Showing posts with label family. Show all posts
Showing posts with label family. Show all posts

inevitable questions

I can remember being in a grocery store with my mom. I must have been six or seven. My two younger sisters were in the cart. An older woman approached us to ohh and ahh over my littlest sister who was still quite young. I can so clearly remember the woman commenting on how different the three of us looked and asking my mother if we had the same father. The question confused me, but my mom explained to the lady that we all shared the same daddy. I remember so clearly that the lady was so nice and even now I don't think that she intended any harm by her question.

My mom was so matter of fact in her response, and so confident in her and my dads love for each of us, so proud of our differences. That was the first time I remember that question being asked, but most certainly not the last.

It is a totally inappropriate comment to make, regardless of the family circumstances. (In our case my sisters and I do share genetics from both our mother and father, but look very different from each other.) But people are curious and will ask questions, inappropriate or not. It is how we respond to and educate people about situations that they don't understand that really matters. It may not be a duty we signed up for, but it is necessary. I can only hope that others will offer me the same education when I say or do things that might be hurtful. 

As ML and I embark on building our family with the assistance of DS, I am thinking alot about how we will deal with the future questions and situations that are waiting for us. 

Mel reviewed a post by Kristen at I Spy a Family in her Round-Up last Friday. Kristen describes a situation that occurred in the grocery store, where a store clerk inappropriately questioned how her family was formed. She acknowledged that this was an inevitable situation for her family that has been built through adoption, but wishes that people would show respect for her children by asking questions when her children are not in ear shot. 

Kristen's post reminded me of that day we were in the grocery store, and all of the times since that the formation of my family has been questioned. It is a gentle reminder to me that these questions are normal, that we can expect them. The only part of this equation that we can control is our response. For some of us the emotions of our situation make it difficult to respond in a matter of fact way, and that is totally understandable. What I will always remember is that my mom didn't hesitate in her response, she was so confident in our family, there was no doubt about her love for my dad and their love for us. She made it so clear that we belonged together and that our differences were valued. 

I hope that I - that we all - can find that confidence. I hope that we can use it to educate others, and most importantly to show our children just how loved they are. 

Thanks Kristen for this great post, and thanks Mel for making sure that I didn't miss it!


Balancing Act

I had lunch with my mom last week. She is the awesomest mom a girl could ask for.

She brought me some info about all of the recommended pre-natals that I need to start taking. She encouraged me to get up to date on my flu and whooping couch vaccinations. She offered to research chewable pre-natals for me, since the swallow pre-natals are gross. (I was hoping that my dinosaur chewables would suffice, but mama knows best.) *** if you can recommend any good chewable pre-natals, please let me know!!!

My brave mama also asked me about how the IUI process works thinking that maybe we could take back some control of the process, de-medicalize it, and do it at home. Wouldn't that be awesome? If all other factors were equal at this point, I would really love to conceive in love with ML in the privacy and comfort of our own home.

I am really glad that I could go thru all that with my mom, so that she can understand what options we have and the factors that we are using to make decisions. 

The thing is that all other factors are not equal at this point. The way I see it we are balancing three big factors - physical, emotional, and financial - and will be choosing from essentially three different treatment options - non-medicated IUI, aggressive medicated IUI, or IVF.

From what we know, I can get pregnant. I have regular cycles and ovulate regularly. I've never taken hormonal birth control and would rather not mess with things unless necessary.
treatment choice = non-medicated iui

I am a mess. I want to be pregnant now. I am done waiting. The sooner I am pregnant the sooner I can move beyond the despair of this journey. The thought of prolonging treatment cycles any longer than absolutely necessary sounds completely unacceptable to me.
treatment choice = IVF

We've already spent about 20% of our income on fertility testing & treatment this past year. We have some savings, but it is limited and it makes me sick to think about spending it all. But I know we will if we have to. We'd like to be cost effective in our decisions. At quick blush were looking at a cost of $1,200 per cycle for un-medicted iui (with a 10% chance at success), $3,000 for medicated iui (with a 20% chance of success), or $15,000 for IVF (with a 50% chance of success).
treatment choice = I don't know how to do that kind of statistics, but I think it would be medicated iui.

So that leaves us... I'm not sure where exactly, but I think in the middle with an aggressive medicated iui as our starting place.

We meet the new RE on Wednesday, so we'll get better info then. (and my cycle starts on Thursday, so cross your fingers that we can jump right in! ohhhh am I hoping.)


Hope Hope Hoping

I am hope hope hoping that the Cade Foundation selected us for their 2011 grants cycle. They will be announcing their awards before the end of September and I am counting the days. I really think that we would be an awesome couple to represent their work, for so many reasons.

I hadn't realized that the month was almost over until this weekend when my mother in law asked about 'the grant'. She was visiting us for the weekend. She is so sweet and well intentioned, but doesn't always deliver her loving comments the way we'd like to hear them. It was the first time she's visited us since our wedding over 6 years ago. I know it meant a lot to ML to have her come up to see us and see our home.

