It is the eve of my non-miracle.  My period is due to arrive tomorrow, and I believe it will, or maybe it won’t, but that will only be due to the fact that I have a shitload of prometrium (progesterone) running through my body.  Once I get yet another negative test, though, I can stop overdosing on hormones  and let the demons out.  Honestly, I just want to get this over with, may the bleeding begin, may the grieving for another month lost begin, may the drinking begin.

This has been our first month pulling out the big guns, the fertility drugs, to try to get a decent enough egg to hopefully fertilize.  My cycles have been shortening, and, after getting pregnant 4 consecutive times in a row without any problems, I all of a sudden have trouble getting knocked up. 

This month there WAS a good egg, in fact there were TWO good eggs; I saw them with my own eyes, hanging out in my left ovary, just dying to take a swan dive into my fallopian tube and take a waterslide ride down into my (stupid) uterus.  That ultrasound was very promising.  Those were some damn sexy eggs.

Those eggs were on a man-hunt.  My husband obliged.  We waged goddamn war on those eggs.  Positively BOMBARDED them with man-sperm.  Those eggs, those sluts, had no chance.  Or at least we thought.  I guess they were playing hard to get.  I bet those spermies banged their heads hard against the chastity belts my eggs seem to be fond of wearing.  What a pair of teases.

And now what?  I am trying to be that woman.  The one who shrugs and says, “Oh well, maybe next month”.  The one who is grateful that she will be going to Hawaii next week as a non-pregnant female, who can drink mai-tais and not worry about every fricking thing she puts in her mouth (sushi, anyone?).  The one who looks around her and says, “I am happy and grateful for all that I have already”, and then moves on.

Maybe that woman will show up tomorrow or the next day.  For now, this woman is going to go to bed and cry for a little while.  This woman, today, is very disappointed and disheartened.

 

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Lupes last picture

I should probably write more in this blog.  I lay awake at night thinking about what I would write.  But then I am just so damned tired.

My dear cat just died.  By the way, I am thinking of re-naming this blog “mystupidcat” or “myhusbandsstupidexwife”, because I seem to be writing about them a lot.  I really need to find a life.

ANYway, poor Lupita. Poor me.  I miss her so much.  We paid (a small fortune) to have a mobile vet come to the house on Sunday to put her to sleep.  On Friday, I had sort of convinced myself everything might be ok.  Maybe for a few days, maybe for a week, hell, maybe for a month.  She ate something that day for the first time in something like 6 days, and afterwards let me groom her with a brush for over half an hour.  She was a very, very pretty and happy kitty.  I swear she was smiling. I know she was happy.

Saturday she was just so-so.   I slept (for the 5th night in a row) on a twin mattress on the floor in the living room, just to be close to her.  She did not have a good night.  Very restless, very vocal and needy.  She went into the fireplace, sat on the grate, and peed.  Not a good sign.

In the morning, Lupe was weaker than ever.  She couldn’t walk more than a few steps before giving up and lying down.  Her meow was different.  I couldn’t wait another day to put her out of her misery, so called this vet I found on the internet.  He said he could be there in half an hour.

This was both good news and terrifying news.  I started to have a mild panic attack.  Half an hour, and the grim reaper would be at my house.  All I could do was hold her, rock back and forth, and cry. 

This cat has been the most steady thing in my life for over a decade.  She has lived in 4 houses with me.  She has been through 3 major relationships with me (current one still going.  Thankgod).  She has comforted me through some serious drama no woman should ever have to go through.  She has been such a good, good kitty. 

The grim reaper came, his name was Barry, he was a nerdy guy in his mid-forties or so and had braces.  He talked to us for a while and evaluated Lupita and agreed she was suffering.  In the living room, on top of the mattress I had been sleeping on for a week, I held her as he sedated her.  She did not flinch as the needle went in, and she fell asleep quickly.  Then he euthanized her with another syringe, I will always remember that the solution was blue, and there was a lot of it.  It took a million years for him to slowly inject it into her.  Whenever she finally went, I do not know.  I really thought I would know; I thought I’d be able to feel it somethow. After he took out the needle, he used his stethoscope and confirmed her heart had stopped.

I kept petting her.  It was so hard to believe she was gone.  The vet took her paw print in a piece of clay and wrote her name in it. I cannot bear to look at it; I don’t even know where it is right now. I can only hope Lupe knows that I took good care of her, I did everything I could and I loved her so very much. 

