Monthly Archives: June 2011

“It only takes one time…”

I have moved! I am now blogging at The Energizer Mommy. Please come join me there!

Growing up we are constantly bombarded with the idea that “it only takes one time to get pregnant.”

Which is true.

But in impressing on everyone how very possible it is to get pregnant from just one time of having sex…it starts to spread the idea that it is easy to get pregnant.

Every time someone gets pregnant accidentally it is a major story, even if just among friends, that is passed along….and encourages the idea that it is easy to get pregnant.

By warning women how careful they have to be to not get pregnant…it impresses the idea that getting pregnant is easy and almost automatic unless you actively prevent it.

Which then makes it harder to come to grips with when you don’t get pregnant immediately.

One women on a board I frequent (which I’m not going to link to because I kind of enjoy these being separate, and she wants to keep her family planning private), had this to say in response to a question about her “aha moment” regarding trying to conceive:

Uhm…. like as in, “AH HA, this $hit isn’t as easy as my sex ed teacher said it would be”?

Because I think that overall feeling is the biggest one — after fearing pregnancy for so long, to finally want it, and not be able to get it…  Even though you’re taught as an adolescent that “all it takes is once”.

Because really, what it takes is:

taking PNVs religiously, making best friends with your CM and CP, reaching for the thermometer every time you wake up, trying to keep sex sexy even though you’re really kinda looking at your husband like he’s a sperm dispenser, trying cycle after cycle at exactly the right time…  and even *then* some people never achieve pregnancy.

AH HA, I guess.

I hope I’m not at this for long. If only so I still have some readers at the end of this journey. And don’t drive my hubby crazy. Or myself.

(Please don’t tell me to chill. I know. And I do, most of the time. But writing helps when it’s eating at me.)

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Why I shouldn’t be a morning person

5:06 AM: Phone buzzes, ringing on silent. Wake up. What the hell…? It’s 5:30! Check number. 570 number. Out of state. Must be a crazy client. Screw them. Roll over and go back to sleep.

5:07 AM: Buzzing stops.

5:08 AM: Oh shit! That was probably the automated sub-finder system I just set up this weekend. That was a job! Shitshitshit!

5:09 AM: Look up number on phone internet. Yup. It’s Subfinder. Shit. Well, there goes possibly my last opportunity for the year.

5:10 AM: Fret.

5:14 AM: Set phone to audible so if they call back I wake up. Try to go back to sleep.

5:15 AM: They’re calling!!! Grab phone and run out of bedroom to not wake hubby. Hello? Hear automated speaking voice informing me of job. Confused. Is job with DHH kids? Scurry downstairs to check on computer.

5:16 AM: Log into Subfinder online. Keep making phone repeat message while I look things up. What the hell?? This person doesn’t exist! She’s not listed on the DHH program website nor the school’s website, nor anywhere!

5:17 AM: Hang up on Subfinder without making a decision to accept or reject. Keep looking up this person and other sub job.

5:22 AM: Try to call school to find out who these people are. School is closed. Lazy school. Keep searching online.

5:29 AM: Subfinder calls back! Reject job, since it doesn’t seem to be DHH. Keep looking into other potential job.

5:43 AM: Subfinder calls back again! Reject second job, doesn’t seem to be DHH.

5:44 AM: Screw around on internet.

6:00 AM: Hear hubby’s alarm go off upstairs. I know! I’ll surprise him! But first….better screw around on the internet some more.

6:05 AM: Sneak upstairs. Crack open door. See puppy cuddling hubby adorably. Set down phone. LEAP on top of hubby! Hubby: “What the hell..???” So romantic.

6:06 AM: Pepper hubby with kisses. Hmmm, he still seems grumpy. Didn’t you hear me open the door? Hubby says no.

6:09 AM: Still grumpy…I was just trying to wake you up after your alarm went off! Isn’t this better than another alarm? Hubby: My alarm didn’t go off… Me: (ohshitohshitohshitohshit) …Yes it did! I heard it!…or maybe you got a call…(hubby could sleep through a freaking air raid if it didn’t sound like his alarm)

6:10 AM: Snooze alarm isn’t going off..um…crap.

6:11 AM: Beg forgiveness. Grumpy hubby can’t go back to sleep. Real alarm is in 19 minutes.

6:12 AM: Note to self: No more romantic wakings.

 

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WW: Unsolicited Advice

I haven’t participated in Writer’s Workshop for awhile, it goes along with all my blogging sucky-ness. But this week a topic struck me and I figured, hey, I can write on that.

1.) List 10 things you wish you could say to strangers who share unsolicited advice about your parenting skills.

OK, with some slight modifications. The prompt I’ll write about

1.) List 10 things you wish you could say to strangers who share unsolicited advice about your parenting skills trying to conceive (TTC).

And I’m going to pair it with the things people say to me.

