Monday, October 30, 2006

National Infertility Awareness Week

Wow. I was astounded by the response to my post about pregnancy. I had no idea that so many people felt the same way…even some of you who had actually been pregnant! I thought I was in the minority, but apparently not. I would also like to specifically thank my readers who are “breeders" (you know I mean that in the most loving way possible). It takes a bit of courage to regularly post on an infertile’s blog, and I appreciate that you have the guts to do it. It is always good to get your perspective on things, not to mention that it’s good for you guys to remind us you’re not all bad!!

This week is National Infertility Awareness Week.

There are many things you can do this week, but I urge you to check out Infertility’s Common Thread movement. A description of this movement (source & more info here) is as follows:

"For anyone who has ever had a miscarriage, struggled with pregnancy, and all things infertile...there is a movement upon us that you might want to join. It's rather simple actually: a discreet ribbon on your right wrist to signal to others that they are not alone in their struggles.

As someone who has had 5 m/c but am currently 5 months pregnant (YEAH), I wonder who looks at my big belly with sadness because they are in the month-to-month struggle. I mentioned to a friend that I wished there was some secret nod or international sign as if to say, this belly was hardwon. Well, she posted this quandary on her blog ( and the response has been quite overwhelming...and a movement has been born!

The pomegranate-colored thread holds a two-fold purpose: to identify and create community between those experiencing infertility as well as create a starting point for a conversation. Women pregnant through any means, natural or A.R.T., families created through adoption or surrogacy, or couples trying to conceive during infertility or secondary infertility can wear the thread, identifying themselves to others in this silent community. At the same time, the string serves as a gateway to conversations about infertility when people inquire about its purpose. These conversations are imperative if we are ever to remove the social stigma attached to infertility.Tie on the thread because you’re not alone. Wear to make aware. Join us in starting this conversation about infertility by purchasingthis pomegranate-coloured thread (#814 by DMC) at any craft, knitting, or variety store such as Walmart or Target. Tie it on your right wrist. Notice it on others. Just thought I would pass the word along!"

I plan on making my bracelet tonight and wearing it long after this week is over. I hope the movement of the Pomegranate Thread continues. I will wear it proudly when I am playing with my children, as a sign to all that there is life after infertility. Perhaps someone just starting down that road will see it and it will give them hope. Or maybe just comfort that they are not alone. I think it is important to keep this link even after we adopt. I hope you will consider wearing it.

Also PLEASE POST THIS on your own blog to spread awareness of this movement. Thanks!!

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Why Mondays Suck, or Why you should never let your cell phone battery die

Me: [Picks up pay phone and dials number]

Recorded Message: Please deposit...fifty cents...please

Me: [Drops two quarters in]



Operator: Please deposit fifty cents ma'am

Me: I did.

Operator: Please hold

Operator: Did you get your change returned?

Me: [Checks coin return] No.

Operator: Well, then you will have to call the refund number you see on the phone.

Me: Are you kidding?? This phone just ate my money! I need to get in touch with my husband in the next five minutes!

Operator: Ma'am, how do I know that you really put money in??

Me: Well, if I call the refund department, how will THEY know any better than you??

Operator: Ma'am, that makes absolutely no sense and you know it. CLICK.

Needless to say, my husband, who had to wait 45 mintues for me at the train station, was very pissed. I tried to explain that Ma Bell was being a bitch, but for some reason he didn't laugh.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Babes, Test tube and otherwise

First let me say that I am old. I am old because I threw out my back. I have never done this before. Nor have I ever said “threw out my back”. I think only old people say that. But the worst is how I did it. I sneezed. Someone call the nursing home, I need a bed. I spent Saturday mostly immobile, but we did go to the movies. I went despite my bad back because my husband wanted to go, and he NEVER wants to go. He has the attention span of a gnat, and therefore needs other forms of distraction like the computer or magazines to look at while he watches a movie. He’s strange folks what can I say. Anyway, he wanted to see The Departed. Did anyone see that yet? If so, I would like to know what you think. Email me so you don’t spoil anything in the comments. The only thing I will say here is…When did Leo DiCaprio get so delicious and why didn’t anyone tell me? He totally went all Anthony Michael Hall people!!. All bulked up and hunky, and my oh my did he always have blue eyes? Anyway, on to more serious matters….

Tonight on PBS, the American Experience series is airing a documentary on Test Tube Babies. It will discuss the early days of IVF and the moral and political debates that went on at that time. An article about it is posted here.

