I can sense that everyone's weekend was full of glitter and unicorn farts, a weekend of riding a rainbow that shits chocolate and moonbeams. My Facebook/Fertilebook (why am I on this thing? And why am I not friends with every single one of you on there? I need some infertile homies) was just full to the brim with "your life just doesn't have meaning until you've pushed something out of your body" quotes. I comfort myself a little thinking that maybe the occasional kidney stone/episode of diarrhea qualifies me some meaning.
Now before I go on to depress you horribly all the way from my 10,000 degree backyard in Los Angeles (it's like trying to write something meaningful wearing trash bags in an oven in Hades) one brief glimmer of awesomeness from my Saturday.
I met two blogging infertiles, live and in person, and forced them in addition to their own plates to split a 90 gajillion calorie red velvet pancake with me. (I just admitted I write from Hades, what do you want from me? If the price on it was $5 or your soul to spend eternity in this kind of heat, the thing still has to be eaten otherwise gravity will reverse itself).
I met this gorgeous piece of ass, JenS.
I also met this delightful little strumpet, Kharini. Girlfriend is like a tiny mysteriously international pixie of your very own, my personal infertile Penelope Cruz. She is approximately twenty pounds of giggles and upon meeting her you spend about 75% of your time loving her and 25% of your time wondering if you should be drinking her blood a-la-Charlize-Theron as snow white's evil stepmother to maybe get some of her youth and sparkle. It should also be said that I am very susceptible to accents. Had she told me, with her accent, to jump off a bridge and into a gulley I would be writing to you drenched in cool water instead of my own sweat. Five seconds of any form of accent apart from mine and my bug eyes are hypnotized to the point of stupidity.
Seeing as how Father's day has been a shitfest for me for the last ten years (dead Dad, dead Father-in-law) I have previously gotten off Mother's day injury free. I, of course, have understood for years why it's a shitfest for most infertiles, but every year have somehow surprised myself in my numbness. I evidently patted myself on the back for this too soon.
Yesterday I was once again doing fine, and then through a series of totally normal statements made when I went behind the orange curtain yesterday to make my lovely mother and sassy grandmother dinner, I started to feel it.
The statements - we were talking about how much money Bub and I spend on coffee. (We go to Starbucks everyday - the $$ is horrendous for sure). We were joking around and my sister quite innocently said "with that money it's either coffee or a baby!"
If you have met a Mexican from orange county, CA, I am related to them. My family is huge. My Grandma has a hallway with each of her grandchildren's graduation photos. She was talking about how in front of those photos, she was going to put pictures of their babies. (So my photo will have... dogs? A cat? Kidney stones?)
Perfectly innocent, harmless no-foul statements that ended up digging into me like tiny little daggers.
By the time Bub and I got in the car to go home, I turned to him and was like "man, I feel like shit a little bit".
Now - the downside to being a never-ending dancing bear (which I enjoy being, it's my charm) and occasionally being viewed as freakishly strong because of it, is that when you do have a meltdown of any kind for the most part it's such a jarring experience for witnesses that they have absolutely no idea what to do. It would be like if I got in the car, turned to Bub, opened my mouth and a leprechaun popped out. It's mostly just disconcerting.
90 minutes later we're home, his silence has flustered me, I get in the shower and have a good cry. (This is maybe a twice a year event). I pull my shit together because that's what I do best (healthy or not be damned, apparently).
Now I have been running from this day and making jokes for a solid 4 years in a row and it has worked. So I started trying to figure out why this year I crumbled... It's the first Mother's Day since I had my early miscarriage. In some parallel universe that's absolutely irrelevant (because it doesn't exist), but nonetheless bothersome to me I would have a two month old and this would've been the first time the day didn't exist just to celebrate my Mom.
Bub would have inevitably forgotten about the day until Saturday, and ran out to get some leftover sad flowers on Sunday morning. Maybe I would've talked him into making bacon and tomato pasta (even worse for you and more delicious than a red velvet pancake). We would've gotten snippy with each other not over harmless comments but over strapping a kid into the back of our Batmobile for an hour and a half. I'd feel self conscious because I'd still have baby weight on, but I would've been prepared for a photo because I would've wanted a picture of four generations.
