as long as our dog is alive (which we hope is at least five more years!) because he's our family and he doesn't deserve to spend Christmas away from us.

Sometimes I wonder if infertility permanently zapped my holiday spirit.  I guess I'm just feeling a bit down today.

So I guess that my question is: Does anybody else get the holiday blues?  What do you do to help yourself snap out of it? 

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

A little bit of catching up

Last year hubs and I started our own tradition of staying at home for Christmas.  Possibly the most challenging part of this is that we feel obligated to spend some time around Christmas with each of our extended families.  Essentially it means that we will be traveling four consecutive weekends between Thanksgiving and Christmas gatherings.  It's not big travel because all of the trips are less than three hours one way, but it still wears on us, and falls at a really busy time of year for me job wise.

Anyway we had Christmas with hubs' parents, brother, sister-in-law, and the kids last weekend.  It was fun, for the most part.  It was nice to see everybody and spend quality time with them, give gifts, and get some gifts too.  Probably the highlight was playing a game of pick up basketball with our 12 year old niece where she beat me badly (and I was actually trying).  I used to be a pretty decent basketball player.... 

Hands down, the worst part was a get together guest that I wasn't expecting.  Remember the friend's baby shower that hubs RSVP'd to without consulting me first?  That couple and their baby were there.  I could tell by the look on hubs' face that he was completely surprised too.  The look can roughly be translated as "oh shit, how's she going to react?"  Hubs brother has a pretty big house so I was able to duck out of conversations revolving around growing, feeding, puking, pooping, sleeping, and the like.  Especially with what happened on Friday and my resulting semi-fragile emotional state, I thought that I handled this little surprise as well as I could.

This coming weekend we'll go and have Christmas with my family, weekend three of four on the road.  I'm looking forward to it.  This will also probably be the last time that I see my pregnant sister while she is still pregnant.  It's been a long 20 (consecutive) months with at least one sister pregnant.  Only two more to go! 


I'm woefully behind on doing my monthly reading posts.  I think that at this point I'll just wait and do a big year end reading post to summarize everything that I read in October, November, and December.


I experienced my first night sweat other night.  Now, I thought I'd been having night sweats for a while.  I've been waking up sweaty at night for a while now and I honestly thought that was night sweats.  I've never been one to sweat profusely so I thought that was it.  Yeah.  Not so much.  I woke up drenched.  My night shirt and the sheets were soaked.  Disgusting.  I literally don't know if I've ever sweat so much in my life.  So far I haven't had a second episode and I won't be disappointed if it doesn't happen again for a while.   I need to write a post about peri-menopause but I can't seem to find the words to say what I want to say.  Or, more specifically, the emotional part of peri-menopause.  The physical part is annoying, but mostly I can deal.  But the emotional part is far harder, and I'm just not sure how to write about that.  It's like infertility is unfair enough, but to go through this crap a decade plus earlier than average is just hard.  It just feels like one more way to make me different from my peer group.  Ugh.


I'm so excited that it's almost Christmas and that I get a few weeks off to catch up on things.  This fall has been crazy.

Friday, December 4, 2015

It's the unexpected things that get me

I know a lot about child safety seats.  Why?  Well because I started buying car seats when my sister was pregnant with my oldest nephew (now 8.5) and have purchased at least one for every niece or nephew since.  My logic back then (and continues to be) that it's a nice gift that will get a lot of use (unlike something stupid, say a wipe warmer) and that all of my sisters are terrible drivers so it serves to reason that I would want my nieces or nephews in a really safe car seat.  Pre-infertility I always enjoyed this task, both researching various safety features, and scoring a good deal.  During and post infertility, not so much.

Back in February and June, when my most recent nieces were born I undertook this task more out of a sense of obligation than out of desire to actually do it.  I did my research and bought them good seats, but there wasn't a sense of joy in giving the gifts.  My newest niece or nephew (gender is unknown, as far as I know, though given that my family does not particularly excel at communication, it may just be unknown to me) is due in February so I figured I'd better get started on car seat research.  But something unexpected happened.  I found that I was actually excited about it and looking forward to buying and giving the car seat.  I even told my sister that I was in charge of doing all of the research and picking it out and if she had an issue with that, I'd just give her a $50 gift card to someplace.  I don't know if you've bought a car seat recently, but they cost substantially more than $50.  Given this prospect she agreed to let me handle it.

So I did my research and narrowed it down to a couple of different choices.  Given the time of year and all of the sales, I decided not to buy one immediately, and just wait to watch the sales.  Enter Cyber Monday.  I found a steal of a deal on a really great car seat, actually one step better than I had picked out, and bought it immediately.  It was delivered to my house on Thursday and I can't wait to give it to my sister (and her husband) the next time I see her. 

I was all prepared to write a blog post about feeling pretty good, how far I've come, and how proud of myself I was.  And I am all of those things.  But then I went to work today.  The first part of the day sailed by and was going great.  Then around lunchtime I started to hear people arriving to the conference room across the hallway from my office.  I didn't think it was a big deal since this happens on a regular basis.  Then I hear someone in the hallway announce that it's for so-in-so's baby shower.  Shit.  I got up and closed my door, despite that my office was already sweltering.  People kept arriving.  Advice in the hallway.  Pregnancy stories overheard.  Gifts.  It was loud and unavoidable.  I tried to convince myself that I could do it and that I had to stay because I had a meeting.  I told myself that I could do it because I didn't know the person who the shower was for or most of the people attending.  I lasted 10 minutes before the damage was done.  I emailed the person I was meeting with and told her I wasn't feeling well (not a complete lie) and had to go home and would she be available on Monday.  I also emailed the secretary to let her know that I was leaving.  The tears held off until I got to the parking garage and by the time I got to my car my emotional state had evolved to sobs.  It was an ugly cry of epic proportions.  In the parking garage.  At my work.  I'm just thankful that nobody walked by and called the police for a safety check or whatever.

It's mostly out of my system now and I'm sitting at home with a big mug of tea and a bowl of soup.  I suspect I'll feel vulnerable for a few days, but I'll be ok.  I'm fortunate to have a job with the flexibility to rearrange my schedule at a moment's notice because I really don't know what I would have done otherwise.

I guess this is a perfect example of being able to handle the things that I expect and can prepare, but having a really difficult time with those unexpected things that swoop in out of nowhere and kick me in the heart (and uterus).

Oh, and I get to spend the weekend with my in-laws. 

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Just when I think that she doesn't get it at all.... mom posts this article on Facebook.  While we have a mostly good relationship, it isn't exactly one that is close, and really she hasn't given many indications that she's trying to understand what I'm going through.  But this shows that maybe she's trying to get it.

It was subtle, just shared without any explanation, but she shared it, and that means something to me.  I'm also thankful that she didn't mention or tag me and hubs in it, not because I mind people knowing, but because it's not her role to share (though she's violated this trust before).

Granted, her next post was something about spoiling her grandkids, but whatever.  Baby steps.