Words to Live By

Happily married. 41. Infertile/perimenopausal. TV and iPod addict. Transplanted Canadian living in California. {Warning - abundant sarcasm and frequent *gasp* profanity lie herein.}

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Equal Rights

This story makes me proud to be a Canadian. Way to go, you crazy Canucks!

Well now we've got the party started! The Spanish are joining in the fun. It's a better world for it, I say. Just think of the weddings! Wheeeeeeeee!

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Seven, Unleashed

My Dad, his girlfriend/common-law wife/mother of his son, and their 14 year-old son are on their way down for a visit. They are driving down from B.C., taking their time. They should be here by Friday. I am really looking forward to seeing my Dad and even M., although she is far too indulgent with her child and can be annoying, but I could totally do without my half-brother.

I know that's terrible. Here's the thing. He's 14. He's brooding, selfish, arrogant and spoiled. He treats his parents like shit. Everything sucks. Everything is boring. "Whatever" is his standard reply to almost every question, and all he wants to do is play violent video games on the computer. (He's not touching our computer, BTW, they've had theirs "mysteriously stop working" way too many times.) Sounds like your typical 14 year-old boy, right?

But, there are two others factors at play for me:

#1. He has the same first name as the child that my husband gave up for adoption. Just hearing it said makes me sad.

#2. He looks freakishly like my brother at that age. My brother that molested me. My brother who was killed in a car accident in April. My brother who at age 14 was molesting the 7 year-old me.

I hope my inner child doesn't just lose it on his ass.

Sunday, June 26, 2005

It's In the Genes

Don't you just love how the medical profession figures stuff out when it's too late to do you any good? Apparently, soon they will have a test that may be able to tell you approximately how many eggs you have left, and therefore, how long you can afford to wait to have children. Great. Too bad they didn't have this 10 years ago.

"In a study presented Tuesday at a European fertility conference, scientists reported some women who find it easy to conceive after age 45 have a special genetic profile."

Here's a link to the news story. Read it and weep with me if you're over 40.

What's In a Name

I tend to wait until I have written an entire entry in my head (and checked the Chicago Manual of Style) before writing anything down. Which is probably a mistake and causes my posts to be rather wordy. So I'm going to try to just jot things down when they come to me instead of making y'all wait for some perfectly manicured post with a through-line from clever title to end-sentence that wraps the whole thing up like a burrito.

When I started this blog I was in the middle of my IF struggle. So why didn't I choose a title that had anything to do with eggs or sperm or waiting or struggling or INFERTILITY?

Several reasons. I knew that there were going to be many posts that didn't have anything to do with that part of my life, or at least weren't the focus. All the really good metaphors and inside jokes were already taken by the Avatars of IF Blogs. And most telling of all, I didn't want to have to change the name later when the focus of my life changed from trying to have a baby. Was that defeatist or just lazy?

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Another Day Older

I try to think of my birthday as just that: I am one day older than I was yesterday. It's hard to think that way when you are goal-oriented and the goal you've been orienting towards for many years (ugh!) is still left as an unfinished and seemingly impossible task.

For those of you who only know me in the blogosphere I'm sure I seem quite sad. I assure you I'm really not, it's just that I tend to write when I am feeling down more than when I am feeling good.

My Mom called last night, ostensibly to wish me a happy birthday, but of course the conversation quickly turned to herself and of course, my brother. She asked me how I was doing "dealing with it all". The best I could sputter out was that my relationship with him was much different than anyone else's, but I was doing fine, thank you. And yes, I looked at all the pictures from the funeral and I'm still fine. Perhaps the fact that I don't have children makes it impossible for me to know what she is going through. Or perhaps I'm so used to her being in crisis that even when a genuine one presents itself, I still have no empathy.

Maybe I'm just tired. This working FT crap sucks! I honestly don't know how I did it for 15 years straight without blinking an eye. I want to sleep in. I want to go to the gym. I want to have lunch on a week day with friends. I want to take my dogs for a walk along the shoreline.

Well at least it's a good day to have a party. Too bad it's a big pity party! (Everyone sing along with me.)

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Fathers Without Children

Last night we were at an event with our closest friends and spent some time with their toddler, aka The Smartest Four Year-Old I Know. Another friend of ours, G., was there as well and he had a great time chatting with TSFYOIK and spinning him around and around in different shapes. My DH joined in the fun and the three of them were a giggling spinning frenzy of child and man-children. It broke my heart. How is it fair that these two men, who are two of the most caring, kind and intelligent people you will ever meet, aren't fathers? To be correct, they are fathers, without children.

