Friday, September 14, 2012

It’s Only a Matter of Time

Baptism By Fire’s recent post Running out, about losing her friends without children is a topic that I have been thinking about the past month. 
A friend posted on facebook that they are expecting recently, just inside their 1 year marriage mark.  While I am happy for them I was shocked that she would make this public announcement at 5 weeks pregnant!  I was amazed that she would make that announcement so early in her pregnancy, and with her being a nurse I am sure she has plenty of knowledge of all things that could possibly go wrong, but then again she has never lived in the infertility world where things in that area of life just don’t work out as planned.  So, I hope everything goes well for her.
A few weeks later I was at my other friend’s house waiting for her to get ready so we could go out.  I was standing next to her bookshelf looking at what she has to read.  We have swapped books several times so I didn’t think she would mind me looking at her bookcase in her living room.  I spied the dreaded book that pregnant people read when they are expecting (I don’t want to name the book here as to not draw innocent Google searchers to my barren womb blog).  Next to it was a book about being a father, and next to that one was a book of baby names.  This set of friends has just been married 1 year also.  I stood there and realized that they will probably be next to join the parenting group.  Our circle of carefree friends that can do any activity on a whim will once again be shrinking.
I have done this circuit before.  When our friends have children we see them less.  Our get-togethers become less frequent.  They must get home in the night earlier than us, or arrange for overnight sitters.  They plan activities that exclude us because they are kid oriented.  We have found new friendships during these prior wakes that fill in the holes that were left, but it still sucks to cycle through again.
With the culture in the state that I reside in, people start their families a lot earlier here than in other parts of the US.  Early 20’s is standard.  This leaves the pool of childfree/childless people in our age group pretty sparse.  Both of my above mentioned friends are 9 to 7 years younger than me now. So where does this leave me now getting ready to look for new friends?  Ok so picture this, currently I have gotten back my acne problems since my Dr took me off birth control after my surgery.  33 and acne is not a good combination!  Plus to add to the awkwardness I am getting braces next week!  I have finally decided to fix my overbite that I have always been self-conscious of.  I hate looking at pictures of me if I am smiling too big because it is more gums than teeth.  I know it is a vanity thing, but I figure why not just fix it now rather than complain about it the rest of my life.  So I have been picturing my 30 something self with acne and braces looking for new friends out of the 20 something childfree pool!  So I am laughing at myself picturing my dorky self out there trying to find new friendsJ 
I’m actually pretty happy with myself right now.  This would have left me devastated in the past.  But then again my second friend isn’t pregnant yet and I don’t even know for sure if they are trying.  I just found some books on the shelf that have lead me to waste time thinking about something that isn’t even happening.  Infertility leaves you trying to brace and prepare for events that haven’t even happened.

Friday, September 7, 2012


I have been absence from this blog for a while.  Not on purpose, life just got a little busy for me.  So to catch you up…I finished up my summer semester and went straight into a big home improvement project.  We replaced the roof on our house by ourselves with the help of some amazing friends of ours.  That was 2 layers of shingles that had to be torn off and new shingles put on.  It was a big project but it felt so good to watch it slowly come together and ended with a terrific emotion of self-accomplishment.  And for some reason it amazes everyone that I was on the roof helping to shingle (I must not have the look of a roofer) and my roof is 3 stories high at the back of the house.  Our land is sloped and we have a walk out basement.  I never thought before that I had a fear of heights, but I can tell you with confidence that I do have a fear of 3 story high ledges!  This took a couple of weeks since we both work full time and could only work on the roof weekends and evening. After that we went straight into play mode.  Within 1 week I traveled to Vegas for a few days with a close girlfriend of mine, M and I went to the sand dunes in Idaho to play on atvs with several friends over one weekend, and we went to Wyoming to visit my parents.  That trip was supposed to end with a day fishing, but due to some allergic reactions I was having I came home early without M while he finished out the trip.  All in all, it has been several happy/busy/full weeks.
Tonight we talked about paradigms that people have.  A paradigm is the way we see, interpert, and understand things around us and the world.   Now the class is a business class, but the conversation shifted to personal matters and examples.  As I sat there and absorbed the information in the class I could relate everything that was being said to our infertility journey.

We started ttc like any couple, we had a paradigm that we would have a family and although we had an inkling that our journey to our family might take us longer than others (because of problems I had associated with my cycles) we didn’t have any doubt that our dream wouldn’t come true.  As the years passed us by and we watched our friends and family start and add to their families our paradigm of our family shifted.  It included different ART that we would use, but it would be worth the sacrifice to get our family, because families come with sacrifice anyways and we just had to sacrifice more at the beginning of the journey than most other people did.  We had another shift in our family paradigm when our family dream dwindled to a family of 2.  We realized that this was probably our future.  M accepted it faster and with more grace than I did (still am).  As I struggled it really bothered me that other people couldn’t accept that we are just a family of 2.  It would grate on my nerves and emotions when people still wanted to tell me about every miracle birth or adoption story.  I felt like other people didn’t want me to accept our decision and I took it personally.

I have been taking this graduate degree program with the same group of people since January.  This is our 5th class together.  We have gotten to know each other and it is more personal than traditional college courses.  As our teacher was having us introduce ourselves to him today (since our teachers change with each class) one guy mentioned that he is a new father to his 3rd child this week, another guy brought up that he and his wife will soon be empty nesters, and towards the end of the introductions a third guy mentioned that they brought home a baby this week to adopt.  I could feel the evil green monster building in me.  The third announcement just brought the jealousy brimming inside me.  Yet again I don’t have a family announcement.  I felt like an outsider in yet another group.  I sat there for a while and kind of tuned things out while I blinked away the tears that were beginning to sting my eyes.  No I didn’t cry, it was just the threat of them.  This didn’t last long and I tuned back into class.

Later in the class, the idea of paradigm shifts was talked about and how shifting relationships with people from dependent to independent relationships with private victories.  When you are a dependent person what other people do and say affect your emotions and actions.  The goal is to become independent where you are the one that affects your emotions and reactions.  I realized that I have been waiting for the world to accept our childless paradigm shift, and I am the one that needs to accept it.  I have been waiting for acceptance and recognition of this shift which is my own internal battle.  I know that we have made this decision, but I need to really see it as it is, and all of a sudden I felt differently.  This is my life, and I need to take responsibility of my feelings.  I felt such a drastic change in my feelings where just a little over an hour earlier I was close to tears because of the helplessness I was feeling, where currently I was feeling powerful and in control of my feelings and my life.  Then as I was feeling this shift from helplessness to powerful this quote from Stephen Covey was placed on the screen.

                If you want small changes, work on your behavior, if you want quantum-leap changes, work on your paradigms.

I’m going to have to think more about this subject and this powerful feeling it is giving me.