Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Look out I'm gonna Blow...

Happy Tuesday, Tiddlywinks.

I am spending my week writing from home, and at the mercy of a AC repairman to fix my central air.  This is all the more needed after this morning, because I'm fairly certain in the last 20 minutes my brain has caught fire, and the heat is radiating off of my head and into the house.

I admit that I am slow with the internet acronyms so I must have completely missed the official announcement,  however, immediately following the National Infertility Awareness Week, it is apparently the Week of People Who Shouldn't Be Parents.

This morning I looked at my new online carnival known as Twitter (I'm @StupidStork ya'll, let's be friends!) and saw the retweet of an article on Huffington Post.  I love me the Huffington Post!  That is one of my everyday online rotations seeing as how yes, I like to know what serious issues are going on in the world at large but I also like to be up to date on whether Amanda Bynes has been committed yet.  You can, like, totally tell that I love the Huffington Post because I even refer to it as the Huff Po.  So, you know, there's your proof.

So I clicked on the article, read, and my brain exploded.  I almost don't want to share this with you considering that since I read it, there is so much kinetic energy built up in my fists that they will not be satisfied until they quite literally hunt down this man and make contact with his balls.

So, you know, read keeping that warning in mind.  It is the ramblings of a man whose wife is pregnant with twins, and he is now furious.

When I was 14, I was in a room with my biological maternal grandmother for the first time.  I would later learn that my grandmother was 'strange' and just 'knew things' (she predicted, quite accurately, the very strange last name of my husband a year before I met him).  She put my face in her hands and said "You are going to end up with twins someday... do you feel that?"

When I met my husband we pretty much instantly got serious with one another (completely out of character for me) and moved in with each other two weeks after we first met.  When we started having the future-marriage-baby conversations, he definitely wanted kids, but he always pictured just having one because he'd be gunshy about a second pregnancy.  I kind of wanted two.  So began the ongoing musing that somehow we'd end up with twins.

A few weeks ago, at our summit with Dr. Kickass to plan the upcoming IVF 2.0 with hopefully good fertilization as a result of science fiction, I as usual went into robot mode.  I shoved aside the offered box of tissues, looked him straight in the eye and said "I'd be super stoked if we can get some embryos to freeze.  I'll be happy this time if we can accomplish just that.  But if you get two, we're putting in two".

I understand that there are risks involved with carrying twins, that having two newborns somehow doesn't double the trouble but multiplies it exponentially.  I would be elated to get pregnant with one, I promise. Elated.  I will, however, after 3+ years of fertility treatments, an endless sea of BFNs and one early miscarriage, also be elated if I end up with sci-fi twins.

Let me just say in regards to the honesty in that article... I am all about people saying the things that most people wouldn't say out loud.

Probably the quickest way to earn my respect and admiration is brutal honesty and a total lack of bull shit.  Don't confuse that with being unkind - I'm just talking about saying what you actually feel.  When a person does this, usually I end up immediately falling in love with them because a lack of bull shit and a surplus of bravery are my green m&ms, my aphrodisiac dujour. Brutal honesty will usually result in my desperately wanting to know you and be your friend.

There are those times, however, where someone says something terrible.  I still respect them for it, because this ends up letting me know, from the get go, that they're a douchebag without my having to accidentally stumble across that information when I'm more invested.  (Example:  "I'm against the gays!  Abomination, I say!" "THANK YOU.  You have now saved me from wasting my time, asshat".)

So in a weird way, even though brain is now oozing out of my ears and I'm gonna need a dartboard with his face on it, I can respect the fact that he said exactly what he was feeling, in a public forum.  That takes balls, even though those balls need a good punching.


Now granted, I take up just a little corner of the internet and everyday I discover new blogs and stories that open me up to a new side of IF land.. But please, tell me, has anyone else heard of an unwanted IVF pregnancy??

This couple had a son, and wanted to have a sibling for that son.  So two years of IUIs and heartbreak later, they resigned themselves to IVF, and decided to put in two embryos to 'stack the deck'.  They were hoping for a baby girl, instead ended up with twin boys and his response was to be extremely disappointed and angry.

And I quote, "As horrible as this might sound, we found ourselves wishing these twins away."  They are, and I quote, "...counting down -- not like expecting parents but like cancer patients with only months to live."  He charmingly refers to his first born son as 'the free one' and to one of his expected twins as the 'extra one'.

I am not underestimating the amount of panic that goes through a person when they discover they're having twins.  I get it.  If I'm lucky enough to get two embryos to put in, and if I'm lucky enough for those two embryos to both stick, I will still when I hear the news have moments if not days where I think "how the fuck am I going to do this??"

If he were just some guy whose wife accidentally got pregnant and was panicking about having twins, I would be irritated for sure but would probably limit that irritation to rolling my eyes and mumbling "fucking fertiles" to myself.  I have long ago given up on expecting most fertiles to really, truly understand how painful creating a family is for some people.

But how the hell does a person, at the end of a two year road of infertility, end up with such a total lack of gratitude?  How the hell do you not only end up with such a lack of gratitude, but end up smugly patting yourself on the back for coming up with charming, passive aggressive ways to refer to your unborn children? How the hell do you pay money to put two embryos in, and then whine about it harder than those twins are ever going to whine?

Honestly, this guy shouldn't be the one that's panicking.  His fucking children-to-be should be panicking.  He's complaining about how they are going to be the worst thing that's ever happened and they're not even born yet.

