Archive for May, 2007

Published by PaintingChef on 31 May 2007

From the girl in charge…

I know. Commenting issues galore. Its like a smorgasboard of crazy all Paula Abdul style with the wild hair and the tripping over your dog and falling ass over tea kettle down some stairs. Or… you know… just an error message when you comment. USUALLY… your comment is showing up anyway. And you are all so sweet and loving with the emails when I ramble and pour my heart out about busted ovaries and uninviting uterus. I love you like chocolate cake.

Also? Patrick and I made it to Napa even though we missed our flight. I never thought I’d see the day I said this but I kind of heart Delta today. And wine. And you my dear, sweet internet.

Published by PaintingChef on 29 May 2007

Channeling my impatience and uncertainty into some serious navel-gazing.

Let me start this by being very up-front and honest about something painfully obvious… I have never given birth. I stubbed my toe this weekend and it was woefully painful and I cried a little and then Lilly climbed my leg again. But not once have I ever given birth.

I’ve heard of this phenomenon in which women who HAVE given birth manage to completely block out the whole unpleasantness of pregnancy and childbirth by the time that kid is a week old or so. And were you to ask them what it was like they would instantly tell you it was all gumdrops and unicorns and sliding down chocolate covered rainbows.

Well in the past year, three of my very favorite infertile bitches have become mothers. Alex finally has her beloved daughter adopted from Guatemala, Statia gave birth to her son after a long battle with IVF and Zube Girl is now the proud mother of Cora Jane following countless heartbreaking miscarriages. I had the same question for each of them. Quite simply… Was it worth it?

Because I know the heartache of those negative tests. Or the devastation of knowing that you can only sit and wait while your body spirals out of control and you miscarry. Again. I know the frustration of feeling like someone else, some very evil and moody person, has taken over your body and you float above yourself and listen as you throw yet another tantrum because your body is pumped full of hormones and fertility drugs. The stress that infertility puts on your marriage as you struggle to understand what you did to deserve this while crack whores and teenagers wander around all knocked up with babies they don’t even want. The hours you spend crying and simply staring into space because, against the odds, you managed to find this wonderful person and you positively ache to raise a child with them but your body betrays you and instead you are left trying to find a way to fill the growing hole in your life. The void that you retreat a little further into every single day. As you watch people around you get pregnant (oops!) you feel yourself filling with resentment and rage until you find you have no choice but to detach yourself from anything and everything child- and pregnancy-related. Because you are afraid that when you do finally snap, when it does finally do you in (something that you know is not a matter of but simply when) you won’t be alone. You won’t be somewhere you can allow yourself to grieve for the life you are afraid you will never have because you know that when those moments come, they are sudden and painful and will hit you like the proverbial ton of bricks. These are the private thoughts of someone dealing with infertility.

And so when I ask each of these three new mothers if it was worth it, I desperately needed to hear a resounding yes. YES! Without a doubt, it was worth the weeks and months spent in a foreign country away from a beloved husband waiting for paperwork. Or that it was worth every penny spent on IVF procedures and the dedication and pain and out-of-control feelings that went along with it. And that it was worth the years of not understanding why your body seemed to reject each pregnancy. That every positive test, something that should have filled your heart with joy and kept you up at night planning was bittersweet because you’d learned that it would only be a matter of time before it all came crashing down again. Because I’ve been hovering precariously close to a point where I’m not willing to deal with it anymore. I’m on the verge of saying you know… things are pretty damn good just the way they are…

But each of these women, separately, gave me exactly the answer I so longed to hear. Yes. Without a doubt. It was worth all of it and much, much more. Do not give up, they told me. Your child is out there too.

Maybe some new mothers do block out part of the road that gets them where they are; but I don’t believe that is the case for infertiles. I think that our individual battles become so interwoven with who we are that it is impossible to not look at that child and remember what was endured to become a mother. They will never take their motherhood for granted as something that just… happens because it’s supposed to; because it’s the next step in their lives and that’s what their bodies are hard-wired to do. Our journeys to motherhood, at whatever point we may find ourselves on them, are worn like battle scars, and they are something that change us for life. Perhaps there is no such thing as a former infertile. Rather we are “in recovery” and know that this is something that will always be a part of our lives.

Hello. My name is Susannah. And I am once again waiting to see if I might be a recovering infertile.

Published by PaintingChef on 28 May 2007

But I can probably combat the pain with a little extra vino.

Dear Sweet Yet PAINFULLY Adorable Newest Member Of Our Family…

Hi. You’re pretty. But mommy needs to talk to you about something very important that is becoming a serious problem in our relationship.

I know you are tired of living in the bathroom but you are about the size of a flea and mommy wears stabby shoes and usually has no desire to skewer you like a side of beef and drag you around. That imagery makes her heart cry a little. But you will notice that you are having free roam of the house a little more every day as we become more and more confident that Luna isn’t going to pick you up and bury you in her litter box.

Back to the bathroom situation though… when mommy is sitting there on the toilet all innocent like she would really appreciate it if you could cool it with the running full speed across the floor and hurtling your tiny little furry body through the air and attaching all 1.2 pounds of yourself firmly to her shin with your masses of little claws. That shit hurts. Not to mention bleeds. And you kind of look like a flying squirrel when you do it which also freaks me out a little… You see… in a few days mommy is going to be cooling her heels in Napa Valley floating on a fluffy pink cloud of cheese and Cabernet and has many adorable dresses cherry picked for the weekend. With cute shoes of the non-stabby variety for optimal winery touring and tasting safety. (The advisability of the 3 inch espadrille wedges is still in question but I’m assuming their fabulosity will win out) However when the lower half of her legs look like she’s taken a roll in a rose garden sans pants the cuteness effect of the carefully chosen dresses is somewhat lessened.

