Posts Tagged ‘humor’

Did I Ask You All That? Opening the Door On: Infertility and Advice

Opening The Door On - Infertility and Advice

We’ve all heard our fair share of what goes for “advice” these days.  Everything from “Are you sure you’re infertile?  Did a doctor tell you that, or are you listening to too many people on the tv?” to “Maybe you’re doing it wrong”, we’ve heard them all.  Today’s #NIAW post is a tongue-in-cheek look behind the door of one of the most dreaded by-products of infertility; Advice.


Girl look, I appreciate your support.  You seem really committed to helping me “get over this whole infertility thing” as quickly as you can make me, and I appreciate your go-get-em attitude about it all.  But here’s the thing, I didn’t really ask you for all that you’re trying to give me.  I can appreciate the fact that the earth goddess and the moonlight came together for the bark that you put into your tea that led to  your ovaries singing songs and welcoming the dawn that led to you conceiving your fifteen-year-old.  I think that’s awesome, and I’m really happy for you and little Shaman.  However, all the moonlight and tree bark in the world may not open my Fallopian tubes or clear out my endometriosis, so girl bye.

Friend, I’m sooo very sorry about your head cold.  I mean, it sounds like it sucks, and I can only imagine how hard it is to remember to take your antibiotics every day.  Man, I remember what that’s like, from the millions of colds I’ve had throughout my life. Because you’re so stressed out, I won’t bother bogging you down with my woe of being on a PCOS induced menstrual cyle from hell, or how I’ve hit day 20 of this one in particular.  I mean, you don’t have time to hear all of that, you’re going to need a day off pretty soon if that cold keeps getting you down.  But don’t you worry, you go ahead and take that day when you need it!  I’ll be here.  At work.  Bleeding.

Miss Claudine, I really want to thank you for your thoughts on adoption.  The idea that you believe something is “wrong” with kids who need to be adopted, was a little odd for me to hear from you.  You know, seeing as how that son of yours was actually birthed by your older sister’s youngest daughter.  But what do I know? Maybe you’re right and I guess as you say, “black folk don’t do that”.  However, considering I’m going through a painful decision process about whether or not adoption is the only option for my family, I really truly don’t need your judgment clouding mine, but thanks for sharing!

Speaking of adoption, Militant Buddy, I’d like for you to cool your heels when heading over to my Facebook inbox demanding that I not be selfish and that I take in one of the thousands of children in need of homes that I’m apparently ignoring.  I appreciate your passion, and I ask you, when are you visiting an agency, and how have you raised your $30,000 in fees?  I’d love to hear your tips and tricks for that.  I mean, you seem really touched by the idea of adoption, and I think anyone with this much fervor for it, must be pretty much on their way to doing it themselves right?  Or are you only suggesting it to me because it seems to you that I have to?  I’d also hope that before you open your home to one of the “thousands” of kids, that you’d take a bit to consider how you plan on telling your new kid that you felt like their only hope and that they were so unwanted that you just had to swoop in and save them.  Because they’re not kids, right?  They’re consolation prizes and charitable acts.  Right?  Right.

Sister Odell, it was great talking to you after church today.  I want to express to you just how helpful it was for me to hear you say that maybe my faith isn’t strong enough or that I’m not praying right,  or that I’m “in God’s way”.  I’d really like to hold on to that when next I see someone who has killed their children, or beaten them within an inch of their lives on the news.  It will remind me that those women, who are on their way to jail, obviously have much more faith than me, and that the Lord hears them and not me.  I’ve been teetering in my faith for a few years now because of this, and I’m glad to know that I’m not wrong, and that God really has forsaken me.  Thanks for the help in deciding not to return to church.  You really helped me out.

Aunt LuLu, I have always loved your sense of humor.  Your sex jokes can still make my dad blush, and you guys grew up together.  I can understand why someone as sexually liberated as yourself would think that us changing up what we’ve done in our bedroom over the last 16 years of marriage should be able to get us pregnant, but I’m sorry to say it won’t. Acrobatic tricks and “massage” oils won’t really do much for sperm count issues, and to be honest, your favorite flavored lubricant can actually kill them.  But I gotta give it to you though, out of all the other people I’ve talked to about this, I appreciate your sense of humor and openness the most.  It helps me to remember to laugh.