And what I would really love to know is what his wife thinks of his little essay.  I would really love to know how it feels to have gone through two years of fertility treatments full of pain and torture, to be transforming your body into that of a warrior woman to carry and give birth to those babies, and have the man  be openly complaining about what a disaster this is going to be for him.

I have no idea if this woman thinks he's clever and accurate, and aides in patting his back.  I have no idea if this woman is currently curled up in a ball in her one bedroom apartment, hurt beyond my wildest dreams and humiliated.  In either event, if I were this woman's friend, I would feel the immediate need to point a few things out to him:
  1. Not to minimize the emotional pain of a man going through infertility, but emotions aside let's get some perspective, here.  This woman has gone through 2 years of hormones, injections, weight gain/loss, cramps, and all around body failings.  You jizzed in a cup.
  2. You may not understand that, but you were able to comprehend the 400,000 times you're asked if you want to put two in, right?
  3. No fucking way did your buddy from college in reference to his twins say "Think of the worst thing you can imagine. That was what it was like".  Unless, of course, the two of you both attended Douchbags Who Should Be Sterilized University.
  4. I love that you say you've "privately admitted you don't like the new children". You just said it on HuffPo, asshat, and I sincerely hope you're having a third party pen the baby book.
  5. Please explain to me, Uncle Tom, about how after years of being infertile you somehow end up spouting out such unbelievably self involved horse shit worse than I've heard from any fertile?
  6. I love that the only point to posting this article, as far as I can see, is to have people tell you that it 'isn't going to suck'.  There's no possible way to feel bad for you, just for the babies.  It is going to suck for them.
I do not feel bad for you if both babies come out whining with the needs of newborns (the audacity!) I feel bad for your wife for having to deal with a whining grown man (so much worse than colic because you use words... public words.).  Absolutely unfair for a newborn to expect to be loved and cared for, totally reasonable for a grown man to expect the public at large to soothe him about getting something a lot of us would kill for.

It's like playing the lotto in hopes that you get 400 million dollars and then whining to the internet when you win 399.  You're panicked about how it's not exactly what you were hoping for, panicked about what you're going to do with it in your first year?  My gawd, can't wait to see the Lifetime movie based on your woes.  Give those kids, colic and all, to a woman whose been torturing herself for years to achieve what you've been cursed with.  Not one complaint out of her lips, guaranteed.

What really gets me is that last week was National Infertility Awareness Week.  Everybody blogged about it (including me!), people bravely came out on Facebook.. there were more articles, memes, blogposts, status updates, etc., on the subject than I've ever seen.  Truly inspiring.

We try so hard to explain to fertiles how difficult a process this is, how heartbreaking it is, and to especially help them understand this is the unselfish task of warriors, a task that most probably couldn't handle.  And especially with IVF, there's a lot of octomom, 'starving children in the world', misunderstood stigma bullshit.

Best case scenario, there is only one ignorant and smug fertile who is going to read this article and think to themselves 'yup, always knew IVF should be banned because this is what ends up happening'. Or worse, "yup, infertility is just gawds way of making sure certain people can't procreate".

And we so rarely, in this community, get to hear from men.  It's such a treat when we get to.  And this is the jackass talking about it on Huffington Post.

Please alert me when an infertility article is written on HuffPo by a man, and not by one of this poor womans four children.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Babies Don't Love, They Need

It. Is. Almost. Monday.

Umm, I don't know if you know but I'm sort of a big deal and since we last spoke have become uber fancy.  Seriously considering getting myself a smoking jacket, one of those beatnik Hepburn-esque cigarette holders, mayhaps even a monocle.

I discovered this website called... Twatter or Twitter, I'm unclear on the pronunciation.  I don't know if you know about it, it's basically a spinning internet carnival whereby following me is the equivalent of having the disjointed thoughts of your local insane woman sent to your phone or computer at her whim.  This woman, who you probably already follow because she appears to be some sort of uterus Hub, interrogated me under hot lights and water boarded me until I agreed to join.

I'm twittering about my twat @StupidStork, ladies and gents.  Now who else is on there?!?  SHOW YOURSELVES.

This is going to be one of those posts where Stork needs to vent.  (If not to you people, then who, damnit). Now as I am about to get uncharacteristically judgey, please keep in mind that yes I'm a heathen, but usually a very kind and charming one.

Here, to soften you up first, a pug on a slide.

I have previously written a little bit about my half-sister, 'Summer', but don't worry I'll summarize (or Summerize - SEE WHAT I DID THERE?) so there's no catch-up involved.

I was adopted, day one minute one after being born, by the best possible parents a child could ask for. (Tip from an adoptee:  when discussing their origin story - like they're a superhero! - make sure to use the terms 'birthparents'.  'Real parents' or 'your mom and dad' is like nails on a chalkboard.  This has been a PSA).

I did the whole meet the birthparents and siblings thing (I'm sure I'll write about that someday) because I was just too curious.  Birthmom is a nice lady, and she had my half-brother a few years after I was born.  I can completely embrace being genetically related to her, and she raised him herself and did a great job.  Love him, get him, he is a part of my life. 

My birthfather is a story for another day.  Let's just say back in the day, at least, he wasn't the most exemplary of men, and 6 years after I was born he had my half sister, Summer. (Actually, you should really be reading that as Sumer - her name is a common word, but my genius birthfather and her mother didn't know how to spell it properly, so she would forever be Sumer).

