Wednesday, November 27, 2013

i feel different...

I wrote less than two months ago about my miscarriages and how horrible they made me feel.  I felt defective, like a failure.  Despite the weightiness of the feelings engendered by them and the mere topic of miscarriage, I think that even at that time, I was healing.  I was able to write about it and not cry, and talk about it without being flip, which is my go to self-defense mechanism.  At one point after the second miscarriage, I made a comment to a coworker that I "just wanted to get pregnant again so I could go about the business of losing it."  The comment, even to myself later seemed unnecessarily callous and, yes, flip.

Now, two months and a lot of testing later, I feel different about the whole situation.  I realized lately that I no longer begrudge anyone's pregnancy.  I can talk about people being pregnant and talk about babies without feeling, well... jealous.  That's the only word to describe it.  Some women on the forums I've frequented will bristle at the word.  They insist that it is not jealousy, that the people who throw the word around (along with 'bitter') have no concept or understanding of what it is like to go through this, and things can get quite heated.  But if I am honest, the feelings I had during the past year did verge on jealousy and bitterness.  I defy anyone who goes through it to tell me they don't feel the same at times.  One thing I read on a forum that stuck with me is that the people having babies now are not taking any babies away from me.  It's true.  No matter how many pregnant ladies I see, none of them are taking my future babies away from me.

I have hope that we will have a child.  Hope had been fading for me, but it's returning.  I have faith that it will happen for us someday.  In the meantime, I'm learning a lot about patience.

I have other things going on right now that I'm dealing with.  I may find the courage to write about them sometime.  Until then I'm focusing on trying to be healthier overall, mind, body, and spirit.

Monday, November 25, 2013

quick update on Clomid

Due to some unforeseen circumstances, we will not be trying the Clomid this cycle.  As much as the four of you who might read this may have been waiting avidly to hear tales of my psychotic Clomid-induced hysteria, they will have to wait a while.  Stay tuned for updates on the reproductive life of Ed and Jen...

Saturday, November 23, 2013

caution - don't read if you hate cats.

I wrote about all of our animals in a previous post.  Maddie (our newest addition) is a sweet, lovable, playful eight month old cat who loves to curl up in the corner of the couch and purrs louder than a Mack truck at idle.  She also poops in the bathtub and pees in the sink.  Originally she was meant to be an outdoor cat.  I, however, was reticent about sending her outdoors, since I have never had an outdoor cat and have known a lot of people whose cats have been hit by cars.  Eddie has always had outdoor cats and sees nothing wrong with putting the cat out.  She has claws, she was outdoors for her first five and a half months, and he built her a cat house with a piece of old carpet placed inside with her pink blanket.

It looks like a prison, but there is a pink fluffy blanket inside.
For the last week or so we've let her outside during the day and by the time I get home from work, she runs to greet me from wherever she'd been hanging out and comes inside with me.  She stays inside at night and goes out first thing in the morning.  This would have been fine.  Until today.  We were cleaning out the "cat closet"  where the litter box and food and water are located when we made a horrifying discovery.  Maddie had been peeing on the floor behind the litter box.  The smell was horrible.  Luckily the closet is tiled and a little mopping with powerful floor cleaner took care of it.  However, this was enough for me to understand that she probably just needs to stay outside.  I don't want her peeing on our new carpet, in our new (to us) house.  I don't want the house to smell like a litter box.

Why do cats always sit on paper?
I've been spoiled with Sundrop (the best cat ever).  He has never once used the bathroom outside of the litter box.  He is a model cat.  I mean sure, if you nuzzle his face and he isn't in the mood you might get a chomp on the nose.  Never scratch him on the hind leg or the belly, but with him you only have to worry about his teeth since his front claws have been removed (something I forget about with Maddie).

Long story, super long - Maddie is outside and I think she loves it.  She plays with the leaves that fall, she climbs trees and jumps back down, curls up in the padded outdoor chair, and poor Sunny stares forlornly out at her.  I think I ruined poor Sunny's life by taking away his outdoor freedom.