Best Friend, I’ve enjoyed sharing this part of my life with you.  We’ve been through so much together, that it would really be hard for me to not include you in what are some of the darkest times I’ve had to endure.  I want to thank you for always listening to me, and letting me vent about how hard it is for me to climb into those stirrups yet again only to be back at square one a few weeks later.  I guess our openness and candor is what makes you feel so comfortable complaining about your aching feet and back to me, or how tired of being pregnant you are.  You know, with this being your fourth baby, when I always thought we’d have had our first together and been pregnant besties who gave birth to besties, I guess it’s hard for you to have to let go of that dream, and so you feel the need to include me on every, single, detail of your pregnancy.  Rest assured, however, that I really don’t need to know.  I don’t actually need to hear your staunch views and jokes about how you wish you could get your husband “fixed” since every time he breathes on you, you get pregnant, and I really don’t give a care to be offered one of your kids every time they’re getting on your nerves around the house.  Do you have any idea how much my husband WISHES he could breathe on me?  Any thought about how I’d love for a toddler to make a mess of my living room?  It’s cool, and we’re cool, and I love you to the moon, but I need you to think when speaking to me these days.  I’m more fragile than I let on.

Mom, I want to thank you for simply asking me what you can do.  Yours is the best and most welcome thing that’s been said to me throughout this entire ordeal.  I am so sorry I haven’t been able to achieve the dreams you have for me, even if it’s been just the basic one of me being happy.  I’m grateful that when I need your advice, you know that I’ll ask for it, and that when you give it, you always take care to consider how I’ll feel after our talk.  I wish you could teach these other people. LOL

 

 

On Target…and other self-torture.

On TargetTarget and I have a somewhat friendly competition we’re in.

So, I love Target.  I don’t know what it is about that place, but when I see those red shopping carts, and that welcoming bullseye, I think the cares of the world fall off my shoulders and I start to envision a better apartment to place new housewares I don’t really need, and a smaller figure to fit their cute new apparel, and more photos to go in more frames, and whatever else is on the sales paper they have for that day.  It’s calmer than Wally World, and less expensive that Kohls, and it’s big enough to distract me from real life for at least an hour and a half on a good day.

But there’s a darker side to Target.  And it’s name is the baby aisle.

Now, I’m not often one who hates visiting baby departments.  I don’t often willingly wander into them, but I’m also not one who avoids them like the plague.  We’re basically on an “if you don’t bother me, I won’t bother you” basis.  That said, Target’s baby aisles and I, we have what you might call “a history”.

When my husband and I first started talking about expanding our family, but my sister got pregnant instead, LOL, Target is where I took her to buy her first baby item.

When we were hoping to adopt, and had Little Girl with us, Target is where I finally found her first Easter dress.  They were the only store with a dress small enough. It’s hanging in my hall closet. 

It was also Target where I first went shopping alone with 4 month old Little Girl, and she promptly cursed me out in wails that made other shoppers give me “what is she doing to that infant” glares, and accusatory snarls.

Target is my go-to place for baby shower gift-cards, cute baby gifts, and even if I’m in the store for something completely different, Target is also the store that will have you accidentally wander into maternity clothes or diapers.

So for me, Target has the potential to also be a pretty sensitive shopping spot.  But I love the place!  So I work hard at challenging myself to not allow those sad bits to creep in. Every visit, I encourage myself to not look away from the cute onesies that are just hanging around the housewares for some reason, or to not ignore the Leapfrog Puppy that I know I purchased for Little Girl when I see it prominently displayed in the Toy department’s outward facing aisle.  

But I think Target is on to me.  Because now, when I’m fully clothed in my big girl panties, Target has taken to the habit of saying “I see you, and I raise you”.  

Take yesterday for instance:

I’m in good spirits, and I don’t at all shy away from the uber-adorable Valentine’s Day onesie display.  In fact, I walk right up to the display and take a look!  The “Daddy’s Little Princess” one with the ruffled bottom leggings makes me smile, and I wander away unscathed.  Then, Target goes, “I see you.  And I raise you.” and blam, right there in the center aisle is a FULL NURSERY DISPLAY.  Not a little crib headboard with a price, like they usually have, but a full nursery, on a platform, decked to the nines, with a “Wouldn’t you like to be here” feel like a Jamaica tourist ad.  

