Saturday, June 4, 2011

Liar Liar Pants on Fire

I am not proud of myself, but I have lied recently. Purely for my own benefit. But I didn't feel too bad about it. You see, there's this magazine that I see every week at the public library where I go to observe a student working. The magazine is American Baby, and it looks like an awesome publication. Lots of articles and tips on pregnancy, birth, all the crap you need (and don't need), and your baby's first year or two. It's a division of Parent magazine. And it's free. I have seen this magazine month after month for the past year and flipped through it (especially when hopeful that a current or upcoming cycle will work/has worked). It's awesome. I thought that I should sign up for it, because I need this information too even though I'm not yet pregnant. I am ready to get this information delivered to my home even though I'm not glowing, not yet at least. I struggled with it (because once you sign up for something like that, it inevitably changes the types of catalogs and offers and coupons that are mailed to your home), but I finally signed up a couple of months ago, when I did my last injectible IUI.

The lying part comes in when I filled out the online form. Not surprisingly, they asked for either a due date or a child's birthday. I don't have that kind of information, although I've had a slew of almost-due-dates. Thanks to the marvels of the internet, you can put your retrieval date into a calculator and get your due date for any given cycle. It works for inseminations, too. So I put November 16th, which could have feasibly been the day my miracle baby from the IUI was born. It was a little early so it was possible that I had just peed on a stick and found out the happy news. Just the thought process that took me to get to the place of typing in a fake due date was a little psycho, not to mention my mindset when I committed to the fraud and pressed enter. I think my punishment for this little act of deceit was that my first issue came the Saturday of Mother's Day weekend. Excellent timing.

But, I have to say that I believe I deserve to sign up for this magazine just the same as any other expectant mother, despite the fact that I don't have a baby or a nugget yet. I need to make my Baby Binder full of page-protected articles on pregnancy, babies, development, and parenting advice. I need images for my still-evolving Vision Board (it's finally up on the wall, it's just not totally filled yet which is quite all right with us because our vision is a little fluid when it comes to our new, slightly fictional family). So why shouldn't I get to have a pre-parenting magazine? I know, there is a magazine for people who are trying to conceive (and not succeeding so much), Conceive magazine. This one is ok, but it has a lot of Infertility 101 type articles in it and I feel a little beyond that. It was great in the first year of the journey, but now I read the articles online that are relevant (on I want to focus on the end prize, not what tests I need to determine if I am infertile (I know we are).

Which brings me to a moment where my crazy-lady eyes came out in Barnes & Noble last weekend. At checkout, the cashier asked if I bought a lot of children's books. I do, for my friends' children and for school (and occasionally for my slightly fictional future small children). He then asked if I wanted to sign up for the new Kid's Club, an extension of the regular membership that I already have and pay for. It's free and I get $5 for every $100 spent. Sounded great, so I started the paperwork. And I was feeling great until I got to the bottom, where it said "Please enter your child's name and birthdate. YOU MUST ENTER AT LEAST ONE." Out came the insane bug eyes. "Excuse me," I said, "Do I have to have an actual CHILD to be in this club? I don't HAVE an ACTUAL child. I have FRIENDS' children. Can I not sign up unless I have an actual CHILD?" The cashier looked a little frightened. Bryce looked a little embarrassed but not surprised. "No, no, you can put one of your friends' children down. You don't need to have children." I said, "Oh." I put down my best friend's oldest son and still felt angry that I had to put someone else's kid down, that I couldn't just check a box that said "Currently childless but buy a crapload of books for everyone else so I am totally eligible." It sucked.

Then, this morning I called to update my information in the alumni directory that I always update and never ever buy. The man I spoke to was very friendly, very personable and had a really great radio voice. I was feeling very accomplished when he congratulated me on my two degrees and my teaching career. I felt less accomplished when the email address I had on file was my previous married name ("Ok, I am confused here. Now you are Tennant and your maiden name is Haney so what's this Perez?" I said, "I think you can figure this one out on your own." Not too hard, since I'm not a con artist on the lam from the FBI.). That was a little embarrassing. However, the hard part came when he asked if he could list any children in addition to my spouse. Nope, no children. There was a silence and then he said, "I guess your students are enough for you, right? Am I right?" I laughed a hard, terse laugh and didn't say a word. I wanted to say "NO, actually, that's kind of crazypants to suggest that. And actually I've been trying to become a mom for going on two years now with an intensity that is exhausting in every possible way and I just haven't quite gotten there yet." But that doesn't fit neatly in the alumni directory.

I survived all of these experiences without tears, which I hope means that I'm growing and getting more resilient. Or maybe I'm just growing numb. Or, maybe I've realized that I can't let stuff like this bother me every single time because it will happen, over and over and over and I just can't stop it. Maybe it's just because when these things happened I was much more balanced emotionally having had 6 months since my last truly disappointing devastating cycle. It's probably a combination. I just have to find more ways to laugh at my shenanigans to get free baby stuff to prepare for my long-awaited pregnancy, my capacity to terrify a teenage cashier at B&N, and celebrate my ability to smooth over a question that would have thrown me for a total loop just 6 months ago.


  1. It's funny how sometimes things like this can totally knock you down, and other times it's just not that bad--guess that's the ups & downs of infertility. Lucky us. Also, thanks for the tip on the B&N kids program--I made them sign me up as no one had ever mentioned it to me!

    I've been enjoying reading your blog and wanted to share a blog award: :)

  2. Thanks Willow! Glad the B&N program will come in handy for you, it looks great.