To clarify, I don’t get this advice directly much. I’ve told very few people I’m TTC because I don’t want the advice. I know enough other people TTC who get it CONSTANTLY, and with the whole SAnD the thought of having to deal with the constant criticism is pretty terrifying. (ETA This is not directed at anyone specifically. On the other hand, I have gotten at least half of these comments directly.) I don’t even really write about it on my blog, which was supposed to be my safe haven where I could write about what I wanted, because now I “know” my readers online and I’m scared of what THEY might say to me.

(Side note, that’s probably also much of why I haven’t been blogging much. Because TTC is a big part of my thought process at the moment, but I don’t feel like I can really write about it.)

So maybe this’ll help me get my confidence back so I can say whatever I want again.

Here we go!

1. I’m pregnant! And we weren’t even trying!

OK, this one is half a joke. I am happy for all my pregnant friends, or friends with newborns. Even if I do kind of want to punch them in the face and go sulk rather than offer congratulations. Really, I am. There’s just also a part of me that’s extremely jealous, which battles with that happy part.

So starting for real…

1. You’re young, you don’t want kids yet!

Actually, I do. You don’t know my situation. You don’t know my background. You don’t know what it is to be me. And you aren’t living with my hormones. So shut it.

2. Stop thinking about it so much!

It is kind of hard to stop thinking about something you really want. Here, I’m going to give you a million dollars, probably within the next year. Now stop thinking about what you’ll do with the money and all your new free time. Wait, you mean it keeps intruding on your thoughts? Funny, that…

3. Stop worrying about all these details!

I want this to happen. I can increase the odds if I have sex at the right time. And those odds are only 20% success if my timing is perfect and there is absolutely nothing impeding things. And the only way to know when to have sex is to “worry about the details.” So yeah, I’m going to.

4. I knew someone who couldn’t get pregnant, and then she stopped trying so hard and it happened!

Good for her. That is not everyone’s story. I counter your story with a stack of stories of women who were just relaxing and letting it happen and couldn’t get pregnant, and then started “trying so hard” and got pregnant the next cycle.

5. Have you ever thought that maybe you’re infertile?

Nooooo, it’s never crossed my mind. /sarcasm. Of COURSE I have. I’ll cross that bridge if I come to it. In the meantime, I’m trying not to think about it to avoid the whole stress thing, so thanks.

6. It’s not a big deal (that you’re not pregnant).

Actually, it is a big deal. This is a long, slow process, and it rips my heart a little every time another month passes and I’m not. I can point you to a whole community of women who agree.

7. There’s always next month!

Next month is a long ways away, and a long time to wait. It’s hard to comprehend how little one chance a month is until you’re living it all.the.time.

8. You know, stress can stop you from getting pregnant.

Gee, thanks. I am aware of that. I am trying not to stress. But unfortunately, managing stress is not as easy as deciding to turn it off.

9. Just relax and enjoy sex.

Actually, I do enjoy sex. I actually enjoy it more while trying to make a baby. And remind me when this became your business again, anyway?

10. You shouldn’t be upset, it’s only been (x) months.

Every month you end up not pregnant after trying sucks. Ask women who have been there. And in my case, it feels like I have been trying 6 months to a year longer than I actually have, because I so! desperately! wanted to get pregnant long before we started trying, but held off because of circumstances outside of my control that I didn’t fully accept or agree with. So while it may only have been (x) months, it feels like a lot longer to me.

And there you have it, my list of 10 things NOT to say to a woman TTC. Or at least, my list of the first 10 things that came to my head.

I get the stupid things people think and say. Several years ago I remember reading the blog of a woman who was sharing her pregnancy news, and mentioned how she cried the first few times she “failed” a pregnancy test. I was shocked and a little disgusted. Really? Crying? And saying you “failed” it? So you’re not pregnant yet, no big deal, there’s always next month.

Now I’m a woman who has cried at a “failed” ovulation test. And that’s not even a failure, it may turn positive tomorrow! And you can get pregnant without it ever turning positive, anyway!

Hormones are crazy powerful things, y’all. There’s a reason the human race has survived.

So allow TTC women their grief, and if you must comment, keep it to, “Good luck!”

