I know intellectually that it isn’t true but yesterday I got hit hard by the feeling, the feeling that my childlessness is proof that there is something inherently wrong with me, a sort of scarlet “I”. I know it isn’t true. You don’t have to tell me that it isn’t true, I know it isn’t. Yet it feels true. Yesterday I was in a room filled with mommies. They were all young, beautiful, with Pilates bodies and pretty and perky dispositions—and then there was me. I felt like the wallflower in the corner that no one asked to dance. I sat alone at a table keenly aware that we had nothing in common. I know shit about formula or cribs or what kind of diapers are the best. And I sat there feeling all kinds of shame and loneliness. Every now and then I could feel their eyes looking at me, I tried to imagine their fantasy of me. My version of their fantasy is likely untrue. I won’t bother to write it. It seems too massochistic to give space to.
I was sitting and waiting for someone to arrive. It was a someone that I didn’t know. He was running late and my my thoughts were running wild. Something about sitting and waiting took my mind to the last time I was sitting and waiting for someone that I didn’t know. She was a famous person. You may know her. She is big and I was so very excited to meet her. This famous someone learned of my infertility and she wanted to know every detail of my infertility journey and then she told me, ” I don’t really want to have kids. I don’t really think I do. But I am going to. I am going to have kids because I don’t want to miss out. If I don’t do it now, I might regret it. And I just don’t want to regret it.” This famous woman continued to ask me details about the expense and the pain and the ordeal of it all. She didn’t ask out of concern or compassion for me, her questions were for the purpose of information gathering. Not once did this famous woman apologize for my cruel fate, the way someone with empathy might do. Not once did my childlessness impact her line of questioning. Once I told her all of the stats of how many shots, for how many days, and what the side effects were and how much I paid, she then wanted me to know about the very famous sperm donors she had lined up and what great insurance she had and how very certain the doctors were that she would easily get pregnant. I sat there waiting, my mind vacillating between the Pilates-bodies mommies, the fear that I might be stood up and wondering if this famous woman had gotten pregnant by the famous sperm.
Continue reading ‘What to serve at a pity party?’
On a sunny Southern California day in January, the month we moved to Chicago, I took a trip to an outlet mall outside of the city. I was there to find coats, gloves, scarves and other winter weather gear. We were ill prepared for the freezing temps of Chicago and I had to stock up fast or face hypothermia and/or freeze our tuckuses off. Thanks to Eddie Bauer’s subzero line I was over-prepared for the snow in one stop and I even bought unnecessary hand warmers that one uses for skiing and car lock deicers that I never used. But since I was already there at the outlet mall, I thought I would do a little more shopping just to see what I could see. What I saw was a beautiful and delicate pair of black lace pumps at Cole Haan’s outlet store. I knew, at once, that they were highly impractical. I also knew that I didn’t have a life that required much in the way of evening shoes. However I fell in love and I was feeling that wonderful “we are moving out of L.A. ” dream come true feeling and everything felt like it was coming up roses and that soon all our wishes would come true. And since the shoes were on sale, I, without too much rationalization, bought them.
The Cole Haan black lace pumps went in a moving van across the country and they, unworn, found a home in my Lake Bluff closet. The entire time that we lived in Chicago an occasion never arose in which these lacy shoes were needed. They stayed in their box patiently waiting for the day when they would have their time in the sun( or the snow). The day never came.
Continue reading ‘Cinderella in my closet’
Okay, here is the truth…the real truth…the truth that I didn’t want to tell you. I wanted to be all ho-ho-ho and merry -merry and I tried, I really did, but I can’t. It hit me the other day. It hit me hard. I got it when we were walking through William-Sonoma and I was shopping for a coffee maker that I will NEVER-EVER-EVER have kids.I knew it and then all of a sudden I KNEW it. This is something that will never be fixed. This will always be true. I saw people with children and prams and baby Bjorns and I just started sobbing. I lost my sh*t in the appliance section. I went from shopping mode to melt down mode faster than you can say Cuisinart Brew and Grind. He-weasel got me out of the store and herded me to my car in the pouring rain and I sobbed as I blindly walked, “It’s not fair. I want it to be fair. It’s not fair. Life should be FAIR!!! If we couldn’t have kids we should have at least been able to stay in Chicago.” That happened Sunday and ever since then I have been in the sob, cry, mourn, grieve and repeat mode.
I tried today to do a little Christmas shopping but then I saw all these men with their fucking babies and I had to push back the tears and then some little toddlers were pushing me when I was waiting in line to buy a candle and I was growing more and more irritated and I came this close to turning around and going off on this man for not being able to contain his kids and how they needed to stop pushing me and they needed to stop pushing me NOW!!!!!! But what I wanted to do is turn around and take all my rage and anger and outrage that I am childless and that I will always be so and that I live in L.A. and that I had a shit childhood and give it to this man that I have never met. I wanted to yell at this stranger and for him to hear my anger and for him or someone to make this right. The customer is always right. And maybe if I yelled loud enough the manager of William-Sonoma could fix what is broken in me or give me my money back or at least give me a free box of Holiday Bark Candy. A dear friend of mine ,who upon hearing about my near run in with a total stranger, suggested that I stay home tonight, cancel my dinner reservation and order dinner in less I give into my desire to rage publicly and end up needing her to bail me out of the big house.