I finally had to hand her over; the vet covered her up and took her with him.  I will get her ashes sometime in the next few days. 

I can’t believe how hard this has been.  It ranks right up there with my miscarriages, honestly, but it is different.  I never knew my babies, but I knew my BabyLu.  It is incredibly difficult to come home to a house without her.  I miss her yelling at me when I get home, berating me for daring to leave her alone for 9 hours.  I miss feeding her the stinky-ass wet food that she loved.  I miss how she talked to me, how she listened to me.  I miss talking to my husband about how “Lu did this, or Lu did that”.  Most of all, I miss Lupe coming to bed with us, getting under the blanket, and spooning with me.  So many things are lonely without my Babycat.

I don’t know what to do next. There is a giant hole in my heart.

Sweet dreams, my love. 

From The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood:

“I sink down into my body as into a swamp, fenland, where only I know the footing.  Treacherous ground, my own territory.  I become the earth I set my ear against, for rumors of the future.  Each twinge, each murmur of slight pain, ripples of sloughed-off matter, swellings and diminishings of tissue, the droolings of the flesh, these are signs, these are the things I need to know about.  Each month I watch for blood, fearfully, for when it comes it means failure….

I used to think of my body as an instrument, of pleasure, or a means of transportation, or an implement for the accomplishment of my will.  I could use it to run, push buttons of one sort or another, make things happen.  There were limits, but my body was nevertheless lithe, single, solid, one with me.

Now the flesh arranges itself differently.  I’m a cloud, congealed around a central object, the shape of a pear, which is hard and more real than I am and glows red within its translucent wrapping.  Inside it is a space, huge as the sky at night and dark and curved like that, though black-red rather than black.  Pinpoints of light swell, sparkle, burst, and shrivel within it, countless as stars.  Every month there is a moon, gigantic, round, heavy, an omen.  It transits, pauses, continues on and passes out of sight, and I see despair coming towards me like famine.  To feel that empty, again, again.  I listen to my heart, wave upon wave, salty and red, continuing on and on, marking time.”

                                                  

Enough said.

Seriously, look away now if you aren’t in the mood for a whole lot of negativity, because it’s coming your way. 

First of all, I am sick.  Today is my second day of my infirmity, and I am pretty much over sitting on the couch.  My sinuses are pounding, and my back really hurts.  I am sweating like I am sitting in a sauna.  Just waves and waves of sweat.  I am avoiding eye contact with my cat, because every time she sees me, she wants to sit on my lap, and she is just so damn hot I can’t stand it.  Poor kitty, she probably feels my pain and wants to comfort me.  Just kidding.  She just really likes sitting on my lap.   

I feel like I have been avoiding this flu/cold/whatever it is for a few weeks now.  I haven’t been this sick in a couple of years, so I guess I should be grateful for a long run of pretty decent health, at least in the immunity department.  It still sucks, though, and I have better things to do with the last two days of my winter vacation.  I had started a wallpaper-removing project in my foyer that is now on hold.  The goddamn Christmas tree is still up, and it’s a fire hazard by now.  I need to do some serious planning for the next few weeks of school, because everything I do on Monday is brand-new.  I want to go buy these really cute shoes I saw at DSW the other day.  Wahhhh!!!!  Instead, I sit here in my pile of perspiration, with my crack-whore hairdo, wishing I had energy to do any of those things. 

Second in line to being ill is the stress of knowing that the incredibly idiotic ex-wife has been fired from her job.  Again.  She lasted two months at this one.  I believe this is her 4th job in 2 years.  Maybe her 5th?  The only reason I know this so soon (she got canned on Wednesday) is because I have an acquaintance who worked with her in the same orthodontist office who promptly Facebook-messaged me to let me know the good news.  I guess she called in 5 times in the last month, and on the last one they told her not to bother to come in at all.  Her latest excuse not to come in to work (and, by the way, she only works 4 days a week)?  She had to get new brakes.  Stupid beyotch.

Why is this so stressful for me?  Every time she gets fired, it’s like a constant barrage of drama.  She, of course, has no money saved up for these sorts of situations, so she becomes very desperate.  There are constant pleas for more money on top of the child support that Albert already pays, and he pays a lot.  He gets two paychecks a month, and almost the entire first one goes to her.  Last year she claimed all three girls on her taxes, even though Albert was supposed to be able to claim one (and we owed the IRS last year because of that little trick), and I’m afraid she’ll do it again this year.   We made her pay us back last year by withholding part of the child support for several months, and she told her family that we were stiffing her on child support, and had all her sisters plus her father leaving voice mails on Albert’s phone calling him a deadbeat dad.  It’s just lovely. 