Seeing as how the birthfather was older and 'more mature' by the time Summer came along, he attempted to raise her for a few years prior to going to prison.  Her Mom has an involvement in her life but mostly let Summer's grandparents (who are destitute) raise her, and the birthfather has remained mostly out.  (For the record, I am obviously for countless reasons extremely fortunate to have been adopted, and wish I had a magic wand to make Summer just as lucky).

I didn't know about Summer until I was a teenager, and we wrote letters.  A little while after Bub and I were married, I flew her out to L.A. for a week and that was the one and only time we've been in the same space. I love her very much, I do - but as is true with the entirety of my paternal side, I don't really 'get' her.  We keep in touch via facebook occasionally, and that will probably be the extent of our relationship.

Summer has not been single for more than five minutes since she was 16.  She is now 24 and from what I can tell has been engaged to every other 'man' that has come into her life.  After cheating on each other, and breaking up and getting back together right up until the wedding, Summer married 'Brad' this past fall.  They were on foodstamps, welfare, and Summer has no plans to get a job.  They of course immediately started to try and get pregnant and (of course!) immediately succeeded, but don't worry I don't think this is getting in the way of her spending her money on and smoking pot. She is now 5 months pregnant, and as of today I have just learned that she is back with her destitute and very elderly grandfather, and getting a divorce.

I want to make clear that I love her, and again, wish I had a magic wand that could help her.  I also want to make clear that I have no idea where I would be if I wasn't lucky enough to be adopted.. maybe even worse off than she is.

But here comes the vent.  If the pug didn't do it please be softened by this very demanding christmas tree.

I am, as you probably know, a bleeding heart liberal.  And if ever there was a person that needed financial help from the government?  Summer is it.  What I have a hard time understanding is when you're in a position to need that much help, you're 24 and you've been married for 2 months, how planning a baby right away sounds like a smart idea.

Yesterday, I quite innocently popped onto Facebook and was taken aback by 3 things in my newsfeed, one on top of the other:
  1. Selfies Brad took of himself posing with money
  2. that he has listed himself as 'separated'
  3. Summer is now listed under her maiden name.
I immediately sent her a message to see what happened.

No one cheated, no one beat anyone, but he was coming home from work late an entire week in a row and then didn't put ultrasound pictures up on his Facebook page.  So she left.  That's it, the end of the 6 month marriage, full steam ahead towards divorce.  She was temporarily homeless, now she's living back with her grandfather but don't worry, she's now with a guy who 'wants to be there for her'.  This all happened in two weeks.  

I told her I loved her, I'm sorry this situation didn't work out for her, I'm thinking happy thoughts for her, let me know if she needs anything.

But, of course, there are a few things I really want to say.

(Try to still love me, please).

I fully understand the difference between Summer and I, as far as how our 'surprise' existence was dealt with.  I was given up for adoption because somehow my birthmother, despite her age and inexperience, understood that I needed a different kind of love than she could provide.  At that time, she really could've used someone to show up and love her unconditionally, but on some level she understood that I was not that candidate and she was not ready.  With Summer, her Mom wanted someone to fill the holes in her life and thought Summer was the candidate.  When she realized that that wasn't how it was going to pan out, Summer got passed around.

Now that I'm an adult, because of how I was raised and the kind of love I was exposed to, I get that having someone to love you is not a good primary reason to have a child.  And because of how Summer was raised, I can't help but think she doesn't get that.

No one has any business creating a human being just so that they can have someone who loves them. No one.

Babies are hopefully born of love, and those babies will grow up to love you.... but babies don't really love, babies need.

It is the only existing relationship that I can think of where the design of it is entirely for one person to pour their love and everything that they can give, gleefully into someone who only has the ability to take it.

In an ideal world the person consciously making a decision to create themselves this kind of relationship does it because they are so full of love, care and attention that they want to channel that into that child and see what grows. Again, not because they're lacking love but because they have so much of it. They understand that there's two kinds of love - the love you give a child, and the love you give everyone else.

Any other type of love on the planet, you can expect full reciprocation, and if you're giving more than you're getting, a person of good self esteem eventually says "peace, I'm out".  Love for a child should ideally come with the total understanding that for a long time your job is to give and their job is to take - which logically means that this is not going to be the thing that makes up for all those adults who didn't reciprocate.

Trying to fill adult-made holes with a baby is like trying to solve the problem of thirst by putting on moisturizer.  It's not the same thing.

Of course your baby loves you... but it's not going to make up for adults not loving you, or you not loving yourself.  A baby should just have to deal with growing up, not with righting the wrongs of the adults you had in your life.

If what you want is a tomato garden, you plant it with the understanding that it's going to take commitment.  You plant seeds, you water, you make sure it gets the right amount of light and attention.  That act alone is supposed to feed your soul. If you do a good job, later on you'll get tomatoes.  If you do it in the hopes that those seeds immediately after - shall we say implantation? - are going to turn around and concern themselves with whether or not you're getting enough light and attention, you're going to end up with a mess in your backyard.

Yes I'm over simplifying, yes I realize it's not an ideal world and I doubt there's one person reading this who isn't familiar with the apparent law of the universe that the very women who get instant gratification in the reproductive department are often times the very women who don't think about these things.

I'm just saying if the majority of your reasoning behind creating a human being is because you want someone to love you?  You have it backwards.  Create a human being because you want to love, because you want to experience what it's like to pour your heart and soul into someone just to see what they'll do with it.

And of course, no one is going to love you like your child is going to love you.  I have the Mother of all Mothers, and if she needed a kidney tomorrow I would rip it out with my bare hands.

