Wednesday, February 28, 2007

It Seems the Pain of Infertility Never Leaves Completely

I have two healthy boys. I completed my IVF cycle nearly three years ago. I have a fantastic husband, and beyond my mother's death, I am very blessed with the life I lead. I know this. Then why did this phone call have such an impact on me?

You know when you're in the depths of infertility and you swear that having a baby will somehow erase that pain, or maybe that's what people tell you. Well, I never completely agreed with that logic, but I had certainly hoped it was true. Folks, for me, it isn't. I guess that's not completely true. I have sent 'Congratulations' cards, and have been truly happy for people. I've held new babies and have been glad that I am done with that phase. I've deduced that there will always be certain people's good news that will always bother me. Now I don't wish them any bad will, but I will admit that I'm not happy for them either. Where am I going with this, you wonder? Tonight, at dinnertime, Hubby got a phone call.

...from his sister. The one with the, in our opinion, f-ed up marriage. In the fall, she'd mentioned that they'd just begun 'trying'. Today she tells Hubby she's pregnant. As in 10 weeks pregnant. Yah, they're real close. Oh, and here's the's the totally fun, totally ironic part...she's pregnant with twins...identical twins. Her husband and her are 'efficient' she says. Next breath, she wonders if a nanny would be cheaper than daycare which is going to cost $600/week. Oh, and then there's college... No worries about the babies themselves. No constantly checking her underwear to see if there's any blood. No miscarriages. While Hubby and I were busy injecting me with thousands of dollars of fertility meds., they get pregnant right away with twins no less. Yah, I got pregnant with twins and one died. Not her. No fertility treatments, no needles, no ultrasounds, no blooddraws, just sex. Imagine that. The thing that gets Hubby and I is that we have struggled for everything, while she seems to just stumble upon everything. Hubby's parents were so awful when we were struggling to have a baby. Does she have to deal with that? Nope. I know this sounds like I'm jealous, which of course I am. Truthfully, though, it mainly brings up all of the crap that we had to experience for years. Sometimes I wonder why I had to go through so much. Why do others get things so easily? Why did my mom die? Why did I have to struggle even more to have a second baby all while mourning the loss of my mom? Why do Hubby and I always try our best to do the 'right' thing, and others don't even stop to consider what that is and still reap the rewards of something they did little for or don't deserve?

I'm not proud of the way I feel, but it's the way I feel. I'm not even articulating my feelings that well, so it probably sounds even worse. I have been missing my mom like crazy this week. Plus, Hubby and I are dealing with some crap that involves infidelity, not ours I assure you, and it hasn't been pleasant. How trivial my last post was. Buying a car. Yah, if that was the least of our concerns. I know that tomorrow I'll go and buy that 'Congratulations' card because it is the right thing to do. I only wish others would have thought about what that was when we were struggling. Even through gritted teeth, I'll do the right thing. I always do.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Being Responsible

This weekend we had a babysitter for a few hours. Hubby's car, my old one, is almost 8 years old so it's time to buy a new one. Hubby really wanted a Volvo S60. I thought we could do this...then we did the numbers. Nope. It just ain't happening. I only wish we wouldn't have taken a test drive. Now I am not a car person, but boy was that car fun to drive! Anyway, Hubby dragged me to the car show a few weeks ago, and afterwards we test drove the Toyota Camry with all the bells and whistles. A very nice car. In fact, I prefer it over the one we're going to end up with. Yep, after working the numbers and me drawing up a 'pros' and 'cons' list, we're buying another Honda Accord. Damn Honda for making such a reliable car at such a good price. Now I did love my Accord, but it just seems so boring. Sometimes being a responsible adult just sucks!

Saturday, February 24, 2007


This past Thursday was parent-teacher conferences at S.'s preschool. Out of all of the teachers, our conference was scheduled with the lead teacher. I told Hubby that I wasn't sure what that meant, but that I did feel that there was something pressing that she felt she needed to discuss with us. After all, back in December I did receive the 'he's been pushing and hitting during playtime, but we're working on it' response. I figured that S. must be at it again.

When Hubby and I walked in, we were very surprised by what we heard. We were given a sheet of paper with all of the things that the first-year preschoolers are learning, along with S=meeting the requirememts all of the time, M=most of the time and I=improvement needed. Well, S. had mainly S's even where behavior is concerned. And academically, well, I believe the remark was,"We don't have anybody that is as far along than S. is." I thought I was hearing wrong. Now it's not that I didn't think that S. was behind where he should be, but I just didn't think he was as bright as his teacher tells me is. I thought he was average, which is fine with me. I know I am a teacher and all, but I seriously don't push anything on S. I feel that at this age he should lead his own learning. If he is interested in something, I help him to learn about it. But I have never forcibly sat him down and presented him with what he'd be learning about on any given day. I even chose this preschool because it focused more on learning through play, as well as learning basic life skills. I feel that it is very important for kids this age to know how to get along with others, how to stand in a line, how to hold a pencil etc., how to use scissors and how to behave in a group setting. When signing up S. for preschool, others seemed to be surprised by my not choosing 'the' academic program in the area. After many a discussion with other parents, I began to feel that maybe my kid wouldn't be getting what he needed. Maybe they were right; maybe he would not have the necessary kindergarten readiness skills. I began to feel some anxiety over the whole thing. Through it all though, I stuck to what I felt was important for S. to know.

