Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Dreading the Holidays, or How to Cope with MIL

Yes, I am dreading the Holidays. We fly home for Christmas early tomorrow morning, and as much as I love my family, I am really not looking forward visiting. Especially the in-laws, my mother-in-law (MIL) specifically. She knows our struggles with infertility, and yet it's like she has selective amnesia. Last Christmas was difficult because I had a miscarriage the previous spring and my 'due date' would have been around late November/early December, so I was especially sensitive. MIL kept bringing up the baby of Husband's friend from back home, like in the car on the way to church, at Christmas dinner. Ugh! The last time she brought it up I had to be nasty and mention that the friend never wanted children (according to my Darling Husband) and is appeasing his wife (did I mention the baby is, well, ugly). Other times MIL brings up adoption. It's difficult to discuss these topics, so I try not to say much. She really would love a grandchild, but I don't know if we'll be able to provide one, biological or adopted. This year I'm feeling stronger so hopefully it will go better and I won't let her harping get under my skin.

Another Spears Catastrophe

Can you believe that Britney Spears' 16 year-old sister is pregnant???? I can't believe how dysfunctional this family really is. What really cracks me up is that they are planning on raising the child in Louisiana. How redneck are the Spears family? Sorry, just a little Barren Babe venting.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Childfree Santa Claus

It just hit me that Santa Claus is childfree. Does anyone know if he and Mrs. Clause ever had children?

The Question Every Barren Babe Dreads

Darling Husband and I escaped to a little town outside the city where we live last Saturday. In a couple of days we are flying home to spend time with our respective families for the holidays so we really needed a special time together before the Christmas separation. The town was small and cute with tons of antique shops. We stayed the night at a bed and breakfast. I love bed and breakfasts -- especially when they are in big, old houses -- because it's almost like you're staying over at a friend's house. The sticky thing with bed and breakfasts is the breakfast aspect. It's okay if they have lots of little tables and you can sit with your loved one, or if you can grap the breakfast and take it up to your room. But, I dread the huge dining table where everyone sits together. Perhaps I am anti-social, or maybe it's because I dread making small-talk, but the big dining table makes my tummy nervous. So, there we were sitting at the big table with two other couples. I knew the topic would come to children. I just knew it...and then it happened. "So, how many children do you have?" Ugh! "We don't have any children," I replied. My eyes fell to the strata on my plate. Hopefully they got the hint by my lack of eye contact. How do you tell complete strangers about your trials with infertility? Do they really want to know about a miscarriage? I felt my face go red, and luckily to topic changed after several minutes. This question is always asked by people who have children as an opportunity to discuss their own children. Childfree couples never ask because it isn't relevant to their lives.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Be a Santa to A Senior

One of the things that does scare me about remaining childfree the rest of my life is that I will be alone in a nursing home during my later years...and no one will visit me. Okay, I will admit that fear of loneliness in old-age is not a valid reason to have a child. Also, having a child is certainly not a guarantee that he/she will visit you when you are in a nursing home -- my SIL is a prime example, and a daughter of family friends totally cut her parents from her life. The grown child will more than likely stick you in a cheap facility so as not to drain his/her inheritance. So, if you remain childfree you will be able to pick your own nursing home/old folks home. I'll go for one with limo service and an open bar...might as well go out in style.

Here is a way to honor those seniors in our community who may be alone this Christmas. It's called Be a Santa to a Senior. You simply pick a 'decoration' on which a senior has listed a couple of items he/she would like to receive this Christmas. You purchase the item(s) and drop it off at a designated spot, and it is then gift-wrapped and presented to the senior by volunteers. It's a wonderful way to remember seniors in our community who may not have family that visit over Christmas. I really don't know how Barren Babes made it through years ago without fertility clinics and literature on coping with infertility. Many probably turned to adoption agencies, but what about the others who may have had a spouse divorce them because they could not reproduce? These must have been courageous and strong Barren Babes. Think about the Barren Babes that went before us and are now in seniors residences, and honor them by being a santa to a senior or visiting an old age home.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Britney Spears Pregnant?

