Follow me on the crazy, hopeful, discouraging, funny, and ultimately successful (one way or another) path to parenthood while facing infertility.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

There Should Really Be A Sign

I have been consumed by school--getting ready for school, back to school, surviving the first week of school without ending up sleeping for 24 hours straight Friday night... So I have not been the best blogger in the world. I have tried to keep up with your posts, but these first weeks of school are BRUTAL for sucking away all free time.

But today was a day worth writing about. We had a lovely day--slept in to 10:00 (after the cat thought 6:40 was quite late enough to be fed after a week of being fed at 6:20 and I realized I had to give myself a Lupron shot anyway so why not feed the noisy little beast, I could always go back to bed), had a leisurely breakfast over Wednesday's Daily Show, read my People magazine on the couch a little while, and then we decided to go walking along the canal and get some GF pumpkin cupcakes at my favorite cupcakery in the town along the canal, even though it was a rainy-ish day.

On the way, Bryce suggested we go to the George Eastman House, a gorgeous museum that is part photography galleries and part George Eastman's monstrously beautiful house. Even though I've lived in Rochester for 12 years, I have never been, so it sounded good. Plus there are beautiful gardens, and I love me a beautiful garden. So, since we have no kids and no dog and had no plans for the day, we could take a two hour detour through the exhibits and the house. It was fabulous, and a great diversion for a day that otherwise had no plans really to speak of. (I can always do the scads of schoolwork I have on my list tomorrow).

After, we went to the Bird House, a garden/outdoor wildlife/birdfeeder store where we get the nyjer seed for our little birdfeeder in the backyard that draws all kinds of finches and chickadees. Mostly goldfinches. Sometimes an occasional acrobatic squirrel. I am not a bird person, birds en masse freak me out actually, but we won this bird feeder in a silent auction because it came with a really beautiful owl watercolor (owls I like), and since setting it up I have realized it is actually kind of nice to feed the colorful little birds and invite them into your space. The cats like watching, too.

The current owl family of two
So anyway, here we are in this little store, getting our gallon jug of tiny little seeds refilled, and I'm wandering around. I must have been extra tired and sensitive from the drugs I'm on, because I started to have an overwhelming sense of sadness. Why would birdseed make you sad?  you might be wondering....well, the store also carries a lot of really cool picture books and kits and nature bingo games and other awesome stuff for kids that encourage a love of nature. The kind of stuff that I would love to buy for my kids. But instead, because I HAVE NO FREAKING KIDS AFTER FOUR YEARS OF THIS COMPLETELY EXHAUSTING CRAP, I was thinking, "I wonder if my best friends' kids would like this stuff? I bet I could send some for the next birthday." And then I got angry. And sad. Because again, I WOULD LIKE TO BE BUYING THIS STUFF FOR MY KIDS. I want to be playing Wildlife Bingo and going for walks in the woods with a kid-friendly field guide. I want to be having these experiences and it frustrates me to NO END that here we are, headed into our 8th transfer, with nothing lasting to show for it. I felt overwhelmingly sorry for myself. I started tearing up, but TAMP TAMP TAMP pushed it down so I wasn't a crazy person in the bird store. Then I turned a corner and found a display of little rock owls. Some bigger than others. One big enough to maybe be bigger than the one Bryce gave me for my birthday two years ago. I have another, mini stone owl that my best friend gave me for my birthday this past year, so it's like a mom and baby owl. This bigger owl looked like a good dad--I mean, maybe it's bad luck to have a single parent situation in rock owls in your garden. (Yes, I know how completely insane that sounded, but this is how I have been trained to think at this point.) So the waterworks started brewing again, but TAMP TAMP TAMP I made it go away, for the time being. Then, in the checkout line, there were all these little pocket good luck charms. I am a sucker and a half for these little good luck charms. There were these DOUBLE luck charms--different lucky items with a
The either huge ladybug or tiny elephant.
Dime for size perspective.
ladybug on them--that claimed to be for when you need more than a little bit of luck. WELL SIGN ME UP! I thought. Then...I found a freaking elephant. An elephant with a gargantuan ladybug on it (or a really, really tiny elephant). Sold. Bryce bought it for me and I felt like this was my little good luck charm for this cycle--all I need. No more earrings, special shirts, special panties--just this little bug-infested elephant to give me my double luck.

We get into the car, and I put it in my purse. Bryce jokingly says, "Make sure you don't lose it." Enter waterworks that were unsuccessfully TAMP TAMP TAMPed in the store. And a completely irrational response. I may or may not (I totally did) have screamed, "That was the WORST possible thing you could say to me right now!!!" while I wailed uncontrollably. Always this happens as I have just gotten behind the wheel, sigh. He was flabbergasted. It was a jokey, totally offhanded comment that wasn't even serious, but all I could think was a) omigod, if I lose it I will have lost DOUBLE the luck and it will be ALL MY FAULT and then b) I already feel so guilty (which I know is not warranted but I cannot stop myself from feeling this way) that everything is great UNTIL THE EMBRYOS GET BACK INSIDE ME. I singlehandedly "lose" them, whether it's before they even try to stick around (last time) or after they've shown themselves to be able to stick and then they run away (last August's horrifying miscarriage). I am a wee tiddly bit sensitive on this point. I feel responsible somehow. I am terrified that on top of having not so great eggs, my uterus is crap as well (this despite the fact that it was recently cleared of the nefarious hidden polyps that could be one of the reasons why the last attempt wasn't successful). I am terrified that all this is an exercise in futility. I am terrified of this next go-round, for reasons I've stated earlier--if it fails, I'm out of things to research to figure out why. It is so frustrating. Oh, also not helping my lupron-and-estrogen-fueled freakout to Bryce's innocuous comment about losing the tiny elephant was the fact that WE BOUGHT ANOTHER BIRD FEEDER. This one a beautiful patina'd copper suet cage. We have skipped over procreation and have become old people with multiple bird feeders. Worse, people who have bird feeders TO ENTERTAIN THEIR CATS. We are headed down the wrong freaking path on this one. I may as well start applique-ing my sweatshirts and knitting cat-hair sweaters now.