I feel my instincts, my choice, was validated on Thursday. By not going along with everyone else and only keeping my own son in mind, I made the right decision. I didn't know that knowing all the alphabet and spelling words, counting to beyond 30, knowing how to write, being able to complete calendar activities about weather, using transitioning numbers, etc., etc. was beyond what is expected. I taught older kids; I honestly didn't know what four-year olds are supposed to know. I'm not bragging either about my son's skills; I'm just trying to write it all down so I can remember what it is that he knows. Things get busy around here, and I forget things that I swore I'd remember. His teacher suggested teaching him to read. He's ready. I asked S. to tell me when he'd like to start to learn how to read. I won't teach him until he wants to learn it. That's what I have been doing.

S. lately has been so interested in learning how to tell time that I bought The Grouchy Ladybug by Eric Carle. I used this book to teach my second graders time, and it they loved it. Come to find out, that S. loves it too. He's mastered the basic elements of time, and is starting to learn to tell time to the minute. No pressure here, though. I'm proud of my little guy. I know he tries my patience something fierce, but I have to remember times like this. His teacher told me to continue to do what I'm doing, because it's obviously working. I think I smiled the whole day, because in this motherhood game it is rare to get a pat on the back like that. Usually, we hear only what we need to be doing. Meaning we are doing a lot wrong. I am particularly hard on myself, therefore hearing that I am doing something right for my son means all the world to me. Now if my younger son would simply say something consistently, that would be nice too!

Sunday, February 18, 2007

The Kid's Going To Be All Right

This past weekend the Tot has decided to talk. When he wants to 'go' somewhere with us, he has said,"I go." When the dogs need to go outside he said, "Outside." He has also said, "Yah, Oh, wow!, uh-huh, uh-oh, all gone", and a host of others that are escaping my memory right now. I think that speech therapy may not be needed. We'll see. I am feeling a lot better about things now.I think the kid is going to be all right.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Letting It Go...For Now

As I've talked about before, this past year I finally began working out. It had been a goal of mine for many years, and after finally just doing it, I felt very proud of myself. I also felt better physically as well as emotionally. I think the triple cocktail of anti-depressants, therapy and exercise did the trick!

I was enjoying exercising so much that I understood how people could become obsessed with it. Now even though I understood how one could become obsessed, I myself did not become one of those people. I don't have the time! Anyway, I have been exercising consistently for about a year. This past January I even increased the weight on every machine in my strength training program, and had my best distance ever on the elliptical. And then it happened. After a year I have finally hit the wall.

In the past year I have not only begun to exercise, but I also began to watch what I eat. My inner voice always seems to ask if I really need to eat that Cheeto or that Dove ice cream bar that has 17 grams of fat in each bar. Yes, seventeen! Oh, and if I want a glass of wine with that ice cream bar? Oh, holy hell, do I feel guilty and proceed to tell myself that I better get to the gym the next day and work my ass off. Literally. I'm tired of it! I really am. I'm tired of wanting to fit in a smaller size. I'm tired of that roll of stretched-out skin that always seems to go over the top of my pants no matter what I do. And I'm NOT having a tummy tuck, which I think is the only way to get rid of it. I'm tired of taking a shower at the gym and then walking out into the frigid weather and freezing my butt off. I'm really tired of that voice that questions everything I do. I'm tired of trying to be perfect.

Exercise has been the one thing that I can control, granted the babysitter can come. I can't control the kids, the husband, figuring out what to do with my life once the little ones go to school, things like that. I also cannot control that my mother is not here to talk with.

I decided last week that enough is enough. I was going to stop pressuring myself to do all of my fitness routine. For now I am only lifting weights. No elliptical, my nemesis. No cardio, except what I get from my kids. Yah, I'll gain weight, but it's winter in the midwest. That's what we do. Come the end of March, at the latest, I'll go back to my regular routine. I'll get back on that damn ellipitical. I'll get back to loving working out, because I was able to take a much needed break. I'll lose the weight and tone up. Until then, I'm eating what I want. Inner voice be damned! Excuse me while I go to the freezer to get one of those Dove Bars. I think I'll get that bag of Cheetos too. Yum!!!

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Proof That I'm Been Married With Children

Yesterday I received flowers from my husband. For Valentine's Day. Two days before Valentine's Day. And I am fine with it, really. Actually I am more than fine with it; I was going to suggest it. Can you believe they are charging $20 more to deliver the same flowers on Valentine's Day? Yes, I know florists are out to make money, and V-Day is a big money maker for them, but doesn't $20 seem a bit excessive?

