Cycle 4, Week 2
The interesting thing about this cycle? It’s not actually all that interesting thus far! I was pretty knackered the morning after the first shot, but the morning after the second shot I was just fine…I actually slept the best sleep I have in a couple of weeks! There’s nausea, of course, but I’m really focusing on allowing things to present themselves, acknowledge them, and then continue about my day.
I’m glad to not be on Facebook, Twitter, even Yelp, where too many users are either focused on bragging or attacking. My time on LinkedIn (which as a recruiter I use significantly) is now limited to real work time rather than perusing the posts, and I’m only accepting the positive energy that comes from others here in blogland. I haven’t got time for the snarks, the haters, or the holier-than-thous (thank you Baby Science Project for that encouragement!). I am embracing the “permission slip” that Uncomfortably Optimistic encouraged…and thankful for the support out there.
My acupuncturist asked me yesterday what type of self-care I did for myself this past weekend and it was limited to “um, it was 102 degrees so I basically laid under a fan?” (Y’all, I don’t take heat well.) But I think I actually did okay in the heat – for me – and didn’t hide in my bedroom near the window A/C unit – I still wrote, still did my work, still kept truckin’ along under the fan, just operating at slower-mo and knowing in a few days it’d be over. Yesterday was the last day of our hot spell at 90 degrees, and we’re now back in the normal high 70’s…ahhhh!
That being said, I did make an appointment for another facial…and these feet? Well, a pedicure definitely is part of self-care, especially when I’ve not had these sad things taken care of since last year! 🙂
The Cart Before the Horse
I’ve been wanting to write about this for a while, but I always felt like it would jinx me. Needless to say, with five treatment fails behind me now, I’m not jinx-able. So let’s just write about it!
“If I don’t drum up work, it will not appear. If my business isn’t pulling in money, I will not get paid.”
~ from When You Work For Yourself, Is “Maternity Leave” Possible?
This is my reality. My husband’s job is what provides us affordable (albeit shitty relative to other med/large employers) healthcare benefits. Because he has switched careers (his good paying government social services job in Australia translated to a shitty near-minimum-wage job here in the USA, so it made more sense for him to go into a new field), it means that I am the primary breadwinner financially. Therefore if/when we have a baby, and/or if/when the adoption goes through, there will be some figuring out to do, for sure.
Fortunately, as a solopreneur, my work is not as constantly out-and-about as it used to be. I used to go to a lot more networking events, occasionally speak at events, etc., but now I reserve that external time for my coaching sessions and my recruiting client meetings and new hire celebration lunches (whenever possible, although DEIVF-related appointments and side effects interfered with a number of them and I’ve had to use a delivery service 😦 ). So, the biggest thing for me will be balancing when I can do calls with my candidates and blocking out two days a week for those face-to-face meetings where I can’t strap the kiddo to my back and be on my way. Heh.
That, of course, is the easy part of logistics. The parts we cannot predict as parents are the other things – if I get pregnant, how will my pregnancy go? Will I be able to work up til my due date? How soon can I get back to work? And what does “work” look like?
I am also blessed in that my workload is not NEARLY what it was in my last “straight” job. In that job I made half the money and worked 70-80 hour weeks. I literally came home and opened my laptop and kept going. My life was about growing that company, which I did well – I hired 75 people in one year, and managed HR for half of it. I never took a vacation because there was no one to back me up while I was gone. No fucking way would I have had a kid at that place. Now, I manage what I do and what I don’t do. My income is based on two things: Relationships and Results. So I don’t go to meetings that waste my time and ultimately don’t lead to the R&R. I can work for the most part when my husband does and schedule most meetings when he’s at work. Not all, but most.
In the article Why I Didn’t Tell My Clients I Was Taking Maternity Leave, Jen Dziura talked a lot about how she and her partner have an egalitarian relationship, and when traditional gender roles seep in, they work hard to squash those to make sure they are both contributing equally as parents and getting fair time for themselves and their careers. And she had to make it very clear to her clients that she was still open for business even after having a baby:
“Plenty of people will make assumptions about what your reproductive choices indicate about your work mojo. But then again, many people will already be aware that you have had a baby and will assume you’re out of the game unless you explicitly tell them otherwise…This tendency must be prevented at the outset.”
