WordsWednesday

 

“I want to say somewhere: I’ve tried to be forgiving. And yet. There were times in my life, whole years, when anger got the better of me. Ugliness turned me inside out. There was a certain satisfaction in bitterness. I courted it. It was standing outside, and I invited it in. I scowled at the world. And the whole world scowled back. We were locked in a state of mutual disgust….And then one day I realized I was on my way to being the sort of schmuck who poisons pigeons. People crossed the street to avoid me. I was a human cancer. And to be honest: I wasn’t really angry. Not anymore. I had left my anger somewhere long ago. Put it down on a park bench and walked away. And yet. It had been so long, I didn’t know any other way of being. One day I woke up and said to myself: it’s not too late.” –N. Krauss

Note: currently reading ‘The History of Love’ that this quote is from and it’s amazing. I’m only about 50 pages in, but last night after I finished reading page 13 I looked up at my husband and announced “This book is going to devastate me.” I ordered a few books from Amazon for our cycle-I find the time waiting for blood work, ultrasounds and phone calls goes a lot faster if I’m reading. I started with this book and I also have ‘An Exact Replica of a Figment of my Imagination’ by E. McCracken and ‘the curious incident of the dog in the night-time’ by M. Haddon (both books that have been on my ‘want to read’ list for months now). If anyone has any suggestions I’d gladly take them!

…when someone gets it right.

So Monday I started a new job…I’m making a conscious effort to decrease my stress for our next cycle and working full-time in an insanely busy, understaffed intensive care unit in a teaching hospital in a local city was simply way too stressful. So, I left the bedside and took a position as a nursing supervisor in the small community hospital in the town we live in. But taking a new job means I’m meeting a whole new hospital of co-workers…none who know about our infertility…and all who want to know about my life. I find myself questioning how much to share…our infertility and loss is a huge part of who I am…but one doesn’t lead with that when meeting knew people. (Of course if I was fertile and had children, or 9 months pregnant with our Warrior no one would think twice about me leading with the discussion of babies….) So I smile and say I live with my husband in town, I shake my head ‘no’ when asked if I have children, I sometimes continue “we hope to soon” and I smile and listen as they list off the number of children they have, their ages…and then smiled and gushed over every adorable Halloween snapshot on their phone.

And that was fine. Kids in Halloween costumes are adorable. I like listening to these new co-workers discuss their children. I want to get to know people.

But…then a co-worker who I found myself spending a lot of time with kept talking about babies…her child, friends children, fertility…it was as if every discussion we had came back to children…and it was making me a little crazy. So at one point she mentioned taking Co-Q10 and I casually said “Oh, I take that too.” She asked why I take it (she takes it for cardiac purposes) and I, as casual as I could replied “Oh, my fertility doctor recommended it.” There it was on the table…my fertility doctor…AKA: ‘Hi! infertile over here, tread lightly with the baby talk please.’ Her reaction was minimal…she didn’t ask for information, she just smiled (that soft, sympathetic smile you get when you identify yourself as infertile) and said she didn’t know it assisted with fertility and continued on. She didn’t ask for details and I didn’t offer any. I don’t think my infertility affected her much. And I appreciated her so much for that. She didn’t pretend to understand me (she already told me she was basically a Fertile Myrtle), she didn’t offer unsolicited advice (we all know those people) she didn’t pry when I clearly wasn’t interested in sharing more information. She was respectful and kind. AND she cooled it on the baby talk…

I wish I had thought to thank her for her response. In the moment it seemed so simple, but thinking about it as I write this post I realize how much I appreciated the way she reacted. It is so rare to have people just respond so appropriately! I wish I could write a book on the way people have responded to our infertility and miscarriage. The good (this woman’s simple kindness or the co-worker who gifted me an African Fertility Doll after hearing of our struggles and wrote a sweet note that said “I’m so on this journey with you…”), the bad (the people who told me ‘at least you know you can get pregnant’ after our miscarriage or the friend who said ‘it took me 6 months before I got pregnant!) and the ugly (the boss who asked me why I needed to go home when I started miscarrying at work “I know people who have had miscarriages, it’s not that painful.”) The truth is, more often than not people get it wrong, I failed to recognize how nice it is when someone, very simply, get it right.