And it’s not just the money.  The bigger concern is how it affects the girls in the long run, and what sort of role model she is to them.  She lives in a world where it’s ok to not be responsible, it’s ok not to show up to work when you have “better” things to do, and it’s ok to go around begging other people to support you because your life is just so rough.  What lessons are they learning from their mom, who they spend most of their time with?  This terrifies me when I think about their future, because you need to have some sort of work ethic to make it in this world, and their mother has none.  It’s all about the handouts and entitlement, and they are going to have a rough time if they think that we are going to be still supporting them financially when they are well into their thirties, because it’s just not going to happen.  I don’t want to have to teach them this lesson the hard way, I just want them to grow up with those sorts of values instilled in them, but it’s sort of hard when you are not their main influence. 

Blech.

My final and most overarching bitch is about my fertility, of course.  Regardless of whatever else is going on in my life, good or bad, trying to make and keep a baby permeates everything.  Things have gotten quite confusing and disheartening because now, after several years of clockwork periods, my cycle is completely whacked.  It started on October 13, my 40th birthday of all days, when my period showed up a whole week early (happy birthday!).  I started seeing a naturopath, and was happy to have some apparent deficiencies (thyroid, androgens, iron, among others) addressed through a whole new regimen of supplements, but I am very stressed because my cycles have been anything but normal.  I am ovulating too soon, and having my period too early.  My doctor says to wait another cycle to see if things ‘work themselves out’, and it seems like a reasonable request.  She says it may be taking my body some time to adjust to all the new therapies we are trying, but honestly, I am sick of giving things time.  I am running out of time, people, and I can’t help but wonder if this is the beginning of the end for me, in terms of my fertility. 

When the New Year rolled around and I thought about possible resolutions, I toyed with the idea of resolving myself to giving up this dream, of firmly deciding to be okay, somehow, without ever having children of my own.  Maybe even giving up the idea of adoption, because that whole process seems like a complete pain in the ass.  I tried picturing my life without ever raising a child, and tried imagining all the things we could do with our lives if we never had a baby.  How glamorous it all could be!

Here’s the problem, though…..I couldn’t think of much.  Most of my daydreams involved travel, which would certainly be easier without a child, but I have to face that we don’t have the money to do the kind of travel I want to do anyway.  And I thought about retirement, and how, without a child to raise, it would be much more feasible to do what we’ve talked about doing, which is settle down in Mexico for our ‘golden years’.  But retirement is a long ways off, and what to do until then?  Maybe I am pathetic, or short-sighted, or unambitious, or boring even.  I just can’t think of anything I’d rather do in the next twenty years than create and nurture a family.  When those plans are taken out of my vision for my future, all that is left for me is a big black hole.  I do not get excited about this future in which I will struggle to find some sort of real purpose for my life.

And so I hold on to my desires, desperately cling to them, really.  That this isn’t the end of the fertility road for me.  That my weird cycles are really just a ‘fluke’ and that my body will bounce back to normal soon.  That I can be one of those 40 year olds who gets pregnant and stays that way full-term, despite the statistics.  That dreams do come true and that “good things happen to good people”.  That I will fulfill my purpose in life, which I believe is be a real mother. 

Until then, I will keep bitching. 

This weekend was our weekend with “The Girls”, Albert’s 11, 13, and 15 year old daughters.  On Friday, when I was making dinner, I was gently teasing the middle step-daughter about not talking to us.  She, who has entered the dicey world of pubescence, has ceased to talk to us about pretty much anything.  She comes over, does her time with us every other week, and hardly says a word.  This, coming from the girl who wouldn’t shut up scarcely two months ago.  From the girl who used to follow me around all the time, asking me questions, wanting to help me with a myriad of tasks.

“You know”, I said, while making dinner, “it’s okay to talk to me about your feelings”. 

“Talk to you?” she replied, “Why would I do that, you’re practically a stranger”.

She went on to immediately ‘take it back’ with a “well, not exactly a stranger….” but by then her voice had trailed off in my head, replaced with all kinds of other thoughts vying for my attention. 