You want to hear something really stupid? At the time I was having infertility treatments, I totally didn’t realize that our child (assuming it worked HA!) would be a test tube baby. I didn’t make the connection. I remember one day I was sitting at the blood drawing station waiting for the sadist nurse, and there was a poster on the wall (I think it was an advertisement for a drug company) that showed a big cartoon test tube with these cherub faced little babies literally swimming around inside it. I remember thinking, Oh Heh, test tube babies, get it? Then it hit me. Yikes. I remembered how the whole world was making such a big deal about it when I was a kid. And now there I was. It’s so common now it’s ridiculous. Besides the fact that the RE’s office was always JAMMED, you can’t talk to anyone these days without hearing about at least 2 or 3 people who are having “trouble” conceiving! Makes you wonder if it’s something environmental, or just the simple fact that we are all having babies older than our parents did. My mom was 22, can you imagine! I cringe to think what I was doing in college instead of being a responsible adult with a family!

The religious debate is particularly interesting to me. Someone I know who went through IVF spoke to her priest about it because she was so distraught over it. The priest had a very interesting take on it. He said that if your body is not working properly, you take the necessary steps to fix it. Like dialysis, and heart transplants, IVF is just another way to overcome those things. They had a loving marriage and wanted to fulfill their vows of procreation and raising children in the faith. So they need a little that so bad? I have always remembered that, and it helps me to justify why I did it myself.

Anyway, I'm going to try to catch it tonight, if you watch it, let me know what you thought.

Can also say something? You may find it quite shocking. I've been thinking about it alot lately, and thought I would put it out there: I have never really wanted to be pregnant. There I said it. Still standing? Think I’m nuts? I know that many women feel that being pregnant is the ultimate in terms of being a woman. Not me. Don’t know what it is, but the thought of being pregnant always seemed like the Alien movies to me. It sounds gross and weird, not beautiful and natural. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still pissed it didn’t work, but mostly because I didn’t want to let everyone else down…my husband, our parents. (Also because I don’t like to lose. At anything. Don’t play pictionary with me, it’s not pretty. I’m like Grace Adler, seriously) But ever since I was young, I could never picture myself pregnant. You know how sometimes you can picture yourself married, or having a dog, or owning a house? I could never conjure up a mental picture of me pregnant. My mom mentioned in passing once (knowing my feelings on the subject) that maybe it was a self-fulfilling prophecy. Could be, who knows. I did try my very best though, I did everything I could all three tries. Consciously anyway. I even had a special acupuncture treatment the day of the transfer the last time. Stupid uterus.

The good news is that I have always pictured my self with children. Specifically, I’ve had this mental picture of me walking and holding a little girl’s hand. Funny thing is, I don’t think this referral will be a girl. Whenever I look at girly baby clothes I think, “oh too bad”. But we will be adopting another, so THAT must be the girl, right?. Or I can just be nuts. Either way I am very lucky that my husband is okay with everything. Of course we’re both a little sad that we won’t be able to pass on our own DNA and all the quirkiness that goes with it, but I think we’ll be able to nurture that kid into our own brand of lunacy to make up for what nature could not.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Thanks & Other Ramblings

Dear Secret Bloggy Pal: THANK YOU!!

I came home Wednesday night after the funeral to change my clothes and head back out to my aunt's for dinner. Imagine my surprise when I found a package on my doorstep:

Beautiful miniature roses! I love them. Thank you pal, whoever you are. It really made my day. It was very nice of you to think of me. I really appreciate it, what a nice thing to do. I can't wait to find out who you are!

There is really nothing else (nothing could top those roses!), so you get some bits of randomness:

I loved some of your "believe it or not" comments on my last post. Steph, you take the cake. Freaky. I had a very vivid dream about an ex-boyfriend once...I remember he was wearing a white t-shirt and he was hugging me and saying goodbye. He looked trim and fit and in good health. At the time I had the dream I hadn't seen him in many years. We broke up because he was into drugs and I couldn't get him to stop. I have a feeling that dream meant he passed away, but I have always been too scared to look him up to find out.

I happen to have that show Trading Spouses on, and I love it when I catch this show. It is endlessly fascinating to watch two completely different families learn things about themselves. Right now it's a down-home country girl from Kentucky trading places with an Orthodox Jew from Boston. They look so unbelievably uncomfortable, but what did they think, they'd trade places with people just like them? You just know this poor southern woman is going to mess up their Kosher kitchen, yikes. Oh no, they have the Jewish woman going 'coon huntin'. Okay, maybe it's time to change the channel.

Speaking of television, anyone keeping up with The Office, like me? Were you totally taken off guard by the last minute phone call or what?? How does that simple little show manage to keep things so interesting?? And where is that other girl from? You know, the one who THINKS she's gonna get some of that Jim love....back away from the new guy honey.

