Sunday, April 29, 2007

Baby Shower for an Infertile Woman

Today I had my first ever baby shower--in my honor. A friend of mine, a fellow Infertile, threw me this lovely party. It was a very civilized affair at a tea room not far from where I live. Now, I used to be a person with A LOT of friends. But, aside from myself (and baby boy) and my friend, B., the host, only 3 people showed up. The friends who did show were either fellow Infertiles or those with no kids and not yet ttc (not married or just not 'there' yet). There are a few reasons for all of this, as I see it:

1. I have totally isolated myself over the past couple of years during my Infertility struggles. By either just being too depressed to socialize, or just not being able to "deal" with seeing all my Fertile friends (and their babies and/or pregnant bellies) I have lost touch with a lot of really great people.

2. Some friends who have been alienated felt hurt by finding out about my adoption through an invitation they received in the mail, and so, I guess, decided to sit this one out.

3. Some friends probably feel that since I have not been able to engage in THEIR lives by attending their baby showers, kids' birthday parties, etc., over the past couple of years, why should they come to mine?

4. Most of the ladies present today are folks I in one way or another met through my work. Which means, I spend more time working than doing anything else. What can I say? I like my job, my business is successful, and it has also been a GREAT diversion these past few years. Also, my job has provided a good excuse for not attending all those baby showers/birthday parties/etc.. (I work in the event business, so I work A LOT of weekends!)

5. There was a horrific accident on the Bay Bridge this morning which F***ed up traffic and prevented one of my friends from the City from coming out to the hinterlands where I now live.

6. And, there were some friends, who I have totally lost touch with--and I was just too embarrassed to even invite them. Friends who have been very busy having babies, that I have just dropped all contact with, since we got the BAD NEWS last August. I never sent them baby gifts, or cards, or even picked up the phone when I knew it was time for their babies to arrive. Let alone pick up the phone and tell them about all my struggles.

So, I am I hurt by the low turn-out? I'm not sure. I guess it's not really fair to be mad at people for not coming to my fete when I have been totally out of touch with them (or very nearly so) or have just been a complete flake/weirdo/headcase in general for 3 years. There is this thing called reciprocation. What you put out comes back to you. So, I am getting back what I have put out. But, on the other hand, I don't feel guilty. I feel badly--I wish it were different. I wish I were the type of person who could totally overcome her negative feelings and attend every friend's baby shower with gusto and big smiles. But I'm not. I'm a fragile, envious, hurt Infertile. And I needed to self-protect. So I am neither mad at my friends for not showing up to my party, nor am I mad at myself for making it that way through my actions. I forgive myself. I hope, in time, my Fertile friends will forgive me as well.

I am, however, deeply touched and amazed by the generosity of people like my friend B.~ who threw me this party. In the midst of her own struggles with IF. In the throes of another IVF cycle and injections, mood-swings, hormones, yadda yadda. She is really, truly so happy for me and wanted to do this for me. So, no matter how jealous (beacause I am obviously evil) I might be (as well as extremely happy) when an IVF takes, and she gets pregnant, (and I know it will happen) I am definitely showing up and attending HER baby shower. We fertility-challenged gals got to stick together.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Am I Crazy?

First of all, I must be crazy, because I SHOULD be sleeping right now. It's 11:00 p.m. and baby boy has been asleep in his crib since an amazing 9:30!! I should be taking every opportunity to sleep--but here I am. Wide awake.

The thing is, I had one of those days. Tell me, my fellow infertile friends (if any of you are out there reading) do you ever have days like this: You start out the day feeling pretty ok. You might even feel pretty darn good about life. You could even be found from time to time singing along with whatever lame song is playing on the radio in the car.