G. is a father, to a full-term stillborn boy born 10 years ago.

DH is a father, to a grown man who hasn't seen his father since he was too young to remember.

I'll try to make the story brief (some of you may have already heard/read it). The child was born to very young parents, and when he was 18 months old his mother left DH and took him with her. There was already another man in the picture and DH didn't want to create more problems for the child by going against her wishes and keeping in contact. Not to mention he was so devastated he had to quit work and move back in with his mother. Fast forward 10 years. The child's step-father tracks down DH's mother and informs her that the child's mother and he are getting divorced, and she has already given up her parental rights. In order for the step-father to adopt the child, DH must also give up his parental rights. Again, he is devastated but knows it is in the best interest of the child to sign the paperwork. He has lost his child again. I hope that someday this man will want to know who his real father is and will establish contact.

I hope that someday we will be parents, somehow. I know that his reluctance to adopt is tangled up in this mess, and I completely understand that. He recently told me he would consider it after we've grieved for the loss of our ability to have our own biological child.

Until then, he remains, a father without children.

Saturday, June 18, 2005

How Much Does He Love Me?

Let me show you the ways.

Here's our anniversary presents to each other (a bit early). Ours are black. If you have dogs, and especially if you have dogs that you let sleep on your bed, you know how expensive and/or how much of a hassle it can be to keep a king-sized comforter clean. Now we can wash them ourselves.

And below is my birthday present from DH. Again, a few days early but he just couldn't wait and we are attending an event later today in which having a digital camera will be a plus.

The instruction manual is more than a little daunting (even the one in English), but thankfully the camera has a "beginner" setting until I have time to really go through all the features. DH is an amazing photographer so he can explain all the fancy stuff I don't understand. Now I can post pictures I just took on here.

Thursday I attended an all-day seminar for work and ran into a colleague I initially met soon after I moved to California in 1988, through my ex. He was going on and on about how good I looked. In fact, he said I looked 10 years younger now than I looked 10 years ago. Well, he can't know that since he didn't meet me quite 20 years ago, but I forgave him the slight exaggeration. I told him happiness can do that for a girl. Later I thought, after all the sadness I've been through, especially lately, how telling it was that that's what popped into my head to say. I think I really am going to be OK.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

TV, Movies & the Internet

Thank you all for your kind comments. I'm really trying not to be a big Drama Queen, but holy crap, shit just keeps comin' at me lately.

If you care, a little update on my ever-changing job situation. I told New Close-to-Home Client that I would stay until they found a FT replacement, since it ain't gonna be me sitting in that chair. I really wanted to leave after my 4-week assignment was up, but it didn't seem fair to leave them in the lurch when I have no other commitments.

I also talked to Old Client and asked if we could hold off on the move to Manager and FT employee-status there. My boss agreed that if she were me, she wouldn't want to change things either. I'm not ready to give up my PT consultant status just yet. She said at some point her hand may be forced, but for right now we're back at status quo. Phew.

I wanted to make a couple of comments on stuff I've seen and read lately. Has anybody seen the new TV Guide that just came out? Ugh. Kelly Ripa on the front cover proclaiming, "My body is so much better since I had kids!" Oh, go fuck yourself, Kelly.

We finally watched The Village last weekend. I don't know why we waited so long to see it, we loved Sixth Sense and Unbreakable. Whoever wrote the liner notes and described it as a "thriller" hadn't seen the movie. I found it to be profoundly sad. I won't give away the classic Shyamalan twist, but essentially the movie is about people who go to extraordinary lengths to leave their pasts behind. No matter how idyllic a life they try to create, tragedy still befalls them. Perhaps it's just the frame of mind I'm in. In any case, I would recommend it.

Finally, there's this site. I LOVE that someone came up with a funny idea and a way to make money at the same time. Take that you freaky Scientology nutbar.

Monday, June 13, 2005

The Real End

Sandy said in her comment that it seemed like I was either very accepting or in shock. A little bit of both, I guess. Denial is almost as powerful as hope. I had conveniently neglected to mention to any of my docs that my mother had a hysterectomy sometime in her mid-30's. Actually I had never really thought about it until now, my mother had so many surgeries and illnesses it was hard to keep track. I was conceived when my sister was 6 months old and my twin brothers were 6 years old. I swear, I was always her least favorite child, the child she never wanted or planned to have and the one who made her life pretty unbearable. I can't really imagine how difficult her situation must have been, but it wasn't my fault. Mom, hear that, I WASN'T THERE the night I was conceived. You can stop blaming me anytime.

