Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Teacher, what's the title?

I really don't know what to call this post, but I really need to get the last post out of sight and mind. It needs to go to bed! Bye bye miserable post of despair!
I have also been reading all your blogs and not commenting. It is a thing called inertia I think. I find it despicable in myself and forgivable in others.

I am procrastinating on all kinds of things. ( Like homework for my career counseling). In the process of procrastinating I read an op ed in the New York Times, by Maureen Dowd about how "Blue is the new Black" - especially if you are a woman. i.e. women are more unhappy now than they ever were. In fact, before feminism hit, women were blissfully ignorant of their options and guess what? they were....blissful. Except I don't think she actually says this, but believe me the 400 or more commenters on the article on line have a field day with it. According to many of them, feminism has been just plain bad for women. Give them an inch and they go out and hang themselves. But according to the study, feminism may be good for others. Like men. They don't have to earn all the money anymore, they get to play with the kids and go to soccer games and they even have time to pick up their socks once in a while. Women, on the other hand are running around like whirling dervishes tossed and blown by the winds of change!!! The message seems to be: women's lives are more complicated now and therefore they are more unhappy. They have more choices and that doesn't mean they feel better for it. Men's lives were never that complicated and they are even happier than they were before. Women are temperamental and moody, men are not.

And here is the worst news - EVERYONE who has kids is really really unhappy! I always knew that married women were the least happy of anyone of these demographic groups ( I learned that in sociology thank you very much!) and married men are the most happy (lucky bastards!) but hearing that people with kids - anyone with kids- are the most unhappy - well that just flipped my lid a little. (I do have this worry that I will work my butt off to have kids and then find out that it's all a sick joke - albeit a private one - and it's absolutely horrible after all). Of course those people don't regret having kids, they would never say that. So why do you think that women are so unhappy? Do you think they really are more unhappy than before or do you think it's some trick to get us all to relinquish feminism and spend all day cleaning house and then primping ourselves for the hour before our hubbies come home so we can look stepfordwifelike for them?

On another subject altogether..... I have been thinking of how having babies will make me "come out" in places I would rather not. Where I work all the staff know my story and most of them know that we are vigorously trying to get knocked up - or vigorously waiting to try to get knocked up. The clients, now there's a different matter. Having worked as a social worker for over 14 years I have rarely told any client that I am a laybeejun. I did famously come out to a client who confessed to me that she was confused about her sexuality ( and I naively thought she might need a role model to give her courage and help her see it's okay to be one of those people) who then went around telling everyone that she hated lesbians and that I am one. ( I wasn't on the news or anything - I use the word "famously" in a grandiose small pond kind of way!) A few clients who were gay just seemed to "know". They didn't spread it around but they would give me the "we both know that we are gay" nod! I have worked a lot with nice old homeless or nice old mentally ill ladies who I worry would be mortified if they knew I was a lesbian. They just think of me as this nice sweet rather asexual career girl who has two dogs and a handful of cats and is far too busy helping others to help herself to a bit of nooky in the bedroom. In fact that is really how I have been identified by most of my clients for a long time - the girl with two nice dogs who sometimes come visit and wag and scrounge for food. And I wonder how I will deal with telling these people - what do I tell them about being pregnant? I work in a place where staff are pretty transparent with clients - it's not the "therapy hour" kind of social work - we see the clients in the everyday - we sometimes have meals with them, we help them live their lives and we don't stop living ours while we do this. They like to know about our kids or our husbands or the latest cute bit of news that makes us look like the people that they like to think lead "normal lives".I know - many of you have been here before - do tell - I am interested to know how you have handled it. Don't get me wrong - I will be very very thrilled to have a big fat belly for all the world to see - and I will be a big fat show-off but it is going to be very very interesting in the world of work.

Here's an example of how much I really don't want to offend "nice people" by making them think of sex ( shudder ) when I tell them I am a lesbian and they are horrified ( all my own prejudices).
On our recent trip to KC my dear sweet honey and I had occasion to have three meals in the dining car on the AMTRAK. That would be three meals where we sat side by side on the banquette and on the other side were one or two COMPLETE STRANGERS!!!!!!!! Oh my god - the thought of sharing a meal with strangers is kind of interesting and novel. It's odd that we ( or I ) have become so insular that this seems scary. We spend time in strange places talking to familiar people on our cell phones. We don't eat with random strangers very often without another context or connection like church or work.
Our inaugural communal meal was on our way down to KC when we had dinner. The woman who was assigned to our table looked friendly, casual and down-to-earth. It turned out we had a lot in common - so much so that we exchanged email addresses and talked about religion and dogs ( two of our favorite subjects - being that S is training for the ministry and any dog owner loves to wax lyrical about her dogs). We didn't have to explain our relationship or hide it. It was obvious she got it. So much so that she invited us to one of her get togethers at her house if we are ever in the area.
The second meal we shared was breakfast on the way back from KC to Chicago. This was with a guy who was perfectly friendly - and who talked non-stop about himself and his travels with his wife to various time shares. He was a minister, but probably not the kind of minister that appreciates the laybeejuns. By the time breakfast was almost over I began to be afraid he might remember to ask us about ourselves and did a good job of supporting S in asking him more questions about himself. It seemed to me that he was almost oblivious of us as people and that we were objects to be talked at.
Our final meal was lunch ( yes, we love to eat regularly!) and this was the kicker. We were sitting with Mr and Mrs Average American. They were on an extended tour of America by train and were looking forward to going home the next day. After polite inquiries about what we all did and where we were from, the conversation stalled a little. Until one of them asked how we knew each other. Or if we were related or something. I think that the woman said something like: "So are you two a couple of working girls?" (!)To which I answered rather too quickly, "yes, that's right, we are just friends." JUST FRIENDS??!!! Oh girl, please! It was obvious to me that she was trying to place us, to figure out how we fit into her view of the world and relationships and all she could come up with was that we must be two busy career girls who liked to travel together. But the question I am asking myself is - how do I know her daughter isn't a big ole laybeejun?!!! How do I know that she has no concept of the old L word and why am I trying to protect her from the awful carnal knowledge that is my life? And it's very very carnal you know - just watch the L word and you'll know! I think I am trying to protect myself from the awkwardness of being stuck in a banquette on a train and seeing her struggle and feeling myself grow red with embarassment? Why do I care so much? Why am I worried about a strangers feelings and if she is judging me? I will have to really get over this when we have kids crawling all over us and people ask us how we are related!
I leave you pondering that and am off to my bed because it's that time of night.
Thank you for listening.I await your wisdom and advice.

