The airing of grievances

Disclaimer: The Airing of Grievances, like traditional venting, doesn't have to be a well-constructed diatribe; any diatribe will do.  Even this one.

For Christmas, my MIL got each of her kids a copy of Jon Stewart's Earth (The Book): A Visitor's Guide to the Human Race, and I've been reading it just about every day.  Jon Stewart is a pretty funny guy and the book is very entertaining, as well as mildly informative.  As I read it I'm reminded of things I learned in middle and high school school science classes, and then I giggle at his sarcastic comments and think, "If an alien did happen get their hands on this book after the human race was wiped out, it would never understand these jokes and would probably think we were really freaking stupid."  But I digress.  ...Already.


The other night I got to the section on "life," and there's a list of the scientific criteria required for an object to be considered alive.  I know you still have them memorized from 7th grade, but just in case you missed class that day, they are: Organization, Homeostasis, Metabolism, Growth, Response to stimuli, and Reproduction.  And now you can guess where I'm going with this.

Lately I've been stewing thoughtfully pondering the common perceptions many people have about infertility and ART.  So, in the grand tradition of Festivus (which I realize I'm a week late for), I give you my Airing of Grievances. 

Thankfully I don't see very much of this in real life, but I can't even describe how sick it makes me when I see ignorant comments on online infertility articles saying stuff like,
  •  "Infertility is God's/nature's way of controlling the population,"
  • "Obviously there's a reason you're infertile, quit being selfish - stop trying to conceive your child and (just) adopt," and,
  • "You're being pretty dramatic, so what if you can't have kids?  It's not like you need to!  I don't have kids and I'm perfectly happy about it!" 
You all know what I'm talking about, you've seen the comments and know I'm just scratching the surface of the idiocy that's out there.  And if you don't, please see Exhibit A.

So when I'm reminded that one of the basic criteria required just to be considered ALIVE is the ability to reproduce, my jaw drops that so many people think infertility is no big deal.  Or that it's some kind of punishment.  Or that there's some deeper reason for it that somehow benefits the rest of the world (i.e. population control).  Or particularly that any reaction to discovering you're infertile besides simply and quietly accepting it, stop trying to conceive, and adopting a child instead, is selfish and egotistical.

Well guess what?  It's not selfish or egotistical to have the desire to reproduce.  It's LIFE.  Life wants to continue and it tends to do whatever it can to survive.  Remember that line from Jurassic Park, "Life finds a way?"  It's true.  Seriously, just think about your garden - you work hard to keep it pretty, tearing out weeds like crazy, but no matter how weed-free you manage to get it those damn weeds are always going to find their way back in there.  It's what they do, and that's just plants!  Animals, and certainly humans are also wired to perpetuate their species and keep living.  I believe that a desire to create genetic offspring is evidence of that.  And I believe that desire, for many if not most of us, goes right to the core of our humanity.  Which is why those of us unable to act on it feel like the very foundation of our lives is shaken, damaged, or sometimes irreparably broken.

So to anyone who still believes that infertility is anything other than a disease or malfunction of the human body that Infertiles have every right to treat however they damn well please, to quote Frank Costanza, "I got a lot of problems with you people!"  And I respectfully request that you immediately cease and desist with your self-righteous, know-it-all, judgmental, and often downright mean (and even more often downright stupid) assertions.  We don't need any more proof than we already have that the wrong people were "chosen" to be infertile.



363 days until Christmas

Good morning, fine folks! I trust everyone had a decent weekend and a lovely Christmas if you were celebrating it.  You'll be happy to know that I did not spend mine in a drunken stupor, contrary to what my last post may have led you to believe.  In fact, I was sober most of the weekend.  Although there were a couple of moments I wished I'd made that punch after all, but who doesn't have those moments?

Hubs and I had an absolutely fabulous Christmas together.  We savored the morning and took our sweet time going through our pile of presents.  We mostly got each other clothes.  He got a new jacket, sweaters, some books and a game for the Wii; I got some super cute new skirts and dresses for work, a hot pair of boots, and some really nice product that will hopefully clear up the small solar system that was recently discovered on my chin.  Atticus got a toy, but I gave it to him days ago when he was driving me nuts while I was trying to wrap presents, so for the most part he just chased balls of wrapping paper and tried to eat ribbons.  He seemed satisfied with that.  We also scored some sweet swag from our families - most notably a gas grill!  Not to mention the "family" gift we got for ourselves - a new computer that Hubs built, complete with a snazzy new monitor.  The Von D household definitely got some upgrades this weekend.  And now we're on spending lockdown for the foreseeable future.

