Dear Diary, where is the baby?

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My usual cleaning pattern is pretty simple. Start to clean >  find something I haven’t seen in years (pictures, etc) > sit on the floor to reminisce > reminisce til I get bored > ignore the area I planned to clean > move on with my life.

For the last month or so I’ve been in a cleaning spree…which nicely translates into “walking down memory lane while simultaneously ignoring all of the crap in the extra bedrooms”.  One of the recent gems I discovered was a journal from our first few years of marriage. 

If you ever wondered if I had a boring life, wonder no more. It is a yawner. I wrote the thing and struggled to keep my eyes open while reminiscing. Except for these two topics:

  1. My grandma. She died while I was keeping the journal…so I have a lot of stories about her and how much I missed her
  2. Trying to get pregnant

Looking back, I was ridiculously naive. I remember planning for a spring baby so I could put the baby in a bonnet for Easter Sunday.

Saturday, 3/2/01 “<Insert confidential name> and I talked about a baby. They said I am working myself up and that I am making it worse that it really is”

Monday, 9/1/01 “We went antique shopping and I bought a silver lamp for the nursery, It is great!” My plan was to save it and open it when I got pregnant. I bought the lamp 16 years ago. I just opened the box when I bought our new house.

Sunday, 12/23/01 “I am 33, 34 in 7 months. If I don’t get pregnant immediately, we are going to get into the 35 year old danger zone. I told Craig I wouldn’t try to get pregnant after 35”. This wasn’t true. I breezed right through 35 and we kept trying.

Saturday, 9/7/02 “I told <Migraine Doctor> we were trying and he took me off X and Y medications. I keep getting migraines now. Either try for a baby or have less headaches with no baby.” At this point in my life, I was having 18-25 migraines a month. I was told I needed to choose between getting off all of the medications (and be in debilitating migraine pain while trying to get pregnant) or stay on the medications and stop trying to get pregnant). I chose to try to get pregnant. 

Sunday, 2/3/03 “I just took another ovulation test. I haven’t looked at it yet………It seems like we have to go through so much trouble to get pregnant. I wish it would just happen”. HA HA HA HA! This was two years into trying. Ah… naive! 

Doctor visits, pregnancy tests, etc.

Tuesday, 2/11/03 “I have a doctor’s apt tomorrow at 3:45 to discuss Clomid. If you’ve never been on Clomid…lemme explain very simply. Think about the angriest you’ve ever been in your life….you want to strangle anyone who gets within 30 feet of you…there is no way that smoke isn’t coming out of your ears…..everyone is an idiot…you are questioning your sanity….and then, you are supposed to turn on Marvin Gaye if ya get my meaning. Yeah…its that sexy.

I have blocked out a LOT of things from those years. The pain of feeling like a failure and disappointment was just too great. Finding the journal was bittersweet. It brought me right back to where I was when I was writing each entry…but it also made me realize that 15 years ago I thought my life would end if I didn’t have a baby. Now I realize that my life was just beginning.


Happy Lupercalia Day! Prepare the goat hide!

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There are many legends of how Valentines Day started….I have no idea which one is true….but good googly these are crazy.

Legend/Crazy Story #1

Valentine was a priest who served around 250 AD. The Emperor at the time decided that single men made better soldiers than those with wives or kids, The Emperor wanted to ensure his soldiers were focused on fighting, so he made marriage illegal. <INSERT JOKE HERE> Valentine felt that this was ridiculous and still married couples if they wanted. The Emperor found out that Valentine was performing marriage ceremonies illegally and put him to death.

Legend/Crazy Story #2

Our hero Valentine is still trying to right the wrongs of the world. After hearing that imprisoned Christians were being beaten and tortured while in a specific Rome prison, he set out to rescue them all. When this was discovered, Valentine was jailed in the same prison where he had tried to help others escape. Ever the romantic, he fell in love with a woman who visited him in prison. He sent her a love note and signed it “From your Valentine”. Awwwwwwww.

Legend/Crazy Story #3

Happy Lupercalia Day! Still in the same 250 AD time frame, Lupercalia was a fertility festival dedicated to the god of agriculture. Now….everyone in South Louisiana knows when a big parade is getting ready to kick off….the police cars or motorcycles ride the parade route, sirens a ‘blazing….and telling everyone to get back on the curbs because the large floats are coming down the road soon. The Lupercalia organizers had the same philosophy….”let’s tell the people that this sucker is starting”. So instead of police cars to kick off the event, they sacrificed a goat for fertility. This is where it gets interesting. They would cut the goat’s hide into strips, dip intro sacrificial blood and walk through the streets gently slapping women and crop fields as a “good luck being fertile” gesture. Did the women run? File a complaint? Nope. They “welcomed the touch of the hides” because they believed it made them more fertile. That is the ONE thing I didn’t try.

In honor of those stories, it makes perfect sense 1700 years later to buy chocolate in the shape of a heart. Happy VD.




Is infertility a 3 ringed circus?

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A few years ago I gave my brother some juggling bowling pins for his birthday. Yes, we are weird like that. But I knew he could instantly pick them up and juggle like he had been doing it for years. I was right. Smooth movements, kept them in the air. Me!? I almost hurt myself just trying to wrap them.

Throughout the infertility/adoption process we met with an endless number of doctors, specialists, therapists, etc. Appointments, rescheduling, testings, appointments, etc. I can’t count the number of waiting rooms I’ve sat in…waiting to hear my name called….waiting to hear test results…waiting for someone to get all up in my lady biz-ness.  Everything was in a hurry. Then we’d wait. Then hurry. Then wait. This person was supposed to talk to that insurance company, while the other person was trying to get me in to see that person. Freaking three ringed circus. In the middle of all of it, though, I felt alone.

The silence after the appointments are over is deafening. Loneliness creeps in. For whatever reason, Craig and I didn’t share a lot about our struggles with other people. Now that I finally am talking about it, it is difficult to explain why we didn’t back then. It wasn’t a conscious decision.

It didn’t matter though. I could have talked with every person on this planet and still felt alone. It’s strange how trying to build another human being can be such a lonely process.

People’s questions and comments about trying to get pregnant often cut me to the core. No one ever meant to be hurtful. But one question at dinner, another question while at a party, another while on the phone, etc…..after a while I wanted to avoid the conversations. Because I felt like there was a huge sign pointing to me. ——> STEP RIGHT UP AND SEE THE BROKEN WOMAN RIGHT HERE!


When you are the only one in your world wearing a formal gown and flippers, you stand out.


During that time we were trying to survive the heartbreak of infertility, the roller coaster of treatments and a lot of other overused imagery phrases. Throw adoption classes in there and we were on a never ending merry go round. (ok. that was the last circus reference).

Why didn’t we share a lot?

  • Because then I had to stop focusing on why/how my world was collapsing and take care of someone else.
  • Not sure what to say
  • Embarrassed
  • Worried about “helpful” suggestions
  • Didn’t want to
  • Sharing information gave up control
  • Once people are involved, they are always involved

What is the right answer? I clearly have no idea. I have some friends/family who think I didn’t share enough of our struggles. I have some friends/family who never wanted to hear about it.

We never planned to the treatment and adoption discussions private…but we also never discussed how we’d communicate any of that. There were only two goals. Getting a baby. And keeping the bowling pins in the air.