Has anyone else looked at the tabloid covers and/or read the gossip that Britney Spears may be pregnant? Again? Why can this trampy, alocholic, negligent mother get pregnant? I'm still shocked that she lost custody of the children she already has, and now she may be expecting another child that she may not really want. I have a feeling that Britney loves babies because she has total control over them and they are 'cute and cuddley' -- the perfect accessory. But, when they get to be a toddler she loses interest as they become more difficult to control. Just a theory. But, man, someone must sit this woman down and have a TALK with her.

Icecream Makes You Fertile?

Yesterday I read the cover story on the latest issue of Newsweek about the "Fertility Diet". I'm not going into details because I don't want promote it, but you can check it out through the link. Basically it promotes drinking whole milk instead of skim and indulging in....ICE CREAM!!! Apparently there are proteins in whole milk that are important when trying to conceive, and skim milk has zero of these good proteins. EEGAD!!! That's why I haven't achieved a healthy pregnancy!! All those years of drinking skim milk and eating frozen yogurt were wasted. Of course it was all I needed to run out and buy some Ben & Jerry's and Haagen Daz.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Sex and the City Prescription

Just had a great chat on the phone with a good friend. After I told her all about my meltdown and my re-thinking another round of hormones and IUI, she prescribed a good dose of Sex and the City. Just go and rent a few episodes and you'll feel better. Thank God for Sex and the City, because not every woman runs to the suburbs to, breed. I am strong. I will overcome these feelings of baby-lust. Viva Carrie Bradshaw!

Meltdown Mania

Last night I had a major meltdown with DH. He wants to move back to the city we lived before, and, well, I'm really happy where we are and he's not. Guess it's because most of our infertility struggles were there and all the married friends have babies. That's the big one: every couple that married the same year as us is on their second child and I feel like we don't belong because we don't have children. Add on to that the several years we lived in a huge, empty house in the suburbs -- because I was convinced I'd get pregnant as soon as we'd start trying!! Empty bedrooms that can only be filled with hobbies and knick-knacks are a black hole of sadness. Anyway, many tears were shed during the meltdown and I even started blabbering about trying another IUI for 'old times sake'...Really...My hormones must be manic right now...Was I really serious that I wanted to try another IUI? Do I really want to pump endless amounts of hormones into my body? Why is it that every time I get sad or feel depressed I begin to think of the one thing I will never be able to achieve/have? The moment of clarity is when I realize that I use this as a scapegoat for all my worries and problems: "If I had a baby then all would be right with the world." I must remember that happiness and contentment lie within myself, and that it is only when I look and focus 'within' that I will truly be happy. A baby will not make me happy. I must remember this the next time I feel headed to a meltdown.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Eat, Pray, Love Movie

Just watched Oprah earlier and she mentioned that there will be a movie adaptation of the wonderful book 'Eat, Pray, Love'. Hmmm, not sure what to make of that news. How does a book revolving around spiritual awakening and growth become a movie? The absolute worst part about this movie adaptation is that Elizabeth Gilbert's role will be played by Julia Roberts. NO. NO. NO. NO. NO. NO. A thousand times NO. This cannot be. I'm not a fan -- don't find her attractive (horsey face with gigantic mouth) plus she would not admit that fertility treatment helped produce her twins, and God knows millions of women going through the trials of infertility need to know that they are not alone...that there's nothing to be ashamed about...that it's okay to use assisted reproductive methods.

Christmas Cards

Dug out the Christmas card list from last year and started the task of sending cards to family and friends yesterday and today. We do not send the newsletter telling everyone about our year. I think that if you're close enough to someone then you do not need a newsletter. Besides, it lacks a certain warmth. My DH and I joke that we should mail a letter detailing our trips to the fertility clinic, and the IUIs that we went through. Then we could describe the needles I used to inject hormones into myself, and then reflect upon our decision (so far) to suspend further IUIs as the hormone I was using could spark tumor growth in the brain, breast, and sex organs. Yeah, well, we decided not to share our fertility clinic experiences with anyone. I absolutely dread getting the baby/children photos -- I ripped up the ones we received last year. This is the time of the year when it really bites to be infertile. My only consolation is that I am drinking egg nog this year after five years of deprivation in case I might be pregnant. Screw it, I'm drinking everything this Christmas. I'm even thinking of sneaking a flask in my suitcase when I go home as my folks are on the wagon. I'm sure my single follicle won't mind at all.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Pregnant Bikini Belly Blues

