Friday, May 29, 2009


I head out of town tomorrow for nearly a week. International travel, for the first time in, well, a long time. I'm a little worried I've lost my mojo - not only for traveling internationally, but for traveling by myself. I used to do it all the time...but I worry that now I've become too used to traveling with my husband and letting him take care of things. I imagine it'll be good for me - in a place where I know no one, where I don't speak the language, and where I'll need to figure out how to get around on my own. I have a feeling, though, that I will be ready to come home once the conference is over!

My imminent departure has led to a great shifting of "stuff" around the house. Working on projects I want to finish before I go (time-sensitive things, like potting plants), piling up clothes that I think I want to take, doing the same with toiletries (good grief, the toiletries...I consider myself relatively low-maintenance, but it seems as though I'm taking more stuff than I could possibly use...), doing the laundry, etc. etc. etc.

I've also been trying to shift the focus of my research interests, with minimal (at best) success. The grant I was planning to write - for the past year, at least - focused on a topic that seems to be on its way out. And the agency has funded multiple studies on this topic just this fiscal year. Sooo....perhaps it's good that I am headed out of town - and to a work conference, no less. I usually get some good ideas by listening to others talk about their work, and I'm hoping that this conference will spark some creativity on my part. I've been worried, because I feel like I am spinning my wheels trying to find the next.big.idea...but maybe I should just let it go for a week. It's not like I won't be working - I will - and letting my brain relax a bit could be the spark that I need.

We're also considering getting a new car. N's car is almost 7 years old - American made - and is one of the brands that are being dumped. So its value as a trade-in will be nearly nothing if we wait much longer. But...the car we are thinking of getting is most definitely NOT a family car. It's tiny - would fit us, the dog, and a duffle bag - but not a carseat. Like moving N's office into the putative nursery, this is one of those shifts that I'm finding I need to work on. I can't feel overjoyed about the prospect of a new car if it's one that a carseat won't fit into. Not yet. I need a little time, still. I feel like, well, we made the decision not to go forward at this point, shouldn't I feel happy and relieved and...yeah, not so much. I think I'm still grieving my vision of "family", even though I know that my current family is pretty excellent. Time, I guess, will heal (or at least scab over) all wounds.

Monday, May 25, 2009


We've had a very nice - and productive - long weekend. Full of chores and things around the house and getting some tasks done that we were putting off. Washing windows, potting plants, and hanging out with the neighbors. All good things that we've thoroughly enjoyed. The best part is, we haven't gone that far from home all weekend - the farthest was my trip to SuperTarget yesterday. Boy, do I love my ST. Really. I stock up there for weeks at a time - and fill in with trips to the farmer's market or the local stores for produce.

Today it's drizzly and cool - quite a change from the last few summer-like days. My lovely husband mowed this morning, while I cleaned up some books in the middle bedroom. Because our plans for this afternoon included moving his desk and office stuff into the middle bedroom. That would be the one that I thought was going to be a nursery. It's well-placed (right next to our room) and small. Close to the guest bath (which was to eventually become the kid's/kids' bath). It was perfect. And now it's N's office.

I'm okay with this, but I'm also a bit sad. I wouldn't go so far as to say I'm grieving the "loss" of that room, but it is difficult to realize that there isn't going to be a baby (or babies) living in this house for a very long time. That there won't be nights when I stumble down the hall, to get to a crying child. That the bathroom will stay nice and neat and tidy for guests - and we won't have to fish bath toys and crayons out of the tub when people come to stay. I worried about whether the room was too close to the guest room - you know, when people come to visit, they might not want to hear a baby crying.

Instead, it now houses my husband's truly beautiful desk (and I mean that sincerely), our new bookshelf, and the stuff that has lived in the corner of the family room for almost a year now. Since we moved in.

But it's like a friend said when we told her that we were planning to do this - you can't let the fact that you can't get pregnant stop you from living your life. I see that more in the big things - I'm going to meetings, we're traveling, we're trying to enjoy our childless lives. But it's in the small things, too. Like moving a desk on a rainy summer holiday.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Crabby, Tired, and Sad

I know, such a lovely title for a blog post. But it's not like anyone else is reading this, anyway, and this functions more like a journal for me than for anyone else's enjoyment. And if anyone is reading (most likely, my husband, although I doubt even that!) he or she already probably knows that I've been in a crabby mood the last few days.

You know it's bad when you get frustrated with the dog...the sweet, loving, lazy dog. That's how my day started, when he wouldn't willingly come downstairs. Then, he had the gall to get up while I was exercising downstairs (I know!...also, I do know I was totally overreacting) and I had to move him to the couch. Really - it sounds ridiculous as I type it, but this morning, it was sending me over the edge. I capped the morning by not only dropping the butter container, cracking the bottom, but also getting my period.

Ahhh...PMS. I don't get headaches or cramps or anything, I just get totally crabby and completely klutzy. More so than usual. And, this is the first of many months where we're not actively doing anything to try for a pregnancy...and so it's very sad, too. Isn't it bad enough that we haven't been successful in the pregnancy department? I mean, do I have to have nasty cramps, the crabbiness, and the klutziness, too? I hope that this gets better as time goes by...I thought I was okay with stepping off the infertility treatment train, but if I get like this every month it is going to get very old, very very fast. As in, it's already old already.

