Senor Bub got a big promotion last week with a title so fancy that it cements my suspicions that he works in an ivory tower whilst stroking a hairless cat. I'm super proud of that freakishly smart cray-cray.
I am writing to you from my sweaty backyard. After a summer of disasters I am finally feeling like I'm getting less behind (only 20 more things to write! This week...). I was feeling like I was drowning in the swimming portion of a triathlon, and now I can sort of start to see the surface so I can bust through that shit and get to the really tedious running part. Busy (but good) day and now I am simultaneously trying to keep my psychotic dogs in line in a yard they have dug holes in the size of bunkers, and marveling at how the first few days I use a new mascara I always end up looking like lamb chop. Short of showing them the hose (which seems mean seeing as they hate the hose) I don't know how to keep these damn dogs from digging.
To sum up the last paragraph with the holes and the mascara and the dogs it's all very Silence-of-the-Lambs up in here.
(Sidenote - does anyone else think "IT PUTS THE LOTION IN THE BASKET" anytime they go through airport security and make themselves giggle? No? Just me? K.)
Speaking of lotion, Mr. T (gay husband) and I went to the mall this morning to spend an unseemly amount of money on their fall scents.
We both, equally, hate summer (are we in the right state, or what?). And if I didn't before, I certainly do now. My summer has consisted of me basically being the fat kid that gets dropped off at camp in June, and on his first day gets stung by bees, stricken with poison ivy, nearly drowns after falling off a canoe, impales his eyeball whilst trying to make Popsicle stick art and thus spends the rest of his summer praying someone will save him. (Hello Mudda Hello Fadduh and all that).
I'm ready for my house to wreak of pumpkins and apples. I'm ready for it to be socially acceptable to blast "Thriller" in my car as much as I already do. I'm ready to rip off the damn Bandaid and get to the part where I'm actually doing IVF #2, the super sci-fi edition.
Here's the thing, sugar lumps - just between us girls. I am a tough, tough lady. And even though I'm chubby and bug-eyed and I can't even handle keeping my dogs from pre-digging graves for the happy bunny families they kill, I'm good at making things funny. That's the one thing Gawd or the universe said 'okay we'll give you a little extra dose of that'.
Most of the time, I emotionally approach infertility as I would an exaggerated, horror-movie size version of having an inappropriate fire-ant-like crotch itch when you're out in public. An absolute terror of an inconvenience, but give me a couple of seconds of no one looking and damnit I have the determination to squash that shit. I am good at making it silly and manning the fuck up.
Yesterday, Mr. T came over to do a welfare check and I had spent the day writing, talking to women going through infertility and answering a couple of you-got-to-be-shitting-me 'why don't you have kids?' type questions with jokes (my standard answer being 'because I want freetime and money'). And I was, as always, feeling fine and goofy and numb. But five minutes after being here, Mr. T said "you're not fine, are you?"
And I'll be damned if hearing someone I care about ask me that question didn't make my eyes.. moisten. Not full on cry, mind you, because I'm a dead robot at this point, but the way the question was worded disarmed me for long enough for me to... feel. There were a few seconds there where I felt it before the goofy, overly-strong 'scratch that shit' side of myself inevitably took over.
Nope, I'm probably not fine. Actually - I don't know if I've been 'fine' in four years.
I may not let myself feel it (I may not even know how to and survive at this point) but that doesn't mean my brain isn't somewhere, secretly, absorbing every little bit of pain and wrestling those monsters into a dark closet so that I can continue to feel, on some level, Alive.
In a couple of months I'm going to figure out exactly where the line between determination and desperation is, and that makes me nervous.
I'm choosing to go at this determined. I will man the fuck up because I'm Stupid Fucking Stork and I was born ready for whatever shit is thrown at me. I have to remind myself that any time any person does any brave thing, they are afraid of doing it but they do it anyways. I'm telling myself you end up with what you put up with and no matter what, I am not putting up with being an unhappy person.
But I am afraid. I am afraid, I am afraid, I am afraid - and for one second because of the particular phrasing of a question out of a particular mouth, I felt it. All at once.