PS - Just kidding about ruining Sundrop's life.  He has the cushiest life ever.  If I wasn't human, I'd want to be him.

UPDATE:  Since I cried when we had to leave her outside for the night on the coldest night of the year, she was allowed to come inside and sleep in the laundry room.  She'll be inside tonight too.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

a bit about the title of my blog

     Some might wonder at the motivation behind naming my blog after the popular children's series, The Chronicles of Narnia.  I remember reading The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe when I was younger, possibly eight or nine years old.  It made me believe that magic was possible and that if only I could find the spot, then I, too, could enter Narnia.  In our house growing up, we lived in a one and a half story house, which meant that the "attic" or storage areas were on the same level as our bedrooms.  My sister and I each had a door at the back of our closet that led into the area where the air conditioner and/or furnace were kept.  I'm fuzzy on what was actually up there, as all I remember were the giant pliable tubes that the air was forced through because we had to climb over them.  By entering through one closet door, a person could reach the other closet door undetected.  This allowed a person (me) to jump out of the closet in the room of the other, without having to enter through the bedroom door.  In case you didn't know, "Scaring the Pants off your Younger Sister," is a great game to play when you're young.

     I don't remember if we actually pretended or looked for Narnia in these places, but I know I decided that the area behind my closet would be the perfect place to hide if our house was attacked by murderers or robbers (I blame this fear I had on the show, "Unsolved Mysteries," that my dad watched and thus I watched).

     We also had tiny doors in our bedrooms that led into additional storage.  My secret closet wasn't used for much besides storage of our Christmas ornaments and various things my dad kept from his childhood that he wouldn't allow my mom to throw out.  But my sister turned hers into a clubhouse of sorts with mattresses and blankets and some old furniture used as a wall for additional privacy (as if any adult would enter the tiny spider-ridden wedge-shaped room in which anyone over four feet tall would have to walk around folded nearly in two).  She spent a lot of time in there with her friends and I only went in there when it was just the two of us.  By this time, I was twelve or thirteen and had my own occupations and didn't have time for secret clubhouses and the like.

     I digressed a little from the title of my blog, but here it is:  Sometimes it's necessary to believe in a world that you can enter through the back of your closet, where animals talk and you can be queen, and to remember a time when you had nothing better to do than hide in your sister's closet and jump out, screaming, "RAHHHHH!"

Saturday, November 2, 2013

things you shouldn't say to a person struggling with pregnancy loss or infertility (even though you mean well)

It's a minefield, trying to figure out what to say to a person dealing with miscarriage or infertility.  You want to say the right thing, be comforting, but you don't want to set them off or dredge up terrible feelings.  Most of the people in my life were amazing and said the right thing or at least, the less bad thing.  Occasionally, however, I heard people say things that were extremely unhelpful and the following is a list of some of those things.

