The Return

October 23, 2017

Well, I’m back.

First, my deepest apologies for disappearing from the face of the earth for 3 1/2 years. Seriously. Really, truly. And for not even checking my blog email so that friends’ expressions of concern received no reply. Some of you checked in on me through Lori just to know that I was okay, thanks to Lori for that, and sorry to all of you for not answering directly.

There have been so many times I thought of posting about something, because now, even 8 years after the birth of Burrito and Tamale (8! unfathomable!), infertility comes up in my life all. the. time.

I have periodically lurked on the blogs of some of you. The death of Google Reader was really the beginning of the end of my ability to keep track of my bloggy friends.

As for my abrupt end to blogging, I was indeed very busy trying to juggle work and then-4-year olds and managing RA, but my last blog post exactly coincided with my medication starting to fail in April 2014. That medication worked great for a year and a half, then it suddenly didn’t, at all. Not as bad as the first onset of RA with not being able to stand or do anything whatsoever with my hands, but bad enough that I quit my beloved twice weekly yoga because I couldn’t support weight on my wrists, that I couldn’t turn doorknobs, that I couldn’t pick up children, that I sometimes couldn’t hold a fork to eat.

The replacement medicine worked a little better but never well enough — there were fewer eat-with-my-hands days but far from zero. Worse, the side effects were debilitating: I never had a migraine in my life until that second medication, then developed several per week. Blogging is tough when you can barely use your hands and can’t see straight. (After switching off that medication in 2016, I haven’t had a migraine since.)

After a couple of years of white-knuckling it (get it? knuckles?) I switched doctors from the one with the worst bedside manner in history who believed that I’d never achieve full functioning (How do I know that? Because I heard him dictate it into his note in the next room. Asshole.) to a doctor with outstanding bedside manner who is resolved to get me to a point where I can function, and who switched my medication from the ineffective yet migraine-inducing one to one that has no side effects for me and works pretty well. Well enough that I’m afraid to switch again, lest a new medication have some other horrible side effect. My joints are far from perfect, but most days I can do what I need to do. It might bother me, but I function, and people can’t tell. And there are even days when I almost forget I have RA.

Once I could finally both reliably type and see straight, too much time had passed, and it felt overwhelming to come back to an inbox full of worried messages, and I had both too much to say but so much that I couldn’t say. I finally understood what many people had been saying about not being able to tell others’ infertility stories for them. “I interacted with this person and here’s the deal with their infertility that I found interesting but which has nothing to do with me” is not a reasonable long-term blog format.

But I’m back, and I’m going to post more often (certainly more often than once every 3 1/2 years, but also more often than I did before). About infertility, yes, because it still comes up constantly, and because it deeply affects my current life, more right now than it has in years. But also about other things, about me. Frankly, disclosing about myself is very much not my strong suit in real life, and I’m even worse at expressing the deep emotions rather than only the cerebral aspects, but perhaps in expressing real emotion in blog format, I can get better at doing so in my non-blog life too.

Brevity is also not my strong suit as you have just seen, but moving forward I will try to break things down into shorter posts rather than my usual magnum opus style, fewer shorter blog posts rather than occasional huge posts. At least I’ll try.

Why now? There have been some big recent events which have spurred me to come back, finally, after all this time. You’ll hear about those in subsequent posts. Cliffhanger!

It’s so good to be back, and it’s so good to have someone to talk to again. I’ve missed you. And, even if my babies are nowhere near babies anymore, I’ve missed the Baby Smiling version of me.


Creme contest: Do-over

December 22, 2008

There were lots of entries for last week’s contest in honor of Creme de la Creme, but none of the entries correctly guessed my favorite post in the history of this blog.

Let’s try again with multiple choice.

Via email or comment, select one of the ten posts listed below. You can make an informed guess by reading them, or you can randomly pick a number. The contest will end when someone wins. The first person to guess the correct post is the winner (therefore, you shouldn’t pick something someone else already picked in an earlier comment).

The winner will receive a piece of pottery. That person will also have to provide me with a mailing address to receive that piece of pottery. (The prize won’t be a tiny vase like Lori from Weebles Wobblog and Wishing 4 One received because I don’t have any of those left, but it will be something interesting.)