As for the holiday itself, I have leftovers prepared. Sounds exciting, eh?! After dinner we usually exchange a small gift to each other. This year I actually did buy him something! He loves swedish fish, so I bought him some good ones from Fannie May, as well as a video he's wanted. I also reserved our wonderful babysitter for Saturday night, so if it ever decides to stop snowing and blowing snow around, then we'll get to have dinner together. I tell you, I appreciate going out to dinner so much more now that we have the kids. I love that Hubby and I get to have an uninterrupted dinner, and that I have no one's food to cut but my own! Lately though, I'm running out of things to talk about when we're out. I try to abide by the 'no talk regarding the kids' rule while we're out so we can foster our relationship because the kids will leave us some day and we better have a part of our relationship that doesn't involve them or we'll just be two old people staring at the wall because there is nothing to say, but if I don't talk about the kids at all then there's about a half hour of dead silence. Are any of you able to go out and not talk about the kids once? If so, what's your secret? How do you do it?

Speaking of our amazing offspring, if we do not get out of this house soon I think we're all going to, well let's just say the term 'cabin fever' is not extreme enough. I love my kids with all my heart and soul, honestly I do. In fact, 5 years ago today I found out officially that I was pregnant with my oldest, and I can't describe adequately how excited I was. However, after spending so much time together, in the same house, I think it's safe to say that we need some time apart. Poor S. was bummed about preschool being cancelled because today was the Valentine's Day party, and he was bringing the snack! We even painted his Valentine's, and he wrote his name by himself on the back of every one. And his mother, me, even had the foresight to buy each teacher a chocolate heart from Fannie May that is on a lollipop with a bow. They're really cute. I also found the perfect shirt for a 4 year-old boy to wear on Valentine's Day. So, okay, I was more than a little bummed that S. didn't get to go to preschool. I think I'm becoming one of those moms. Even Hubby made a joke about it. Yah, I think spring better come soon, or I'll need to find a job!

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Another Way the Kids Have Changed Us

The utility room, mudroom, or whatever you like to call the place when you wash your clothes, is where we have had to put our computer since the Tot was born. It used to be in a nice, warm bedroom. Our utility room is actually rather large, but it is a utility room and it is attached to the garage. Presently, it is continuing to snow as it has for like the...uh..last 9 hours, and it is still damn cold. Which leads me back to the utility room. My hands are freezing! My fingers are so cold it is literally uncomfortable to type. I am also listening to the awful noise our furnace is making, while praying 'Please God let the furnace continue to work so we don't freeze to death, or have to go to a hotel.' I am also putting off calling my soon to be ex-cleaning lady to tell her we no longer need her services after what happened two weeks ago. I think we might have been fired anyway, which makes this call even more anxiety producing than normal. I'll have to tell y'all that story some day.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Still On the List It Seems

I received another e-mail from baby center today. I signed up with them when I was pregnant with both boys. Today I received an article about how everyone's 'bump' looks different, or something like that. They wonder if I think mine looks 'normal'. Sorry guys, that was never a concern of mine. They also seem to think I am 27 weeks pregnant. I actually think I was this far along with the Tot two years ago, but my brain is frozen because it is so damn cold here! Anyway, what the heck is up with that? Certainly made my heart skip a beat, and not in a good way either.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

It's Good to Have a Speech Pathologist As a Friend

You all know that I have been sweating a bit recently as my child does not appear to want to talk anytime soon. I guess I have to understand that he is a man-in-training after all. Seriously, though, the more I have been thinking about Tot's lack of saying anything comprehendable, the more anxious I get. I think part of that is the teacher in me. I have worked with children of all ability levels, meaning I have seen it all. Being me, I can't think about the best case scenerio. Oh, no. I have to think about the worst.

In Tot's tumbling class, there is a woman who is a speech pathologist. Over the course of 4 months, we have become friends. We've exchanges phone numbers, and met to have food with our little darlings. Because I really like her, I want to respect that while we are out, she may not want to talk about her job. Well, I broke my rule about not discussing work while having fun with the kiddos, and she was wonderful about it. She said that it really could be nothing, but she is going to bring me some materials to try with the Tot, who is having a drop to the floor tantrum right now, but since he can't talk at least I'm not hearing him yell. Anyway, she also said that many times kids, including her son, basically want the easy way out. If they get what they want without talking, then why bother. That's my son, I believe. She told me to say things such as, "Tot, do you want your milk?", and to tell him he has to say something close to 'yes'. Since he has said 'yes-yah' before, we know he can do it. You know, have him have to respond to get what he wants. Oh, it's been going swimmingly, NOT, I tell you! We have had marginal success, though, which is better than where we were.

She also told me to keep an eye on his speech over the next few months. If we don't see much improvement it would be worth having him tested as this would qualify as early intervention, under age 3, and would be free to do. Once he turns 3, we would have to pay. I think this is a good plan, and I am always willing to do something possibly beneficial if the government is paying. Wait a minute, I paid for that program in my taxes, so it's really not free, but you get the idea. Why wait until age three, when I'll end up having to hire a private speech therapist? So, currently I am willing my son to please freakin' talk so I don't have to worry about him being mute for the rest of his life. I know the boy can talk, he's done it before, I just don't know why he won't now. I tell ya', worrying is part of being a mom. There is always something to worry about with your kids. Good thing I love them so much!