I calmed down and apologized for being ridiculously sensitive, as Bryce was feeling pretty horrible and like he was doing all the wrong things even though he was trying to mastermind a beautiful, spontaneous, fun day for us. Onward to the cupcake place, where thank goodness they still had the pumpkin and I could get a few to stockpile away because man, they are yummy. Lots of cream cheese frosting. A little bite (maybe bigger than a little) of fall. And we headed to Simply Crepes for lunch, since it was 4:00 or so and when you get up at 10, that's lunchtime.

We went in, sat down, and noticed a large group of women down the middle of the restaurant. They have big family gatherings a lot there, so I didn't think much of it. Until we had our drinks in front of us and were stuck because the outdoor seating was wet from the rain and we had nowhere else to go...and I saw one of the women put a onesie on her chest and heard a chorus of "awwwwww"s. OH HOLY JEEZUM. It was a motherflipping BABY SHOWER. These women were easily 10 years younger than me and the gift opening had JUST STARTED (which is why we didn't notice earlier). I had to talk really fast to try to NOT hear all the wonderful pregnancy anecdotes spewing from these crepe-eating pregos (oh, there was more than one in the group) but didn't miss hearing, "Everyone deserves a baby." YES, DAMN SKIPPY, EVERYONE DESERVES A BABY WHO WANTS ONE. I kept staring out the window, tears overflowing my lower lids, trying so hard to keep it together, TAMP TAMP TAMPing enough so that there were no sobs, only silent waves of hot tears making my delicious watermelon lemonade salty.

This brings me to the title of this post. When you are having a baby shower out in public, in the CENTER of a not-so-big restaurant, I really believe that THERE OUGHT TO BE A SIGN. "Natalie's Baby Shower Inside" or something like that on the door. Or a smattering of pink or blue or yellow balloons with "baby shower" written on one of them. SOMETHING so that when people, unsuspecting, walk into the restaurant, they aren't suckerpunched by becoming audience members to an event that I DON'T EVEN GO TO for close friends anymore because it is so painful. It was too much. I told Bryce right then and there, when the time comes that we finally get to have a baby shower for me, for the love of all that is holy, I DO NOT want it in a public place. If it's in a restaurant, I want it in a private room, preferably one that we can scoot into right from the entrance so that it's not the baby belly parade. Better yet, at my house or an enclosed park shelter thing or somewhere else where the unsuspecting infertile public doesn't have to be a peripheral part of my celebration. In part because I am super sensitive to other people who are dealing with this same personal tragedy, and also because I am pretty sure that I am going to cry my way through my own baby shower when the time comes. Nobody who's not invited needs to see that. (See how hopeful I am? I am not using IF! I BELIEVE this is coming to me!) Everyone who is invited will know why I am even more emotional than the typical prego lady. I don't expect everyone to think this way, but really, some kind of warning system would have been nice today.

I guess in a weird way I can be proud that not only did I manage to not sob in the restaurant or feel the need to leave, but  I also could actually think about the possibility of my future baby shower and how I will want to be a little more private than that. I know, that even though I am an admitted control freak, I won't be planning my own baby shower. But I want an Infertile-Friendly baby shower. I want to celebrate my good fortune without inadvertently sending a bystander into a spiral of sadness and fear that this day may never come. I want to invite people to join me in my joy but will TOTALLY UNDERSTAND if someone is going through hell trying to conceive and hasn't made it yet and just can't make it. Baby showers are hard. And, thanks to the stealth nature of today's little event, I got to go to one--not to be a part of it but to hear everything and see all the goodies and it was NOT PLEASANT, especially after the Bird House triggers. I am in a sensitive place right now. I will say that we ran into an inordinate number of pregnant people today, and I choose to see the baby shower as a good fortune sign, as hard as it was to be so close to it.

So, people out there, do us infertility-stricken ladies a favor--get a sign, or balloons, or something so that we aren't caught off guard when you decide to have a completely public baby shower. We thank you.

4 comments:

  1. Sounds like SUCH a tough day. So, so sorry.

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    1. It worked out ok and I got to wolf down my GF Reuben crepe AND my GF pumpkin, which drowned some of the sorrows... :) Thank you. It did suck quite a bit before the deliciousness.

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  2. Oh, ouch, ouch, ouch. That is so NOT FAIR and I just wanted to protect from all of this as I read. I have been there a thousand times and the pain is just unbearable. The reminders are everywhere, and they build and build and build until---wham---you're in the middle of a freaking baby shower. It's absurd and would be laughable if it didn't feel so insanely cruel. I know this tamping of which you speak. There is an art to it, and it sounds like you've mastered it---not somehitng you want to master, what you want to master are treasure hunts with your children, or bedtime songs, anything but this stupid tamping. It's just so freaking lonely. I know your path to motherhood is going to end you up right there, in motherhood, but I also know that it is the hardest thing it the world to walk it. I get why you exploded in reaction to "don't lose it" too---I would have done the same. You just don't want to feel that one more thing is your responsibility, your fault. I just can't wait until you have a baby shower of your own, and I get to read about it on here. xoxoxox

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    1. Thank you so much!!! I so appreciate your commiseration, although I wish there was commiserating about how hard it is to find a venue for a baby shower of our own. :) I am almost at the point where I can laugh at yesterday. I am totally laughing at the suet cage hanging from our screen house frame on the patio... Good luck and I hope your path to motherhood is burrowing in tight as we speak!

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