But I'm 31.  When I arrived, I was a ball of confusion and need, and though I'm sure she was my favorite person from day one, let's be honest, for the first couple of years it was probably in large part because girlfriend showed up with a bottle when I was hungry and a clean diaper when I had pooped.  Child love instantly available - adult gratitude and love come later.

A baby is helpless, innocent, new.  When it arrives and for several years to forever, the only item on the agenda is for you to make him/her feel loved in the scary new world, teach him/her about it, help usher them through it in a way that will keep them happy and safe.  That's the item on the agenda.  They don't exist solely to arrive and immediately start to provide you with the love themselves.  That was your Moms job.

If tomorrow I am beamed up and sent to Mars (hopefully you're not, at this point, wishing this on me) I don't think my first order of business will be making the aliens feel loved and safe.  Maybe in time I will, but frankly for a good long while there I'm just gonna need them to explain to me how to breathe right and navigate, and then in time when I finally have my wits about me I will love them for it.

If what you're looking for is to fill a hole in your heart that was created by adults, a baby is not immediately going to be able to fill it - those are adult sized holes.  I wish for everyone that there is at least one person on the planet who makes you feel whole, complete, and loved, however in this world there are people in their 50s who don't know how to do that for another person, a baby is not going to instantly figure it out.  I just can't help but think that the kind of hole that Summer is dealing with, Summer should figure out how to fill herself.

And I know I'm not some perfectly together, fully whole person.  I know that if I'm given the opportunity to parent I'm going to fuck it up royally at times, and there will be times when I unfairly expect my child to fill a hole that they didn't create.

But I get that a baby, when they arrive, needs.  And that it's my job to fill those needs.

I get that my job is to be covered in cheerios, panicking every time they get a cut and to be a sexless ball of providing for a few years.

I get that what I'll be receiving is the ability and opportunity to love and care for someone on a level that I don't yet know, and that that's the part of the experience that's going to feed me.

I get that I am volunteering to put my needs and wants on the back burner just to get the opportunity to put theirs first.

I get that whatever shortcomings I have as a result of my time on this earth, that it's my job to fix them and not my childs.

I get that you have a child to love and provide, not to be loved and provided for.

I get that I have to dramatically pause anytime I want to make a decision and that even though I'll fuck it up sometimes, I need to make our baby the deciding factor rather than myself.

I get that I'm volunteering to downgrade my husband and my love life to second place on the list of priorities, just for the opportunity to look into the eyes of that loves product.

I get all these things.

What I don't get, of course, is a baby.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Join the Movement...

Greetings, cybervixens!

We are coming to you live from under a heating pad at House of Stork.  Seeing as how my body has failed to churn out a period in 3-4 months, I did the 10 day Provera/progesterone boogie and am now suffering the necessary consequences.

This week is NIAW.  Yes, I know the internet is full of acronyms but this one is important: National Infertility Awareness Week, April 21-27.

Resolve is one of the Mother Ships for Infertiles.  It is a non-profit organization for access, information, all the necessities for those of us who are fertility challenged.  And this week, being NIAW, they issued a blog challenge for bloggers to write about how they are affecting people's lives (including their own) in ways big and small when it comes to infertility.  (Click here if you want to participate, ya'll).

It's a week for dipping a tiny infertile toe out of the infertility closet, in hopes that someone will learn something from said toe.  A week to take our angry uteruses out for a spin, because girlfriend has been cooped up for far too long and probably has a lot of shit to say.

Hi, my name is Stork, and I am an infertile.

From looking at me you wouldn't know this.  Hell, from talking to me you might not even put together that I want kids - but I've been actively doing the baby dance for over three years now, and flirting with it from across the room for almost seven.

Whether or not I wake up in the mood for it, infertility is a part of my life Every. Single. Day.  Even at my most distracted, Hope and Sadness will both wriggle their way into my mind if only for a fleeting second.

Sometimes I try to strangle them.  Some days I shout about them (and seriously consider buying a megaphone). I always try to laugh at the situation - because let's face it, anything involving a wand wearing a condom whether it be Infertility or a Harry Potter fetish porn can be funny - but sometimes I still end up crying.  This afternoon, as I said to someone earlier, what I would like to do is smash Hope and Sadness into a tiny little ball, wedge that ball into the pit of my stomach and then throw some pancakes on top of it.  That's how I'm feeling about it today, and I make no promises or guarantees as to how I'll deal with it tomorrow.

I don't think it's fair for me to say that I created a supportive community for myself when it comes to my malfunctioning lady parts, because that implies more planning than there was.  Even though my period was always a rebel that did what she wanted when she wanted, and my thyroid is the bodily equivalent of angry cat where it's response to every request is a fervent "NO" and to poof out hair in strange places, I am still somehow surprised that I'm here.

That's the thing about Infertility - whether you knew it was going to be an issue or not, once you actually start the process of dealing with it it's always... surprising.  What if someone had said to Dorothy before the tornado hit  "hey, dude, by the way...You're not going to have the Home you've been looking for without walking this super long winding road far from where you'd ever imagined you'd be.  You're going to have support but you're also going to be tormented.  And this will all just be in the hopes that eventually some person at that end of the road might have just the right amount of magic to make Home a reality." I'm not sure she'd be any more prepared.  When for the first time that journey appeared before her in color, I think she'd still be lonely and afraid.

Whether I had clues or not that it was coming, I started casually climbing the lush mountain known as "hey I think it's time to make myself a family" and promptly fell straight off a cliff.  I marched right to the top of that mountain and into thin air, and before I could even wrap my head around what was happening my body found a net.  The online infertile community - in the form of bloggers and some forums - existed long before I even started to climb and it caught me, no questions asked.  My friends and family, with a few stumbles but a surprising amount of grace, managed to tap dance and Forrest Gump their way through figuring out how to support me.

