Monday, April 30, 2012

Don't Judge

I find myself a bit surprised lately. I am surprised by others’ surprise and shock. I also find it a bit humorous. When people find out I have tattoos or more specifically 8 tattoos. They give me this look of shock. I laugh. And I ask why they are so shocked and some say “Well you just don’t look like you have that many tattoos”. How am I supposed to look? I am an equal opportunity dresser. Meaning: I dress from one end of the spectrum to the other. You can see me in jeans, a T-shirt & converse one day, the next I’ll have platforms & a short skirt and the next stilettos with leather pants. You just never know. So why is it so hard to believe that I would have so many tattoos?

Do I look a certain way that I am expected to BE a certain way? Is it my age? I am 38 years old, I have 3 children and I have 8 tattoos (with at least 1 more planned) and my navel is pierced. I enjoy going out to happy hours with friends and the Man when possible and letting loose. I do have a beer more than once a week. I am not an alcoholic. There are other things I could tell you but you’d have to get to know me first. ;) I wear very high heels, I am not a hooker. I wear Izod and khaki but I don’t dine at the club.

I wonder if people with more than one secret tattoo are supposed to be a certain way and act a certain way and dress a certain way. I love all my tattoos. And if I could show all of them without getting arrested I would. I doesn’t make me some freak. It makes me different just like someone with blue hair or pants with whales is different. I have so many friends that look different and they are just the loveliest people and I know this because I know them.

Do us all a favor don’t judge at first glance, get to know a person’s true self. They could win you over with their wit, intelligence or caring disposition in spite of the mohawk, piercing, tattoos, whale pants, stilettos, converse or Lilly dress.

Hahaha… I finished this.. reread it and realized it totally reminds me of the Breakfast Club.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Silent War

In light of this week being National Infertlity Awareness Week my mind has been on the struggles of many women. I remember my own struggles and how I started out so optimisticly and naïve. Thinking, “Oh we’ll try for a few months and get pregnant and it will be great.” Oh how I was wrong. I suppose it’s better I was naïve because at least I had a few “fun” months before the true battle began. We tried for a few months and then I started charting my cycles and doing all the technical stuff to try and increase our chances. Once we hit the one year mark I got concerned. I called my Doctor. She said not to worry and that it can take a year or a bit longer to get pregnant the first time. Little consolation to someone with no patience who needs instant gratification. So we keep chugging along. In the meantime I find a message board online and start chatting it up with the ladies in the same boat as I am in. It helps to be able to air your issues with people that are going through the same thing without being judged. Little did I know those women would become my only strength some days, and my good friends to this day.

After 16 months I finally saw that little line on the pregnancy test. I didn’t believe it so I bought another one and took it the next day just to be sure. I did everything right, followed every rule, saw my little love at 7.5 weeks with a heartbeat and was mesmerized. I was in awe and totally in love. But he was not to be. I had a bleed at about 11 weeks. The ultrasound showed that the baby had not grown past the 7.5 weeks. I was devastated. To say I was heartbroken was an understatement. The callousness of the ultrasound tech and the Dr. that told me was unforgettable. And the (un)comforting words of family and friends that followed were just as bad. “You’ll get pregnant again”, “It was God’s will”, and “It was meant to be” ALL BAD CHOICES. Seeing pregnant friends who were due around the same time became torture. Hell, Seeing any pregnant woman was torture. I would look at a pregnant woman and say to myself “why her and not me?” And hearing someone say how easy it was getting pregnant was like a knife through the heart. The words Fertile Myrtle were like nails on a chalkboard. Getting pregnant became a job, a mission. And yet it still didn’t happen naturally. All the while I had no one but Jim. And he was a man. He didn’t understand the need. I turned to those ladies on-line. My friends, my comrades, my sisters in battle.