The contest candidates, in chronological order:
#1 Plans
#2 The Race Is On
#3 Coin Flip
#4 Show and Tell: Bridge
#5 Shabbat Shalom
#6 Joy
#7 Incident Report
#8 Testimonial
#9 Optimistic
#10 Decision

The following posts were high on my original list of candidates for Creme de la Creme, but each of them was guessed by one or more people already. I won’t include them among the 10 since they’d only be decoys, but they are indeed some of my favorites (and in combination with the above 10, could constitute a Best of 2008 list):
Empty and Frantic
One Night Only

Let the guessing commence! Someone has to get it this time, right?

Note to ICLW participants: Picking a number will be the easiest comment you leave all week!

…comes from the Radiohead song Fitter Happier off of OK Computer, one of the best albums of all time. Musically, Fitter Happier is strange, since Thom Yorke’s vocals have been replaced with a computerized voice. Lyrically, it is genius.

The song lists all of the goals to which we aspire, simultaneously shining a light on our unquestioning pursuit of these goals.

The first few lyrics:

  • fitter
  • happier
  • more productive
  • comfortable
  • not drinking too much
  • regular exercise at the gym (3 days a week)
  • getting on better with your associate employee contemporaries
  • at ease
  • eating well (no more microwave dinners and saturated fats)
  • a patient better driver
  • a safer car (baby smiling in back seat)
  • Most of the items in the song are, in fact, worthy of pursuit. At the same time, a picture is painted of a very conventional life. Not everyone chooses this life consciously. Plenty of people I know have just sort of fallen into it, and then they are stuck (unless they decide to quit their jobs, get divorces, and follow their original dreams, which few of them will — except maybe the divorce part). I know people who have had children because that’s what they were supposed to do. Some of them have been surprised to fall in love with their children, and some just go through the motions.

    For me as well as for my husband, having children is something we have very consciously chosen to do. Years before we were married, as teenagers, we had picked out names for our children. We chose to postpone having children for the first several years of our marriage while we pursued our career goals, mastered the art of marriage, and learned to be grown-ups. When we finally made the decision to have children, Fate disagreed with our timing. Being infertile brings the purposeful pursuit of parenthood into clearer focus, although it also brings a lot of other crap with it too.

    Just as having children is automatic for many people, it is easy to get carried away with fertility treatments and other methods of pursuing parenthood once you’ve started down that road. I respect all of my infertile sisters and brothers, but I have extra respect for the ones I’ve encountered who, after years of non-success, have pulled in the reins and questioned whether having a biological child, or any child at all, was worth what they were going through. A few years ago, after our first miscarriage broke my heart, we got out the condoms and stopped TTC for over a year. Now, we are back in Come Hell or High Water mode.

    In non-baby aspects of life, we both frequently question the life that has been predestined for us. Despite being very driven in our careers, we have both made decisions that did not follow the standard path. Rather than staying close to any of the cities where our families or other loved ones live, we move around the country as jobs and whims dictate. We consume media, particularly news, with a critical and dubious eye. We don’t listen to our mothers.

    Whenever I realize that I’m becoming complacent and blindly buying into the norms of society, I think about the lyrics of Fitter Happier, or listen to the song.

    I’m still working on the “no longer empty and frantic” part. Some days are better than others.

    Welcome to my blog, dear reader! And welcome to the infertility blogosphere, me!

    We have been trying to conceive for over 6 years — since before blogs really existed. In that time, I have used the internet in every other possible way available to an Infertile Myrtle: message boards, medical websites, fertility tracking, reviews of fertility doctors and clinics, first-person accounts of various interventions, getting ahead of myself by researching doulas and baby furniture, and so much more… if you’re reading this, you probably have your own similar list. I have been lurking on various infertility blogs for a while, but always avoided creating my own. For a while, I was trying to keep IF out of the forefront of my mind. Then, when IF pushed its way back to the forefront, I hoped that our newly escalating interventions would be successful, I would graduate from the IF world, and therefore an infertility-oriented blog would be moot. That didn’t pan out. To keep myself sane in the few months until our next IVF cycle and beyond, I decided that it was finally time to create my own blog and hopefully share some insights.

    We have been very secretive about TTC and IF in our real lives, so it will be interesting to finally put some of the secrets out there for the world to see (everyone in the world except the people that we actually know, who we will still keep in the dark).

    I don’t know how it ends, but I predict excitement, drama, romance, and a few laughs. Come along for the ride!