She summed it up pretty perfectly.   I see these girls two weekends a month.  You can average that out to about 5 days a month.  That makes the time I spend with them roughly 60 days a year, out of 365.  You could pull up the calculator on your computer and do the math, just like I did, and figure out that’s 16% of their lives. 

We are strangers. 

When we first started dating and I had not yet met his daughters, I had all sorts of fantasies about what it would be like to have this automatic family, this gaggle of girls to possibly call my own.  I pictured affection, most of all – hugs and maybe even kisses, kids sitting on your lap, kids who would hold your hand.  I envisioned meaningful talks, and girly confessions, and the seeking-out of my advice.  Because, hey, I am a woman after all, and I have all kinds of wisdom to share.  I thought it would be a lot like having my own kids.

It hasn’t really worked out like that at all. 

While I would call our relationship generally respectable, and maybe even fun at times, this is not exactly what I had hoped for or pictured in my head.  I feel like I got here too late.  These girls are not looking for another mother.  They have a mother, and regardless of how I think of how incompetent she is in that role, they love her a thousand times more than they love me, if they love me at all.  The most I feel I will ever be to these young ladies is “Dad’s wife”. 

Albert keeps telling me how they will appreciate me and look back at what I did for them later, when they are old enough to have some perspective and reflect upon their childhoods.  So, basically, when they are in their twenties and beyond.  This is a long time to wait to have someone realize how much you’ve wanted to be part of their lives.  It’s a long time to wait for love.

I came across a blog lately in which I learned about the category called “childless, but not childfree”.  I guess this is what category I belong to.  This is a weird subset of motherhood to be a part of.  I don’t know exactly how to describe it, except it is, most of the time, very unfulfilling.  You feel mother-like emotions and concerns, yet you are not really allowed to act on them the way a “real mom” would, because your step-children still can treat you like you are a distant relation.  Other times, you have no motherly feelings at all, when you most expect you would.  For example, when I learned about the events of last Friday in Connecticut, my first thoughts did not go to my step-daughters, but to my students. In fact, I didn’t think of my step-daughters for hours when I heard of the news, and this disconcerts me.  What kind of “mother” am I??  To be frank, I feel closer to my students, who I incidentally refer to as “my kids” anyway.

If I did not feel a deep, biological need to procreate and have a child of my own flesh and blood, I suppose the condition of being ‘childless but not childfree’ would not be so painful.  If I did not yearn so much for this baby who I am becoming more and more convinced of every day that I will never have, maybe the rejection and disregard my step-daughters sometimes show for me would not be as difficult to bear.  If my own childlessness were not so much of a burden, perhaps it would not hurt so much when a step-child does not acknowledge my birthday, or bother to say “Happy Mother’s Day” in May.  Maybe it would be easier to face being called a ‘stranger’ by those you want so desperately to love you.  Even if they are only telling you the truth.

 

If you’ve read my previous post (http://wp.me/p2yhTT-2H), you’ll know that it keeps a slew of professionals to keep my lady parts up and running.  I’ve recently made some changes to my Uterine Care Team that I’m sure you are dying to hear about.  Because what else could be more interesting than that??

First of all, I’ve changed my OB/GYN.  I simply could not bear thinking about stepping foot again in my old OB’s office.  Even the thought right now makes me feel panicky and upset.  Even more so, I cannot handle seeing that ultrasound tech again, the one who confirmed all four of my miscarriages with her magic wand of doom.  And the fact that the lab lady knows me by name and is familiar with my whole story does not help matters.  This is not the set of “Cheers” and I prefer that everyone NOT know my name, especially when the reason everyone knows your name is because you’ve had one tragedy after another.  The whole place feels cursed to me, even though I do not blame anyone there for what happened.  I just had to get out.  Too many dead baby memories there.

My new OB is ok.  That’s about all I have to say about her.  The important thing is that she is new to me, and that I hopefully will less PTSD attacks in her care.

Who I am really in love with right now is my naturopath.  I was resistant to this idea at first, because I used to see a naturopath in my early twenties and nearly went bankrupt buying all these special supplements.  I also had an unpleasant experience treating a yeast infection with actual yogurt which I somehow inserted into my actual vagina (the damn treatment actually worked, but my god…..nasty does not begin to describe that process.  It was like I was trying to bake some sort of pie up in there).  I also have a great fear of turning into a bonafide Seattle hipster hippie, and worried that getting a naturopath would be a gateway drug that would lead me to having a chicken coop in my backyard and harvesting mushrooms in the forest on weekends.  I am NOT ready to stop shaving my legs, people.  I love smooth legs and pits.  And artificial sweeteners.  And caffeine.