Ohh, Cade Foundation, please make your announcement soon.


Perfect Beautiful Moments

Ahhh, what a beautiful way to spend a Sunday morning. I am sitting in a poolside cabana, there is peaceful quiet with a  few birds chirping nearby. I have my cup of coffee and a Real Simple magazine. It is going to be hot today, but for now there is a perfect breeze.

Inside, ML is playing with our 4yr old nephew, while SIL cooks breakfast.

Right here, this moment, life feels beautiful.


Just Because - Favorite Children's Books

I remember our home always being rich with children's activities. We had books galore, and always had someone to read to us.

Kakunaa wrote a great post about her favorite Children's Books, and it got me thinking about all of my favorite books.... the books that I want to include when I build on my vision for my Someday Family. When I picture my future with children's things scattered around the house, I picture these things laying around.

I think that The Runaway Bunny might be my all time favorite book. It is so sweet and shows the unconditional love of a mother for her little bunny. Sometimes I feel like our journey to parenthood shadows this story.

“If you become a fish in a trout stream,” said his mother, "I will become a fisherman and I will fish for you.”

“If you become a rock on the mountain high above me," said his mother, "I will become a mountain climber, and I will climb to where you are.”

“If you become a bird and fly away from me", said his mother, "I will be a tree that you come home to.”

Mike Mulligan and the Steam Shovel is another one that I love. I think that I have probably read it a thousand times, as it was one that I used to carry with me in my babysitting bag of tricks and all the kids I watched loved it as well. Again it is a story about loyalty and unconditional love, mixed in with determination to persevere thru the most hopeless and challenging conditions.

Reading it now, I relate to the outpouring of love and support that helped fuel Mike and Mary Anne (his steam shovel) to achieve what seemed impossible.

I recently discovered this series of books by Sibylle von Olfers. I love the illustrations and the way that each story connects nature with imagination. I actually bought a whole bunch of these books off ebay - some of them are for gifts, but there is a complete set sitting on my bookshelf for My Someday family.

Someday, I will read these stories to my children and talk about the seasons, and imagine that snowflakes are really little snow children.

Please tell me that you all remember this record... I LOVED this record as a kid. I remember listening to this record in the living room while my mom put my little sister down for her nap. I was 3, maybe 4 years old. The record was a mix of songs and little stories, all with the message that you are perfect just the way you are.

There was a 25th anniversary edition book published recently that I randomly found at the book store. It is crazy how all of my memories of these songs and stories came rushing back to me. I bought a bunch of copies of the book, and have been giving them away as birthday presents.

It feels so good to think about the future so positively. I really do have a section of my bookshelf reserved to hold the growing library of books that I will someday read to my little ones. Until then, I am grateful for this space and for being able to share these books with you.


Ugly Babies

Early morning at the hideout. the dead weaving its way through the trees and tents. the sun hiding behind a blanket of high clouds, yet present in a gentle morning diffusion of light.  People emerging from their slumber, moving slowly, with sleep hazy smiles when they see me. sitting here on a camp chair, wrapped warm with a blanket, waiting for some coffee to brew. 
thinking this morning while cuddled next to my love what it is that I love about being here. The music of course, but there is something so much more. The people, my friends, who are here with me, I love them too, but it doesn’t allow for that deep personal connection of long late night talks. 
I am entertained here. there is just so much to look at. so many people and costumes and colors.
What i really need to get off my mind... I watch the people walk by and I stare at the bellies. is that a beer belly or a baby belly i wonder. the baby bellies are here, but mostly hidden. I stare at the families, especially the ones with the babes held close. The moms and dads look so happy, and in love. I feel their love.
Unfortunately the one that is here with our group makes me feel so negative and hateful. Maybe because she is so negative. She walks around talking to no one (maybe she thought I was listening) about how awful it is to be pregnant, and about how hard it is to travel with a babe. I told ML that her baby is ugly. I hate to be so mean, but i really feel that. I’m avoiding her. I considered saying something, but she wouldn’t get it, she wouldn’t care. I just want her to shut up, and to stay away from me. But I can avoid just as easily. 
Before the show last night I was in the cuddle puddle (don’t ask) with Mr. Traveler and some others. I told Mr. T that I thought the baby was ugly. He was flabbergasted that I would say something so awful, but understood that I just had to get it off my chest. He was really sweet, and agreed that she was hard to be around. Everyone rolled their eyes when she cruised into our camp (from her RV camp) one morning and announced that everyone needed to be quiet because the baby was napping. Excuse us (all 20 of us) but maybe you should have stayed at your camp while your ugly baby sleeeps.
battery on low. until recharge.. xoxo


Baby Showers and Blog Posts

My best friend was twenty weeks pregnant when we got our azoos diagnosis. I had always pictured us being pregnant together.  I hosted her shower a few months after that. It was an intimate brunch with her closest friends and family. I sat at the table with tears running down my face. We went around the table to share words of wisdom as she became a mother and to share the meaning of our gifts to her. I had so much to say, but was unable to speak. It was all I could do not to burst out sobbing. The tears just rolled down my cheeks, my chin quivering on the verge. I love her so much and wanted so much to be a part of this special occasion, but the pain I felt was almost unbearable. Somehow I held myself together. I later apologized to her for not being able to say the things that I wanted to that day. She understood. She is a good friend.