And once you get over the initial shock of the fall and your knees stop shaking long enough to think straight, you start thinking and learning about how to best give back to that support system, how to be a functional part of the net.

At best, my 'contribution' to the Infertility community is just trying to be a functional albeit very goofy part of that net when I can; trying to aide in catching people when they fall, and stepping up to the plate when my particular brand of support (which is slaphappy and silly) benefits somebody.

It's because of you ladies that the only bruises on my ass are from hormone injections and not from a spectacular splat falling from Hope to Reality.  In honor and frankly in total awe of you, when I have my wits about me I try to pay homage by being a part of that net.  I am a goofy, totally ridiculous and very specific part of it, but when I get down on myself about how 'useless' my antics are I remind myself that people need goof.

And whatever it is that you are, whatever weird little thing it is that you do well when it comes to being there for other people, it's amazing.  No matter how ridiculous or specific it is, it is amazing.  If your specialty is rarely called upon, it contributes.  There will be a day where you are exactly what a woman needs to make her feel good, and there you are, in our ranks.  Making jokes, photographing roadkill, knitting sweaters for siamese cats, whatever it is.  It has and will continue to do something for someone, as long as you stand with us and be a part of the net when you're able.

I've learned from, continue to learn from and am eternally grateful to be a part of a wild pack of rabid womb warriors who roam this here corner of the Internet.

As far as contributing to this pack... For me, I've started dipping my toe out of the shame closet. While I haven't worked my way up to Facebook yet (never fear, should I ever be that girl that makes a pregnancy announcement I will give a sizable shout out to science and medication), as a result of this support system I'm much more likely to tell people about my struggle.  Maybe not all the time in a sit down pow-wow let's discuss sort of way, but when people ask me what I'm up to, I've learned to tell them what I'm up to. Hell, I once announced to a room full of drag queens and drunken gays that I was having mimosas to have an appropriate, heartfelt goodbye befitting alcohol prior to my first IVF.

I'm starting to do the Facebook math.  Science tells me that 1 in 8 couples experience some form of infertility at some point.  Facebook tells me that half of the women on my newsfeed are pregnant, half of the pregnant women are pregnant with multiples, and 0.0 of them have ever said anything about infertility.  In case you don't feel like pulling out your calculators, that equals a whole lot of unnecessary shame and bullshit.

I'm learning that mostly, people respond to learning of the situation in two ways - either they say something so awful it's hilarious (my favorite example:  a cousin saying "so... does bub have to have surgery to get his sperm removed?") or much more likely, they're supportive and say something wonderful, even if it's not exactly what I would say.

I think one of the biggest contributions a person can make to this community other than just deciding to be a functioning part of it is taking your own experiences of how people responded to your womb woes, and applying them to the womb woes of others.  And if you're reading this and you're new to the Infertile community, or you're not an official member but a loved one of someone who is -  by all means, take whatever you can from my experiences or from the experiences of others and run with it.  Listen to women like me, who have without choice ridden or are riding the roller coaster.  Cheating off of others is not only acceptable but encouraged.

One of the largest and simplest ways a person can help the infertile community is to learn how to be there for, and then be there for, it's other members.

On that note, some promises I'm making based on lessons I've learned, and if you're new to our fold some promises I hope you'll consider making to Infertiles before you've even learned the lessons:

If you are new to a treatment, I will be honest with you about it.  Some parts of it are going to suck.  Most of it's not going to be nearly as bad as your mind can build it up to be.  Much like godzilla, you will be swelling up to twice your usual size and terrorizing your entire city.. but in a charming way.

I will never belittle your feelings about a negative pregnancy test.  You have every right to react to it however you react to it.  Even if it's totally 'expected' I will be pissed with you.

I will never say "so why don't you just adopt?" People hurl this phrase around, and I can't say if I wasn't an infertile I would know how much that phrase stings.  But, we infertiles know - it implies that you're being selfish and that adoption is the 'easy' solution. When a woman is putting herself through hell to make a lifelong dream come true, it's not selfish. Putting herself through fire shouldn't indicate stupidity or selfishness, it should tell you how very badly she wants it. And even women who have only ever wanted to adopt will tell you that adoption is not 'easy'.  We all have girlfriends who have always dreamed of getting married and it just hasn't happened for them so far - and we know not to say to them "why don't you just give up and be single?".  Of course she may end up single, but the heavy editing of a lifelong dream happens on her timetable, not ours.  Implying that you 100% know what the outcome of her struggle will be is a disservice to her and a lie.

Also, as an adoptee, should you end up adopting I will kiss your patootie and you will officially be a saint in the eyes of stork.  Maybe I'll even wear a medallion with your giant face on it. My adoption, in my eyes, was my parents looking at all the kids in the world, pointing at me, and saying "you, kid.  You're about to win the lottery". Having said that, if it's something a person ends up doing, they have to be stoked about it and if you ever are, I will be stoked for you.

I promise to always remember that it is irrelevant whether or not someone's path is the one that I would take.  Irrelevant. It is no one's place to judge how a person creates their family, and most of the time when a woman is doing something that I wouldn't do?  In some way or another it's because she has a bravery that I'll never know.  (Okay but in the spirit of honesty if you're talking kidnapping or making your family entirely out of sock puppets, I will probably have to judge you).