Anyway, it’s not like that at all.  This woman actually listens to me, and reads my charts and test results like I am a real live human being.  She has had me tested for a bunch of things I’ve wondered about because I research this fertility shit way too much, but other doctors have just brushed off.  My RE failed to order tests for a whole bunch of clotting problems that may cause miscarriage, so this doctor sent me for some labs.  I’m still waiting for those results, but I am very curious.  Also, I think there is a fat chance I have lupus, but definitely want to rule that out as well, and this lovely lady has ordered that test for me as well.

 In the meantime, I have definitely learned a lot of useful information about my body.   It has been determined that I am out-of-range for optimal thyroid hormones when one is trying to conceive, so I am now taking a light dose of thyroid medication.  It turns out I have tested high in this area before, but none of my doctors have ever done anything about it because it wasn’t super-dramatic.  I’ve also been switched to taking folate instead of folic acid, which seems like a pretty easy fix for a variety of possible recurrent miscarriage causes.  I’ve suggested this multiple times to other doctors and again, brushed off.  I’ve learned that I should be taking ubiquinol instead of CoQ10 (which I’ve always read is good for egg quality) because it absorbs so much better, and that if I insert my progesterone vaginally (WAY less of a mess than yogurt, FYI), I won’t feel like such crap when I take it.  Additionally, I’m low in my iron levels, which may not be linked to miscarriage, but it’s sort of a bitch walking around anemic all the time, dontcha think, and maybe someone should have paid attention to this before if they actually gave a shit about me. 

Do I sound like I’m mad?  Well, I am pissed because I’ve been through hell, tried to educate myself about what might have caused all these losses, and then been told by multiple doctors to “stop asking Dr. Google” because I will drive myself crazy.  Well, guess what?  I’m crazy already, and a lot of that is because no one has really gone that extra mile to help me figure out how to keep a freakin’ baby in my stupid, old-ass uterus long enough to be viable and eventually make into my arms, alive and healthy. 

Yes, I am angry.  But even more so, I am grateful and……here it goes……take a deep breath…..hopeful.  It is so incredibly hard for me to say the H-word.  Other four-letter words, especially the really dirty ones, are far more likely to come out of my mouth, often and with great pleasure and gusto.  But hope has largely been out of my vocabulary since my last loss in June.  I have only started to recover this feeling now that I have this wonderful new doctor, this naturopath, who seems to be willing to go to bat for me and give me the best chance possible for doing this baby thing, finally.  And if I have to spend a shit-ton of money on expensive vitamins and eat all organic and crap in exchange for some hope, what the hell, I’ll do it.  Just let me keep my razor. 

So, after a few months off, we are trying again.  This is a bittersweet process.  I am equally excited and terrified to get pregnant.  When I think about it, I pretty much drive myself crazy.  As if I need any more crazy.  Um, no thanks.

The fact that I am taking progesterone at the onset of ovulation until either a) a positive test or b) the arrival of Aunt Flo, only adds to my insanity.  Here are my side effects of taking progesterone:

  • Nausea
  • Elevated basal body temperature
  • Bitchiness
  • Exhaustion
  • Pimples the size of which I have not seen since puberty
  • Extreme Fatness and General Low Self-Esteem
  • Late period
  • Crying, or wanting to cry, during “The Voice”

So, ladies and 2 gentlemen (yes, I am speaking to you, Jason and Albert, my #1 male fans – here’s a shout-out to you!), what other state of affairs do these symptoms mimic?  You got it – pregnancy!  What a glorious mind-fuck!

I have felt very pregnant the last week.  This is why I keep Peeing on a Stick, even though I started bleeding yesterday.  After all, I DID have some bleeding right at about this time the last time I was actually pregnant, so it might be happening again, right?  But that second line is not showing up, no matter how hard I stare.  It may be time to concede this month.

I’ll have a little two-week break until the next ovulation cycle, and then it all starts up again.  Lookin’ forward to it.

Progesterone, or………POISON???

 

Wow.  It’s been a long time since I’ve posted.  I guess that’s what going back to work will do to you.  No more waking up at 9 and thinking about all the things you need to do today, which total about 5, and usually included getting a massage or going to acupuncture, and shopping for something you ‘need’.  And writing in your blog.  Now you wake up and don’t even bother counting how many things are on your to-do list, because there are about a hundred, and they are big things like educate the Future Leaders of America.  And the blog gets forgotten.

