Friday, November 30, 2007

The world doesn't need another stirrup queen!

Last January, we got a call right after New Year’s that hubby’s sister and her husband were expecting. It was the first month they had started trying, and they had barely been married six months.

I would be lying if I said that I wasn’t a little jealous at how easy it was for them, but I knew how much she wanted to be a mom. She was ready to have lots of kids and be a stay at home mom. And this was happy news.

Then, just a few weeks later, we got the call that they had lost the baby. I think they were around 7-8 weeks, but the baby had stopped growing earlier. Because it happened naturally, she hadn’t had any u/s or b/w so doesn’t really know exactly when.

Like so many of us, I think she thought—or at least I thought—that they’d get pregnant again quickly. After all, she was young, they got pregnant quickly before, everything would be fine, right?

But, like so many of us, month after month has passed with nothing.

She went in for initial fertility testing a few months ago and found out that she has a hypoactive thyroid. Now’s she’s on medication and it seems to be worked out—she’s ovulating normally, and her hormones are now fine. But still nothing. And so she’s feeling like it’s time to get off the DIY roller coaster and do *something*.

Today she had an appointment with her RE to decide whether they would start cl*mid tomorrow, and she sent me an email saying while she was happy to do something new, she was really sad to think that this is what they were going to have to do to get pregnant. She had always pictured it just taking the two of them, after all.

My heart just broke for her. I really do know exactly how she is feeling—we all do, much as we wish we didn’t. She’s at that point where you have to make the awful decision: do I think this will happen naturally, or do I need to enter the unenviable world of fertility treatment? And it’s such a crappy and scary decision to have to make. It’s just so unfair.

Of course I hope for them that, if they do start cl*mid, that they’re among the lucky few who get pregnant right away. But my cynical side can’t help but fear for them that this might be a longer journey than they’re expecting right now.

Here’s hoping that cynicism is wrong…

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

On grandmas and thanksgiving

My grandmother was the greatest woman in the world. Seriously. She was a saint and wonderfully loving and funny as hell. She passed away when I was 8, but I still cry when I think about the fact that she’s not here—that she didn’t get to see me graduate, even from 8th grade. I still remember, the day before she died, even though she was feeling crappy (crappier than any of us knew at the time), she made my grandfather drive her an hour to come watch me at one of my swim meets. I mean, how wonderful is that? I don’t know if you’ve ever been to a swim meet, but for a spectator, it’s fantastically boring. I swam probably two events for a total of about a minute and a half. But she came. To support me.

Damnit. Crying again…

Anyhow, the point is, my grandmother, even though she was only around for a short period of my life, had a profound impact on it in so many ways.*

And, one of the things that she always used to tell me was “don’t wish your life away.” At 8 I can’t imagine what I was wishing—maybe to turn a year older, or for Christmas to come—but she always made a point of telling me that all of those things I wished for would come eventually (though they wouldn't always look like what I thought), but that I’d be sad if I spent my life's journey just wishing away my time and not enjoying what I had. (I'm paraphrasing, of course, and I do realize it's not a unique idea, but still...)

Because I still can hear her voice telling me that almost 24 years later, I do really try not to wish things away. Before I met hubby, for example, even though I knew I always wanted to find the right guy and get married someday, I didn't spend my time wishing I was married. I just tried to enjoy my carefree 20s and all it brought with it.

And when we first started trying to have a baby, I tried to do the same--tried to enjoy the "last" holiday without kids, or the "last vacation" where it was just the two of us. (Needless to say, that attitude didn’t last...and those "lasts" were anything but...)

But now that I’m pregnant (still hard to believe I can say that), I realize that I’m doing exactly what grandma advised against—I’m wishing away this pregnancy. I find myself looking at the calendar, no matter how far along I am, and seeing nothing but the weeks that stretch out before me and wishing they would go by more quickly.