If you have an infertile friend and they are spending so much time talking about their problems and it's starting to bug you? I promise she's controlling herself heavily and you're only seeing the visible top of a deeply submerged iceberg.  It's like one day waking up and discovering that you are going to have a live crow stitched to your head for the next several years.  Yes, you absolutely want to go out and not always talk about that fucking crow, but that shit is distracting.  And it will be difficult, some days, for that person to listen to you complain about your gardener not trimming your hedge properly without her thinking "DUDE.  I have a CROW stitched to MY HEAD".  She is trying, I promise.

I genuinely believe that the appropriate response to most woes of an infertile is to say "that freaking sucks and I am pissed on your behalf", and to not provide suggestions for a next step unless they ask.  And then whatever that next step is?  Get pumped about it for them.  If they do exactly the opposite of what you would do, get pumped for them.

I will cheer with you, I will cry with you, if someone is being an ass I will take off my weave and slap them with it for you, I will make inappropriate jokes (my specialty).  I will embrace hope when you need me to and I will throttle that ho when you need me to.

I think of our little club like AA - does anyone grow up wanting to be a part of that group?  No.  But what a life saving group of badasses who have seen hell's fire and come back to tell the tale. The most confused and fragile members of the group are going to be the new ones, and us veterans need to remember where we came from and act as sponsors.  You are my Sisters in Shittiness and I'm proud to be a member of a group full of such survivors.

Some helpful links that Resolve suggests for new Sisters in the fold, or if you just love one:
*Infertility 101
*About NIAW

So here's to dipping a toe out and to being whatever strange part of the net you can be.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Broads, Ladies and Ants.

Happy Wednesday my lovable infertiles.

My other writing and general shenanigans have been getting in the way of being on here.  Bless me interwebs, for I have sinned.  It's been about two weeks since my last blog confession.

This past week, an old friend of mine (old friend of Bub's, actually, I know her through him but I adore her like she was my own) popped up on my Fertilebook newsfeed for the first time in awhile and I pounced on her like a jungle cat.  I sent the usually inquiry as to how she was doing (1 paragraph), she sent me one back telling me how she was doing and asking how I was (1 paragraph) and then I unleashed a novel of vaginal tales upon her (4,976 paragraphs) and hastily followed it up with "I'm sorry my life is full of gay men! Your uterus beckons to me!"

She was, of course, gracious and lovely because she is, in fact, gracious and lovely.  It felt good to get shit out, but afterwards I sat and was a wee bit surprised at myself because this felt like an unplanned and out of the blue enema.  I have spent weeks feeling chicken shit about impending IVF this summer.  To be more specific - chicken shit buried under 1,000 lbs of 'things I have to do before IVF'; some realistic, some the realistic equivalent of acquiring myself a unicorn by July.  So, as is my usual response to being buried under too much emotional rubble, I have sort of accepted the weight of it without actually processing any of it.

It's like the trail of mutant ants that have infested my shower.  They've been there for two weeks and every day when I get in the shower I look at them and think "shit I should really do something about that" and then take my fucking shower and go on about my day without, you know, the doing something about it part. (Sidenote: they seem to be removing hair from my shaver and marching off with it.  Should I disappear, please explain to Dateline that my being dragged away forcefully and made Ant Queen is a plausible theory).

So four things have occurred to me:
  1. I've probably been a little absent on here in part because I'm in some sort of weird denial that My Big Chance is coming up this summer;
  2. While I'm absolutely-fruitly blessed in the best friend and husband department, my life is currently lacking in the lady-companion department;
  3. I should probably get an exterminator and
  4. I should take out a page of the ole ant-playbook, because those bitches carry around rubble a gajillion times their size and don't break a sweat.

I feel the need to point out here, and in no way do I mean this in a way to offend or to instigate an argument because you will lose - that my best friend, Mr. T., kicks your best friend's ass.

It is the stuff of Will and Grace - give one of us a charade to act out and the other will get it in under 10 seconds.  It is the stuff of Harry Potter - we communicate much in the cosmic-psychic way of Voldemort and Harry.  Of course in this scenario Voldemort is much more attractive and campily catty rather than evil, and instead of a lightening scar on my forehead I have a birthmark on my thigh that looks like a chocolate chip cookie.

And as far as infertility shenanigans go, there's nothing missing from my ability to talk to him about it on account of me being an innie and him being an outtie. Even in his infinite gayness he has thus far braved two invasive vaginal exams when Bub couldn't be in attendance.  When I had my early miscarriage and was a near-silent disaster for a week, he came over, cleaned my house, and bequeathed me with the perfect miscarriage gifts: a giant stuffed strawberry, "The Passion of the Christ" and "Fame".  If Bub is my heart, then Mr. T is my glittery colon.  There's no Hallmark Holiday for it, sure, but he wades through all my shit bravely and if removed I would cease to function and eventually suffer death by constipation.

But I have exactly one close lady friend in L.A., miss Kali, and that is it.  My other awesome lady friends are spread out in the world. Stork has not found solid, local girlfriends.

I want to make clear that it's not that I hold on to some ridiculous notion that I'm in my 30s and in a big city so therefor I should be living out the plot to Sex and the City.  (Honestly, they should've just called that series "Puns and Posing").

