A blog about babies: the babies I lost, the babies I never had, the baby who made me a Mama.

Friday, March 26, 2010

# 100; or, Thoughts for Friday

I should have saved my 100th post for something more momentous, right? A BFP, a new diagnosis, an anniversary. Shouldn't there be brass bands and a balloon drop?

It's an ordinary Friday morning, the first day of my Spring Break, the middle of the 2ww, and I'm eating my oatmeal and sipping my tea at the kitchen table, checking in on my bloggie and message-board girls and checking out some calls for papers before hitting the books (Austen and Sarah Grand today).

Picking among the various strands twisting through my mind right now, I could talk about the visit to the hospital on Wednesday to meet the niece (Lou-Ellen served me well that day), or I could talk about Fertility Friend realizing her mistake and changing my O date (but never apologizing for it, the bitch), or the precarious point I'm at in my 2ww (6 dpo, the time when phantom symptoms begin to creep like cats through tall grass, preparing to pounce).

But I fear the dignity of a 100th post would be compromised by dwelling on such a grab bag of minutiae. Instead, I'll touch on some of the things I meant to write around the time of my TTC anniversary but didn't feel like delving into when it actually arrived.

I try all the time to talk up this difficult experience to myself. "You're learning so much," I'll say. "You're growing from this. This will make you a better person, a better mom, a better wife, and daughter, and sister, and friend."

When I sit down to write out what exactly I've learned, it doesn't turn out to be much. I've learned that:

- Life is not a syllabus or an outline and I don't get to decide its chronology.
- What I always thought of as patience is tolerance. I tolerate irritating people, bothersome subway rides, frustrating experiences very well. But patience requires waiting without knowing when the wait will end-- and it turns out that I'm not so good at that.
- I can endure more than I thought possible in March 2009.
- It doesn't matter how other people believe I'm coping or dealing, whether I'm weak and obsessive or strong. I'm the only person inside my head right now, and if I'm satisfied with my progress, that's all that counts.
- The most beautiful moments in life can also be the saddest.
- Ruthlessly judging other people as shallow, ungrateful boobs makes it easier to deal with jealousy. Who cares if they deserve it!

These are pretty obvious lessons. Like, duh, you can't plan everything. Duh, sadness and beauty coexist. The fact that they're revelations teaches me one more thing:

- My life has been pretty fucking lucky up until now.

My greatest disappointment prior to TTC was not getting into my first-choice Ivy League college and having to go to my second-choice Ivy League college. I know, boo hoo. I met my husband when I was 20, and we've been madly in love for a decade. I live in my favorite city and I'm not tired of it yet. I've never struggled seriously with illness or finances. My family is healthy and loving and lives near by. I adore my mother-in-law and she thinks of me as her daughter. I have close, beautiful friendships that have lasted for decades.

See? Lucky. So, so, so lucky. If it's my turn to get the fuzzy end of the lollipop, then it's my turn. I can't say life wasn't good to me before. Maybe I do deserve this in a weird way more than someone else. At the very least, I don't deserve it less than someone else.

I don't have any conclusions. Just some thoughts on a Friday morning.


  1. Happy 100 posts!

    I think even though we all might have said we learned the lessons you listed before IF, IF really hits it home. I used to think I was patient too -- I am with people, children, and finite situations. But I am not patient when it comes to this. The fact that I have no control and there's nothing I can do to effect the outcome drive was (and is) the hardest thing to come to terms with.

    I hope you have a wonderful weekend.

  2. Damn, the internet ate my comment!!!

    Basically I just said that I am totally there with you and I just hope this is sort of some cosmic lesson for how smug I was in my amazing life before this shit descended... and once I've suffered enough, the universe will give me that baby.

    Even though I know that's not how it works.

    Con-nothanks-ulations on post 100, which was an utterly brilliant one, as usual. :)

  3. Oops, I didn't mean no thanks for your blog (thanks very much for all your inspiring posts!).

    I meant 'no thanks' for 100 pre-pregnant-with-actual-baby posts...

    See? foot in mouth. Never will I be Lou-Ellen!