Lately I’ve been thinking about my grandma, though, and remembering her sage advice and I’m realizing that (assuming everything goes according to plan and god-willing), this is going to be over before I know it, and that I'll never be able to get it back. And I'm at risk of wishing away all of the miraculous moments that I spent so many months/years of infertility wishing for. Like the stickies’ movements, which are getting stronger by the day and which hubby can now feel from the outside. (How wild is that?!) Or hearing the fabulous little heartbeats at each of my doctor’s visits. Or seeing the stickies on the ultrasounds. Or getting the stickies their first stuffed animals.

So, in this belated Thanksgiving post, I want to make sure I’m taking the time to be thankful for what we’ve been blessed with. For the stickies (extra fingers and all). For this pregnancy, which seems to be going okay. For having the greatest hubby in the world. For this blogging community which, even though I find myself a bit mute and lost between infertility and pregnancy doesn’t let me forget that you’re pulling for me and thinking of me. (And I can’t tell you how much that means.)

But most of all, I’m thankful for the 8 years I had with my grandma as she took care of me when my mom went back to work full time. And here’s to trying to live up to the wisdom of the advice she gave me more than 24 years ago.

* I could tell so many funny and heartwarming stories about my grandma, but one thing that always makes me laugh now is how I remember her. Since she passed away when I was 8, she was much taller than I was at the time, so that's how I picture her. But, in reality, she was barely 4’11”….and I’m 5’10”. Oh how memory can play with reality!

Thursday, November 15, 2007


Okay, I've had a few requests to add a ticker to my sidebar, and I finally did it. I have to tell you, I just previewed it and almost had a heart attack, though. I can't explain it, but I somehow feel so raw and exposed now or something. I know in my head that's silly, but for some reason it still feels so hard to make me believe I'm here and that something won't happen. And, even though I realize that the ticker has nothing to do with whether anything happens, it feels like the one thing I can control, so I've been scared to add it.

But, I do love checking in on other's tickers to see where they are, so I'm going to try to keep it. I warn you, though, I may wimp out. I'm weak, I admit it.

Enough about that. I'll come up with something more interesting and less wimpy to say soon. :-)

Saturday, November 10, 2007

21 fingers and other updates

There's actually much to update you on in this post--what a change from my silence of late! I'll cut right to the chase with the pregnancy related news, though. (No point burying the lead, I suppose.)

We had our anatomy scan yesterday and, thankfully, it went really well. I think I cried on and off the whole time for so many reasons. I cried because I couldn't believe that we are actually here. I know so much can still go wrong, but I just felt this overwhelming sense of gratitude and good fortune. I just felt very lucky.

I also cried for Ann, because I know it was at this scan just a matter of days ago that her life was so cruelly and inexplicably changed. And it just made me cry for just how unfair life can be.

And, I cried everytime I heard the word "normal" come out of the tech's or perinatologist's mouth. "Normal" heartbeat, "normal" bladder and kidneys, "normal." It was like the single most beautiful word I'd ever heard, and as far as I was concerned I couldn't hear it enough.

I also cried when they told me that twin A was a little girl and that twin B was a little boy. I just felt--what have I done to deserve this good fortune? I just felt so unbelievably lucky, and so undeserving.

And I cried when I called my parents and told them that, no matter what happens, right now they have a little granddaughter and grandson.

I've continued to be weepy--in a good way--since the scan. I felt some flutters on the train into the city today and started to cry all over again. I'm sure everyone around me thought I'd lost my mind (because I was, of course, alone on the train. Ah, well...who cares.)

So, all in all, I couldn't have asked for a better scan.

Well, except that the little girl apparently has an extra little finger. Crazy, huh? All hubby could say was, "Well, 11 is better than 9!" True story. But, how funny, right? I mean, we all have our quirks--I had extra teeth, hubby a third nipple. (Yeah, that's right--an extra little nubbin, just like Ch*ndler on "Friends".) So, it stands to reason, really. And, frankly, I really don't care one way or another as long as the stickies are healthy and growing.