Ahem. Sorry about that. Anyway, I wonder now why she just didn't have her tubes tied, since she obviously didn't want any more children, instead of yanking the goods clear outta there. My mother is a very persuasive patient, I've known her to nag doctors into performing procedures (even surgery) just to shut her up. So maybe that was it. Or maybe she had really fucked up reproductive organs and they had to go. I should ask her, but I probably won't. I don't need to know that badly, and it doesn't matter now anyway. I am what I am. Perimenopausal. Without a hyphen, I learned from Dr. Google.

I can't wait for my birthday in a couple of weeks. Not only am I expecting a long-overdue digital camera from Birthday Clause, but it will mean the end of this entirely crappy 40th year. 10 sucked (sexual abuse). 20 sucked (the beginning of my girlie parts rebellion against the rest of my body). 30 sucked (divorce). And now 40's been a big freaking train wreck.

P.S. After 17 days of bleeding, I think I am finally tampon-free. The Provera makes me feel like crap and gives me bad cramps, but its doing its job. Now I can't wait for the next adventure, Really Heavy Period. How much blood can I possibly have left?

Saturday, June 11, 2005

Parting the Red Sea

Once again my life has totally changed over the span of one week. Or at least my perception of it.

After two full weeks of bleeding I finally called my old OB, the guy who did all the IUIs who’s no longer covered by my insurance, even for non-IF related visits. I figured it was worth it to shell out the cost of an appointment to see someone who had my history for the past 3 years. He did a full annual exam and didn’t find anything remarkable (I’ll get the pap results next week, I guess).

However, based on my Tale of the Wacky Cycles since my last injectibles/IUI cycle failed in February (three 20-day cycles in a row, a normal 29-day cycle, then this cycle in which I spotted heavily on CD16-18, started on CD27 and just never stopped bleeding), he gently imparted the following:

“Your ovaries, uterus and cervix are fine. What you are experiencing is hormonal in nature. I don’t think you’re ovulating and have moved from pre-menopausal, where you were last year when we were doing the IUIs, into perimenopause. I think the best and easiest way to deal with the irregular periods is to start you on Provera for 5 days and then after you finish your next period (which will probably be very heavy), start on BCPs.”

And with that, my old label of IF patient was replaced with perimenopausal patient. How does this happen in less than 6 months? I am so confused, angry and sad. The Provera isn’t helping. Last night I felt like I had been hit by a truck.

On to the job stuff. I agreed to a 4-week consulting assignment at my new client, taking over for someone who left quite unexpectently. I told them I would be willing to talk about rolling over to a permanent FT position if I liked it well enough to give up my old client and my status as a consultant. After only a few days I started finding red flags – things that gave me pause and made me wonder about the company’s future, its internal practices and the working environment. The only thing it has going for it is its location, which as I said before, is REALLY close to home.

I told my boss at my other client (who is a wonderful, caring person who herself went through years of IF hell before adopting) about the opportunity. She was at first excited for me, knowing that it’s been my goal to be closer to home, but once I started talking about how things were there, became concerned that it was a step backwards in my career. At my next day there she took me into her office and offered me her job as the manager of the department. We had talked several times in the past about how she was grooming me to be her successor (she’s been there for 15 years) and if she was going to pass it on to anyone, she wouldn’t want to do that to anyone but me. Her other two direct reports have both been there for many years as well, but neither is management material. She would make me a manager under her and shift her focus to her other responsibilities outside the department, still being there as my mentor. This would enable me to get management experience without first having any management experience, something I couldn’t do at any other company. She would also factor in working from home one day a week. She said, if you hate it, stick it out for a year or two and then move on, adding to your resume. This would mean giving up my status as a consultant, something I covet. But it did give me a lot to think about.

After several more days at the new client and after my doctor’s appointment on Thursday, I told them that I would be leaving after my 4 weeks were up. I said it was for personal reasons. Perhaps it wasn’t smart to make this decision in my current frame of mind, but I wanted to be fair to them and give them ample time to find a replacement. DH says I can always change my mind.