  4. Well, happy 100th post my friend. And can I just say I LOVED it!! BFP and 100th post seems a bit cliche anyways, right...hah! Anyways, I've seriously thought the same thing...and actually my mom has often reminded me of how lucky I've been in life. Really lucky, and maybe in the past I just skirted along thinking life was certainly good, but not realizing how lucky I was not having to struggle with any major thing. But now, IF has shown me in a way not much else could, how very lucky and fortunate I really am...and maybe now I'm more appreciative because of it. And if IF is the one thing that doesn't come easy, so be it...I'll lick the fuzzy end of the lollipop if I have to (I LOVE that by the way). Sure I'd prefer not to, but I WILL! Good luck this tww, almost halfway done. And I'm glad FF corrected herself, beeatch!!

  5. Also Happy 100! I've been mulling over much of that same list in the past few days to figure out what all this has taught me. It also doesn't amount to much.

    None of this makes any sense any more than shaking the magic 8-ball does to decide what to do next. As much as you've been driven to achieve those wonderful things, the fact that the body doesn't cooperate with your ambition is, indeed, uniquely frustrating. It's also unfair.

    I had a light go off above my head when you made the distinction between patience and tolerance. I'm also highly tolerant, but not at all patient. I do count many a blessing despite all of this. Life is pretty good when I stop thinking of the one thing I don't have that I really want right now (even if I'm on a tear bitching about my MIL).

    Congratulations on 100!

  6. Happy 100th!

    On a day that I'm feeling very down, I loved reading about what you are learning and what you are thankful for. I need to remember that.

    I think that the new O date (CD21) looks much more accurate. Hope the timing was better! :)

  7. Those are some well-expressed lessons. I particularly like the one where we get to be judgmental! I admire people who can do the "I'm so thankful for all the good things" bit. I just can't ever quite manage to FEEL it. It's not that I don't appreciate everything I've got, but it doesn't make up for this one thing I never realized would be denied me.

  8. Oh gosh, so lovely and beautifully written, as always. I think of this often...my life has been so, so, so good. Is that why this is happening to me? Am I being taught hardship and pain and sadness b/c I didn't get enough of it in my first 30 years of life? Dark thoughts.

    I hope you can come out of this 2ww with a pregnancy in which you will prove all of the amazing lessons you've managed to take away from this hard year. Thank you for that perspective: I like thinking of it that way...it makes it feel like less of a sad waste of life and more of an active, introspective, learning time. Eh. Silver lining!

    PS I can't wait to find out where you went to school. :) Maybe we are fellow alumni?!

  9. Happy 100th post. You are a great writer my dear!

  10. Congrats on 100 posts! Kinda makes me feel like I need to get my butt in gear though, since I started blogging just a couple months after you and am only on post #62!

    I love the distinction between patience and tolerance. That is what makes this so hard--the constant grappling with uncertainty. If someone could tell me right now "you will give birth, but not for 5 years" it would be so much easier than having to hope and then be crushed each and every month, even though I'd much prefer to give birth much sooner than that!

    I also appreciate your summation of your charmed life up till now. It's a good reminder that mine has been similarly blessed--got into my first-choice, top-10 college, met fabulous husband on first day at said college and have been loving life with him for over 11 years now, live in a beautiful house in a cool city, do what I love for a living, have wonderful friends & family (though you've definitely got me beat on the MIL front!--mine does not exactly adore me). It's true that infertility is the first major challenge I've ever faced. Nearing 4 years into the fray, yes, I wish I'd lucked out on this front as well, but you're right that plenty of people have it worse, if not in this area then certainly in others. It's nice to be reminded of the ways we are lucky, every once in awhile. Thanks for the reminder :)

  11. Oh, so true. Infertility has taught me to appreciate how EASY my life has been up until now. I also have to remind myself that there are many worse things in the world than infertility.
    It's strange, I always knew I had a "privileged" life, and for that reason I sort of assumed something would happen eventually. And here it is.
    Anyway, happy 100th post my friend. Beautifully written, as always.