But I miss it.  I find myself reflecting on stuff all the time, and how I might write about it.  I even give these ruminations titles, because that is one of the really fun parts.  One is called “Whoa-oh, Dream Cheater”.   Another is called, “What does it mean when your stepdaughter insists on pooping in the bathroom you are currently showering in instead of using the free bathroom? What does it MEAN???”  Maybe I’ll write those posts, or maybe the ideas will die before I get a chance, but dammit, it’s hard to find time.

However, I can’t neglect to write something about turning forty.  I mean, big deal, right?

I’ve never been one of those people who had some crazy plan since they were 8 about how their life would go.  I know some of these planners, who decided their college major in 6th grade because they already knew exactly what they wanted to be when they grew up.  That they would be married by age 28, honeymoon in Hawaii, and buy a house with ‘character’.  Then, by their early thirties, they would have 2 children, a boy and a girl, in that order.  And wouldn’t you know, fuckety-fuck, this is almost exactly how their life turned out, with a few unforeseen events along the way, of course.  Feel free to hate them right along with me.

I didn’t create timelines like that for myself.  In fact, I remember knowing more about what I didn’t want for my future more than I remember making plans to get the things I did want.  For a long time, I was very iffy about the idea of marriage, and thought maybe I could live without it.  I grew up with a single mom, and she seemed to do just fine without a husband, better off really.  When I did get married (the first time) to my high school sweetheart 8 years after high school, I was determined that marriage was forever and that there was no way in hell my marriage was ever going to end, no matter what.  When he wanted to divorce me, he practically had to beat me off with a stick.  I kept stalking him and refusing to give up, because we had said “until death do us part”, and I took that quite literally.  It took a phone call from the husband of the woman he was sleeping with to finally realize that if it were “until death do us part”, it was going to be his death if I didn’t let go, and maybe the fucker deserved to live.  Maybe.

I knew early on that I didn’t want to be poor, because we were pretty poor growing up.  How did I know we were poor?  Well, either we switched to using paper towels to using newspapers to using washcloths when we wiped our asses after we ran out of toilet paper either because:  a) my mom was too lazy to go the store, or b) we were poor.  And we washed our hair with bar soap after we ran out of shampoo because:  a) bar soap makes your hair silky smooth, or b) we were poor.  I think it was choice b) in both cases.   Anyway, I surmised that college was the solution to this poverty thing, so I went.  I didn’t know what I wanted to study, I just liked school.  One thing led to another, and I walked out of the UW with a Spanish degree, which I didn’t know what do with, except I was sure as hell that I didn’t want to teach it.  So, naturally, I got a job teaching pre-schoolers to middle-schoolers Spanish.  And I fell in love with teaching, and went on to get my certificate so I could teach general elementary.  Go figure.  Teaching certainly hasn’t made me rich, but I am not poor.  I own a house!  I have a 401k! I stockpile toilet paper and shampoo!

In high school I knew I didn’t want to have kids early.  A year and a half ago, I went to my high school reunion and opened up my “time capsule” (which was a few photos and a few questionnaires I had filled out in my then-perfect printing).  One question was “Where do you see yourself in 5 years?  In 10?”  I wrote, “You better not be pregnant, dumb bitch!!”  I think back then I had a really big fear of kids “ruining it all”.  I had 3 siblings, 2 of which I helped raise, and aforementioned single mom, and it was not a life I sought for myself.  I was determined to break the pattern of white-trashedness I had grown up with, and I was pretty sure getting knocked up right out of high school would have made that impossible.

Mission accomplished.  However, I have always known that I did want children, at some point, and when I hit my 30s it was less of a want and more of a primal, visceral need.   Ten years is a long time to live with this unrequited desire, and now, as I turn 40, the failure to accomplish this feels like a heavy, wet blanket weighing me down.  Like I said, I wasn’t much of a planner, but I really did count on having a child in this lifetime, and I believed it would happen.  Now I am not so sure.  And while I am so grateful for so many things I have going on in my life as I approach this new decade, it’s hard to come to terms with this realization.  I don’t care how many celebrities are having babies after 40, or that you “know someone who just had a baby, and she’s 43!”  40 is a big “fuck you” age when it comes to women’s fertility in general – most women who are forty either have the children they want, have no children by choice, or simply can’t have children.  The odds aren’t good for me, people.  So keep your fingers crossed, and I will keep my legs open and we’ll see if I can’t defy the statistics.