My Darling Husband and I are back from our Thanksgiving trip to Hawaii. Guess you can't avoid families with children at hotels unless you stay at Sandals because the Sheraton was full of them. The crying, screaming, and whining children reinforced our choice to suspend further fertility treatment. How can you find serenity with that? There were some well-behaved children although they appeared to be the exception and not the rule. Many instances of poor parenting skills including one instance where we witnessed a toddler almost drown in a 5ft deep pool as the mother sat watching. Really, who lets a toddler in a 'deep' pool by themselves? Being able to reproduce does not equate with being a great parent, just look at Britney Spears (that's another blog posting). Even though we appeared to be surrounded by children on the beach and at the pool I really managed not to have a melt down every time I saw a baby carriage, or a woman carrying a baby. Everything was great until our last afternoon at the pool. There she was, a pregnant woman (about 6-7 months) wearing a BIKINI floating on an air-mattress in the pool. I averted my eyes and tried to read. But, the worst part is that she and her hubby got out and sat NEXT to us!!!! That was it for me. I just couldn't sit there and not look at that bare pregnant belly -- something that I will never have. I got up and asked DH to go to the beach with me, and vented to him as soon as we got out of there. He thought I over reacted. He doesn't understand. I do not want to see a strange woman's pregnant belly. There should be some unwritten rule that pregnant women should not wear bikinis in public. I really do NOT want to look at a stranger's pregnant belly. Ughhhh!!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

I'm Dreaming of Surviving the Holidays

Oh my, it's getting close to that time of the year. You know the time. When friends and family gather and interrogate you about the most intimate aspect of your relationship: when are you going to have a baby? I dread it. Dread it like the flu and Celine Dion on the radio. My Darling Husband and I are escaping this Thanksgiving and going for a tropical vacation. Of course, as everyone's nosiest co-worker knows, this is definitely the way you get pregnant. Just go on a holiday. You'll get knocked-up for sure!!!!! Hahahaha! Me and my single follicle will be sipping pina coladas on the beach and lapping up the sunshine.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

It's Almost That Time of Year Again

Yes, it is almost that time of the year again. The time of family gatherings where relatives think they have the right to interrogate you as to why you don't have children yet. The time where friends and family fill Christmas cards full of photos of their ever expanding families and the dreaded newsletter full of tidbits of what their children have done this year. The time where shopping malls and stores are full of the stroller brigade. It is almost Christmas. Must remember to stay strong. If anyone knows of Christmas survival tips for Barren Babes, please pass them along.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Not sure if I should keep 'Tell Me That You Love Me' on my list of television shows with a Barren Babe since the formerly Barren Babe on the show is now pregnant. Hate very much that they're propagating the myth that once you quit trying to get pregnant you will suddenly find yourself pregnant!!! I'm am living proof that it doesn't always work out that way. I'll keep the show on for now.

Facebook Blues

It's funny how I think I'm okay with this childless life and then I go on Facebook and discover someone from high school is about to 'pop' out a child and I get a sinking feeling in my tummy. Facebook is wonderful, but I must remind myself not to go searching for people that may not really matter in my life at the current moment. I must remember not to seek out sadness. Ignorance is bliss, right?

Friday, October 19, 2007

I walked past a woman with a baby-stroller this morning and I did not cross the street or avert my eyes. Bravely, I looked her way and smiled. This may not seem like much to you, but this is a major step forward for myself. Oh, and I did not break down in tears afterwards. Everyday I am getting stronger and I am letting go of a dream bit by bit.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Private Practice

Just added the television show 'Private Practice' to the list of television shows with a Barren Babe as lead character Dr. Addison Montgomery is infertile. If I can remember correctly, she has an elevated FSH level on day 3 and only 2 antral follicles (lucky her, I only have one). Yikes! I still can't believe that this lingo is so familiar to me now. Glad to see that a new show is focusing on fertility as Addison is a Barren Babe and another doctor (can't remember the character's name) is a leading fertility specialist. Let's keep this show going. Perhaps it will reveal more struggles of infertility.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Alexis Stewart Rocks!

