Sunday, March 29, 2009

Recovering Catholic infertile seeks peace of mind

Infertile guilt. It's there and has to be dealt with once an infertile gets pregnant. Combine it with the Catholic guilt I already carry around and it makes sense that I decided to seek out a therapist last year.

Infertile guilt is interesting. It is rooted in our sheer loathing of hearing easily impregnated, fertile women complain about how horrible their pregnancy is. We think about screaming at these women, responding with obscenities and even smacking these people. And all of these desires are completely legitimate. We as infertiles are in no position to have to be subjected to pregnancy complaints. We swear up and down, on a stack of Bibles, on our mothers' graves that we will a million years complain if we manage to get pregnant.

And many of us infertiles do eventually become pregnant ourselves. Hooray! We're shocked, stunned, can't believe it's finally happened. All of our hard work, extra stress and tears have finally gotten us to the finish line or at least to the point where we can see the finish line on the horizon. Our anxiety begins. Am I really pregnant? Is this too good to be true? How many sticks should I pee on before I let myself believe that I'm really truly pregnant? (Approximately 27.) Is this little bean going to stick? If I start to enjoy the fact that I'm pregnant and let my guard down, is something bad destined to happen? We try not to tempt fate or fail the universe in any way to ensure that the bean remains with us. We are understandably superstitious after having looked at so many single lines and having swallowed down the bitterness of failure for so many months before.

And it comes. We start to feel like complete shit. Welcome to pregnancy. We want to sleep all the time. In the hopes of finding some small sense of relief, we're wearing sea bands and sucking on ginger drops, gagging on ginger tea and drinking outrageous amounts of ginger ale all to no avail. On top of physically feeling like shit, we now emotionally feel like shit, too, because......that's right, we swore we'd never complain. We promised. We raised our right hands and declared it so many times when we listened to pregnant people bitch and complain about pregnancy, the one thing we desired the most. Those bitches. And here we are. Fighting the words that are about to come out of our mouths. Feeling like complete and total hypocrites and traitors to our infertile sisters.


It's out there. You can't take it back. You've officially complained. About the one thing you wanted most and worked so long for.

And you know what?

It's okay. Go look at yourself in the mirror and tell yourself that over and over and over again because it takes a long while to sink in and truly believe it. Some days I still have to go look in the mirror and say it again when my infertile guilt creeps back up.

Now I'm not saying you should call up all your infertile friends you've made up to this point and bitch every day about how awful you feel and how this pregnancy is so incredibly difficult. That is still inappropriate and those friends would still have permission to want to punch you in the face. You may have a few extremely close friends who are comfortable with listening but, for the most part, the majority of infertiles should not be subjected to your complaints unless they are also currently pregnant or have had kids.

But when it comes to all those easily impregnated, fertile bitches? It's on like Donkey Kong. Complain away. After all, you had one hell of a road to get to where you are, that few of them can begin to understand. So let go of the guilt and bitch when you need to.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Counting down

50 days to go.

I can't even believe it. In one sense, I'm excited to be somewhat close to the homestretch. Not quite in it yet, but certainly getting closer. It's so weird and overwhelming to imagine meeting Ben, seeing if he has my eyes or his dad's smile or just doesn't look like a big, hairy wookie.

In another sense, I can't believe I still have 50 days left to carry Ben around on the inside. This child is seeming quite large these days. I read in one of my books last week that he would double in size between now and 40 weeks and I actually almost cried at the thought.

And in another sense, I am absolutely terrified that in 50 days, I'm going to attempt (hopefully successfully) to shove a baby out of my vagina. I find no comfort in the gaggles of women who have done this before me. None at all.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Well that's something new.

Click on the video....

Can you hear that? That's the sound of me trying to turn my cart around in the middle of the aisle in Target only I can't because the width of me plus my belly plus the cart is just too much!

I had to tell Mr. Jaguar I'd meet him in the next aisle and take the long way around.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

I'm officially ready....

for something to be easy. Anything. Minor, major, just something that goes smoothly without any hassle or aggravation. This, unfortunately, is part one of a series....

My maternity leave is (allegedly) worked out. Basically, my union has been fighting with my school district for over a year regarding the district not following federal law as well as their own contract in terms of family medical leave and benefits for teachers out on maternity. Enter me, stage right, the next person in line to be screwed over. For weeks, I've been dealing with this, stressing over it. Basically, my HR person reached a point where she just started ignoring my very polite, friendly e-mails regarding what she was telling me versus the law. They really were friendly. I'm not even being sarcastic. I've got people that can vouch for my friendliness.

So last Thursday, the day of reckoning was looming: the union's attorneys and district's attorneys were prepared to meet the next day. If things could not be resolved at this meeting, the union would file a federal lawsuit against the district. Who should e-mail me but the HR lady asking me to call her when I had a minute. This would be a good time to mention that HR has put absolutely nothing in writing regarding my maternity leave, even in e-mails (because the f-ers know they're shady). So I call her and what does she say?