I think what I am looking for right now is status quo. I love working PT and I love NOT being an employee. So I’m going to ask my boss at my old client if we can leave things the way they are right now and maybe later in the year talk again about hiring me as her successor.

Your comments are appreciated, as always.

Saturday, June 04, 2005

Oh, Never Mind

What a difference a week makes. Good news and bad news. Bad news first (natch)...

I'm 99% sure my friend is backing out of the surrogacy offer. She sent me an email saying she hadn't talked to her husband yet, and that she had doubts that he would agree, and even if he did agree, she wanted to talk to her doctor. Since she has a fibroid and would have to have a 3rd C-section so he might not recommend another pregnancy. I think the thing that really changed her mind was hearing about a friend of a friend who died after a c-section recently (she was 45). Now she's completely stressed about her upcoming birth in August and I'm sure can't fathom yet another one behind that. I knew it was not going to happen when she ended the message with "Adoption is still a good alternative."

Honestly, I'm not upset with her, just sad. I just wish she'd discussed it with her husband and her doctor before mentioning anything to me. In this instance I think I would have been better off never knowing she had the thought in the first place. That fuzzy champagne feeling I had a glimpse of is long gone.

The good news (I think) is I took on another client yesterday, filling up my PT schedule to FT again. This is a company I've been trying to get a job at for years. Ever since we moved here in 1999 it's been my goal to have my home and work numbers have the same area code. This is the first opportunity I've had to make that happen. There are only a handful of companies in my area that would ever need my services, so you have to be really lucky or know someone to get in. My commute to my other client is 50 miles each way and usually takes me about 90 minutes. My commute to this client is 12 miles and takes me about 20 minutes. So, that's good, right?

Then why aren't I happy about this? For one, I hate change. That sounds stupid coming from someone who's spent the last 3 years trying to make a huge change, but its true. I hate being the new girl. People who work in this area who also live here tend to stay at their company for a long time, even if it's not that great a job, because the quality of life is so much better without a long commute. So now I have a great commute. Big deal. Now I get to come home to an empty house an hour sooner than before.

Am I just too jaded and sad right now to be happy about anything?

UPDATE: Now I'm 100% sure. I just talked to my friend. Her husband doesn't want her to have surgery again and its obvious she doesn't either, so the deal's off. Part of why her husband said no was because we hadn't yet explored all of our options (i.e. we haven't done IVF). Whatever. That's not gonna happen, we can't afford it, my eggs are bad and if I'm going to be pregnant, its going to have to be my kid. So we're shelving the whole baby thing for a while and may look into adoption at some to-be-determined date in the future.

Did I mention I'm on Day 9 of my period? Maybe that's why I'm so sad and bitchy.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Things About Me

I know, I should have done this a long time ago. I was going to just put it in my sidebar, but the only way I know how to publish this so I can put it there is to first make it a normal post. Its a work in progress.

Things About Me (updated March 2007)