Bravo to Alexis Stewart for going on Oprah yesterday to share her struggle with trying to conceive. Loved how dignified she was as she showed everyone what exactly is involved in trying to conceive when the odds are against you. It's great that she had the courage to show everyone the drug protocol and process that goes into a cycle of ivf. Love how she's not afraid to share her struggle -- because it is not something to be ashamed of and hidden from the public. The icing on the cake was when she put a bit of the blame on waiting too long to conceive on the media who portray these famous actresses who have children into their 40s. You know what I mean because they have been on the cover of women's magazines for the last 15 years. I agree with Alexis that these actresses should have been more honest and told the media just what is involved in getting pregnant in your 40s, namely hormone injections, ivf, and possibly donor eggs. Bravo to Oprah for highlighting the fact that infertility is now a multi-million dollar business that preys upon the heartache of couples willing to mortgage homes and drain life savings to have a child. I only hope that this is the beginning of breaking the infertility taboo.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Wonderful Tonight

I just added Pattie Boyd's new autobiography 'Wonderful Tonight' to the Barren Babe booklist. From reading biographies of the Beatles and Eric Clapton I know that she never had children and it was suspected that she was barren. Pattie Boyd is then a major Barren Babe. I have not yet read 'Wonderful Tonight' but I can't wait, so I may have to purchase it myself instead of waiting for someone else to maybe give it to me for Christmas. If anyone else has read it please let me know.
Oh, J-Lo! I feel for you, I really do. Everyone is wondering if you are indeed pregnant. Rumor has it you have been visiting fertility clinics for a couple of years. Been there, honey, been there. If you are pregnant I am so happy for you. Just wish the tabloids, journalists, and the world would leave you in peace. Take it easy and know that you are still a babe if you are not with child.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Eat, Pray, Love

Last Friday I finally finished reading 'Eat, Pray, Love' by Elizabeth Gilbert. Alright, I will confess that I was motivated to finish it for Friday because she was going to be on Oprah, but I have been wanting to read this book since spring 2006. When it was first released in hardcover I read a review in the newspaper and knew that this book was for me. I cut out the review and put the book on my Christmas list for 2006. Of course no one gave it to me for Christmas, so I waited for it to come out in paperback and finally bought a copy this summer. I intended to start reading it while on a trip to California in August, but got sidetracked by reading a worn copy of 'Mommy Dearest' at a bed and breakfast in Carmel.

When I started reading the book in September it really 'spoke' to me, especially when she describes trying to get pregnant and her ambivalence towards this end. Then her journey towards finding her spirituality and inner peace. As of this date she has chosen not to have children, so I'm not really sure if I can classify her as "barren" since this has been her choice, but I'm going to make her an honorary Barren Babe since she is bucking the trend of going with the flow and having children.

If you have not yet read 'Eat, Pray, Love' by Elizabeth Gilbert run out and buy a copy -- or put it on your Christmas wish list. Maybe you will have better luck than I did with my list last year.

Tell Me That You Love Me

Hubby and I have started watching the HBO series 'Tell me That You Love Me'. To be honest, the show has potential but the pace is very slow and the sex is somewhat soft-core porn, but too real to really be a turn-on. What I love about this show is how it shows the darkside of marriage and relationships. Nothing is sugar-coated and sometimes it hits the mark and you wonder if they've peeped into your life.

One couple is dealing with infertility (funnily someone from 'US' magazine called it 'sterility' -- God, wish someone would educate those baby-carriage-chasing-tabloid-writers). It's great to see television finally take a look at what millions of people face everyday. What my husband and I find amusing is that the couple don't agree on whether to tell friends about their problem, and the husband on the program blabs to the friends that they are trying to conceive and the wife is furious. Darling Husband and I laugh because this situation is so much like the two of us. I would love to tell everyone (at this point in time because three years ago I would have died if anyone knew) our problem trying to conceive, but Darling Husband has issued a gag order.

