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Sunday, July 20, 2008

Getting a Few Things Off My Chest

During the last several years of dealing with infertility I guess you could say I've developed a few pet peeves. I'm sure these things came out of people's mouths before I tried to have children but had absolutely no effect on me back then. I thought about putting these in a post called "What Not to Say - Part 2" but I realized that they are more like little things that get under my skin personally. They're not necessarily hurtful things to say. I simply find them utterly silly.

First up is when people brag about conception. Honestly I don't have anyone particular in mind as I write this, probably because it has happened so many times! I don't know what would possess anyone to do this, but often when I tell people about my problem they want to say something like, "Well, we never had trouble having our kids," or "Wow, my wife got pregnant the very first time we tried."

I hope I never see a playback of the face I must make when I hear this. I probably look about as confused as if they had just grown a second head that started speaking to me. I want to ask if they've discovered some special skill that I've never heard of for making babies. The last time I checked, it's still the same method that has always been around! Usually what it tells me is that they haven't quite listened to what I've just said. You see, I almost always explain the specifics of our situation if I'm in a conversation with someone on the topic. I make it clear that my issue is with recurrent miscarriage. That means that we, too, do not have trouble conceiving. Either way, I don't see how it matters. I certainly don't think it qualifies for bragging rights. It's great that not everyone has trouble having babies. But our bodies were designed to procreate. No special talent is required. Animals figure it out with no instructions from us!

Admittedly, this is probably not my most edifying post. I usually try not to let my claws come out, but I really just don't get it. It's so strange to me. It's a little like hearing, "Oh, you have trouble with that? Well, it's a piece of cake for us. But good luck with that."

Ok, one more to go! This one isn't as bad, but it still leaves me standing there with a big question mark over my head. Sometimes I'll have a friend who is expecting ask me to pray that they get the gender they're hoping for. I never know how to react. I usually just smile and nod. But a part of me is thinking "I don't think I can do that." Honestly, it's not that I don't want that friend to be happy and have everything they desire. I just really struggle with this one. Maybe it's because I feel they should be happy with the boy or girl that God chooses to give them in His infinite wisdom. That being said, I do, of course, think it's normal for expectant parents to lean toward wanting a particular gender. Nevermind that their baby already either has XX chromosomes or XY, and I'm pretty sure that my prayer won't change their baby from a boy to a girl. I'm content that God already made that choice for them when He designed that baby.

The other part of this is that I think it's insensitive for them to ask a person who would love to be carrying a boy or a girl to help them out with their Wish List for God. I would never presume to tell someone how they should pray but I'm just not comfortable with this.

I think that's the end of my soap box for today. Neither of these things happened in the past week, by the way. They've just been on my mind. It's totally ok if you disagree (but expect to be blogged about later.)

Just kidding. (Or am I?)

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Escape

I have a confession. I'm not sure why I feel the need to start this post that way. I'm not quite convinced whether what I do is good or bad (or neither). The confession is: I like to escape.

I'm not like the runaway bride or anything. I just love getting completely lost in a novel or a movie. I'm guessing this isn't a rare condition. It's pretty clear that I'm not supporting the movie industry all by myself! People like to imagine they're part of an epic adventure or an amazing love story. I like that too, but usually I'm seeking refuge. I find comfort in the pages of a book. For a few hours I can forget about my problems and read about somebody else's life. I've been doing this for years and years, even before infertility became a part of my life. When I was growing up we barely had enough money to get by. When I was 7 years old, my mom finally divorced my dad after too many years of his drinking, cheating, and abuse. Even after she married my step dad things always felt pretty unstable at home. Books were my great escape.

These days I find it has become even more therapeutic. Sometimes it's a bit more literal and I actually get to escape in the form of a vacation. That, for me, is the ultimate freedom. Because we rarely traveled when I was younger, I feel like I have a lot of catching up to do. There's so much I want to see! After our third miscarriage my husband quickly planned a week-long trip to New England for the two of us. We hadn't had a real, get-on-a-plane vacation since our honeymoon. It was fantastic! It was October and nature's colors were at their best. We drove all over Vermont, New Hampshire, and Southern Maine. Needless to say, I was hooked. I got the travel bug.

Two years later we took a trip that fulfilled two dreams for me. We went to Nova Scotia, Canada to see the original Acadia. I had been researching my Cajun roots and felt such a strong desire to go there. On that same trip we traveled to Prince Edward Island and saw author L.M. Montgomery's beloved homeland that inspired Anne of Green Gables. I'd always dreamed of going there after watching that program on PBS when I was a young teenager. It was everything I hoped it would be.

Last year the hubby and I took advantage of a couple of business trips and turned them into vacations. We had a wonderful time in Washington, D.C. in the summer, and by the time the year was over we'd been to both coasts with trips to California and Florida. There are still lots of places on my list but I'm so happy to have seen those beautiful places. I've been in awe each time.

Of course, there's always the trip back home. The unpacking. The last page of a great read. The end credits of an awesome movie. Back to reality and back to those problems that made me want to run in the first place. They haven't disappeared, but I feel refreshed. Escaping reminds me that the world is a big place and there's so much more out there than what I can see right now.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Nesting

I've noticed that most of my posts are written on Tuesdays. Hmm, I never realized that I wake up feeling more insightful on any particular day.

At any rate, lately I've been thinking about "nesting," the urge that many pregnant women have to start cleaning and organizing the house to get ready for baby.

It has been about seven years since I started trying to have a baby. I guess I should have a very big and orderly nest by now! I do generally keep the house pretty clean and organized, but I have found myself doing some nesting over the years. With the first few pregnancies I bought several books and even a few cute baby outfits that I just couldn't pass up. I feel like so much time has passed since then that the books may be out of print and the clothes out of style. I used to have the books out in a basket for easy reading, and the clothes all hanging neatly in the closet on their cute little hangers. A little while back, though, I boxed up all of that stuff and put it on a shelf. Not because I'd lost the desire to have a baby but because it was too hard to see it all there just waiting and not getting used. I guess I was almost afraid of turning into Miss Havisham from Dickens' Great Expectations, who stopped all the clocks in her house and forever wore her wedding dress after being left at the altar. I don't want to have a nursery set up just yet. I'm afraid it will just remind me of past hurts and failures.

As the years have passed I've found some other unusual ways to nest. Back in 2005 I had my wisdom teeth pulled. I'd been putting it off for several years and it was one of those things I thought would be good to take care of before I became a mom. Likewise, two months ago I finally had LASIK eye surgery. It has been great! I can't believe I don't have to deal with my contacts anymore. I'd been considering it for years. I must admit that part of my reason for going ahead with it was that it will be nice to be able to see when I have to wake up and take care of a baby.

Don't worry, I'm not going to go surgery crazy! I think I'm done for a while (unless I decide to go ahead with that professional teeth whitening I always daydream about). But I think in some ways it helps. I like the feeling that at least I've gotten some things accomplished during this waiting period. Too bad I've forgotten how to crochet.