Best Laugh Ever …
Y’all it’s day 4 of Cycle Four and it hit 102 degrees yesterday, with more of the same today, so after finishing up my work and picked up a pack of blueberry lemonade popsicles last night (hey, psycho heat waves like this demand a holiday from all the “warm foods” my acupuncturist prescribed for fertility – adzuki bean stew is going to have to wait til next week), I marathon watched four hours of Chelsea. And because what the hell else am I supposed to do when our window a/c is in the bedroom and our TV is in the living room? Well, of course, lie around longer under the fan in one’s skivvies and find out what Netflix recommends.
Fortunately for me, rather than the normal weird combination of recommendations, this time it was Ali Wong’s Baby Cobra special on Netflix. Y’all, I nearly peed myself it was so funny. All I can say is any woman who can be 7 months pregnant, incorporate infertility and progesterone jokes into her standup act and still make me cackle? I’m a fan. And yes, she’s pregnant now, but she’s gone though a shit-ton to get there so even though I had a bit of trepidation as an infertile watching a pregnant lady for an hour, it was over in seconds. She’s Freakin’ Hilarious. Here’s the trailer if you still need a little nudge.
Not the Usual…but kind of?
Tonight is IM injection #2 so I may be dealing with a different vibe by my next post, but right now I’m feeling very, very zen. The morning after the first shot I, as usual, felt like a walking zombie in the morning I was so tired, but I woke up and told my husband that I’m not going to let it take over my body this time if I can help it at all. I will acknowledge it, then I will continue to go about my day.
So far, so good. Again, it’s day four, but hey, as I told my husband “there ain’t nothin’ wrong with optimism.” We made a pact that this time around, we are going to give Fear a rest for this final cycle and live our lives, continue on our way, and know that – no matter what happens – we are already a family and enjoy a wonderful life together. Adding a child will enhance, not create, our home and our family.
Contemplating Hope, Optimism, and Faith
It’s an interesting thing, comparing the terms “hope” and “optimism”. Researching the two recently, I saw there are WIDELY varying perceptions of what each word means and what the differences are between the two. My perspective has always been that optimism is an overall feeling and outlook towards life, while hope is a bit more focused on a particular outcome.
“Optimism is being confident of the future, the belief that things will be alright and positive. Hope, on the other hand, is the feeling that something wanted might happen.” (source)
That being said, there are many who will look at the words in the exact opposite way. Many will say that Hope is more grounded in reality, while Optimism is not…i.e., that hope is what gets you through, while optimism is on the same wavelength as blind ignorance.
Vaclav Havel said that Hope is “the certainty that something makes sense, regardless of how it turns out.” I can’t agree with that. If these embryos and my uterus still give me the middle finger, does that really “make sense”? It doesn’t, and never will. It’s just fucked up when you go through this shit for however long and see others finding success while you’re still without.
And it doesn’t have to make sense. Many things in life don’t.
Along with this, the word Hope is used by some as an acronym, i.e. “Have Only Positive Expectations”, which to me is the opposite of realism, because when it comes to infertility treatments, that to me is a) setting myself up for a potentially massive fall, b) not letting it be OK if the results are negative, and c) not allowing a couple to end their journey and find a new path outside of DEIVF.
And hey, if you’re hopeful, that’s cool for you…so many things in life are about our various perceptions rather than concrete scientific facts. As for my husband and I, our inspiration parallels more to what Ambrose Bierce said, that Optimism is:
“the belief that everything is beautiful, including what is ugly”
…and happily, like Robert Brault said, that:
“an Optimist is someone who figures that taking a step backward after taking a step forward is not a disaster, it’s a cha-cha.”
We all know about hindsight’s clarity, and what we learn after the fact. Two major things that relied on tragedy for me to be where I am today?
- My divorce from my first husband in 2005. While I laid in bed for seemingly ever after filing, wondering what the hell was happening to my life, I did not know at the time that in 6 years I’d connect with the man who is truly and honestly the love of my life. Does it make sense that my first husband suddenly became a drinker and fell down that rabbit hole? Nope. But he did, and I left, and while I didn’t feel hopeful, I was optimistic that I overall would be okay…which is what kept me going.
- I was born because another child died. My mother’s second son died in a tragic accident at just over a year old. She was married to her first husband and had her 2 boys and textbook life back in the mid 1960’s. Then David passed, her marriage disintegrated as her husband fell deep into the bottle to escape the pain, she had one more child with him, then left for good. Several years later she met my father, they got married, and I was born a couple of years later, when she was 33 (“old” for childbearing in those days). And while the marriage didn’t last (nor do I completely understand how it started, besides guessing that my dad was the “cute Army guy to rebound with who wanted to be a stepfather to her two kids”), I am alive because of this series of events.
Now that’s hindsight.
And these things give me optimism…the knowledge that my life has purpose (even if I don’t always know what that is!) and that even if there is failure, we will forge our way in a new direction and learn so much along the way. And that I suppose is where Optimism intersects with Faith.