Bravo to HBO for showing infertility. Let's hope that they don't get pregnant right away because this is supposed to mirror real life, right?
It's been such a long time since I've blogged that I had forgotten my password. This is a reminder to me to blog more frequently.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Last Saturday night my husband and I were out for dinner and the conversation found its way to the topic of puppies. Since we probably won't have our own biological children I have been thinking more and more about getting a puppy. My husband, a man of reason, argues that we should wait several years so that we're not tied down by the responsibility of a dog...hmmm....maybe it's a good thing that we're not having children. I'm working on changing his mind, but first I must do some research regarding different breeds and their suitability to our lifestyle. Then there is the subject of comprimising and agreeing on a particular breed.

As we were discussing the prospect of puppies for our future, darling husband told me about Leona Helmsley's million dollar dog. I had heard the news story regarding Helmsley's death while we were away on our trip but I had not heard about her will. She left her beloved Maltese 'Trouble' $12 million while disinheriting two grandchildren. I say good for her. It's her money and she had every right to decide how it should be distributed. That dog probably gave her more love than family members, so why shouldn't she see to it that the dog lives the rest of its life according to the lifestyle it has grown accustomed to. Hopefully the rest of the money will go to charity upon the dog's death.

Friday, August 31, 2007

Finally saw the season finale of 'Big Love' last night. I really sympathised for the character Pam's plight. Thank God my husband is not like hers as he's threatening to leave her because she can't have children. What century is this? What kind of religion would degrade women because they are infertile? Whew! Thank God I'm not Mormon. There's more to marriage than procreation. You can have a family of two.

Throw in the Towel?

Hubby and I are trying to decide when to call it quits with the IUI. We've done three this year and none have been successful. The last one was actually called off as I ovulated on my own and it was too late to do the insemination. Guess we are both frustrated with the situation and going through the process of an IUI, which brings with it a lot of stress and I become an emotional rollercoaster from the hormones. We've been on a 'break' the past couple of months from visiting the RE and doing the needles and sonograms etc. Honestly, I've been really happy and relaxed for the first time in about a year...The last time I felt this great was before my miscarriage in spring 2006. I love my life right now. Sure, I would welcome a baby if that happens naturally, but I don't think I want to go through with more fertility treatments. Also, I'm a bit scared about the long-term effects of the hormones on my body. It would be so much easier if pregnancy would happen easily and naturally like it seems to do to other couples.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Last night I had a meltdown. Although I'm slowly accepting the fact that I will most likely never have a full-term pregnancy, go through childbirth, raise my own biological child, sometimes unexpected news can blindside me. It's usually when my husband brings news of someone in our former social web (we've moved to another city thousands of miles away) who's given birth, or is pregnant. So, last night I found out that one of his former co-workers gave birth to a second child, and two others are pregnant. Guess it's better to do it all at once and have a major meltdown. Lots of tears. Husband tells me he never knows when/how to spring the news on me. He can't understand why I'm not happy for these other couples. Husband doesn't understand that there's a little part of me that will always be sad when I hear this kind of news...especially when it's couples we know. In a way it's much easier to be in a different city as I'll never have to worry about running into them. Alright, they are more my husbands friends than mine.

Being Barren in a Fertile World

I've started this blog as a way to vent my frustrations of being barren in a fertile world. A world where celebrity 'baby-bump' watches are tabloid headlines, and where babies are the latest accessory item. A world where middle-aged celebrities are everywhere sharing all the info on their newest baby(ies)...excluding the tidbit that the baby(ies) exist thanks to a fertility clinic, lots of hormones, and/or an egg donor. This fertile world glorifies 'yummy mummies' and shuns women who have difficulty conceiving or suffer miscarriages.

This blog is a secret. My husband, family and friends do not know about it. I need a place to vent because the topic of infertility makes people uncomfortable and it is still taboo. When was the last time you spoke openly about your infertility at a party?