Okay one last TV thing. Is it me or is "Men in Trees" actually re-runs of "Northern Exposure" with different actors? Hello?? Radio station, pilot, single men...methinks I've seen all this before...

Okay one more last thing. Project Runway. Travesty. It's all I'm sayin'

Work still sucks. Actually, it's been a little better, but don't say that out loud...if you do that will guarantee it will be a real suckfest of a day on Monday, and people, I can't take much more. Okay, enough about that.

No news on adoption. But I think the call is going to come any day now. I can feeeel it. Don't know why I think that though. Probably just wishful thinking. Maybe if I will it, it will be so.

Today I browsed some infertility blogs. I haven't done that in a while. It seems that while everything in adoption blogland is on the upswing, infertility blogs are on the downswing. Some very nice people are going through some really crappy crap. Before you go to bed tonight, say a little prayer for those who are still fighting the fight. Many of us have been there and it is no fun.

Okay, let's end on a happy note. My husband called me at work today to tell me he won tickets to see Elton John. How cool is that. I think I'm going to take my mom for her birthday. Unless of course, I'm in COLOMBIA. I've never wanted to miss a concert more in my life.

Have a great weekend people!

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Believe it.....or not

Thank you all so much for your kind words. The family is doing much better, and we know that each day will be a little easier to bear. For our faithful family, the funeral mass will be a welcome comfort. We know that Uncle T did not suffer, and we believe that he is in a better place now. The hardest part is fighting the selfishness of wanting him here with us.

I decided to come to work today..I was wearing myself out trying to do too much and needed some time to refocus. My brother and I tagged teamed so that K had one of us there each day. There is plenty of family around, but each of us has someone specific we like to look after. I was on “food duty” yesterday, which was to make sure that K and my aunt ate during the day. Boy what a task that was, but I outsmarted them. After realizing that neither begging nor demanding would work, I got them to agree to just hold a chunk of Italian bread in their hands. My theory worked – no self respecting Italian can hold a piece of bread and not absently eat it while talking. I sat my aunt down and got her to tell me some church stories, and got her to eat two whole pieces for dinner and she didn’t even realize she had! I’ll leave work early today and be there for the evening session. Damned old school Italians and their long wakes. I think it’s going to rain tomorrow. I hope so. All cemetery services should be held in the rain if you ask me.

Anyway, I thought I would share two stories from my day yesterday.

Uncle T and Aunt C are very active in their church. They are great friends with Father, and Indian priest who always told everyone Uncle T was his brother, which of course resulted in strange looks from people who didn’t really know them. As soon as Father heard the bad news, he came to the house to comfort Aunt C. Father says he had a vision while talking to Aunt C, and tells my cousin the story later in the day. He says that he could see my uncle walking in a parking lot and fumbling with his keys. He is in obvious discomfort and is trying to get to his car. Two angels arrive and begin helping him to the car. “Don’t worry!” they keep saying…”We will not let him fall!!” They are adamant that Father knows this. They will not let him fall. When they reach the car, the angels say, “Okay, it’s your time. Your place is ready and you can come with us”. Uncle T says he does not want to go. The angels convince him. He finally agrees. The angels place him in the car. He dies. He doesn’t know why he knows this, or why it’s relevant, but the whole scene took exactly 20 minutes.

Father cried when he found out that Uncle T died in a car, because he did not know. The security guard in the parking lot says he saw Uncle T walking to the car, and the next thing he knew he “turned around” and Uncle T was sitting in the car slumped over the wheel. It happened that quickly. Now, I am sure there are many people who can explain it all away, but I will always choose to believe that two angels came to take my Uncle to heaven.


I should start off this story by saying that Uncle T was married to my father’s sister. The big family I refer to is all my Dad’s side..he was one of 7 kids. I have 15 first cousins that I see all the time. So one of these cousins, L, and I were in charge of creating photo montages to be displayed at the funeral home. We asked all the kids for pictures and she and I went through boxes of family photos (that’s where I found the gems from last week’s post) at my Aunt’s house. We sat in a room at the funeral home to put them together. We had way more pictures than would fit on the two boards we were given, so we were trying to pick the best ones. Among others, L vetoed a picture of Uncle T with his “other goddaughter” from his side of the family. In her usual hilarious style, she lobbied that she was also Uncle T’s goddaughter, and if there are no picture of her, than this one sure ain’t making it! Each time a new person came into the room to see what we were doing, they went through the unused pictures and pulled out that picture and gave it to L for inclusion. We cracked up as each time she had to veto it yet again, and yet again explain why that picture wasn’t making it to the boards. By the end she was flinging that picture across the room. Eventually we finish the boards and put them up in the room. A little while later, Uncle T’s aunt (from his side of the family, an 80+ year old woman I never even met until that day) sees the boards and remembers she brought a few pictures, and would we mind adding them to the boards? One of them…a picture of Uncle T and cousin L. Uncle T’s aunt doesn’t even know her. Now you go ahead and tell me that wasn’t orchestrated by Uncle T. I just know he was saying Shut Up already here is your damn picture!! Needless to say, both pictures of both goddaughters were added to the boards.