I’m not fazed by Target’s crafty wit, however.  I comment to the hubby on how cool I think the color layout of the nursery is.  I’m awful fond of the slate and yellow combo these days.  We chuckle and keep it moving.

I have to admit, I’m pretty proud of myself when I hit the registers.  I mean, really Target, you’ve done worse on far more stressful days than this.  I’m cool, calm and collected…

and then Target says,

“I see you.  And I raise you.” 

At the register beside us, I hear the cashier say, “Oh my!  You’re going to need our guest assistance to help you to your car!”  I look over. Two car seats.  She’s not just buying baby items.  She’s not just buying a car seat.  She’s buying TWO.  “So!” Says the cashier, “Two seats! Is it safe to assume, TWINS!? YAY! Oh my!”

Two car seats.

Two.

I gather up my little bags of socks and body wash, and whatever other bs I just spent a box of diapers worth on, and I get the heck out of there.

Well played, Target.  Well played.

 

Thanks Target.  I’ll order some more feels from Acme, and try this again another day, m’kay?

Review: Instant Mom by Nia Vardalos

When I discovered that I was a shocking 33 books behind on my Goodreads goal for the year, I went into a frenzy of book selections.  I have three e-books on my phone and Ipad, six graphic novels on my desk, two young adult novels in my bag, a playaway digital book in my car, and two audiobooks on my phone.

Don’t judge me.

Anyway, one of the audiobooks, was Nia Vardalos’ “Instant Mom”.

Instant Mom

While parts ring so very uncomfortably true that they bring tears to my eyes, another part of me knows that I will have to buy this book. In print, so that I can highlight parts, and extract quotes. I will then have to buy an extra copy so that I can wrap it in a note and give it to someone as oxygen.

I needed this book right now. I needed her hope, and her sorrow, and her success. I needed to hear my reflection. I’ve been stuffing myself so far down into my own chest that I have literally forgotten my feelings at times. I’ve hidden them under anger or fear, or completely blacked them out. I’ve treated the experience of our failed adoption this year the way I treat all mistakes in my life: as they that must not be named.

Do you know how when you’re writing longhand and you make a mistake in pen you can just draw a line through it and keep going?

Yeah. I don’t. Because I could never deal with just that line.  I, and more importantly, any other human, would still be able to see my error… and that cannot be.  I have to completely eviscerate the word or sentence. Like, to the point where the paper thins out where I’ve drug the pen across so hard.

That, is how much I hate making mistakes. How much I hate feeling or looking stupid. How much I hate failing. And this stupid journey(both the infertility and adoption) feels all the time like an error I can’t correct, white out, or even strike through. And I haaaaaaaate it.

I want to be past it already. To be on the other side. To be in the success story and look at me now portion.  And no matter what I do, I just can’t seem to. And it hurts fresh every time I realize it. Like waking up in a new place everyday and being reminded that I’m there because my house burned down.

So when I listened to Nia explain this exact frustration as she journeys backwards through letdown after letdown, I felt both invigorated and instantly saddened. Because I got it. I got it in a way that no fan or family member who read it without walking this road could.  I got her, because she got me.

She explained quite vulnerably, how her naturally upbeat personality made her wish, just as I have for so long, to just put this all behind her.  She hates discussing infertility, and wanted to focus on being a mom, and finally being happy, but fate has a way of making us share our stories when they can help others.  Nia soon found that the best way for her to feel truly “past” it all, was to tell the story of her journey, and help other hurting people find their children also.

This book examined not only the pain of infertility itself, but the struggle of enduring baby showers, failed IVF cycles, the pitfalls of shady adoption “professionals”, and even “the after”.  The hero of this story, however, was hope.  No matter how many walls Nia and her husband Ian Gomez hit, they maintained their ability to love one another, and love their dreams enough not to let them go.

The Vardalos-Gomez family found their daughter through the foster adoption system.  I appreciated a celebrity speaking out on behalf of the kids who are in the foster care system and eligible for adoption.  Nia took care to speak against the stigma that both adoption and foster care receive.  She expressed that she respects everyone’s choices in how they plan to build their families, but that she encourages people to investigate all the options available.

