Entry #41: Two Plus One

Just concentrating on living my life, you know? Today was one of those beautiful days that reminded us that good things are to come.

We biked over to the Native Plant Sale to pick up a bunch of shrubs (at a couple of bucks a piece, they were a steal!) we’d ordered for the yard, and practically sprinted to the garden tools to get planting these beauties:

  • Baldhip Rose
  • Black Gooseberry
  • Douglas Spirea
  • Golden Currant
  • Mockorange
  • Nootka Rose
  • Oceanspray
  • Tall Oregon Grape
  • Red Flowering Currant
  • Snowberry
  • Thimbleberry

Why put this in my Two Plus One column? Because during this crap we deal with, we have to keep LIVING. We can’t obsess every single minute about what our bodies are or aren’t doing. We are more than walking reproductive systems. They may be fucked up uteruses and ovaries and the like, but WE are not broken women (or men, for those fellas who are also struggling out there).

Fucked up body parts and fucked up human beings are NOT one and the same, and we have to remind ourselves – and each other – of ALL that we truly are as individuals. I have walked down the streets of my neighborhood some days feeling so goddamn defective, and no one knows what’s inside me. I wonder how it is those ones who (to my perhaps paranoid mind) seem to be avoiding us. Or you get the three word acknowledgements with zero interest in spending time together. Or the one who was one of your closest friends who canceled plans for almost an entire year, each time at the last minute. Or my husband’s family member who’s actually struggled with this and has stayed silent, in particular to me, since the beginning of this chapter. We are no longer volunteering (outside of this blog) what we’re doing now when it comes to these attempts. We know that when the shit comes down, he and I are the ones who will unconditionally, unquestioningly have each others’ backs.

common-caused-of-infertility

Infertility affects BOTH people in the relationship! (image source)

And you know, it’s funny, the support systems on the outside are changing as well. With my husband’s work schedule temporarily changing to accommodate the opening of the new store he’s moving to, it has temporarily suspended our ability to see our counselor who’s been helping us face the challenges of this chapter in our story. So I let her know that we’d instead make an appearance at her evening support group.  And get this, rather than it being a once-a-month small group (we no longer go to RESOLVE meetings because it’s basically just people rehashing their current status like AA, not actually giving us tools to face the challenges, like her small group offered), it’s been changed it to a four-weeks-in-a-row workshop series twice a year, that is NOT open to men.

How fucked up is that, men not being welcome into an infertility support group. As far as I’m concerned, that’s incredibly cruel to keep partners out of the process. It further communicates to us that infertility is “a woman’s problem” with motherhood being above fatherhood, and keeping the men in our lives as bystanders.

The other option, I shit you not, is a group you have to pay hundreds to attend. As if infertility is not bleeding most of us of our savings accounts. It’s hard enough that our own counselor won’t go through insurance so we have to shell out $75 each visit! If she wasn’t so good for my husband, I’d be outta there, but she’s helped him through this chapter beautifully, and for that I am truly grateful (and in April when our FSA account refills the cost can go on that).

The other woman I am going to give a shout out to? Our “new” mum down in Australia. My husband’s father passed away shortly down in Australia after we got married here in the US, and I’d never had the chance to meet him or his beloved wife (who live near Geelong, Victoria). My husband and his father had a bit of a checkered passed, influenced tremendously by his mother’s decades of lies that colored the perspectives of their children, so much so that my husband didn’t know who to trust, and just stayed away. We learned after his heart attack that took his life that his mother had been making up stories about his father for decades, since their divorce 25 or so years ago. We never knew that he even knew we were getting married – turns out it was shared it with him yet not mentioned to us. And to learn that he’d asked about my husband and I? Absolutely devastating to never know this, to never realize we were in his thoughts as he prepared to leave his home country, as his mother had lied him multiple times, telling him that his father wanted nothing to do with him. In late summer of 2014 after his passing, we received a large envelope of photographs from his father’s sweet wife (I hate the word “stepmom”, as it is a stilted word that to me, reminds me of my own father’s wife who made zero attempt to have a relationship with me). We reached out to her, and over the past year and a half, have developed a bond with her that can only be described as exactly what I always wished for but never knew was possible. Someone who cares, who is genuine, who is full of love. Or as Dan says, “a good stick” 🙂 When she asked if she could be our Mum, I cried happy tears. When our first DEIVF failed? We got flowers and a sweet card and a letter over email that was much more than three words. We got real support.

And with all of the infertility battles, we still await our referral for our little one to come from Ethiopia. Our agency directors are there this week and should have some kind of update for us when they get back, they said. So in the meantime, I want to share a beautiful “gotcha day” video of an Australian couple who adopted twice from there. This is for their son Atlas, and after this one is over it leads to their second video of their daughter they brought home from the same orphanage (with their son in tow). So gorgeous to see, so much hope for us!

 

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