Tuesday, September 18, 2007

The Barren Book Tour and it's my birthday!

This time around - I took part in the Barren Book Tour. We read Love and Other Impossible Pursuits by Ayelet Waldman. I started reading this book without having any idea what it was about - and was kind of blown away at first. Emilia has a stepson, and just lost her daughter to SIDS. I was often conflicted while reading the book that she should be happy for what she has (a stepson!) but not being able to understand how she even got out of bed in the morning. The loss of a 3 month old baby? I can't even comprehend.

Here are the questions I chose to answer:

- Emilia has a difficult time relating to other women who have had losses in pregnancy, usually because she sees her situation as different and worse than those women who have had miscarriages. She is particularly hard on her friend Mindy. Do you feel like this attitude was justified on her part? Are mothers of SIDs victims much different and worse off than mothers of miscarriages? Or can we all belong to the same support group?

I totally agree with Emilia, but on the other end of the spectrum. I feel that I have had to deal with NOTHING (infertility and an ectopic pregnancy) compared to those who have had a miscarriage or SIDS. I really don't don't have any idea how I would carry on if my baby died of SIDS. I actually know someone who just recently lost their 3 month old son to SIDS, and I have watched how they are dealing with it - and it tears me apart.

- We all have had someone in our lives like William who innocently says the wrong thing more often then we would like. How has your infertility experience helped you respond better to those "innocent yet wrong" comments/questions?

I put on a smile, and joke about it. Until I started dealing with infertility myself, the fact that not everyone can have babies at the drop of a hat would never have even crossed my mind. And it's not like a broken leg or another obvious aliment that people automatically know that you are having trouble with. I'm not trying to educate the rest of the world about infertility - it's something that Aaron and I deal with together. I know there are bloggers that are all about educating people about what we are going through - honestly, I only have enough energy to deal with it myself - no matter teaching everyone else about it!

- Emilia tries to get the restaurant to begin carrying a pink cupcake for William, admitting, "He will be overcome by the bliss of a strawberry cupcake and he will forget the rage in his mother's face when she looked at me. I wish there was a cupcake that delicious. What will it take for me to forget, I wonder?" Is that level of distraction only capable by children? What do you use to distract yourself when you're trying to forget something painful?

I am always thinking of all the things in my life that are totally wonderful. I have a great husband, a wonderful family that loves me, a great group of friends, a good house in a welcoming neighborhood. I am healthily, generally happy, and loved. Although I go through major frustrations with all this waiting with the IVF crap- in the end? I'm happy. Having a baby isn't what I'm waiting for to make my life whole. And I know, without a shadow of a doubt, that Aaron and I will have a baby together. It's just a matter of when.

Hey - today is my birthday! I'm taking the day off of work, meeting a girlfriend for lunch and Aaron is sending me for a hot rock massage. Not too shabby.


Samantha said...

Happy birthday!

You take a very selfless view of your own situation, but don't discount your own pain and suffering. Infertility and ectopic pregnancy are not nothing! I felt like Emilia it would have done Emilia some good to consider other's pain without feeling like she had to discount it.

amy said...

Happy Birthday!!

I like your take on not trying to educate the rest of the world about infertility....I feel that way more and more lately.

Having a family is indeed a matter of when....hope your when is soon!!


Drowned Girl said...

Hope your when is soon, too.

Baby Step said...

I have a step-daughter, I should read that book. I love my step-daughter (she is almost 12 and I met my husband when she was 4)- she has been in my life for a long time now. HOWEVER, my yearning for my own baby does make it hard sometimes to love her unconditionally. I have this constant feeling that I am taking care of someone else's child - especially since her mom is still very much in the picture. I feel like a 3rd wheel.

Out of the mouth of babes: The other day I was with my step-daughter and we were looking at this really cute baby....she said, 'Don't you and dad want a baby?' I answered, 'Yes, we do'. And she said, "Well - what's stopping you then?!?!" I didn't really know what to say, so I just said, 'Sometimes it is not as easy as you would like'. Anyway, it can be really hard, and maybe I should be more thankful, but that first 4 years of my step-daughter's life - I was not part of it. It is VERY different than having my own child. And truth be told, this is why I am not going to adopt.

Sorry for such a long post. Happy Birthday!

Chris said...

Happy birthday! Enjoy your day and your massage.

Ms. Planner said...

Happy Birthday and I hope you enjoy your massage.

I appreciated your sharing the ways you help stay positive during this journey. I could take a lesson from your book sometime : )

Best of luck with your upcoming IVF.

mary ellen said...

Happy Birthday!!

mamacate said...

Happy birthday, birthday girl!

Lori said...

First off, let me join the Happy Birthday chorus.

What a healthy attitude you have, to not allow having a baby to make or break your life. Sometimes I wish I spent more time counting my blessings than weighing my perceived deficiencies.

Hope you enjoyed La Stone!

The Town Criers said...

Happy birthday! I'll put it in L & F tomorrow too.

I love your answer to the third question. It has such peace behind the words.

Kristen said...

Happy Birthday! I really hope it was a special one!

I really loved your positive attitude in your reactions. We all need to laugh it off sometimes to stay sane, I believe. And while I strive to appreciate the good in my life, I often allow the bad to overshadow it. You are truly admirable for being able to look past that.

Deb said...

Happy Birthday! Your massage sounds interesting.

I like your idea about people's comments and it is great that you are content in your life even during your journey.

Ayelet said...

Happy Birthday and thanks for reading.

Oh lord. That pink cupcake. I'm on weight watchers now and reading my own quoted words made me want to scrape old crumbs out of the cookie jar with my fingernails.

What Emilia has to realize before she can grow up and be the kind of person she is capable of being is that her pain isn't license to shit on the world. Seems to me like you are about nine million steps ahead of the game. At least ahead of her game.
Thanks for reading!

Geohde said...

Haaapy birthday to you, happy birthday to you,

Haaaapy birrrthday, happy birthday,

Happy birthday to you!



Changing Expectations said...

Happy Birthday!

amysue said...

I gotta say, even with adoption having been the right plan for us (hey!it worked for my parents!), even though I am 46 and unlikely to have been able to get pregnant anyway, the fact that there is no chance at all, still hurts some days. I joke alot because that's who I am, but as someone who knew from a fairly young age that she was not likely to have bio kids and then to have that made definite with surgery means a lot of years of hearing "just relax" and not always biting back the response 'I can relax all i want I still need an ovary and a uterus you fool'.

I think loss is very personal and what might be devastating for one family can be less so for another. I also think that folks who've never had to deal with infertility or pregnancy loss or related issues, rarely get it.

And I have a dark and dirty secret for you, deep down, and I rarely admit this, I think that those folks who are successful in their quest have a bio kid become one of "them". I'm ashamed of that, but sometimes it's how I feel. even now. Even with two great kids. Even at 46. It still hurts.

amysue said...

Oh damn Cece, i forgot to add:

Happy Birthday and I hope and pray you become one of those people I secretly envy because the two of you will be kick ass parents and it's time the dogs had some competetion!

Waiting Amy said...

Happy Birthday -- enjoy your day!

I applaud your perspective on your situation and wish I could borrow your optimism! It is great that you have such empathy for others suffering loss. And I am glad for you that IF hasn't seemed to make yout bitter, that's a tough one to avoid!