That's the good news.

The irony, though, of finding out that one of the stickies was a little girl was that I also found out that this cousin of mine is planning to drop out of high school. She's been spiraling for a while, but COME ON! Dropping out of high school?! She has every advantage in the world and she's just throwing it away. And, frankly, it pisses me off. I've dedicated my entire career to working with underprivileged students who don't have one-tenth of what she has and to working to make sure they are prepared to succeed at and graduate from top tier colleges and universities. And she can't even be bothered to finish high school? She tried to give me some sob story about how hard her life has been, and all I could say was, "we buried two of our students this far. You don't know from hard."

I of course to mean to belittle things that have been hard for her, but at a certain point you can't use that as an excuse for such ridiculously self-indulgent behavior. And, it's not even like she has a plan. It's not like she's always wanted to do something different that she's going to dive into instead. (I dated someone once, for example, who dropped out of high school because he really wanted to be a carpenter. And, now he's an expert who was hired by the Clinton's to renovate their Georgetown townhouse. I'm not saying I agree with the dropping out decision in any situation, but at least if she had some dream or plan or work ethic it *might* seem less self-indulgent.)

In any case, I hope to g-d she changes her mind. We're all trying to figure out what's the best way to get her to see that she's lost her ever-loving mind and making a catastrophic mistake that's going to make her life so much more difficult than there's any reason for it to be.

So, that's the news chez SB, hubby, and the stickies.

And, don't forget to congratulate Sarah from For the Flavor, who gave birth last week to a beautiful little girl. Proof that sometimes there is a happy ending to these infertility woes. Congrats, Sarah! I wish you much happiness! :-)

Friday, November 02, 2007

So unfair

Ann at the Unlucky 20 Percent had a terrifying visit with the perinatologist today and
could use some support. Ann--I really hope Monday's visit brings better news. I'm thinking of you...

Thursday, November 01, 2007

18 weeks

Hubby's favorite number is 18. And, today, we're 18 weeks--potentially the halfway point for twins. (I've heard twins are considered "full term" at 36 weeks, so my hope is to get to March 4. 18 weeks from now.) I feel really lucky and just hope that our luck continues. Fingers crossed. Tightly.

In other news, one thing that's added to my quietness lately is that work has been INSANELY busy. So much has been going on, including that my organization hired someone who they tried to put above me and basically take over the management of my team. A team that I built--from scratch. A team that I've managed for two years and that has the best retention rate in the org. And, so, because I've put so much blood, sweat, and tears into this, and because I report to the CEO and am not looking to be demoted, I just wasn't having it.

And, I couldn't help but think how ironic the timing was--I'm about to go on maternity leave and have kids and they start to strip away responsibility? I don't THINK so.

Anyhow, the good news is that they've seen the light and have stopped the bullshit and are now building my team out underneath me. (It is MY team afterall, and I've done a good job. DAMNIT.)

Anyhow, I feel a little better, even if I'm still a little miffed at how it all went down.

In other news, remember this friend? Well, I did finally talk to her. I actually didn't talk to her until I was about 11+ weeks, so I literally went almost three months. I was just still so hurt by how she handled the whole thing. I did break down and tell her why I was upset (and avoiding her). The conversation went okay, but she still didn't get it. After I explained everything to her, I told her that I was pregnant, but that I was really nervous because of the hematoma and the 2.5 years of infertility and the failed fertility treatments, etc. To which she responded, "I know EXACTLY how you feel."

Um, really? Exactly how I feel? Because you got pregnant on your second try and have had a perfectly healthy and uneventful pregnancy? Yeah, let's not call that understanding "exactly" how I feel.

But, helas. She's a good friend, and I've gotten over myself. I even went to her shower two weeks ago, which I'm really glad I did.

So, that's the latest. Nothing too exciting...but I'm happy to be boring right now. :-)