I worried that seeing her baby would be hard for me. I wanted so much to love this little girl. We arrived at the hospital shortly after the birth, sweet baby was passed around to grandma and grandpa, aunt and uncle, and then to me. The tears came, but they were not of my pain, they were of a happiness and love for this little girl who had been born to the most wonderful family, of which I was a part. It was easy to place the little bundle back into the arms of my friend, her mother, right were she belonged. It was totally different than the baby shower. While I long to experience motherhood, this perfect little baby is somehow separate from that longing. I don't long for that baby, I long for my baby.

Another childhood friend recently had a baby shower. It was a long awaited pregnancy, following years of infertility, and I really am so happy for her. But I had the hardest time getting out of bed the morning of her shower. Instead I curled up and watched the 16 and pregnant marathon, and cried. I finally got to the shower an hour late. I smiled and managed not to cry, but actively avoided any conversations. I stayed long enough to participate in a few of the activities and watch her open my present, a little baby blanket that I made for her sweet baby girl. Then I left.  She understood, I know she hurts for me still. 
My sister in law has two adorable little ones. I love visiting them and wish they lived closer to us. Being with my nephew and niece has been okay too. These sweet little kids are hers, and while I love to visit them, I don't have any desire for her kids. I long for my family, the family that my lover and I will raise and love and nurture.
So many of our friends are starting their families. One couple, who I suspect may have struggled with infertility themselves, are celebrating the first birthday of their adorable little son later this month. This circle of friends does not know about out struggle. The thought of going to the birthday, of the people we'd see, and the conversations that are bound to take place, its more than I am up for. I don’t think that it is the baby that I am avoiding, it is the grown-up, the wives. I sent this friend an email, thanking her for the invite and saying that we love them but won’t be able to come to the party. I hope that she understands, even though she doesn’t know what’s going on with us right now. I’d hate to have her think that we are avoiding them because they are in a different place in life now. Its not that. 
I left the longest comment yesterday. I didn't realize how long it was until I submitted it. That comment became the basis of this post. There are so many incredible posts that really get me thinking. This post is really in response to two recent posts:

Mrs. Wood at Our Adventure with Infertility wrote a post about not being able to attend a friends baby shower. It is a struggle that got me thinking about the showers I’ve been to this past year and the emotions that have emerged.

Katie at 'from IF to when' wrote a post about bellies vs babies. It is an insightful post and really shines a light on what it is that I am feeling. I want so much for the experience of being pregnant, of having my belly grow big and round, of having my lover feel my stomach and the life growing inside with love and tenderness. I want that so much. I think about that so much. 

Taught to be Proud

In preparation for my first ICLW, I tried to write up a little something about me, but nothing came out. So instead, you get a little insight about where I come from. After 18 months of trying naturally, husband was diagnosed with azoospermia due to maturation arrest. Our Someday Story summarizes our journey thus far. Thanks for visiting!
I had to drive to the City yesterday for a work thing. It is in the car, while I am driving alone, that I do a lot of thinking. There was a point earlier on this journey when that car thinking left me in tears nearly every time I drove anywhere. But like I said last post, I am stronger this year. 
When I lost all my local radio stations, I dug thru the glove compartment to find some old CD’s to keep me company. I found an old favorite, Tea. Leaf. Green., and popped it in. The first song starts with “I was taught to be proud of where I come from”, and it got me thinking. My experience with infertility is grounded in the roots of my family and upbringing - where I come from.
My mom has spent her life working with pregnant couples and new families. For years she taught natural childbirth classes in our living room, ran a breastpump rental company out of our hall closet, and teaches new parents how to embrace their new role. We had placenta’s in tupperware in our refrigerator, blow up charts detailing the stages of labor and delivery scattered in closets, and half naked women on our couch learning how to breastfeed their newborn infants. This is where I come from. 
When I got my period, my mom hosted a menarche party to celebrate my passage to womanhood. She invited a couple of my closest girlfriends and their moms, a couple of the ladies who I babysat for, and a couple other older female family friends. They gave me little gifts to symbolize the power and wonder of being a woman. It was at a really fancy restaurant and I actually felt really special. Maybe it was that party, or my moms guidance, but I’ve always embraced my monthly cycle. I’ve trusted that my body is going to take care of me, and someday nurture new life. This is where I come from.

My Foxy Family | Creative Commons Attribution- Noncommercial License | Especially for Foxy Designed by Giggly Girl Designs