While driving to work the other morning, I was looking at Facebook on my phone while drinking a coffee, eating a piece of peanut-butter toast, listening to an audiobook, and putting on my mascara.  I am an extremely capable multi-tasker.  Don’t let the cops tell you anything to the contrary.

Anyway, there was yet another birth announcement, which I have gotten pretty immune to, meaning I usually don’t fall apart anymore when I see them.  This one was different, however.  The waterworks and sobs started pretty much immediately, and the freshly applied mascara was soon melting away.  This announcement was from my dear friend and her partner, who birthed the most gorgeous (and huge – 9 lb, 11oz!!) baby boy.

This is the second child for this couple.  I’ll call them Maggie and Angela.  They have managed to make baby-making look easy.  The way they do it is this:  they have a dear friend who happily agreed to be their sperm donor.  For the first child, it was Maggie’s turn.  When Maggie ovulated, they let bio-dad know, and he promptly did his thing in a cup and brought the baby-batter over.  Candles were lit, soft music was put on, syringes were loaded, and BOOM, Maggie conceives.  The very first time.  She has a gorgeous tow-headed daughter nine (ten) months later.  Then a few years later, my friends decide it is time to expand their family.  It’s Angela’s turn now.  They track Angela’s cycle, and again the super-cool inseminator guy makes his donation to the cause.  More candles are lit, romantic indie hits are pulled up on Pandora, and it’s turkey baster time.  This time I think it took them a few tries before they got their BFP.  Fast forward nine (ten) months, and a perfect baby boy comes out, strangely looking like Maggie to me (how did THAT happen??).

And I’m left in the car with my mascara on my cheeks and no appetite to finish my toast.

Before I go on about why, know that I greatly over-simplified Maggie and Angela’s story.  They have definitely had their struggles, which I am leaving out here because doing so makes my struggles seem so much more important.  This in turn will make you feel sorry for me, and will urge you to cheer me on, which is my goal here.  I have certain liberties as an author of this blog, and I am fully employing them now.

Anyway, this birth announcement was so much more upsetting than the other daily dozen ones posted on Facebook because in so many ways it seems unfair.  Maggie and Angela are just so damn lucky.  It’s complicated, or at least seems like it should be complicated, to get pregnant when one of you does not have the capability to make sperm.  Or shoot it out of a penis.  Pair that with the fact that both of them got pregnant and were actually able to keep the baby for a whole nine (ten) months instead of suffering loss after loss, and that really gets the jealousy running through my veins.  The icing on the cake is that first they have a girl, then they have boy, and they are perfectly spaced apart in age.  Don’t look at me right now, because I am perfectly green with envy.

Don’t get me wrong, I am extremely happy for my friends.  I can be happy for them AND be jealous of them at the same time – remember, I am the world’s best multi-tasker.  They are amazing people and are going to be the best, coolest, most beautifuliest mommies ever.  I just wish they would throw a bit of lesbian luck my way in the fertility department.

I know this is supposed to be a blog about pregnancy loss and all the related bullshit that goes along with it, but forgive me while I revel in other topics while I can. Don’t worry, I’ll get back to making you all cry soon enough. School has started, we just started TTC again, and I’m going to turn fucking forty in a month. There’s going to be a lot to bitch and panic about.

Anyway, the good news is that I am now 2+ weeks hitched, and I am still pretty much over the moon about it. The staff and kids at school are diligently trying to pronounce my new, fairly more ‘exotic’ last name, and I sort of feel all giddy inside every time they do. When you get a new name after nearly 40 years, you kind of feel like a new person, and that’s not a bad thing. It’s time for a fresh start.

We tied the knot on August 22nd, and everything went so well, so low-stress. We went to the courthouse with a select group of family members, and the judge was nice enough to let us say our vows in a little park-like area outside the building in the dappled light beneath the trees. I felt absolutely present in the moment, though I couldn’t possibly recall most of what I said. My memories of that day basically revolve around what I was feeling, which was complete joy, and getting lost in Albert’s eyes as I promised to be his lifelong partner while the people I love most in the world looked on. By far, and I know it is a bit cliche, but it’s true – it was the best day of my life.  One that will be hard to top.