So, what are some of your “believe it…..or not” stories like these?

Monday, October 16, 2006

Growing up sucks

This weekend we've had to deal with something that makes it really hard to be a grown-up...a death in the family. Fortunately, my family doesn't have much experience with that, all of us are pretty healthy, and although we've had some scares, everyone seems to have made it through okay. Two years ago we lost my Uncle J, which was the first major death we've had. It was awful and devastating and we still feel his loss every day. Saturday night we lost Uncle T. He had a massive heart attack when he got into his car when leaving for work. The extended family does what it always does, rallies around and handles everything so that his family can basically just sit and cry. He was a quiet, gentle man who loved his family. He worked 2 or more jobs all of his life, as they had little money and four kids. His house is very small, but always full of love. His youngest child, K is a year and half younger than me. K and I were inseparable as kids and I spent most of my summers in her house despite the fact that they didn't have air conditioning or alot of fancy toys. K and I grew apart during college but over the last few years have started to reclaim our previous bond. K was very supportive during the infertility years and, when surrogacy was being discussed, she offered to have our baby. You can't ask for a more wonderful expression of love than that.

K on the left, Me on the right. Grandma joins us, as well as long haired cousin R between us on the right.

So these next few days will be very hard as we push through all the traditional Catholic rituals. I am glad I can be there for them, if only to push a glass of water into shaking hands, refill the tissue box or just sit there and listen to their sadness, anger and frustration. Although I will miss Uncle T, what is saddest for me, is that...its starting. More and more of my loved ones will start to pass. The thought that I could be the one sitting in my kitchen comforting my mother is frightening to me. But I know that day will come. And Ill get through it, just like K will I suppose. Oh well, that's life. Hopefully there will be a new little baby around soon, which always seems to bring renewed hope and faith. Now it will be even more special if we can bring him/her home before the holidays.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Come on Karma!

Just sitting here at work killing time before I head on over to the Mets game at Shea. GO METS! And please, don't leave me any whiny Yankee comments. You don't REALLY expect me to feel sorry for them, do you??

Anywhoo...holy cow I can NOT believe all the activity out here in adoption blog land! Referrals to left of me! Referrals to the right of me! lines down or something?? Although I am insanely jealous, I am also very ecstatic for all my bloggy friends who got THE CALL. Lauren, Jen, Michelle, Sig, and Melissa have the internets all afrenzy with their great news!! I read their posts with such excitement and can just imagine how they must feel. Particulary the posts of Rhonda and Bethee who are keeping us posted from halfway around the world. Then of course there's my friend Jen who is getting TWINS (don't freak girl, you can handle it)!! I stare at the pictures and try to imagine what they were feeling when the first got them. Makes me all a twitter I tell ya! But really, come on, where's the love?? Right Margaret? What's a girl got to do for some freaking good news??

So do does this mean that karma is on the upswing? Will my CALL come soon then? Or do I have to wait until fickle fate comes around again to grace us with her presence? *SIGH* I wish I knew.

In case you are interested, work still sucks. Some days are better than others, but what usually happens is that I come in all positive, convinced that I will NOT let shit get to me today, then inevitably some dumbass does something to really piss me off and I'm aggravated for the rest of the day. My boss, is a coward. There is nothing worse than I weak cowardly man, no matter how nice he is. And one thing that really sucks is that they have blocked alot of internet sites now...what a pain in the ass. I can't see pictures alot of the time, so I have to wait until I get home, and sometimes I forget which blogs I have to go back and read. I also can't get my gmail at work, so that's why it takes me some time to get back to some of you....

I am finding some release in creativity...I have several knitting projects in the works, and I started crafting seriously again. In fact, I may even start my own Etsy shop with some of my stuff. I paint whimsical images on things...boxes, frames, tshirts etc... and they have (what else) a beachy theme. I am thinking of doing some baby type things too, maybe even adoption stuff, as I know there is a shortage of such things out there. I'll let you know when I've got a decent amount of stuff finished. You guys can be my critics. My husband, who usually tells me I have no time for all this stuff, was recently impressed by my latest item (a gift for someone who sometimes reads here so no pic) and I have been bolstered by his support!

