Saturday, January 28, 2012

Unsuspected parallels

I met N when she moved to California. I was new to the area, having spent less than a year here. I was walking the old dog, minding my own business, when she came to me, greeted me and said we were going to be neighbors. She also mentioned that she had a mini poodle just like mine, and that maybe we could walk our dogs together.

Indeed, right after she moved in, we became friends, and our dogs got along very well. She was very supportive after the first miscarriage, and also after the old dog died less than a month later. Still, one thing she said was that everything was going to be all right. What did she know? She had three grown kids, and a healthy dog.

Now N's dog has died too, and she is very sad, and nobody takes her pain seriously. And I wish I could tell her that she is going to be all right, but that would be a lie.

I have the yellow dog now, but I still miss the old dog. Whenever we go to places where we used to go with him, the memories still make me sad, even though it's been almost two years since he died.

All I can tell her is that yes, hers was a cute little doggy, funny, loving and well behaved, and that she has every right to feel sad about her dying.

Her pain is real and nobody should be telling her to pull herself together because it was just a dog, or because she could easily get another one if she wanted, or that she should get a shelter dog because there's many animals in need of a home.

Hey, all of a sudden this sounds familiar. I've been told that mine was just a miscarriage, not a real baby, that I could just (HA!) have another baby, or that I should adopt because there are many children in need of a home.

Argh.  People seem to have a limited repertoire, whether it's fetuses or puppies. Depresssing.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Just like everybody else

My friend J struggled with infertility. After a painful procedure (she never mentioned what it was,  but I remember her leaving work the next day because the pain got too bad) she was able to get pregnant. And then she had a miscarriage. This happened at the time I was beginning my own efforts to conceive. I tried to be supportive, but shortly after that I moved away. She finally made it into motherhood and now has two beautiful kids, whose pictures she constantly posts on facebook. And I always look at them fondly and think that she deserves such joy after so much pain and suffering.

Se recently posted the following comment:

 kids spent the night with  ___ and i got to sleep til...10!! and now i am drinking my HOT coffee and watching NO cartoons!!

My first reaction was anger. Wasn't she supposed to forever cherish the presence of her kids in her life??? Was this not why she fought so hard to have them??? Two seconds later I realized I was overreacting. Yes, I want to have kids too, but I also enjoy drinking my morning coffee while it's still hot, and I hate cartoons.

If anything, this proves that whether you go through infertility or not, once you're a mother you get to be like everybody else, always putting your children's needs before your morning coffee. And there's nothing wrong with enjoying a break from that once in a while. Infertility leaves some scars, but it does not have to change your enjoyment of hot coffee.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

I'm the lucky one

Due to a big eczema flare on my hands, I have not worn my wedding band much. Sometimes I wear it on my right hand, which for some reason fares better.

And so the other two women in my team had not noticed that I was married. This also shows how little we talk to each other. Isn't it sad? In our defense, in the old building we barely saw each other. Now that the whole team is in the same area we communicate much more.

When I told them I had been married for nine years they congratulated me and told me I was very lucky to have found love and to still be together after so many years.  Neither of them mentioned kids. Both of them are single, probably not by choice. Perhaps for them finding love is already a huge gift.

The truth is, our marriage has gone through some major earthquakes, but somehow we've always managed to patch up the cracks and keep going. I do love my husband. I hate that he does not want to adopt or foster kids in need. I hate that he still wants me to go through yet another cycle. I hate that he never brings up the topic, it has to be me.

But you know what? There is nothing else to hate. Not even to dislike. And frankly, that is a very short list. The stupid things that used to bother me years ago, now make me laugh. There is, in contrast, too much to love, and too much to be grateful for.

I am lucky indeed.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

PCOS joke

I sometimes read xkcd. A few of the jokes are way over my head, but I also enjoy a lot of them. I had missed this one, which deals with absurd mnemonics. Here's the one for Geologic periods.

It's nice to know that someone is spreading awareness on this condition. This answers a very common question: So why are you taking contraceptives if you want to get pregnant? Well, thanks to them I know when my period is coming, instead of getting it unexpectedly four to five times per year. It usually lasts a couple of days instead of two weeks, and therefore I don't get anemia, tiredness, irritability or maxi-pad rash. I also do not get bloated and don't get as much acne or unwanted hair as when I am not taking them.

My years of not taking BCPs never resulted in a pregnancy. My only two pregnancies were achieved through artificial hormones. So allow me my contraceptives for now.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

A phrase to ponder

"People who have information about an individual case rarely feel the need to know the statistics of the class to which the case belongs".  ~Daniel Kahneman

And so I get to hear about so-and-so who gave up on trying to get pregnant, but got pregnant anyway later on. I am very tired of this story. This has happened to many infertile couples, but I am pretty sure that there's plenty of couples who never made it. It's just that nobody talks about them.

Too bad that just a few days ago I promised not to get mad at people who blab some nonsense trying to make me feel better. How does someone else's unintended success is supposed to make me feel better about my own failure after six years of trying?

Oh, right. I am not supposed to lose hope. Yeah, got it.

But you know what? Maybe it's time to move on and hope for something different.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Battling the "wig"

One of the gifts of PCOS is hirsutism. Which is a polite way to say that you might look like a werewolf. Actually, the worst that ever happened to me was to grow a mustache, and that was when I was overweight. My legs and underarms have what I consider normal hairiness, which I can control with a razor. But I do have unsightly hair on my belly and bikini area (not that you'd ever see me in a bikini).

When I reached my teens it was impossible to wear any kind of swimsuit without exposing some hair. Even granny style boy shorts are not enough. I've never met a single woman (and I've seen plenty of naked women) whose hairline extended so much as mine does. I cannot use a razor because I get bumps. Depilatory creams are a hazard (eczema, remember?) and so, waxing it is.

Last week, while we still had guests, we made an impromptu trip to some hot springs, and I did not have time to make an appointment. So I did the unthinkable: I used a depilatory cream. It did say it was for sensitive skin, so I took the risk. I applied plenty of cortisone after the deed, and in the two following days, just in case.

All went well, and I did not get a reaction. But now, more than a week later, all of a sudden I got itchy bumps. Nothing seems to be working, not even my anti-itch ointments.

So now, as I try my best no to scratch my crotch in public, I promise myself to stick to wax forever.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Better things are coming

That phrase, in a nutshell, sums up what people mean, no matter what idiocy comes out of their mouth (God knows best, just relax, those treatments work miracles, you're still young, just adopt, etc).

I do not usually make a list on New Year because they tend to lead towards disappointment in myself. Why pile it up? But here's a good thing to try out: Each time I hear another person condescendingly throw one of those idiocies at me, I'll do my best to thank them, and repeat the above phrase in my head, because,  ignorance or disinterest notwithstanding, that's probably what they're trying to say anyway.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

A brand new year!

It's nice to start a new year with family around us, even if there's only four of us. It made for a relaxed Christmas too, without any of the stress I usually find attached to holidays. As I explore my new toy (a chromebook) I came across this article.

There's a list there of words that last year suffered, as the article explains, overuse, misuse and general uselessness. Among them, "baby bump". OK, this means it was not me the only one noticing the word everywhere. It's good to know I am not paranoid.

But "pet parents"? Apparently that raised a few brows too. Not that I would ever refer to myself as the yellow dog's mommy, but it seems that those who put together the list really wanted to be "fair and balanced", doesn't it?