This voice was so very valuable.  Nia holds nothing back,…well, there is that first 80% of the book where she holds back her daughter’s name,…but other than that, she was exceptionally honest and real.  Her humor, as anyone who has watched her movies is familiar with, was very present in every chapter and she also includes an appendix that is full of adoption resources.

Now, as a librarian, I usually advise you to grab books from your local library, but Nia donates proceeds from the sales of this book to adoption charities, so I’m okay with you buying this one.  🙂

Darn straight, Nia.

Ps: I recommend listening to the audiobook, because she reads it herself, and all the emotion is present in her voice.

 

Dear Braxton Sisters…

Dear Toni, Towanda, Traci, Trina, and the “Diva That is She”, Tamar, LOL

I just watched the season finale of your reality show and was absolutely floored at the candor and gentleness with which your family responded after learning about the fertility issues Tamar and Vincent are facing.   I applaud each of you for not making your baby sister feel uncomfortable.  For taking her feelings and situation to heart and reacting with hope and love.  You have NO idea how important that is to someone who is facing such an unexpected blow to their life plan.  That meant the world.

Towanda, to offer your assistance as a gestational carrier for Tamar without hesitation, was such a selfless and loving act.   I was also moved by your words that every woman should have the opportunity to become a mother if they desire.  This very fundamental belief is one that many of us who deal with infertility have to fight to get across.  That you GOT it, even as someone who is already a mother, meant  more than I think you know.   Finally, to say “YOU WILL”, when Tamar was saying “What if I can’t,” was PRICELESS and powerful.  Thank you.

Tamar, first and foremost, as a reality star I’m sure you are no stranger to discussing personal issues in front of the world and are pretty used to being in a fishbowl, but I wanted to take this opportunity to say from the bottom of my heart, THANK YOU for taking the world into that fertility discussion with you.  I am consistently floored by women and men in the African American community who are so very sure that our race isn’t a part of the 7.3 million people who are dealing with fertility issues.  That being said, it was a powerful statement, even through your usual jokes and sarcasm, for people to see a young, African American couple dealing with fertility challenges.

Many people who watch or have seen parts of Braxton Family Values usually fall into the “Love Tamar” or “Hate Tamar” categories.  I’m biased, because in my house, I’m the “EXTRA” person, who has always said things to people like “Get your life together”, and is quick to cover up my feelings with my dry wit, so I can relate to you.  For that reason, I personally feel that if more people looked past your delivery into the feelings that are behind them, there would be far more in the love bracket.  I watched the discussions between you and your sisters concerning your fears and thoughts about fertility treatments, and while you were blunt and at times a bit brash, what I saw was a young woman who was trying to figure out how to grasp the situation for herself and also how to explain that situation to the people she loved.

This emotional hurdle is one that many of us have to face.  When that diagnosis comes down, and the road to parenthood seems much longer and rougher than we’d originally thought, we start to question if it is what we even want.  Do I really want to be pregnant at all if its going to be this expensive/difficult/invasive?  Do I want to gain that weight?  Am I sure that I’m not just compensating for something that could be really solved by a good shopping trip or change of scenery?

The answer is usually yes.  We want to be mothers.  Which leads to another point of discomfort when we start to think beyond what we want, and start thinking about what those who love us, want for us.  My mother would love a grandchild from me.  My husband would love a child of our own.  My sisters and brother would love a niece or nephew.  How will I tell them that I may not be able to give them that?

So we cover it up with vague explanations and joking responses, and we talk about it in a “no big deal” tone, when it is really beating us up inside.  I could be wrong, but that is what I saw as you talked to your family.  I felt as though I’ve done that “yeah so I’m gonna have to do this other thing” conversation myself before, and my heart wanted to hug you.  We do have to work on a little of your phrasing about certain fertility terms, LOL, but above all else I wish you and Vincent nothing but the very best, and pray that things work out in a way that best suits the two of you.

I was about to let this episode get past me without mentioning it here on The Egg, but I couldn’t.  The vision and voice was too important.  I sincerely thank each of you for being what you always are if nothing else, and that is honest.

Sincerely,

 

 

 

 

P.S.   I TOTALLY bought The Braxton’s CD TWICE back in the day, and still think “Where’s the Good in Goodbye” is a sleeper cut.  Thanks for being a part of my  high school soundtrack. LOL

P.P.S.  Z-PHI Towanda and Traci!