You see your first pregnant woman standing in front of you in line at the store in the morning. You smile inwardly and say, 'Good for her' or something magnanimous like that. Then, you see your next pregnant woman as you exit the store (she crosses your path like a black cat--well, a pregnant black cat). Then you pick up your dry-cleaning, and the woman behind the counter is, yes, ready to burst. Off to work, and while waiting at a red light, TWO of them (they travel in packs some times) walk through the cross walk in front of you. You keep trying to hold on to that positive vibe you had going. You think, 'Oh this is just a funny little joke the universe is playing on me.' Ha. Ha. Then, you get to your office, and you have a client meeting. She brings along her sister/friend/wedding planner--who's pregnant. Now you start to feel like you ate something bad or maybe had too much coffee (oh but wait, you don't drink coffee anymore--trying to increase your chances of fertility!) because you have this stinging, acid feeling rising up in your stomach. At lunch, your best friend calls you to let you know how her latest ultrasound went. Everything looks great. And, they're having a boy! You are happy for her. Of course. You make it through the day somehow, without crying or anything. You even hold it together on your way home as you see about 5 more pregnant women within about 10 blocks. You try not to notice that annoying bus stop advertisement that is basically just a photo of a big pregnant belly.

Then you get home, to your sanctuary. You turn on the TV. You pour a glass of wine. And you see the world's most annoying commercial. A montage of women in labor. One after the other. And then the montage changes to these happy women being handed their little babies. And the voice-over says something like, "we know how hard you worked to have your baby...." or something like that--you're not even sure, because at that point you've run into the other room to cry/barf/stare at the wall/eat a pound of chocolate/whatever.

Now, luckily for me, when it gets to that point, I can pick up my baby boy. I can whisper to him, (in response to that EVIL commercial) "I DID work hard for you. I didn't get to carry you for nine months and give birth to you, but the pain of labor can never compare to the pain of wanting you for so, so long. It can never compare to the pain of NOT being able to be the one that created you and gave you life. It can not compare to the pain of feeling inadequate, ashamed, forsaken and alone for 3 + years (and counting)."

So, maybe it's just me. Maybe I am the only one who feels this way. I think my husband thinks so. I don't think he understands how I can still be sad about being infertile even though we have now adopted the World's Cutest Baby. I don't know either. I feel like a crazy person.

Monday, April 16, 2007


I couldn't figure out at first, why, when we went to Babies R Us this weekend, to get some necessities, and add some items to our registry, I started crying in the middle of the store. Here I was, with my cute husband, and my new son, at the mecca of mommyhood--Babies R Us! A place that normally, I would have avoided like the plague! What was my deal? Well, with my new baby in tow, I didn't have time, or the desire, to dwell last week, on the fact, that I had reached my one year anniversary of my miscarriage/D&C surgery, on April 12th. But, as I walked through the aisles of Baby Mecca on Sunday, past every pregnant woman in the county, I had a minor melt down. Now, most women would be proud of abs as flat as mine, but as I walked past all these fertile, young, big-bellied women, as Mister proudly pushed the stroller around, as I gripped my registry "gun", I felt, well, like a big, impotent, flat-bellied, barren, impostor.

Why can't I get over the pregnancy thing? I love my son. He is truly a miracle. I am so grateful. So, why can't I just be 100% happy? I feel like I need a lobotomy. Just saying...

Thursday, April 5, 2007

My Own Private Idaho

Really, it's been too long since I posted. But, with everything, all the crazy, hair-raising, beautiful, scary, poignant, funny and awe-inspiring moments that have passed since I last wrote--I don't know--I just wanted to experience everything, not write about it or analyze it. I guess that's why I'll never be a great writer.

The update: Monday, March 19th we drove out to Boise. About a 10 hour job. We got there anticipating having at least two, maybe three days before E. went into labor (or was induced). Wrong! As soon as we arrived (bleary-eyed and tired from being in the car all day) we learned E was having contractions. We met her at the hospital later that night (early the next morning) at 3 a.m. where we just missed the awesome sight of...her epidural. And, we were not the only ones there. Her mom, P. was by her side, as well as M. the birth father, and about 50 members of M's family, random friends and seemingly total strangers, all angling for a eyeful of E's coochie. Finally, several hours later, the nurses kicked everyone out except for E's mom, M., and Mister and Me.

Nurses kept coming in and out of the room. The hours dragged on, and we kept hearing promises of impending "pushing." By 4:00 p.m. Tuesday afternoon, it was clear that that baby was not going to come out by the traditional route. E was whisked away for a C-section.