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Life in bullet points

  • I got the best. Toby cuddles. EVER this morning.
  • I went to the orthopedist. He said there is nothing visibly wrong on my x-rays. For once I’d like to just break a leg so something could be visibly wrong.
  • School is going well. I’m an over-achiever, so I’m working ahead as much as I can. Which isn’t much. But it’s nice to feel productive.
  • Downside of school online – I can’t pepper the teacher with questions without it being blatantly obvious that I’m “that student.” I miss being able to stay after to ask a quick question or drop by office hours to clarify an assignment.
  • School is completely different when you’re studying something you care about.
  • Right now I’m studying one thing I find fascinating (Linguistics of Early Childhood..basically, how children learn something as vast and complex as language with no apparent concerted effort) and one thing I don’t really care about (Audiology, how to diagnose hearing loss and help people use as much of their residual hearing as possible)
  • Companions is doing well. My most recent class started with 5 students (my absolute max) and the one starting tomorrow has 4 (my comfortable max). w00t.
  • I am very sleepy and run down. I’m not entirely sure why. It probably has something to do with being sick for two weeks and still doing everything.
  • I really hate being run down from working <20 hours a week. True, now I’m doing school, but that’s not really much time. Tutoring wants to increase my hours this summer, but I don’t want to overload. My definition of overload is low.
  • Baby fever sucks. It was gone for a couple weeks. A couple wonderful, relaxing weeks. Then a friend put up maternity photos (she’s 37 weeks pregnant). Hello, hormones!
  • My puppy is adorable. No baby could ever out-cute my puppy.
  • Sorry for the lack of posting. I’ll try to suck less in the future. But no promises.

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I am still here…

Sorry for the lack of posting. Just busy.

Two and a half weeks ago we went on a trip across the country. No computer for me, just my phone and my hubby’s Mac (I hate Apple products. Such a pain to use) which was only occaisionally accessible. Then we got back and I had the crazy catching up from being gone + finishing applying for graduate school + school started this week + I’m sick and so run down + now we have guests staying with us (though they leave late tonight) soooooooooooooooo altogether that means no real blogging for me!

Hopefully things will settle down and I can get back into it soon.

I think I’m going to go lay down now. zzzz….

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Reasons to be happy!

My posts have been downers lately. I don’t like that. The attitude in my posts tends to reflect my attitudes in real life. And I don’t want to be down.

Plus I obsess obsessively about what other people think of me and how these negative posts reflect on me in the minds of random strangers I’ve never met.

Things have been crazy what with the whole applying-to-grad-school-less-than-two-weeks-before-classes-begin-while-traveling-cross-country. Lots of stress. Happy, excited stress! But, physiologically, still stress.

So.

Today, right now, I am going to focus intentionally on all the myriad of things I have to be happy about.

My sweet puppy is curled up at my feet sleeping after a week apart. I don’t expect the cuddling to stop any time soon.

I am home! Back to a place where “warm weather” means it’s in the 80s. This is the land of my people.

No flight delays today! In fact, we got in 30 minutes early!

It is a beautiful, sunny day outside. Gorgeous. Breathtaking. Revitalizing.

I planted 6 sets of watermelon starts after getting home. They are basking in the sun.

My newly planted tomatoes and strawberries didn’t die while I was gone. In fact, the strawberries are thriving!

On that note, all the plants in my ditch are still alive! YES! (I will beat you, ditch.)

Tomorrow I get to go teach two full classes. And then Monday another totally full class starts.

I am officially accepted into grad school! I may not be registered for classes, they may be charging me too much, and I may have issues with the education department, but those are all fixable because I AM IN!

See? Lots to be happy about!

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Violated

I just experienced my first TSA enhanced pat down.

I opted out of the full body scan I was selected for. There are many reasons for this. I am trying to conceive, I’m not taking any risks in a machine not tested to my satisfaction that emits rays pregnant women are told to avoid. I think the use of this technology is wrong and invasive while only offering the illusion of security, and this is my only way to protest. A myriad of reasons exist, but that’s not the point.

The agent was polite and professional. She explained what she was going to do, and did it detachedly. It was about as ideal a pat down as one can expect.

And I still walked away fighting back tears, humiliated and violated.

If ANYONE other than my husband touched me in the way I was just touched outside an airport, it would be considered assault. And while this was dispassionate, there are so many ways the process is made violating in ways it wouldn’t be if someone grabbed me on a train.

First, you are forced to comply under your own will. Psychologically, this makes the impact so much more. I was told how to stand, and I spread my own legs so someone could put her hands on my genitals. Outwardly, it looks nicer to not have an agent force your legs open. Mentally, it is incredibly shaming.

Second, you can offer no resistance. If someone grabbed me on a train I would scream, slap them, and probably swear at them. Here, I couldn’t even comment to my hubby about how I felt. I was expected to be polite to the woman assaulting me. No barbed comments. No ability to try to remove myself.For the crime of wanting to travel, I had to submit to physical assault with a smile and a polite word.

I am flying out of Maryland, which I never will again until these laws are changed, because that led to a third way for me to feel violated. Maryland disallows any video recording in security. My husband and I had agreed when the new laws came out we would record each other’s pat downs on our phones. In part it offers a greater assurance we will be given a “reasonable” pat down, in part it’s just a minor show of defiance, the only one really possible. But Maryland took even that away.

Nothing catastrophic happened. Many would say to just suck it up. But I don’t think that’s fair. It IS a big deal mentally to force you to allow something to take place. It is the difference between standing and watching some one being beaten, and being held back from helping. It matters. It hurts. It engenders shame. And it adds no security.

There is no justification for such a physical and mental violation as part of routine screening. It is wrong. Period.

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