Random Thoughts…

Some things on my mind today.  You may or may not agree or like them.  But then…this is my blog, right?  Right.
My list:
  • My Husband turned 30 this week. (Happy Birthday Dude!)…and with that birthday went any possibility of his being a dad “in his 20’s”.
  • I’m sure that in the top 12 thoughts of all people who discover their infertility, is the phrase: “And to think of all the money I spent on condoms!”Photobucket (more…)

Dear Preggo…STFU. Signed, Mgmt.

Disclaimer: My dearest pregnant, and post-pregnant readers and friends, I love you.  I love your children.  I would like to take this moment pre-rant to say that I know pregnant people have their own issues.  That your having a difficult pregnancy should not be slighted by my or anyone else’s infertility.  I understand completely that your blues ain’t like mine.  Things that WE infertiles do, probably piss you off a bit as well….and I sincerely hope you have a blog where you can rant to high heaven about it…because I DO, and I plan to do so.  If you’re in the touchy, easily-offended stages of your life, I hope that you take this time to close your browser and scram.  This won’t be for you.  If you are, however, the kind of chick that can handle good-humored rants and raves, then by all means stay, maybe you’ll see something that annoys you too.

Now that we’ve got that out of the way, I’ve been sitting on this one for a few weeks now.  Well, that’s a lie.  I’ve been sitting on this one for a few years.

I’ve rested quietly on my frustrations, primarily for the sake of not causing a rift between myself and the preggos that are driving me insane. Annoyances aside, I love them, and I know they sometimes can’t help how “drive-a-nail-into-my-eye” bothersome they become.  But then I reminded myself that one of the ways this blog reaches so many is by my saying the things you(readers) WANT to say. LOL  So it would be downright cruel for me to not rant on you all’s behalf!  I opened the floor for Eggshells to send me their most annoying things about pregnant people, and I gotta say….I love you guys. You’re HILARIOUS, and all of your mentions are included in this post!

To be fair, I don’t know that pregnant women understand the work that goes into trying to be genuinely happy for them sometimes.  On the surface, sure, who wouldn’t be happy for their best girlfriend or sister bringing a new life into this world!?  We stifle all our initial sadness and focus in on the beauty of it all.  Instead of being disappointed about ourselves, for once, we do our best to put on a happy face and think about the bigger picture.  Then they go and %$& it up by being jerks about the whole thing.

1.IF I CAN INJECT A NEEDLE INTO MY OWN A$$, YOU CAN LIFT THAT PEN!

The last thing a woman who spends her evenings ramming sharps into the side of her gluteus maximus wants to hear come out of a pregnant woman’s mouth is how she just can’t function now that she’s 72 hours pregnant.  The woman who’s had her second hysterosalpingogram is NOT at ALL interested in your back pain, when you’re all of six weeks along.  She’s really thinking, “Go flog yourself, whiny heffa!  If I can take gushing liquid into my fallopians, you can handle  back spasms.” Now this is not to say that once she gets pregnant herself that she won’t feel you on some level, but trust me when I tell you that she could give a hell less when her whole body feels like a pin cushion and you’re floating glowingly into your FIRST trimester.  She is taking one for the team every single day, dealing with just as many hormonal bounces as you, and with nothing to show for it. I’d advise you to shut it before she throws a box of Gonal-F at your head.

2. YOU ARE NOT A CELEBRITY, SECRET SQUIRREL!

Celebrities hold off on sharing bits of their relationships and pregnancies because they already share so much of themselves with the world.  They deserve to keep a little of it to themselves for as long as they can.  They wait until they can’t wait any longer to reveal parts of their lives to us.  I get that.  YOU, however, are Loquitta from 75th street…NOT Beyonce.  You share yourself willingly on every social media site known to man.  So when you get knocked up and post phantom ultrasound pictures in your profile, of course people will want to know what you’re having and if IT has a name!  Why the hell are you brow-beating us with your secrecy?  To YOU, it may not seem like a big deal. Perhaps there’s a warped sense of modesty in your “No, we’re not pregnant.  NO, the secret baby in here does not have a name, PLEASE stop asking us!”   However to US,  it just feels like you’re holding a gift box out in our faces and saying “Nah Naahny Nah Nah, It’s my Secret Box of Goodies and you better not ask about it“.  At the point where you start withholding information for kicks and giggles, you lose us.  We no longer want to know a damn thing about YOU, your pregnancy, or your squirmy secret spawn.  Keep ALL your crap to yourself if you wanna act like that.   Don’t facebook an ultrasound, don’t mention your morning sickness, don’t post a weekly bump shot, and don’t use passive-aggressive wit to let us know how angry you are with the next person who asks you a stupid question like, oh I don’t know, “do you know what you’re having and does it have a name”?