I especially want to make clear that I am not one of those "oh, I don't get along with girls" girls.  You know who I'm talking about.  The ones in college who went on and on about how girls were just 'trouble', how they always felt more at home with the boys. (Which is such bullshit because the butchest tomboy lesbians, when they belong to themselves have lady friends...lovely, lovely lady friends).  I know that when a girl says "I just don't get along with other women!" that there's a 99% chance that she's a rancid cunt (and I'm being liberal, here) and it's a self esteem marker much in the way that making out with a girl for a frat boys viewing pleasure is.  (I'm all for bisexual college experiences, but I'm just talking about the girl that overall does things not for herself but for what others will think of her).

I love women. So it's not a lack of want or need, here.  I want and I need.  I think it's in part due to a lack of local options, but probably even more so my total suckiness at any first date type scenario and my inability to bullshit overall. (Sunny has been my one infertile local date.. we skipped the bullshit and went straight to cervical mucus.)

You tell me if I'm being bananas here, please, but I think even the ladies who live here (why haven't we met? Let's make out and not for the benefit of a frat) will agree that we have a higher percentage of women who are not full of friendship in frivolity because they're just so fucking full of shit.

Every Los Angelian is pretending to be something - it's an entire city founded upon playing pretend.  I'm fancy, I'm rich, I'm somebody, I'm best friends with ::name drop::.  When two women meet there's usually earrings, cocktails and adding 7 u's to the word cute (which you will be expected to use liberally) involved.  And I don't know how to participate in that kind of a conversation, nor do I know how to have a meaningful friendship that starts out that way.

I think it has a lot to do with the broad to lady scale.  Much like I don't believe anyone falls 100% to one side of the sexuality scale, I don't believe a woman falls 100% to the broad or lady side.  Every broad has an inner lady and ever lady has an inner broad.  And I think, for the most part, while we all lean to one side or the other, most women are fairly close to the middle.

But not really here.

Here the L.A. lady is revered (think of a traditional 'lady', but with a spray tan, boobs, and the ability to portray 'rich somebody', true or not).  You are expected to be one, or do your damndest to fake it.  And in a city of absolute extremes, wherein pretty much everything you encounter is going to be Loved or Hated, such is the reaction to a broad like me.  I am either hated, or on rare occasion absolutely loved.  I am not tepid.  If I'm not for you than I am 100% not for you, and if I am we're going to be great friends. I am the girlfriend equivalent of sushi.

(So the pay off is actually quite nice, my frustration is just that it's hard to find.. I know, I know.. what isn't.)

I don't really know how to lie or bullshit.  I curse.  If PJ's or flip fops are in any way an option I will always select that option. When something is awful or beautiful, I say it.  I don't pretend to have my shit together when it's not, and I'm much more interested in what a girl is like when she's comfy at home saying what she actually feels than when she's wearing high heels in a bar, telling me how nice so and so from True Blood is in real life (apropos of nothing) and asking if the fact that I write means I can cast her in something.  (No.... No.   I'm an unfancy 5 ft 2 chubby lady whose outfit cost less than $40, so the only thing I can really cast is a ginormous shadow... so...... No.)

And let's not forget the issue of kids.  Los Angelian women my age seem to fit into one of two categories.  One, their entire life had no meaning prior to their children, their ability to procreate defines them and most of your interactions will revolve around you looking through their IPhone photos and putting the appropriate number of u's in your "cute!"s.  Two, they regard children much in the same way they would a stranger walking into their house and taking a giant dump in the middle of their bed.

And I, the Mystic Infertile, have a hard time fitting into either one of those categories.

My roundabout point to this vent is that I'm very glad you exist. Prior to blogging my only online experience with women seemed to be Fertilebook, where everyone loves to sonogram sniper me. I'm happy that even if it's online, there's a whole lot of honest vaginas out there doing their thing.  Whether it's because of the anonymity or the fact that we've all seen the dog and pony show and are just too exhausted to bullshit, I love that when I need a woman of substance in my life apart from my Mother, there you all are.  Kicking ass and taking names no matter where you are in the baby race.  Being honest.  Being ladies when it's called upon but much to my delight, mostly being broads.  I have so much respect for you my verbose self can't even put it into words.  When I disappear in an attempt to bullshit myself and marvel at the strength of ants, I miss you.  You who most of whom I haven't even met. You are what makes me want to stop bullshitting myself and marvel at our own ant-like abilities.

Whether I'm currently being a grumpy old fart or not, it's just nice to know that there's a little corner of the world I can retreat to with like-minded, bullshit free women, where everything isn't just a sour slap in the vagina.

This is my 100th post, and I don't even know how silly Stork of early 2012 was managing before this blog.  Love to you all.

ALSO.  Sort of on point in regards to that particular brand of college aged women with an inability to get themselves good girlfriends but mostly because it makes me die of happiness.... As a 100th post gift, I give you the video that made me laugh for about 20 minutes straight like a lunatic.

Do not watch it at work or in a church pew or some strange place, Sam I Am..  DO watch it if you haven't seen it and are in a semi private setting.  DO IT.

And holy gawd now I can embed this.  It may very well be a toss up between this and my wedding day in the contest of BEST THING EVER.  I do not know what would come in second, it's too hard.

I'm pretty much inconsolable about the fact that I didn't coin the phrase 'cunt punt'.

You're welcome.  You're just... welcome.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Boobs... And what else do you want?

Today I would like to talk about boobs.

Those of you with an empty uterus, feel free to take a shot anytime you read the word "boobs". That's today's secret word.

I was asked out at the gym today.

More specifically, I believe my breasts were asked out at the gym today and the rest of me was sort of an unfortunate tag along.

I have big boobs. If/when I get pregnant if my boobs have the audacity to swell, I will be in that special category of women that have to special order their bras online from an Amish woman who mysteriously has an Etsy shop.

