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Monday, March 22, 2010

Pregnant Women Are Smug But Nobody Says It

My sole (I think) male reader sent this gem to me today:

 Pregnant Women Are Smug (click here to see video)

I'm on the floor. Things are funnier when they are true.

I'm also on round three of Clomid. Tomorrow is the magical first day of DTD. Yeah yeah yeah whatever. I'm over this.

Really, I'm not bitter, it's hard to express this adequately on the screen. Just OVAH IT. I have s--t to do with my life, and waiting around to find out if my eggs are hatching and fertile is getting on my nerves and I'm not directing enough energy to the stuff I want to achieve.

There's a lesson here.

Monday, March 8, 2010

The Girl Can't Help It

You know that phrase, "Laugh and the whole world laughs with you?" Well, I say, Start taking fertility meds and the whole world seems to get pregnant. Except you.

I went to dinner with four girl friends last week. We were meant to be celebrating a rare night away from our significant others, to indulge in "girl talk," and to guzzle Chardonnay. Nary a moment after the first sip, the talk about pregnancy began. All of the other women at the table had at least one child. In short time, I felt alone among my small group, adrift without a paddle. Or an operational uterus.

The conversation morphed from pregnancy to birth, to vaccinations, to antibiotics, to playdates, and to pureeing vegetables. I was almost able to chime in at one point: I like a pureed parsnip as much as the next toddler.

There was a ten-minute interlude solely dedicated to tips and tricks for breastfeeding children with teeth.

It felt endless. Where was that waitress? I needed more wine. NOW. I monitored the conversation: there was not one single topic discussed that didn't expound on the experience of motherhood. I felt alienated, but I also felt sort of appalled. These ladies all knew my history. Normally talkative, I had virtually nothing to say. It would have behooved them to acknowledge that their conversation was totally and completely excluding a member of their small party. I was baffled by their lack of awareness.

This is not the first time I've experienced this sort of exclusion. And I know my friends: they would never be intentionally cruel. No one would.

I've narrowed it down to this: there are certain experiences in life, such as marriage and motherhood, are so all-consuming, so enthralling, and so fraught with confusion and emotion, that a life previous to this landmark event is simply no longer imaginable. In short: they just can't help themselves.

Being childless among the fertile masses has taught me to never dwell on the details of pregnancy, episiotomies, stretch marks, teething, breastfeeding, or a trial of solid foods in front of my childless friends. I'll never do that.

But I look forward to the moment when I just can't help it.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Sex in an Arena

After my second miscarriage landed me in the hospital for two days, I started to reveal it to a larger circle of people, many more than I did after the first. The whole situation was sad, but the threat to my health made it scarier than sad this time around. I understood more than ever how much women fear exposing their miscarriages.

I began writing this blog because I wanted to share my fears and loneliness surrounding pregnancy and miscarriage. I felt very alone and even embarrassed when I lost my first pregnancy. It's because pregnancy is often hidden, it's something spent whispering about until the third trimester. Yes, there is a lot of joy, but there is also a sense of impending doom about a pregnancy.

I get that it's an attempt to protect your feelings and the feelings of others -- after all, why extend the suffering to everyone you know? But I also feel like there's this sense of immense failure when you lose a pregnancy. It caused me to dissect every last one of my actions leading up to the miscarriage: maybe I shouldn't have gone running, or eaten that salami sandwich. Ultimately I knew it that it was not my fault. So, why did I still feel like such a loser?

And when I told women who had also had miscarriages how I felt, the floodgates opened. They told me how they always wanted to talk to someone but just couldn't. There might be support groups out there that give women this opportunity, but I certainly didn't know about it. And, let's face it, who's going to search "Miscarriage Support" while they're also reading about strollers, and cribs? I hope that my small forum here will help alleviate the pressures, sadness, and sense of aloneness.

Speaking of pressure: a couple of weekends ago I felt like I DTD'ed in an arena. We were scheduled to go on a weekend trip with friends, all staying one house. Just before the start of the trip, I realized that I would be ovulating during that time. We would be DTD in a crowded house! For some people, their sense of exhibitionism might prevail, but not in this case -- it would be baby-making sex, not "run into the bathroom at the height of passion". The baby-making aspect made it somehow more animalistic and raw. And a little embarrassing.

Luckily, the situation fell into place and we were able to slip away to DTD without attracting too much attention. Afterward, laying there and hearing the sounds of laughter and glasses clinking one room away, I decided to rejoin the party.

Friends were gathered in front of a fireplace, drinking wine. They spotted me, and then broke into a round of applause. When I sat down, one friend immediately walked over to where I was and deftly elevated my legs. And another friend handed me my wine glass.

1st millennium B.C., Near Eastern fertility goddess