Thankfully, the weekend was low on drama after last week's ordeal and we enjoyed a busy day Saturday followed by a very mellow day Sunday.  Now it's back to the grind, where I am reminded every day that I need to GET THE F OUT of this job.  My boss added a whole new dimension to that reality last week when he proved he doesn't give a rat's flea-infested anus about my department, and then flat-out lied to me just so he wouldn't have to go to any effort whatsoever for us.  There are only four of us in the department and I guarantee every one of us is seriously considering looking, if not already actually looking, for new jobs.  And now I have this burning desire to go out in a blaze of glory.  Hubs suggested we have sex on the president's desk, but I thought that might be taking it a bit far.  At any rate, the job hunt is beginning NOW.

Now that Christmas is over, we can all start talking about the new year, right?  What are your plans for New Year's Eve?  Hubs and I are going to a small get-together at a friend's place, which will be an enormous improvement over last year's South Park marathon.


For the drinkers

For anyone planning on drowning their sorrows this weekend, I thought I'd share the recipe for this SUPER YUMMY punch that I thoroughly enjoyed last night.  Of course it's just as fabulous even if you're not depressed, but if you're going to drown your sorrows at Christmas, you might as well keep it festive!

1 bottle champagne
Appx. 1/2 cup brandy
Appx. 1/2 cup apricot brandy
1/2 - 1 cup sparkling red grape juice, for color
A few scoops of raspberry sorbet to float on top

We also added about a shot of extra (plain) brandy to each glass; it gives it more of a kick without losing the tasty frou-frou flavor.  Throw in some blueberries and it's a gorgeous and delicious knock-you-on-your-butt libation! 

Bottoms up!


Almost perfect but not quite

I started writing a post the other day about how I've kicked out my inner Grinch and am actually, for the first time in three years, looking forward to Christmas. But then I never got around to posting it, which turned out to be a good thing because the shit hit the fan on Tuesday night and I remembered why the holidays suck so much.

Without going into the gruesome (and yet somehow also boring) details, I will just say that it's about the same thing it always is: Trying to schedule 4 family functions into one day while maintaining my sanity and maybe getting 5 minutes to do what I want to do, like spend a quiet moment alone with Hubs. I thought I had it all figured out, that this was going to be the year we finally had a stress-free Christmas! Oh how wrong I was.

I just wish our parents would try to understand that we do want to spend time with them at the holidays, but it's not always going to be the ideal situation because we get pulled and guilted from all sides every year.  Everyone wants a piece of us, and there just isn't enough to go around.  I'm trying my best to make everyone happy, but in the end it always ends up making me unhappy!

So Hubs and I are thinking about trying to move the trip to Hawaii we had planned for our 5th anniversary next year up to next Christmas instead.  Then even if I piss everyone else off, at least I'll be happy and relaxed!

There is good news about Christmas this year; the reason I was so excited about it is that it's the first year since we've been married that Hubs and I bought a lot of gifts for each other.  That sounds really materialistic, but I don't mean it to be.  It just doesn't seem like Christmas without a big pile of presents under the tree to wake up to, and we've never had that together.  But this year we will, and I am excited to share it with him.

Merry Christmas, ladies. I hope you all get exactly what you want this year, whatever it may be.


The turning of a page

There is a chance that Hubs and I will some day have a biological child.  Right now, though, I am coming to realize that those chances are not increased by our efforts.  Infertility has left me exhausted and heartbroken to the point that giving up TTC sounds like sweet relief, and infinitely more appealing than one more month of valiant effort and crushing disappointment.

It hasn't been easy or clear-cut coming to this decision.  Hubs and I are becoming more and more comfortable with the idea that one day, a few years from now, our family will grow through adoption, and I've already started putting a lot less emphasis on TTC.  But still I've been miserable for weeks.  Until today I thought it was about my miscarriage and how much I hate my job; now I believe it's the end of the dream of little baby A+K I'm grieving.

I don't know if this is a permanent decision, but I think it should at the very least be open-ended so I can try to move on.  I also don't yet know what new direction my blog may take.  I guess I'll just wait and see, and I hope you do too.


Bitter Infertile on board!

WARNING: This is a rant about child-centric automobile adornments.  If you happen to have child-centric adornments on your car, please know that I still love you and it's not my intention to offend you.  Even my siblings have some of this crap on their cars and I still speak to them. ;)

As I was pulling into the parking lot at work this morning I was behind a guy with a license plate that read "2X A DAD."  I immediately scoffed.  For one, my personal opinion is that vanity plates are a waste of money, but I can appreciate a funny or cute one.  For example there's someone driving around with a plate that says "GR8YTB8."  The guy is a surfer.  Get it?  Great White Bait!  I think that's clever.  But the people living in the town where I work tend to be long on excess funds and short on imagination, so it's rare I see a vanity plate that doesn't come across as, well, vain.  Or superior.  (A couple other regulars I see are: "heart R HI IQ" on a Smart car, and "MY 60MPG" on a Prius.  Yes, we get it, you get good gas mileage.  I still don't think it's particularly "smart" to drive around in a car the size and sturdiness of an aluminum can.)