That is when I finally lost it, after (how many hours/days) of no sleep, and a roller-coaster of emotion. I felt badly for E because I knew she didn't want a C-section. And, admittedly, I felt sorry for myself, because I wanted to at least be there at the moment my son finally came into the world.

To make matters worse, E.'s epidural had been going for so long that it was no longer having any effect. They had to put her under. What that basically meant was that the one person who had been holding everyone accountable to the "plan" as she had laid it out, was out of commission. When they finally came out of the operating room with the baby, he was handed to M. (the birth father). Mister and I followed M and a nurse (let's call her nurse Ratchet) close behind, into the elevator, up to the nursery floor, hungrily trying to get a glimpse of our baby. I was about to jump out of my skin, I wanted to hold him so badly. E's directive had made it clear that in the delivery room, she wanted to hold the baby first, and then he would be handed to Mister and me. Now, we were following behind M. and nurse Ratchet, me, almost apoplectic. Into the nursery they went, Mister and I not allowed to follow. We watched through the window, along with the 50 random people from M's crew, trying to get a better look at our son, while the nurse conducted the APGAR test. Our poor baby was battle-scarred and bruised from trying for so long to make it into the world through E's "stubborn cervix" (the doctor's phrase, not mine) but he looked gorgeous to me. M. had a 1,000 yard stare on his face, and wouldn't look at Mr. and me through the glass, which made me soooooo nervous. Finally, a few hours later, we were granted access to the nursery, and were able to hold our son for the first time. Tears streamed down my face. I was so happy to see him.

Over the next couple of days, we spent as much time as possible at the hospital. We mostly visited with E in her room, while we held, fed and changed the baby. It was really nice to be all together like that. It somehow just felt right. E's mom and dad were there from time to time, and they were the NICEST people ever. The first thing E's dad said to me when I met him was, "Congratulations." Wow. And I know it wasn't easy--I could see the mist of a tear in his eye. He was "losing" his first grandson. And I knew there was a sadness there.

There was a lot of drama with M's family--especially his mother--putting pressure on M. and E. not to give the baby up for adoption. E never wavered, despite being hammered and pressured pretty badly. There was a point where M declared he was not going to sign away his parental rights. Ugh! Drama! However, Friday came and E and the baby were released from the hospital. And baby boy came home ("home" to our hotel room) with us! Oh my God!! The next Tuesday was E's court date. And, despite his threats to interfere with the adoption, M. didn't even bother showing up to court. Which meant, according to the Idaho atty., that he had therefore waived his rights.

We kept in contact over the next several days with E. and her mom and dad. E. didn't want to see the baby too much, but we did get together one last time before we left to come home (we had to wait a few days for paperwork to be filed through the court system after E. appeared in court, before we were cleared to leave the state). E.'s mom and dad, funnily enough are not that much older than Mister and me, in their early and mid forties (we are in our mid-thirties). So, it was like making a new set of friends. Our minds kept blowing from the experience--having this new connection, and not really having a category or a way to explain it or identify it. But, it feels like we have extended family or just good friends in Boise, Idaho, now. And they were so grateful to be given the opportunity to spend some time with baby boy. They said they felt so much more at peace with the whole situation, after getting to know us, and seeing what kind of life baby boy would have with his adoptive parents.

We arrived home last weekend, and the time has flown by. Though I'm somewhat sleep-deprived, and a little disheveled, so far, it doesn't really seem that "hard." I'm just so excited to see this little guy, spend time with him, change his diapers, etc.. But really, he sleeps a lot. I find myself just wanting to wake him up (but I refrain) just so I can get to know him a little better.

And, the adventure continues. I'm so happy to be a mom. And yet, somehow, I keep waiting for someone to tap me on the shoulder, and say, "ok, that's enough. Time to hand over the baby." You know, like he's on loan, or something. And, yes, I'll admit, I'm pissed that I couldn't be the one that "made" him. But, then, he wouldn't be who he is, he'd be someone else. And, he's perfect. Absolutely perfect. So...there it is.