I mean, all of me is big (eek), I have bug eyes and my hair left untended (which is most of the time) looks like an inexplicable afro, but a good 50% of the time I thoroughly enjoy having big boobs.  They look good in a corset and give me a distinction in what would otherwise just be a blob in leggings.  However, the downside apart from trying to fit into clothes, small spaces, or trying to go underwater without floating, is that when I get a compliment from a stranger, the compliment doesn't belong in flowery poetry but rather hairy retro 80s porn (I believe it's the big boob/hair combo).

Though I am old and married, I enjoy being looked at (not boob specific, but just looked at) just as much as the next girl, it can be a nice little compliment.  I do not like being oggled.  I once had a man nearly run me off the road to tell me I had 'the nicest tits!'.  I would prefer compliments I can imagine Ryan Gosling saying in a movie, not compliments I imagine him saying late at night in the dirtiest most shameful parts of my mind.

(The irony being I'm so disgusting at the gym - sweaty, no make-up, inexplicable hair - and I'm being mentally motorboated by men.  I get dressed up to go to gay karaoke/line dancing night with Mr. T, and not one lesbian hits on me.  Sad face.  What gives lesbians?  I'm absolutely charming and I love home depot just as much as any girl with a crew cut! but I digress).

My problem at the gym is the damn bicycle. I have the best sports bra on the planet, in my opinion, however as my husband put it when I was jumping up and down and asking if I looked like a low budget porn, "the problem is you have more cleavage than most women have breasts". And on the bike there's a lot of up-and-down and side-to-side happening, and on more than one occasion a man has spent far too long on the equipment in front of my bike staring with the intensity usually reserved for doing taxes.  The shower I take when I get home isn't always from my own sweating.

And I love a good pair of boobs!  Don't get me wrong.  I am weirdly hypnotized by a good pair.  However the hypnosis lasts about 2 seconds before I think "stork, you're being creepy".  If you don't share the creepy hypnosis I'm talking about, just think.. it doesn't even have to be sexual.  If a disgusting man were on a treadmill and his balls were out and shaking left to right, you'd have to look for a second because something ridiculous is happening.  I just don't understand the full on unbreakable boob hypnosis.

Mr. T has been ill so I went gyming by myself today, and for some idiotic reason (I still have a kidney infection! what am I doing?) did the damn free bicycle peep show. I purposely did not look up at the boys working out in front of me, so I only saw shorts.  As I was leaving, a man asked me what I was listening to so intently on my ipod.  We had a 30 second conversation about how I think Kanye West is a dick but his music makes me appropriately workout angry.

Then said man followed me out to my car, and I stupidly still didn't realize what was going on because I'm a believer in that old theatre adage, "All the men are gay, and every man plays with man parts". Then one incredibly uncomfortable car-leaning conversation later, my breasts (heaven forbid he look up.. I honestly doubt the man knew my hair color) were asked to coffee.  I being the mouth responsible for speaking on my boobs behalf explained that my boobs were, in fact, married, as evidenced by my rings.  But thank you.

No more bicycle for me without Mr. T.


Mr T and I had an interesting conversation many gym trips ago about how there are some women who like to disappear into their children and we don't want to be like that.  I've since been continuing that discussion in my head.

I was talking about how on my Facebook feed I'm constantly being sonogram snipered, and there are a few people who I've had to remove from my newsfeed even though they're lovely people, because it's a constant neverending loop of how their life had no meaning before their kids, it apparently still doesn't have any meaning apart from their kids, and how the rest of us... well, we just don't understand.  (So even though they obviously don't mean it as such, everyday their messages say to me "your life has no meaning, but mine does").

Let me state clearly: obviously I want a kid, I want a kid something awful.  And obviously when/if I finally do get there, I'm going to completely disappear into mommyville for several years, and I'm sure no one will be able to shut me up about it.  This is not a 'better than them' thing.

This is a.. what else is there?  Thing.

Because babies are easy to disappear into, especially for those of us who have worked so hard to get them. They're entirely dependent on you, it's an experience you worked so hard for.. I have so much love for just my hypothetical kid I can't begin to imagine what will happen when I can feel them moving around in my belly much less when they're in front of me.  Indefinable love.

But babies turn into kids, kids turn into teenagers, teenagers turn into adults.  Slowly but surely they start to become people of their own, and when they do, I just think it's a good idea to still be a person of your own.

I want to be the kind of Mom that totally smothers their kid with love and makes their life about them.  I want my kid to know that they are my greatest, proudest, best accomplishment.  But I also, when they get to be an adult, want them to be able to say "damn my Mom's an interesting lady".

I'd still like to be me.  I'd still like to be funny.  I'd still like to write.  I'd still like to have something that I'm proud of aside from them.

This is super important to me if I have a child.  And if I let the dark part of my mind speak above a whisper and say "what if you don't have a child..." ...all the more important.

Because someday when I look back and ask myself what I did the last ten years, I don't want "tried to make a baby" be the only thing I can say.  And should I make a baby, maybe this is one of those things that you're not supposed to say out loud so judge if you must, I don't want to look back and have "I raised a kid" be the only thing I can say. Most important thing I can say, of course, just not the only thing.

So I'm thinking in the near future I'm gonna make a list.  My goals in terms of family-making are pretty fucking clear, I've got that down pat.  But in any scenario - whether I end up with triplets or I end up ::shudder:: childless - the question becomes no less important.

What the fuck else do I want?

.....Not boobs.  I have enough of those.