My Doctors got proactive and gave me some meds to help and when that didn’t work I was referred to a Reproductive Endocrinologist (RE) or who I would like to call Dr. Castlebaum, My Miracle Worker. I saw the RE after trying for 30 months to get pregnant. He looked at me in his office and said “Let’s get you pregnant. “ I smiled and said “Yes, let’s.” He immediately scheduled me for a couple procedures to check out my insides. And instead of going the medicinal route again he suggested we go full force and start inseminations. I was all for it. Two months later we started the process of having Jim’s semen checked and my tubes and eggs checked. Everything was great, so why weren’t we getting pregnant? The next month was the insemination. And 3 weeks later I got a positive confirmation. It worked. And, as happy as I was, I was scared as well. I was on eggshells. I had ultrasounds monitoring this baby constantly. Finally at 12 weeks we decide it was OK to tell people we were pregnant again. You would think everyone would be happy. We actually got one response of “Well don’t get your hopes up”. That broke our hearts and caused a rift for a while. That pregnancy was one of joy and happiness for me because he was my miracle baby. He was my Aedan.

I think back to all of the people that surrounded me during my infertility journey and friends that gave me the most support I haven’t even met in person. They comforted me when I needed it. They listened to me rant and complain without judgment. Because they too were going through it. They understood. I am so grateful for those friends. And I am even more grateful that I still have them and that they have all been blessed in one way or another with a child of their own. I just wish I knew back then that others around me were going through the same fight I was in. I felt I was the only one. No one spoke of it around me. I suffered in silence. I needed the support and I got nothing in my day to day life outside of my computer. Infertility breaks you down and sucks the life from you. It causes you to envy other women, fight with your husband and separate yourself from others. You can’t function. It’s all you think about because it consumes you to your core. Being a mother is the most important thing to some women so when that is jeopardized we will fight to the death to get it. Any woman you know could be in the battle right now. Please remember what was said and don’t offer words of wisdom if you haven’t been there. Just offer to listen or a shoulder to cry on. Because if you haven’t had a struggle or loss you truly cannot understand the pain/grief/all encompassing sorrow that comes with it.

Friday, April 13, 2012

The Same Old Tired Debate

In light of recent events involving Hilary Rosen and Ann Romney that wonderful debate pitting SAHM's against Moms that work outside of the home  has been brought into the spotlight again.  Talking heads like to stir the pot and get women going on social network sites like FB by posting threads asking opinions and most women can't leave it alone. And as much as women say that it's a woman's choice for her specific family later down the line you'll see someone throw in a comment like "SAHM's Don't get enough respect.. It's a full time job and it's 24/7, not 9-5."  Why won't women realize we are all Moms together and whether you work outside the home or not isn't the issue.. we all love our children and we all work our asses off to keep them happy and healthy, all while keeping a somewhat clean home.  All of which is done usually on little sleep. Being a Mom is a 24/7 job. Period. Some women do it from home all day some leave for a while to do other stuff and then come home and do it later into the night.. either way.. Same damn job. It's called MOM.

In my next life I want to come back as a man. Women spend so much energy tearing each other down and trying to feel superior. It's exhausting.  I don't think I'm better than another woman because I earn a paycheck and I certainly don't think someone else is better because she gets to spend all day with her kids.  It's a godamn choice for every family based on their own situation.. just like having a pet or a fucking minivan or taking a fricking Disney vacation every damn year. 

Choices. We all get them unless we are incarcerated and I don't look at parenthood as incarceration (most days). It was a choice I made, and a damn good one, that I live with  every day as I kiss them goodbye before school as I leave for work and then as I kiss them hello when I get home each night. MY choice. Take it or leave it but don't tell me it's wrong.

Monday, April 2, 2012

The Birthday Girl

I was driving to work today and I was thinking about the smallest person in the house and her birthday tomorrow. She'll be 4.  A wave of nausea washed over me. I'm not sure why. All I know is that everytime I think about her turning 4 tomorrow I feel a bit sick to my stomach.  She is wise beyond her years. She acts and looks older than 4.  One day she wants to be a cowgirl and the next she has no clue what she wants to be besides a fashion model.

I could do without the whining that has snuck up on us in recent weeks. It's daily torture that usually precedes a crying fit over something so unimportant you simply have to shake your head and walk away.

I can only guess that ill feeling is the realization that I no longer have any babies and that I won't be having any babies in my house. The feeling that I am no longer 100% needed. She wants to do most things herself. The times I want to go out by myself I cave when she begs to tag along just to prolong our together times because I know she won't want to come with me much longer.  And even though she always has a big grin on her face when she sees me at the end of the day I can't help but wonder if it's just so I'll give her gum. I look forward to other fun stuff with her but will always miss having those special Mom and baby times. So bittersweet these birthdays are.