It just woulda shoulda coulda been a different day... but it wasn't. And I know with 100% certainty that in theory it's absolutely pointless to even let those kind of thoughts in my head because parallel universes are irrelevant. If we want to go playing that game, in a parallel universe I could be a billionaire who weighs 80 lbs and shits diamonds. No sense in crying over that not being true.
I think it was also, in part, because the last few weeks I've been seeing miscarriages referenced everywhere.
Maybe you'll agree with me here, I just think it's funny that prior to finding myself umbrellaless in an infertility shitstorm, I could've maybe referenced one movie or tv show where there was any infertility. Now I notice them all over the place.
I love Frida Kahlo (anyone who has those eyebrows and says "fuck it, this is me" and bags Josephine Baker is a hero in my book). I love all of her art and her whole style. A couple of weeks ago I had dreams about Mexico City (where I once lived) and the next evening I decided to re-watch "Frida" for the first time in many years.
I had seen the movie several times before, I have seen this painting a million times before... just not since dealing with infertility.
Somehow, despite having loved her for so long and having read about her years ago not to mention seeing this movie a dozen times, that part of her life didn't get filed in the "keep this" part of my brain. Suffice it to say this time it struck me.
Naturally this time after seeing it, I tried to find information on that part of her life and came up with this. Read it, I'm telling you.
When she was going through infertility, she wrote beautiful and frank letters back and forth with her Doctor, and her friend. She was married to Diego Rivera and wanted desperately to have his child and it just would never be. What got me about the article is that a lot of her personal items are on display at a badass museum in Mexico, and all of her work is very painful and autobiographical... but these letters that she wrote about her infertile experience, even after Diego Rivera died he left instructions that they were not to be shared for years and years after his death (and obviously, hers). I'm fascinated by the fact that she put everything of herself out there in her art and for people to see (which is why I love her), and yet how hurt she was about not having children was something she felt was HERS.
Last weekend when I was up in the mountains with my Mom, we watched DVDs in our cabin. One we watched was "Julie & Julia". (Love the movie... Have different feelings about the book I'm sorry to say).
ANYHOO. As we all know Meryl Streep (legal name I'm sure is "Meryl Fucking Streep, Ya'll") plays Julia Child. The last time I saw this movie must have been right before boarding the train to Infertileville.
Julia Child wanted children and it never happened. There are a couple of small moments in the movie where she passes a baby carriage and has to brace herself. There was one part in particular I must have seen before but again didn't file in the 'keep this' part of my brain.
Julia Child gets a letter from her sister announcing that she's pregnant. She bursts into tears (Meryl Fucking Streep, Ya'll) and while sobbing manages to blurt out "I'm just so happy!". Her husband just puts his arm around her and solemnly says "I know".
Two seconds in an otherwise pretty fluffy movie, but I thought 'wow... I've played out some variation of this scene a million times'. (MFS, Y).
So yes, this year Mother's Day managed to knock me down for once... somehow my one miscarriage has made dancing-bear impossible a few days of the year.
After I had my tears in the shower and started thinking about why this year there are tears.. I thought about my miscarriage, these miscarriage references I've seen the last couple of weeks that probably put my tears into motion, and about Saturday, meeting a couple of real life, in the flesh, badass infertiles.
And I was comforted. I had a good solid three hours of feeling nothing but horribly sorry for myself, and then I found comfort. I'm comforted because I'm not the only one who is not a Mother's day fan. I'm comforted because the occasional burst of tears is good for the soul. I'm comforted because women are not just expressing their feelings on the subject now, but have been doing so long before computers through art and through handwritten letters. I'm comforted because I now live in a time when all I have to do is pop online and find thousands of other women shaking their fists and rolling their eyes in May. Most of all I'm comforted because if you're going to be in the shitty Mother's day club, at least we can say what a bunch of badass, fascinating bitches to be in a club with.