So what's some of your outlets for stress?

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Back to Reality

I’m back. Three whole days with no internet access. Wow. I feel like I’ve been on the moon.

Alabama was great. Well, the conference was great, I didn’t get to see a whole lot of Birmingham except for the inside of the hotel and the adjoining mall. The conference was excellent, and I made a lot of great professional connections.

My co-workers and I had a blast. This was my first time at this bi-annual conference, and I am already looking forward to the next one. On Monday night we went to a great down-home BBQ place. Pulled pork, beans, fried pickles, hushpuppies, coleslaw…oh mercy was that GOOD. The banana cream pie wasn’t too bad either. Those folks know how to do BBQ.

Tuesday night was hilarious. After a lovely reception where we really got to loosen up and talk to each other (with the help of a heavy handed bartender), we all headed down to the hotel bar. It was amazing to see how much laughter is the great equalizer. About 30 of us from about 8 different states were sitting together, telling stories, making fun of each other and laughing hysterically. After the crappy week I’ve had at the office, it was a great release. For some crazy unexplainable reason, the hotel bar closed at 12 midnight so we had to move the party elsewhere. We ended up at the pool. Not a good place for the very drunk. (Fortunately I had pretty much stopped at the bar, and while I was feeling a little “happy”, I was by no means drunk). A woman from our group disappears and comes back with her bathing suit on (quite a sight) and a tray that contained an ice bucket and the contents of her mini-bar. “C”, a young and quite handsome guy decides he’s going in the pool and strips down to his underwear. He is standing next to me trying to convince me to join him. Eventually I convince him to go in alone. Then “G” who is gay and fabulous, sees C, his eyes pop open and he starts this slow motion bounding run across the concrete, shedding clothes along the way to join him. This causes C, who is not gay, to panic, and to now try to discretely (which when you’re drunk means “conspicuously”) and quietly (which when you’re drunk means “do the whisper/yell thing like no one can hear you”) get his ass out of the pool. Then the group realizes that “F” (man) and “L” (woman) are missing, and a manhunt is formed to try and find them. Hilarity ensues as the group is going from floor to floor, calling F and trying to listen for his phone ringing. All I can say is, you know you are having fun when you are standing next to a wet, gay, drunk man in his underwear in a hotel hallway at 3 am.

But the highlight of the trip was my celebrity sighting. I have eagle eyes my friends, and I am so impressed with myself. We were all standing in the hotel lobby waiting for the shuttle to take us to the airport. I see this guy get off the elevator and walk outside. Short, baseball hat, sunglasses, jeans and a t-shirt. I must have seen his profile for all of 5 seconds. “Hey!” I said. “That’s Elliott!” *WHO?* “Elliott from American Idol!!!”

Now you all know how Elliott was my boy and how upset I was when he was voted off. A co-worker and I got up the courage to go outside and I asked him if he was indeed *the* Elliott. He shook his head yes. He looked very tired, but he was very nice. We shook his hand, told him we were big fans, and that we voted for him. He was very appreciative. He was in town rehearsing for his concert with the Little Memphis Blues Orchestra. My co-worker got his autograph for his wife. How funny is that?!

So back to reality. Work continues to really suck. Know what I’ve learned? That when you are miserable at work, no one wants to hear you complain, and that just makes the situation worse because you start getting mad that no one cares or understands. So I try not to, but it’s hard to keep it all inside. I am in a really hard situation because I have no peers here. Most of our office is housed in another building 15 minutes away, and that is where everyone my age/level are. Therefore, I don’t really have any friends here. I eat lunch by myself every day (in my office), how depressing is that? That’s not normal right? If anyone has ever been in a management capacity, you’ll understand that you can’t really regularly go to lunch with people who work under you. The few other management people here are either weird, or not people you want to know your business. My boss is a social misfit and doesn’t like to eat with anyone. So I have no one really to vent to about stuff here. I need to really figure things out. When it gets to the point where you want to actually cry at least once a day every day (and I am NOT a crier), you need to do something. The thought of another major upheaval in my life is a little much to contemplate but I can’t go on like this. I am trying to hang on until after the adoption travel, but I don’t think I can do it.

Anyway, I’m just starting to catch up on all of your blogs, so forgive me if I’m a little behind for a while. I was so happy to see many new people commenting after my last post. I hope that more continue to “de-lurk” and that the newcomers comment more often. I think your posts get better when you actually know who your audience is. Or rather, when you know you actually do have an audience.

Is it Friday yet? I think we are having a garage sale this weekend. That ought to be a hoot.