Once again my uterus, apparently ever-distracted by a butterfly or a shiny object, has decided to not churn out a period (or heaven forbid an attempt to ovulate) so I am kickstarting her yet again with a 10 day progesterone boogie.
I did pretty well last year with the IVF injections, apart from two incidents. One, I decided to 'distract' myself by watching a Pixar movie I knew nothing about, and that movie was "Up" (it should come with a freaking warning label). Two, I was sleeping, Bub was washing dishes and dropped a pan. Convinced that it was clearly an act of terror, the delivery of some passive aggressive message, I awoke fully prepared to hang him for treason. Apart from that, I was my usual storky self with a few extra bruises and the super human ability to eat an entire side of cow in under 30 seconds.
That being said, I do not do well with Progesterone.
I stare into the abyss and turn inward. I end up listening to far more Velvet Underground than any well functioning human should. Instead of falling into my usual YouTube hole of corgi's doing extraordinary things, I end up watching sad infertility videos and "Nosferatu" on Netflix. My 'let's look on the goofy side of life!' inner furbie gets fed a little hormone after midnight, turns into a full on red-eyed gremlin and demands 'Let's feel all the things all at once!'. No me gusta.
Plus while my weekend was glorious, I seem to have in addition to progesterone caught some sort of small bug... so my usual happy-go-lucky, eternal-Christmas, claymation self has been replaced by an evil tyrant with an abundance of chin hair.
I have a new character to introduce on my list of homies, and we'll call her 'Jazzy' (we met on our HS dance team and shared a deep seeded hatred for one of our coaches, as well as total bafflement at our other coaches choice in eye make up). We hadn't chatted in many-a-year but are facebook friends. Several months ago she made a pregnancy announcement (she has a son who is so cute I could eat him Nosferatu style) and then shortly after unfortunately had to share that she had a miscarriage. (Yet more proof that the shittiest things happen to wonderful people).
I went out on a limb and sent her a private message basically saying 'sorry you're in our club it fucking blows.... I am pissed on your behalf'. We've been chatting regularly ever since and she's on my shortlist of people who, when they get pregnant, I will be genuinely stoked for. We mostly just lament - as one does with infertiles - but she reads my blog sometimes, and every now & again I send her to a blog post or give a book suggestion... you know, under the heading of 'shit I wish someone would've shared with me'. (This is of course all a down-payment, because should my shenanigans actually result in a baby I will need someone to explain to me what one does with one of those).
Today I've been thinking about our infertile representation in film; partly because I've been thinking about the new members in our ranks, partly because I've read a few blog posts the last couple of weeks about our representation in books, and partly because progesterone apparently gives me an unstoppable need to watch sad infertile YouTube videos with the inevitable Coldplay song on in the background.
I'm a writer, so I definitely have a reading fetish - but I'm a film nerd above all things. Nothing gives me quite the infertile nerd boner as seeing one of us represented in film.
So I thought I'd share a few of my favorite cathartic infertile movies (full of spoilers, my apologies), and see what you all have to add to the list. These would all be for the moments where you're not trying to distract yourself (damn you, Up) but for when you're in the mood for a little emotional cutting.
I love "Away We Go".
Maya Rudolph and John Krasinski play an expecting couple who are on the hunt for the perfect place to raise their daughter. With the clock ticking they visit a few different cities where they have friends to see if they 'fit' there.
How much do I love the scene where they have dinner with their pushy hippie friends? Answer: so much. I am a dirty hippie, mind you, but as I've mentioned on here before I am a hippie that enjoys pain medication and a realistic approach to things, and has to consciously keep my bug eyes from rolling to the back of my head when I see Alicia Silverstone baby-birding her kid.. While I have absolutely no sense of what my birthplan will be, I on more than one occasion (as I'm sure you have) have been in a discussion with someone who implied that if I didn't do it their way I would be a 'less than' Mom.
Mind you, it's an indie movie following a pregnant woman who is not infertile so you are probably wondering why the fuck I am suggesting it.
First, I think it's just an interesting movie about finding your own way when it comes to how you want to raise your kids.
Second, the pole dance scene.
They visit a husband and wife they are friends with who have a house full of adopted kids. They are clearly very happy and very in love. After they go out and have a few drinks, they go to 'pole dancing karaoke' (is this a thing??). They lose track of where the wife is, there's a break in the dance music, and the speakers start playing "Oh, sweet nuthin'" by Velvet Underground. (It does not help my heartbreak watching it that this is exactly one of the songs I listen to when I'm stuck in an infertility hole). The wife begins to do the saddest, slowest dance, and the husband admits that she just had her 5th miscarriage. (For the life of me I can't find just this clip, so skip to 8:15 to watch it, or watch the whole damn thing because it's good).
I've seen scenes in movies where they talk about miscarriage - inevitably girlfriend wakes up in the middle of the night bleeding, goes to hospital, cue tears. Those get me too, don't get me wrong - but this one really got me.
I think it's that instead of having her give a monologue about how much she's hurting, she just kind of sways around for a moment in her melancholy without a whole lot left to say. Chris Messina is just watching her, talking about the helplessness of it all, as she just does her thing. She has all this love in her life, clearly, but in this one thing she feels alone on a stage...and the way she looks at her pregnant friend in the end just slays me.
Okay you've never heard of it. Hunt down some 99cent VHS copy on Amazon, I'mma tellin' ya.
It is, entirely, about finding your absolute soulmate and then having to go through infertility treatments with that person. It's heartbreaking and it's also really funny.
Gene Wilder meets Christine Lahti, they fall in love, they immediately start to try for a family. It covers the absurdity of timed intercourse, IUIs, IVF, the strain it has on a marriage, miscarriage, briefly adoption.. all of it. And it's actually a movie I liked long before I ever had any dealings with infertility.
Sidenote: when I was nine I used to say "as long as I don't marry someone that looks like Gene Wilder". Are you shitting me, 9 year old Jenny? Who doesn't want to marry Gene Wilder??
Okay I'm not necessarily talking about the book or the movie "The Help" (even though they're both good), I'm just talking about Jessica Chastain's character Celia Foote.
For reasons that are totally ungettable to me, some people didn't like the character. I dug her.
The jist... It's the 1960s in Mississippi. Celia gets married, and moves into a town where she desperately wants to get in with the well-established group of lady friends who have resided their forever. She's different, she's a little ditzy and clumsy, and for a multitude of reasons they're all pretty freaking mean to her.
Reading it and watching it I related to her the most before I even got to the infertility part - obviously not because I'm a Marilyn Monroe looking rich lady. If I moved to Mississippi in the 60s, no matter how much I wanted girlfriends I would absolutely be the girl that stuck out like a sore thumb and didn't fit in, who said and wore the wrong things and didn't get a chance to show how kind she was. Absolutely.
Part of the way into the movie (or book) it's revealed that Celia keeps having recurrent miscarriages. She has them quietly, and buries her babies under a rosebush in her backyard unbeknownst to her husband.
She struck a chord for me (book and movie) because in every possible way, despite dressing and acting as the epitome of what a woman should be, she ends up feeling like a failure as a woman... From her lack of fitting in to her lack of domestic abilities to her lack of being able to carry a child to term. She's completely embarrassed by all of it, but continually tries to handle it in a way where that doesn't come across.
So I know some people didn't particularly like Celia's character, but I loved her. For a multitude of reasons she's made to feel 'less than', and tries her best to cover it with optimism and pretty outfits.
That's it for my list- I reserve the right to add to it later. What am I missing?