So the truth is that I am in pieces. A million of them to be exact. And I don’t feel like Humpty Dumpty can be put back together again. I am not sure if I will be up to blogging over the holiday season. The truth is that I didn’t even plan on writing this. I was just going to put up a picture of Lily and wish you a happy holiday but if there is one thing this blog is it is authentic. And I am authentically feeling like shit. But that doesn’t mean that I don’t wish you a very happy Christmas, I do. Also, please, I implore you…no need to comment and try to cheer me up. Lily, He-weasel, Igor and assorted lovely friends are trying to cheer me up and yet at present I am uncheerable.
Ugh, now that I wrote this I feel like a Grinch or a Scrooge or like I have put a damper on your ho-ho-ho. But maybe my telling the truth about how shit I feel will help someone else. I hope it does.
p.s. You can’t say I didn’t warn you. It was there in the title. You didn’t have to read this. I did warn you.
Sunday night, in my dreams, I had four children. Four of them. Three boys and one girl. I was in a parking garage and I was trying to leave to go to Igor’s. My kids were coming out of a door into the garage. I was running late. I had to get to Igor’s. He-weasel was trying to help me back up to get out of the garage and onto the street. The exit was VERY narrow and surrounded by two glass doors. I had to be perfectly precise in order to get out of this place and get going to Igor’s. I got out of the space and was on my way to Igor’s. I decided to call Igor and tell him that my daughter’s eye was cut and that I had to take her to urgent care and that’s why I was late. I was trying to find the favorites in my iPhone(where I keep Igor’s number) and I couldn’t. Some applications were eclipsing my favorites and I couldn’t find his number. It was 12:47. In three minutes my session would be over. Next thing I knew I was at Igor’s office and he was gone. Some glamazon receptionist( like a woman in a 007 film) let me into his office. I was going to show her a picture of my daughter’s eye only the only picture I could find in my phone was of a woman that reminded of an image one might see on the show Dexter. I wondered why I was looking for the photo as I knew the story about my daughter was a lie. The receptionist was trying to find another time that Igor could see me. The dream ended.
Continue reading ‘Dreaming of my children’
I don’t know if Ms. Manners, Martha Stewart or any other blond anal-retentive woman with a well developed Super-ego who is keen on handing out the rules of genteel and polite society has come out with a primer on things best not to say to women who have been pumped full of mind altering hormones, and endured an alphabet soup of invasive procedures(ART, IVFs, ICSI’s, IUI’s,), miscarriages and/or had failed adoptions.
So even though I am only a redhead who occasionally confuses my desert fork with my salad fork, I thought I would take this matter into my own hands and create a guide of what not to say to someone who is infertile, going through infertility treatment or has just had a miscarriage. Perhaps if I do this I and others who are in my position will stop enduring these comments that hurt more than a progesterone shot in the ass.
Continue reading ‘The 16 things you shouldn’t say to a CNBC (childless not by choice)’
There was a time, long before the infertility years, when my PMS was so bad that He-weasel would put the anticipated date of Aunt Flo on his calendar just so as to be prepared. It was kind of like a hormonal storm tracker that he kept in his Filofax reminding him what days it might be best to come home with brownies and to remind himself that no matter what I said the correct response was, “You are so beautiful and thin and you are highly intelligent”
I haven’t for many-many months felt the kind of PMS that is emotionally destabilizing, fight inducing or the kind that was so severe it would make me think about leaving He-weasel. Sure, each month when Aunt Flo would visit, I would cry at every commercial with kids in it; I would need chocolate, heating pad and a bottle of Midol. But that is to be expected, at least for me.
Today at 4:00 p.m. I was hit by the kind of PMS that requires an evacuation, a trip to Home Depot to stock up on supplies, and two week supply of food( carbs in particular). It came on fast and furious and out of nowhere. Just hours earlier I had been feeling great about the run I took on the treadmill and about a great referral source for my practice and how great my skin was looking after a Triple-Oxygen mask. I was positively glowing with good feelings.
But when the hormones hit I felt like I had swallowed a whole stink bug. My runners high is nowhere to be seen and I now feel lower than a snake’s hips. The PMS hadn’t been here for even five minutes before it started telling me that I am fat, ugly, stupid and that my blog is stupid and that I should just take pictures of L.A. or of clothes or only post pictures of Lily. PMS even suggested I just take down the whole stupid blog as who the f*ck cares what I think. PMS, is a bitch and may, I think, be a liar. However it does have a voice of authority and it all feels so true now that it is here. I know I will likely feel differently when it is gone.
I feel bad for He-weasel, he will be home soon and he doesn’t stand a chance against this level of PMS. He will surely do, say or not do or say something that will totally piss PMS off and he doesn’t even know to bring home brownies.