February 27, 2011

Welcome to Lori week at Baby Smiling In Back Seat! This week will feature three posts that link to Write Mind Open Heart.

First, my entry for the Limerick Chick contest.

I can’t make babies without several men
And spending fortunes again and again
I can’t whistle or spit
But still, I’m The Shit:
Infertility taught me zen.

Please vote for me later this week!

Thoughtful ThursdayThe saying goes, “Always the bridesmaid, never the bride.” In terms of weddings, the opposite is actually true of me — well I’ve only been the bride once, but we were the first of anyone we knew to get married, so I never had to attend a wedding in which I lamented being single or wondered when my turn would come.

I’ve been a bride once, and I’ve also only been a bridesmaid once. Oddly, except for one friend, everyone else who might have asked me to stand in their wedding did not have a wedding party at all. DH, on the other hand, has been a groomsman in more weddings than I can count. There was a stretch in our mid-to-late 20s when he literally stood up in every single wedding we attended, sometimes several per year. We have more than gotten our money’s worth on the gorgeous Armani tux he bought from a runway sale (though not until after our wedding, so he had a gross rental tux for our wedding).

Anyway, I’m bringing this saying up because it keeps occurring to me in another context: jobs. Apparently I am good enough to make the short list but not to hire. Last summer, and then again this week with something very close to my dream job. The same thing happened to DH this week with what would have been his beyond-his-wildest-dreams job — that is, we’ve both been waiting to hear for months, but we both found out about our bridesmaid status this week.

The bridesmaid saying also occurred to me during the years of infertility. Always the auntie, never the mommy. I won the mommy role eventually, though there were times I wondered if it would ever happen, just as many perennial bridesmaids wonder if their day as the bride will ever come. Job-wise, I know that someone will hire me (and DH) eventually, and of course we’ve both been chosen in wonderful ways in the past. It’s just a bit of a blow to our egos, and our bank account, to get bad news the same week.

It’s no fun to be #2 — or in the case of infertility, #0.

When have you been a “bridesmaid”? When have you been a “bride”?

Thoughtful Thursday: Surprise

February 17, 2011

Thoughtful ThursdaySince the downturn in my mother’s health, I’ve received several insights from my father. The confirmation of my parents’ infertility occurred several months ago. Another one I’ll talk about next week. A third was the biggest surprise of my life.

Before my grandfather died a couple of years ago, I had received many remarks about how unusual it was to be in my 30s and have four living grandparents (particularly since my maternal grandparents were quite old when they had my mother, who is the youngest of many many kids, and since my parents were not young when they had me).

My mother is estranged from certain parts of her family. I hadn’t seen my maternal grandparents since I was a toddler, but they were out there somewhere.

Apparently not! At least, not my maternal grandfather.

Recently, discussing my mother’s reaction to her health situation, my father happened to mention something about her reaction to the death of her father.


Before I was born.


I did not misunderstand the situation all these years, and I did not make up a grandfather. My mother absolutely led me to believe that he was alive. I used to draw him birthday cards when I was a kid. I distinctly remember seeing photos of me with him, but I guess that must have been some other old man.

My mother has done some very weird things over the years, but 40 years of pretending that someone was alive takes the cake. I knew that she liked to keep secrets, and I knew that she lives in denial of truths she doesn’t want to accept, but I never, ever imagined that she could do something like this.

She doesn’t deal well with confrontation, especially in her current state, so I’m not going to bring it up. I wonder, though, if my grandmother is alive, or if she’s been gone this whole time too. I also wonder what other surprises are out there that I never could have imagined.

Have you ever been truly surprised?

Thoughtful ThursdayA crisis came up this week with my mother’s health, and for a couple of days it seemed like I might need to get on a plane any minute. (After several hours calling and emailing her medical providers each day, as well as action on their end, it’s now been managed, and I’m staying put for now.)

I was ambivalent about going, particularly since it would require leaving Burrito and Tamale behind. Even missing just a few days would feel like I’d be returning months later, since they’re in a phase where every day brings some new development.

But, at the same time, my mind started racing with all of the possibilities for ways to use the free time I’d have. As I learned a few months ago, having a loved one in the hospital involves waking up at the crack of dawn to wait at the bedside and be sure you don’t miss the attending physician’s 3-minute visit which ends up being at 4:56 p.m.; hand-holding to get them into the MRI machine then thumb-twiddling for the next hour during the scan; frantic action then excessive down time.

Last time, I processed thousands of baby photos while my mother looked on or napped. This time, I started fantasizing about the projects I could complete, the blog posts I could write, the work I could accomplish. And away from the hospital, without toddlers needing my attention, I could go shopping! Get a facial! Go to a movie! Talk on the phone with my husband! Skype with my babies!

How would you spend your time if you (and your laptop) were suddenly transported far from all of your responsibilities?

Thoughtful Thursday: Jukebox

February 3, 2011

Thoughtful Thursday

Anyone else a little blue? Oh well, here’s the February Intelligentsia, the people who commented on every Thoughtful Thursday post for the month of January.

#24: Wiseguy from Woman Anyone? — a herculean effort, as this month her daughter was born and then three days later passed away; I so wish that I had a happy blurb to list here instead
#16: Elana from Elana’s Musings
#15: Lost In Translation from We Say IVF, They Say FIV
#13: Jill from All Aboard the Pity Boat
#8: Strongblonde from Strong Blonde
#7: Cat
#6: Ana

Thoughtful ThursdayThe other day in the car, a song came on the radio that I hadn’t heard in years. Maybe even decades. Suddenly, I was a 6th grader again, new to pop music and so eager to fit in. Hearing it in my friend’s mom’s station wagon for the first time, then the next day going to the record store to buy the tape. “Some things are forever.”

Another beloved song came on the radio this week; I still have the CD but haven’t gotten it out in over a decade. As soon as the song started, I was 18 again and had just met a tall, funny guy with a huge smile, already sure that I’d be with him forever. (It’ll be 17 years this month.) “We all want something beautiful.”

I’ve never actually heard it on the radio, but all I need to do is play this song, and I’m back to being 16 with just a bit of angst. “Desire, it’s inside her.”

When I started college, my CD player got broken during shipping, so I could only listen to CDs on my computer’s CD-ROM drive. Despite having brought 300 CDs with me to school, I listened to the same one for the first couple of months until UPS paid for the replacement CD player. I don’t think I’ve ever heard any song from the album on the radio; good thing I still keep the CD handy. “I traveled to a mystical time zone.”

As I’ve written about before, certain songs are associated with infertility for me. With this one, I am transported to the road near my RE’s clinic at the crack of dawn, headed for yet another blood draw and ultrasound. Another non-radio song, but the CD is always in the car and on my iPod. I also sang it to the twins every day when they were in the NICU. “Just like a seed down in the soil you gotta give it time.”

What song instantly transports you to another time, to another version of you?