PS. We have a new donor. She is young, is said to resemble Mandy Moore and is artistic, a little musical and lots of fun. We are waiting for her paperwork to get to the clinic so that they can evaluate her.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Second egg donor down - will this ever happen for us?

I am beside myself. I am numb and sick and disgusted. It's not the donor's fault. She had emergency surgery on Friday. She is recuperating and will make a full recovery but be out of commission for at least a couple months. And she doesn't know if she wants to go ahead with it after that. She will know by Friday. We just got the go ahead from all her tests and I had just got the schedule about 45 minutes ago. For those of you who don't know, the first donor got malaria and was ineligible at the eleventh hour (in August) I am going to email our agency, but because we are in their bargain program there are less donors and no guarantees.
I guess the whole thing is about no guarantees, right?

Thursday, September 10, 2009

I'm still here!

Just wanted all you nice people to know that even though I have been quiet recently I am still here and we still have a plan. I have been a horrible commenter. I read your wonderful blogs on my i-phone and if I am feeling a little more perky I comment, but mostly I don't. I have enjoyed everyone's beautiful belly pics - is there anything finer? I have read about your heartbreak and your excitement. And I am witnessing it all in my own way, but I am too tired to be very communicative. I am just tired and beaten down from work, over-wrought from the emotional roller coaster that is my life on birth control pills and so over all the waiting.

I finally figured out why I was melting down last week - a combination of endless complaints and irrational and irritating phone calls from clients on top of everything else at work meant that for once I could not keep a lid on the boiling pot of hot foamy and very salty water that is my emotions. Afterwards I had the realization that the reason I could not stay in control, under admittedly very trying circumstances, was that the BCPs do something to my tolerance for these things. Like I had had enough! And I had the kind of melt down in front of my supervisor that I have never had. I was mad, I was sad, I was fed up. Fortunately he took it in his stride and was very nice about it. I recovered and moved on. Still I couldn't deal with the ornery clients on the phone - even after a mental health day where I had the most perfect hour of windsurfing and a few more hours reading on the beach. I thought I had it licked, but the next day, I was losing my cool on the phone again. And I actually had the melt down the day after my mental health day. That's when I realized it was bad! He ponied up and went to bat for me with one particularly difficult issue and that felt good. This was not a client, it was a pissy state employee, to whom we are beholden, who was so rude and completely off the mark, in an email that it took up about two hours of my time and my supervisees' time and about half an hour of my supervisor's time to straighten out. All completely unnecessary.

Tonight is my last BCP for a week: the goal is to get a period ( hopefully my last for a long time) start BCPs in a week and by then we should have the infectious disease testing back from the new donor and be ready to go. She should be on or about to be on BCPs. I got the call from the clinic today (though unfortunately not nurse traffic cop but her stand-in) to say that finally the new donor had been evaluated by the doc and the nurse and "everything was in normal limits". Sounds cautiously ok.

I have not been thinking too much about the whole baby thing - trying to keep it at a distance and not getting too excited about it since the last hiccup. I may be excited when (don't want to say if) I get a BFP - but I am not sure. One thing that I know from the ALI community; there are so many uncertainties. I envy those women who sail through conception and pregnancy with not even a hint that anything could go wrong. I honestly can't believe it really happens like that for some people but apparently it's true. I almost feel cruelty towards their innocence. How messed up is that? Actually, the ones I feel the most cruel towards are those who know how we have struggled, but effortlessly "fall pregnant" and never once acknowledge that hearing about it on facebook posts might be a little hard, or even acknowledge that it might be hard, period. There are not too many of those people; they don't even know who they are. I know that all of my true friends and family ( IRL and in blog and message board land) have been incredibly supportive, and solicitous and kind and sensitive.I am grateful for that. Big time!

This was supposed to be a three line - I'm still here - please continue to hang out with me post. But I got a bit long-winded.
Bear with me. I couldn't do it without you all.