  • "Just relax.  It'll happen."  Anyone who's ever heard this when trying to reproduce, knows how supremely unhelpful it is.  An ordinary woman who is trying to have a baby and has never had issues with miscarriage or infertility is likely already wound up tighter than a long tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs.  Throw some infertility or pregnancy loss into the mix and you have a volatile combination of emotions and telling her to, "Just relax," might get you a filthy look at best, and at worst a telling off.  (Unless she's particularly combative; then you might get punched.)
  • "If you stop trying, you'll get pregnant."  This is a subset of, "Just relax."  For a woman who has a modicum of awareness for how her cycle works, not trying is not an option.  It's like telling someone to not think about something.  Suddenly it's all you can think about.  Or forget about spring.  Spring is going to happen, whether you think about it or not and before you know it you're planting flowers and vegetable gardens, watching baseball and having cookouts.  
  • "It's not God's plan for you."  This is extremely unsettling for people to hear.  Maybe it's true, but we don't want to think that God doesn't have our hopes in mind.  Everyone knows that God's plan for us and our own plan for ourselves doesn't always converge, but when you say this to a person, all they hear is, "God thinks you'll be a crappy mom."
  • "You can always just adopt."  This is always said with the nonchalance of someone saying, "You can always just order pizza," when you don't feel up to cooking.  "Just adopting" is not as simple as one would think.  It involves unreal amounts of paperwork, time, energy and money.  Not to mention, strength, patience, and courage.
  • "You wouldn't be so eager for a kid if you knew how hard being a parent really is."  Don't say this.  We're not stupid.  We don't think that the hard work ends when we get to hold our baby for the first time.  If anything, we have more time to think about the realities of parenthood than our counterparts who spent one month trying to conceive.  Plus, we hear you when you tell us about your kid that doesn't sleep, eat vegetables, stop pooping every nine minutes.  We don't have an idealized vision of parenthood, where we're super parents and our kid is perfect.  We might have fantasies, but we're still realistic.
  • "At least you can get pregnant."  This is obviously directed at those dealing with repeat loss and not infertility.  It may sound like a positive point, but honestly, we don't live to see those positive pee sticks.  The whole point is to have a baby, not just get pregnant.  We want to experience the whole thing, from the positive test, to the anatomy scan, to the huge baby bump, to the actual, live baby.
This list is, by no means, complete, and some of the things might not bother every person.  Basically, you should be sympathetic and understanding, and strive to not be condescending or unrealistic.  It won't happen every time.  You'll say the wrong thing at some point, everyone does.  But knowing how some of the things you say could be received by a person dealing with these issues should help you navigate the minefield.

Friday, November 1, 2013

five reasons that cats are awesome

     Cats are the absolute coolest.  From their aloofness and heightened sense of their own importance, to their magical ninja skills, they delight us, befriend us and then leave us wanting more whenever they deign.   These are some of the reasons that cats are amaze-balls. 

1.)  Cats can jump insanely high.

     Cats can jump anywhere from 5-7 times their own height.  If humans could jump 5-7 times their own height, they could jump an average of 30 feet in the air, which is about the height of a two story building.  Imagine the implications for the NBA alone.  They would have to raise the goals by more than 30 feet!  If the average human could jump 30 feet, basketball players could jump 35-40 feet.  Lets face it, they're already freaks.  This would just be further proof.

2.)  Cats get to sleep any time they want.

     I can't overstate how important sleep is to me.  I love to do it.  I love to think about doing it.  I'm jealous when my cats get to do it.  They can fall asleep anywhere, including but not limited to televisions, tables, flip flops, potted plants, and once, inside the washing machine.  (It was not on.)

3.)  Cats have hidden weapons.

     Cats have retractable knives on their feet.  I'm going to say this again.  Cats have retractable knives on their feet.  This is insane.  They can catch food, deter foes, and sink their foot-knives into your leg when they almost fall off your lap.  Think about the ramifications for the airline business.  Their foot-knives are not made of metal, so cats could fly with their weapons completely unmolested.  Think how many cat terrorists there would be.

4.)  Cats have very high self-esteem.

     Despite the fact that they depend on us for food and shelter, cats can really take us or leave us.  They mostly choose to leave us.  They tease us with their fluffiness, rub their whiskered countenance on our ankles and then flit away on a whim.  

5.)  Cats are magical or maybe ninjas and will always land on their feet if they fall.

    It's some kind of ninja magic, the way they always land on their feet.  You can drop a cat from six feet or six inches and they will twist their boneless frames around and land with all four knife-feet on the ground.  They must be master yogis in order to contort themselves in this way in the seconds it takes for gravity to accelerate their furry bodies to the ground.

So in summation, cats are conceited, narcoleptic, would-be terrorist ninjas with secret weapons who can jump ridiculously high.  They are probably going to take over the world.