We won’t even discuss what you’ve done to my hands and arms. Let’s just say that I’m sure the phrase “meth-fit” has crossed more than one person’s mind. Enjoy those claws now baby because as soon as the vet says go those suckers are history. I love you but I possibly love my skin more. And I urge you and your instruments of pain and torture claws not to ask where you fall in relation to my love for the big red couch… you won’t like the answer.

Also? Why did you stop drinking from a bottle? I miss that.

Love, Kisses and Catnip (when you are older),

Published by PaintingChef on 25 May 2007

Somehow I wouldn’t be surprised to see locusts in my kitchen after this one…

Life, as a whole, pretty much baffles me. I have an uncanny ability to zig when I should zag or put it all on black when every sign points towards red. Despite this obvious defect that is absolutely NOT operator error I managed to turn out all right. I somehow lucked into a fantabulous husband, a family that is pretty damn great and I even know some nice people.

But there is one thing that is constant in my life, one thing that I am absolutely gifted at and for which you should always take my word. If I like it or I’ve finally discovered something wonderful it will not be a question of “if” but only “when” it will no longer be available.

It never fails… shampoo, conditioner AND best ever hair smoothing goo? Gone. Skincare? Discontinued. Perfect lipcolor that took me ages to find? Must now be purchased from Hong Kong. (Dior Shiniest Pomegranate… I’m looking at you) The good Pepperidge Farm hamburger buns? Sayonara. Even my favorite bras at Target! And don’t even get me started on the “new and improved” Tampax.

I realize it is because the world hates me that this happens. I get that and I’ve learned to adapt. Understand? No. I am generally a good person unless you have on your stupid hat with flashing lights or I really hate your shoes. I am nice to children and animals. I buy all the ridiculous shit that is peddled door to door for school fundraisers. I hold doors open for little old ladies. I’ve even started going to the gym again. I cook Patrick dinner and buy him beer at the grocery store. But fine. Whatever. The universe hates me.

And I was able to handle every bit of this, laugh at it and make jokes about it. Haha. The gods think I killed their puppy and then wrote about it in my diary and now they won’t ever let me have a baby. Everyone drink!

Until today. Today I am putting the universe on notice. You can have my shampoo, my lipstick AND my Target bras ($11.99!!) but how dare you take my hair stylist. My wonderful, fabulous, gifted colorist who took away the orange and evened out the choppy layers while still managing to make my hair look LONGER! He was my Tim Gunn, Ken Paves and Samantha all rolled up into one and now some art school in North Carolina gets him? I bet they don’t hold doors open for little old ladies at department stores or let people with one or two items cut in front of them at the grocery store.

Girls have killed for less and been fully justified…

Published by PaintingChef on 23 May 2007

Much like the DMV. But with BLOOD!

At about 2:00 yesterday afternoon my work friend Sheila walked up to my desk and very calmly and very quietly asked me to take her to the emergency room because she thought she was having a heart attack. Being someone who likes to think that she can remain calm in situations such as these, I, also very calmly and quietly, said alright, let’s go. (However when faced with situations related to shoe sales, dishes in the sink, fertility drugs, and the god-squad brand of militant republicans we grow here in Georgia I go all twitchy and squinty)

We got into the car and immediately I started the running questions in my head… beginning with “Holy shit. I have NO IDEA where the emergency room is.” Perhaps you are unaware of this fact but Augusta, GA has roughly 12 hospitals per person. There are hospitals everywhere. And by everywhere I mean that they are all stacked within a 10 block radius downtown. You also may or may not know (most likely not… unless you are my sister and are still experience post-traumatic stress syndrome and intermittent twitches from that time I was the DD at your bachelorette weekend in Atlanta because I was all knocked up but actually I wasn’t anymore I just didn’t know it and MAN I could have been drinking tequila) that when it comes to navigating city streets I immediately take stupid. The thought of one way streets and no left turns and OH MY GOD PARALLEL PARKING JUST KILL ME NOW cause me to break out into hives. And possibly pee just a little.

The second question that was dancing around in my head was whether this was a situation that warranted the whole hazard lights on and running red lights with the bobbing and weaving in the traffic. I quickly decided that since I recognized Sheila’s distress as an anxiety attack (being no stranger to them myself) I would avoid exposing her to repeated near-death situations and would instead proceed with the whole “calmly and quietly” theme. Breaking theme in the middle of a party is bad form anyway.

I did manage to get us to the emergency room with no wrong turns and only a couple of horn-honking incidents. As this was my first Georgia emergency room event I was unprepared for the events that followed. In a span of roughly three and a half hours I was witness to…

* 7 separate crystal-meth incident sightings

* 1 shirtless child bleeding from the head being held by very unconcerned parents

* 1 infant being fed chocolate milk from a bottle by aforementioned unconcerned parents

* 1 bloody towel abandoned by unconcerned parents when they took their children (one bleeding, one hopped up on chocolate milk) and left without ever seeing a doctor

* 1 woman who called herself “Aunt Francis” and drove her whole brood to the emergency room in their pajamas because her husband had “the thumpings” again

* 2 children (one adorable and one truly unfortunate looking… so sad) ignored by Aunt Francis and allowed to run all over the emergency room waiting area in BARE FEET in close proximity to abandoned bloody towels and crystal-meth incidents

* 1 woman who had just given in completely to gravity and was letting her fun bags swing so low I briefly thought they were an oddly shaped fat roll

* 1 nail-gun incident

* 2 fist fights (I only bore visual witness to one of them, the other was loud and behind closed doors)

* 1 toothless hospital administrator

For those of you keeping score, that covers my crazy quota for the week. All other crazy will be marked “return to sender”. So I’m hoping my mother won’t get offended when I wait until Sunday to return her phone calls…

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