No one would ever assume my husband wouldn’t come back to work…but they definitely will ask me. Sigh.
Oh and some might say “oh just put your kiddo in daycare for a couple days a week”. That was my idea as well, until I found out just how much infant daycare is.
$800/month. For two days a week. Yep. But once again? Cart before the horse. Let’s get me knocked up first.
Along with everything else, I mentioned a while back that my stepfather had passed. Well, anyone who’s lost a family member can probably attest to the fact that when something major happens, dynamics can change considerably. Sometimes for the better, sometimes for the worse.
When my father and paternal grandparents all passed between 2008-2011, everything ended. I still get Christmas cards from my aunt who was closest in age to my dad, but that’s about it. No family gatherings. My grandparents’ house where my father and his siblings grew up, where my My uncle still lives a mile or two away but he’s not a get-together kind of guy. My other aunt I heard moved to the east coast after her husband died a couple of years ago. And my father’s wife sold their home after he died and that’s the last I heard from her. Everyone has just gone their separate ways…no harm, no foul, it’s just, well, different.
So when my mother’s husband passed away at the end of April, I could feel a shift coming. Those who have been longtime readers or just know me well, know that I have not had a relationship with her since 2009. A lot of shit went down back then that made me unable to continue down that road for my own emotional health (including her telling me my stepfather, who came into my life at age five, never really liked me), and since then, more shit happened at a very deep level that kept me certain that this was just not a relationship that I could imagine ever being revived. My husband has been very understanding and supportive of this decision, and we just lived our lives. I guess you forget that eventually people die? I don’t know, but after 35 years of marriage, my 75 year old mother is now a widow. For the greater part of her life she was married (to three men, the first who she had my half-siblings with, the second which produced me, the third being our stepfather) and has never lived in a home without either a husband, children, or both. So she’s starting a new chapter for sure. As someone who always loved living alone, and my husband as well (yet somehow we really dig being around each other all-the-time, yay!), it’s hard to imagine never having experienced solo life.
My sadness at my stepfather’s passing was honestly not as much for him as it was for her. No matter what he thought of me, the two of them were madly in love and she found much happiness in their marriage. He was her person. And losing your person after more than three decades is tragic. And I do empathize. So now, for the first time, she is on her own. She has to start on a new path, and all I began to think was maybe, just maybe, that means there might be a new path for she and I, without him around.
When it all happened, I sent her a note of condolence and told her about our plans to adopt and left it at that. And she wrote back. She was happy to hear from me and opened up about the past year of taking care of him in hospice and how she was so excited to have a second grandchild (my brother’s son is 29, that’s the only one of her three kids who’s had children). She wanted to get to know each other again. She seems open. So we’ve started texting back and forth. It’s a start…perhaps.
Yet at the same time she’s not asked any questions about the IVF treatments nor expressed anything close to sympathizing with our struggle. Having mentioned it at least five times, I have had to remind myself that anything that bothers me about her behaviors is just that – hers. It was a huge lesson in therapy to remind myself that when people do or say things that hurt us, it’s their issue – not ours. And it’s our decision whether we want to be around that behavior or not – and either decision is okay as long as we are respecting and valuing our own selves, our own hearts.
It’s not easy when a lot of trust has been lost over the years, but here I am, in Cycle Four, thinking about the possibility of motherhood again, and trying to gain more perspective. And yeah, I don’t know about you ladies out there, but this shit always makes me think of the people who brought me into this world, even if my children will never share my DNA. My husband and I daydream about what it’d be like if our fathers were still alive, for them to see our little one(s) if/when it happens.
Forgiveness and moving forward. Is it truly possible to do both? We shall see. I will let you know how this works out – I have a tentative invitation extended (depending on my physical and emotional status) for next week and another for next month. My only rule? Whatever I do must feel good deep down, must maintain my zen. Because we have a baby to make.