3. I’M  ASKING FOR COMMON RESPECT, NOT SEGREGATION

So the cat is out of the family bag about my infertility.  For whatever reason, the whole gang knows that my procreation plans are shaky.  A bit of care with what you say to and around me is appreciated.  Hiding entire new pregnancies from me, not so much.  I understand that in your head, the thought of having to use tact and decorum when informing me of your new baby was hard, I mean who could ask for crazy things like those?   So instead you decided to completely distance yourself from me until the shower invitations were out?  What the smelly hell?  You think my having to go to Babies R Us and decipher your registry is going to be easier because I didn’t know about it until your third trimester?  FAIL.  The simplest thing in the world would have have been to just tell me.  Tiptoeing around me is a cop-out.  It doesn’t make me feel any less frustrated to come to family gatherings and find that everyone knew about your news but me. The largest hurdle in my life is feeling normal, so thanks for finding yet another way to make me feel less than.

4. JUST BECAUSE YOU USED TO BE ON THIS TEAM, DOESN’T GIVE YOU THE RIGHT TO SAY WHATEVER FOOLISHNESS BUBBLES TO YOUR LIPS

You know, if anything, I would hope that the persons most understanding of what not to say to infertile folk would be those who have graduated from our club.  I mean, truth be told, you never fully do graduate.  If you’ve survived a miscarriage once, I’m sure you go into all pregnancies with that extra bit of concern.  If you worked hard to get knocked up this first time, I’m sure you have your worries about a “next” time.  Yet some of our “graduates” find some of the worst ways to offend!  I’m not sure if its because you believe that you’ve been where we are, or if pregnancy brain has gotten the better of you, but saying crap like, “Well, I’ve gotten pregnant, now it’s your turn” or “Well I bet now that you’ve adopted, you’re sure to get pregnant now just like I did”, makes me want to assassinate you.  Did I miss the memo?  Did the old stork die and you took over his post? Is that what the holdup was this whole time? Your womb is the fountain of life now?  Kick rocks, jerk.

5. OH, WE CAN BE BITCHES NOW?  I DIDN’T KNOW!  LET ME GO GET MY COSTUME!

Considering the fact that I’ve received some of the most heart-wrenching news in my life during these few YEARS of infertility, I’m sure I would have just loved knowing that it gave me the right to be a bitter a$$hole.  I mean, you’ve only been pregnant for about six days and you’ve already picked up more than your fair share of bishitude.  Had I known that reproduction was warrant for talking to people any kind of way, I wouldn’t have worked so hard to hold it together.  I mean here I was letting silly comments roll off my back and all the while I could have been telling people off just like you!  Who knew!?  I’m sorry but the grapefruit in your belly is no excuse for you treating everyone around you like they’re incompetent and annoying.

6. WHEN ALL ELSE FAILS, ASK.

If you are a pregnant reader of the Egg, this is my greatest advice.  Ask us if we’re okay with being involved in situations where we will be the ONLY never-been-pregnant person in the room.  ASK us if we’re comfortable with your making suggestions about what we should do to get where you are.  ASK us how OUR IVF cycle is going, or how we feel sometimes.  Just that small bit of concern, can change half of these rants into water under the bridge.

At the end of the day, it is hard to be happy sometimes.  As much as we want to be okay, it is truly difficult.  Many of the things that annoy us, overlap with the things we don’t mind so much.  Basically, the entire thing is confusing, even to us.   This post is not meant to “change” anyone, or to demand anything.  For all we know, those of us who contributed to this post could all get pregnant eventually and be JUST as aggravating for someone else.  But today, is not that day.  And today, we just had to get it out.

Got anymore preggo pet peeves?  Rant away in the comments!

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