For two, I'm just getting so tired of seeing automobiles slathered in advertisements about the driver's offspring and fertility.  Look, I get that they're proud of their kids, I'd be proud of mine too if I had any, but it's just so over the top.  And guess what?  90% of the population can have kids, so procreating is not exactly a notable achievement, Mr. 2X A DAD.  You had sex and children are often the result of that.  I'm happy you're doing a good job raising your kids, but I'm sure you'll excuse me if I don't pull my car over and applaud you for it.  Did my grandma drive around with a sign that said "9X A MOM?"  No she did not, and raising 9 kids is a helluva lot more impressive than your two.  It's your job to raise them to the best of your ability, not a special talent worthy of sharing with the world.

For three (and let's be honest here - this is obviously the main reason I scoffed), it's a well-established fact that I'm a bitter Infertile and sarcasm and scoffing are like second languages to me.

So how many different ways do parents pat themselves on the back (or bumper) for rearing their kids?  Let's count.  Besides the cheesy license plates, there's...

1. Stick-figure family decals, sometimes even including everyone's names, as if the parents have never seen an after school special warning kids not to tell strangers their names in case the stranger is a predator.  I can't stand those stickers.  There was one time, though, when I saw a car with just a male stick figure and a female stick figure clinking wine glasses and my heart surged with joy!  I would totally get something like that.

2. Bumper stickers - and not just the ones that say "My child is an honor student at fill-in-the-blank school," (please, is every kid an honor student these days? Those things are everywhere!) but other super clever ones like the "Got Twins?" sticker I'm always ending up behind on my way out of my neighborhood.  Sigh.  A. No, I don't "got twins," but I do got endo!  And B. Though the "Got Milk?" ad campaign was decent for its time, it's now stale and cliche.  Can we please agree to retire it?

3. The "baby on board" window signs.  I don't quite understand the purpose of these.  Are they supposed to make me drive slower?  Be more careful than usual?  Because I was totally going to rear-end someone this one time just for giggles, but I stopped dead in my tracks when I saw that sign stuck on their rear window.  Or maybe it's an advertisement targeted at Infertiles who are in the market for free unwanted babies?  If that's the case I might change my mind about this one.

4. Personalized license plate frames.  I especially loathe the ones that "keep score."  You know the ones I'm talking about, "Mom's scoreboard: Girls 2, Boys 1."  (Or if you're the Duggars: Girls 243, Boys 198.)  I'd like to get one that says, "Infertile's scoreboard: Beers 6, Martinis 3," but that might attract the wrong kind of attention... the kind with blue and red lights and sirens.

Hmm... well that's all I can think of.  One day I will have a kid and maybe this stuff won't annoy me anymore, but for now I might as well have fun with it!



Work is getting worse and worse.  I heard some "unofficial" news this morning that's turning out to be just the kick in the pants I needed to start seriously looking for a new job.  So tonight as I'm enjoying a HP double feature with Hubs, I'll also be updating my resume.  I started working here the same month Hubs and I started TTC, and I've been miserable ever since.  And more miserable with each passing year I'm here.  That's just no way to live.  So if I may ask, please send thoughts, prayers, hopes, whatever you've got, that I can find something where I'm happier and can still afford to pay the mortgage.

And in TTC news... ugh.  It's CD10 and, not surprisingly, I am in no mood to get down to business this month.  Besides that, I think my hormones have been jacked ever since my m/c.  I've got a few lovely cystic zits that haven't gone away in months and flare up even bigger when I'm PMSed.  Also, for the past 2 or 3 months I've been spotting after AF for days.  For example, I am still spotting today.  Day TEN, people!  WTF.  So my acu gave me some herbs that are supposed to balance out my hormones and make the spotting stop.  I can only hope. 

Oh - Did I tell you about the status of my ring?  It was kind of on hold while I attempted to procure a stone, which I finally did last week.  I ended up getting a trillion-cut blue topaz.  Pretty much nothing like I was originally planning (pear-shaped ruby), but there's a reason for that.  I've been seeing poppies everywhere since I decided to use that flower as a symbol for my loss (P.S. did you notice the background on my blog is poppies? I had no idea until recently).  Then I happened across a gorgeous image of a bright blue poppy, which was the inspiration for the little image I made over on the right.  I'm in love with just about every shade of blue, so I decided to go with a blue poppy for my symbol of remembrance rather than red.  It just felt more personally meaningful.  Anyway, so my friend T now has my stone and can get started making my ring!

Okay I feel much better adding that last paragraph, otherwise this post was getting seriously depressing. 

Happy Hump Day, all.  And happy Hanukkah to all those celebrating it :)