NO, not faith in the religious “happy clapper” (my husband’s term, not mine) way. As blogger Michelle says, “I don’t know what or who is out there looking over us, or if there is anyone out there at all. But I don’t need a group to tell me that my beliefs are right or wrong. And, honestly, I’m going to put faith in myself before I put faith into a being I’ve never seen…You can accept the existence of other ideologies without agreeing with them.” Just, Faith.
Or is that simply Trust?
See? Words can mean many things to many people. Language is kinda awesome that way if you think about it… 🙂
In Other News
Well it’s not huge news as we have nothing new from the adoption agency, but we keep plugging along in little ways to help us get closer to the day we get to meet and bring home our little girl.
And right now? It’s frequent flyer miles. I swear, when you are in the black hole waiting period that comes with the lengthy waits during the adoption process, you’ve got to celebrate the little things.
You see, being an international family already, with a husband whose home country is literally SEVENTEEN time zones away (and very expensive flights because of this), we have not been back to visit Australia since he moved here permanently over two years ago, shortly before we got married. We knew that going in, and that a trip would not happen until after we had a child…and that holy cow, how would that even work on such a long flight anyhow, right?
Well, being a bit of a Planning Petunia (who also had used miles on my very first trip to Oz four years ago), I committed us right away to accruing frequent flyer miles on Alaska Airlines’ plan, using our mileage credit card for literally EVERY purchase, including utilities, cell phone, internet, groceries, weekend getaways medical bills – even IVF, yes indeedy – been paid with the card and then almost always paid off each month to avoid paying the interest. (Only our mortgage is not included in that, because they don’t allow it). They also have special ways to accrue extra and/or double miles at certain restaurants, retailers, etc. – kind of like coupon clipping, it takes determination, but is WELL worth it. I also got a business mileage card for my own company which, while I don’t have a ton of expenses, gave me 25K miles for signing up and every office supply and networking lunch I go on and estimated tax payment? Going towards the trip across the Pacific someday.
And I gotta say, this has made a MASSIVE difference. Originally, we thought we might use the accrued miles to cover the cost of our adoption flight, but when we thought about it, we realized that a) we actually will have to make two trips to Addis, b) that flying as a family to Australia would ultimately cost way more especially if our kiddo is old enough to require her own seat (and 17 hours with a baby on your lap if not in coach where just someone in front of you leaning their chair back means their face is almost in your lap? the horror…), c) there are SO many miles going back and forth to Addis that we could be accruing if we bought the tickets ourselves.
So what does that mean, you ask? It means that if we pay for the trips to Addis ourselves (a massive financial gulp at first), that ultimately when it’s time to go to Australia (hopefully a couple years from now)?
We’ll be able to fly business class. Yeeeeeah boyyyyy!
If you’ve never flown business class before, I can tell you (from a one-time upgrade years ago that I swear was a reservation agent mistake) that it is frickin magical compared to coach. You can move your legs without jamming your feet under the seat, your hips and arms aren’t constantly grazing the person next to you as you squeeze your ass into those seats, AND yep, the person in front of you can still put their seat back without you wanting to stab them in the shoulderblades. 🙂
But the best part about Qantas business class? The fucking Skybed. So, so rad. The beds go all the way back, y’all. Meaning, for a gal like me who utterly cannot sleep sitting up no matter how long the flight, the dream could finally be realized to nap on a plane.
I never cease to be amazed at how much condescension and trolling comments are out there in social media. Stuff people would rarely, if ever, say to someone’s face, is spit out there on others because they have no skills at having intelligent, sensitive, respectful conversations.
From the snarky gossipiness of many users on Nextdoor, the neighborhood social network, that my husband and I were discussing with a fellow neighbor at the cafe this morning (we canceled our memberships after watching a stunning amount of nastiness between people who literally live within blocks of each other), to the lack of responsibility that companies like LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook take to eliminating the threats, racism, sexism and other attempts at intimidation that many users use on the comments (yep, even on the professional networking site LinkedIn, hate speech is free flowing and not removed by LI no matter how many complaints are filed on the trollers), to Pinterest where there’s a legion of people ready to tell women going through IVF that they are murderers because their unused embryos may go to science, to right here in blog-land. Recently I left a compliment to a blogger, including a personal anecdote, and found myself harangued by two particularly snarky holier-than-thou commenters who were set on personally insulting me and my family because they believed not only their views were the only viable perspective (because as one person they are supposedly experts on the topic), but that it was appropriate to tell me how to start my family, from our adoption to our use of donor eggs. It was not only ignorant (as they didn’t obviously read my remarks mentioning that everyone’s story is different) and disrespectful, it was downright nasty.
And I admit, I defended myself rather than just roll my eyes and walk away. I asked why they were saying things to personally insult me, someone they didn’t know. But you know, people who have the nerve to shit all over you online pretending to “educate” you are hardly the types to have open minds and hearts.
Why do people do this? WTF is it with trolls?
I saw a quote the other day that summed up my dismay: “On the internet you can be anything you want. It’s strange that so many people choose to be stupid.”
So I breathe deeply, not let the hormones in my body take me further down their mean girl rabbit hole, and turn the page. I remember that my zen is what is most important, and I say another thank you to the many women around me who are unafraid to share their stories about their roads to parenthood, their trials and tribulations, their vulnerabilities and strength. They are who I applaud. They are who I embrace.