Today, much to my surprise, instead of feeling jarred I feel pretty damn good. It took me a minute to realize why, and then I had a mini-revelation. I feel good because as a result of that interaction, today I was kind to myself.
Which brings me to my point - we could all stand to be a lot fucking kinder to ourselves. It is, and I say this as someone who has numbed herself as best as any human being could and who is pretty good at genuinely cackling about all this, almost impossible not to end up with some level of self-hatred as a result of infertility.
My body is a failure. If only I were thinner/taller/sluttier in High School, this would have been easier for me. Maybe what they say is right - maybe some people can't have kids because they're undeserving. Maybe if I hadn't smoked cigarettes, pot, drank so much in college. I shouldn't make light of this, I shouldn't let myself get depressed, I shouldn't be so spiteful of women getting pregnant... It's my fault, it's my fault, it's my fucking fault.
Whether you're like me and your body has shut down any ability to let you feel that or you feel it every second of every day in a crippling way, on some level that's the shit that we're really dealing with. More than bum ovaries, more than uteri that grow their fluff incorrectly, more than our bodies spontaneously getting rid of things our hearts so desperately want.
My jokes are my own response to the asshole in the back of my mind that's consistently mean to me. So you know what? Yeah. As Carrie-Fucking-Barf-Bradshaw as it sounds, a few hours this morning of buying things I absolutely don't need and eating greasy Chinese food without making myself feel guilty about it felt good. As far as infertility-treatment is concerned, Dr. Stork is highly recommending grabbing your gay husband and having a shopping seizure (or some form of self-treat) of mammoth, epic, unfathomable proportions.
(If you're not watching Parks & Rec I can't imagine what you're doing with your life).
So to you, yes YOU, may I just for a moment here be your best friend and word things in a way that you may need to hear.
None of this is your fault.
If today you woke up and felt shitty about it - you are allowed to. Feel shitty for as long as you need to, soak in it until your fingers get all pruney.
If today you woke up and feel compelled to feel goofy about it, make jokes, or not deal with it at all - you are allowed to. Make fun of that shit - anything that involves flashing your beaver as much as we do is on some level hilarious.
You don't have to be fine and you don't have to be miserable. Whatever you are right now is exactly how you should be and you're going to rock the shit out of it until you're ready to feel something else.
If that woman that your friends with is having a baby shower, and you don't think you can go? Not only do you not have to, but you don't have to feel guilty about it. Like, at all. I am officially telling you that feeling guilty about not going to a party because you're too busy trying to dance in hell is not a problem that you have to deal with. One teeny tiny bit of her happiness (on an atomic level) being taken away because you're not there does not undo or negate the kind of pain (on an atomic bomb level) that you're going through.
You want to be mad at Gawd? Do it. If He/She is all-knowing and made all of us, I'm pretty sure no matter how angry you are They can handle it. No one is going to smite you for having dark thoughts just like no one seems to be rewarding you for the times you had peachy thoughts. If there's a Gawd to be angry at, They're the ones who gave you this hurdle to deal with knowing exactly how you'd deal with it.
Whatever He, She or It that doesn't understand how you feel - if they don't get it, they don't need to. It sucks that they can't - it sucks - but it's not your job to make them understand loss or heartache on the level that you're dealing with. It's like trying to explain astrophysics to an infant.
And that He, She or It that really, really doesn't understand how you feel? Fuck em'. They're idiots and they always have been. I've always thought so I just didn't want to say anything until now.
If you're feeling like you're somehow sexually inadequate? Please. You are a woman who has sex for fun and doesn't get pregnant. You are a porn goddess in the eyes of 90% of the male population.
Get that fucking pedicure you've been putting off. You don't get to have kids yet? Guess what. You get Pedicures.
If you're on some crazy diet and cheated? Fuck me I bet that ice cream was delicious. Totally worth it.
No matter what the evil creatures in your mind are saying right now, You. Are meant. To be. A mother. I have not virtually-met anyone in infertileworld who is not maternal as fuck. You are a Mom, you just don't have a kid yet.
None of this is your fault.
None of this is your fault.
None of this (not one fucking iota of it) is your fault.
However you are dealing with it, you are rocking the shit out of it. Or my name isn't Stupid Fucking Stork.