Because of this woman’s reaction I feel more confident sharing our infertility with other co-workers when the opportunity arises. I’m not naïve, I know some people will react in ways that hurt me, but I can also appreciate now that some people won’t. Putting yourself out there to new people (in every aspect, not simply with infertility) is scary and overwhelming, but it can also be rewarding and inspiring. Who knew a simply comment about Co-Q10 could do so much! (which is nice, because I don’t actually think its helping my fertility at all!)

Just Me.

So yesterday was one of those perfect fall days in New England that I have to remind myself of when I’m digging my car out from 2 feet of snow and cursing my husband  for wanting to stay in Connecticut. The sun was bright, the air was chilly, the leaves are beautiful and I woke up motivated. So as my husband set to work painting one of our bathrooms (from a light yellow to a deep gray-blue) I threw on a baseball hat and visited some local antique/thrift stores. I walked around the cozy downtown I’ve known forever, I chatted with the shop owners, I sifted through racks of photographs and vintage home décor, I purchased a stunning antique silver tray for our dining room and I just felt this overwhelming sense of things being ‘okay’. I think sometimes I imagine life is just always going to be difficult…like those nagging feelings of loss and disappointment won’t ever allow me to forget our struggles…but it’s not like that lately. Sure, some days are terrible: I went shopping with my mother the other day and I kid you not I saw FIVE pregnant women in the 20 minutes we were in the store…days like that make me want to go home, crawl into bed and curse the world and everyone in it. But days like yesterday, when the sun is shining and I sit in my cozy home with the fire on, my husband next to me, cuddled in a warm blanket I just feel very content.

The husband and I also attended a surprise 30th birthday party for a friend we went to college with…my husband misplaced the invite so he asked a friend to send him a screen-shot of the invitation so we had the parties information (time, location, etc.) Well imagine my surprise when at 2pm he showed me the screenshot and I discovered the party was a COSTUME PARTY….the surprise was on me!! I had already planned on wearing a faux fur vest that’s been sitting in my closet for over a year (last fall I was hitting the Follistim and Lupron injections hard…I barely left my house for anything other than work, I certainly wasn’t going anywhere worthy of wearing faux fur) so I quickly googled Halloween costumes with fur vests (Pinterest is a lifesaver!) and opted to be a deer…

Well of course there wasn’t a pair of antlers at the party shop (of note: after 3 minutes inside the chaotic and crowded store Dan turned to me and basically said it was him or the antlers…) So I dragged him to the craft store next to the party shop (shockingly not crowded at all) and spent $20 on fake twigs and moss, two sheets of felt (one white, one tan) brown pipe cleaners and a $6 skeleton make-up kit…and set to work making myself into a presentable doe…

I think the doe costume turned out about as good as a doe costume can turn out when you make it in 2 hours, but it was fun to get back into a little ‘crafting’…a pastime I kind of pushed to the side when infertility took over our life.

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please note: we don’t support killing Bambi, we were simply very desperate. 

The party was interesting because the guests were mostly Dan’s friends, not mine…and no one there knows anything about our infertility. We’re also the only couple who is married, so I feel like none of them are even considering children (unless they’re considering how NOT to have children) so I had the opportunity to go an entire night without one single person asking me about children… NOT ONCE! I usually go around thinking every person who knows Dan and I are wondering why we’re not having children yet, forgetting that many people probably consider it very normal that at 29 and 3 years into our marriage Dan and I are not having children. It was kind of nice for an evening to just be Meghan…not sad, infertile, miscarriage Meghan…but just Meghan…dressed like a doe, drinking at a bar and singing happy birthday to a friend I met freshman year of college when life revolved around pizza, parties, the cute guy in the cafeteria and trying to get into the universities nursing program. It was nice to take a night off from all things infertile…I think it was the perfect introduction to the new way I’m trying to look at life (and this blog) making room for life outside the gold dress.