"I just wanted to let you know that everything worked out with your maternity leave. You do qualify for federal Family Medical Leave (no shit) and your benefits will be covered through the summer."

Here's what I wanted to say: "Thank you, go f#ck yourself." For needlessly stressing me out. For making me sob, worrying about money. For wasting my time for weeks. For ignoring my e-mails. For completely disregarding the law which was written so clearly and in such layman's terms that a goddamned monkey could understand it. Just.Go.F#ck.Yourself.

What I actually said because I need this woman to work with me in the future: "Wow. That's the best news I've heard all day! Thanks. Have a great day. Talk to you soon."

But seriously, SHAME ON YOU, SCHOOL DISTRICT! Shame on you for treating your employees like this. Shame on you for wasting time and resources intentionally trying to screw people over to save a buck, people who work hard for you. Shame on you for blowing my union dues on unnecessary attorney fees. Shame on you for spending money on your own lawyers that could be going to our students, or God forbid, raises for your staff. Shame on you for wasting my precious 40 minutes of prep on who knows how many days because I was calling you trying to figure this crap out or e-mailing back and forth with our union leaders about this stupid bullsh#t waste of time.

I can't help but wonder how many women got the same call that Thursday, less than 24 hours before the attorneys go at it, to say, "Tada! Everything's fixed!"

I haven't heard the outcome of the attorney's meeting yet. I'll write about it when I know what's up.

P.S. I forgot to mention my thoughts on this poor HR woman. Basically, last year the real, trained, lawyer HR woman's contract was not renewed and she was never replaced so the woman who was essentially her assistant is now in charge of the entire department and I think just pretty much doing whatever the superintendent says. Can you imagine the position she's in?? This is another reason I try to be very nice to her. I'm not sure she's okay with what she's being required to do. Still, I hope she's really a mole, reporting all this crap to the Department of Labor when she gets home at night. That would make her my hero.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

As of approximately four minutes ago....

I am 60% of the way done my Masters! Woot! I just finished my final paper for my two current classes and I now have off until.....Monday. OK, the Monday part isn't all that impressive but still, I'll take it. Provided I didn't royally screw anything up, I officially only have 18 weeks left of grad school.

I'm not sure that I've even really blogged about my Masters' program. Basically, late last spring, while feeling like a complete failure in the infertility arena, I decided that I should find something I could be successful with. I decided I should pursue my Masters, but also decided that I really really like my bathrobe. So then it was decided that I should get my Masters online. Genius, right? Well, yeah, it turns out it is because I can do the whole thing in my bathrobe. A major concern, however, was that I am huge procrastinator, or at least I was for my entire undergrad experience. But it turns out that once you hit 30 and actually pay for stuff yourself while fully understanding the impact student loans have on your life, you step up to the plate and figure out the whole growing up thing.

Last June, I started my accelerated program. On July 31, provided everything goes well with the remainder of my pregnancy and the arrival of Ben, I will be finished with the program. I have had little to no social life since last summer and will finish the last 9 weeks of the program with a newborn, God willing. What the hell am I thinking? I'm thinking I don't want to return to work in September with an infant and two grad classes left. The road has been bumpy. Full time work plus part time work plus full time school has not always made for a happy pregnant woman (not even close, in fact she has often been sobbing), but I'll be done. I'll have a (slightly) higher salary to take care of my child. And I'll have more time to spend with him after a long day apart. And I just have to keep telling myself that for the remaining 18 weeks of my program.

In other news, I am awating the arrival of my Snuggie (more on that later). That's right, I'm getting a Snuggie, in monk-maroon no less. Can you picture me at the computer, blogging or writing a paper while not having to deal with that pesky blanket thrown over me that keeps slipping off my shoulders? You know you're you should be.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Fact of the Day

Brought to you by three hours of breastfeeding class this morning...

When breastfeeding women climax during sex, they often let down their milk. That's right, when they orgasm, their breasts start leaking everywhere or possibly even spraying everywhere. So keep a towel handy.

There are no words.

If you are one of the breastfeeding women this did not happen to, please leave a comment letting me know. If you are someone this happened to, keep your trap shut! I don't want to hear about it! Lalalala.....I can't hear you!!!

Friday, March 6, 2009

Freakin' priceless

Follow up to my rant about children wearing inappropriate clothing. This morning, a mother comes in with her 5th grade daughter to talk with me about a project. As we're all talking, I realize the daughter is wearing a Juicy shirt which at the bottom says in small letters, but not too small (bigger than the font you're reading right now):

"Kick a$$ couture"

Instead of dollar signs, the s's were little hearts.

WTF??? I don't even say anything in front of the mom because I decide I am not in the mood to start my Friday morning with a confrontation. Instead, I talk to the daughter later that morning right before I make her go flip her shirt inside out. What does the daughter say?

"My mom knew my shirt says this, but she thought the words were so small that no one would notice."

Oh, okay...then it's totally fine. By the way, your mom's a moron.