  1. I am the youngest of four children.
  2. All four of us have first names that start with D and have 5 letters. My brothers were fraternal twins.
  3. My husband is the youngest child of 3, and they all have first names that start with D and have 5 letters. Weird, huh?
  4. My parents divorced when I was in my late 20’s.
  5. I have a teen-age half-brother.
  6. I got married at 24 and divorced at 30. Re-married at 36 in 2000 (I think I got it right this time).
  7. One of my brothers has been divorced 3 times, the other 2, and me once. My sister is the only one who made a good decision out of the gate.
  8. I was born and raised in the suburbs of Vancouver, British Columbia.
  9. I’ve lived in the Bay Area of California since July 1988.
  10. I am still a Canadian citizen.
  11. I drive a 2001 VW Jetta.
  12. I also own a 1993 Ranger pick-up and a 1996 Sea-Doo jet ski.
  13. I cannot read music, play a musical instrument or sing (in key).
  14. I seldom go anywhere without my iPod.
  15. I have a gym membership and actually use it, even though I hate working out.
  16. I’ve been involved in drum & bugle corps since I was 11.
  17. I’ve been to 40+ of the 50 United States, but only 4 of the Canadian Provinces.
  18. I've traveled to Belize, the UK and France. I have many more places I'd love to visit.
  19. I love my dogs without reason.
  20. I have friends I’ve known since elementary school.
  21. I love to read.
  22. I was on the Pill for over 15 years (see #24).
  23. I love TV.
  24. My favorite TV show was Alias, now its Grey's Anatomy or Lost.
  25. I’m not a very good cook, but I have mastered a couple of good dishes.
  26. I never wanted children until I met my current husband.
  27. We tried for a long time and I was never able to conceive. We have decided to remain childless (see #57).
  28. My maternal great-grandmother was a gypsy.
  29. I took 6 years of French but cannot speak or read it for crap.
  30. I never went to college.
  31. When I was in high school I wanted to be a lawyer -- now I just work with them.
  32. We live in a great house on 2 undeveloped acres in an unincorporated part of my county.
  33. I hate flying.
  34. I like brussel sprouts.
  35. I was diagnosed with endometriosis at 20.
  36. I started going gray at 30.
  37. I’ve been dying my hair for over 10 years. I've had long hair for most of my life, it's one of my security blankets. I have great hair.
  38. I’ve worn glasses since I was 3 (I now wear contacts).
  39. I hate housework but have a low tolerance for clutter, dust and dirty dishes.
  40. I’ve been involved with securities/equity/stock options since my first job in 1984.
  41. I have a very strained relationship with my Mother, I talk to her a couple times a year and send flowers for her birthday and a centerpiece at Christmas.
  42. I have a much better relationship with my Dad now than when I was growing up.
  43. I’ve met Mikhail Baryshnikov -- he’s shorter than me, but gorgeous.
  44. I love historical fiction and period movies (Amadeus, Dangerous Liaisons, The Count of Monte Cristo).
  45. I have a very weak stomach. I once got sea-sick in a canoe. On a lake.
  46. My half-brother is the same age as my oldest nephew.
  47. My Dad's common-law wife (the mother of my half-brother) is his first cousin. Their mothers were sisters. She lived for most of her adult life as a lesbian. Yeah, we're not the Cleavers.
  48. I love flowers and plants but don’t have much of a green thumb.
  49. I am a whiz at Scrabble and crossword puzzles.
  50. Ice cream is my favorite food.
  51. I believe in therapy and have been in and out since 1994 (currently out).
  52. I've done a total of 6 years of therapy, almost all of it dealing with my incest and abuse issues.
  53. My brother abused me from the age of 3 to the age of 11. I was also raped by a friend of his at the age of 12.
  54. That brother died in a car accident in 2005. I did not attend the funeral (although I did attend a family gathering in his honor).
  55. I love photography and hope to go on an African safari sometime in my life.
  56. I have a brother and a brother-in-law with the same name (spelt differently).
  57. I’ve never had a bikini wax.
  58. Our dogs sleep on the bed with us.
  59. I don’t like math, even though I have to deal with numbers a lot for my job.
  60. I need a calculator to do even the simplest calculations.
  61. I love the internet (thanks Al Gore!).
  62. I have a grown step-son (born in 1982) and a toddler step-grandson (born in 2003), I met them both for the first time in early 2006.
  63. I've been a consultant since 2003. I like it much better than being an employee. Update: I'm now an employee, but of a consulting company, so I'm sort of a hybrid at this point.
  64. I started English riding lessons in June 2006, my teacher says I am a natural. I look good in a classic black velvet riding helmet.
  65. I am a weather wimp. My comfort zone is the 20 degrees between 65 and 85. Anything colder or hotter than that and I am uncomfortable. I believe the temperature outside should NEVER be more than your internal body temperature. That's just wrong.
  66. I can type really fast. I used to be a whiz at 10-key too but I'm out of practice.
  67. I am an unabashed liberal, way too liberal to be a Democrat -- I can't vote but I do have a lot of political opinions.
  68. My husband is a card-carrying NRA member. We don't discuss this.
  69. I don't eat seafood of any kind, except for the occasional plate of fish and chips (you can make almost anything edible if its covered in enough batter and fried).
  70. My Dad was a part-time commercial fisherman when I was a kid (see #69).
  71. On January 21, 2007 I became the owner of a gorgeous 7 year-old thoroughbred mare named Missy (show name is Mystere).

I'll add more as I think of things.

Far Out

You know you live in the boonies when your neighbor is building a yurt on their property. When we first moved here 6 years ago the same neighbor was building a teepee. We thought it was an elaborate Boy Scout badge-attaining adventure, turns out it was home for a young couple for over 2 years. Yes, even in the winter. And yes, it does snow here (we're up at about 2500' above sea level). The yurt is also going to be a home, this time for a young couple with two young sons. I'm waiting for the VW bus to show up any day now.