Is it that I haven't given myself enough time to deal with our decision? I don't know. We just decided not to pursue other options a few weeks really hasn't been that long. Maybe I'm still in the mourning process, for lack of another description. It certainly doesn't help when I am confronted with pregnant people literally everywhere we go...from good friends, to neighbors, to friends-of-friends. And I'm still having a hard time with the sad thoughts when I do encounter someone who's pregnant.

Work has been busy - for both of us - which is good. But in the back of my mind, there is always the thought that I'm going to become what I never wanted to become - someone like my first "real" boss, who was bitter and angry and self-centered, and who hated women who had children because they decided to put family first and not their careers. I always thought I'd show her, by having a family AND a great career. So much for that. So while it's been busy - and a bit mentally draining - recently, it's also difficult to realize that I'll never have to balance work and young children, or maternity leave, or any of that. Even the fun stuff, like showing pictures of my kids to colleagues at meetings.

So maybe it is that I'm just going through the mourning process. Maybe it's good that I'm leaving for a work-related meeting next Saturday - in Iceland, of all places. Maybe being somewhere differnet will help get my mind off of how I feel like a failure for not being able to get pregnant, and for getting off the treatment train before we'd exhausted all the options available to us. It'd be nice if clarity and peace came in nice, tidy packages that show up when we need them most...I'm still waiting for mine.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Competitive lawn mowing

I've never lived with my husband in a place where we've had more than 10 square feet of lawn that is our responsibility. Before he moved in with me, he lived in a lovely house about 30 minutes away, and I knew he took great care of his lawn and garden. It always looked nice, and tidy, and well, I liked that about him.

Then he moved down to my condo so we could live in sin, and the association was responsible for the lawn. We then lived in an apartment - no lawn - and a townhouse with the aforementioned 10 square feet of grass. When he came back to the Midwest last summer, leaving me in the townhouse for a couple of months, I cut it with the weed whacker. That's how small it was.

So now, living in suburban heaven, it's hilarious yet slightly scary to see him take up competitive lawn mowing. We now have neighbors on all but one side - well, and the front, where the street is. Duh. And they all take wonderful care of their lawns. Mowed regularly, treated for weeds, edged, trimmed, etc. And my husband is more than keeping up with them. He mows, and edges, and trims, and weeds. He has the lawn service come out. He carefully removes any dandelions that might dare to intrude on his patch of grass. And he does all of this, every week, without asking for my help. And I love it.

He also claims to hate the outdoors, which I have now reinterpreted to mean as "camping" (i.e., having to pee in the woods and go without a shower). Because clearly, he doesn't hate the outdoors when it means he's out there taking care of the lawn. I love that he cares so much.

And on a different topic, completely...Neighbors just had their third kid in 5 years; the women across the street from them (right across and then across-and-down a bit) are both pregnant with their third kids. And we just found out that it is not going to happen for us. We've decided not to go through with IVF at this point, although we could always change our minds. But I don't see us doing that. It's been a sad few weeks for me, trying to come to grips with this. I don't think it's going to happen overnight...but why does it seem as though everyone is pregnant? And all I see are pregnant women?

Wednesday, May 6, 2009


So, there's a kid who rides the 7:30 bus with me a couple of times a week. He uses it to get to the local high school - a nice option, if you ask me. Seeing him gives me flashbacks to high school - which feels like it was about 15 minutes ago. He's so...awkward. Never looks anyone in the eye. Never says "good morning" to our bus driver (which seems to be de rigeur when it's the same woman driving the same people to work every thing I love about this town). Never acknowledges that there are other people on his planet. So very, very teenager-y. I watch him get off the bus and trudge off to what must seem the most boring place on earth...the high school. There's something about the set of his shoulders that makes me feel sympathetic, and helps me remember that high school isn't always the best time of anyone's life. And then I think, thank goodness! I'm done with that! I have plenty of degrees, and I don't have to go to school anymore (although I love it so much it may be tempting...). And I also think, woo hoo! I know how to interact with people, and talk to them, and saying "good morning" to the bus driver doesn't give me the heebie-jeebies.

But then I realize that I haven't left it all behind...I didn't go to the spring clean up weekend in our neighborhood because my husband wasn't home, and I feel shy and awkward around most of our neighbors. Particularly when there are lots of them in a group. I occasionally skulk past the offices of our area secretary and program associate, because some mornings I just don't want to say "good morning". I read on the bus. I don't make eye contact. And sometimes I think that I haven't left the awkwardness of high school behind at all.

Thinking about how we're navigating through all of this infertility stuff also makes me feel awkward... They want us to consider IVF now, since they haven't been able to figure out what, exactly, is our problem. And I have to be honest - as much as I want a baby, as much as I want to see my husband become a father (because, really? he'd be a fantastic father...) - I have to say that I'm seriously leaning towards not doing IVF. I'm not sure I'm up for going through all that we would have to go through - and not be sure that we'd have a baby at the end of it. But I feel awkward saying that. So many people out there on the internets seem to jump right in to IVF - not without thinking, that's not what I'm saying - but with more gusto than I can gather right now. Is that because they've already gotten past this point? That once you decide, you *just do it*?

I'm also having a hard time finding other people who are talking about this point in their decision making...whether it's IVF yes/no, or IVF+ICSI yes/no, I can't seem to find people talking about how they have decided to go for it (whatever "it" is) or....stop. So, who talks about the stopping part? Where are there people who have decided that, for them, this is where it ends? And how do you talk to other people about that?